Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Poltical Goon

Harold Ickes is that SOB in every campaign that orchestrates that sausage making in politics. This might be the reason Hillary eeks out the delegates she needs in that Icky way.

Here are some excerpts from the NYTimes:

'Mr. Ickes, who has typically been a behind-the-scenes player, is stepping out front to make the public case for Mrs. Clinton, at a time when campaign advisers have pressed to lower the profile of her chief strategist, Mark J. Penn.

But most of all, he is serving as the campaign’s general in the fight for superdelegates, the elected officials and party leaders who may well determine whether Mrs. Clinton can grasp the nomination from Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. In doing so, Mr. Ickes is drawing on his intimate knowledge of the Clintons and their political networks — as well as delegate selection rules he helped write at the Democratic National Committee.

Legalistic and argumentative, Mr. Ickes is a man of tough manner and tough tactics with a notoriously dramatic temper, though one he orchestrates to calculated effect. “Harold isn’t Mr. Charm,” said Herman D. Farrell, a superdelegate from New York. “But he is Mr. Mechanic. He’s good at the nuts and bolts and doing the counting, less so at the persuading.”

For the Clinton campaign, Mr. Ickes went to great lengths assembling data on all the superdelegates — their friends, supporters, contributors, history with the Clintons and interactions over the years. He sits at a desk with an old-fashioned Rolodex.

Every day, he and aides churn through the list of the superdelegates, and he sends a list of names to Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Clinton of Democrats to call.'

Hammering Obama on Protectionism

From some gusty economists:

'Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential candidate, has proposed tax breaks for US corporations that invest at home rather than abroad. This column argues that his proposal is protectionist, reactionary, and economically unsound.'

If the Patriot Employer Act proposal is anything to go by, we are in trouble if Obama wins. The legislation would provide a tax credit equal to one percent of taxable income to employers who fulfill the following conditions:

· First, employers must not decrease their ratio of full-time workers in the United States to full-time workers outside the United States and they must maintain corporate headquarters in the United States if the company has ever been headquartered there.

· Second, they must pay a minimum hourly wage sufficient to keep a family of three out of poverty: at least $7.80 per hour.

· Third, they must provide a defined benefit retirement plan or a defined contribution retirement plan that fully matches at least five percent of each worker’s contribution.

· Fourth, they must pay at least sixty percent of each worker’s health care premiums.

· Fifth, they must pay the difference between a worker’s regular salary and military salary and continue the health insurance for all National Guard and Reserve employees who are called for active duty.

· Sixth, they must maintain neutrality in employee organising campaigns.

Only the last of these conditions does not raise serious issues. In a free society, any worker should be able to join the union of his or her choice or not join.

Color of Obama - Not Green

If you care about the environment and fawn over Obama then perhaps you should think twice.

From NYTimes

'In 2000, McCain ran for president and reiterated his longstanding opposition to ethanol subsidies. Though it crippled his chances in Iowa, he argued that ethanol was a wasteful giveaway. A recent study in the journal Science has shown that when you take all impacts into consideration, ethanol consumption increases greenhouse gas emissions compared with regular gasoline. Unlike, say, Barack Obama, McCain still opposes ethanol subsidies.'

Willam F Buckley Jr - Intellectual Powerhouse

Another one of my idols passes away.

William F Buckley Jr died today.

I distinctly remember reading his writings in high school as the Regan Revolution ripped through American politics. In college I watched him on tv and was dazzled by his command of the English language and his distinct diction.

He took the conservative movement (the Regan brand) to new intellectual heights and provided visceral, verbose fire power against the Liberal ideology.

I did not agree with him on some issues but there was enough agreement to have his words shape my political views.

I can't wait for the complete collection of his essays and articles to come out!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When money speaks Obama listens

From the the NYTimes

'Asked why he had taken steps to back away from his pledge to accept public financing in a general election, Mr. Obama said he had yet to make up his mind and would sit down with Mr. McCain “to make sure we have a system that is fair for both sides.”

Yet he left open the door to not taking public financing, a departure from a statement he made a year ago.'

Ahh yes, change, hope, green dollar bills!!!

The Namesake Barak Hussein Obama

Why should anybody criticize another person for referring to them using their full name?

Bill Cunningham is being scolded by John McCain for using Obama full name three times. Here is the AP article.

That is political correctness!!

Obama picture lead to an tsunami of 1000 words

On cue the first sh$t is being flung.

From the Druge Report

Mon Feb 25 2008 06:51:00 ET

With a week to go until the Texas and Ohio primaries, stressed Clinton staffers circulated a photo over the weekend of a "dressed" Barack Obama.

The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat frontrunner fitted as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya.

The senator was on a five-country tour of Africa.

"Wouldn't we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?" questioned one campaign staffer, in an email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

In December, the campaign asked one of its volunteer county coordinators in Iowa to step down after the person forwarded an e-mail falsely stating that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe quickly accused the Clinton campaign Monday of 'shameful offensive fear-mongering' for circulating the snap.

Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams responds: "If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Slug Feast 2.0

Classic game theory coming into play.

With nothing to loose attitude the Clinton machine in going to throw some serious sh%t at Obama. Too bad it has to come to this, but it will reveal any chinks in the Obama armor.

Here is a quote from the International Herald Tribune:

'After struggling for months to dent Senator Barack Obama's candidacy, the campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is now unleashing what one Clinton aide called a "kitchen sink" fusillade against Obama, pursuing five lines of attack since Saturday in hopes of stopping his political momentum.'

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Not buying Obama's Obsidian Optimisim

I think Hillary would be the best candidate to defeat in the Presidential election in 2008.

But the press has begun her presidential obituary as outlined in this piece in the NYTimes.

It is always the darkest when you are at the low point. But I am not buying the Obama momentum.

I think Hillary will stand her ground and eek it out at the convention.

Young Kool-Aid drinkers!

Love this from Frank Rich of NYTimes:

'Clinton fans don’t see their standard-bearer’s troubles this way. In their view, their highly substantive candidate was unfairly undone by a lightweight showboat who got a free ride from an often misogynist press and from na├»ve young people who lap up messianic language as if it were Jim Jones’s Kool-Aid. Or as Mrs. Clinton frames it, Senator Obama is all about empty words while she is all about action and hard work.'

'The insults continued on Tuesday night when a surrogate preceding Mrs. Clinton onstage at an Ohio rally, Tom Buffenbarger of the machinists’ union, derided Obama supporters as “latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust-fund babies.” Even as he ranted, exit polls in Wisconsin were showing that Mr. Obama had in fact won that day among voters with the least education and the lowest incomes. Less than 24 hours later, Mr. Obama received the endorsement of the latte-drinking Teamsters.'

Didn't they say similar things about the Hippies when they were young?

Don't drink the Kool-Aid. Think for yourself. Ask the hard questions. Hope is eternal but you economic welfare is not.

Focus on consumption not income

Active income, income from one's direct efforts, should be tax free.

Allowing individuals to keep the fruits of their labor, is, on average, a strong motivator to bring the best of our natural and learned talents.

It also lowers the threshold for having a comfortable living because you get to keep all of what you earn.

To pay for common costs (not entitlements) governments should look to a consumption tax.

I like this from Greg Mankiw

'4. Ideally, I would use consumption, rather than income, as the tax base for purposes of raising revenue and redistribution. The benefit of consumption taxes over income taxes is that they do not distort the intertemporal allocation of consumption. A variety of economists have proposed ways to implement a progressive consumption tax. For example, the Hall and Rabushka flat tax is progressive in average tax rates; the Bradford X-tax is similar but even more progressive.'

Consumption allows an individual to ask the basic question of need vs want. If you want something then you should be taxed for it. An individual's reduction in the want category should fund the need taxes.

Also, the alternative to consumption is savings. If you want an ipod, fine, just be prepared to pay a tax. The tax should remind you to save. Savings lowers the cost of capital (supply of money increases, price goes down). Access to cheaper capital can fund new technologies (entrepreneurs with risky ideas can shop for funding from more sources) that lower consumption (green energy, cheaper houses, cheaper health care technologies etc).

Beware of politicians that want to tax hard earned income.

Universal Healthcare coverge..wishful thinking

If just amazing how many physicians I know support Universal Health care. My beloved spouse and others, who physicians, have their heart in the right place but have no sense of the economic realities.

Here is an excellent post by Greg Mankiw (emphasis mine):

'Technological advance is making state-of-the-art health care increasingly expensive. In any kind of national health system, some treatments will, by simple cost-benefit calculation, be deemed too expensive to provide to all citizens. But does that mean those of above-average income should be excluded as well? Should they lose basic benefits if they choose to pay for these marginal services with their own money?

If you say yes to this last question, as the U.K. health service has, here is a related one: Should a parent who hires an after-school tutor for his child be barred from sending the child to the public schools?

Some people like to think of health care and education of basic human rights. Maybe they are. But they are also normal goods. That is, the income elasticity of demand is positive. It is hard to escape the conclusion that the right cost-benefit calculation for providing the good depends on the income of the consumer.

Achieving both efficiency and equality in the provision of these goods is impossible. Dealing with this conflict will provide a major challenge to the political system in the years to come.'

As technology permeates within our health care system no way can all citizens have access to this. By nature of the technology adoption curve you WILL ALWAYS have some folks who have access to it first and that cost will be higher than those that have access to it later.

Don't buy into the warm and fuzzies of peddlers of universal coverage.

Obama On Drugs

Interesting piece from Reason

'.... Last fall former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said "it's just not a good idea for people running for president of the United States who potentially could be the role model for a lot of people to talk about their personal failings while they were kids because it opens the doorway to other kids thinking, 'Well, I can do that too and become president of the United States.'"

The thing is, that happens to be demonstrably true. And until politicians admit that smoking marijuana, something at least half of American adults born after World War II have done, is not a harbinger of ruin but a generally harmless rite of passage, they will not be able to have an honest discussion about drug policy.

Obama has gone further than most. He has acknowledged his own pot smoking, and in 2004 he said "we need to...decriminalize our marijuana laws," which in the United States usually means people are not subject to arrest for possessing small quantities of the drug.

What Obama has not done is connect the policy of not treating pot smokers as criminals (a position from which his campaign recently seemed to retreat) with his own experience as a pot smoker. Obama would not be better off now if he had been arrested for marijuana possession in high school or college, and there's no reason to think that experience would improve the life prospects of potential presidents who today are sneaking a puff here and there.'

As a father of two, how do I explain that someone who has smoked tobacco (and is still smoking), snorted cocaine, puffed marijuana (what else?) should be given the benefit of doubt to be president vs someone who has not?

How does a parent explain Bill Clinton's martial fidelity (lack of as a governor and President) and honestly acknowledge that he was a good President?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Obama Delusion

Another excerpt from The Obama Delusion.

'Political candidates routinely indulge in exaggeration, pandering, inconsistency and self-serving obscurity. Clinton and McCain do. The reason for holding Obama to a higher standard is that it's his standard and also his campaign's central theme. He has run on the vague promise of "change," but on issue after issue -- immigration, the economy, global warming -- he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. These issues remain contentious because they involve real conflicts or differences of opinion.

The contrast between his broad rhetoric and his narrow agenda is stark, and yet the press corps -- preoccupied with the political "horse race" -- has treated his invocation of "change" as a serious idea rather than a shallow campaign slogan. He seems to have hypnotized much of the media and the public with his eloquence and the symbolism of his life story. The result is a mass delusion that Obama is forthrightly engaging the nation's major problems when, so far, he isn't.'

Robert Samuelson elegantly rips into Obama

A Obama lover takes a shot, and does a good job. The Obama Delusion

'But on inspection, the metaphor is a mirage. Repudiating racism is not a magic cure-all for the nation's ills. It requires independent ideas, and Obama has few. If you examine his agenda, it is completely ordinary, highly partisan, not candid and mostly unresponsive to many pressing national problems.

By Obama's own moral standards, Obama fails. Americans "are tired of hearing promises made and 10-point plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing change," he recently said. Shortly thereafter, he outlined an economic plan of at least 12 points that, among other things, would:

-- Provide a $1,000 tax cut for most two-earner families ($500 for singles).
-- Create a $4,000 refundable tuition tax credit for every year of college.
-- Expand the child care tax credit for people earning less than $50,000 and "double spending on quality after-school programs."
-- Enact an "energy plan" that would invest $150 billion in 10 years to create a "green energy sector."

Whatever one thinks of these ideas, they're standard goodie-bag politics: something for everyone. They're so similar to many Clinton proposals that her campaign put out a news release accusing him of plagiarizing. With existing budget deficits and the costs of Obama's "universal health plan," the odds of enacting his full package are slim.

Why Obama's Populist Policies Are Bad

NO country in the industrial age or information age has benefited from more government control and pandering to populist policies. Barak H Obama's speech in Houston on Tuesday was mostly that, pandering. For someone promoting change this is just the same old.

It is easy to buy into this because it makes you feel good. But there is a cost to this and that cost, including the opportunity cost is high. There is an alternative to populism and it has worked in the past and will work in the future (to a large extent).

Here is an excerpt from Greg Mankiw's blog

'Andrei Shleifer's new paper begins as follows:

The last quarter century has witnessed remarkable progress of mankind. The world’s per capita inflation-adjusted income rose from $5400 in 1980 to $8500 in 2005.Schooling and life expectancy grew rapidly, while infant mortality and poverty fell just as fast. Compared to 1980, many more countries in the world are democratic today.

The last quarter century also saw wide acceptance of free market policies in both rich and poor countries: from private ownership, to free trade, to responsible budgets, to lower taxes. Three important events mark the beginning of this period. In 1979, Deng Xiao Ping started market reforms in China, which over the quarter century lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. In the same year, Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister in Britain, and initiated her radical reforms and a long period of growth. A year later, Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States, and also embraced free market policies. All three of these leaders professed inspiration from the work of Milton Friedman. It is natural, then, to refer to the last quarter century as the Age of Milton Friedman.'

Barak Obama's policies will not make us better. Why buy into the bull that makes you feel good? Why follow the herd? You know you are bing played by a sophisticated marketing machine that wants you to believe in what makes you feel good!

Mahna Mahna

Hillary & Barak

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Here comes La Mierda

Impressive win by Obama in Wisconsin. But according to the NY Times:

'Clinton advisers, acknowledging that they must change the course of the campaign by defining Mr. Obama in negative terms for voters, said they intended to try to draw sharper contrasts by highlighting what Mrs. Clinton believes are his biggest weaknesses: his readiness to be commander in chief, and his support for a health care plan that would not initially seek to cover all Americans.'

La Mierda has hit the fan in the Clinton camp.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Obama's Strategy

Following are excerpts from Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving an NPR story from the program Day to Day:

'..on the strategy that Barak Obama has been pursuing. Running really hard and concentrating his resources in caucus states which tend to be states in the heartland, states with somewhat smaller Democratic population. States in which Democrats don't carry in Presidential elections.

But places where by, by winning he accomplishes several things: Big margin where he gets disproportionate share of the delegates. He gets a chance to influence a lot of super delegates and he gets to say hey look I won 20 some states and she has not won nearly that many.

At it lastly gives him this prefect way to say Only black people voting for me in Louisiana and South Carolina? Well there are not that many people in Nebraska and Idaho.'

Political Claymation Deathmatch Video

I am waiting for that 'Celebrity Deathmatch' claymation video to pop up on YouTube between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama.

Mean while here are some funnies

Democratic End Game

I wish the Republican primary contest was as exciting as the Democratic one. I is fun to follow it.

Here is a take from Frank Rich of the NY Times called Next Up for the Democrats: Civil War

'However boring, this show was a dramatic encapsulation of how a once-invincible candidate ended up in a dead heat, crippled by poll-tested corporate packaging that markets her as a synthetic product leeched of most human qualities. What’s more, it offered a naked preview of how nastily the Clintons will fight, whatever the collateral damage to the Democratic Party, in the endgame to come.'

'But the wholesale substitution of Hispanics for blacks on the Hallmark show is tainted by a creepy racial back story. Last month a Hispanic pollster employed by the Clinton campaign pitted the two groups against each other by telling The New Yorker that Hispanic voters have “not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates.” Mrs. Clinton then seconded the motion by telling Tim Russert in a debate that her pollster was “making a historical statement.” '


Last month, two eminent African-American historians who have served in government, Mary Frances Berry (in the Carter and Clinton years) and Roger Wilkins (in the Johnson administration), wrote Howard Dean, the Democrats’ chairman, to warn him of the perils of that credentials fight. Last week, Mr. Dean became sufficiently alarmed to propose brokering an “arrangement” if a clear-cut victory by one candidate hasn’t rendered the issue moot by the spring. But does anyone seriously believe that Howard Dean can deter a Clinton combine so ruthless that it risked shredding three decades of mutual affection with black America to win a primary?

A race-tinged brawl at the convention, some nine weeks before Election Day, will not be a Hallmark moment. As Mr. Wilkins reiterated to me last week, it will be a flashback to the Democratic civil war of 1968, a suicide for the party no matter which victor ends up holding the rancid spoils.'

Do you really think that Hillary Clinton is going to roll over and pass up this opportunity to be president?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Democratic Super Delegates Will Make the Sasuage

Looks like there will be a good chance that the Democratic convention will be about who has the clout to sway the super delegates.

From a NY Times pieces called Neck and Neck, Democrats Woo Superdelegates:

'Known as superdelegates because they are free to cast their votes at the convention as they see fit, they are the object of an intensifying and potentially high-stakes charm offensive by the candidates and their supporters.'

'The superdelegates include all Democratic governors and members of Congress, as well as officials and other prominent members of the party. In interviews, some said they were grappling with how to use their power if it comes into play, especially if their judgment does not match the will of a majority of voters.'

'Superdelegates, created in 1982, were intended to restore some of the power over the nomination process to party insiders, tempering the zeal of party activists. About 15 to 20 percent of the delegates at Democratic conventions are superdelegates.'

'Mr. Obama, talking to reporters in Seattle on Friday, said he believed superdelegates should follow the will of the voters.'

'“Superdelegates are, by design, supposed to exercise independent judgment,” she said at a news conference in Maine, according to MSNBC. “But, of course, if Senator Obama and his campaign continue to push this position, which is really contrary to what the definition of a superdelegate has historically been,'

Hillary Clinton is right on this.

The superdelegates were created to give the party bosses a say in the nomination process and to prevent a populist non electable candidate from representing the democrats. They are to exercise judgment and not give into populism.

With all the hoopla about change, I wonder how this is going to shake out.

Beware of Democrats' Claims

A perennial topic of the democrats is the gulf between the have and the have nots. Particularly they like to cite the stats using the poverty rate.

But what is the poverty rate and how do you use it to determine policy.

Here are some excerpts from an interesting post titled, You Are What You Spend, by two Federal Reserve economists

'Income statistics, however, don’t tell the whole story of Americans’ living standards. Looking at a far more direct measure of American families’ economic status — household consumption — indicates that the gap between rich and poor is far less than most assume, and that the abstract, income-based way in which we measure the so-called poverty rate no longer applies to our society.'

'... if we compare the incomes of the top and bottom fifths, we see a ratio of 15 to 1. If we turn to consumption, the gap declines to around 4 to 1. A similar narrowing takes place throughout all levels of income distribution. The middle 20 percent of families had incomes more than four times the bottom fifth. Yet their edge in consumption fell to about 2 to 1.'

'To understand why consumption is a better guideline of economic prosperity than income, it helps to consider how our lives have changed. Nearly all American families now have refrigerators, stoves, color TVs, telephones and radios. Air-conditioners, cars, VCRs or DVD players, microwave ovens, washing machines, clothes dryers and cellphones have reached more than 80 percent of households.'


At the average wage, a VCR fell from 365 hours in 1972 to a mere two hours today. A cellphone dropped from 456 hours in 1984 to four hours. A personal computer, jazzed up with thousands of times the computing power of the 1984 I.B.M., declined from 435 hours to 25 hours. Even cars are taking a smaller toll on our bank accounts: in the past decade, the work-time price of a mid-size Ford sedan declined by 6 percent.

There are several reasons that the costs of goods have dropped so drastically, but perhaps the biggest is increased international trade. Imports lower prices directly. Cheaper inputs cut domestic companies’ costs. International competition forces producers everywhere to become more efficient and hold down prices. Nations do what they do best and trade for the rest.'

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mitt Romney Gave a Good Fight

I was cheer leading for Mitt Romney since lat 2006. He gave a good fight.

Here is an excerpt from Real Clear Politics titled The Romney Campaign's 5 Big Mistakes:

'The sad thing about the Romney campaign's demise is that Mitt Romney is an exceptional person; highly intelligent, enormously hard-working, a man of great integrity and grit and executive ability. Given the dearth of talent in both parties -- the seemingly endless parade of mediocrity and venality -- we're lucky to have people like Mitt Romney who are willing to get in the game.'

I hope he gets selected as a VP by John McCain.

Collective Hype - Part Deux

Excerpt from NYTimes titled When Self-Interest Isn’t Everything:

'Many people have likened the response to Mr. Obama’s appeal for civic engagement to the response to similar appeals by President John F. Kennedy during the 1960s. Then, as now, many economists were skeptical. The Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, for example, began the opening chapter of his 1962 book, “Capitalism and Freedom,” by quoting the already-famous passage from Kennedy’s inaugural address in which he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Mr. Friedman seemed to find the statement unintelligible, or at any rate not “worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society.”

“The free man,” he wrote, “will ask neither what his country can do for him, nor what he can do for his country.”

SOME economists seem similarly baffled by the exuberance inspired by the Obama candidacy. But while homo economicus may be unresponsive to calls for sacrifice for the common good, the plain fact is that many people find such calls compelling.'

I one of those who doesn't see the eye candy in Obama. The Kennedyesque appeal is too contrived.

We'll see if the convention delegates will eat it up.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Love song of a new generation

Hmm. Seems like we have heard this one from they Hippies and the Baby Booom Booms back in the 60's and 70's; the kids are not right!!

Following are excerpts from Bob Herbert of the NY Times entitled Winds of Change:

'The realists tend to be older and come out of a political and racial experience that is often completely alien to Mr. Obama’s most fervent supporters, who tend to be younger.'

'“The students like him because he’s a fresh face, a personality with fresh ideas,” said Julia Liebner, a human biology major. “Hillary may do great things for the country if she is elected, but I think the kids are responding to Obama’s more hopeful message and his idea of bringing people together.”

Ben Fried, who was interviewed as he straddled a bicycle under a sky that threatened a downpour at any moment, said that he had participated in many conversations about the election and that race had not been a factor in any of them. “I would just say the kids like Obama,” he said.'

'They are in a better place than their elders on race. They are not shouldering the resentments of years and decades past. They are not parsing the differences between the Clinton and Obama health proposals, or obsessing over who would do better against John McCain.

They are just fed up with the status quo, and they want change. And they’ve found a rock star who embodies their desire.

The advantage in this race is still substantially with Senator Clinton. The realists are not crazy, after all. But neither are the dreamers. Winds change. If you’re sailing against the wind today, it may be different tomorrow. And there are few things more powerful than the winds of history.'

Let's see what happens today and most likely what will happen at the convention.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hopeless Audacity

Boy the Obama camp is getting pretty confident about tomorrow's results.

Hmmm. Let's see if it will pan out.

The Hillary Machine, with all the stops pulled out should eeeek (in a ssssssaponaceous way)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Comments on the liberals

Following are excerpts from the NY Times Op-Ed piece by Frank Rich entitled Ask Not What J.F.K Can Do for Obama:

'Either of the two Democratic contenders will swing the pendulum. Their marginal policy differences notwithstanding, they are both orthodox liberals. As the party’s voters in 22 states step forward on Tuesday, the overriding question they face, as defined by both contenders, is this: Which brand of change is more likely, in Kennedy’s phrase, to get America moving again?

Lost in the hoopla over the Teddy and Caroline Kennedy show last week was the parallel endorsement of Hillary Clinton by three of Robert Kennedy’s children. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed article, they answered this paramount question as many Clinton supporters do (and as many John Edwards supporters also did). The “loftiest poetry” won’t solve America’s crises, they wrote. Change can be achieved only by a president “willing to engage in a fistfight.” '

'The rap on Mr. Obama remains that he preaches the audacity of Kumbaya. He is all lofty poetry and no action, so obsessed with transcending partisanship that he can be easily rolled. Implicit in this criticism is a false choice — that voters have to choose between his pretty words on one hand and Mrs. Clinton’s combative, wonky incrementalism on the other. '

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Posse Comitatus

I am reading John Yoo's The Powers of War and Peace and came across the reference to Posse Comitatus. (It is not some hip hop Italian music group)

If you believe that the federal government could have done more to help with immediate aftermath of Katrina then you need to understand The Posse Comitatus Act.

The armed forces are the only ones who have the logistical experience to handle the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. Under this act the President, as the Commander in Chief cannot deply the armed forces of the United States within the borders of the United States.

Seeing the short comings of this law, congress passed a law which President Bush singed called John Warner Defense Authorization Act. It allows the President to deploy the military in certain circumstatnces within the United States.

If you like the blue pill you probably won't support this

You must love paying taxes if you don't whole heartedly support the recommendations of the Bush Tax Reform plan.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Temporary Truce....We'll See about That

Watched some of the Debate in LA while stuck in LAX.

The cordial nature of the debate wreaks of a back room deal. That will only last until one has an edge over another after Tuesday. IT WILL BE A DRAWN OUT BRAWL with Hillary Clinton as the sullied, muddied, malodorous victor.