Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai

"It took just 10 young men armed with rifles and grenades to terrorize this city of 18 million and turn its postcard-perfect icons into battlefields until security forces ended one of the deadliest attacks in India's history early Saturday."

http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/1306288,CST-NWS-india30s1.article

Remember that. All it takes is 10 crazy people with arms you can buy at any shopping center.

"Key clerics criticize new U.S. - Iraq security deal"

"Influential religious leaders across Iraq are voicing reservations about a U.S.-Iraq security agreement that allows Americans to remain in the country for another three years."
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/world/story/792875.html

Where are all the "anti war" leaders that criticized the surge and the Bush/McCain plan before the election? Doesn't it appear that Mr. Obama has now agreed to keep troops in Iraq until 2012? What happened to immediate withdrawal starting in January?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Liars figure

Figures don't lie, but liars figure.

There's another blog skirmish going on between NRO and the Daily Dish regarding California's Proposition 8.

These are the facts:

Obama carried California with 60+%.

Prop. 8 won in California with 50+%

Therefore, at least 10% of California voters (approximately one in six Obama voters) voted FOR Obama and AGAINST gay marriage. Not Mormons (who are not 10% of California voters). Not the Catholic hierarchy (who are not 10% of California voters). But, one in six Obama voters.

If you're upset about the defeat of gay marriage in California, take it up with the Obama campaign. The 'new' voters they registered defeated gay marriage (and were never going to be necessary for an Obama victory in California).

Why are people still arguing about this?

Republicans, take notice

Since the founding of Israel, the Labor Party was the natural party of government, essential to any coalition.

As of today, Labor will win 7 seats (out of 120) in the next Knesset (Israeli Parliament).

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=41555

Not to be hard hearted, but . . .

He's a 31 year old immigrant construction worker, caught up in the housing slump.

His wife, also a 31 year old immigrant, has given him 8 children, ages 4 months to 13 years.

They are in desperate economic circumstances.

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/story/788792.html

Yes, people should help if they want to.

But, wouldn't "Couple had too many kids, too young" be a more appropriate headline? Followed by a story warning teen girls and boys of the consequences of such actions?

Friday, November 28, 2008

U.S. autos, 1979

Late last night, Comcast digital channel 168 (Retroplex) was showing Woody Allen's "Manhattan", filmed in 1979.

If you can get past the creepiness of one of the sub plots (Woody Allen's on screen alter ego is having an affair with a 17 year old high school senior, while, in real life, Woody Allen was later caught carrying on with his live in girlfriend's daughter), check out the street scenes.

Filmed on location in New York City, using the streetscape as background, the movie is a documentary portrait of the streets of Manhattan in 1979.

Notice the cars. Other than one Porsche (the only set up car in the film, the Porsche is purchased by his on screen jerky best friend as evidence of mid life crisis), every single car parked on or driving down the streets of Manhattan is American made. Every single one.

Think about it. Twenty nine years ago, if you randomly filmed the streets of Manhattan, you didn't film one foreign car.

P.S. - Something else really creepy about the movie? The late Bella Abzug has a cameo at a black tie fundraiser for the Equal Rights Amendment (where the Woody Allen character connects with his jerky best friend's mistress, played by Diane Keaton). Think about it - - the film celebrates both the sexual exploitation of underage girls by old men and feminism. And, it won awards.

Chris Matthews to run for Senate?

If so, didn't he display an incredible lack of journalistic ethics this campaign season, and shouldn't his show be immediately cancelled?
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/chris-matthews-running-for-pennsylvania.html

He spent the past two years boosting Obama, and now he's hiring Obama's staff? That's obscene.

Imagine what Matthews would say about the ethics of someone who engaged in this behavior and was not named Chris Matthews.

More attacks on Palin

Again, the continual concerted coordinated attacks on Palin are an amazing phenomenon.

Can you honestly describe a woman who started with nothing, has a successful marriage, is raising five kids, and worked her way up the political ladder from council member to mayor to governor to major party vice presidential candidate as spending "the first 40 years of your life being woefully ignorant of the world and how it works"?

http://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/

They must be very very scared of her potential to pick up the pieces if Obama stumbles.

Miami Herald front page says it all

"U.S. Army in Iraq for 3 more years"

I'm still waiting for comment from Move On, Daily Kos, MSNBC, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Keith Olbermann, etc., et al. You know, all the people that foisted Obama on the Democratic Party because he promised immediate withdrawal.

Instead, we have a continuation of the Bush/Gates Iraq policy combined with an inexperienced neophyte confronting the worst economic crisis in 75 year.

By the way - - the absolute SILENCE of the anti-war, self-styled progressive blogs regarding Obama's apparent reversal on immediate withdrawal is amazing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Only kidding themselves

Keeping Bob Gates as Secretary of Defense is proof that Obama plans radical change?

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/the-radicalism.html

Are we really to believe that making no change is proof of intent to enact radical change? That's so self delusional, it's sad.

These people voted for an empty vessel with no record, onto which they projected their hopes and dreams. Most of them will eventually be disappointed.

Mark Penn was almost correct

Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn, back in March, 2007, called Obama “unelectable except perhaps against Attila the Hun”. “I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.”

Penn was correct. But, he didn't foresee the Obama campaign's ruthlessness, and the media's complicity.

If Obama could only win against an ultra right wing lunatic Attila the Hun, they would make Palin out to be Mrs. Attila the Hun, and facts be damned.

Actually, as pure politics, it was a brilliant strategy. Morally? Intellectually? Not so much.

The Messiah

Obama, responding to criticism that his promise of "change" is being betrayed by his appointments of Washington insiders: "Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost. It comes from me."

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/11/26/1689626.aspx

If he doesn't do a good job, real quick, that messianic self referential attitude will get real old real real fast.

2012?

"Iraq's Parliament postponed a pivotal vote on a U.S.-Iraq security agreement on Wednesday while key lawmakers sought compromises that would appease an alliance of Sunni parties. The conditions in the pact, which would end the U.S. presence by 2012, are not up for debate."

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/789478.html

The pact would not end the U.S. presence in Iraq until 2012?

2012?

I'm waiting for comment from the "anti-war" lobby that supported Obama based on his promise of immediate withdrawal. Talk about "bait and switch".

Why Sarah?

With all the "villains" available to blame for the mess we're in (Bush, Cheney, Wall St., Al Quieda, plutocrats, Detroit automakers, international bankers, congressional leaders, etc.), why has the media focused on Sarah Palin?

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/jim-morin/image_media/788977.html

I got to say, it looks like it's because she's a woman. After all, before her, it was all Hillary Clinton's fault.

Afghanistan: Withdrawal or Success?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai "sharply critiqued the seven-year Afghan war Wednesday, complaining that U.S. and NATO troops haven’t made life better." He criticised "the international community’s handling of the fight with the Taliban and the rebuilding of Afghanistan", exposing "increasing frustration with a conflict that has gotten bloodier each year."

Karzai "asked how — given the number of countries involved and the amount of money spent in Afghanistan — 'a little force like the Taliban can continue to exist, continue to flourish.'”

Significantly, Karzai "was not asking for a withdrawal date, but rather a 'date for your success.'”

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/11/ap_karzai_afghanistan_112608/

That's the question. We can easily end any war tomorrow by withdrawing and accepting defeat. But, what is our plan for success?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Can we have some economic honesty?

The budget has gone from surplus under Bill Clinton to deficits of "$162 billion in fiscal 2007 to $455 billion in fiscal 2008, [and] could skyrocket to $1.2 trillion or maybe even $2 trillion in the current fiscal year."

The prescription (written by everyone who got us into this mess in the first place): The "financial fix will require [massive] spending". Plus, we will still proceed with "permanent changes that would add to future deficits, such as tax cuts or new spending programs."

And, how are we going to pay for all this? With those old standbys, "cut out wasteful spending", "maintain fiscal discipline" and "budget reform". "As an example . . . [cut] a program that paid $49 million in subsidies over four years to farmers who already were making more than $2.5 million a year each."

The plan is to offset trillions - - trillions - - of dollars in deficits with cuts such as "$49 million in subsidies over four years"?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/787825.html

Wouldn't a little honesty help restore confidence in the markets and the economy, and give people a firmer foundation upon which to base their economic plans? The primary problem now is uncertainty. No one will invest today until they know what the rules will be tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Been swamped at work - -

sorry for irregular / light blogging.

I'll be back to normal soon.

Gates to stay at Pentagon

Feel the change!

The solution is increased government deficit spending?

Trillions of dollars of increased government deficit spending?

That is neither "new" nor "change". And, in the history of humanity, it has never resulted in positive structural economic improvement. It just delays the inevitable, and makes it worse when it happens.

I'm not impressed

We're supposed to celebrate because the stock market is UP by 400 to 8,444?

Let me know when it breaks 11,000.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Now that the election's over . . .

. . . I can stop pretending.

"President-elect Barack Obama has yet to attend church services since winning the White House earlier this month, a departure from the example of his two immediate predecessors. On the three Sundays since his election, Obama has instead used his free time to get in workouts at a Chicago gym."
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15902.html

John Edwards For Labor Secretary?

"John Edwards For Labor Secretary"
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/24/9164/2035/726/628799

Could there be a dumber idea?

Change?

So far, only the promises:

"[T]he ambitious plan [Obama] announced . . . to create 2.5 million public-works and alternative-energy jobs will be far more costly than previously discussed. Along with other possible steps to turn the economy around, it could cost the government as much as $700 billion. That would be four times the size of the $175 billion stimulus package that Obama promoted as a presidential candidate."

"Obama [will] . . . postpone advancing a centerpiece of his campaign - - a tax increase for people earning more than $250,000 a year."

Turning the page on Clinton-era Washington insiders? "New York Fed chief Timothy Geithner [is] Obama's Treasury secretary. . . . Obama is expected to name Lawrence Summers, Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, as head of the National Economic Council. . . . Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, the former first lady and Obama's main Democratic primary foe, will be secretary of state."

http://www.miamiherald.com/457/story/784940.html

Let's HOPE! he doesn't CHANGE! any more campaign promises.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

UPDATED: Democrats ARE more tolerant of diversity than Republicans

UPDATE: THE FOLLOWING IS A GROSS GENERALIZATION. I'M UPDATING, RATHER THAN DELETING, BECAUSE I DESERVE HITS WHEN I GET IT WRONG.

I'm a conservative Democrat.

Which always leads to the question, "Why does a conservative stay a Democrat?"

The answer is obvious. Because Democrats value diversity, in thought, background and opinion, and Republicans don't.

Proof? I've tried to post on both Democratic (predominantly liberal) and conservative (predominantly Republican) sites. And, I've tried to post identical diaries on both, from a conservative Democratic perspective.

Well, today I was kicked off redstate (by Moe Lane) for posting the following:

http://www.redstate.com/diaries/farrightdemocrat/2008/nov/23/bush-resign-now/

"I'm conservative, but a Democrat. I can't stand Bush. Never have, never will. As a Democrat, I'll always believe Bush cheated in 2000, and stole in 2004, and screwed up everything in between. (Many Republicans and conservatives would now agree with at least my third point.) But, the Congressional Democrats let him. The Congressional Democrats could have gotten rid of Bush two years ago, constitutionally. It's called impeachment. Pelosi and Bush expressly decided not to try, and forbid impeachment hearings."

On mydd, that statement was dissed. But, on redstate, I was censored:

"We have no interest in interacting with people who think that we are complicit in election fraud. Peddle your conspiracy theories elsewhere. Blam."

Hint to conservatives - - if you can't tolerate listening to diversity of opinion (or reality), you're doomed to permanent minority status.

You're not being patriotic

if you're only patriotic when your candidate wins.
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/23/71628/084/758/665379

That goes for those Republicans rooting against America when Bill Clinton was president, as well as for those Democrats who would only root for America if Obama won.

Never mind

Obama is "reconsidering a key campaign pledge: his proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. According to several people familiar with the discussions, he might instead let those tax cuts expire as scheduled in 2011, effectively delaying any tax increase while he gives his stimulus plan a chance to work."
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/us/politics/23obama.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp

It was just a bunch of good speeches, wasn't it?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bush resign now?

Gail Collins in The New York Times:

"Thanksgiving is next week, and President Bush could make it a really special holiday by resigning. . . . Dick Cheney, obviously, would have to quit as well as Bush. In fact, just to be on the safe side, the vice president ought to turn in his resignation first. . . Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become president until Jan. 20. Obviously, she’d defer to her party’s incoming chief executive, and Barack Obama could begin governing. . . Can I see a show of hands? How many people want George W. out and Barack in?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/22/opinion/22collins.html?_r=1

There is something called a Constitution. It outlines the orderly transfer of power after elections. These things are not decided ad hoc by a show of hands. That road leads to mob rule and authoritarianism.

I can't stand Bush. Never have, never will. Bush cheated in 2000, and stole in 2004, and screwed up everything in between. But, the Congressional Democrats let him. The Congressional Democrats could have gotten rid of Bush two years ago, constitutionally. It's called impeachment.

Now we're to get rid of Bush by "a show of hands"? Every time I read something like this - - in the New York Times, no less - - it justifies my fears for the future of our system of government.

A racist secretary of state?

For 18 months, the Obama campaign intentionally, explicitly and repeatedly accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of personal racism and resorting to racist campaign tactics. Does anyone remember the "picture darkening" accusations?

This was picked up and parroted by Obama supporters, the blogosphere, the MSNBC/CNN/Olbermann/Matthews wing of the main stream media, and various political figures. It is now accepted as gospel in the black community.

Obviously, the Obama campaign didn't mean a word of it. If they did, Hillary wouldn't have been offered (and likely to accept) the highest appointed position in the federal government.

In retrospect, the accusations of racism were nothing more than cynical manipulation of liberal guilt among Democrats and the media. When can we expect the apologies? Or, at least, acknowledgment that Obama's campaign resorted to unwarranted cries of racism to shut up critics?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shouldn't he do something first?

Generally, don't you have to do something (and not mess anything up) before they start naming things after you?

Not at Barack Obama Elementary in Hempstead, N.Y.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/11/yes-we-can-stud.html

I thought the Republican effort to name everything everywhere after Reagan was excessive. But, at least they waited until after he was president.

"Progressive" criticism of Hillary

"I am sorry. I thought we worked hard to get Obama to win over Hillary in the primaries. I really worked hard. I didn't like the fact that she was FOR the invasion of Iraq, and is a hawk. She forces her way, and as the press is so gently putting it, she's a leader, not a follower. How could she follow Obama's direction. She can't even follow her husband's direction."

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/21/19921/709/249/664879

"She can't even follow her husband's direction"? Imagine the outraged charges of sexism if that was posted on redstate or NRO.

The same Washington players

Barack Obama, December 27, 2007: "The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result."

I'm not surprised he made this unkeepable promise. In a change election, it sounded good.

I'm not surprised he's already broken this unkeepable promise. The less experience the president has, the more experience his subordinates must have.

I am surprised that people believed him.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NOW you question where he stands?

"And Obama wants an apologist for this - John Brennan - at CIA? Has he lost his mind?"
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/seven-years.html

Actually, the crazy ones are the folks who backed an unknown blank slate, and now have (the beginnings of) buyer's remorse.

Rep. Linda Sanchez, Single and Pregnant

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2008/11/rep_linda_sanchez_pregnant_now.html

It's actually going to be funny, listening to the people who attacked Bristol Palin defend Linda Sanchez. And, vice versa, of course.

Iraq

The country elected a Democratic congress in 2006 to end the war. They didn't.

For president, the Democratic party nominated, and the country elected, the candidate who was against the war initially and promised to end it immediately. He won't.

All indications are that the agreement negotiated by the Bush administration, keeping U.S. troops in Iraq for three more years, until 2011, will be honored by the incoming Obama administration.

Anyone notice that?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Other than solidifying their reputation for having no discipline

what did the Democrats gain by "standing by" Lieberman?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/777891.html

Other than solidifying their reputation for tolerating corruption

what did the Republicans gain by "standing by" Senator Stevens?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/777914.html

More numbers

Obama's 8+ million vote victory over John McCain was largely attributable to two phenomena - - about 5.8 million more minorities voted in this year's presidential election than in 2004, and nearly 1.2 million fewer whites went to the polls.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/777678.html

Obviously, the surge in minority voters was due to excitement over the opportunity to vote for the first black president. But, what will happen when Obama’s not on the ballot? Or, when Obama runs for re-election after the novelty has worn off?

Significantly, the “missing” white voters were blue collar Hillary supporters, who stayed home because they were turned off by both Obama and Sarah Palin. Where will these blue collar white voters eventually settle?

Cheney is a creep. But, don't indict him.

Cheney lied us into unnecessary wars. Then, Cheney personally profited from those wars through his business interests.

He endorsed torture, twisted our constitution to suit his purposes, and generally fits Joe Biden's description of him as "the worst vice president ever."

Republicans should agree. Cheney betrayed all their conservative economic principles, did nothing to advance their domestic agenda, and discredited their foreign policy credentials. During their 8 years in power, Cheney, Bush and Rove reduced the Republican party to irrelevant minority status.

But, do we really want to become one of those countries that hound their former elected leaders into prison or exile?

http://www.krgv.com/2008/11/18/1001429/Willacy-County-Grand-Jury-Indicts-Vice-President

Guilty or not, look at history.

That way always seems to end in bloodshed and civil war.

When former leaders have nothing to lose, they start acting like they have nothing to lose. When officials fear what happens after they leave office, they start conspiring to hold their offices permanently. Don't let Cheney (unintentionally, this time) pervert another American democratic (small 'd') principle.

It's NEVER Obama's fault

"[T]he Clinton legacy makes it impossible for Obama to act on [gays in the military] swiftly".
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/a-million-gay-v.html

Why?

And, Andrew Sullivan still hasn't addressed Obama's silence on Prop. 8. Or, Biden's endorsement of it. I guess that will be blamed on Jimmy Carter.

Because Obama has few announced core beliefs, and announced many of them with a wink and a nod for public consumption, few of the ardent pressure groups that supported him will be happy in two years. Sooner or later, they'll have to stop making excuses.

By the way, can everyone agree that the man elected in 2008 cannot blame his mistakes on someone who left office in January, 2001?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I guess our problems are over

All we have to do is "change Washington's 'bad habits'" and "fix up the country".

Who knew it would be so easy?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/5min/story/776283.html

Why would we "normalize" relations with a Cuban regime

that holds children hostage, and punishes them for their parents' transgressions.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/front-page/story/776284.html

I'm sure his pollsters said, "You need to act like more of a regular guy"

but confronted with Iraq, Afghanistan, the financial crisis, the energy crisis, the deficit, a looming depression, and hundreds of unfilled administrative appointments, is this really what he's focusing on?

http://www.newsday.com/sports/college/ny-spjeansonne1106,0,5829417.column

That, and "help me pick a dog"?

No one will bail me out if I fail.

So, I'll be too busy at work today to post until tonight.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Intellectual honesty?

An entire article asking you to support the parole petition of a "political prisoner", and no mention that the man was convicted of killing a cop.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/18/0223/3882/521/662573

Clinton at State: Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?

I don't believe it's a done deal.

But does anyone remember that the entire Obama critique of Hillary Clinton was based on foreign policy. Obama argued that Hillary voted for the war in Iraq, and therefore couldn't be trusted with U.S. foreign policy.

She demonstrated "flawed judgment" on Iraq.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/11/o bama.clinton/

Worse than her "flawed" judgment on Iraq, Hillary was "reckless" on Iran.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world /2007/10/12/2007-10-12_barack_obamas_new _ad_blasts_hillary_clin.html

And, Hillary being "ready on day one" was less important than Obama having been "right on day one" about the war.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo rld/us_and_americas/us_elections/article 3287003.ece

Of all the possible positions for Hillary in an Obama administration - - health care czar, Supreme Court justice, vice president in four years - - isn't the appointment of Hillary to the State department the most incongruous?

In the words of Bill Clinton, "This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsN ews/idUSN1131516320080111

This is a serious article

It reads like a spoof, but this person is serious:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/16/17113/204/105/661972

Has the world changed?

After 12 years of nearly complete control of Florida politics, Republicans lost the state to Obama.

But, although Obama won Florida, the Democrats didn't. While Obama was carrying Florida by over 3%, Democrats were picking up only one seat in both houses of the Legislature, which remain overwhelmingly Republican.

Now, Florida Republicans complain that their party retreated from core principles and mismanaged funds. The Florida Republican party is debating whether to move to the middle or more to the right in anticipation of 2010, when they will have to defend the governorship, a senate seat and all three state Cabinet posts.

On the other hand, the Democratic party now has a 657,000 voter registration advantage over the Republicans. But, there were minimal down ballot coat tails. No one knows if "new voters" will turn out when Obama's not on the ballot.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/southflorida/story/774727.html

Has the political world changed? Don't listen to anyone who says they know.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why I stay in the Democratic Party

Why does a conservative stay in the Democratic Party?

Because Republicans can't decide whether Stevens should be kicked out.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/773542.html

Because Republicans steal (I'm sorry, misappropriate) campaign funds.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/southflorida/story/773519.html

And, because they just don't get it.

McCain lost because of (1) Republican corruption (2) Republican incompetence and (3) Obama's fundraising mega machine.

So, what do Republicans do about corruption? They tolerate the Foleys and the Craigs and the Stevenses. Can anyone honestly say they never heard advance rumors about the proclivities of these 'gentlemen' vis a vis young boys and public sex and 'gifts'? I heard the whispers about all three for years. And, there still not sure what to do about Stevens?

What do Republicans do about competence? After planning two simultaneous wars without considering the downside risk, and after limiting their post invasion war planning to deciding which "fine public square" in Baghdad they would rename for W, and after dithering while Katrina drowned New Orleans, they oversee the worst economic meltdown since the depression. And, then turn to socialist solutions.

And what do Republicans do with their campaign finances? Managing in spite of themselves to hold Obama to 3% in Florida, they waste valuable campaign funds on baseball tickets and private planes. Funds they might have used to take the state.

I stay a Democrat because Republicans are losers.

"Catholic Fascists Stay Out of Politics" ???

Does anyone organizing the gay marriage protests realize how much the anti Catholic and anti Mormon hate speech hurts their cause?

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/773546.html

And, where's The One in all this? He's the guy that took his 700 million dollar kitty and ran away from the issue.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Update - A "progressive's" defense of China's mandatory abortion policy

I cross posted my critique of China's mandatory abortion policy on mydd.

Guess what?

A "progressive" DEFENDED China's forced abortion policy (and got two rec.s).

"When people in China marry the laws about childbearing are explained to them. They an explicit (indeed the major) official condition of marriage and contracting a marriage. To violate the childbearing laws is to willingly and voluntarily violate a contract the couple made with the state (which in China unambiguously means: with the society at large) and were not coerced into."

"The reason that people agree to the these contracts is social consensus about reality, which is that China has a level of population that is already problematically high, and that no one citizen individually is so special or exceptional that all their offspring are a priori entitled to membership in the society more than anyone else's."

"Reading your various threads/postings, I am rather surprised that you call yourself a Democrat but really don't bother with even'the essence of social contract theory. Or the rigorous form of understanding of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clause civil rights guarantees that is the Constitutional doctrinal core of what the Democratic Party represents, relative to the Republican Party, since 1972."

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/11/15/103857/74/6/post#here

Nice. DEFENDING forced abortion, and then having the gall to cite to the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Nice.

Some folks really do bend over backwards to knock America and excuse her enemies. Shame on them.

Pro choice groups and Palin

Palin chose to have five kids.

Palin chose to deliver a Downs baby.

Palin made her choices.

And, for making those choices, Palin was mocked, insulted, called a baby factory, and told that no woman with young kids should seek federal office. (Unlike Bobby Kennedy, who had 10 or 11 kids and a pregnant wife at home when he ran for president).

Criticize Palin's positions on the issues and her qualifications all day long.

But, don't critize Palin's choices, if you're really pro choice.

The failure of women's groups to defend Palin from these sexist attacks is stunning.

BTW - Imagine if a "progressive" candidate had been attacked for having 5 abortions? or, for performing 5 abortions? How many "privacy" and "women's bodily autonomy" and "not our place to judge" lectures would we have heard?

The Obama plan for Afghanistan

Bring the troops out of Iraq, and transfer them to Afghanistan, because we can fix that place up real quick.

Right.

"Acid attacks keep Afghan girls away from classes"
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/world/AP/story/770710.html

Obama really needs to take a break from the Lincoln books and read a history of British and Russian attempts to control Afghanistan.

Pro choice groups: Why the silence on China?

Pro choice used to mean pro choice. Not pro abortion, but pro choice.

Pro choice should mean anti forced abortion.

So, why the radio silence from the pro choice and women's rights groups on China's policy of forced abortions?

Today's story speaks for itself:

"A Muslim Uighur woman who is more than six months' pregnant remained under watch in a hospital in China's far northwest Friday awaiting a forced abortion by authorities who don't want her to have a third child. . . China maintains a one-child-per-family rule on majority Han Chinese, with more flexible rules for ethnic minorities, to contain its massive population of 1.3 billion citizens. . . Those who violate the rule must pay large fines, although reports of zealous officials ordering forced abortions in rural and semi-rural areas are fairly common."

"The case of Arzigul Tursun is raising attention because she is 26 weeks' pregnant and supporters say an abortion could threaten her health. Her husband, who goes by the single name Nurmemet, said officials in their village near Yining learned of the pregnancy and warned the couple their house and property would be seized if Arzigul did not undergo an abortion. . . . U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith, a New Jersey Republican, wrote China's ambassador to Washington, Zhou Wenzhong, on Thursday to demand that "the nightmare of a forced abortion" not be carried out."

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/world/AP /story/771072.html

When an American locality so much as discusses parental notification for minors, the action is met with storms of protest from pro choice groups. Where are they on this issue, in which all women in the largest country on earth are systematically deprived of their bodily autonomy? This is an issue pro choice members of Congress and the public should be raising.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Stay classy, governor!

The governor of New York posted on kos today.
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/13/162750/63/633/620764

Here's what he shared a page with:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/14/11584/225/129/660915

Be proud, New York, be proud!

Do NOT expect any scrutiny

Those in the MSM who hated the Clintons, and wanted them out of public life, are ready to turn on a dime to praise the genius and inspiration of a possible Obama pick of Hillary for secretary of state.

Exhibit A:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/hillary-for-sec.html
(of course, he had to select an unflattering picture)

Does this mean they'll never turn on Obama, whatever happens, or that, when they do, it will be brutal?

Guilt by association

Ayers doesn't believe in "guilt by association".

You mean like domestic terrorism (blowing up buildings and homes and killing cops and bank guards)? Everything Ayers did as a domestic terrorist with the Weather Underground was to punish innocent people for their guilt by association with a government he objected to.

"Family friends"

Ayers describing his relationship with Obama: "Family friends"

Exactly.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm beginning to think he doesn't like girls

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/the-logic-of-pa.html

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/the-permanent-m.html

Isn't that the elephant in the room as you observe Sullivan's daily, obsessive and over the top attacks on Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton?

Over one dozen human beings sought the presidency this year. Yet, Sullivan's continuing vitriol is reserved for the two women with the audacity to seek national office. We are treated to daily slams against these women. One dropped out of the race way back in July. The other, not unreasonably, refuses to give Sullivan her ob/gyn records (just as similar medical records are still withheld by Obama and Biden). When will he seek help for this fixation?

Does everyone in the world love us yet . . .

now that we elected Obama?

That was the promise, right?

5,070

This blog has had 5,070 hits since inception earlier this month.

Thanks!

Let's look at the British auto bailout . . .

My first car was a very ancient, very rusted MGB convertible that I bought for $1200. It had split batteries (always running dry) that you could only access by removing the rear jump seat. It was beautiful to look at but an engineering nightmare. Its basic design was from the days when cars were driven for fun, only on weekends, and only by the rich, and car owners had a "man" living over the garage to take after their horses and dogs and tinker with whatever broke on the car. It was not a good car for a college student who couldn't fix it himself.

The manufacturer of this vehicle was British Leyland.

British Leyland Motor Corporation was created in 1968 by the British government. The government financed and encouraged the merger of existing private British Motor Holdings (BMH) and Leyland Motor Corporation (LMC). The Government hoped successful LMC would revive the ailing BMH.

"The merger combined most of the remaining independent British car manufacturing companies and included car, bus and truck manufacturers and more diverse enterprises including construction equipment, refrigerators, metal casting companies, road surface manufacturers; in all, nearly 100 different companies."

The combined company offered a range of dated, unreliable and unwanted vehicles (including the Morris Minor, Austin Cambridge, Morris Oxford) and, thanks to government protection, had neither the inclination nor intent to replace these elderly designs.

Most cars they sold were either unprofitable (the Mini) or outdated (Austin/Morris). Again, with government financial backing, no changes were deemed to be urgent. The company was created and government financing given for the purpose of saving jobs, not manufacturing good or profitable cars.

Ultimately, the failure to develop new mass market models led to the failure of the scheme. They had no new models to compete with more popular foreign rivals.

In 1975, to protect its investment, the government created British Leyland Ltd and nationalized the company. Despite owning the Jaguar, Rover and Land Rover lines, financial troubles continued. By 1986, it was renamed Rover Group, then MG Rover Group, and then went bankrupt in 2005 (ending mass car production by British owned manufacturers). The company was eventually broken up and sold to businesses from the US and Germany, and ultimately to Chinese and Indian manufacturers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Ley land

Why would we follow this model in "bailing out" Detroit?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008 = 1984?

Remember Winston in Orwell’s “1984”? It was his job, as an employee of the Ministry of Truth, to rewrite history, so that history always supported Big Brother’s ever changing position on any issue.

Well, on today’s kos rec list, you can find “Why Mandated Insurance Sucks - a Primer”
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/12/11410/086/271/659780

What do you want to bet that when Obama endorses mandates (as rumored today by Krugman) the kos rec list will feature, “Mandates are the awesome-est”?

MG and Triumph were bailed out

The manufacturers of the MG and Triumph were bailed out by successive governments in the U.K. How'd that work out?

Detroit wants to be saved? Make better cars.

"Tactical politics"?

Paul Krugman:

"But now Max Baucus — Max Baucus! — is leading the charge on a health care plan that, at least at first read, is more like Hillary Clinton’s than Barack Obama’s; that is, it looks like an attempt at full universality. (The word I hear, by the way, is that Obama’s opposition to mandates was tactical politics, not conviction — so he may well be prepared to do the right thing now that the election is won.)"

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/hopeful-signs-on-health-care/

"Tactical politics"?

Saying things for the sake of political expediency that you don't really believe?

Does anyone know any synonyms for that?

I must be getting famous (LOL)

Check out the comments below a diary I cross posted on mydd.com

http://mydd.com/story/2008/11/12/85647/599

I'm getting the "Joe the Plumber / let's check out all his private and public records" treatment!

Electoral math

Foley + Craig + Katrina + Financial collapse = President Obama

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D94D9Q1O3&show_article=1

On the road for a few days - - expect light posting !

Florida protected marriage, too!

Thanks to "new" voters, Obama turned Florida blue.

McCain received only 48.4% in Florida, or 3,938,166 votes.

Obama won 50.9%, or 4,142,174 votes, and took this swingiest of swing states.

However, the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment did better than either.

In a state which requires constitutional amendments to obtain 60% to pass, "Yes" for "marriage protection" received 62.1%, or 4,758,737 votes. "No" received only 37.9%, or 2,909,086 votes (including me and my kids).

Give the "progressive" Democratic voters the benefit of the doubt, and assume every single McCain voter was a "Yes" for "marriage protection".

And, give the Democratic voters the further benefit of the doubt, and assume every single minor party vote was also a "Yes" for "marriage protection". (There were 14 presidential tickets on the Florida ballot, gathering approximately 61,000 votes in toto.)

http://enight.dos.state.fl.us/

My rusty math skills indicate that still leaves over approximately 759,571 "Yes" votes.

In fact, under the above overly generous assumptions, it means at least 18.3% of Obama voters in Florida voted "Yes" to "protect" marriage.

A simple question - - if these new socially conservative voters have permanently joined the Democratic coalition, and weren't at the polls solely for the person of Barack Obama, how will this impact future Florida Democratic primaries?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The "progressive movement" owns Prop. 8

The 'progressive movement' is going nuts over the defeat of gay marriage in California.

A few Prop. 8 truths:

1. Prop. 8's margin of defeat was supplied by Obama's core base of support, African American fundamentalist churchgoers. But for Obama's presence on the ballot, many of this demographic sub group would have neither registered nor voted, and Prop. 8 would have failed.

2. Obama all but endorsed Prop. 8. He's said he's against federal action banning gay marriage, but in favor of allowing states to decide the issue of gay marriage, and is personally opposed to gay marriage. So, confronted with Prop. 8, WWOD? Vote for it!

3. The Governator and The One both refused to expend one penny of their political capital campaigning against Prop. 8. Talk's cheap. They were too scared to act when it mattered.

4. Biden, during the VP debate, announced "I agree with John and Sarah" on gay marriage. Again, if you were following your leaders . . .

5. Olbermann and others, who are now famously expressing their outrage at the election result, did NOTHING to defeat Prop. 8 before the election, because they didn't want to do anything to hurt Obama's chances. Where were Olbermann's PRE election final rants? You know, back when they could have made a difference?

They can picket Rick Warren's church, they can boycott Mormon owned businesses, and they can blame all the usual subjects. But, the so called "progressive movement" needs to look in the mirror and at their own triangulating leadership for an explanation of the Prop. 8 result.

BTW, I support gay marriage on libertarian grounds. Thus, I consistently criticised the Obama/Biden "wink/wink, nod/nod, we're just saying this to shut up the rubes" avoidance of the subject. Fact: Obama/Biden defeated gay marriage in California.

Just say 'No' to . . . Kerry as Secretary of State

Obama owes Kerry. After New Hampshire, the momentum could have switched. The story could have been, "flash in the Iowa pan, South Carolina means nothing, Hillary wins the bigs". But, within days, the 2004 nominee endorsed the insurgent. And gave him his mailing list. His contact list. His donor list. His nationwide 'machine'.

Obama owes Kerry big. If Hillary was going to stop Obama, that was when she was going to. Kerry stopped her for Obama.

But, don't return the favor with the most high profile, influential, important, non elective, non judicial position in the federal government.

2004 was a foreign policy election. It was Kerry's election to lose. And, he did. A majority of Americans rejected Kerry. With 20/20 hindsight, most would agree they were wrong. But, nonetheless, a majority of Americans rejected Kerry. And, since then, he's been a gaffe machine (single handedly costing Democrats at least 2 or 3 house seats in 2006 with his "study hard or you'll have to go into the military" "joke".)

We keep hearing "elections have consequences". That's true. Elections you win have consequences. Elections you lose have consequences. Kerry lost a foreign policy election. Don't make him the face of U.S. foreign policy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Voter turnout truth

The revised national turnout rate for those eligible to vote was 61.2% or 130.4 million ballots cast for president, an increase of 1.1 percentage points over the 60.1% turnout rate of 2004, but less than the 1968 turnout rate of 62.5%. Sorry, no record blowout.

Of course, there are still outstanding ballots to be counted (including absentee, provisional, and write-in ballots). But, earlier estimates of 133.3 million ballots or more were way too high (largely) due to an over-estimation of absentee ballots. But, don’t tell the press - - these facts don’t fit their stories!

There were turnout declines in states like Oregon and Washington, which lost battleground status, and states without hot Senate contests this year (South Dakota). And, there were declines in deep red states, such as Alaska and Utah, unenthused by their choices. Obviously, the early call of the election had to have depressed west coast turnout.

The largest turnout increases were in the new battleground states (Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, et al.) and states with large African American populations (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and D.C.)

http://elections.gmu.edu/preliminary_vote_2008.html

Tea leaves . . .

Keep your eye on who has more input into Obama's developing economic plan, Clinton Treasury Secretary Rubin or Clinton Labor Secretary Reich. The choice will determine both your after tax take home pay and the inflation rate in 2010. Hint: Reich wants the government to "spend our way out of the mini-depression".

And, if Kerry goes to state, let's see who becomes chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Russ Feingold or Bill Nelson. Feingold is the more McGovernite, but showed great character in refusing to join in the smearing of McCain, actually defending his campaign finance reform partner. This may come down to policy vs. payback.

Is there any space for conservative Democrats?

I'm a conservative Democrat, a former elected official and a current elected county (Democratic) party official.

I could not get behind Obama, so I followed the advice of Old Thom Paine ("Lead, follow, or get out of the way.") From convention to election, I got out of the way. I stepped back from my party and the so called 'progressive' blogs.

Now that the election is over, I'm still a Democrat. But, I still haven't bought "the dream". I didn't fear the apocalypse, but I don't anticipate the rapture.

Instead, I see a normal political cycle. Because of the utter stupidity and incompetence of a conservative administration that in 2000 was given control of all three branches of the federal government, we now have a more liberal government given control of two branches of the federal government.

As a result, we have a Democratic president, but with little or no coattails (House up 20+? Failed propositions in CA and FL? No incumbent Republican governors lost?). Not to be a wet blanket, but the economic collapse made this a can't lose year for any Democrat (the election was over when everyone received their third quarter 401K statements in late October).

In my view, taxes and spending will both increase, to be followed by immediate relief for the lower end of the economic ladder, and then inevitably followed by medium and long term discomfort for all ends of the spectrum unless the budget is balanced. Eventually, whether in 4 or 8 or 12 years, the cycle will reverse as corruption or arrogance sets. Apply, lather, repeat.

That's where I'm coming from. I'm here to contribute to the discussion as a Democrat of decidedly conservative leanings. Is there any space for conservative Democrats (who post on Democratic and conservative sites)?

I ask because I've been kicked off Daily Kos (real free speech progressives!) and criticised for the 'sin' of posting on redstate.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Too sexist to be president of Harvard . . .

but acceptable as our next Secretary of the Treasury?

http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/2005/nber.html

Waiting for the change to kick in . . .

In Somalia, a thirteen year old rape victim is convicted of adultery (because she didn't kill herself to avoid the rape, and thus implicitly consented). As punishment, the 'tween is stoned to death by dozens of men in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2008/11/2008111201216476354.html

In Pakistan, juice bars are bombed in "liberal" Lahore, because young couples are permitted to share booths unchaperoned.

But, according to the MSM, this will turn around pronto !

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's now safe to celebrate Bill Ayers

From atop the Daily Kos rec list: "Bill Ayers speaks out"
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/8/91912/5042/585/657424

The second sentence says it all: "You can agree or disagree with actions of the Weather Underground years ago . . ."

Of course, on kos, the comments all seem to agree with the actions of the Weather Underground.

Among those actions:

"The group is notable for a campaign from 1969 through the middle 1970s of bombings, riots and a jailbreak. The . . . group's first public demonstration on October 8, 1969, was a riot . . . In 1970 the group issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government, under the name "Weather Underground Organization" (WUO). The bombing attacks were mostly against government buildings, along with several banks. Most were preceded by communiqu├ęs that provided evacuation warnings, along with statements regarding the particular matter which motivated the attack. For the bombing of the United States Capitol on March 1, 1971, they issued a statement saying it was "in protest of the US invasion of Laos." For the bombing of The Pentagon on May 19, 1972, they stated it was "in retaliation for the US bombing raid in Hanoi." For the January 29, 1975 bombing of the Harry S. Truman Building housing the United States Department of State, they stated it was "in response to escalation in Vietnam""
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weatherman_(organization)

Can you really agree or disagree with these actions? Wasn't this domestic terrorism, plain and simple?

Palin overkill

In the 90's, there was no rumor, no smear, no gossip, too ridiculous or outrageous to spread about the Clintons. Bill was a drug dealing murderer, a sick psycho killer rapist of his third cousin was morphed into an innocent victim of Clinton injustice, and Hillary murdered Vince Foster in their love nest before hopping into bed with Janet Reno.

By the time the Monica mess came to light, it was Chicken Little / Henny Penny / the sky is falling again. No one believed it at first, and then no one cared.

That's what's happening to Palin now. They don't mean to, but they're just innoculating her.

However, it's telling that she's the Republican they're going after. It makes you wonder what they see in her, and what they fear.

Andrew Sullivan never disappoints

Discussing lesbians who stuck with Hillary, and voted in lesser numbers for Obama than Kerry, Sullivan says "Maybe there was a particular lesbian bond with Clinton, which may have led some lesbians to pick McCain (they're susceptible to a little Alaskan boobage as well)."
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/lgbt-gop-ctd.html#more

Wow.
Wow.
Can you imagine if a conservative referred to "a particular lesbian bond" with Hillary, with all implied by that sentence, or said lesbians voted for Palin's "boobage"? I somehow think they'd be tossed from Matthews' "panel of experts".

P.S. - Seriously, Sullivan writes that lesbians were inclined to vote for McCain because they like Palin's boobs, and he's invited on legitimate Sunday morning talk shows? That's THE most sexist thing I've read from an MSM talking head in years. Sullivan really has issues with women.

John Edward's two Americas

He was right.
There are two Americas.
The one we live in, and the one he lives in, alone, scorned and forgotten
Remember when he was going to be Obama's attorney general? Or, when his bloggers, ever ready with a Monica reference, attacked Hillary because of her "family baggage"?

And more about supporting the auto industry . . .

The internal combustion engine is the latest in 19th century technology.
Did we support the abacus industry against the assault by IBM and Microsoft?

From Rev. McClurkin to Prop. 8

I'm not looking to re-fight the primary. But, history is prequel.

Hillary had an apparent early lock on the old school liberal, civil rights, women's rights and gay rights establishments in N.Y., L.A. and D.C. So, Obama went around them.

The Obama campaign took off in South Carolina, with the Obama campaign's "Embrace the Change" gospel concert series, featuring Rev. Donnie McClurkin. He's the guy who headlined the final show, declaring, "God delivered me from homosexuality."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/29/reverend-mcclurkin-at-oba_n_70202.html

Obama's path to the White House took him to hundreds of campus "student activity centers", "hubs" and "haus-es". And, into the homes of thousands of "Whole Foods shoppers". But, the main road went through hundreds if not thousands of dusty, forgotten, backroads churches.

Many of the "new" voters were registered in those churches. The African Methodist Episcopal Church of Zion. The Living Word Fellowship. The Independent Bible Baptist Church. And, hundreds of independent churches so poor and so small and so local that their preachers work 9 to 5 as bus drivers and barbers.

People from those churches are against gay mariage because it's inconsistent with their Christian beliefs. People like the church ladies who made Obama in South Carolina are simply, unalterably "against such foolishness".

As a conservative Democrat, who supports gay marriage on libertarian and states rights' grounds, I'm otherwise far from disappointed by this influx of socially conservative voters into my party. The current hub-bub on the issue simply shows how little liberal progressives really know about the black church and the black community.

When did tax increases on individuals making over $200K . . .

become tax increases on FAMILIES making over $250,000?
If the husband and wife both make $125,000.01, they get a tax increase?
I was paying attention, and I never heard that one.
BTW - $125,000 is NOT rich! It's a fire department captain with lots of overtime and supplements.

The only thing Republicans heard . . .

Obama say at the press conference was the Nancy Reagan joke. Why did he say that?

And, "help for the auto industry"? "additional policy options"?
You can either assist the market in developing alternate sources of energy and transport, or put dinosaur 19th century industries on life support. You can't do both.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nancy and Billy

Someone needs to tell me why mocking Nancy Reagan and Billy Graham, two extremely old, seriously ill, much beloved American icons, is good politics.

But I'm conservative. What do I know?

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/07/obama.seance/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/7/221238/798/775/657226

The last acceptable bigotry?

Because they can't bring themselves to say, "Obama's voter registration drives in black churches increased voter turnout among black fundamentalists, who voted for Obama and against gay marriage", it's now all the fault of the Mormons.
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/mormons-vs-gays.html

"Gay people have every right to regard the Mormon church hierarchy as a mortal enemy. If they knock on my door any time soon, they will get an earful."

Is that "knock on my door" reference any less offensive than any other religious or ethnic stereotype?

And, is this weekend really the time to start a campaign to economically injure any religious community because you disagree with their politics? There was another country, in which they set out to destroy the economic well being of another religious minority, also for supposed political crimes . . .
http://www.hmd.org.uk/press/kristallnacht_anniversary_2008/

Minority voter turnout: Personal or Permanent?

Obviously, there was record voter registration and record turn out among minority voters, inspired by the person of Barack Obama.

Black, brown, red, yellow, tan - - they came out for Barack.

But will they return? And, if so, what will they otherwise do?

We all heard the emotional stories of the 90+ year old, grandchildren of slaves, first time voters, all across this country. They were inspired (and inspiring) by the prospect of a black president.

Yet, part of me had to wonder why they hadn't been inspired by elections of the past. The civil rights legislation of the '60's? Martin, John and Bobby? the economic struggles of the '70's? the social battles of the 80's? the economic progress of the '90's? Bush v. Gore? Katrina?

Even in 2008, many of these voters didn't vote down ticket. Look at the results in the three south Florida (still) Republican held house seats. There was huge down ticket drop off in black and non Cuban latino districts.

And, on social issues, socially conservative minority voters in fact voted on issue questions in accord with their socially conservative beliefs, while black and latino liberals voted liberally on social issues. There should be no surprise. (Why did anyone ever expect black and brown fundamentalists to be more progressive than white fundamentalists? They read the same book, and turn to the same preachers for interpretation and guidance. If you hold voter registration drives in evangelical churches, you register evangelical voters, who come in all colors and from all nations.)

There are open questions as to whether this historic minority turnout will continue, and how minority voters will vote when Obama's not on the ballot.

We will start getting answers in the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff. And, 2010 will be interesting.

The investor class votes late

Dow down 1000 in two days since the election.

BTW - If you have a 401K, you're one of the Wall Street plutocrats.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hillary wasn't racist?

"[T]he extended calendar and the participation of all of America in the decision was perhaps the best that came out of [primary season]. . . . Could Obama have made those kinds of dramatic improvements without having to build infrastructure and deliver his message in those states all the way back in May? I'd bet "no". There are lots of reforms that need to be made to the primary process . . . but this isn't one of them. Any reforms should try and ensure that as much of America as possible can engage in the process. It may be one of the best tools we have toward building a successful 50-state national party."

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/6/164835/439/938/656054

Then why was Hillary called an evil racist dead ender for refusing to quit the primary contest until all America got to vote?

W wasn't a racist?

"Fact is, "W" never gave any evidence of holding racist attitudes."
http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/11/06/the_election_of_the_first_blac/

Then why was he accused (on that site) of purposely flooding New Orleans in order to drown its black residents?

AIPAC / Lieberdem Chief of Staff?

For well over 2 years, two of the worst insults tossed around on Daily Kos were "Lieberdem" and "AIPAC".

And, now, who gets Obama's very first bid? Rahm Emanuel.

Orthodox Jew. Spoke Hebrew growing up. Insisted his wife convert to Judaism before marriage. Volunteered (and lost a chunk of his finger) serving with the Israeli Defense Force, i.e., the Israeli Army, during the 1991 Gulf War. Clinton staffer. Probably one of the most reliably, unquestioningly pro Israel voices in the House of Representatives. His family doesn't merely support Israel, they support the Likud party (his father smuggled guns to the terrorist Stern gang during the Israeli War of Independence). He's to the right of Bush on Israeli policy.

Emanuel is a young Joe Lieberman. A male Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He is as "out" Jewish and pro-Israel as anyone in Congress. If you asked AIPAC to list their 3 favorite Congressional Democrats, they'd likely say Lieberman, Emanuel and Wasserman Schultz.

It's rumored that the "Ari Gold" character on HBO's "Entourage" (a walking breathing compendium of every Jewish showbiz stereotype) is a caricature of Rahm and his brother Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood talent agent.

I'm not putting down the appointment. I like it.

But, having too often seen "AIPAC" and "Lieberdem" tossed around as perjoratives by some Daily Kos commenters and diarists, and used as descriptives for any unloved Jewish politico, I'm giggling over the offer to "Lieberdem", "AIPAC" loving, Rahm Emanuel.

"New tone" in D.C.?

How obnoxious and aggressive is Rahm Emanuel?

Rahm and his brother Ari (the Hollywood agent) are the models for the "Ari Gold" character on HBO's Entourage. Really. "Ari Gold" is a caricature of Rahm and Ari Emanuel - - rude, crass, money grubbing, insensitive, pushy, loud and over bearing.

Hate Speech

Read the attached, but substitute the word "Jew" for "Mormon". It sounds like Nazi propaganda leading up to the infamous 1938 “Night of Broken Glass” (Kristallnacht) pogrom.

http://www.americablog.com/2008/11/why-is-sundance-film-festival-taking.html

"Boycott Mormon owned businesses"? That's scary.

Kerry or Richardson for Secretary of State?

The ultra liberal loser or the back stabber?
No.
You sell Ambassador to France or the U.K. for endorsements, fundraising and mailing lists.
You don't sell Secretary of State.

Rahm Emanuel

"Rahm Emanuel stands for everything that Obama was saying is wrong with Washington."
Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas

Post election turnout hype review

Massive voter turnout?
2008 - 64.1%
2004 - 64.0%

Florida voter turnout?
2008 - 71.5%
2004 - 74.2%

It appears the early declarations of victory (as early as before polls opened) inhibited voter turnout, discouraging some and encouraging others.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obamacrats and gay marriage

According to California exit polls, whites supported gay marriage 53-47. However, blacks opposed gay marriage by 70-30, Latinos opposed gay marriage by 51-49 and Asians opposed gay marriage by 53-47. Blacks were 10 percent of the California electorate, Latinos 19 percent, whites 63 percent and Asians 6 percent.

In other words, Obama did what no other politician could have. Obama killed gay marriage in California by driving up minority turnout.

And, per the Miami Herald: "Obama's candidacy likely played a role in the gay-marriage ban passing in Florida. Black voters turned out in droves and, according to exit polls, supported the amendment by the greaest margin - 71 percent to 29 percent."
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/758798.html

Will this be the first crack in the Obama coalition?

(For the record, any true libertarian would oppose any gay marriage ban, and any true conservative who believes in federalism would oppose any federal gay marriage ban.)

Did the Democrats really do so good?

Take the worst economic conditions in decades (featuring a near total collapse of the financial sector).

Add the adoration of the national media.

Stir in near unanimous public opinion that "we're on the wrong track".

Subtract 4,000 points from the stock market (and mail out the 401K statements weeks before the election).

Have your opponent lobby for the right thing to do in Iraq, but get no credit for it, because his success diminishes Iraq as an issue.

And it equals a Republican nominee who does better, expressed variously as either a percentage of the vote or in raw vote totals, than most recent Republican candidates in most elections since '92. (McCain did better than Poppy in '92 or Dole in '96, and apparently received more votes than W ever did).

The death of conservatism has been greatly exagerrated.

By the way - - voter turnout increased, but not as much as promised by the hype. And the youth vote? Up from 17% to 18%.

I was NOT an Obama supporter . . .

I was not an Obama supporter, but I'm a Democrat.

I couldn't support Obama, so I stepped away.

I didn't lurk on any Democratic sites. I didn't troll. I didn't snark, or make a nuisance of myself.

Old Thom Paine said, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

So, I got out of the way, and did my own thing.

Now that the election is over, I'm back. As a Democrat.

Not to claim a share in any victory to which I made no contribution.

I'm not entitled to any share in any such victory.

But, I'm here to contribute to the discussion as a Democrat of decidedly conservative leanings.

I hope that's acceptable, to both Democrats of all stripes and conservatives of all parties.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hey, I was wrong about Obama not being electable . . .

Hey, I was wrong about Obama not being electable . . .

. . . but this is the high water mark.

The results were 51+% to 47-%, more or less.

That was enough to turn purple states blue. But, again, it's the high water mark. Ask W how an over reaching politician can confuse this kind of a margin for a mandate, and gamble away all his political capital.

What to do now?

Obama needs to keep the swing voters - - the promiscuous 3% of the voters in the middle - - on his side.

And, Obama needs to keep his overwhelming majorities in minority communities, among youth, and with Whole Foods shoppers.

How?

Obama must keep his promises on taxes (a middle class tax cut for those earning under $250,000), on spending (spending cuts to offset any new programs), on health care (reform of our capitalist health care system, not imposition of a socialist health care system), and on Iraq (withdrawal as conditions allow). Remember, Obama won among those whose issues were the war, the economy and healthcare with those very promises.

Also remember that Obama lost among voters whose issues were energy and terrorism. The American people want to drill, baby, drill. And, they want a tough stand against foreign terrorists.

Above all, Obama must avoid leaning left on the economy or foreign policy. He promised centrism.

Enough social conservatives held their noses and voted for Obama on the economy to turn several southern and midwest red states blue. If Obama wants to keep these socially conservative voters, he needs to avoid social experimentation. (And, on social issues, Obama needs to remember his base. Record turn out in the African American and Latino communities translated into defeats for gay marriage.)

Finally, Obama needs to remember that all his friends and cheerleaders in the media, the pundits and the celebrities, ultimately reject the good for the elusive perfect. They will turn on him soon enough.

Essentially, Obama must govern as the centrist he presented, or else this will be Jimmy Carter's second term.

But, as I said, I was wrong about Obama not being electable.

What do I know?