Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If Wishes Were Nuts...

Lately, prominent Democrats have come out and tried to exert influence over the Democratic nomination for President. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a joint statement strongly urging the superdelegates to make their choice as to who they are backing between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by June. Not to be outdone, former President Jimmy Carter told Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race by June.

Did you find that as funny as I did?

Seriously, do any of these four knuckleheads have any idea that their opinions are just that? For one, the superdelegates do not have a June time limit to make their decisions. If they want, they can wait until the convention to make their decision who to back. And nothing the DNC Chair, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate Majority Leader say will change that. It's their choice, not the choice of party leaders.

Now, onto Carter. I have no love for Hillary Clinton, but having Carter tell her she has to drop out by June is beyond the pale. It's her decision, not yours, Mr. Carter. If she wants to keep running past June and hamstring the party, let her make that choice. Then, you can go back to what you're good at: slandering Israel and meeting with a terrorist group to accomplish nothing.

This begs the question of why these four Democrats felt they had to try to dictate to members of their own party to do what they want. Put simply, all of them have a vested interest in seeing a Democrat win the White House.

- For Pelosi and Reid, it will help keep them in power in Congress since a successful Presidential candidate would buoy Democrats' chances of keeping or expanding their power in the House and Senate. Plus, it would wipe away their many mistakes over the past year or so. A tall order, I know, but backing the party's candidate while retaining hold of Congress would make it happen. Reid, especially, needs Clinton or Obama to win to open up the possibility that Senators can win the White House, but only if they're Democrats. That's some powerful bragging rights there.

- For Dean, it would make him look like a political genius. Although he was heralded as the brains behind the "50 State Initiative" that Democrats rolled out in 2006, it can be argued that the initiative was only partially responsible for the Democrats' success in 2006. The atmosphere was ripe for Republicans to lose, and from a historical perspective, Democrats didn't score an impressive win. They won control of the House and control in name only of the Senate, but they actually won fewer than normal seats. Dean needs a Democrat to win the Presidency so that he can prove to doubters that 2006 wasn't a fluke.

- For Carter, it would stir up hope that a trend started by Bill Clinton would continue. Before Clinton's Presidency, Carter was a non-entity, save to Habitat for Humanity. After Carter seemed to pull Clinton's hash out of the foreign policy fire, Democrats rediscovered Carter and started seeing him as an elder statesman/foreign policy expert. It's a good bet Hillary would draw on Carter's knowledge sooner or later since Bill did, and Obama seems to hold a high regard for Carter. With a Democrat in the White House, Carter could remain viable as an advisor, official or otherwise.

They'll deny any personal stake in the outcome of the Obama/Clinton fight, but they'd be lying. Pelosi, Reid, Dean, and Carter need a Democrat to win for them to be more than footnotes in history. They see the fight between their candidates as hurting their party, but more importantly, hurting their own chances of getting their wishes.

And you know what they say about if wishes were nuts, right?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Impossible Happened Today

It's not often that something out of the ordinary, nay impossible, happens. But it happened this past weekend into today.

Barack Obama made Hillary Clinton look like a moderate.

I've mentioned Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers before in this blog, so I won't go into the specifics of their situations. As I also stated in a previous column, the problem is that neither Hillary nor Obama thought the connections they had to members of the Weather Underground were troublesome until they became public knowledge.

Right now, all the media focus is on Wright, with some of the "new media" focusing on the Ayers connection. Even with the public break with Wright, Obama waited too long and made too many wishy-washy comments to give political distance while staying connected to Wright. The length of time raises more questions, which will keep the focus on Obama and leave the "is he an extremist" question in people's minds.

Hillary has tried to portray herself as a moderate with little success. Now, when compared to Obama, she'll have an easier time selling herself as such without having to do much except stand there and give stump speeches. On a much larger scale, though, this could play into Hillary's strategy to persuade the superdelegates to swing her way, provided she strikes now while the opportunity is there. But judging from this past weekend, at least the Wright situation won't be going away anytime soon.

Regardless of the motivations behind Wright's statements and actions, it's clear Obama is in a big mess. Not only does he have to do damage control, but he has to deal with a reinvented Hillary that he created. Oops.

Monday, April 28, 2008

One for My "Homies"

I've held my tongue long enough. I have reached a point where I either have to say something and let the chips fall where they may or explode. And if you've ever seen a big man explode, it's not pretty.

This one goes out to my people, whites. Would you knock off all that white guilt already? Seriously!

I had a chance to watch, read, and listen to a portion of the revival meeting...I'm sorry, Rev. Jeremiah Wright's speech in front of the National Press Club today. First off, I don't buy his "I was taken out of context" bull anymore. Out of all the statements Wright's made, there's only one of them you could say was possibly taken out of context: the "God damn America" line. And even then, you would have to admit it wasn't exactly the best phrasing in the world.

Well, you would have to admit it if whites weren't afraid of the R-word.

Rev. Wright is doing a trick I've seen with customers I've dealt with in a past job. Their MO is to take one mistake made by the company, blow it out of proportion, and then use it as an excuse to ignore all the crap they've screwed up. And by not calling Wright on the anti-white, anti-Jewish, anti-American, and anti-anything-else rhetoric he spews, we're admitting we're as bad as Wright says we are.

But by far the worst people I've seen are the whites who are actually agreeing with Wright! They're the type who think they've "broken the code" or "found the real meaning" that Wright was talking about in his sermons and speeches. And they say that "blacks and any intelligent whites" would agree. It's a logical fallacy that they're using to justify their position. They figure that since they think they're intelligent and think a certain way, everyone who is intelligent would think the same way. Bzzzzzzzzzzzt! Oooooh, sor-ray.

Time for me to clear up a couple of things for my fellow whites.

1) Blacks can be just as racist as whites.
2) "Racism" has been tossed around to the point where it only has the power you give it.
3) Slavery ended over 100 years ago. Stop beating yourself up over it.
4) People like Rev. Wright are playing the race card so they can get something out of you.
5) The best way to handle a race-baiter is to stand up to them.

There you have it. Five easy steps to dealing with the Rev. Wrights of the world. So, if there are any blacks or "intelligent whites" who think I'm a racist for calling Rev. Wright a charlatan, a racist, and a total ingrate, I have two words for you.

Bring it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Shape of Things to Come

It's official: Cindy Sheehan has the forms to run as an independent candidate against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. If Sheehan can get the signatures of enough voters, she'll be an official candidate. But that's not the real story. The real story is how the possibility of a Pelosi/Sheehan race is an indication of how badly Democrats have mismanaged their party for the past few years.

And, surprise surprise, it all starts with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

When Bill and Hillary hit the Democratic Party scene in ernest in 1992, they were transformative figures. Within a short time, they went from a former Governor of Arkansas and his Yuppie wife to the central figures of one of the two major political parties. If Bill and Hillary would have had the party's best interests in mind, it wouldn't be so bad, but they didn't. It's always been about them and what the party could do for them. Quite a difference from John F. Kennedy's famous speech.

Once the Clintons were in place, the Democratic Party seemed to slavishly follow whatever they wanted. They had the political capital in 1993 and 1994 to set the stage for a new Democratic agenda, and the Clintons were still fairly popular. However, they didn't capitalize on the situation, which lead to the Republican Revolution in 1994. Bill Clinton was blamed in large part for Democrats losing control of Congress in full, but they stuck by him.

The Democrats reached the point of no return with the Clintons in 1998 and 1999 with the Clinton impeachment. The Democratic Party were seriously hurt by their loyalty to the Clintons during this time by not having the serious discussion Clinton's actions required. We had a sitting President lying under oath about something that may not have mattered in the grand scheme of things. This was a situation that, contrary to popular belief, was not a "vast right wing conspiracy," but was a monster of the Clintons' own making. When the Democrats made the decision to admit Clinton did wrong, but it didn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense, they became the Clintonic Party.

But there was another effect that didn't get noticed right away and still isn't being recognized. All of the political capital the Democrats spent to keep Clinton in office took away from building up the future leaders of the party, Al Gore included, and it has hurt them in election after election. Even in Election 2006, when Democrats took back the House and took back the Senate in name only, the leadership deficiency was apparent. Seriously, did Democrats really believe Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would be great Congressional leaders? In the latter case, it's clear they didn't think beyond their desire to "make history" when choosing Pelosi for Speaker. To put it bluntly, the Pelosi House and the Reid Senate have been laughingstocks of political ineptitude.

This opens the door for people like Sheehan because it gives them a reason to run against the Democratic "leadership." And thanks to the political empowerment they've felt because of Sheehan, they will jump at the chance to take down politicians they think are shielding Bush from impeachment. What this does in the political sense is put pressure on the Democrats to appease the left wing of their party, which they really can't do without losing the more conservative elements of their party. This creates the political equivalent of a Faustian deal, and it could create situations where a Democrat who could have won easily will either be weakened or lose outright because of a split vote.

It also further splits the Democratic Party, which has been a loose coalition of special interest groups since you-know-who was President. There is enough anamosity within Democratic ranks right now that we could see a major rift appear even if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama win the Presidential election. Those special interest groups that Bill Clinton was able to hold together are now looking to advance their agendas, even at the expense of the party that gave them an audience in the first place.

In short, the Democrats created the mess they're in, and with people like Cindy Sheehan taking aim at Nancy Pelosi, it doesn't look like they're calling in the cleaning crew just yet.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Response to Rev. Wright

I just watched the Bill Moyers "interview" with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I put "interview" in quotation marks because it wasn't so much an interview as it was like those infomercials that look and sound like talk shows, but are actually hawking some product. It wasn't surprising by any stretch of the imagination. If Moyers was any more liberal, he'd make Cindy Sheehan look like Ann Coulter.

To be fair to Rev. Wright, I listened to his statements in context and in full as shown on Moyers's PBS program. After all, it's entirely possible that he was taken out of context by the politically motivated. Well, I listened, Rev. Wright and I gave you the benefit of the doubt and I came to one conclusion.

Rev. Wright, you are everything the right says you are and more.

I listened to you lament America's role in apartheid in South Africa as "terrorism."


I listened to you lament America's "terrorist" acts against the Palestinian State.


I heard your comments in context about "America's chickens are coming home to roost" on the Sunday after 9/11. You say you weren't blaming America.


Sir, you are an anti-American, anti-Jewish, anti-white Pharisee, the very type that would use God's word to justify your personal agenda. No matter how many times you cry "my comments were taken out of context" or wrap yourself in holy robes, you cannot hide the man you are.

And, sir, you are no man of God.

During the softball-fest with Moyers, Wright said if you repeat a lie often enough, you start believing it. To quote Jesus, "Physician, heal thyself."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Rainin' (Weather)men!

By now, you've heard that Barack Obama has connections to a former member of the Weather Underground, William Ayers. Seems that in order to be considered electable in Leftist circles in Chicago, you had to at least meet with Ayers. And, boy, did Obama ever meet with him! Obama has tried to downplay Ayers's past while at the same time playing up the fact that the two of them are friends.

This would have to be grist for Hillary's campaign, right? Not so much. Seems Hill has her own connections to the Weather Underground in the form of her husband, Bill. Former President Clinton granted clemency to two members of the Weather Underground, Linda Evans (no, not the "Dynasty" Linda Evans) and Susan Rosenberg (no, not the "Dynasty" Susan Rosenberg). After news of the clemency got out, Hillary was in full denial mode, saying she didn't know anything about the situation. Yeah, and she really did take sniper fire in Bosnia.

Enough time has passed that most people have forgotten that the Weather Underground was a radical left-wing domestic terrorist group that took responsibility for bombings, murders, and other crimes. Granted, they were active 30 years ago or so, but the fact that both major Democratic Party candidates have connections to them is troubling, not because they had the connections, but because they saw nothing wrong with the connections before they became public knowledge.

Let that sink in for a moment. Two candidates wanting to be President finding little if anything wrong with domestic terrorists. That alone should disqualify either of them from holding a job at the McDonalds drive through window, let alone the job of being leader of the free world. But they pass it off as though it were nothing of importance.

Doesn't that make you feel so good to know that one of these knuckleheads could be President after Election Day?

The Forgotten Man

The Democratic race for President is down to two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. As of this writing, neither one has locked up their party's nomination, and neither one appears to be able to do it before their convention this summer. As such, DNC Chair Howard Dean is looking to try to get out of a messy battle for the nomination.

If Dr. Dean really wants a solution, he need only look beyond the current two-person battle to a third party. The name tossed about is former Vice President and current environmental Chicken Little Al Gore. That won't work because Gore has a major stumbling block: he's Al Gore. Instead, I have another person in mind, and for those reading this concerned that I'm helping the Democrats, don't worry. Democrats don't often read this blog anyway. :-)

The person I'm referring to is John Edwards. Right now, he's being seen as a potential king (or queen) maker because he has a handful of delegates that he could give to Clinton or Obama. But he might be the solution to the Clinton/Obama fight because he has more than a few of the positives of both without the negatives. He's a handsome, articulate candidate who can draw from multiple voting blocs. He does well with labor, fairly well with African-Americans, well with social justice Leftists, and appears moderate enough to draw in moderate to conservative Democrats. And because he's been out of the race before it's gotten testy, he's instantly above the fray.

If that doesn't make Edwards the perfect solution to the Democrats' imperfect election nightmare, I don't know what would.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Daze

Today is Earth Day. And I know you're all rushing out to get Earth Day cards and put up your Earth Day tree. And don't forget about the post-Earth Day sales!

I'm kidding, of course. Or am I? When you consider all the commercialism that's now connected to Earth Day and being environmentally conscious, it's clear that there's green to be made by being green. Quite a difference from the first Earth Day, where eco-Lefties got together to proclaim their love of the environment...while leaving their gathering place looking like a trash dump.

For me, Earth Day is an unnecessary "holiday" because we don't need a day to remember to be good to the planet. We get it. Take care of the planet. We try to do the same thing on a smaller scale where we live by keeping our homes and properties kept up.

And that's exactly the way we should approach "saving" the Earth. In the grand scheme of things, humans have very little impact one way or the other on the planet. Does this mean we can start building a chemical waste dump in our backyards? No. First off, the zoning laws are a nightmare, but more importantly, it has a direct impact on you and your neighbors. By the same token, if everyone in America went completely green, nothing would really change, and it would have a direct impact on you and your neighbors in ways that you probably wouldn't like.

Let's say, for example, that we finally cave in to the eco-Left's environmental demand because we're sick of hearing them whine. Because the eco-Left aren't exactly known for their foresight and financial acumen, our economy would tank. Then, after people realized that a) the economy sucks worse after the eco-Left got their wishes and b) the eco-Left knows as much about the environment as they do about the economy, we'd still be screwed. The economy can't be switched on and off like a light. It would take time to come back from the damage the eco-Left caused, and there's no guarantee that we could.

So, put simply, I think we should focus on those things we can fix, like keeping ourselves and our property in good order. And that's where we should leave it, unless our neighbors are building a chemical waste dump in their backyards. Just because we're green doesn't gives us the authority to force others to be the same way. That's where the eco-Left goes wrong with their environmentalism. They believe their position on this issue gives them ultimate moral authority to dictate to others how they should live. Case in point: Al Gore.

But before you go full bore into green mode because of people like Gore, do me a favor. Check out how they live. If they say they care about the environment but get into an SUV that isn't a hybrid, their green is because of tarnish, not because of intellectual consistency.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Keep Chope Alive!

A lot has been made of Barack Obama's frequent use of the words "change" and "hope" during his stump speeches. It's gotten to a point where it's become a running gag with some. Heck, some friends of mine even created a drinking game to play while watching the Democratic debates based around Obama saying those two words. And from what I've heard, they're finally sober enough to go to work again because of all the drinking they did at the last debate.

In the interest of bipartisanship, I've decided to help Senator Obama jazz up his stump speech, appear to be a transformative figure, and cut time off his speech, all at the same time. How? Simple.

Take the word "change", combine it with the word "hope", and you have...chope! One syllable, comes off the tongue easily, and it combines the changiness of "change" with the hopefulness of "hope." That, ladies and gentlemen, is what Barack Obama is all about.

So, ladies and gentlemen, remember Barack Obama is all about chope! Keep Chope Alive!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Random Notes

To make up for my light blogging lately, I'm combining a few topics into one post. Enjoy!

- John Murtha says John McCain is too old to be President, in spite of the fact Murtha is four years older than McCain. Hmmm...McCain's too old to be President at 71, but you're just under the age limit for a House gig at 75?

- ABC's debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama last night was almost universally panned here and abroad. I didn't watch any of it, and thankfully so. But as bad as it was, it pales in comparison to the CNN/YouTube "debates." At least Charlie Gibson didn't feel he needed to dress up like a snowman to ask a question about global warming.

- California Senator Barbara Boxer successfully got a meaningless Senate resolution acknowledging Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to America since becoming Pope changed to remove offensive language. What was the offensive verbiage? That the Pope fostered a deep respect for all life. Seems she thought it was a reference to the Pro Life stance on abortion. Boy, those Leftists are tolerant folks, aren't they?

- Speaking of the Pope, people have been criticizing him for stating that America's permissive culture may have played a role in the pedophile priest scandal. Some commenters went so far as to say that the Pope is a pedophile by proxy and is trying to excuse the Catholic Church's role in the scandal. Of course, they're not thinking about the possibility that he could be...right.

- Hillary Clinton criticized Barack Obama as an elitist following comments the Illinois Senator made about rural America. I only have three words to say to that. Pot. Kettle. Black.

- Chelsea Clinton has been asked repeatedly about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and how her mom reacted to her dad fooling around the with help. Chelsea's stock answer: it's none of our business. Well, gee, maybe I'm off base here, but I would think getting a straight answer about how Hillary reacted to a difficult situation would give us an idea of how she would react to a difficult situation as President. And we shouldn't be waiting until 3 AM to find out, either!

- President Imadinnerjacket of Iran is suggesting 9/11 may not have happened. From the guy who said there are no gays in Iran?

- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he looks forward to having an adult in the White House again. After that comment, Mayor, I'd be more worried about finding an adult at your house.

And finally...

- Texas law enforcement officers are looking for ways to punish the men of a polygamist cult. I have a way: introduce each of the wives to a divorce lawyer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Age Alternative

He's too old. He's forgetful. He doesn't know where he is. He's a doddering old fool with no business being in the race.

Sound familiar? Maybe not as familiar as you think.

These sentiments were uttered about Admiral James Stockdale in 1992 after a bad performance at the Vice Presidential debate. Compared to Dan Quayle and Al Gore, he certainly looked like it. Even though Stockdale had more gravitas than the two knuckleheads he was on stage with combined, he never got over the stigma of being "too old."

Now, Democrats are resurrecting these same arguments against John McCain. If the Democrats are successful, they won't need to "swift boat" McCain because they will have already "Stockdaled" him. And Republicans and conservatives have to figure out a way to counteract it or it will catch on.

The problem McCain faces is, well, he is older than Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. With his medical issues, it's a second strike against him. And if nobody from the McCain side does or says anything to address these issues and calm voters' fears, it won't matter what McCain says. He will be framed by his opponents, and they will not give up ground to let him get back on his feet.

And, no, cries of "ageism" won't cut it.

The key to beating the Democrats on the age issue lies in the past and Ronald Reagan. Reagan managed to bounce back after a dismal first debate with Walter Mondale with a simple statement about him not making his opponents youth and inexperience against him. McCain needs a Reagan moment like this to put down the "he's too old" line once and for all. The sooner he does this, the better. Given the fact that Hillary and Obama are looking and sounding like immature brats, now is the time to strike.

The alternative? Looking like Bob Dole stumbling over his own website address during one of the debates in 1996.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

With Friends Like These...

There's an update on the Obama delegate who got in legal trouble for saying African-American children in a tree shouldn't be climbing around like...dare I even say it...monkeys. After the Obama campaign threw her under the bus, they took her back, saying it was all a "misunderstanding." Oh, gee, thanks for coming to her defense when she needed it.

Is it just me, or are Democrats throwing a lot of people under the bus lately? Whether it's Hillary with Mark Penn or Obama with that delegate, I'm beginning to wonder if Harry Reid doesn't own an auto parts place that sells bus shocks.

What is really disturbing about this trend is not that Democrats are so willing to abandon their own, but that more Democrats don't see themselves as potential "casualties" in this political season. It's a reflection on how bitter the Democratic race has become. This truly is the politics of personal destruction, writ large. Both candidate's campaigns are digging up anything they can on any supporter, any delegate, any superdelegate, all to jockey for a little stronger position.

Kinda gives you a nice warm feeling in your chest, doesn't it?

And it's not just in the Presidential campaign. Air America suspended long-time host Randi Rhodes for speaking against Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro at a private event. Then, today, she decided to voluntarily terminate her contract with Air America. And for what? For being Randi Rhodes. Don Imus? Same situation.

The American Left may think its followers can be crumpled up like Kleenex and tossed aside when they're used up, but having been a member of that group in the past, I can tell you that there are good people on the left who deserve a much better fate than that. I may not agree with them on much, but that doesn't give me licence to treat them like trash.

It's been said before by me and others, but it bears repeating. Whomever gets the Democratic nod to be the candidate will inherit a bitterly divided party for whom unity is a pipe dream. I'm sure they'll point fingers at each other or the Republicans, but in truth, they brought this pain on themselves.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The End of Bush?

Lately, I've been seeing quite a few "01/20/09" bumper stickers on cars lately, signalling the last day George W. Bush will be President. I'm sure to the people who put those stickers on their cars, it's a way to celebrate his leaving the White House and what they perceive as the start of a new era where the next President (or the one they hope will be the next President) will "fix Bush's mistakes."

One problem. When Bush leaves office, he doesn't stop impacting the country.

A President's impact is often felt while he is President, but there are still ripples that cascade out from his last day in the office. Take Ronald Reagan, for example. His efforts to bring the former Soviet Union to their knees didn't come to full fruition until George H. W. Bush was President, but the impact was unmistakable. Had it not been for Reagan's actions, the fall of the Berlin Wall after he left office wouldn't have happened.

Bush has made some mistakes without question, and those will have to be dealt with by the next President and beyond. Likewise, some of the things Bush did right will either be continued or discarded, which will also impact the future. And if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton win and they're dead set on "fixing Bush's mistakes," they're letting Bush impact the future.

And while we're on the subject, I think it's the height of folly to "fix" the "problems" the previous President left because it's never-ending and an exercise in politics that simply doesn't accomplish anything except paying back political influence. Let's say Obama wins and he decides the best way to address the foreclosure "crisis" is to eliminate tax breaks for the upper class and give the middle and lower classes rebates and tax breaks. Sure, this gives the middle and lower class extra money they didn't have, but will it make them spend it wisely?

One need only look at how the some of the poor in New Orleans spent their $500 gifts from the government after Katrina to know the answer to that question.

It's these types of "solutions" that put us in deeper trouble because they're not intended to address the problems. Instead, they're intended to make a stump speech point or some platform position fit into the problem, no matter how tortured the connection. And, really, should we expect the next President to be able to fix all of the problems, real or imagined, that Bush will leave? There's no way he (or she) can! So, instead of being intent on "fixing Bush's mistakes," allow me to humbly suggest that they figure out what problems we face, what the government can and should do to fix it, and keep the government out of as much as possible. We're not children. We CAN figure this stuff out for ourselves.

When George W. Bush leaves office on January 20, 2009, we will feel the impact of his Presidency for years to come. Only the overly delusional or woefully uninformed think otherwise. Even so, that impact can be lessened by recognizing what we can and should do for ourselves and this is radical it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Penn-y for Your Thoughts, Hillary

One of Hillary's chief strategists and pollsters Mark Penn made the headlines recently. Most of the coverage surrounded the political implications of Penn being demoted to an advisory role after it came out the PR firm he works for had dealings with Columbia on a trade deal that Hillary opposes. Granted, the Clinton campaign "didn't know" that Norman Hsu was a fugitive from the law when they accepted his donations, so it's possible they didn't know that Penn was working on this deal since early 2007, but I don't buy it.

Instead, I think there's another reason. Hillary is about to enter into a series of contests where every delegate and superdelegate will be crucial. After reckless spending hurt her in the early going, she needs a good showing in the upcoming contests to remain viable and possibly take the nomination to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. To do this, she needs money, or at the very least a better control of the money she has. With her fundraising lagging behind Barack Obama, she needed to cut a few expenses.

And guess who was raking in around a million dollars a month running Hillary's campaign?

If you said Mark Penn, you'd be right.

Granted, this idea only works if Penn's demotion is a non-paying gig, but it serves a few purposes. One, it gives Hillary the ability to refine her message with new strategists at the helm. Two, it deflects attention away from Penn's dealings, which would hurt Hillary's ability to attract the unions and the working people. Three, it punishes Penn for failing Hillary as often as he has without freezing him out completely. But fourth and most importantly, it saves campaign money at a time when it's needed. Even if the fourth option is way off base, the other three are certainly worth their weight in gold.

So, let the majority of the commentators focus on the politics. Follow the money and you might have found out the real reason Mark Penn was busted down to an advisory role.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Population Bomb Is A Dud

Ted Turner came out recently and said there are too many people on the planet. Turner is the latest person to suggest that we're too crowded on the lovable hunka rock we call Earth. (On a side note, have you noticed that all the people who say there are too many people on the planet are living? It boggles the mind.)

Overpopulation is another facet to the same kind of leftist feel-good pseudo-science designed to make us feel bad about living in America. Speaking personally, I happen to like living in America, so I don't feel guilty. (Although I do feel a little peckish right now. Let me make a sandwich quick and I'll get back to you.)

Okay, where were we? Oh yes, the population problem. Are there some parts of the globe that are overpopulated? Yes there are. Is the planet a whole overpopulated? Not so much.

The logic, such that it is, that we've overpopulated the Earth is based in the notion that there is a finite amount of resources (money, natural resources, Wayans Brothers movies) to go around. These good-hearted, but thick-witted folks see poverty (i.e. a homeless person) and jump to the conclusion that if things were spread out a little more evenly then the poor (i.e. the people who majored in Women's Studies at UC Berkeley) wouldn't be poor (i.e. working in the stock room at the Gap).

The problem with their idea is the fact that, well, it's complete bunk. The economy isn't a big pie. (I chalk up this idea from the overcrowding criers to the fact that there are so many pie graphs connected to economics. Just a thought.) If it were a pie, it would constantly be adjusting itself to fit the current situations. That's the beautiful thing about it: it isn't static. The economy will ebb and flow over time.

I hate to break this to the leftists who read this, but life is not required to be fair to all. Some people are talented in certain fields and can make money pursuing those fields, and others aren't. That's not a fault of the capitalist system. It's based on choices that are made, both by the person affected and by others affecting that person. And, no, this doesn't mean I believe in "institutional racism", but that's a blog post for another time.

Now, what do the people concerned about overpopulation have for us as far as a solution? Well, they believe (but few actually act on it) in sterilization. Some even believe birth control and abortion should be worldwide and funded by us. With these last two, it may not be a coincidence. At least in America, the left loves birth control and abortion because they can make money off of them both. Why wouldn't they be put forth as a solution to overpopulation?

Considering neither one has really worked as a population control mechanism so far, I'd say that was a pretty good reason.

Sorry, Teddy, but I'm just not going to go along with you on this flight of fancy you want to take us on for two reasons. One, the entire notion is based on flawed thinking. And two, I don't think someone who colorized black and white movies with colors that don't appear anywhere in nature should have a hand in trying to control a natural process. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Boom Boom. Out Go the Rights.

Rarely will you see me defend any Air America host, but in this case, I think it's more than justified. At an event sponsored by a San Francisco affiliate for Air America, Randi Rhodes unleashed a string of insults and profanity aimed at Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferarro. And, thanks to modern technology, it was posted on YouTube.

And, thanks to modern technology, Rhodes has been suspended indefinitely by Air America.

I could speak to the irony of the situation (and, believe me, my irony meter is already stuck at 11 because it's, like, one higher), but in thinking about it, there's a deeper story. Some posters on the New York Times message board connected to this story blamed the "corporate-controlled media" for not putting Hillary under as much scrutiny as she deserves. The poster was on the right track, but didn't quite make it to the station. The media play a role, but not from the corporate end.

Think about who really makes the day-to-day decisions at a newspaper, even one owned by a major conglomerate. It's not the CEO; it's the Editor In Chief. Only in rare occasions have corporations put pressure on their media subsidiaries to kill a story or soften it up so the company didn't look bad. Most of the time, the suits and the reporters don't rub elbows in the break room.

Instead, the reason, I think, most media outlets aren't holding Hillary Clinton accountable is because the editors and even some of the reporters identify with her and her husband. The people in the editorial chairs or out on the "big ticket" political beats are around the same age as Bill and Hillary. They probably hold most of the same positions, travel in the same ideological circles, have similar educational backgrounds, and so on. These kinds of connections, especially in an era where politics is highly personal, cannot be overlooked.

Also, keep in mind that these folks are of a generation that is highly self-aware and egocentric. To be fair, we all are on some level, but the Baby Boomers are Zen masters at both. In some bizarre way, to the Boomers, Bill and Hillary represent them and everything they hope and wish for. As a result, there will always be a bit of a disconnect whenever Bill and Hillary do something that most people would find beyond the pale.

Along with this is the desire to be seen as hip and cool. Yes, gentle readers, even 50 and 60 year olds want to know they haven't lost touch with their youth. If they want to travel in the most elite circles, rub elbows with the rich and famous, and maybe become mini-celebrities themselves, they will do anything to get on and stay on the guest list. Considering Bill and Hillary still command quite a bit of attention, the Boomers will not do anything to torque off the hosts with the most.

What does this have to do with Randi Rhodes? Plenty. Air America execs want to be invited to the best parties, so they will do anything to squash negativity towards their golden ticket to the best parties. The saddest part of all of this is that what Rhodes said is the very essence of what makes America great every couple of years: a spirited, free-wheeling debate on the issues of the day and the candidates running for office.

And it all got tossed aside so some people could have access to the power players on the left. Sad, really.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The L Word

To the male readers of this blog, I'm not talking about lesbians here. I'm talking about a different L-word, that being Lewinsky. For the second time in about a week, Chelsea Clinton has been asked about the Monica Lewinsky scandal while stumping for her mom. In both cases, her response has been "It's none of your business."

And in both cases, she's wrong.

At the heart of the question is how Hillary Clinton reacted to the Lewinsky scandal becoming public knowledge. Although there is an element of the personal involved, it also speaks to how well Hillary would react in a stressful situation. And let's face it, being President isn't a cakewalk. Chelsea can't go around extolling her mother's ability to lead while at the same time dodging a question that hits at the heart of that notion. It makes Hillary look weak and dishonest, and makes Chelsea look unprepared and, judging from the video footage of both times she's handled the question, more than a little elitist.

And, really, that's what's driving this denial. I have no doubt that Hillary and her campaign have schooled Chelsea on how to handle this situation by deflecting it as a personal question. Most people would accept that, given what they remember of the Lewinsky scandal. However, just because most people accept it as a personal question doesn't make it completely out of bounds. I haven't heard the exact question from the second time Chelsea was asked about the Lewinsky scandal, but I have heard the first question, and it asked point blank whether Hillary's credibility was hurt by her reaction to the Lewisnky scandal. Given what had come out just a week or so before outlining what Hillary was doing behind the scenes at that point in history, it's a legitimate question.

A legitimate question that, as of this writing, has not been answered, and probably won't because it would expose Hillary as what she is: unfit to lead.