August 24, 2007

Hillary Clinton and The Qualifications To Be President

Filed under: Uncategorized — Centristdem @ 7:37 am

Driving into work this morning I caught a bit of Bill Bennett’s guest host – his name escapes me now – who was discussing both the Democratic and Republican field of candidates. The question he was pounding was “who has the qualifications to be the President?” His criteria centered around three skill sets he believes a President should have:

1. Foreign Policy experience. After all, constitutionally speaking, a president’s main function is foreign policy.

2. Military experience. I admit this looks good on a resume, but I’m not sure how jumping in and out of fox holes while firing a machine gun lends itself to being a good President. Perhaps this should be restated as “military officer experience in a time of war.” Now THAT is impressive. One with this type of background has probably made life and death decisions that effected people other than himself.

3. Executive experience. Has the candidate actually run anything – a city? A state? A business? But more importantly, has he or she run it effectively?

Missing from the radio talk show host’s analysis was policy making, an obvious attempt (in my view) to discredit the qualifications of legislators running – Clinton, Obama, Biden, etc., on the Democratic side.

Also missing, and probably not even considered, was the ability to take advice from those more experienced in various areas than you. Though that is nearly impossible to measure and predict, one can get a feel for it if they watch candidates closely enough. Take Rudy Guilliani, for example. Can you imagine trying to tell him anything? He already believes he knows it all. Consider Barack Obama, who has stated he has superior judgement that anyone else running. Would that lead to him filling his cabinet with “yes men” whose only purpose it to re-enforce what he’s already decided? How about John McCain? His pig headed position on the Iraq War seriously throws any future decisions by him in doubt.

History has shown the most effective presidents cover their weak spots with expert advisors who they will actually, for better or worse, listen to. George W. Bush thawed out a slew of cold war-era GOP cronies that was applauded at first, but who effectively led his presidency to ruin.

Both FDR and JFK surrounded themselves with the greatest minds of their day in economics, foreign policy, and national defense.

Bill Clinton’s economic team of Robert Rubin, Lloyd Bentson, Leon Panetta, and Alice Rivlin, all deficit hawks, succeeded in convincing the President of the importance of balanced budgets. In fact, Bill Clinton’s team of advisors – from Madeleine Albright to William Cohen, from Bill Richardson to Robert Rubin – were so competent that they made a great President look like a prophet.

Isn’t that what we really need in a president? Someone humble enough to know he or she doesn’t have all the answers? Someone willing to look to others for input before making life altering decisions?

I’m not downplaying the benefits of the three so-called qualifications listed above but we have had some turkeys for Presidents who had all three.

I started this piece by mentioning a conservative talk show host’s take on the 2008 presidential field. Back in the 90s, another one made a lasting impact on his listeners in regards to Hillary Clinton. In an attempt to emasculate the President Clinton, Rush Limbaugh (and then by extension the entire conservative movement) was fond of saying the First Lady actually wore the pants in the White House and she was behind every policy coming from it. Taking those sentiments to their logical conclusion, Republicans were stating Hillary was actually the President!

Now, no one in the real world actually believed that but in 2008, the Republican’s job is to rewire the thinking of their party. Now, they must convince them, Hillary wasn’t really all that instrumental in the Clinton White House. If they fail to successfully flip flop on this, they run the risk of further cementing Hillary Clinton as a co-architect of the 8 years of peace and prosperity of the 90s and, thus, making her appear to be the most experienced in the field.

On the other hand, is it really that ludicrous to credit Hillary Clinton with some of the success of the Clinton Presidency? Obama, to the chagrin of his supporters, has. As mentioned above, the mark of a good leader is the ability to listen. After long hours in meetings with Secretaries of this and secretaries of that, is it really far fetched to believe William Jefferson Clinton ran ideas by his wife and made decisions based on those conversations? Most people will agree that in all aspects of their lives the final sounding board before a decision is made is their spouse who can often provide a bit of insight so obvious the experts may have missed it.

So, the original question: What does it take to be “President?” The wisdom to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you in certain fields, the judgement to listen to them, and the ability to take the opinion of the one who knows you best into consideration.

Because of this, I believe Hillary Clinton is the best equipped to be our next president. She’s an intelligent and savvy person in her own right, she has a cache of potential experts standing by to fill her cabinet and finish what they started in the 90s, and she has the best personal adviser one could hope for.

For centrist political thought and opinion, visit DonkeyDigest 

August 23, 2007

Edward’s Makes His Progressive Case For the Presidency

Filed under: Opinion — N @ 9:46 pm

Former Senator John Edwards has come out swinging in his bid to cement his place as the agent of change among a group of Washington insiders. In particular Edwards took shots at Hillary Clinton’s position as the darling of insider Washington. “The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate,” During President Clinton’s term in the White House, he invited top donors to spend a night in the esteemed president’s bedroom.

Edwards who is stuck in third place behind Clinton and Obama has been striving to cast himself as the true progressive and the true agent of change in the presidential race and has had some success with this tactic. Edwards has continued to be openly critical regarding the current efforts by the Congress to end the war and their inability to provide the other programs promised during the 2006 campaign when the Democrats retook control of Congress. He has continuously tied his Democratic opponents to Congress’s failures.

The Edwards campaign has made headway in some important states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Edwards often polls better than Clinton and Obama against their Republican opponents and has been using these polls to show his ability to win nationally. If Edwards continues to pick up steam with a solid progressive agenda carrying less of the baggage of some of his competitors, he could slide into the Democratic nomination. To more and more of the Democratic base Edwards is looking like the candidate that can beat Republicans and create real change in the country.

The DLC: I’m Yo Boogie Man… That’s What I am…

Filed under: Commentary — Centristdem @ 9:27 pm

Political motivation requires an enemy. Republicans are the enemy to Democrats. Democrats are the enemy to Republicans – unless it’s the far left or far right, of course. The fringes are more concerned with the “heretics” in their party, those they believe are not pure enough to be called “Republican” or “Democrat.”

No organization or “wing” of the Democratic party is as detested by the “progressive” purists as the Democratic Leadership Council, the organization that recruited Bill Clinton and propelled him to the presidency – making him the only twice elected Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt. The “enlightened” ones in the party (the bunch that have never won a national election) often ask the rhetorical question, “what is the difference between the DLC and Republicans?” This question is a silly one. They surely know the answer to it. But the attacks on the organization have reached a fever pitch as Hillary Clinton, a DLC member, pulls further away from the pack in national and state polls.

The question, though, deserves exploring. If so many people in the “netroots” are convinced the DLC is “Republican-lite,” they’re either seriously misinformed or are using the label to further their ideology among the rank and file of the party. (more…) Volume 2027 – Hellenbach

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chicago Jim @ 12:57 pm Volume 2027 – Hellenbach. Volume 2027 - Hellenbach - top toon

In Today’s Tequila Treehouse…

Arrow Saudi Moderation?
Arrow Twisted Legacy of Rove HOT
Arrow Diebold’s New Name 
Arrow Thompson’s Hot Water HOT
Arrow Worst congress ever HOT
Arrow Are Democrats dumb? 
Arrow Why I Hate Hillary (2) 
Arrow AT&T loves Bush 
Arrow Kristen Bell on Heroe

No Faries (sigh!) – Grimgold

Filed under: Uncategorized — grimgold @ 10:02 am

I had occasion to go to San Francisco yesterday. While there had the chance to go see the Fairy Building. I’d never seen it up close before, and boy was I surprised. Even though it is reported that there is a large homosexual population in “The City” I saw none. None! Where are they? It may be time to rename this historic landmark, as there wasn’t one limp-wristed, swishy, pretend-girl to be found. Only business people and tourists.
‘Fairy Building’ my foot.

Seriously though, you liberals have a problem I’d like you to think about. Some of you support homosexuality as a legitimate alternate lifestyle, and at the same time are silent as a tomb about Islam.
You can’t rationally have it both ways. Either you must decry homosexuality or Mohammad. Why? Because Koran-thumpers will instantly outlaw homosexuality if they ever get the upper hand.

Oh, I know you think that it is likely that the Moslems aren’t all that bad and the government, with the cooperation of the Main Scream Media, is blowing the issue all out of proportion to justify Iraq, steal oil, make Halliburton rich, and help the “Nazi” Republicans; but the fact is if the Muslims ever come to power, they will outlaw homosexuality immediately and harshly.

You must decide: do you support homosexuals (your most faithful voting block) and properly rail against Mohammed’s followers (as you do the born-again Christians) or will you quietly allow more foot baths in airline terminals, more public schools run by Moslem clerics, and more of GW’s crazy open border policies?
Are you going to speak up against these Muslems that want to run the United States by the Koran or not?

Rare: Honesty in media

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bart @ 8:57 am

“Hillary Says Surge Working”

UPDATE: I may have been a little harsh on Hillary. Misled by the AP, imagine that.

Chickenhawk Bush Has the Gall to Lecture Americans on Vietnam

Filed under: Opinion — Volt @ 8:13 am

Jon Ponder, Pensito Review, Aug. 22, 2007

When you hear the sound bites from George W. Bush’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today in which he compares his botched war in Iraq to the Vietnam war, think about what he was doing while thousands of U.S. soldiers were wounded and killed in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

As is well known, Bush’s elite status entitled him to a cushy berth in a “champagne unit” of the Texas Air National Guard. Associates from that era remember young Bush as being preoccupied with doing drugs, driving drunk and chasing women. There are rumors he seriously damaged a fighter jet while taxiing it on a runway while hungover. And there is strong circumstantial evidence he was discharged less than honorably after failing to show up for a series of Pentagon-mandated drug tests.

With that in mind, here is how Bush today, rewriting and politicizing the war he sat out:

The tragedy of Vietnam is too large to be contained in one speech. So I’m going to limit myself to one argument that has particular significance today. Then as now, people argued the real problem was America’s presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end&

In 1972, one antiwar senator put it this way: “What earthly difference does it make to nomadic tribes or uneducated subsistence farmers in Vietnam or Cambodia or Laos, whether they have a military dictator, a royal prince or a socialist commissar in some distant capital that they’ve never seen and may never heard of?” A columnist for The New York Times wrote in a similar vein in 1975, just as Cambodia and Vietnam were falling to the communists: “It’s difficult to imagine,” he said, “how their lives could be anything but better with the Americans gone.” A headline on that story, date Phnom Penh, summed up the argument: “Indochina without Americans: For Most a Better Life.”

The world would learn just how costly these misimpressions would be. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge began a murderous rule in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died by starvation and torture and execution. In Vietnam, former allies of the United States and government workers and intellectuals and businessmen were sent off to prison camps, where tens of thousands perished. Hundreds of thousands more fled the country on rickety boats, many of them going to their graves in the South China Sea.

Read More Here

August 22, 2007

More Liquidity?

Filed under: Toon — Volt @ 5:05 pm

Freeway Blogger on TV

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bart @ 7:55 am

Drive down a freeway in the Bay Area, or Los Angeles, or San Diego, and sooner or later you’re going to see it — a cardboard sign with a message critical of the president. With George Bush’s approval ratings at an all-time low, you might think it’s just random protestors voicing their discontent. But it’s not. It’s one guy on a mission.

Patrick Randall, not his real name, describes his process of posting up signs.

Patrick Randall: “All you got to do is put white paint on the cardboard, then do the lettering, fill it in and stick it up where people see it.”

He’s says he’s put up thousands over the past six years.

Patrick Randall: “It was really once I discovered cardboard that it took off.”

August 21, 2007

Hot dog! It’s time again for the annual “Stella Awards”!

Filed under: Uncategorized — grimgold @ 11:12 pm

For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in where she purchased the coffee.

That’s right. These are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts that happened during 2006. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. Here are the “Stellas” for the past year:

To kick things off the right way, there was a three-way tie for 5th place.


How Tourists Can Pay Part of Our Taxes – Grimgold

Filed under: Uncategorized — grimgold @ 11:08 pm

Last year, 2006, it was estimated that over 50 million foreign tourists visited our country. They spent over $138 billion. Now, that’s no small potatoes and explains how we can get a huge chunk of that money to help us pay our federal taxes.

You understand, of course, that the more people there are paying tax on American goods purchased, the less we Americans have to come up with. And if tourists are involved, that’s certainly a great possible Fed “cash cow”.

If the Congress institutes the federal consumption tax, exactly as described in the FairTax book, this is a no brainer. (Available at any good bookstore.)


The Limbaugh Deal – Grimgold

Filed under: Uncategorized — grimgold @ 10:59 pm

One beautiful morning, Rush Limbaugh was playing golf at his favorite course, the impossibly exclusive Gold Doubloons and Pieces of Eight Links.
A gorgeous blonde caddy gently drew near, followed by a large, rough-looking man with a bristling beard. She smiled at Rush, causing him to forget about golf – but only for a moment. “Mister Limbaugh?” Her voice was a sweet song.
He champed down on his ever present cigar and, scowling intently at his putter, replied, “Yeah, Melody. What can I do for you?”

Why doesn’t Molly Ivins understand this? – Grimgold

Filed under: Uncategorized — grimgold @ 10:57 pm

I wrote this when Molly was still alive. I miss you Molly, even though I didn’t agree with you a lot of the time.

Molly Ivins is usually one of left’s less hateful columnists. So I was surprised at this astonishingly nasty little comment:

The $70 billion tax cut is part of a continuing right-wing fantasy going back to the Laffer Curve. Of course, clinging to demonstrably false economic precepts is understandable when you benefit from them, but at some point reality does intervene.

Pretty obvious who’s fantasizing once you understand the Laffer Curve.


A partial answer to health care costs

Filed under: Uncategorized — grimgold @ 10:53 pm

We used to have doctors that actually liked people. They had a passion to help others, to heal the sick, to be of service.
No more.
Today’s doctors like money. They go to medical school because of money. They serve their internships because of money. They “stack” their patients because of money. If you insist on spending more than 20 minutes with one, he’ll become nervous and irritated because secretly he wants to get to his next patient.
And if he works out of an office, it’s jammed with people. This isn’t because he’s popular but because he “stacks’ his patients, causing a backlog. This way if there is a cancellation he can easily fill the hole in his schedule, and keep a continuous flow of patients helping him make his next Mercedes payment.
Doctors aren’t interested in cures or preventative medicine; they’re interested in the cash that comes from illness. For this reason you’ll seldom hear the word nutrition spoken with any real seriousness. Instead you’ll get pills to swallow. Lots of pills. Expensive pills.

YouTube – Reagan the fascist bastard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bart @ 9:31 pm

In 1980, after Von Reagan’s two faces won the White House,
a SNL-like sketch show called “Fridays” mocked his overt-Fascist ass.

The skit was called, “The Ronnie Reagan Horror Show.”

|If you’re a kid, here’s a chance to see what TV looked like
before lefty Hollywood went all gelding on “fighting the system.”

If you’re old enough to remember hating Nixon, you’ll love it.

The best news is – you’ll know if the first minute if you’ll
want to sit thru the next 16 minutes of the best sketch ever.

Plus it’s killer but it’s rated G.

Get Grandma & the kids, everybody will like this.

It’s been my favorite skit for 27 years.

Why ‘Islamophobia’ is a brilliant term

Filed under: Uncategorized — grimgold @ 8:34 pm

And no one in any responsible capacity has called anyone “unpatriotic” just for criticizing America. Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed during the last Democratic presidential debate that the Defense Department called her “unpatriotic” for asking whether the Defense Department has a plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Yet the term “unpatriotic” was not only not used in the response to the senator, it was not even hinted at.
The fact remains that the term “Islamophobia” has one purpose – to suppress any criticism, legitimate or not, of Islam. And given the cowardice of the Western media, and the collusion of the left in banning any such criticism (while piling it on Christianity and Christians), it is working.

for more:

Why ‘Islamophobia’ is a brilliant term
Dennis Prager explains how label compares critics to anti-Semites, racists

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