February 29, 2008
Just checking in, will be back this weekend so look for a new page Monday.
The big truce should take effect in 3-4 days – looking forward to that,
PS. Now let’s go get those Bush bastards!
Shailagh Murray,The Washington Post, February 29, 2008
FT. WORTH, Texas — Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign announced he would co-sponsor legislation introduced yesterday by his political ally Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill to ensure that John McCain can become president, even though he was born in the Panama Canal Zone.
The issue of McCain’s eligibility was raised in a New York Times article noting the constitutional requirement that a U.S. president be a “natural-born citizen” had never been fully defined.
The McCaskill bill, submitted immediately after she scrawled it onto a notepad on the Senate floor in response to the Times story, would establish the eligibility of anyone born to a U.S. citizen who is serving overseas as an active or reserve members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Arizona senator’s father was a Navy officer serving in the Canal Zone when McCain was born there in 1936.
Ted Rall, AltWeeklies.com, February 28, 2008
“What,” editorializes U.S. News & World Report, “does Ralph Nader bring to the political dialogue this year? Answer: nothing except for his own inflated ego.” Dimestore psychoanalysis was the standard reaction to Nader’s third third-party presidential bid. “An ego-driven spoiler,” the Des Moines Register called him. “He seems to have a pretty high opinion of his own work,” jabbed Barack Obama.
You see, other politicians who seek the presidency are like the Dalai Lama, humble and self-effacing. Obama and Hillary? Two sweeties. Not an ounce of ego between them.
Even our former colonial masters put in their two pence. Nader’s “egotism and cult of left-wing purity has been an utter disaster for the values he affects to espouse,” railed the UK Independent. Nader’s values would fare better, apparently, were he to shut up and keep them to himself.
Is Ralph really a spoiler? To answer “yes,” you have to buy three assumptions:
Joe Conason, TruthDig, February 28, 2008
Within the next two weeks, the number of American troops killed in Iraq is likely to reach 4,000, assuming that the average number of fatal casualties per day remains steady. It is an arbitrary number, given meaning by the fact that the nation may briefly take notice, but a day will come in this presidential campaign when Sen. John McCain must explain what he thinks we have gained by the sacrifice of those men and women.
Anticipating that prospect must make McCain uneasy. Speaking to reporters on his campaign bus the other day, he worried aloud that unless he can persuade voters that current policy is succeeding in Iraq, “then I lose. I lose.”
Almost immediately he regretted his candor and asked for a quick rewrite. “If I may, I’d like to retract ‘I’ll lose.’ But I don’t think there’s any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge,” he said. As the presumptive Republican nominee – representing the continuation of a presidency that has fallen from favor with as many as eight out of 10 Americans – McCain has ample reason to worry. His forthright support of President Bush, the war and the escalation of the past year is unlikely to endear him to independent voters who otherwise admire his maverick image and reform record. They still feel betrayed by the exaggerations and lies that led us into war. They don’t want to spend any more lives or money on this misadventure.
Against that overwhelming public sentiment, McCain insists that he can see “a clear path to success in Iraq,” with American and civilian casualties declining and Iraqis assuming responsibility for their own security. The Arizona senator evidently realizes that his recent prediction of a century-long American occupation did not go over well. “All of us want out of Iraq,” he told the Associated Press on Feb. 25. “The question is, how do we want out of Iraq.”
Top5.com, February 28, 2008
Oliver Stone, an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, supposedly wants to make a movie about Dubya.
The Top 18 Titles for the Upcoming Oliver Stone Movie About George W. Bush
18. President Evil
17. Dial W for War
16. Full Mental Jackoff
15. The Emperor’s New-cular Groove
14. Mr. Ditz Goes to Washington
The Economist, February 29, 2008
John McCain, an enthusiastic gambler and inveterate collector of lucky charms, has the luck of the devil. For him to win the Republican nomination for president, Mike Huckabee had to beat Mitt Romney in Iowa, Rudy Giuliani had to pursue a deranged strategy, Fred Thompson had to contract narcolepsy, and the “surge” had to go well. Mr McCain has run the tables.
But will the senator’s luck outlast the primary season? The past week or so has produced some ominous signs. On January 21st the New York Times ran a story alleging that Mr McCain had a too-close-for-comfort relationship with a female lobbyist. Four days later the Democratic National Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, suggesting the McCain campaign had violated the law on spending restraints.
The short-term damage has been limited. The New York Times poisoned its own story by nods and winks. The debate about Mr McCain’s campaign-finance behaviour is so convoluted that only lawyers understand it. The McCain campaign is now hoovering up more cash than ever, thanks to conservative rage at the “liberal media”.
Yet both stories point to a long-term problem: money, not sex. Mr McCain sells himself as a scourge of special interests and hammer of lobbyists. He also styles himself a hands-on reformer who has tried to fix America’s campaign-finance system. For a presidential candidate, this might prove the equivalent of attaching a sign to your behind saying “Kick me”.
Mr McCain is no stranger to the world of lobbyists. Several members of his staff, including his campaign manager, Rick Davis, are lobbyists. So are about 60 of the most generous contributors to his campaign. The senator is not averse to taking lifts on corporate jets. The public-finance system Mr McCain helped design is so unwieldy that even the man who invented it finds it a nightmare.
In 1960 Ghana had the same per capita income as South Korea. Today South Korea is the twelfth-wealthiest nation in the world while Ghana sits at number 100. Why? Because Ghana followed a socialist model while South Korea followed a free market model.
Forty years ago the leading Irish export was young people leaving for jobs outside the country. Today Ireland has a higher per capita income than Germany, and 160,000 temporary workers from Eastern Europe live in Ireland. As a result of a generation of cutting taxes, reforming education, investing in infrastructure, working hard, and reshaping its government to be friendly to foreign investment, the German Bundesbank now projects that Ireland is on its way to becoming the wealthiest country in Europe per capita. In fact, European Union bureaucrats in Brussels complained that Irish taxes were too low and that they were therefore cheating, which meant that in order to slow down to the rest of Europe’s rate Ireland needed to raise taxes.
Bad policies lead to bad outcomes. But the reverse is true as well.
If we have the right policies, policies that expand our free market sys tem, we can create better outcomes than we can imagine.
LONDON TO REPLACE NEW YORK?
America’s ability to win, and not just compete, in the global economy depends in part on our having the world’s most efficient capital markets. We need substantial reforms in this area if America is to be the
This is a page out of Real Change by Newt. Hope you enjoyed it; hope those of you who haven’t, pick up the book. Grimmy
This is a speech given by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, authour of “The Lucifer Effect.” In it,
he gives practical advice on how to recognize, and then resist being compelled into
performing evil actions. In this time of creeping fascism, it is important for everyone to inoculate themselves against unwanted influence. The tips given in this seminar will help all of us in avoiding becoming a tool of those who would do people harm.
While I believe every American has the right to bitterly complain about politics and politicians, and do a considerable amount of it myself, some of the third-party Nader/McKinney for President Puritans remind me of the GOP chickenhawks who want to start wars all over the planet as long as they don’t have to strap on a helmet and get shot at themselves. Yes, the Democrats have gone weak and spineless on many issues, but with a Dem President and a larger majority in the Congress, that would quickly change, I think. And politics is a dirty business – purists are perpetually outraged at those pols who have to occasionally compromise to get good things done, but they have no better solution to offer – just more carping and denunciation.
So, in the interest of constructive advice, here’s a suggestion for the Perfect World crowd who despise and deride the Democrats so much: Why don’t you run for office? Either as a Democrat, or a Green, or independent, or whatever — stop complaining that others aren’t doing exactly what you want them to do and do it yourself. Go out and get the necessary signatures on a petition and file it with the state and put your name on the ballot. (And it has to be your full name; you won’t be able to hide behind a screen name.) Don’t like your senator or congressional rep? Run to replace them!