Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Controller Extraordinaire

From ABC blogs, Jan. 30, 2008

ABC News' Eloise Harper Reports: Senator Hillary Clinton, in an interview with ABC News' Cynthia McFadden for ABC News' Nightline, was asked about President Clinton’s controversial comments about race and Senator Obama  in the past weeks. Clinton apologized for her husband.

“I think whatever he said which was certainly never intended to cause any kind of offense to anyone,” Clinton said, “if it did give offenses then I take responsibility and I’m sorry about that.”

"Can you control him?" asked McFadden.

“Oh of course,” Clinton replied.

How many of you believe that? Was she controlling him during the long years of their marriage? Throughout his many "flings" with Gennifer Flowers, et al? His indiscretion, but definitely not sex, with Monica Lewinsky? If so, she is not normal. If not, what makes her think she can control him now? Does she think we are stupid enough to believe her? I guess so, because she continues to lie and appears not to give a whit. 

I tell you, this woman is dangerous. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bye, Bye, John, See You in 4 Years

So John Edwards, after several disappointing primaries and caucuses in which he was third, has decided to throw in the towel. I for one am glad, for several reasons.

(1) The main one is that I detest his class-warfare, "two Americas" theme. Who is he, supposedly the son of a mill worker and now a multi-multi-millionaire,  to decry this country and the opportunities he found to advance himself?  If he can do it, others can too. 

(2) The second reason is that he is a trial lawyer who has made the bulk of his money in a shameful manner, with his ambulance-chasing lawsuits.

(3) The third is his refusal to quit the race many months ago when it was discovered that his wife's cancer has returned. I know he says that she insisted that he continue his quest but I feel that he was wrong to do so. If he and Elizabeth Edwards had no small children, it would be different. They and their doctors have no idea what the course of her disease will be. She will need the support of her husband in the coming months and years and so will their children. The rigors of the campaign trail and the demands of the presidency, should he have attained that position, would have severely limited his availability to be as helpful to his family as I feel he should be.

(4) Next, we have his liberalism. I wouldn't want him as President, just for that alone.

(5) Finally, I think he is smitten with himself and his boyish good looks. The famous video of him primping before an appearance makes that totally evident. We had an huge ego in the White House for eight years after the 1992 election and don't need that again.

Did I provide enough reasons? I think so. Now he can be kingmaker, throw his support to whichever candidate makes him the best offer. Attorney General, Vice President, Supreme Court Justice?  

Saints preserve us!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Double Standard??? Nah. No way.

I noticed something last week when Obama was asked what he thought about former President Bill Clinton often referred to as the first black president.

He chuckled a bit and, after a few respectful comments, cleverly responded that he had never seen Clinton dance and would have to defer judgment of whether or not he was a "brother" until then. You can see the video here.

This was little noted in the MSM, just accepted, as it ought to have been, as a light-hearted jest by Obama. Now, picture one of the other candidates, Hillary excepted, being asked that question and giving the same exact answer. Do you really think that it would have been seen as an innocent joke? Not if it had been from the lips of a white Republican candidate. That person would have been chastised, pilloried, excoriated, and hung out to dry in the media by all manner of persons. Apologies would have been demanded, and the poor hapless candidate would have been forced to leave the race.

We have seen it happen all to often to people, not just in public life, who have had the misfortune to go against the citizen PC police. This is what many people have come to fear - the off-hand comment, with no malice intended, taken entirely the wrong way by the ever vigilant, victim-mentality forces that permeate our culture today. It's wrong and curtails spontaneity, good will, as well as free speech.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Let's Shed a Little Light on the Subject

The dim bulbs are at it again.

A few weeks ago I was disturbed to read that there is a proposal in Congress to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of the energy-saving fluorescent bulb. This is an attempt to force conservation of electricity.

Some thoughts off the top of my pointy little head:

(1) What will be the energy costs to convert old lighting factories to accomodate the construction of fluorescent bulbs? Similarly, what will be the energy costs for replacing fixtures which currently use incandescent bulbs but may not be able to use fluorescents?

(2) Fluorescent bulbs have been around for many decades and have found only imited use in the home environment for a reason. If the technology advances to solve the problems that people find with them( flickering, slow warmups, and harsh illumination), people will make their own decisions and the problem, if one exists at all, will be solved.

(3) The constant humming, and flickering of the fluorescent bulb, is discomforting to some, and downright worrisome to others. (See the clip below from Web MD.)

(4) Shouldn't the public be allowed to choose which bulbs they prefer? Is there so little trust in the free market system? Is it not true that the efficiencies and benefits of fluorescent bulbs would be self-evident? People would be able to see any benefits that might appeal to them (financial, comfort, illumination) and choose to make the switch on their own. After all, at the turn of the previous century, people had no trouble switching from horse and buggy to the horseless carriage. No one had to use the force of the government to usher in that new technology.

This is similar to the California idea to have all home thermostats controlled by power companies (and the state) to automatically set thermostats at a designated temperature and prevent any raising or lowering by indivuals. In other words, in a power emergency (who gets to define that?) one may not be able to maintain a desired comfort level.

I suppose water is next.

Each year the government, local, state and federal, become more and more involved in our daily lives. All the warnings of a few decades ago of the slippery slope have come true. Liberals laughed at those warnings, but it is obvious that it is all too easy to strip away one freedom after another. Soon we could all become little automatons, chugging away in our governmentally controlled environments, sweating or shivering as the State demands, living in our allotted square feet, in our assigned apartment, drinking our allotment of water with our vegetarian meals. This ever expanding nanny state scares me.

Oh! I forgot! It's all for the children.

From WebMD, Jan. 17, 2007

Have you started replacing your old incandescent lightbulbs with those expensive, energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps? They're supposed to save energy, reduce environmental carbon dioxide, and pay for themselves within a year (unless you are clumsy like me and you drop one!)

The British government has mandated elimination of conventional lightbulbs by 2011. Wait a minute! Critics claim health concerns related to these new lamps are being overlooked. Specifically, one advocacy group representing migraine sufferers suggests that the new eco-bulbs actually trigger migraine attacks. They are unclear regarding the proposed mechanism: erratic flickering of the bulbs, toxic (visible) wavelengths, or perhaps some combination of effects.

For decades we have known that some folks are physically uncomfortable in environments with exposed fluorescent tube lighting but controlled studies comparing the rates of acute migraine among age-matched population groups have never been performed.

The UK Migraine Action Association has plenty of anecdotal stories from migraine sufferers that link more frequent migraine headaches with use of these high-efficiency lightbulbs.

It makes little sense to debunk whether or not visible light emitted from a fluorescent lamp causes migraine when we know the same thing can happen to some people who smell pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hoist by her Own Petard

Hillary Clinton to Tim Russert on Sunday, Jan. 13:

You have a woman running to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling. I don’t think either of us wants to inject race or gender in this campaign. We’re running as individuals.

Did she really think no one would notice the conflict between her first two sentences?

People, give up on her.

We don't need another lying Clinton in the White House.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Very interesting...Also, an Elephant in the Room

It was interesting and somewhat amusing to hear that former 2004 Presidential candidate and senator John Kerry came out yesterday, January 10, 2008, to lend his support to Senator Barack Obama. Since Kerry's been flying under the radar for the past year or so, it remains to be seen how much his backing will help (or hurt!) Sen. Obama.

What was amusing and caused tongues to wag was the fact that Kerry's endorsement was somewhat of a slap in the face to his erstwhile running mate, John Edwards. It was no surprise to anyone that Kerry didn't endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton. There was no love lost there. As with Al Gore's 2000 campaign, the Clinton's paid not much more than lip service to Kerry's effort to become President. There was even talk that the last thing Sen. Clinton wanted was for Kerry to win in 2004, thus possibly postponing her own candidacy until 2012.

One elephant in the room (strange figure of speech when discussing Democrats) is Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Oscar winner, Savior of the World. He has declined to endorse anyone so far. He could be enormously influential if and when he decides to support either Hillary or Barack Obama. (I see Edwards down for the count.) I'm certain he is weighing his options. I would imagine he has a better chance of a juicy plum job with a President Obama, than with a President Clinton. You just know she will have a great position in mind for her husband. Can you say Supreme Court justice?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It Ain't Over till It's Over

And it will be a long time until it's over. Nine and a half months. More blogs to read, more to write. More pundits to hear. More speeches to endure. More reasons to feel sick and tired of this overextended process. More examples of how the experts get it wrong. And we still listen to them.

Last night's "surprise" victory for Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary was a perfect example. After the "surprise" victory for Barack Obama the previous week in Iowa, it was widely predicted that (a) Obamamania would sweep New Hampshire (b) Hillary would possible suffer a double-digit loss in the primary (c) Hillary would demand a shake-up of her campaign team and fire Mark Penn (d) Hillary would get out of the race altogether in order to protect the Clinton "brand" from humiliating defeats in South Carolina and beyond.

Guess what? The experts were wrong. Were they more swept up in Obamamania that the voters? Were their computer models wrong? It doesn't really matter why. It's enough just to know that they were wrong. But people will still seek their opinions and appearances on news shows, ignoring their erroneous predictions of the past.

Gary Langler at ABC online states:

There will be a serious, critical look at the final pre-election polls in the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire; that is essential. It is simply unprecedented for so many polls to have been so wrong. We need to know why.

But we need to know it through careful, empirically based analysis. There will be a lot of claims about what happened - about respondents who reputedly lied, about alleged difficulties polling in biracial contests. That may be so. It also may be a smokescreen - a convenient foil for pollsters who'd rather fault their respondents than own up to other possibilities - such as their own failings in sampling and likely voter modeling.

Now we have Senators Clinton and Obama as the leading two Democrat contenders for the nomination. Former Senator Edwards is trailing badly and may lost his viability as a serious candidate soon. Whether or not he has any chance of acquiring the VP spot remains to be seen. I doubt it. He and Hillary don't seem to be a match made in heaven. I have always thought that Hillary would pick more of a real outsider, someone with little Washington or media history, an Evan Bayh, or Ted Strickland. I used to think Richardson had some chance of joining her on the ticket, but not now. He has said and done too much to ingratiate himself with her any longer.

Stick around, folks. It's going to be a bumpy night.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Poor Baby. How Do You Do It?

After being questioned by an obviously entranced fan, Hillary had a minor break in her otherwise firmly cemented demeanor. Apparently near tears, Hillary evidenced a brief gllimpse of humanity, all too often hidden away, except for carefully scripted waves, smiles, hugs, other typical glad-handing of politicians universal. Her often shrill voice, became soft, slow, humble. If we know anything about her, she's not humble.

I say "apparently near tears" because one never knows with the Clintons. Her outbreak of defiance Saturday, was probably planned to give a boost to her passionate determination to lead. She keeps telling us she's ready to lead. Able to lead. I don't want to follow her over the cliff, thank you very much.

By the way, her insistence that she has "made change" for thirty-five years left me wondering if her stint with Walmart was behind a cash register, not in the boardroom.

Rumors to her imminent demise abound. I don't believe it. She can lose in New Hampshire and still make a comeback. The Clintons have too much at stake to give up. She's waited too long, put up with too much, and may not have another chance to grab the presidential ring. One possibility, however - if Obama or a Republican gets elected and screws up, she will still be able to go for it in 2012 and really come to the rescue.

But, should a Democrat get elected, look for a Clinton to accept only a major, major role. No cabinet position would be prestigious enough. Supreme Court, perhaps?

Heaven forbid!

The Anchoress has a good summary of all this here.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Beware the Hammer

Listening to a host of pundits on the radio today, I was aware of how everyone is saying that the Clintons have lined up some juicy tidbits to hammer Obama with, while hoping that some of the dirt sticks. They are the masters of nasty politics, from fund-raising to negative campaigning, all the while accusing others of the very schemes they have perfected.

No one, at least no one that I heard, said that, while Obama has so far deferred mentioning Hillary's (and Bill's) nefarious background, that field is loaded with dirty laundry. He could have a field day dragging each one out to fresh air out once again. Remember, she had her hands in just as much as Bill did.

Very interesting.

Good for Obama

Finally, some solid evidence for the world that the United States is not the racist black-hating country that others portray it. A intelligent charismatic black man has stepped up to the challenge, provided a good showing,and now has a good chance of being the Democrat nominee for the Presidency.

There will be tough times ahead for him, from Democrats as well as from Republicans. There are those Democrats with a vested interest in another Clinton regime who will be scouring his past (kindergarten drawings, perhaps) looking for anything to bring to light and use against him. Don't put anything past Bill and Hillary. John Edwards may or may not be as bloodthirsty; we don't have that kind of track record for him. The rest of the pack probably has no chance and won't present a problem for Obama.

The Republicans, who are having squabbles of their own won't waste any ammunition on Obama. They will wait to see who actually is the final nominee. They have plenty of ammo to use against Hillary. I expect they are quietly looking into Obama's voting record, both as a State Senator and as a Senator from Illinois in Congress. Anything they turn up there will merely be issues from which to draw distinctions between his liberal tendencies and the more conservative leanings of whichever Republican gets the final nod this summer.

It is going to be an interesting 10 months. Personally, I wish it were over.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What is the Iowa Caucus?

Instead of having a primary as most states do, Iowan voters for each political party will attend group meetings by precincts across the state. Some are held in schools, or even people's homes.

At these meetings, the voters will indicate their choice to compete for their party's presidential nomination by hand raising, ballot casting, or even moving to different sections of the room.

Here's an interesting fact:

n the Democratic party caucuses, votes are cast by raising hands, a sign-in sheet or by splitting into groups supporting each candidate. In the Republican caucuses, votes are cast by secret ballot (each eligible voter in attendance is able to select the candidate of his or her choice on paper without others in attendance knowing how he or she voted)

This is a favored voting method for unions in their elections. Denying the use of the secret ballot provides the opportunity for arm-twisting, bribery, or even threats, since one's voting preference will be open for all to see.

Which way do you think is more just?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Is this What you Really Want?

Is this what you want, America? Which Clinton is in charge? Are you ready for more scandals? YOu know Bill will try for the spotlight, don't you? Remember the expression "sucking the oxygen out of the room?" Isn't it mainly a nostalgia for the '90's that's driving the support for Hillary? Are you ready for 4 to 8 years of a tabloid presidency?

Think long and hard. Vote for Obama.