On balance, it appears likely that a Hillary Clinton administration, like Bush’s, would be more likely to embrace exaggerated and alarmist reports regarding potential national security threats, to ignore international law and the advice of allies, and to launch offensive wars. By contrast, a Barack Obama administration would be more prone to examine the actual evidence of potential threats before acting, to work more closely with America’s allies to maintain peace and security, to respect the country’s international legal obligations, and to use military force only as a last resort.
Hillary and Bill whine about young voters. Last week, Bill said in Pennsylvania that young voters are easily fooled and older voters are wiser — too wise to be fooled by Obama’s inspiring rhetoric. Of course, he forgot to mention that the most well-educated voters — young and old — heavily favor Obama over Hillary. Most candidates, and both political parties, yearn for support from young voters because young voters represent not just the present, but also the future. And, certainly if young voters were supporting Hillary, she wouldn’t be whining about them. But since she is not very good at inspiring young voters, she chooses to whine about them. Thankfully, she has not yet proposed raising the voting age to 60, but that could be next.
Hillary whines about being a female candidate, as though it’s harder to be female in America than black. Said Hillary, “It’s hard. It’s hard being a woman out there.” [Add some tears and the picture is complete] Her surrogate, Geraldine Ferraro, even made the wholly implausible claim that the only reason Obama was succeeding was his race — a claim Hillary never repudiated. Of course, at the same time the Clintons whine about misogyny, they argue to super-delegates that Obama is not electable because he is black and that, as a woman, she is the electable candidate. Neither Bill nor Hill can explain why all the white male Democratic Presidential candidates are out of the race. Could it be that Obama has demonstrated qualities to voters that the others lacked? Could it be that Obama has come from more than 20 points behind in just a few months because he offers qualities, such as hope and honesty, which voters, by large pluralities, think Hillary lacks?
Hillary frequently whines about the media not being “fair.” This is an old Clinton complaint, going back to her stone-walling about Travelgate, Whitewater and the revelations of Bill’s many sexual shenanigans. How unfair of the press to remember that she supported NAFTA, falsely claimed to have been a key negotiator in peace talks in Ireland, and lied about her Bosnia trip.
Caught dead-on lying about being under “sniper fire” as she landed in Bosnia — when absolutely no danger existed — she claimed she simply had “misspoke” [seven times?], then claimed she was tired by “lack of sleep,” then Bill chimed in to attack the media for even covering the story. This was all taking place as she asserted her competence to answer that mythical 3 am phone call. So if we believe the Clintons, her “lack of sleep” caused her to fabricate a story about landing in Bosnia into hostile sniper fire and risking her life like a seasoned military veteran, but this fabrication should be disregarded because, despite her history of sleep deprivation, if a crisis occurs at 3 am, we can trust her to be awake and alert and respond truthfully and with good judgment. With leadership like this, we’ll all be awake at night.
Hillary whines about Obama’s inspiration and eloquence. Hillary whines about the very nature of hope. Despite the Clintons’ history of playing the Hope Card (we all remember Bill’s 1992 campaign biopic, “The Man from Hope”), when the other guy is offering it, all of a sudden, hope is suspicious. In fact, it is downright delusional. “I could stand up here and say, let’s get everyone together, let’s get unified and the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and the world will be perfect,” she said in mock sarcasm of Obama’s message of conciliation and hope.
Hillary whines about the fact Obama has engaged more donors and raised more money than she. Of course, she didn’t think it was unfair in 2007 when she had twice as much money as any other candidate. But as soon as she fell behind, Little Miss $100+ million War Chest was whining about being outspent. But isn’t the ability to inspire donors and raise money part of being a successful presidential candidate? Isn’t that a measure of electability, not something to be disdained?
Hillary now is whining about Florida and Michigan, piously claiming that failing to seat delegates from those states would be fundamentally undemocratic. But when the Democratic National Committee’s rules panel declared Florida’s accelerated primary date was not permitted under party rules, all of Hillary’s 12 representatives on the 30 member rules panel voted for Florida’s full disenfranchisement, which, under party rules, applied to Michigan, as well. In October 2007, when she was far and away the Democratic front-runner, Hillary told a New Hampshire public radio audience, “It’s clear this election [Michigan] is not going to count for anything.” Oh, the sting of hypocrisy, but rather than accept responsibility for the obvious — that she supported the very rule she now attacks — she plays the “poor me” card and digs the Democratic Party into a deeper hole.
Do we want a whiner to be President? Commander-in-Chief? Do we want to live through more chapters in the never-ending, but never-changing, Clinton Drama of Blame, Attack and Half-Truths? Or do we prefer a president who has demonstrated candor, who is willing to treat voters like adults, who takes responsibility for his behavior and offers thoughtful commentary on serious issues — as Obama did with his former pastor? Do we want a president who behaves like a mature adult or someone whose emotional intelligence is on the level of a spoiled, whiny teenager?
The first thing Democrats need to do is stop feeling sorry for themselves and stop issuing idiotic statements like the one they issued today that they cannot “mathematically” do anything. They still control the Presidency and have large majorities in the Congress. With a bozo who won the Presidency with a minority of votes and thin majorities in Congress, the Republicans in 2001-6 still aggressively pushed their agenda. “Mathematics” didn’t stop the Republicans and there is no reason for the Democrats to act impotent and paralyzed now.
What could they do to turn momentum in their favor?
1. Pass the House’s $154 billion job creation bill. Find more TARP money to add to the House bill. Talk about job creation every day.
2. Pass Obama’s proposed bank tax. Talk every day about excessive bonuses, how the banking industry failed America and how Republican economics collapsed the economy and transformed a $250 billion federal surplus in 2000 into a $1.3 trillion deficit in 2008.
3. Order the Department of Justice to investigate the financial manipulations and inept regulation which led to the financial collapse for possible criminal violations. The conflicts-of-interest were rampant; surely, there must be criminal violations somewhere in this gigantic mess of profiteering and greed.
4. Publicize the hearings and findings of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and develop legislative proposals to rein in Wall Street and prevent their gambling with our money. Point fingers and assign blame and if some of the blame touches Clinton, Summers and Geithner, be honest about it. The public sees too little honesty from politicians. Use the findings to dump Summers and Geithner.
5. Make the federal foreclosure agency work to reform mortgages [it has been close to dysfunctional for nearly a year]. It is estimated that between 20-25% of all mortgages now exceed the value of the properties. There are tens of millions of homeowners who need help and most of them vote.
6. Pass the Consumer Protection Agency and blame every politician who opposes protecting consumers for being tools of banks. Get Elizabeth Warren on TV every day. Have her make the State of the Union speech. 🙂
7. Fire Tim Geithner and Larry Summers. Replace them with Joe Stiglitz and Elizabeth Warren. Withdraw Ben Bernanke’s nomination for the Chair of the Federal Reserve and replace him with Paul Volcker.
8. Pass healthcare reform with a public option and the surtax on the wealthy and no excise tax through reconciliation. Bend the reconciliation rules as much as necessary and let the Republicans howl. There is no judicial review and the public doesn’t give a shit about the nuances of Senate procedures, they just want to see action. Accuse the Republicans of being pawns of the insurance companies.
9. Announce that the Democratic Party will stop accepting donations from the banking and insurance industries and demand that the Republican Party do the same. They won’t, of course, which would provide many opportunities to accuse the Republicans of being the party of the banks and insurance companies — the message would be, “If you want to empower banks and insurance companies, vote Republican.” Whatever money the Democrats give up by this gesture would be more than made up by a surge of small donations, a surge in integrity and a surge in credibility.
I’m sure I am missing many other good ideas, but this list would keep the Democrats busy for at least a few months.
We all know what America’s biggest problem is, right? You thought it might be healthcare, climate change, the economy, financial regulation, immigration reform? Well you were wrong! Corporations don’t have enough influence on government. They don’t have a strong-enough voice. Those 57,642 paid corporate lobbyists in Washington DC spending $140 million every day lobbying Congress just aren’t getting their messages across strongly enough. And then there are those messy elections where voters think they have the right to exercise some control and even donate money to candidates.
So, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations have unlimited free speech rights under the Constitution and can put unlimited amounts of money [money which originates from you, of course] behind the candidates and issues they support. So much for citizen-based democracy, but maybe that’s a good thing.
But why just let corporations buy off the President and Congress with campaign donations and corporate-funded campaigns? Why not let them BE the President? I mean, why not just cut out the middle men?
And if corporations can name every stadium in America, why not let them just buy the country? We could be the Petco United States. Or the United States of eBay. I mean, Meg Whitman is running for Governor of California in an attempt to make California the California of eBay. Why stop there?
As a dog owner, I read with interest Time to Eat the Dog, a book by Robert and Brenda Vale. The book argues that the carbon impact of a dog is double that of an SUV, that a typical dog eats 360 pounds of meat and 200 pounds of cereal a year and that it takes two acres to grow the food for just one dog. Dogs also attack wild animals, so, according to the book, the best pet is a chicken, which serves a dual purpose because chickens lay eggs, or rabbits “provided you eat them.” Of course, if you eat your dog, you get a dual purpose, which I guess explains the book’s title.
There really is no need to forsake dogs and the solution to the carbon dog footprint problem problem is obvious: environmentalists need to give up their big dogs and turn to small dogs to save the planet. Take me, for example. I own a 3-pound toy poodle. I guarantee that a 3-pound dog leaves very small footprints, carbon or otherwise, yet provides the companionship of bigger dogs. And, to date, my 3-pounder, Moxie, has not brought down any deer, elk or bears, although the coyotes in my neighborhood are terrified whenever Moxie walks onto the porch. In short, the time is at-hand to begin cross-breeding dogs for smallness.
But why stop with dogs? If we encouraged large humans to cross-breed with dwarfs and midgets, and if we got a little help from genetic engineers, I think we are capable of producing a race of 60 pound humans. Just think of the advantages: 60 pound people would consume a quarter of the food of typical obese Americans; cars could be half the size and 2-lane highways could immediately become 4-lanes; planes could carry twice as many people; two small people could share one coach seat; two small people could share one bag of pretzels. The upside is almost unlimited.
In fact, let’s start the cross-breeding with the authors of the book, Time to Eat the Dog. We already know their brains are only half the size of normal brains.