jump to navigation

Obamamania January 8, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Iraq War, News and politics, Obama.
Tags: , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Barack Obama’s apparent impending sweep of the Democratic primaries speaks loudly about the American mood. Even in a time of unprecedented prosperity under Al Gore, Democratic voters are shunning his would-be successor, Vice President Hillary Clinton.

It may be that Americans simply don’t like the idea of dynasties. If Clinton would be elected, not only would it be the second Clinton in office, but it would extend the Clinton/Gore dynasty to, potentially, nearly a quarter century. Americans are understandably squeamish about such things.

Ironically, this kind of feeling could have been exacerbated by some of the fears generated by progressives who have repeatedly pointed out that a cadre of Republicans such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney, pushed hard for an invasion of Iraq and have since written that had George W. Bush won the election, they would have launched preemptive strikes against Sadaam.

A Newsweek journalist even raised the hairs of many Americans by posting a fictional blog called The Bush Years which painted a nightmarish, almost science fiction-like alternative future that had America sending ground troops into Iraq and spending hundreds of billions of dollars funding a long-term quagmire. Most economists scoffed at the premise: that the war is largely funded via long-term debts to China. In the blog, the American dollar becomes nearly worthless, and America is reviled throughout most of the world.

These are events that, had they happened, would have been blamed at least partly on dynastic politics.

In real life, of course, Sadaam, has long since disappeared from the scene, having been stricken down by his own people. The Middle East is thriving even as the U.S. is throwing off the chains of its oil dependency. The American economy, fueled in no small part to a host of emerging technologies spurred on by the Gore Administration’s industrial policies, is humming along like a well oiled machine.

Still, voters appear to be on the brink of rejecting Hillary and embracing Obama.

There are two things that Gore has not accomplished that might help explain this phenomenon. One, he has not healed the divisiveness between Republicans and Democrats that has existed since the Clinton years. In fact, under Gore, it may be worse, as the Republican Party has become marginalized because of the domination in that party of evangelicals and the far right. Eventually, though, the GOP will return to a more moderate focus, and the pendulum in Congress will swing back. It always does.

Obama, though, isn’t waiting. He’s already reaching out to Republicans and leveraging his long-term mantra of unity by pointing out that we don’t live in red states or blue states, but in the United States. This message is resonating.

The other thing Gore hasn’t accomplished is in regards to lobbyists. They still have way too much control, and Obama has promised to do something about that. These are two powerful messages. Combine that with Americans’ inherent distaste for dynasties, and you have a rout in the making.

Hillary’s mistake may have been to simply assume she was the appointed successor to the throne. The Bush Years did a nice job of pointing out how dangerous a dynasty can be, even if it did seem a little far-fetched in its apocalyptic tone. And the American people don’t need much help anyway in rejecting the concept of the throne. They’ve been doing it for 232 years.

Wishing They’d Play Nice November 21, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Today I find myself hoping that Hillary and Obama start to play a little nicer with each other. The reason is based on pure strategy. If Hillary wins the nomination, it seems to me that a Hillary/Obama ticket could very possibly lead to 16 years of non-Republican governance.

If you want to see the full effects of what can happen when a country changes its political pendulum check out the video here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/mlasalle/detail?blogid=38&entry_id=22097

When Ronald Reagan was elected, it signaled a massive political tsunami that has had America reeling for more than a quarter century.

Imagine an American president doing what Richard Nixon, a Republican, did, and imposing wage and price controls. The right wing would probably scramble to Texas and declare it a sovereign state, just to get away from the horrors of federal economic controls.

If progressives want to return to liberalism, it will require more than the obvious necessity of capturing hearts and minds. It will require that Democrats (sadly, the closest thing we have to liberalism) don’t shoot themselves in the foot when it is so clear that the government is theirs for the taking for a very long time.

If Obama wins, I’m sure Hillary won’t be the Vice Presidential candidate, but if Hillary wins, Obama seems like a perfect fit. Right now, the attacks are really fairly soft. Candidates have taken bigger shots at each other and found themselves as running mates. But I hope both sides keep a close eye on their gun happy artillery men.

Pat Robertson Calls for Hit on JK Rowling October 23, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in 9-11, Afghanistan, Al Gore, Al Queda, Apple, arms control, Barack Obama, Congressional ethics, Dumbledor, Dumbledor gay, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, News and politics, Potter, Rowling.
1 comment so far

Admitting that the bond between Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism is as deep as most of us assumed, Pat Robertson today called for a “Christian Fat wahhh” on JK Rowling for her confession that Dumbledor is gay.

tinky

“Today is a dark day for America as this evil woman has introduced a trojan horse into our nation. Here we all were, comfortable gathering our families together by the fireplace and reading this innocent narrative to our children, when, surprise, out of the gilded binding that is our lovely Harry Potter book came out a truly haunting progeny.

“It reached out its tentacles and we parents happily accepted its embrace. And now, we find our children sucked into the malevolent storm of liberalism — homosexuality, abortion, and general mayhem. For this, I declare, that JK Rowling must be exterminated. I am formally calling for something we should have called during the Clinton years, a fat wahhh on JK Rowling, and anyone who promotes her trojan horse”.

Robertson’s call to arms was immediately heeded on the internet, where the vast counterculture that has been battling the Gore adminstration since the earliest days went into action. “I totally support this effort,” wrote Wayne Huizenga in his blog, Death to Morans. “Ever since I owned Blockbuster, you see, I have understood this fight well. It’s all about empowerment. It’s why my video stores carried slasher movies dedicated to the dismemberment of females, but refused to carry Last Temptation of Christ. It’s all about perception, and other stuff.”

Tunisia, where Pat Robertson is reportedly hidingThe Gore Administration’s reaction was swift. “I am, as we speak, arranging for the arrest of Mr. Robertson,” said Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. “The cultural wars that his ilk are so fond of perpetrating have no place in American society. You can expect the Justice Department to expend every resource to find Mr Robertson and bring him to justice.”

Word is that Robertson has escaped to Tunisia, and has found a home with fellow evangelical expatriates who have formed an enclave in the coastal town of Kelibia.

Kelibia is a beautiful coastal town that has so far resisted the trend current among other North African coastal towns, whose shorelines have been taken over by the tourist industry.

Kelibia in fact, is a ghost town on the Mediterranean, an enclave of evangelicals from a variety of religions. It’s a mysterious place where, it seems, the lunatic fringe of all religions have found a home.

There are, in Kelibia, monuments to major evangelical figures from almost every religion on the planet. Kelibia By The SeaThere is, for example, the Yigal Amir monument, a 5,000 foot tower dedicated to the man who nearly doomed the Israeli-Palestine peace process. The word is that the CIA under the Gore Administration funded the statue, just as it funded every other evangelical statue in that statue-laden town.

Why the Gore-funded CIA funded the development of a shoreline in Northern Africa for the purpose of enhancing evangelistic thought is a question for historians. Some say it’s just to get them all in one place, and nuke them, but this seems to be against President Gore’s green thing, which he’s been talking about for six years now.

All we know now is that the town’s three mile shoreline is a long series of 5,000 foot tall statues dedicated to fundamentalists, from a variety of religions. Which exactly those are, however, has remained a mystery, because there is an iron mask over the face of each statue, that, according to the Tunisian government, will be unveiled on July 14, 2008.

“We will reveal the masks all on one day,” says Tunisia’s foreign press secretary, Hlalems Bil Lham. “We’re not sure who paid for all these damned statues of all these damned freaks, but we’ll drop the masks on all 100 statues lining our coastline on July 14, because we consider that an important date, although nobody here is sure why, although we suspect the French.”

Then, with a gleam in his eye, he says, “and when we unveil the masks, we pretty much expect the end of the earth as we know it. Which is fine with me, since our family hasn’t grown a nice tomato in about 50 years.”

Obama Visits Havana August 21, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Cuba, Election 2008, elections, Havana, News and politics, Obama.
add a comment

On what has become a fixation of Democratic candidates on the American campaign tour, Barack Obama visited Havana, Cuba, today. He is the sixth Democratic candidate to visit Havana during this campaign season. Diplomatic relations with Cuba have been rockier than many suspected after Gore initiated the Havana Proposals shortly after the Democratic rout of Republicans in the last congressional election, but it has not stopped the march of candidates into Habana.

American diplomats have had to walk a fine line between the obvious necessity of treating Cuba like a normal person, and Raul Castro’s love affair with Hugo Chavez.

Chavez, although he has made several “I Love Al Gore” pronouncements, has nationalized and renationalized most of the hard core industrial infrastructure in Venezuela.

Obama’s reaction to his visit was a mixture of happiness and concern.

“On one hand, it’s good to see the new trade pact taking hold,” he said, referring to a new trade package between the U.S. and Cuba, “but, on a personal level, it is difficult to be a witness to the commercialism and greed that is pushing the folks who have been the backbone of this economy inland. I’d like to know what becomes of them.”

Obama then toured the suburbs of Havana and the adjoining countryside.

In a political season bereft of major issues, Obama tried to seize one: “This is a beautiful country. Now that we have established relations with Cuba, think eminent domain, multiplied ten fold.”

Obama Says He’ll Nuke China If It Helps Him Get Elected August 1, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Al Queda, Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucus, Obama, Politics, President Gore, Terrorism.
28 comments

Senator Barack Obama today said he’d nuke China if it would help him get elected. The hawkish statement was said in the aftermath of polls showing he has lost ground to Vice President Hillary Clinton after the recent YouTube debate that many pundits claimed demonstrated Clinton’s experience over Obama.

“If we have actionable intelligence suggesting that, say, China was prepared to launch a strike against Tawain, then, not only would I have to reconsider my former position vis a vis talking to hostile leadership, I would have to seriously consider the possibility of an all out nuclear strike,” Obama wrote in a long email to The Gore Years. “The American public should get what it wants, and any consequences derived from those desires should be born fully by the electorate.”

“Imagine,” the email continued, “a world in which George Bush had won the election instead of Al Gore. Many of the foreign policy heavyweights Bush was considering bringing into his administration, people like Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, were advocating an invasion of Iraq, which of course would have been disastrous. I, and almost all the military and intelligence experts I’ve talked to, have felt that such an action would have resulted in possibly a decades-long quagmire. But if, following such a disastrous policy, the American people would have re-elected a President responsible for enacting that policy, then the American people would themselves be culpable. Luckily, of course, that is not the path we went down.”

“However,” he continued in apparent reference to the recent dip in the polls, “the American people appear to be engaged in a bit of pro-war sentimental fancy, and I’m willing to accommodate that.”

Clinton, Obama Bicker on YouTube Debate July 24, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Neo-cons, News and politics, Obama, YouTube.
add a comment

The stars of CNN’s YouTube debate were clearly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but it was Clinton’s reaction to a question posted to Obama that is curious, given the success the Gore administration has had dealing with hostile regimes.

Stephen Sorta of Diamond Bar, Calif. asked the candidates if they’d be willing in their first year in office to talk with the leaders who, from the viewpoint of some U.S. policymakers, are considered the world’s troublemakers, including presidents Fidel Castro of Cuba, and Kim Jong Il of North Korea.

SEN. OBAMA: I would. Not only has this been the guiding diplomatic principle of this country, but this administration has demonstrated the importance of maintaining this approach with its successful rapprochement with Iran and Fatah in Gaza, which has led to the highest level of peace the Middle East has seen since World War II. (Applause.) Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them, they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.

But Hillary Clinton, one of the architects of the diplomatic efforts in Iran as Vice President under Gore, disagreed, saying, “While I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these during my first year, I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort, because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don’t want to make a situation even worse. We’re not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and, you know, the president of North Korea.”

This was a curious reaction considering the successful waves of diplomacy initiated under Gore. Especially odd was her reference to making a promise, which wasn’t part of the question (the question was whether candidates would be willing to talk to hostile governments, not whether they would issue promises to that effect).

Clinton continues to distance herself from the progressive end of the Democratic party (and her own administration) by sounding the foreign policy mantras of her husband, who was centrist only in name and only within the relative scope of the era he presided.

Keep in mind just how far right the Reagan era swung the pendulum of political discourse. In many eras, Clinton the Husband’s foreign policy would have been considered far to the right and subservient to special interests, but he looked progressive when matched up against conservative Republicans and neo-cons (who wanted to invade Iraq, which would have been an unmitigated disaster).

Today, the U.S. still isn’t talking to Cuba, a harmless little island to the South whose fangs, if there ever were any, were removed by the fall of the Soviet Union. Diplomatic relations would only help the island’s economy. And maybe even ours. If we’re the good guys, there’s nothing left, right, or centrist about that position, and making an effort towards that regime or any other hostile regime can never be harmful.

Congress Passes Veterans Recovery Bill April 14, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, John McCain, McCain, News and politics, veteran aid, veterans.
add a comment

“Now, many people might say that the war in Afghanistan was won at little cost. But I say that whenever there is a cost in American lives, then it comes to us at great expense.”

With those words, President Gore today signed the 2007 Veterans Recovery Act, which will guarantee housing and medical care for life to any American war veteran. The bill does exactly what it says, without loopholes, and was the talk of the town (DC) when it was introduced.

With a dominant position in both the House and Senate, Democrats were able to easily guide the bill through both houses of Congress, despite a firestorm of protest from a small minority of Republicans, who derided the bill as being too expensive.

Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a co-sponsor of the bill with presidential contender Barack Obama, hailed it as an important milestone. “We can decry the inefficiencies of bureaucracy all we want,” Hagel said in a statement lauding the bill, “but we can never forget the men and women who have served our country.”

Barack Obama, in another eloquent campaign speech, this time in Orange County, said, in reference to the bill, “How many times have we walked past a homeless man holding up a cardboard sign reminding us of his service to this country during the Vietnam war? How many stories have we heard of neglect? Have we grown tired yet of the red tape a vet receives just to find out what ails him?

“Is this bill a form of welfare? I say it is most certainly not. I say that if you must think of it in a cold and calculating way, then consider it a tax upon this country. Because this will not be an inexpensive program unless we stay out of wars we never should have been in in the first place.”

The bill was originally initiated as part of a huddle between Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Senator John McCain(R-AZ) to discuss the problem of homelessness among war veterans, particularly those who had survived the Vietnam War. It was also, of course, partly a reaction to the massive influx of studies showing the powerful effects of post-traumatic war syndrome on Vietnam Vets, which has entered the public consciousness recently.

The subject of veteran care entered the mainstream media, however, only after a V-22 Osprey crashed as a result of a computer glitch on the craft during a mission in Afghanistan, wounding, but not killing, 22 Marines who, having been airlifted out of Wiesbaden, Germany, were transported to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C., where 9 of them died from infections.

The event opened up congressional inquiries but also helped create public support for the bill.

When asked how Gore felt about the easy legislative victory, White House press spokesman Charlie White said, “I’m not sure how politics enters into this. Really, this important legislation is about, first, a group of heroic men who died, and should not have. President Gore simply believes, as do, obviously, the American people, that maybe the cost of war should be measured in a way that affects all of us, so that we’ll tread lightly in a world that believes we are the only superpower.”

Obama Concedes Iowa November 9, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Iowa, Iowa Caucus, News and politics, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Senator Barack Obama.
add a comment

Potential Democratic candidate Barack Obama (D, IL) today conceded Iowa, saying on the Oprah Winfrey show that, “Even if I were to run, and I am not suggesting that I am a candidate, but if I were to run, obviously I would have to concede to a defeat in Iowa to a very good man, Gov. Tom Vilsack, who has run the great state of Iowa admirably and professionally. He’s done great things for Iowa, and has lived up to the challenge of governing that state with aplomb.” Vilsack is governor of Iowa and the first stated Democratic presidential candidate. “Actually,” and with that Obama held up a ripe plum, “I meant to say that governing with plums is not easy, especially in a state that faces as many challenges as Iowa.
Yup, this is Oprah

“I think, especially, his challenge is a unique one in America, in that, and I say this with all candor, that, in rejecting the common notion that Iowa must undergo a conversion from an agricultural state to an industrial one, he has spoken to the people, and I admire him for this. Instead, he’s hooked into this notion, this audacity of hope, that perhaps Iowa is not a corn state, but a plum state. I see, because of this man’s vision, orchards of plum trees in Iowa, rising against the purple sunset.”

Upon saying that, the audience cheered wildly, and one woman ran up to Obama and jumped into his lap and kissed him. She was taken away by security guards, but could be heard screaming, “I love you, Obama, and I would give my plums for you!!! ”

In related news, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, apparently hearing the approaching feet of the coming Vilsack blitzkrieg, today officially bowed out of the Democratic presidential nomination race.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/09/vilsack.president.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories