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Mommie dearest: Chelsea speaks, but won’t talk to journalists April 26, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in Election 2008, elections, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, News and politics, Politics, primaries.
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Chelsea Clinton, Dorothy Rodham, and Bill Clinton

Look mom! No reporters!
Photo: AP

In Philadelphia Monday night for a final rally before the must-win Pennsylvania primary, Chelsea Clinton told a packed crowd that she and her father are having an “implicit competition about who is, like, duh, more normal.”

Bill Clinton is the master of retail politicking, widely acknowledged to have few peers as a campaigner. But ever since the red nosed beacon of 21st century racism began making an utter fool of himself, there’s a case to be made that his 28-year-old daughter is the more valuable advocate for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.  After all, she is allowed to speak in front of thousands, but the Clintons won’t let her speak to journalists. Smart move, considering the family’s sordid past. The question really becomes, though, why is the media giving her a free pass? Why are they afraid to ask her questions? Is she still a child?

Meanwhile, the former president has stumbled badly at times, veering wildly off message, picking fights with reporters and making ill-considered comments that have caused his wife’s campaign to relegate him to out-of-the-way locales and made even progressives consider the nickname “Bubba” legitimate fodder. The once-and-maybe-future first daughter, on the other hand, has loosened up and eased into her role as a surrogate, hitting her stride just when her mother needed it most, and done a marvelous job of keeping at arms length from reporters. Sites like Politico unabashedly sing her praises, partly out of fear that the Clintons may somehow still wrest the nomination from Obama and not have access to whatever they think they’ll need access to as journalists, perhaps, or maybe somehow too ashamed to ask why a major political figure like Chelsea will not talk to the press.

And, a major political figure is exactly what Chelsea has become.

Despite the fact that she is now a major figure on the Hillary campaign stump, she will not talk to reporters, and even spurned a child reporter in a now famous diss.

In the last three and a half months alone, Chelsea Clinton has traveled to 37 states, logging more than 75,000 miles on commercial airlines, speaking at more than 115 college campuses and answering more than 1,500 questions in total, said Philippe Reines, a senior aide to the campaign.

“She’s definitely her mom’s secret weapon,” said Erika Alexander, an actress who has appeared on the stump with Chelsea. “[Hillary Clinton] has no better messenger. But if you are a journalist, she’s like a scorpion. Good luck getting near her.”

Chelsea also has helped take some of the burden off her mother by reaching out to undecided superdelegates and placing as many as 80 thank-you calls a day to organizers of fundraisers and other events. The thank-you’s have even included the many vendors that are owed huge sums of money by the Clintons.

Earlier this month, when a small printing press in Pennsylvania sent a bill to the Clintons for a $300,000 printing job, it was Chelsea who called and told them to back off.

And, even earlier this month, when Minnesota superdelegate Nancy Larson decided to endorse Sen. Barack Obama, it was Chelsea Clinton who picked up the phone to find out why.

Larson told The New York Times that the conversation was “heartbreaking” because Chelsea was a “delightful young woman who loves her mother very much. I mean, I could almost hear the suckling still from her pursed little lips, and I now understand why the Clintons are reluctant to expose her to the mass media.” The incident stood in stark contrast to media accounts of Bill Clinton’s private discussion with uncommitted California superdelegates several weeks earlier, in which the superdelegates reported being stunned by his angry response when one of them broached the subject of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Obama.

Asked if Chelsea was proving to be a more effective surrogate than her father, Reines said, “Sen. Clinton is lucky to have two fantastic surrogates who know her best and how great a president she’d be, working tirelessly on her behalf. Well, I mean, I’m not sure Bill would be comfortable being called a surrogate, since he’s used so many surrogates in his marriage, but, well, you know what I mean. ”

So far, then, it is Chelsea who has handled delicate situations with aplomb, and it is Chelsea who has emerged unscratched from public events where her family’s most sensitive issues — such as the Monica Lewinsky scandal — were suddenly and unexpectedly thrust upon her by questioners.

Only once has she drawn unfavorable public notice — and that for an absurdly disciplined approach that led her to refuse an interview request from a 9-year-old student journalist. Since then, the press has gotten smart, and has been afraid to challenge the notion that she should be asked questions on the stump.

Bill Clinton, by contrast, has appeared volatile and contentious at times as he careens from controversy to controversy, seemingly unable to grasp the realities of a new political environment where every statement is captured on audio or video and can be immediately vetted for accuracy.

However, that hasn’t stopped the press from its relentless pursuit of Obama’s relationship with a pastor. The question of this campaign hasn’t been, “How do you control your husband?” It’s been, “how do you control your pastor?”

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Presidential Candidates Assault the Senses February 5, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics, Obama, Politics.
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Note to regular readers: As the campaign heats up, The Gore Years will be continuing the news on real events, rather than the fantasy world of The Gore Years. We leave it up to our readers to discern the difference between reality and that other thing, whatever that other thing might be. We appreciate your patience.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by cheering crowds and bolstered by more than $1.3 million a day in TV ads, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continued their love fest as they raced through the final hours of an unpredictable Super Tuesday campaign across 22 states. The Republican race turned negative on the eve of the busiest day in primary history.

“We’re going to hand the liberals in our party a little surprise,” boasted Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, holding a small, hand-held telescope to help him search the tiny crowd for liberals.

He then criticized John McCain for his positions on tax cuts, gay marriage and immigration and predicted an upset win in delegate-rich California. “McCain will try to undo the damage of the Bush administration, and that can’t be a good thing,” he told an excited crowd of Republican ex-office holders in Tennessee. “If we cannot maintain the policies of this administration, then we can’t keep getting you all to vote against your own interests. We believe in moral majorities!” he screamed to the small crowd, which responded by tossing foreclosure notices into the air.

And then, in an apparent dig at McCain, he screamed, “And we believe in standing up!”

Shortly afterwards, eBay’s CEO Meg Whitman, who heralds from the same venture capital fund company as Romney, Bain Capital, stunned the crowd and approached the podium and announced that all eBay sellers who were willing to vote for Romney would never pay eBay insertion fees for as long as they live.

“We need to give eBay sellers something to live for in this economy,” she explained to TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington.

McCain struck back a few hours later Monday with a television ad that showed Romney sitting at a desk, pining away for Whitman. The ad clearly shows a despondent Romney drumming his fingers on a huge, walnut desk while staring at one of several computer video screens showing Whitman captivating a crowd of eBay sellers with promises of “better things to come.” The crowd threw various artifacts at her, and there is a rumored YouTube video of her getting nailed on the head by a Pez dispenser, but, according to Romney pollsters, it hasn’t stopped the Romney juggernaut, and didn’t change Romney’s infatuation.

Meanwhile, outwardly, McCain projected confidence, not only about wrapping up the nomination but about staying healthy until November’s general election as well. “I can lead this nation in medication, and motivate all Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest, as long as they continue to stuff their throats with pharmaceuticals” he said while campaigning at a fire station in New Jersey, during a photo opp with Merck. Asked by The Gore Years if he might accidentally fart during some future press event helping to solidify America’s hundred year commitment to Iraq, he replied, “God, I hope not.” The Gore Years has always appreciated his honesty.

Unwilling to leave anything to chance, both men hastily rearranged their schedules to make one more late stop in California, the largest state, with 170 delegates.

After months on the road, the wear on the candidates was showing, and the schedules strained human endurance.

Clinton’s voice was raspy, and at one stop, she struggled to control her coughing. She denied it had anything to do with the Obama love fest. “Don’t you ever compare me to that nasty intern,” she scolded one reporter who asked how she was holding up.

Romney had breakfast in Tennessee, was in Georgia at lunchtime, was touching down in Oklahoma at the dinner hour, got drunk with former candidate George W. Bush after dinner, arranged for a Britney Spears-like pickup of Baseball Commisioner Bush around 10 pm, and was scheduled to arrive in California for a rally at the Spears residence just before midnight local time, partly, his aides said, because he was in the mood for “more debauchery”.

All before flying through the night so he could attend the West Virginia state convention on Tuesday morning and meet the few people still left in America who might vote Republican in the next election.

The Democrats were spending unprecedented amounts of money on television advertising. Records showed Obama and Clinton each spent $1.3 million last Wednesday and have been increasing their purchases in the days since. In fact, some broadcast industry analysts have been reporting that Clinton, through a proxy, has purchased KRON-TV from Young Broadcasting and will, according to one source, “begin broadcasting All Billary, all the Time.”

Obama spent about $250,000 to run a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl in selected, less expensive regions. Clinton bought one hour of time on the Hallmark Channel for Monday evening to air a live town hall meeting from New York. However, the Hallmark Channel refused to air the meeting. One reason, sources say, is that Hallmark is concerned about rumors that Hillary and Obama got a room (see above link). The other, more significant issue, according to pundits and Hallmark insiders (assuming there is such a thing as a Hallmark insider), is that Hallmark CEO Donald J. Hall, Jr. is not a fan of Bill Clinton. “I have seen poster boys for Hallmark Cards,” Hall is known to have said, “And my friends, Bill Clinton is no poster boy.”

The prize in each race was a huge cache of delegates on the biggest primary-season day ever. The biggest concern about that cache was that somehow the Republicans would find a way to get Diebold to create an electronic cache of Democratic votes and somehow turn them into Republican votes, and throw the election again in 2008.

But for today, it was all smiles as Hillary and Obama continued their love fest, and McCain and Romney each tried to figure out which part of the past to represent.

Associated Press reporters Beth Fouhy, Glen Johnson, Jim Kuhnhenn, Nedra Pickler, Libby Quaid and Liz Sidoti contributed to this report. The Gore Years reporter Chuck White made it all right.

Fred Thompson, Woken Up By Huckabee, Lashes Out January 15, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics, Politics, Republican primaries.
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SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. — Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson today lashed out at fellow Republican contender Mike Huckabee for waking him up. Fred Likes to Sleep“What Mike did today is not appropriate behavior from a presidential candidate,” said Thompson from his resting place near this beach front town in South Carolina.

Huckabee happened to be swinging by the same area in this primary state when he noticed Thompson asleep on the beach at Huntington State Beach Park. Reporters at the scene say that Huckabee then tried to wake Thompson several times but was unable to, even after shaking him violently.

Fearing Thompson was dead, Huckabee called 911 from his cell phone and ambulances raced to the scene. Thompson finally awoke after receiving defibrillator treatments from paramedics. However, it turned out nothing at all was wrong with Thompson. “I’m just a deep sleeper,” he told a hushed news conference after the incident.

“This is about the heart and soul of the Republican Party and where the Republican Party is going to go over the next several years,” Thompson said later during a meeting attended by more than 100 people and also broadcast on AM radio. “You can’t have Reaganism if you’re not committed to sleep. And you can’t have sleep if you have crazy Christians running around waking everyone up.”

Huckabee’s campaign dismissed the attacks as issued by a candidate who is generally unaware of his surroundings. “It’s my feeling that Fred needed to have a few hours of wake time this week, and I gave it to him. That’s the kind of leadership America expects from its President.”

Thompson, a former Tennessee senator and actor, is struggling to stay viable in the GOP contest and has declared that South Carolina is his “line in the sand.” He even drew a line through the sand on a beach at Huntington, and has slept there ever since. An early favorite when he entered the race, Thompson has since been overshadowed by Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor with wide appeal to Christian conservatives here, and John McCain, the Arizona senator who got a boost with his New Hampshire victory this week.

Image source: http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a300/tescosuicide/ALa3/film_thompson.jpg

President Gore Marks Hurricane Katrina Anniversary August 29, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Al Queda, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, News and politics, Politics, President Gore.
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President Gore is marking Hurricane Katrina’s devastating blow by celebrating the city’s resurgence led by those he says have “dedicated their lives to the renewal of New Orleans.”

With the region quickly recovering and actually rediscovering an even larger tourist base from its former self after two years, some here think the president is using the spotlight to brag a little about the successful comeback of a city devastated by the storm.

Gore, in a press conference in the French Quarter, did little to try to deny an opportunity for photo ops. “The military services learned a lot about infrastructure recovery when we were able to help out in the Middle East,” said Gore, who has long advocated an expanded, humanitarian role for the military in an era during which, he has said, “war is becoming obsolete.”

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.
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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.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice Sotomayor Has Seizure August 1, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Politics, President Gore, Supreme Court.
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Supreme Court Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor had an apparent seizure while watching the Giants/Dodgers game on television, sources say. Sotomayor, who before being named Chief Justice was most well known for issuing a preliminary injunction against Major League Baseball that prevented a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and and the use of replacement players, thus ending the 1994 baseball strike, was apparently over anxious about the possibility of Barry Bonds tying Hank Aaron’s home run record.

Sources say she is recovering nicely in her New York home, and doctors expect no long term effects.

New Report on Iraq Charts Growth February 3, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in 9-11, Al Gore, Economy & Business, Election 2008, George W. Bush, Gore, Iraq, News and politics, Politics, Terrorism, World Trade Center.
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The new U.S. government-released National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq is providing some of the most comprehensive numbers on Iraq growth since President Gore’s Bill of Hope authorized billions for education programs across the Middle East. Total literacy has jumped from an estimated 50% in 2001 to nearly 88% in late 2006, according the report (parts of which were provided by UNESCO).

Baghdad University has grown from 34,555 students (1988 numbers) to nearly 90,000, mostly through its two new campuses. The Foundation of Technical Institutes has grown from 35,000 students (also 1988) to 70,000, a growth that also can be attributed to new campuses. In addition, the Hijric Collective has opened up a number of smaller universities (in addition to the Hijric Samarra University) with a somewhat Islamic-focused curriculum. This makes some American politicians nervous, but so far the results are encouraging, with about 35% of the first wave of graduates moving on to post-bachelor work at the larger universities.

The new Samarra University is by far the largest in the Midde East, with some 200,000 students spread among 14 widely dispersed and quickly built campuses.

The first wave of Samarra graduates hit the street only recently, and no figures are available yet on what they’re up to, but indications are that their interests are split among a few distinct areas. The largest contingent of graduates seems to be migrating towards the glamour of Qadisiyah Expressway, the growing high-tech hub that has sprouted in Central Baghdad. The next largest groups are evenly split between teachers, lawyers, doctors, and engineers.

Unemployment in Iraq is now at about 8%, a high number, the report notes, considering all of the infrastructure projects that have been initiated by the BOH since 2001, but much better than the 30% or so estimated at the time of the fall of Saddam (who was basically shown the door after the population saw how well Iraqis were doing in the Shia south and Kurdish north).

The oil industry boom has already prompted the Iraqi government to offer to repay some BOH expenditures for 2006, even though BOH funds were grants, not loans,. Meanwhile, no BOH money has been spent this year by the Iraqi government. Negotiations are now under way to transfer 2007 BOH funds to Sudan, which has been reeling under internecine unrest for several years, but many obstacles remain (primarily on who to give the money to, because the Republican-forced compromise for getting the BOH passed in the first place mandates that no BOH money can go to UN-chartered services).

The report notes that one of the trickle down effects of the rise of the oil industry in Iraq has been a massive growth in small businesses, which also have benefited from the tough standards imposed on BOH beneficiaries that mandate simple legal processes for starting a new business, instead of high taxes and a morass of red tape. The BOHBA (Bill of Hope Business Administration) has, additionally, released nearly $2 billion in business loans in Baghdad alone since the bill was passed. An escrow was established early on that allows the loans to be transferred to an Iraqi financial authority, which means that yet another portion of BOH funds will ultimately be repaid.

That, in fact, is one of the most encouraging aspects of the new report. The U.S. has poured billions into Iraq and other Middle East countries in an effort to improve conditions there, and now some of that money is showing signs of coming back.

I remember when 9-11 happened and thinking to myself that we were at war. But today, the men responsible for that attack are nothing more than a fringe group wandering around aimlessly in Waziristan, unable to even move East or West because they’re surrounded by committed democracies dedicated to destroying what’s left of them.

Something tells me this could have all gone much differently. After the incursion into Afghanistan, Al-Queda went on the run, vowing their revenge, but nothing happened. But Gore didn’t stop there. He then looked at the root causes that might have prompted such anger, and reached out to a people few Americans at the time understood.

The world is richer for it, in more ways than one.

Al Gore’s “October Surprise” November 6, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in 9-11, Al Gore, Bush, Congressional ethics, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Gore, Iraq, Neo-cons, Neo-conservatives, News and politics, Politics, Scandals, Terrorism.
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Al Gore today, in a surprise pre-election announcement, has pardoned several well-known Republican criminals, including Bill O’Reilly (imprisoned for illegally obtaining abortion clinic patient records), Donald Rumsfeld (who along with Dick Cheney was nailed for racketeering and embezzlement during the Iraq Reconstruction Project — see this link for background on the Bill of Hope), and several other small-time Republican crooks. Notably absent from the list was Senator Tom DeLay.

Press Secretary Aaron Sorkin today said Gore is doing this as part of national reconciliation efforts that began when Republicans were routinely put in prison back in 2001, when Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris were thrown in jail for vote fraud.

He is also offering “limited amnesty” to Republican sex offenders who have not yet been apprehended and who come forward and show a willingness to adhere to a GPS-based tracking system, and who voluntarily submit to psychological counseling. Insiders say that the reasons for this are more practical than a simple desire for national reconciliation. “Our medium security prisons just don’t have enough room for all the offenders,” says one official close to the administration.

In fact, prison overcrowding has again become a major issue, in spite of recent changes in criminal drug laws that no longer mandate imprisonment for minor drug offenses and have returned the focus to drug rehabilitation. Studies are beginning to pour in showing that, since the crackdown on Republican corruption, the prison population once dominated by drug offenders and minorities is being replaced by Republicans.

With the mid-term elections tomorrow, and the nation enjoying unprecedented peace and prosperity, electoral interest seems to be at an all time low, and Gore appears to be trying to remind voters why he was re-elected in the first place. While neocons refer to Gore as “the appeasement president”, the fact is that Gore has become a world leader based on his skills at managing reconciliation on a global level, while driving successful worldwide anti-poverty and environmental programs. He has, in other words, not only not squandered the good will that wrapped the U.S. in an emotional blanket of sympathy after the 9/11 attacks, he’s capitalized them in a huge way, one that’s easy to take for granted in a less dangerous world.

When things are going well, it’s easy to become complacent, and Gore apparently is trying to find a way to remind voters how dangerous such complacency can be. “It’s really hard for most voters to imagine how bad things could become if the current Republican leadership were ever to take control of the government,” says one Democratic campaign pollster, who is hopeful that the neoconservative wing of the Republican party is finally being dismembered through its delirious combination of sex and corruption scandals, as well as voter antipathy towards the neoconservative doctrine of perpetual war.

Also, in a speech late yesterday, Gore offered what he called some personal advice to the challenger in his first presidential election, George W. Bush. “I think maybe it’s time for George to check himself out of the Betty Ford clinic. He’s been in there, what? Five, six years? I know it was a tough election, but it’s time to move on.”

Gore to Propose “Green Zone” for Iraq October 22, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Environmentalism, George W. Bush, Gore, green zone, Iraq, News and politics, Politics.
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Word just in that the Gore Administration is going to propose a “Green Zone” for central Baghdad similar to Green Zones that have been started in several other urban zones in the developing world.

The Bagdhad Green Zone will, like other Green Zones, be backed by the Kyoto Initiative, which is a recently signed addendum to the Kyoto Treaty that provides funding for environmental initiatives in the developing world, especially the fast growing ones that need it most.

The Green Zone will power downtown Baghdad with nothing but renewable energy, and will initiate a tree planting program similar to the one Chicago mayor Rich Daly helped push in Chicago.

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Republicans Gear Up Their Media Fear Machine October 21, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in 9-11, Al Gore, Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Foreign Policy, George W. Bush, Gore, Haliburton, Iraq, Law & Politics, Neo-cons, Neo-conservatives, News and politics, Politics, September 11th, September 11th & The War On Terror.
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The Republicans have officially ramped up their fear-based media frenzy by generating ads suggesting we’re all about to die.

You can find one of them here.

As a professional web developer, I ask this simple question. Do you really trust a party that uses Dreamweaver to write its scripting code to tackle such potential horrors as dirty suitcase bombs?

How do you know they’re using Dreamweaver? Easy, just do a view source and see the ubiquitous Macromedia function MM_swapImgRestore() littering the HTML code. Now, there’s nothing wrong with amateurs using Dreamweaver to crank out a site, but do we want the Republicans to hire amateurs to run a war? If they can’t come up with the technical resources to do a web site properly, how in the name of fat hypocrisy can we expect them to run a war if they somehow get the presidency back?

You think the connection is off the wall? Well, just, for a moment, let’s come up with a preposterous scenario.

Imagine, for a moment, that Bush had beaten Gore in the presidential race of 2000. Now, imagine that instead of engaging the Middle East with diplomacy and, essentially, winning the “war” on terrorism (as summed up here) Bush had done something crazy, like invade, oh, I dunno, just for the sake of argument, maybe Iraq. Who knows why, but just bear with me for a moment. For me, it’s almost as easy to then imagine other weird scenarios. You know, like the U.S. drives into Baghdad, quickly routs the hapless Iraqi army, then disbands it and allows a massive looting spree where all kinds of nasty weapons are squirrelled away.

Okay, granted, I do have an over-active imagination. You have to sort of clear all reason from your mind to imagine such a scenario, but if you saw the job Bush did in Texas and, generally, what a dunderhead he is in general, you begin to realize that, by golly, anything is possible, had he won.

Understanding that Bush would have probably included guys like Paul Wolfowitz in his cabinet makes me think even greater disasters would have been possible, had he been elected. Keep in mind that in February 1992, Wolfowitz’s henchmen drafted an American defense policy that called for the United States to brandish its military might aggressively and persistently. The policy was too chilling even for Republicans, and it was dropped, but George Bush Sr.’s well known phrase “New World Order” came largely from that document, as did, later, the Project for the New American Century, of which several dedicated neo-cons were a part of, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, and Wolfowitz.

In fact, way back in the day Bill Clinton was in office, the neo-cons officially urged an invasion of Iraq.

Still think the whole idea is silly?

See? This is what happens when we become complacent during times of peace and economic prosperity.

Gotta watch that. It’s dangerous business, this complacency.

Okay, so let’s just say their man had won. It’s not too much of a stretch to think that their man, he of a somewhat dim mind, would have played catch with these fellas.

Now, chances are, these neo-cons would not have thought out the prospects for an invasion of Iraq. Even if they did know the difference between a Sunni and Shi’ite, neo-cons are, basically, and simply, warlike. And arrogant. They probably felt that if Saddam could contain the two groups, the U.S. certainly could. As preposterous as it sounds, they probably would have done something completely outrageous, even after winning the initial phases of the war. Who knows what? But something. Maybe they would have relied on patronage to manage the rebuilding process instead of using local civil engineering firms. After all, you can bet that any invasion would have really torched the Iraqi infrastructure. Everything from electrical grids to oil fields would need to be rebuilt.

Who knows, maybe after beating up on the Iraqi army these clowns would even disband it, letting them roam the streets penniless, hungry, and angry.

I know how silly and impossible this all sounds.

Today, Iraq is a study in possibilities, a thriving regional economic power whose biggest problem is the restive Kurds, who want to finish the job of autonomy and become an independent state, but who are not so restive as to take up arms.

But still, these are people whose idea of technical competence is using Dreamweaver on their web site. If that’s the kind of technical competence the GOP has on hand, had Bush been elected and had done the neo-cons’ bidding, I bet they couldn’t have even kept the electricity on in Baghdad for more than a few hours a day, had they been foolish enough to invade.

But the most chilling aspect about their incompetence is their fuzzy knowledge of world affairs. If they thought Iraq was okay to invade, then who would be next? Syria? Or, even more incredible, Iran? Let the dominoes fall, right fellas? Geniuses, all of them.

All of this would have given birth to an army of new terrorists. I suspect if we had invaded Iraq, that nation would have become an Al Queda playground, where American troops would have been engaged in a horrible guerrilla war, with red big targets on their humvees the size of Dick Cheney’s massive butt.

If the U.S. had then moved on to Iran, then we really would have been talking about the very real possibility of a nuclear terrorist incident in the U.S.

And that, my friends, is something the GOP doesn’t talk about in its ad.

Luckily, this is just a nightmare scenario. The kind of thing we only think about as the autumn skies turn grey and the void between life and death, as represented by old Gaelic beliefs of Halloween, approach.