Sunday, October 26, 2008

David Brooks is Right

David Brooks.

DailyKOS rails against him, and questions his intelligence. Republican cheerleaders have ostracized him, for refusing to tow the party line.

So in other words, he annoys both extremes of the spectrum, which in my eyes, means he's probably doing something right.

Well, he did something right with his Sunday editorial I thought, my favorite quote is below:

...some of us hoped McCain would take sides in the debate now dividing the G.O.P. Some Republicans believe the G.O.P. went astray by abandoning its tax-cutting, anti-government principles. They want a return to Reagan (or at least the Reagan of their imaginations). But others want to modernize and widen the party and adapt it to new challenges. Some of us hoped that by reforming his party, which has grown so unpopular, McCain could prove that he could reform the country. But McCain never took sides in this debate and never articulated a governing philosophy..."
-- David Brooks

The full editorial is here.

Trite "Wardrobe Scandal" Hides More Obvious Truth

It was a stupid and trite distraction to begin with, but the Palin “wardrobe scandal” has now come full-circle.

Recognizing the media went for the item (which first appeared as an item on Politico.Com for 24 hours before picked up by mainstream media), and now trying to distance herself from the damage the story scored, Sarah Palin is now washing her hands of the entire fiasco, with a classic denial story.

Earlier today, Kristol, (ever the Palin-apologist), even insinuated the clothes were purchased without any knowledge of Sarah Palin.

So in short, we’re meant to believe Sarah Palin doesn’t even know where the clothes she wears at public appearances came from; which even it was true, speak volumes on her leadership, naivety and accountability.

There is a much larger truth related to this story though. The real truth is, *all* political campaigns are obscene. They float massive payrolls to political hacks, custom jets, top-tier hotel rooms and 5-star restaurants.

It is laughable, that both parties stood in front of us, and tried to tell us they sympathized with middle-class America, while their personal expenditures and per-diems soared the roof, often to the tunes of millions of dollars a day.

If Obama was any kind of leader, he’d take half of that 150 million he earned this month in donations, and put it in a fund to fight cancer. I personally know of a great colon cancer study he could invigorate for years, with just 1% of the money he earned in a single month.

What do you say Obama? Will you recognize the funding of these campaigns has become obscene, and put some money where it is needed most?

And Sarah, I know the story was just a stupid distraction, from a lazy media, but just how naïve do we think we are? Are you not responsible for your own campaign, or are you trying to show us that real leaders duck, cover, and then blame their own friends and party when things get rough?


Franken Unfit for Senate

One major drawback to the Democratic tide, (that is apparently sweeping the country if polls are to be believed), is that idiots like Al Franken get to ride it into the senate.

Having read Al Franken's disgusting slander in his book, Lies (And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them) and having listened once or twice, to that dreadful, partisan, snobbish and inaccurate "news" show he moderated on "Air America", I can tell you it saddens me this comedian, turned leftist-cheerleader is about to be elected.

He is a hateful, biased and narrow minded man, who advocates a dogmatic approach to every problem, and can't see beyond his left-of-center bias. He demonizes those who do not goose-step to his own narrow politics, he writes and says sexist things, and then ducks for cover when they cause him controversy.

If you need more evidence this man is a terrible choice for senator I offer you this:

Al Franken was taking on the vast right-wing conspiracy before other people even admitted it existed," Mrs. Clinton said.

That statement should be speak volumes to anyone with an independent mind.

Party cheerleaders find no comfort on this blog, and Al Franken is a dangerously narrow partisan, that is completely unqualified for the Senate.

Cheap Sentiment Hurts Gay Rights

I was at a gay wedding in Vancouver, British Columbia, just a few years ago. I watched as two beloved friends of mine (whom I both consider as family), said their vows, and exchanged rings.

Let me tell you: Had you seen the beauty of the service, and the sincerity of the love at this ceremony, it would be difficult to advocate any kind of constitutional amendment against it.

Alas, in California, this is exactly the kind of amendment on the ballot in November. So obviously, I am eager to see this initiative defeated, and the constituion of California left alone.

All men and women, be they gay or straight, should be able to enjoy the legal and social advantages of marriage.

One small problem though, and that is gay advocacy groups in California, are botching their campaign with schmaltz like this:

Ads like this cheapen and trivialize the beauty of any marriage, be it gay or straight. Ads like this come across as the cheap sentiment that they are, and they hurt the cause for gay rights rather than help.

Such a serious issue, deserves a far more serious treatment than this. A hackneyed pull at the heart strings, will only galvanize the homophobic even more.

This issue, needs honest, unapologetic advocacy for basic human rights, not heart strings, pathos, sentiment and a really bad soundtrack from "Rent".

Someone in California, please I beg you, give Gay Rights, a better voice than this.

And shame on the state politicians of Washingston State, for refusing to tackle this issue! Given the cowardice and petty nature of our current race for Governor however, is it any wonder, both have ducked for cover on this issue?

Impressive vs. Squabbling

I slam the Democrats, because I am skeptical of any political party, and view partisanship, as a dogmatic solution to problems that require a pragmatic approach.

It's hard however to criticize the Democrats current political success however. An illustration of which is best described here:

I just got back from the Obama rally at Civic Center Park here in Denver. The Denver Post estimates the turnout was 100,000 people, which is really just astounding considering the total size of the city is about 550,000 people.
-- David Sirota, Huffington Post

The full blog post can be seen here.

Meanwhile in contrast, we have Bill Kristol whining. Suddenly Kristol sounds like the KOS "gang" in 2004, who whined and squabbled like wet mules after Kerry was defeated.

If Bill Kristol is the best conservatives can do for a spokesman, you can kiss independent voters like me goodbye. The sum of Kristol's argument, is that it was not Palin's inexperience, her botched interviews, her gaffes, or her scandals that made America reject her at the polls. No, it was the fact McCain "mishandled" her...

Most of all, it bothers me how Kristol refuses to blame himself for the mess. He was a loud, and powerful advocate for Palin, and rather admit he was wrong, he seeks to scapegoat his own party. It is political cowardice, plain and simple.

I argued just a few posts ago, that if Obama wins, the Republican response to his victory will be calculated, effective and vociferous, and that the Democrats will be ill-prepared for it as usual. However, if this is the best they can do right now, it appears the Republicans are not only losing, but they intend to squabble and whine about it, instead of counter-attacking.

This is not good news at all if you are a Republican, and I suggest humbly you get better spokesman than Bill Kristol moving forward, or it could be dark times ahead for your political party.

Meanwhile in Iraq...

Meanwhile in Iraq, failed negotiations are in a very dangerous position:

“Chief of the Kurdistan Alliance Fouad Masoum said if the agreement is not signed by the end of the year, U.S. troops will be left without legal cover from the UN. This means they will not have to perform security-keeping operations. This justifies concerns about the possibility of a coup. … Chief of the Accord Front Adnan Duleimi also warned of a coup toppling the government.”

Read this outstanding blog, for more.


The "Fraud" Narrative Gains Momentum

I continue to harp about the inevitable Republican response to an Obama victory, which I predict will be: fraud, fraud, fraud!

We saw initial seeds planted last week for this narrative, and now we see mainstream slowly taking the bait.

A key quote from this article in the Washington Post:

Donors to the Obama campaign using false names such as Doodad Pro and Good Will gave $17,375 through 1,000 separate donations, with no sign that they immediately tripped alarms at the campaign. Of more concern, Cairncross said, are reports that the campaign permitted money from 123 foreign nationals to enter its accounts.
-- Matthew Mosk, Washington Post

As someone with a decade of electronic commerce experience in my career, I can tell you, there will be many examples of "suspicious" donations in Obama's campaign.

It won't matter that there was a serious effort to thwart the fraud, or that the vast majority of the contributions were probably legal, or that Obama was clearly the preferred candidate.

No, the narrative will be, that America's first black president, used "Chicago-style" politics to steal the presidency.

Sean Hannity is writing his first diatribe on this topic already, to be delivered within 24-hours of an Obama victory.

What is the left doing in anticipation of this? Nothing, they are popping champagne, laughing at SNL skits and saying stupid things like "leave nothing on the road, nothing".

It will be giddy cheerleaders versus a savvy, media-driven narrative to discredit the left's largest political gain in decades. I think it will be the cheerleaders that might end up "on the road:, if they don't start acting now to counter these accusations.


A Worrisome Mess

A quote worthy of repeating, (and even shouting from rooftops if you have the energy):

We can go to the moon, split atoms to power submarines, squeeze profits from a 99 cent hamburger and watch football highlights on cell phones. But the most successful democracy in human history has yet to figure out how to conduct a proper election. As it stands, the American voting system is a worrisome mess, a labyrinth of local, state and federal laws spotted with bewildered volunteers, harried public officials, partisan distortions, misdesigned forms, malfunctioning machines and polling-place confusion.
-- Michael Sherer, Time Magazine

I have warned for a while now, how the outcome of this election will likely bring thunderous cries of “voter fraud”. If Obama wins, the validity of his victory be called into question, primarily because our election technology and voter audit procedures are sadly lacking.

Think of it: the first African-American President will have his legitimacy questioned, merely because our procedures can be called into question. That's just tragic, and we have only ourselves to blame.

We should be pushing our leaders for reform of our electoral process, and provide a means by which we can all track our individual vote, and ensure it was recorded correctly.

The full diatribe from Michael can be seen here.