Archive for Politics/Government

Thank God Paul Hackett didn’t win his election

Former Democratic Congressional candidate and wunderkind Paul Hackett on Daily Kos:

Both elements of strategy, an offensive and defensive plan appear to be absent in Southern Ohio.
The solution rests with local surrogates on the ground spreading the attack face to face coupled with an air campaign via radio and TV.
The message is simple and the professionals can refine it but essentially it should contain these elements:
“Sarah Palin? Can’t keep her solemn oath of devotion to her husband and had sex with his employee. Sarah Palin? Accidentally got pregnant at age 43 and the tax payers of Alaska have to pay for the care of her disabled child. Sarah Palin? Unable to teach her 16 year old daughter right from wrong and now another teenager is pregnant. Sarah Palin? Can you trust Sarah Palin and her values with America’s future? John McCain? Divorced from his first wife one month and marries a billionaire influence peddler and convicted felon. John McCain, a record of rash and impulsive decisions. That’s not change that’s more of the same.”
Daily Kos: Obama is losing Ohio

Stay classy Paul Hackett.

McCain’s Speech

My admittedly biased take…
It wasn’t the most soaring of rhetoric, and with McCain it was never going to be. But to a certain extent I think I fell in love with the idea of John McCain somewhere between the beginning of the introductory video and the end of the speech. The idea of a man who has truly given his life to his country and a man who has put his country first. Senator McCain may have fallen in love with his country while in another person’s country, but I think I fell in love with John McCain when I fully realized the love he had for his country. There’s a real power to his character and a real contrast with Senator Obama. You can really see that contrast just in their bio videos. Obama’s was a video about… Obama. About his search for himself. John McCain’s was a litany of the ways in which he has devoted himself to his country. What he has done for his country.
I went in to the speech with a McCain pin alongside a McCain button on my shirt, but I don’t think I truly appreciated John McCain’s story.
Some are going to say he doesn’t stand a chance, but they’ve been saying something similar for 8 years straight. There is a path to victory for John McCain here if they play their cards right and for the past month they’ve shown that they can in fact play their cards right.
It’s on.

And that is why McCain picked her

She’s certainly a fighter. She’s authentic, she’s serious, she’s gotten results in the past, she gives a darn good speech, she won’t be backing down to Joe Biden, and she won’t be backing down to Barack Obama.

The constant attacks on Palin

The constant attacks on Gov Palin have been staggering (and probably entirely predictable). In the past we’ve been able to diagnose this as “Bush Derangement Syndrome”, but I have a feeling we’ve moved into a new era here and are in need of new terminology. As such I would like to humbly offer this:
Palinoia: The belief that the subject’s lack of knowledge about another person is evidence of that other person’s lack of knowledge.

Heh, Barack Obama doesn’t seem to know Sarah Palin’s a governor

Barack Obama being interviewed by Anderson Cooper earlier:

COOPER: And, Senator Obama, my final question — your — some of your Republican critics have said you don’t have the experience to handle a situation like this. They in fact have said that Governor Palin has more executive experience, as mayor of a small town and as governor of a big state of Alaska.
What’s your response?
OBAMA: Well, you know, my understanding is, is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month.
So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear…

Is that really the game he wants to play? 2,500 employees and a budget of about $36 million a month? Perhaps someone should inform him that the state of Alaska (of which Gov Palin is the Chief Executive) has approximately 15,000 employees and a monthly total budget in excess of $1.14 billion.
Using your campaign as executive experience is pretty weak to begin with, but doubly so when you don’t realize your “less experienced” opponent is running an operation with 6 times the people and 34 times the budget.

If today has shown nothing else it’s shown that…

…McCain will be pushing the issue of Reform HARD.
Palin’s main issue, the reason she became Governor in the first place, is because she stood up to corruption and ethical violations. Her role as a reformer is the #1 reason she’s on the ticket. (Ignoring the “token uterus” folderal.) They’re going to be pushing hard on “Obama talks change but WE’VE actually enacted change and we already have results to show for it. Put us in and we’ll fix the system, not just use the system to enact our favorite programs.”
You can argue over the effectiveness or the merits of that, but they’re definitely going to be pushing the Reform angle, giving Obama a run for his money on his ubiquitous “Change”.

On Palin

I’ve been taking a fairly detached and analytical approach to this election, supporting McCain but with a healthy dose of “a pox on both their houses”. This pick of Sarah Palin as his running-mate though honestly has me kind of excited.
She has a very interesting bio when you get into it. Bachelor’s degree in journalism, former sports reporter and commercial fisherman. 5 children, one heading to Iraq next month, one born with Down’s Syndrome in April. Her husband works for BP on the North Slope and when they eloped they recruited two random people from a retirement home to be their witnesses. She made her bones in Alaska as an ethics whistleblower, taking on her own party in doing so. And she’s anti-pork-barrel-spending, having killed the Bridge To Nowhere.
She doubles up on McCain’s already impressive Reform credentials and brings some youth to the ticket.
So, yeah, I’m kind of excited.

Voting Problems

I don’t think all the focus on “voting problems” helps us. We don’t need to know about every voting machine that won’t start up and every guy who thinks there weren’t enough pens at their voting place and every 5 minute delay. That just serves to undermine confidence in the system which works just fine in the overwhelming majority of incidents. From the reports you’d think that if you go out and vote today your polling place is going to be serving 600 people with one machine or that your going to be turned away because your license address doesn’t match your voting address.

On Diebold

I have to say I’m getting rather sick of all the complaining about the electronic voting machines. “Oh, those Diebold machines are a joke, they’re easily cracked and don’t even have a paper trail!” I’ll tell you what, if your Diebold machine doesn’t have a paper trail it’s because your state or county officials were stupid enough to order an electronic voting machine without a paper trail. If your machine doesn’t have that paper trail don’t go blaming Diebold or electronic voting in general, blame your local idiots.

Wow, talk about a turnaround…

George Voinovich: “Why I’ll Vote for Bolton”

My original concerns about Bolton involved his interpersonal skills. Also of concern was his reputation for straying off message and a tendency to “go it alone” instead of working to build consensus with his colleagues. I have met and spoken regularly with him since his appointment, discussing my hope that the United States would indeed build such a consensus at the United Nations and work with our allies.
My observations are that while Bolton is not perfect, he has demonstrated his ability, especially in recent months, to work with others and follow the president’s lead by working multilaterally. In recent weeks I have watched him react to the challenges involving North Korea, Iran and now the Middle East, speaking on behalf of the United States.
I believe Bolton has been tempered and focused on speaking for the administration. He has referred regularly to “my instructions” from Washington, while also displaying his own clear and strong grasp of the issues and the way forward within the Security Council. He has stood many times side by side with his colleagues from Japan, Britain, Canada and other countries, showing a commitment to cooperation within the United Nations.
The deteriorating situation in the Middle East cannot be ignored. The terrorist organization Hezbollah has all but formally declared war on Israel, taking Israeli prisoners and launching more than 1,000 rockets into Israel over the past week.
The United States, along with the rest of the free world, must confront Iran and North Korea and defend Israel and its democracy while working to bring stability to the entire Middle East and Darfur.
Ambassador Bolton’s appointment expires this fall when the Senate officially recesses. Should the president choose to renominate him, I cannot imagine a worse message to send to the terrorists — and to other nations deciding whether to engage in this effort — than to drag out a possible renomination process or even replace the person our president has entrusted to lead our nation at the United Nations at a time when we are working on these historic objectives.
For me or my colleagues in the Senate to now question a possible renomination would jeopardize our influence in the United Nations and encourage those who oppose the United States to make Bolton the issue, thereby undermining our policies and agenda.
Should the president send his renomination to the Senate, I will vote to confirm him, and I call on my Democratic colleagues to keep in mind the current situation in the Middle East and the rest of the world should the Senate have an opportunity to vote. I do not believe the United States, at this dangerous time, can afford to have a U.N. ambassador who does not have Congress’s full support.
For the good of our country, the United Nations and the free world, we must end any ambiguity about whether John Bolton speaks for the United States so that he can work to support our interests at the United Nations during this critical time.
George Voinovich – Washington Post

Yes, this is the same man who cried on the Senate floor in opposition to Bolton’s original nomination.