Archive for the ‘VP’ Category
By now I am sure that most of America has heard about the former VP’s outrageous interview with Politico, which has been generously quoted in the MSM. Besides reiterating what every sentient adult American knows, namely, that it is possible that there will be a serious terrorist strike in the U.S. in the next few years, Dr. Doom tried to set the stage for the blaming the attack on the Obama administration. “When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry.” Politico
This nonsense is from a man whose war in Iraq and torture policies have in all likelihood created more terrorists than all of the combined recruiting techniques used by Al Qaeda. He has made us less safe and decent in oh so many ways. But just as my fury was reaching unspeakable heights, I heard about a rather amazing turn of events. The Obama Administration plans to use Dr. Doom’s “expertise” in a thoroughly new fashion. They are creating a department of soothsayers made up of individuals who claim to have powers that allow them to leap over historical realities in single bounds. Cheney will direct this group of Jeremiahs. He plans to use his gifts in reading bird entrails, especially ones that he has shot, to help educate his comrades.
Obama it seems is way ahead of us on this one. It turns out that those of us who have been hypercritical of Dick have not realized that he has been suffering for years from a rather rare syndrome that leads him to believe that he has prophetic powers. His pacemaker, which was implanted several years back, suffers from a serious defect. It produces a low frequency audio pulse to the Thermonuclear region of the Hiffocampus. (It goes softly “boom” about every 18 minutes.) This results in behavior that is hard to separate from that of sociopaths, especially in terms of their tendency to lose sight of the differences between truth and lies, right and wrong. So, yes, Cheney has been a pathological liar, but for an understandable reason. Unfortunately the pacemaker cannot be removed without creating the possibility that the patient might suffer from an overload of guilt and remorse, which could lead to suicide. And his doctor’s oath, unlike Cheney’s own as VP, requires that he do no harm.
The Obama administration’s plan to make Cheney Director of the Cassandra Complex is an elegant solution to the problem of Cheney. As you may recall, even when Cassandra was telling the truth about the future, she was fated to not be heeded. Cheney can now spend the rest of his days, along with a bevy of sociopaths, feeling good about the fact that they know the future but no one will listen to them.
Here is a model of their new building, right off the Mall in D.C. The design goes back to Bentham. (And since, needless to say, no one can really know what the future holds in store, this is a good place to store folks like this.)
August 29, Immediate reaction to Palin: McCain has officially lost it, in more ways than one. He is now taking the phrase, “Hail Mary,” to mean “Hail Any Woman.”
According to the much used Wikipedia, “A Hail Mary pass or Hail Mary play in American football is a forward pass made in desperation, with only a small chance of success. The typical Hail Mary is a very long forward pass thrown near the end of a half or end of a game where there is no possibility for any other play to score points. This play is unlikely to be successful, because of the general inaccuracy of the pass and the defensive team’s preparedness for the play makes it likely that it can intercept or knock down the ball” (italics added). “Hail Mary” article from Wikipedia here
The choice of Palin reveals McCain’s historic tin ear. He is seeking to put an inexperienced politician a heartbeat away from the presidency because he believes that it will help him with the women’s vote and his base. This is after he has made experience the mantra of his campaign, and we are all aware of his age and health history. He had promised to be extraordinarily careful in his selection of a VP due to these factors. (I mean she really is inexperienced, both in domestic and foreign affairs: 21 months as a governor of a state that has a population 1/3 that of the Borough of Manhattan, and service as a small town major.) Country First, John? Not this time.
Palin’s choice is insulting to women, and especially to Clinton’s women supporters, because it assumes that they would vote for any old (or young) woman. Hell, it’s insulting to men. To think that anyone who really supported Hillary would take (oh my, I just forgot her name) Palin as a substitute is astounding. Is it possible that McCain is so desperate and befuddled that he believes being a runner up in a beauty pageant is somehow going to compensate for political stands inimical to women’s welfare? (Okay, Palin might be strong among Evangelicals and right wingers–Palin’s position, no abortions even in cases of rape and incest–but is McCain really worried about the Evangelicals? Looks like he might be. And if he is indeed still worried about his base, given the incredible shrinking Republican Party, this is not so good for John.)
For a picture of beautiful Wasilla, the town Palin was mayor of, and the scoop on the ethics violations for which Palin is under investigation, see Mudflats. It’s quite a read.
Another reason must now be added to the list of:
#14. Palin will prove to be an unbelievably bad choice for VP, especially after McCain promised to be very careful in his selection due to his age. Given the sheer political nature of this choice, he will have to give up his slogan, Country First. Can you imagine Palin eyeball to eyeball with Putin? How about eyeball to eyeball with any senator, except for Ted Stevens, in the Senate? ( Just think for a moment about how the debate with Biden is going to go.) Hey, John, your answer to every problem is not to pick a pretty woman. Just because Cindy helped put expensive shoes on your feet….
UPDATE: Breaking News. According to Steve Doocy of Fox News, “She does know about international relations because she’s right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia.” YouTube Link.
UPDATE, 8.30.2008 Wow. This is going to be some ride. It seems that Palin is immature and quite willing to laugh while a radio host calls another woman, Alaska Senate President Lydia Green (who is a cancer survivor), a cancer and a bitch. See article here. A tape of the broadcast appears to exist. I am sure we will hear it soon. (According to the article, Palin laughed several times at tasteless comments about Green.)
UPDATE, 8.30.2008 Okay, here is a Link to the interview. Btw, the crack about the seat refers to Green’s weight.
UPDATE: After Republican convention, September 5, 2008. In spite of the initial positive reaction to Palin because: 1) she gave a reasonably well delivered speech (written by professional speech writers) at the convention; 2) sympathy for what many in the public perceive as a piling on by the Press; 3) hunger for reform and change (which her positions do not actually represent); and 4) the apparent progress for women in a woman VP pick (in spite of the fact that her policies and convictions are inimical to women’s welfare), I am holding to my initial reaction in this blog. It is clear that the McCain people will try to keep her away from the Press for as long as they can. But there will be a debate with Biden and at some point there will be questions about her unavailability for questions. Also, most people simply don’t know about her stands on the issues, for example, no abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and that she has lied about her record, for example, regarding the Bridge to Nowhere. Let’s see how all of this looks six weeks from now as McCain/Palin tries to push themselves as the change team in an economy still on the ropes and for which they are only offering traditional Bush/Republican bromides. (The flip from the experience team to the change team at this stage in the game is a Hail Mary. The Dems are just waiting for them. Wait till you see all of the ads with McCain saying just what Bush has said about the economy.) And let’s see how people feel about Palin being a heartbeat away from the presidency after they see how little knowledge she has of the world.
“It’s Over: Clinton Won’t be the Democratic Presidential or VP Candidate (and Boomers will make sure)”
Hillary’s most consistent supporters have been folks over 50, especially women over 50. With her statement about RFK’s assassination, and her bizarre “apologetic” explanation (namely, I was thinking about Teddy and so I mentioned Bobby’s assassination), she has lost a substantial number of these supporters. I will not say all. I will not say those closest to her. But I will say, a very significant number. Most importantly, in terms of the race, many superdelegates in this age cohort, who may have been leaning her way, will be looking around for the nearest Exit sign. Ditto for those who were in favor of placing her in the VP slot.
Most of you reading this commentary will have heard what Hillary Clinton said yesterday afternoon, May 23rd, to the editorial board of South Dakota’s Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, in response to a question about staying in the race.
“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?” she said. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.” The New York Times, May 24, 2008, Katharine Q Seelye reporting. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/us/politics/24clinton.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
And you may have heard Clinton’s “apology,” also reported by Seelye in the Times.
“ ‘The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy,’ referring to the recent diagnosis of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s brain tumor. She added, ‘And I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive.’ ”
Members of the Democratic Party who experienced the trauma of the assassinations of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King will understand that Clinton crossed a line yesterday. Many will agree with Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, an uncommitted superdelegate. Seelye reports that Clyburn “said through a spokeswoman that the comments were ‘beyond the pale.’ ” For those who remember Bobby lying in a pool of blood the night that he won the June California primary, little explanation is needed as to why prominent figures shouldn’t mention the assassinations of presidential candidates.
To say that Hillary was simply using RFK’s assassination as a time marker doesn’t cut it. There are simply too many other ways that Hillary could have talked about extended nominating contests. For example, she could have simply said, RFK won the California primary in June. “Oh, but Hillary would never wish the death of another candidate,” a supporter might reply. But it is not a question of her wishes, whether benighted or angelic. I leave it to the psychologists to analyze her motives. What I do know is that someone who lived through the sixties as an adolescent or adult should understand the dangers of invoking the assassination of a presidential candidate during a campaign, especially one in which the front-runner is an African-American. And Clinton not only invoked an assassination, she invoked the assassination of the brother of a Senator who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. How disturbing is this? Just ask yourself, could you have imagined this story before it happened?
Please don’t tell me that her words can be explained away entirely by ‘Hillary fatigue.’ First, because she was quite lucid when she was speaking, and, second, because she has raised the issue of assassination before, without using the term.
“NBC/NJ’s Mike Memoli notes that Clinton said something similar the day after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. ‘Sometimes you gotta calm people down a little bit. But if you look at successful presidential campaigns, my husband did not get the nomination until June of 1992,’ she said. ‘I remember tragically when Senator Kennedy won California near the end of that process.’ ” http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/05/23/1058940.aspx
Perhaps most tellingly, her “apology” showed little understanding of the seriousness of her “gaffe.” Yes, she should have apologized to the Kennedys, but she should also have taken responsibility for her remarks and made a sincere apology to the American people. She is going to lose support among influential boomers, support that she can’t afford to lose at this point.
This is the end of Hillary’s quest. Her judgment can no longer be trusted. Democrats will not take a chance on running her for president or VP. It is just awful that it had to end like this.
(As a side note, Hillary has been misleading audiences when she has claimed that Bill’s race ran into June. Technically it did because California hadn’t voted. But he had the nomination sewed up before California’s primary in June. The situation is not analogous to the current race.)
Okay, I am taking bets. Well, if not bets, comments. The evidence is mounting. Webb’s appearances in the national media are increasing. On the night of May 20th, the day that Obama will definitely go over the top in the majority of elected pledged delegates, Webb will be making at least two national TV appearances, one on CNN and one on MSNBC, Olbermann’s Countdown. Webb can help Obama win: a military guy, who is something of a populist, with blue collar appeal. He has been a dogged opponent of the Iraq War, and he shares with Obama the loneliness of the long distance writer. Obama strategist David Axelrod recently said that, “the primary characteristic Mr. Obama would look for in a vice president was someone with whom he was extremely comfortable” (New York Observer, May 13th). Webb seems to fit the bill here also. And for what it’s worth, Intrade has him as a close second to Hillary for the VP slot. (But Hillary fails the comfort test that Axelrod mentions. Not sure if the Intrade traders have factored this in.) [Update, May, 22, Intrade now has Webb slightly ahead.] I am not surprised that there is a draft Webb movement underfoot. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Obama_Webb08/
However, if Webb’s military background proves insufficient, I have a suggestion. I don’t think Obama should mess around. I’ve heard that these GOP characters can play pretty rough. And they like surfing the waves in swiftboats. Obama may need phasers and shields. He will need someone who knows how to use them. He will need someone whose citizenship no one would dare to challenge, given the consequences. He will need:
UPDATE May 19, 2008, 5:00 PM. In comments on this site and other sites, concerns have been expressed about misogynistic statements made by Webb. If true, this would be an extremely serious problem for his candidacy, to say the least. I have been under the impression that claims about his alleged misogyny originated from his opponents in his race for the Senate in 2006. Webb is a novelist. It appears that passages from his fictional works were used by his opponents to represent his views. Needless to say, this is dirty pool. It is called “fiction” for a reason. But if readers have more information on this topic, please reply.
UPDATE May 22, 5:00 PM EST. I haven’t heard any further comments about Webb’s alleged misogyny. And while it is true that he is currently trying to hawk his new book, what he is saying in his appearances on TV are very much in line with what Obama has been saying. Consider their comments the last couple of days about our having negotiated with adversaries who were much stronger than Iran, for example, the USSR and China. And how we must not confuse negotiation with capitulation. Also, consider how both are declaring that the needs of poor folks, white and minority, have not been adequately addressed. To say that they are on the same wavelength would be putting it mildly. (Of course, Obama will have to weigh numerous factors in making the final decision for VP.)
UPDATE June 6, 2008 Washington Post, Kristen Mack reports that at a rally in Virginia, “Obama thanked Webb, saying, ‘If you’re in a fight, and we are going to be in a fight, you want Jim Webb to have your back.’” I still think that he is very much in the running. Regarding concerns raised about misogyny. I have learned that he made some very bad calls about women in the military, as well as unacceptable comments about Tailhook. However, I have also heard that he has since apologized and that his record has markedly improved. Webb was a Republican. He is something of a changed man. The questions is, how much has Webb changed? I believe that his populism is for real. I want to hear more.
UPDATE June 21, 2008. Well, the Webb for VP story just doesn’t appear to be going away. Again, for what it is worth, Intrade today as him as the favorite for VP ahead of Clinton. In terms of the issue that could be most damaging to his selection, his record on women’s issues, the following was reported today in a Wall Street Journal article cited on the Huffington Post. ”Sen. Webb’s spokeswoman points out that he has received “100%” scores from Naral, a pro-choice women’s group, and just last week introduced a bill that would provide four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.” “Arming Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21st.