Saturday, August 25, 2007
He is already working against conservative voters with his pro-choice views, as well as his relatively complicit positions regarding gays. He stands by those views with conviction. He hasn't helped himself by his marital affairs and divorce. So he is doing what he needs to in order to win the conservative hearts: attack Hillary, and say, "I'm not a Democrat looking to weasel into your lives."
By ranting the tax-and-spend line, he is saying he is really Republican.
Hillary Clinton ranted back by saying Giuliani is just like her in many regards, but not enough to be presidential.
This is all vagaries now, jockeying for media image rather than real issues. Hillary needs to be seen as still the top contender, while Rudy must lift himself back to the top. Both candidates are facing questions of electability, followed by hard-charging competition in Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.
Giuliani outlines tax plan, blasts Democrats
By Philip Elliott, AP Writer
August 25, 2007
MANCHESTER, N.H. --Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani on Saturday said Democrats would raise taxes and brutalize the economy if they win the 2008 presidential election.
"'We must take things away from you for the common good,'" Giuliani said, mocking Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a top contender for her party's nomination.
"Do you understand what that implies? No, it's not Karl Marx. What she's saying in that is that 'We know better, the government knows better.'"
In contrast, Giuliani said he would lower taxes, make permanent President Bush's tax cuts and eliminate inheritance taxes.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Which brings me to a point. Why not consider (at least) for every dollar you give to support your candidate (including T-shirt purchases, books as well as donations), you support and equal amount toward the local homeless mission nearest your home? I'm doing that. And, at least 10% of whatever my blog makes will go to a nonprofit charity.
Top candidates profit from book deals (Yahoo.com story)
Search Books by Your Favorite Politician
Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Reviews Are In: Hillary 'Rising Above'
'The Strongest,' 'Tough and Well Prepared'
ABC NEWS' RICK KLEIN – HILLARY 'RISING ABOVE THE REST OF THE FIELD': "Clinton still rising above the rest of the field -- why not, as long as you're leading in the polls?" [ABC News Political Radar, 8/19/07 ]
MARK HALPERIN 'I THINK SENATOR CLINTON ONCE AGAIN…WAS THE STRONGEST' [ABC Iowa 5, 8/19/07]
MSNBC'S DOMENICO MONTANARO – CLINTON WAS 'TOUGH AND WELL PREPARED' "Clinton was again solid, no gaffes as usual. She is tough and well prepared." [MSNBC, First Read, 8/19/07 ]
NEW YORK TIMES' KATHARINE SEELYE – A 'STANDOUT' ANSWER TO CLOSE THE DEBATE: "Mrs. Clinton, the last to speak, had more time to think about her answer and had the standout: 'I could not be standing here without the women's movement,' she said. It helped women and people of color become part of the American Dream. She paid homage to her mother, who never went to college, 'but gave me the belief that I could do whatever I set my mind to.'" [New York Times, 8/19/07 ]
WASHINGTON POST'S CHRIS CILLIZZA – HILLARY 'PUSHED BACK EFFECTIVELY' WHEN ATTACKED: "Clinton pushed back effectively by noting that 'we' (she and Bill Clinton presumably) had been fighting and beating back Republicans for more than a decade and that the idea that the GOP would not attack any candidate who was the Democratic nominee was naive." [Washington Post's The Fix, 8/19/07 ]
HUFFINGTON POST'S RACHEL SKLAR – HILLARY SOUNDS 'STRONG AND AUTHORITATIVE' ON IRAQ: Sklar commented on Clinton's response on withdrawing American troops in Iraq: "She sounds strong and authoritative here." [Huffington Post, 8/19/07 ]
HUFFINGTON POST'S GLYNNIS MACNICOL – 'HILLARY IS REALLY GOOD ON STAGE. SO POLISHED' [Huffington Post, 8/19/07 ]
Forbes reported this. So did lots of media. My guess, cynically, is that Hudson either thinks his blog matters, that he matters, or, is just trying to stir up interest in his blog so that he can garner PayPal and Google clicks.
Full disclosure here: I have similar links. Google ads, when clicked, make me money. Ones on Hudson's site get him a few cents. A dollar donation gets either of us a dollar as well.
Is Hudson threatened by Thompson's success? If his goal isn't the almighty dollar, then why else would he bother?
Self-importance? It could be. That's my motivation.
Think of this: With a Republican in the White House, Rush Limbaugh has less interesting things to talk about. He's not Republican, but he might as well be one their campaign leaders. With Nancy Pelosi in office, Limbaugh has a bit more, as he does by yucking up his grief of the Democrats who are running for office.
Could be Lane Hudson, despite mattering less to Democrats than Limbaugh matters to Republicans, is a wannabe. A one trick pony which no longer even has that trick. Remember whats-her-name, that woman pretending to be an antiwar leader? Gone. Her one trick wasn't much of a trick. And that Chicago woman hunkered in a church so she wouldn't be deported (she was here illegally as a Mexican)? Gone. Hudson, having less to say, is still talking, and, soon, come around January 21, 2009, will have little new noise to toot.
He needs Republicans making big and little mistakes. When the next president takes office, it just will not matter. Not my blog either. Even if a Democrat is the winner of the big dance.
Blogs all over are talking about candidates and election. Most of our blogs are not read by more than a few hundred people. Hudson's name, thanks to outing Foley's pedophiliac actions, is known to the press. Milking this a little longer might just get his blog read by a few hundred more. Since most people, in my unscientifically proven belief, read only blogs that say what already think, I doubt it will make a difference. Not his blog, not my blog, not 1,000 other blogs.
Polls are, at this point, showing Hillary Clinton has locked up the Democrat primary. Polls change day to day, but so far, that's the story. Barack Obama is coming in strong. Among the Republicans though, the story is not as clear. If I were to believe what seems to be Hudson Lane's interest, I say he sees the Democrats worried in November 2008.
This does not change whether or not Thompson has or has not broken the law. I don't know. If so, whatever procedure is to follow should be applied.
As I say in a comment on Hudson's blog:
Rules are rules, and should be followed. If one person needs to follow them, they all should.
It had not occurred to me, until now, that although the Democrats have cleared the election to either Hillary or Barack, the Republicans lead runner is yet undeclared, and quite possibly their strongest hope against the Democrats.
I always felt Rudy, McCain, and the rest of the Repubs were lost in the water, but Thompson could be their ace in the hole. I thought this was the Democrats election to lose, but Thompson could make this a horse race.
We live in a free country. We've got the Constitution, the ACLU, the Nation of Islam, and Billy Graham all living well together. And we have bloggers who whine, and bloggers who post about bloggers who whine. We have the KKK, Archie Bunker, and David Koresh.
Well, there you go. Freedom. Thank God.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
It used to be a well-appreciated fact: America hates Bush. Besides, with the Republicans controlling Congress, there was plenty for a Democrat to hate.
That's now trouble. As it seems, given the opportunity, Democrats are very disliked too. They are running Congress now. After much celebration with the more liberal side of the Democratic Party stepping in under Nancy Pelosi, it looked as if Democrats were as popular as the late Ronald Reagan. Not so.
The survey shows Bush's approval ratings at 35 percent, and Congress' even lower, 25 percent. Only 27 percent of those polled said the country is headed in the right direction, and 39 percent said they support the Iraq war, with 58 percent opposed.That's what it says in an AP piece posted on Yahoo.
No wonder George Bush seemed almost happy when she took office. Congress would make him look good. Who woulda thunk?
What are we supposed to do with that? We love to blame, but we don't know who to blame.
Where this leaves the presidential candidates is the need to push hope. Bill Clinton and Reagan were masters of this. Bush, both, were masters at promoting security, but feeble when it came to hope.
When election times comes, if we dislike everybody in theory (do we really hate Congress that much, or are we just tired of their reputation of giving themselves raises in troubled times, as ethics scandals creep out?) -- will anyone show up to vote? If we are left with a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" attitude, ambivalence will follow, finished off by ignoring the whole election.
We need hope. Real hope, not marketed garbage that is the product of a PR campaign. We need to believe in substance. George W Bush, for all his foibles, is a man of conviction. We need that character in office, with convictions we agree with, we can trust. Kerry lost because we never trusted he had any convictions. John Edwards, to a less degree, seems as wishy-washy (though he is committed to good hair, and is willing to invest in it).
As hope-mongers go, Barack Obama is in better shape, for now, than Hillary Clinton. She's working on this. Obama is simply more stable in his presentation. He feels believable, like a father figure. Reagan was a tough cowboy grandfather, but Obama is softer. He's not exactly Mike Brady of the Brady Bunch, but he carries himself with an academic certainty.
Among the Republicans? Hope is an easier sell for them to their followers. Republican voters tend to look at life and politics more optimistically. However, the Democrats are doing their best to chip away at it.
With Mitt Romney, the Democrats, and even Planned Parenthood is trying to say he's not prochoice and has changed his vote. Prolife Republicans are responding, "Atta boy!" much to the Democrat's chagrin. Rudy Giuliani has divorced to often to feel like a hopeful guy. He's humorous, but not hopeful. Fred Thompson, the jury is still out, but he could play that tenor. John McCain is dead in the water, and was nothing but an interview expert on TV talk shows.
When we all line up to vote, who is still arouning kissing babies is yet to be seen. This much we know, we probably don't like them.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Rochester, NH-- In response to the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota and the concerns it has raised around the country, Hillary Clinton today announced a series of emergency initiatives to ensure that the bridges, tunnels, and roads Americans rely on are safe. These initiatives are part of a broad plan for rebuilding America. Hillary’s plan will not only assure our safety, but create good jobs, stimulate the economy, enhance our global competitiveness, help the environment, and improve quality of life by reducing congestion.
"Something is very, very wrong when, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, in the richest country on earth, people are actually nervous about driving over bridges for fear that they’ll collapse. Or they’re worried that their levees may burst, or their highways may buckle. And let’s be clear: the degradation of our infrastructure isn’t just a serious threat to our safety - it is also a grave threat to our economy," Clinton said. "We do not need any more warnings. We do not need any more wakeup calls. It is time to stop wringing our hands and start rolling up our sleeves. It is time for us to rebuild America."
The bridge collapse in Minnesota underscores the necessity of a renewed national commitment to repairing and modernizing our infrastructure. The impact of Katrina on New Orleans was also a dramatic demonstration of the economic, environmental, and social consequences of our underinvestment. Hillary believes that we should not have to wait for bridge collapses and other disasters to focus on the state of our infrastructure. America needs a comprehensive infrastructure policy for the 21st Century.
More than a quarter of our bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Public transit systems are under-funded and insufficiently integrated into local land use policy. Highway expansion has not kept pace with traffic growth. Seaports are too capacity constrained and technologically inefficient for a nation deriving a quarter of its gross domestic product from international trade. Waterway repairs are so long overdue that half of the nation’s locks are now functionally obsolete. Freight rail capacity constraints are slowing down commerce. And inter-city passenger rail is underdeveloped, meaning increased highway congestion and lost opportunities to create new jobs.
Hillary Clinton is announcing her Rebuild America Plan to address these challenges:
Emergency Initiatives Addressing Safety:
Establish a $10 billion "Emergency Repair Fund" to address the backlog of critical infrastructure repairs. There is a significant infrastructure funding gap, and it applies to everything from roads and bridges, to waterways and seaports. The under investment harms our economy and compromises our safety. There is an urgent need to repair and upgrade more than 60,000 bridges the Federal Highway Administration classifies as “structurally deficient.” Hillary will invest $10 billion over 10 years to finance the redesign and reconstruction of these structures. She will end the “repair-only-when-it-fails” policy that defers critical repairs because funding is unavailable.
Provide $250 million in "Emergency Assessment Grants" to the states to conduct immediate safety reviews of their high-priority, high-risk infrastructure assets. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) has issued an advisory that urges state transportation departments to inspect bridges similar to the one that collapsed in Minnesota. Hillary Clinton proposes $250 million of “Emergency Assessment Grants” to help states conduct emergency infrastructure reviews of bridges and other critical infrastructure to ensure their immediate safety. These grants should be available with a priority-procurement status so they can be put to use as quickly as possible. If more funding is needed, Hillary will allow states and local governments the flexibility of using existing federal infrastructure funding.
Form a commission to carry out a comprehensive assessment of our engineering review standards so that we better prioritize needed repairs on bridges and roads. Recent events highlight the need to assess the integrity of our infrastructure and of prioritizing repairs to protect the safety of users. These events also suggest that we need to review our safety certification process and standards. The bridge collapse is only the most recent example of safety lapses. Last July, tons of concrete fell from the ceiling of Boston’s new tunnel and crushed a woman in her car. Hillary Clinton will establish a commission, under the auspices of the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to review the safety certification process and standards. The commission will also address the prioritization of needed repairs to roads and bridges, and make recommendations on how best to inspect, monitor, and maintain infrastructure on an ongoing basis.
Modernizing Our Infrastructure:
Increase federal funding for public transit by $1.5 billion per year. Increased public transit usage is arguably the best strategy for ameliorating the energy and environmental costs of transportation. As energy costs rise, more people will rely on public transportation. Today, only 5% of Americans commute by public transit, but doubling that figure could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25%. Public transit is also critically important to people who live in urban areas and rely on buses and trains for travel to work and school. Moreover, as the population ages, an increasing number of people will need public transit as their ability to drive diminishes. Hillary will increase federal investment in public transit by $1.5 billion per year to ensure needed capacity expansions and service level improvements.
Link federal public transit funds to local land use policies that encourage residential developments that maximize public transit usage. Over the next 25 years, a large percentage of the buildings we live, work, and shop in will be rebuilt or newly built. This presents a significant opportunity for the federal government to encourage sensible residential and commercial development that are linked to, and encourage, public transit usage. Local areas seeking large federal investments in public transit are already required to have land-use plans and policies that make investing in a high-density transit system worthwhile. Today, these requirements are focused mainly on commercial developments and not enough on residential considerations. Hillary will encourage the sort of dense residential concentrations needed to support public transit systems by better linking public transit funding with residential land-use policies. This will help to discourage sprawl and fight congestion.
Intercity Passenger Rail
Invest an additional $1 billion in intercity passenger rail systems. In the 21st Century, intercity passenger rail should be a viewed as a critical component of the nation’s transportation system. It is an environmentally efficient alternative to highway driving and short flights; it relieves congestion on roads and airports; reduces the emission of automotive pollutants; and it stimulates economic growth by linking metropolitan areas. States have been left to pursue intercity rail projects with only modest federal support. Hillary believes that greater federal involvement is needed to maximize the potential of this transportation mode. She will increase federal investment in intercity passenger rail by $1 billion over 5 years in order to help finance capital projects. These investments are in addition to those made in Amtrak.
Partner with state and local governments and the private sector to create a national policy to guide the modernization of ports. Given the importance of foreign trade to our economy (26% of GDP), ports should be a priority for the federal government. The movement of freight by sea is expected to triple by 2020. Today, a large number of ports are in substandard condition. Many are cramped; navigation channels are narrow; harbors are too shallow for larger ships; access routes are congested; and investments in waterway managements have been low. Hillary will work with state and local governments and the private sector to devise a coherent and comprehensive national policy to expand our port capacity and our port-to-nation transportation connections. She will also work with industry to improve port productivity through such things as the deployment of new technology and by addressing congestion at the major terminals.
Addressing Congestion and Traffic Growth:
Increase the budget for the Department of Transportation’s congestion reduction programs by approximately 50% to $600 million annually. Federal support for innovative state and local congestion-reduction initiatives flows principally through two programs: Urban Partnerships and the Value Pricing Pilot Program. The combined budget for these two programs is approximately $400 million. Hillary will increase the budgets by 50% to $600 million annually to enable the programs to provide greater support to a larger number of cities and states devising innovative solutions to congestion.
Make "technology solutions" to congestion a priority for the Department of Transportation. Congestion is adding about 37% to the length of the average trip during peak hours, a three-fold increase from 1983. Road construction alone cannot be the solution to congestion because it is costly and environmentally impractical. Also, capacity additions alone will not eliminate congestion problems because traffic disruptions from things like weather, breakdowns, and road work account for one third to one half of all delays. Many traffic disruptions can be addressed by using advanced technologies to collect and relay real-time information on road and travel conditions. Also sophisticated traffic lanes management and more rapid incident clearance are shown to significantly reduce congestion. Electronic toll systems reduce backup at toll booths. In sum, the roadways of the future must integrate smart technology. Hillary will make developing and implementing technology-based congestion-reduction strategies a priority for the Department of Transportation.
Promote telecommuting by encouraging its use at federal agencies, and by committing up to $50 million per year to support state and local initiatives. Work travel imposes a greater service requirement on the transportation system than any other travel purpose. Telecommuting, the use of information technology to replace work-related travel, can ameliorate congestion and air pollution by reducing rush-hour car trips. Telecommuting can also benefit employers by reducing office space needs and increasing worker productivity. Hillary Clinton will promote telecommuting by requiring the federal agencies to set specific telecommuting goals for their workforces, and she will require that each agency task a senior manager with oversight of its telecommuting policies. Hillary will also invest up to $50 million annually in state and local telecommuting initiatives.
Support initiatives to establish leadership in broadband. Under the Bush administration, the country that invented the Internet has slipped to 25th in the global rankings for broadband deployment. In order to accelerate the deployment of sophisticated networks, Hillary Clinton will provide tax incentives to encourage broadband deployment in underserved areas. She will also provide financial support for state and local broadband initiatives.
In addition to the policies announced today, as Senator, Hillary has cosponsored the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007. The Act establishes a federally-backed independent entity that will evaluate and finance large infrastructure projects that are of regional or national significance. The bank will finance projects through the issuance of bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, direct subsidies, and loan guarantees.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
No, this isn't celebrity boxing. Rudy's ex-wives could beat up Hillary. He has, what, three of them?
And this isn't battle of the sexes. Rudy's a man too.
John Kerry. Remember him? Not many do. He was the guy back in 2004 who ran against George W Bush. Bush was saluted with a record number of popular votes, trouncing the hapless Kerry. Some of those who voted for Kerry really were not Kerry supporters, but hated Bush with more passion than a KKK member. So, Kerry had his political butt handed to him on a platter.
Rudy Giuliani does not want to be John Kerry.
What? Rudy is a Republican. Kerry is a Democrat.
Right. Where they are similar is that Hillary Clinton's supporters are pro-Hillary. Rudy's will include a large batch of anti-Hillary supporters. Kerry's campaign was set on shifting sand, "Anyone but Bush." If Rudy rides the waves of "Anyone but Hillary," then he'll land on the sand just to be swept away.
Rudy's other problem is Barack Obama. As noted in an early post (Barack Obama is not a Pacifist (so what?)), Obama's not against military intervention against terrorism. One of Rudy's selling points, like the floundering John McCain's, is his commitment to putting down al Qaeda. Now, Obama's on cue, making sure his supporters know he's not exactly pro-war, but that he'll do what it takes. This will not steal away all of Rudy's supporters, but it will grab a few liberals that want an anti-terrorist candidate. Rudy isn't exactly a moral conservative, being called a champion of gay rights and supporter of abortion.
See: Political positions of Rudy Giuliani - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Michael Long, chairman of the New York state Conservative Party of New York stated, "The gay marriage issue draws a line down the middle of the street, and Rudy Giuliani is something of a champion of gay rights."Pro-Iraq, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage conservatives might jump the morally ambiguous Republican Party and vote third party. I can see Ron Paul (see Ron Paul for President) landing as such a candidate. The third party candidate might pull a Ross Perot, stealing enough votes from the Republican presidential candidate to put Rudy under the Brooklyn Bridge.
If Hillary's snags Barack Obama as her running mate, and the race is against Rudy Giuliani (running mate unknown), at this moment (I have waffled immensely), it could be a landslide. Rudy does not have the moral differentiation, nor the completeness of difference regarding war, that he once appeared to have.
See the story referenced below, or any just like it. I'm wondering if this will gain voters or lose them. Barack Obama enjoyed a popularity from pacifists. Clearly, he is not. Is he catering to otherwise liberal voters who, although they might have concerns about our presence in Iraq, are very interested in seeing al Qaeda put down?
The White House quieted the remarks, claiming it respects Pakistan's sovereignty. Right. Sure we do. I'm sure we really do, but, the reality might change if we learn if, as Obama termed it, "actionable" factors - like the country tolerating al Qaeda running the training camps, or turning their head when bin Laden shuffles from cave to cave (as roaches are apt to do).
My own view is that this may not win Republicans or Democrat conservatives who are uncomfortable with Obama's progay, prochoice moral platform, but against Hillary Clinton. Some of what even Democrats secretly like about George Bush made it to the TV news about Obama: stand tough, stand tall, and do no take any crap about al Qaeda.
Tough campaign talk. That's all it is. What he says can be construed as you like, since, although powerful, Obama hasn't the power yet to follow-through.
Obama: If Pakistan doesn't hit Al Qaeda, US must
Chicago Tribune - 31 minutes ago
By Mike Dorning Washington Bureau August 2, 2007 WASHINGTON—Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, under attack from a rival who portrays him as naive on foreign policy, declared Wednesday that he would use military force against Al Qaeda ...
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
With Ron Paul in the mix, is he a real candidate, or just a third voice to provide noise among Republicans? John McCain is stumbling, and it looks like he may not make it back to the barn.
Hillary Clinton represents the standard liberal position: anti-war, prochoice. Barack Obama is more or less the same (though he is not as antiwar as it first appeared - he may just be anti-Iraq). Can either withstand a candidate who takes on their anti-Iraq stance and embraces it, yet retains a standard conservative platform?