January 29, 2008

Co-Presidency Fears Gaining Momentum

I mentioned last week that I thought the idea of Bill Clinton back in the white house was pushing the envelope in interpreting the 22nd amendment. From the Washington Post Blog;

The real concern may be a co-presidency, which raises intriguing constitutional questions. Is Bill Clinton pulling a Putin -- or a Kirchner? The Russian president couldn't seek re-election again, so he tapped a relatively unknown crony to run as his candidate in March, and is largely expected to continue running the show behind the scenes (maybe even as prime minister). Nestor Kirchner of Argentina decided not to run for re-election last fall, but made way for his wife Cristina to win the presidency and keep the Pink House in the family.

They are tacitly campaigning for us to accept an oligarchy. I know, I know there is already a secret cabal of old white guys running the country now.) But there is little doubt that Bill would love to be the Power Behind the Throne, Constitution be damned. From Wikipedia;

The phrase power behind the throne refers to a person or group that informally exercises the real power of an office. In politics, it most commonly refers to a spouse, aide, or advisor of a political leader (often called a "figurehead") who serves as de facto leader, setting policy through influence or manipulation.

Off topic but an interesting take on Bill. From Victor Davis-Hanson;

4. The problem is not that Bill Clinton occasionally lies—he does. But instead, almost serially he exaggerates and fudges—and in ways beyond not inhaling or redefining “is”, or insisting oral sex is not sex. The result is a Forrest Gump like effect, that we are to believe he and Hillary were the font of every almost every liberal gift of the last quarter-century—Yale, then Arkansas being the Mecca of social change.
5. It would be cruel, but understandable to ask amid these long encomia on Hillary’s character, her talent, and her morality—prefaced by Bill’s commentary that he almost alone realized her singular gifts, why in the world, then, did he spend over thirty years trying to escape her in almost every way imaginable? Why if she walked on water, did he find company, carnality, conversation with Paula Jones or Gennifer Flowers, or feel the need to talk trash and more with Monica? In other words, he is asking the voter to take on a partnership, a political marriage if you will, that he, mutatis mutandis, never would or has.

Election Satire

January 26, 2008

Flotsam and Jetsam

We can all use a single image that speaks to us of love, harmony, peace, joy and happiness; an image that suggests the universality of us all. I have been sent that image, and I want to share it with you. All I ask is that you take a moment to reflect on it.
Thx. Dave

It was a fun night at the bar.
But last call was soon not too far.
Censored .....
Now a swear I'll drink liquor no more.

Photo Removed by Order of the Salmon Shack Thought Police.

Keeping to the theme, Beer is Evil. Video here. and the Beer Song Here.

January 25, 2008

Freedom of Speech...As long as you don't offend anyone.

I have been following the case of Canadian publisher Ezra Lavant who facing charges by the Canadian Civil Rights Commission on a complaint from a person "offended" that Lavant had the courage to run the Danish Muhammed Cartoons in his magazine. Lavant has posted video of the proceedings in defiance of Commission rules against such action. It is an interesting exercise in bureaucracy vs. citizen and Lavant makes an excellent case for his right to free speech and the right to offend a prophet that has been dead for 1400 years.

On the lighter side, the Iowahawk has searched the dumpster outside the Canadian Civil Rights Commission office and found a duplicate of the Official Investigative Hearing Report.

January 23, 2008

Back to School Week

*Sorry to say that Christmas break is over and Spring Semester started yesterday. I am looking forward to this term though because unlike last semester when I endured four history courses I have a little variety in this new schedule. One American History Pre 1800 and Educational Psych. Plus two Poli Sci courses, (Foreign Policy and Political Behavior) I hope I can keep my mouth shut in discussion and not be ostracized for my less than liberal views. That doesn't really happen does it?
*Caution, Crass Self-Congratulations Ahead!....
Last semester was the first at the big school after receiving an associates degree from Tall Corn College and Technical Institute. I was sure that I was drowning the first two months at Iowa, (isn't educational water boarding illegal?) Things gradually began to click and I ended the Semester with a 3.52 gpa and a spot on the deans list. Woohoo!

Barrack Responds.

*I want to thank Obama for taking my advice and putting Hillary on notice that he's mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. His remark during Mondays debate that "its hard to tell who I am running against" was on target but I'm afraid that it may be too little too late. He is being double teamed in a steal cage death match. In the end they will kiss and make up for the sake of the country and he will become the bottom of the ticket.

*My contention that people are not attuned to a Clinton return engagement to the White House may be off base. A New York Times article states that up to 37% of SC primary voters don't care which Clinton they are voting for as long as they get their old job back. Sad.

*Fred Thompson: Outside of Fred's acting I really didn't know much about the Senator until he was asked to help with the Justice Roberts confirmation. I was struck by his demeanor and presence and thought at the time that he was a genuinely impressive individual and I hoped he would enter the race when he was toying with the idea. Unfortunately, reality did not meet expectations. He kept people hanging on for too long and once in he never seemed to generate much enthusiasm for himself or Republicans.

January 21, 2008

The Chimera Candidate

Barack Obama has taken the fight to Bill Clinton when in an appearance on GMA he stated;

You know the former president, who I think all of us have a lot of regard (not respect?) for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling. He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts — whether it’s about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas. This has become a habit, and one of the things that we’re going to have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he’s making statements that are not factually accurate.

I just finished listening to a couple talking heads discussing Obama's attack on Bill. One view was that by attacking Bill it takes the focus off of Hillary. She pointed out that the day before the vote in New Hampshire and Nevada, Bill threw a tantrum that for the next 24 hours made him the center of attention, therefore Bill should be ignored. The other commentator believed that it was imperative that Obama respond to Bill. I believe that a third course of action is needed. Obama needs to connect their actions into the quaint “two for the price of one” that they promoted in 1992 and show them for what they are.

I recall a reporter asking Senator Clinton after 9/11 if she, and I will have to paraphrase here, felt that the Clinton administration had done enough to stop Al Queada. She responded “We didn’t have enough support to do more…” My first reaction was, as president there is often a need to gain support or at times act without support, thats called leadership. My second reaction was who the hell is "we"? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? "We" as Americans? Or "we" as Bill and I. I think it was then that I knew that “two for the price of one” was more of a reality than we knew and it is what makes this race to so hard for most people to get their mind around.

We all know their lust for power is a symbiotic relationship, they aren't know as Billery for nothing, evidenced by the fuzzy use of “WE” as a constant component in their rhetoric. Every time that Bill makes an attack on Obama he needs to connect it directly back to Hillary as if it came directly from the horses mouth. She is he and he is she and we have no provision for co-presidency. Obama needs to to emphasize this over and over again!

If Clinton considered herself a co-president as she implies by her white house experience then she has already had a bite at the apple and although it is technically constitutional I suppose for Bill to become first lady he has already had his share of the apple and he can not be allowed a second chance even if it is through his spouse. Hopefully, Democratic voters will show the sense to put an end to this chimera.

Chimera: A thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle,and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire. (Homer)

A Psychological Tip

Whenever you're called on to make up your mind, and you're hampered by not having any,
the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find, is simply by spinning a penny.
No -- not so that chance shall decide the affair while you're passively standing there moping;
but the moment the penny is up in the air, you suddenly know what you're hoping. (Piet Hein)

Via; Dr. Sanity

January 19, 2008

Flotsam and Jetsam

Will Ferrell has a new one man show based on the premise of "a candidate who says absolutely nothing and refuses to commit in any single direction, ever, for fear of losing supporters”. Is this art imitating life? When I entered "unsure" into every issue on this 2008 Candidate Calculator the results were in order; Biden, Brownback, Clinton, Edwards and Obama.

This would make Rube Goldberg proud. It takes a second to load, be patient.

Pepper the deaf dog enjoying warmer times. She has begun to learn hand signals for sit and drop it although the later one is only partially effective. As a Jack Russel she lives by the creed "if it hits the floor it's mine!"

The moose out my back door this morning. More proof of global warming.

January 12, 2008

January 08, 2008

This Old Shack

Just before Christmas I was informed that I had won a thousand dollars in merchandise at a local home improvement outlet. Visions of new power tools danced in my head but of course a saner head prevailed and I found myself loading a grand worth of laminate flooring and all the fixins into the truck for our dining room and den.
I have to admit, everything I know about construction has been gleaned by a lifetime of Saturday mornings hanging out with Norm Abram. I have over the years accumulated enough equipment to tackle most any project and have done everything from finishing the basement in our Anchorage home to remoldeling the kitchen in the current Salmon Shack. These projects always have a way of growing beyond original expectations. "How bout fresh paint, how bout new trim, how bout a crown molding, how bout.....". So for the past week I have been doing my best to keep this little project on schedule and I have to say that thanks to Norm the room is looking great.

January 07, 2008

Left Wing Stats 101

Making the rounds on the dark side of the Internet is this example of fuzzy math claiming to show that the Democrats are some sort of electoral powerhouse this election cycle. As proof, some statistical genius has determined the number of votes per candidate as a percentage of the total turnout in the Iowa Caucus.

Percentage of total vote
24.5% Obama
20.5% Edwards
19.8% Clinton
11.4% Huckabee (R)

If ever there was an example of figures lie and liars figure this is one.
A.) The Iowa caucus is two separate processes with two different sets of rules. When comparing apples and oranges you can't throw then all in the same barrel and determine if something is statistically significant.
B) Whereas the Republican Caucus rules allows one vote per person, the democrats force those caucus goers whose candidate receives less than 15% support to leave the caucus or change their vote to a second choice. (One person one vote, what a concept) So where the republican vote was dispersed over seven candidates the Democratic vote was artificially distributed to the top three.
C.) Iowa voting law allows caucus goers to change their party affiliation the day of the caucus and there was a faction of Republicans that made the switch to vote against Hillary Clinton. Hence the larger than expected Obama support.

(Caution Mixed Metaphor Ahead!)
The delusional lemmings on the left wing bandwagon pee all over themselves with the sort of mindless drivel that these figures portend/pretend to display. To learn more about left wing delusion Dr. Sanity has an excellent article that sheds some light on this sad affliction. When their prediction of domination turns out to be false they'll at least have "the election was stolen" meme to fall back on.

January 05, 2008

I came, I saw, I caucused

I arrived at my polling place at the local elementary school at 6:30 as suggested and when I entered I found myself in the middle of a raucous sea of caucus goers and a feeling of excitement filled the air. Being a caucus novice I took a moment to survey the situation and soon realized by the posters and buttons that this was the democratic caucus. I was obviously in the wrong place. At the other end of the hallway, quietly queued to enter the school gymnasium were my fellow republicans.
The event opened with about a hundred republicans from two different precinct's joining in the Pledge of Allegiance. We were then given two minutes each to stand up and make a case for our candidate. I cringed as one little mousy girl opened her statement by saying she liked Huckabee because he is an evangelical Christian and she then went on to read several pages from Huckabee's web site. She was followed by a young guy that qualified his remarks by telling us that he has been a history teacher for six years and was supporting Ron Paul because he supports the constitution. Who could be against the Constitution? That's like being against mom and apple pie for heavens sake, but did he listen to anything else Paul was saying? The last one to speak was an old gentleman that said he had spent the last six month investigating Romney's experience and had traveled around the state to hear him speak. After the vote most stayed behind to hear the results but few stayed for the party platform and election of delegates.
The Republicans were, shall I say, rather conservative. There was not the buttons, banners and cajoling of fellow caucus goers but instead a certain seriousness in the choices that people had made. If you want a raucous caucus good time I think you go with the Dems, but then again if your candidate gets less than 15% of the vote you don't have to make a second choice. One person one vote, hey, what a concept.
In my precinct Huck beat Mitt by a couple votes with Thompson a distant third. On the other end of the gym Huckabee beat Romney by three to one. That was kind of a shock but in a such a small group it didn't take much to skew the outcome.
You can argue that this process gives Iowa too much power, (I would disagree) and that other places more representative of America should go first. (that may be true) but one thing is certain. Overall caucus goers are a group of deeply interested, dedicated, super voters that take this process and their responsibility to it very seriously and Iowa as whole is also willing to be the stage for a wide range of candidates to roll out their positions not only for itself but for the nation in a very intimate and open process. That is something I don't believe you would get in very many places.

January 03, 2008

Newspaper Shake Up in 2008

There is no doubt that 2007 was a tough year for the Newspaper Business. McClatchy Co. the second largest chain in the country, saw its stock drop over 70% in 2007. The Gannet Company fared somewhat better dropping only 35%. "Controlling costs" ie. slashing staff and the size of the product in most markets stemmed the flow somewhat but at some point these efforts have a diminishing return.
While the rest of the industry has bled, McClatchy has hemorrhaged. Their troubles can be traced to the decisions of whiz kid CEO Gary Pruitt who jettisoned the McClatchy formula of slow growth through the acquisition of mid sized papers in profitable markets and plopped down $1.4 billion for the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1998 then sold it 8 years later for half that amount. Followed in 2007 with the purchase of the Knight Ridder chain for $4.5 Billion at a time when readership and revenues are in the tank.
One can only hope that they are capable of changing course this year. If not, those that have relied on this industry for their livelihoods and pensions will be left holding an empty bag long after Gary Pruitt and the other CEO's make off with their severance packages.

McClatchy stock taking a beating. Sacramento Buisness Journal

Flotsam and Jetsam


The Year in Review. Courtesy Jib-Jab

Most Obnoxious Quotes Of 2007. Courtesy of Right Wing News

"To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil." -- Charles Krathammer

Politics... this ain't exactly a science. Courtesy of Right Wing News

Like the sparrows to Capistrano the RINOs are beginning to return.

Republican identity jumps to two year high.
Courtesy American Thinker

Keith Olberman's Top Ten Lies of 2007. Courtesy of Olberman Watch
Photo: Howard "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" Beal. "Network "1976