Thursday, January 31, 2008

Was I hallucinating?

I think I must have been hallucinating. I thought I saw two intelligent, well-informed candidates actually debate for a full 90 minutes in detail, the ISSUES: Iraq, health care, immigration, the economy, and taxes. Incredible. There was no name-calling, no petty squabbling over nonsensical or trivial matters, no evading the problems, no flowery BS. It was a remarkable performance by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A truly refreshing change from what has gone on previusly as "debates." It makes the recent Brafia debates look like a bunch of kindergartners. It was all the more interesting because the differences between the two candidates on these issues are not really very great. It would be impossible to say who "won." There is a difference between the two health plans, mainly over the issue of whether or not they should be mandatory. Obama says not, Hillary says yes. Both plans would still have problems with people who did not want or would not join a plan. I don't think this is a really serious difference. Then, Clinton doesn't want illegals to have driver's licenses whereas Obama does. Obama argues there is a question of public safety involved. Clinton says illegals shouldn't be rewarded with priviledges. Again, I don't think this is a big difference or problem. On the big picture of immigration they seem to be pretty much in agreement. with one very important exception. This was pointed out by the very clever Rachel Maddow and I'm not sure many were fully aware of it. Obama, among other things, said blacks should not scapegoat illegals as they were not the cause of black unemployment (in the overall scheme of things). Clinton, however, implied just the opposite, by making a subtle (or not so subtle) hint that they might be responsible, thus potentially shoring up part of the black vote.

When asked how they would pay for their health care plans they both said they would raise taxes on the wealthy by doing away with Bush's obscene tax relief for the wealthy, and also by streamlining the system with better technology and organization. As near as I can tell from this debate the only real difference between Obama and Clinton has to do with her unfortunate vote for going to "war" with Iraq, a vote she continues to defend because of the circumstances of the time. She is not being completely honest about this, I think, as she apparently did not even read the document involved and there were thousands of people who knew better that she must have been aware of. Even though there seems little difference in their respective positions about Iraq at the moment, Clinton has a continuing problem here that she will never really be able to bury. I'm not sure that I think this is as important as it has been made out to be. The accuse her of making the vote for political purposes. But she is a politician and politicians often make strange votes for political reasons. Clearly it was a mistake in retrospect, but does it really mean she has terrible judgment all the time? How strongly this should be held against her I'm not sure. The experience vs inexperience issue in general seems to have lost its salience. Both seem to be ready to take over the Presidency quickly. So, is five days enough time for Obama to overcome Clinton's lead? Or is this taking place just too fast for people to get to know Obama better? Perhaps we should all just flip a coin.

Except for the one thing that truly bothers me about Clinton. She is DLC, Brafia- lite. And of course no matter what the candidates say they want to do or will do, there is no guarantee they will actually do that if and when they become President. More importantly, her best line of the night was "It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, maybe it will take a Clinton to clean up after this Bush." This bothers me because in a very real sense Bill Clinton did not entirely clean up after the first Bush administration. Remember Iran-Contra. There is no doubt that the elder Bush was involved up to his eyeballs in illegal actions but Bill Clinton just let it drop. Will Hillary Clinton do anything about the Bush/Cheney war crimes? Will anyone, for that matter?

And how long do we have to put up with this disgusting charade about waterboarding? Now Mukasey says if it was done to him it would be torture. But at the same time he refuses to say if it is (legally) torture. It has been defined as torture since the Inquisition. People have been prosecuted for it. Virtually everyone in the world knows it is torture. People that have experienced it say it is torture. Even John McCain says it's torture. So what's the problem? Mukasey says the CIA doesn't do it anymore. I guess that means it was okay that they did it before? Obviously he won't say it's torture because if he did Bush and Cheney would be clearly guilty of a war crime (actually, they are guilty of so many I don't know why this one would by itself make much difference). But that's the way it stands. The Brafia will do anything to protect their war criminals. Will Hillary Clinton do the same? Will Obama? The question that apparently dare not show its face.

I have just finished Jeffrey Toobin's book on the Supreme Court, The Nine. Absolutely fascinating. Well-written, easy to read, informative, and a pleasure. It tells a great deal about the personalities of the Judges, goes into detail about the major cases, who handled them and why, and in general gives us a lucid picture of an institution that is otherwise pretty secretive. It also gives a glimpse of what went on behind the scenes in some of the appointments. Rather than a sensationalized expose or highly charged partisan political hit, it is a serious and fair assessment of the players and their important decisions, how they came up and how they were decided. Highly recommended.

Another foot of snow! We're on track to have one of the heaviest snow seasons on record. There must be a good three feet of it on the ground already and there is no let-up in sight. One of the cats managed to catch a Flicker and drag it into the house while still alive. It managed to wedge itself behind the water heater where it could not be retrieved and could not escape. Our neighbor came to our rescue and finally managed to catch and release it. We retain lots of feathers. I hope it won't freeze. Life in the country.

Radiant moonlight
reflects on virginal snow
and sacred silence

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What a crock!

Angry at being left alone
with infant, he throws it
down the stairwell.

I think we should ban the concept of news 24/7, at least until they live up to the claim. What we are doing now is just getting 24 hours of utter nonsense. Today it is all about whether Obama snubbed Hillary or not, complete with photographs (that can be interpreted any way you wish). To me it is perfectly obvious that Hillary is shaking hands with Ted Kennedy while Obama is turned away talking with someone else. Obama says he didn't snub her. Hillary, I think somewhat ingenuously, says she was reaching out her hand. She was reaching out her hand - to Ted Kennedy. Anyway, I am angry to be commenting on this at all as it is just another stupid tempest in a teapot that isn't worth 5 seconds of time (but MSNBC has spent hours on it today). What a crock! As if this isn't bad enough they show another photograph in which Obama and Kennedy are said to be looking at Hillary. Imagine that! Looking at her! My god, what will they do next! Only newspersons could be crass enough to think that either Obama or Kennedy are boorish enough to snub Hillary Clinton. What a crock! This is supposed to be news? I guess to MSNBC it is news, right up there with her cleavage, her cackle, her pantsuits, wrinkles and all. No doubt there will soon be time devoted to what she had for breakfast and whether it was good or bad or had some sinister symbolic meaning. Chris Matthews seems to love wallowing in this kind of utter nonsense. I gather MSNBC isn't really concerned about Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, torture, immunity, the recession, impeachment, etc., etc., etc. CNN isn't any better and Fox News isn't news. Carrumba! The MSM are hopeless. The Brafia is having another one of their braying sessions tonight. I can't watch it. My delicate constitution can only handle so much BS a month, and this month has already gone far beyond my capacity.

And please, to whom it may concern: Do not try to tell me how the sweet, innocent Israelis, with their billions and billions of military hardware, sitting on stolen land, refusing to give up even an inch, are being put upon by the evil and malicious Palestinians they have forced into Gaza and are trying to slowly starve to death. And don't even try to tell me there are two sides to every story. At this late moment, for all intents and purposes, there's only one side to this story: the slow, systematic, immoral, premeditated destruction of the Palestinians, aided by the United States.

Rumors are already starting about why John Edwards stepped down from the race. Some say it's because of his wife's health. Some say it's simply because he knew he couldn't win. Some suspect he's made a deal with either Obama or Hillary to become Attorney General or some such other position. He hasn't endorsed either Hillary or Obama yet. So who will it be? Personally, I don't see how he could possibly endorse Hillary after attacking her repeatedly about being a corporate whore, but stranger things have happened. My guess is he'll support Obama. One of my more astute friends things people are beginning to have buyer's remorse about Hillary. I think he may be right. I hope so.

Help! We seem to be caught up in never-ending snowstorms. I don't mind the snow in principle, but when it gets like this I say enough already! I'm starting to worry about the roof because it's deep up there. As Sandhill operates mostly by Linda-power I don't worry too much about anything else. By the way, through the magic of local government, we now live on Wistful Way. It's appropriate.

"Hell itself abhors dishonor."
Tuareg proverb

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I don't get it

Man hires prostitute,
thinks she might flee,
bites off her ear.

John McCain has won the Florida primary where the lack of independent voters was supposed to be a problem for him. I think he won because Huckabee managed to take votes from Romney which probably made just enough difference. Happily Giuliani has dropped out. It looks like McCain may have the edge now and could presumably end up as the Brafia candidate. But why? I don't get it? A mere 25% or so of the American public support Bush and his immoral "war." McCain wants to continue that unsavory business, for 100 years if necessary. And he's already talking about further wars. He is obviously a warmongering imperialist which presumably is what Americans no longer want. So why would the Brafia want to run him for President in such an environment (assuming that he does, in fact, get the nomination)? It just doesn't make sense. Will they just put him (or Romney, for that matter) up as a sacrificial candidate, knowing they probably can't win anyway? Of course it's far from over and Romney, the Lying Mormon, may actually win. Again, he wouldn't seem like a very wise choice, being such a transparent prevaricator who will change his spots depending upon the location and the prevailing winds. And, of course, he's also a Mormon. He doesn't believe this will matter. He could well be right (but maybe not).

In 1904, in response to an attempted revolt by the Herero in Namibia, the Germans drove them into the Omaheke desert and blocked all access to water. Between 45,000 and 65,000 thousand died painful deaths from starvation and thirst. Historians have described this as an instance of blatant terrorism and shocking brutality. Does this remind you of anything that's happening in the Middle East at the moment? It does me. In response to the Israeli attempt to starve and humiliate them the Palestinians destroyed a wall keeping them out of Egypt so they could get food, water, and other basic necessities. The Herero had no such opportunity. What the Israelis have been doing to the Palestinians is nothing short of slow genocide, with the blessing of the U.S. If anyone cares they don't seem to be able to do much about it. I remind you that Hamas is the legally elected democratic government of the Palestinians, whereas the U.S. and Israel prefers to pretend that Abbas, sitting on the West Bank, is. There can never be an agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis as long as Hamas is kept out of the negotiations. And there is no way on earth a Palestinian state can ever emerge from this imperialist mess. Bush's claim that all will be well by the end of his term just marks him once again as the world's worst idiot. This is so laughable I'm surprised the Middle East hasn't laughed itself to death. Instead they just wait patiently for this pathetic moron to finish his term (what else can they do, given the fact that our Congress won't do the right and honorable thing and impeach him and his evil Rasputin). The idea that a viable Palestinian state could be created in spite of Israeli intransigence (and greed) is a pipe dream that wouldn't be found even in an 18th century opium den. The Israelis will never permit a viable Palestinian state unless it is some modern form of a bantustan. I have believed from the very beginning that George W. Bush is borderline retarded. He has done nothing in these seven miserable years to cause me to change my opinion. Is our President learning? The answer has to be a resounding NO! Please, Big JuJu, make 2009come quickly.

"The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on."
North African proverb

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Lies

Big News! Just in! Obama is going to be in Boise on Saturday! Maybe Idaho does matter.

Bubblehead: I thought I might have lost you. But you're back and up to your old tricks. How is it you never speak to the point? My blog last night was not designed to specify precisely when marijuana was banned, or by whom. I know that some defined it as a problem before Nixon. Indeed I had the (dis)pleasure of seeing Reefer Madness probably 16 or so years before you were born. I do think the current mess with our drug laws are more appropriately traced to Nixon than anyone earlier, but that is beside the point of my blog, which was to say that our current laws, especially those dealing with marijuana, are stupid. You don't speak to that point. Similarly, in the past, if I say Bush/Cheney are war criminals, you always bring up some peripheral nitpicking point that is basically irrelevant. Do you think they are war criminals, or you just don't want to say? Your approach is always the same and always seems to avoid the point. I swear, if I said humans were creatures with two arms and legs, you'd drag out a one armed man just to prove I was wrong. I'm happy that you know so much about history and such. Be a bit more imaginative and a bit less picky. Or as some say nowadays, get a life.

Masochism. That's what made me watch the State of the Lies and Fairy Tales tonight. As I long ago gave up any hope that Bush would ever tell the unvarnished truth about anything, I can't say I was particularly disappointed. He didn't really say much about the actual state of the union (obviously he wouldn't dare) and spent a lot of time just saying what it is we ought to do (or, rather, what Congress ought to do). Mostly fairy tales. I always wonder if he actually understands everything he is saying (or reading), and, if he does understand any of it, if he believes it (which I find difficult to believe). Of course the surge is working (he says), the Iraqis are making progress (he says), we are going to win (he says), things in Palestine and Israel are going to be just peachy by the end of the year (he says), Iran is a danger to the world (he says), and so on and on, the same old drivel he's been giving us for the past seven years. And of course his Brafia members applaud and stand while the Democrats mostly sit on their hands. A wonderful show of bipartisanship (something the Brafia destroyed a long time ago lest you forget how they refused even to let Democrats use meeting rooms, acted behind closed doors, ran overtime to twist arms to get their way, and etc., etc.). How soon we forget these things. Are we going to forget the almost 4,000 American troops dead, millions of Iraqis displaced and killed, misery so widesspread it could not possibly ever be fully comprehended or measured, and all for a completely unnecessary "war" against a nation that was no threat to us? The only positive thing one can say about Bush's speech is that it was his swan song, the last one we'll ever have to endure. I thought for a while it would never end. Bush needn't worry any more about his legacy, it's already set in stone: the worst President ever, an absolute disgrace to our country, a pathetic loser apparently too dim to even understand how terrible he has been. Good riddance.

I must say I was surprised, as was everyone, when Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama, and even more surprised at how enthusiastic he is about it. People can say endorsements don't count but I bet this one will, and probably just with those people Obama needs to reach out to: Hispanics, young people, and the elderly. I like Hillary and Bill, and I think they have not been treated fairly for years, but I also think they represent the past and the status quo, and I believe Obama is a hope for a better future.

"It is the preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly."
Bertrand Russell

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Stupid is as stupid does I guess. I read today that last year (2007) there were 739,000 (that's seven hundred thirty nine thousand!) arrests for marijuana. There were also 91,000 related felonies. The (one year) cost of this foolishness is estimated at one billion dollars. Our jails and prisons are full of people incarcerated for pot related "crimes." I'm sorry, but no matter how you look at it, this is STUPID! We have known for years that the deleterious effects of marijuana are nowhere near as bad as we are being told, and certainly nowhere near as bad as the effects of alcohol which is legal. Even when Nixon banned pot it was in spite of the reports he received which said it was not all that harmful. Virtually every study of marijuana done since that time have said the same thing. So why do we insist on making pot possession a crime and locking people up for years because of it? The only conclusion I can come to is that we are STUPID! Our prisons are overcrowded and we are building new ones year after year. A disproportionate number of blacks are incarceratead (probably Hispanics too), due in large measure to our absurd laws about marijuana. I believe it is true (I am not sure of this) that we are currently spending more money on prisons than on college and university education. This is STUPID! The facts about marijuana are not hard to come by. There are many books and articles on the subject. Some of them go much further than just marijuana and insist that all drugs should be legal as the current situation is no different than prohibition which, as you know, was a dismal failure. Well, the war on drugs is a dismal failure, a failure far worse than prohibition. But still it continues year after year wasting billions and billions and taking up time that could be better spent working on true crime. The drug "problem" is in reality a medical problem that our apparently less than bright Congress has insisted on making a political problem. Why is this? Because they are STUPID! Obama may, I sincerely hope, have some understanding of this situation, and perhaps might even try to do something about it. Hillary Clinton I am pretty sure will maintain the status quo, as no doubt would John Edwards. So Obama, and yes, the audacity of hope.

It seems most everyone is still digesting the results of the South Carolina primary. It's mostly about how bad Bill Clinton has behaved and the issue of race, race, and more race. I guess no one knew that Obama was an African American until Bill Clinton pointed it out. Bill and Hillary want to win the nomination and they want Hillary in the White House. Obviously they are going to use whatever advantages come their way, just as all other candidates would do. Trying to convert the race card into a Clinton dirty trick I think is missing the point. Obama is an African American and the media are not going to let anyone forget it no matter what Bill and Hillary do. Do we have to be reminded of how the Brafia has handled the Clintons for the past fifteen or sixteen years? Remember Starr? Gingrich? Rove? Barr? Remember the impeachment for a non-crime? Remember how the Clintons were accused of every crime known to man, including murder? So even if the Clintons are using the race card to their advantage that surely pales into insignificance compared to what they have had to put up with. Obama is an African American. The Clintons can't change that. Hillary is a woman and they can't change that. To the Brafia, however, Hillary is not merely a woman, she is the personification of evil, a witch who cackles and secretly eats children for breakfast, fair game for every sleazy roviating scheme they can think of. Speaking of dirty tricks, you ain't see nothing yet, wait until we actually have candidates. Rove and the swift-boaters are licking their chops just thinking of what they can do with Hillary. But rest assured, they won't spare Obama if he's the candidate. He won't stay African American for long. In the hands of the Brafia and Rove he'll become the jungle bunny, a spook, a jigaboo, a drug-crazed Muslim lusting after white women, a secret agent of the Taliban working to overthrow our innocent nation that loves everybody and just wants to spread democracy and joy around the world (let's see, almost 4,000 dead American troops, 30 or 40 thousand maimed, two or three million Iraqis displaced from their homes, probably a million innocents killed, a trillion or more dollars totally wasted). And no end in sight. But I digress. The Democratic candidate, whoever it is, is going to be subject to the most vile accusations and falsehoods that can be created in the brain of Karl Rove and his little band of evil pranksters. Be prepared.

"A Christian is a man who feels
Repentance on a Sunday
For what he did on Saturday
And is going to do on Monday.
Thomas R. Ybarra

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Father wants him circumcised,
mother doesn't, what's a 12
year old boy to do?

Seriously now, could anyone have believed that if an African American ran for President of the United States race would not be a factor? And gender, as well? Obama won a terrific victory in South Carolina, beating Hillary Clinton by a margin of at least 2 to 1. He must be congratulated. And his victory speech was magnificent. Say what you will, he is monumentaly inspiring, and he is certainly right that our country needs some drastic changes. If he becomes President, and if he delivers on his promise, he could easily become one of our greatest Presidents ever. And we desperately need such a person. Now. I am all for him.

But the campaign is not over. And he hasn't won it all yet. I worry that something could go wrong. There are different ways to interpret statistics. For example, we can say that he won 24% of the white vote and that is good (especially as he was said to perhaps win only 10%). But a note of caution: it also means 76% of white people did not vote for him. Could he win a national election with 75% of whites not voting for him? I worry about race in this campaign. It is being said that the voters in South Carolina rejected Bill Clinton's coded and not so coded references to his race (the comparison with Jesse Jackson, for example). But they didn't reject race as a factor. They didn't vote for him irrespective of his race. They voted for him 81% because of his race, or so it would appear. How can we say race was not a factor? And if it was such a factor in South Carolina what might it be in the country as a whole? Not all states have so many black voters. I am not trying to be a wet blanket or a party pooper or whatever, but I will not rest completely comfortably until Obama is actually occupying the White House. As it stands, Obama is our only hope (failing a deadlocked convention and a draft Gore movement).

I am all for Obama. He does, however, say things that I wonder about. For example, he insists there are no liberals or conservatives, no red ad blue states, only Americans and American states. He insists we are all one people, all loyal Americans. Unfortunately, after the past few years, I no longer believe that. There are in fact some disloyal Americans, some ultra-conservative ones, some who obviously do not share Obama's vision of one America, united. They are what used to be the Republican party but have over the past few years developed into a criminal conspiracy that has repeatedly violated our Constitution and laws, as well as International laws. I do not want to let bygones be bygones and reach across the hall to these evil war criminals. I want them held accountable for their murderous and rapacious crimes. I want to know what Obama is going to do about them. I fear the relief from the present administration will be so profound these criminals may simply be allowed to retire in peace, the easy way out, when they should be turned over to the Hague.

I predicted over one year ago that Hillary Clinton would be our next President. I have been wrong about every Presidential race except Bill Clinton for the past sixty years. I sincerely hope I will be wrong about this one. Let us all unite now behind Barack Obama. The well-being of the entire planet may well depend upon this one decision. Let's not blow it for a beer with Hillary.

"The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party."
John C. Calhoun

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Clintons

I have this strange problem with the Clintons. I don't really like them very well. But I don't truly dislike them either. I don't want Hillary to become President, mainly because I believe she (and Bill) are basically just Republican-lite. She voted for the "war," so to speak, and she seems to me too close to Bush's way of thinking (if it can be said he has any way of thinking). But even though I feel this way about them, I find myself fairly consistently making excuses for them and their behavior. For example, I don't believe for one minute that Hillary cried on cue or on purpose to make political points. First of all, she didn't cry. She merely teared up at what was for her a trying moment and she was very tired. Those that accuse her of acting I think are simply being malicious. When she said her feelings were hurt when told that people liked Obama better than her (the kind of thing you might expect to hear on an elementary school playground), I think it was a perfectly genuine moment. I don't think she is a consummate actress and I do believe that like all of us she does actually have human feelings and emotions. I think there are times when her critics are not being fair (I'm sure there are times when they are). Anyway, I believe she is a victim of sexism, and there seems to me to be a good deal of very irrational Hillary hating out there.

What is more, I find myself defending Bill Clinton. Much is being made of how he and Hillary are playing the race card, being unethical, and so on. I don't think it is all that simple. I'm not at all sure that the Clintons are the ones who originally raised the race card. I think it was more likely the media, and now they have done it they are not going to let it rest. Of course there is no doubt that some of the Clinton supporters have said things they should not have said. But to believe that everyone who supports the Clintons only say things they have been told by the Clintons to say I think is far-fetched. I think it would be strange if Bill Clinton did not speak out on his wife's behalf. I don't think it is strange that he might have been slightly carried away at times. Obviously the Clintons have taken every advantage they can with respect to the campaign, but to accuse them of massive dirty tricks, roviating, and such, I believe is an exaggeration (it seems no exaggeration is too far fetched when it comes to Hillary or Bill, who have been at times accused of just about every crime known to man, including murder). I don't even hold Bill entirely resonsible for his tryst with Monica Lewinsky. Of course it was a stupid thing for him to have done. But it was not as if some lecherous old man had taken advantage of some innocent young lady. Monica was obviously well-schooled in matters of sex. She had even announced to one or more of her friends that she was going to Washington "with her knee pads." It was Monica who flashed her thong and came on to Bill. She knew what she was doing. And it was a consensual matter. The hypocritical Republicans that tried to bring down his Presidency were just as guilty of sexual peccadillos as Bill but acted as if he was the only one in Washington who ever had sex in his office or the White House. It is true that Bill should have been old enough and smart enough not to be seduced but, hey, it happens all the time, in Washington D.C. as well as elsewhere. Probably a good thing no one ever investigated John Kennedy's adventures in and out of the White House. When anyone starts in on Bill and Monica just say "Newt Gingrich," and they'll probably just shut up.

Anyway, I don't know exactly why I find myself defending the Clintons. I think it's mainly because I can't stand hypocrisy and I firmly believe in fair play. I don't think the Brafia has ever played fair with the Clintons and that unfairness continues. And the massive hypocrisy involved on the part of Gingrich and others far transends anything the Clintons have done. The hypocrisy of the Bush/Cheney administration far exceeds anything seen previously anywhere on earth. As they might say in Melanesian Pidgin, "Washington D.C. is the ass b'long hypocrisy).

It has been cold here at Sandhill for several days. Really cold. Oh, not below zero cold, but zero cold. I don't like it. Of course when you are sitting in the living room with a cosy fire reading a good book it's not bad at all. I've been reading about the Tuareg, nomads of the Sahara. Ostensibly Moslems, only Tuareg males wear veils and Tuareg women enjoy a very high status indeed. Culture is a wondrous thing.
I'm supposed to get my regular computer back tomorrow. Hurrah!

"I came to appreciate what good books really were and realized how much I needed them and they gradually gave me a stoical confidence in myself: I was not alone in this world and I would not perish."
Maxim Gorky

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Brafia debate

As I believe what used to be the Republican party has forfeited any right to claim that designation I can only refer to them as the Brafia (Bush Republican Mafia). By their unfailing support for the war criminals that lead them and their robbery of U.S. taxpayers to give to their corporate cronies, they have devolved into little more than a criminal conspiracy. This is probably unfair to Dr. Paul as he doesn't seem to belong in the same category. Unfortunately I watched their debate this evening. The first thing that entered my mind was: when was the last time any of them actually had a new or interesting idea. It was mostly just the same old nonsense about the tax and spend Democrats. They are absolutely obsessed with the idea that taxes have to be lowered (it doesn't matter what the taxes are, they always have to be lowered). And of course they insist that Democrats will raise taxes no matter what (they regard any form of equitable or fair taxation as raising taxes, no matter how unfairly the current tax code aids billionaires and corporations). They make it clear they will continue the existing situation that can only be described as borrow and spend (our children can pay). With the exception of Ron Paul they all believe in empire and will continue to try to control the world no matter what the cost. Although increasingly reticent to mention Bush, when they do it's to claim how wonderful he has been about keeping us free of terrorism (they mean here in the U.S.), and how clever he was to instigate the surge that, in their strange view, is working. They continue to insist that we are winning and/or will be victorious. They do not define victory but apparently they mean establishing a puppet government and leaving troops in place to defend it (while at the same time getting effective control of their oil). True to the imperialism of old, they seem to think the Iraqis themselves will have no right to say or do anything about this. The question of torture and other war crimes never comes up during any of their so-called debates. Ron Paul, the only one who seems to still be in touch with reality when it comes to the "war" and empire, is either ignored or treated as the eccentric old uncle who doesn't know what he is talking about.

They say things that make me believe they don't understand what they are actually saying. For example, Huckabee, defending his faith, said he didn't want to impose it on others (apparently he thinks amending the Constitution to bring it in line with God somehow isn't imposing it on others). Giuliani, in spite of his showing in the polls, insists he is going to win (I guess he has to say that to save face). Romney says he doesn't believe the American public is going to consider religion as a factor in the election. That might (and I say might) be true of the electorate in general but there are many evangelicals who believe Mormonism is a cult and will never vote for him. I'm not certain how many Americans want a President who thinks his underwear is sacred. Has anyone asked Romney if he believes in evolution?

These strange people seem to believe that the threat, the very threat, that a Democrat may win the White House, is causing the recession. Historically, the Markets have performed better under Democratic administrations. The members of the Brafia have ideas about Democrats they cling to dogmatically no matter what is going on in the world, just as they have these formulaic ideas about taxes, small government, fiscal responsibility, Manifest Destiny, and the glory of (others) sacrifices. They are, in short, hopeless dead-enders who are, in my opinion at least, incapable of either learning or understanding even the rudiments of empathy or fair play. I want them held accountable for their imbecilic incompetence.

"As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable."
Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Big Dog, the MSM, and Lies

I don't know if Bill Clinton's recent behavior and comments on behalf of his wife's quest for the White House are truly "unPresidential" or not, nor do I know whether or not he ought to "chill out." I do think that Obama is getting a lesson from the real pro's on what happens in a campaign. There is little doubt that Bill Clinton has infiltrated Obama's head, so to speak. However you want to feel about this there is one thing I believe the "Big Dog" is right about. The MSM is doing everything it can to keep the controversy between the Democrats alive. Bill Clinton said today that in meetings with the people they do not ask about the controversy but, rather, about serious issues facing them. It is the MSM that keeps feeding the fires of controversy (as Bill says, it's what they are interested in, not what the people are interested in). I firmly believe this is true. For example, after the recent Democratic debate where the candidates tried to play down issues of race and gender, CNN immediately scheduled a program on "Race and Politics." And there is no doubt in my mind that they consistently mistrue what the candidates actually said, as in the case of Obama on Reagan and Hillary on Martin Luther King. The MSM thrives on keeping this kind of trivia alive. In this particular case it is in their best interest to do so as splitting the Democrats works to their advantage. I'm convinced they also do it to keep our attention away from the disasters of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now the economy. This is the functional equivalent of "keeping them knocked up and barefoot." The MSM long ago gave up any pretense of being an objective check on Washington and became active players in the political process.

Have we not always known that we were fed a raft of lies about Iraq and the necessity for going to "war" with that innocent country? I guess it helps to now have an actual count of the lies, 935 to be exact. Of course that is not truly exact because it all depends upon what definitions were used and such like. But it is useful to know there are 935 documented lies that cannot now vanish or be explained easily away. Is it likely that knowing this will make any difference, that anything will be done about it, that anyone will actually be held accountable? Don't hold your breath. Accountability seems to be a concept that has disappeared from the Congressional consciousness, vocabulary, and political process. How else can you explain that Bush/Cheney were not impeached a long time ago (and are not likely to be impeached now in spite of attempts to do just that)? The Brafia have been lying since day one of their current administration, more than seven years of consistent, incessant, even pathological lying, and have been allowed to get away with it. So why change now?

One of the most persistent and interesting lies at the moment has to do with torture. Some Brafia just deny that waterboarding is torture. That is a lie. Some, hesitant to come right out and say it is torture, say they don't know if it is or not. That, too, is a lie. Some say that whether it is torture or not it is necessary to protect us from terrorists. Another lie. It is by now common knowledge that waterboarding has been known as torture since the inquisition and that some people have been punished for it. It is known to be illegal both in U.S. law and in international law. So why do people who know better keep lying about it? It is quite simple, really. If they admit it is illegal the Brafia Godfather (Bush or Cheney, take your pick) would be, ipso facto, guilty of a war crime (and we couldn't have that, could we, it would be unthinkable accountability). So we go on blissfully living the lie and burying our collective heads in the sand, just hoping it will all pass and Bush/Cheney can ride off happily into the sunset (of the American dream).

There is a story about when Don Rickles was just starting out as a comic and Frank Sinatra entered the Rickles scene for the first time. Rickles is reported to have said, "don't just stand there Frank, hit somebody." I'm sure this is what most other countries would like to say to us here in the U.S. "Don't just stand there, do something!" Oh well.

"No one is fit to be trusted with power...No one...Any man who has lived at all knows the follies and wickedness he's capable of. If he does not know it, he is not fit to govern others. And if he does know it, he knows that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to decide a single human fate."
Charles Percy Snow

Who's the worst?

This month has been absolutely terrible for our computers and blogging. My computer was visited by some evil creature from outer space and has been in the hands of the Geek Squad ever since. Out of desperation we bought a new laptop but it has its own problems, not the least of which is a wandering cursor. The server came back on for a couple of days but now it is out again. We are beginning to get desperate and may have to look for a different server. Such is life with computers.
The media cannot get enough of the heated exchanges between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the debate last night. It was quite a show and I find it difficult to figure out who was really the worst. Obama, I think, started it when he came out complaining about the Clinton’s misleading statements about his positions. He would have been far better off to have ignored them. But I think he asked for it when he said while he had been fighting the good fight Hillary had been a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal Mart. While it is true she was on the board of Wal Mart for a time I don’t think Obama scored any points by bringing it up. Unfortunately, it gave Hillary the opportunity to accuse him of defending a slumlord in the Chicago inner city. I have no idea if this is true but it probably has at least a small grain of truth in it somewhere. She would, I believe, have been better advised not to say it. John Edwards who spent most of the time just observing the two of them involved in this useless bickering tried to stay above the fray but couldn’t resist accusing them both of taking corporate money. What I thought was most interesting at this point was that Hillary pointed out that he, Edwards, was getting money from the big lawyer’s groups. His argument, which I think everyone missed or at least ignored was interesting. He claimed that was different because, if I understood him, the lawyers only gave him money so he (and they, presumably) could do good work for the public. I strongly suspect that just as in the case of other corporate giving (for which he continually insists they expect something in return) the lawyers are also going to expect something. I guess because of his somewhat marginal position in the debate no one paid any attention to this and there was no follow-up of any kind. There are no innocents in this political business.
The Brafia must be eating this up. What could be better from their point of view than having the Democrats splitting and arguing about how dishonest each other is. The Brafia, along with their cronies in the MSM, have maneuvered us into a situation which is win-win for them. We are allowed to pick between a woman (there are doubts that a woman can win), and an African-American (there are doubts that a black man can win), who are being pitted against each other and doing perhaps irreparable damage to the Democratic party. Thus there is a better chance that a Brafia might actually win. But failing that they will have Hillary Clinton of the DLC, an arm of the Brafia established in the Democratic party. The worst outcome they can expect would be Obama but, he too, is basically just another politician with ties to big business. This is one of the oldest gambler’s tricks in the business where the odds are all in your favor. Any candidate that might have mounted a real challenge to the status quo has been ignored, ridiculed, and left out of the equation. Clever, this criminal conspiracy that runs our country.

My poetic friend, Barbara H. (the only person I know older than I am), slipped and fell the other day. She sent us the fruits of her latest poetic inspiriation:
Ice, ice,
is seldom
I am thinking of her work as a new genre. I call it mini-haiku. It is a refined combination of the true master, Matsuo Basho, and our own Ogden Nash.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Three's a crowd

Young man and girlfriend, both nude,
arrested for traffic violation. He
loses both SUV and girlfriend.

Hillary Clinton won Nevada with 51% of the vote. Barack Obama had 45%. John Edwards had only 4%. This was touted to be a race too close to call for all 3 candidates. So what happened to Edwards? I think after the love-in that substituted for a debate in Nevada, where all 3 candidates swore their love to each other, people realized that as in all love triangles someone has to go. In this case Edwards. Why Edwards? He was the only one of the three that even mentioned any possible differences, and also continued his campaign against the corporations (that all support both Clinton and Obama in one way or another). Edwards must have seen this coming as he complained that the media was ignoring him (which they were). There was little doubt that Edwards would have to go but the suddenness with which it happened was stunning. He has always counted on South Carolina to help him. With a showing this dismal even that now appears to be a longshot. The powers that be don't need any uppity white boys causing trouble. There are complaints about dirty tricks, of course. When are there not? But the complaints mostly surface when one side's dirty tricks outdo the other. Like the warmongering imperialist himself once said, "this is politics, not bean bags." I suspect if Hillary were to somehow win next week in South Carolina it would be pretty much all over. I like Hillary. I think she's actually the best candidate hands down. However, she's DLC, the Brafia wing of the Democratic party. I want Kucinich and, failing that (of course) Obama will have to do.

The Republican contest in South Carolina seems to have gone pretty much as expected with McCain beating Huckabee, but not by much. Even so, it must be the end for Huckabee because if he couldn't win with all the evangelicals there, where can he win? I doubt he has enough funds to go much further. Small loss. It looks like the Brafia candidate will either be McCain or Romney. Put your money on the latter. He'll get so flustered in the Presidential campaign when his lies start to catch up with him it should be at the very least an amusing contest. Much as I might want Obama vs Romney I strongly believe it will ultimately be Clinton vs Romney. Put your money on Clinton, the filly is a strong finisher.

Fred Thompson did the weirdest thing I've ever seen. While the votes were still being counted in South Carolina, and he was not doing too well, he decided to make a speech. He thanked everyone in his campaign, his parents, people from Tennessee, and even his grandchildren. I thought he might think he had won an Oscar. It was so bizarre I turned it off so I didn't learn what it was all about. One might have assumed he was dropping out but I don't think that is what he did. No doubt I'll find out in the morning, someone must have paid attention. I don't follow the Brafia too closely.

My wife is making veal stock. The smell is driving me crazy. Of course we have to import the veal bones from Seattle. No one in Bonners Ferry would even consider eating veal. Our one (kind of) supermarket once featured some veal when it first opened several years ago. That was it. Once. They have never had it again. Once they also had squid. The woman in the checkout line refused to touch it and demanded to know what it was. When I told her I feared she might pass out. The other day, for the very first time, they had a couple of small packages of octopus. My wife bought them, hoping to encourage them. We'll see. Fortunately, we can go to Creston, B.C., thirty miles up the road, and buy all sorts of good things. But true to the best traditions of bureacracy we are unable to bring veal back into the U.S. Mad cow disease, you know. But we know mad cow disease only occurs in animals three years of age or older. So why not veal? Now, to add insult to injury, they changed the rules once again so three-year-old beef cattle can now be imported once again from Canada. Still, no veal. Go figure.

"In the presence of the very beautiful, as in the presence of the immensely intelligent, terror contributes to our over-all reaction, and it is as much fright as appreciation which causes the stabbed-by-an-icicle chill that for a moment murders us when a swan swims into view."
Truman Capote

Friday, January 18, 2008

Moments that matter

Armed man demands cash, cigarettes.
Gets cash, waits for cigarettes.
Accidentally shoots self in groin.

Are there moments that really matter in Presidential campaigns? I know I sometimes make too much of too little, but there are moments that matter to me. These are just moments, not monumental statements or items of obvious importance. For example, when Mitt Romney claimed he had been a hunter all his life. This was a blatant lie and made me aware that he was the kind of person who would obviously say anything to attain his goal. When he then followed that with "we should double Guantanamo," I knew he would literally say anything. I simply cannot trust a person who lies so glibly and stupidly and is exposed so easily. I was not at all moved by Hillary Clinton's tearful moment. I merely assumed she was very tired (which I'm certain she was). I was moved, however, when Hillary resonded, "It hurts my feelings," when told people liked Obama better than her. Her response was immediate and I felt it was completely genuine. It made me think better of her. Now Obama has provided a moment that I believe he is going to regret. When he offered Reagan as an example of one of the great Presidents who had changed the country I immediately had to question his judgment. Saint Ronnie, in my opinion, was an absolutely terrible President. Edwards is quite right on this: Reagan opposed the unions, ignored Aids until it became epidemic, neglected the middle class and the poor, turned the insane out into the streets, tried to ruin the environment, and on. I simply have to hold this against Obama, and I am not at all happy to learn that Hillary apparently also thinks highly of Reagan. This, to me, is almost unforgivable. I would like to think they both meant simply that he did actually change things (although for the worse) and in that sense only he was okay (but I don't think this is what they meant). Then we have McCain's moment when he allowed as to having troops in Iraq for a hundred years would be okay with him. Well, it's not okay with me. I think it is absolutely terrible and only confirms my belief about McCain that either he is slightly demented in his old age or he is an unregenerate warmongering imperialist. When Giuliani said there was absolutely no connection between American foreign policy and what was happening in the Middle East he ceased to exist as a serious person and exposed himself as an utter and complete fool. Of course there is Huckabee's statement to the effect that we need to amend the Constitution to bring it in line with the word of God. What on earth could anything thinking person do with a statement that idiotic? Of course he had already dismissed himself as a serious candidate when he disallowed evolution. Thompson demonstrated his ignorance by proclaining that when he walked through a gun store he felt like he was in paradise. I'm not opposed to gun ownership but what a ridiculous thing to have said. Edwards, as far as I know, has not had such an obviously absurd moment. However, if he says he's the son of a mill hand one more time I think I might throw up. He seems to have a very impoverished stump speech that he should try to work on. Anyway, I don't know if these moments mean anything to anyone else, but they do to me. It's like when someone says something to you in anger and you know you will never be able to forgive it.

My wife is an absolutely super cook and I'm certain we eat as well or better than anyone in Idaho. This is partly because we can get truly great food here, chemical free beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Organic vegetables, fruit and berries, wheat and other grains, wild mushrooms and such. She is also very much into the slow food and organic food movements and won't even consider eating most commercially prepared foods as she is convinced they are terribly bad for you. As devil's advocate I needle her with questions like: if such foods are so bad for you how do you explain that Americans are living much longer lives than they did previously. They also seem to be healthier longer. So how come? She never answers. She just thinks I am stupid. I believe her. But I still wonder about it.

"I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample underfoot. Men are not superior by reason of the accidents of race or color. They are superior who have the best heart -- the best brain."
Robert G. Ingersoll

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm back

Puppy upsets bird feeder,
Grandma shoots puppy,
can no longer own guns.

I have not been able to blog for the past three days. Our server (I guess that's what it's called) is located on a mountaintop. Inclement weather apparently damaged it and it could only be reached with difficulty, hence the delay. I still can't get my email, but that's no big deal as I hardly ever get any anyway.

I watched the Democratic love-in in Nevada and was very pleased and proud of how our remaining candidates conducted themselves. I am not pleased, however, to know that these three have been allowed by the MSM to continue while others (mainly Kucinich) have not. Of course this is what our politics have come to over the years - we are only allowed to vote for candidates picked for us by the Media and the powers that be. It appears the MSM are preparing to rid us of Edwards next. Given the realities of our fake system I am not displeased with either Clinton or Obama (who are both bought by the big corporations but what else could be expected these days). As far as winning the election this year goes I think the Democrats are in good shape.

I can't say as much for the other group (the Brafia) who seem to have some kind of death wish. My son has said from the beginning that Romney would be their candidate and at the moment it looks like he will be proven correct. Mitt Romney, the Lying Mormon, just what we need in the White House (to replace the ones we have there now). Who else can it be? McCain is running on a pro-eternal war platform when the vast majority of the public is sick of it all and wants out. Not only that, there is a rumor today that he may pick Lieberman as his running mate! If this isn't a death wish I don't know what is. He might as well pick Dick the Slimy (remember him). Huckabee is even worse with his talk of amending the Constitution to bring it in line with the bible. Now he has also come out with the claim that same sex marriages will lead to bestiality, among other things. What a winning platform! They don't seem to be able to keep Thompson awake long enough to run. Interestingly, that may not matter in South Carolina. Giuliani will probably disappear after losing in Florida. After all, what reason would anyone have for voting for him unless they are interested in serial monogamy, abortion, and torture? Romney was caught lying again today by some reporter in an episode in a Staples store that was caught on videotape. What a fine bunch of candidates! I can't imagine anyone of them as President. But, then, I couldn't imagine Nixon, Reagan, or the Bush's either. I don't know what, if anything, goes through the minds of the voting public. If they could just resurrect Saint Ronnie, one of the worst Presidents of all time, I guess they would be gloriously happy.

The polls (them again) seem to indicate that either one of the three Democrats could win Nevada. Does it matter? I doubt it except for the fact that it might keep Edwards going a bit further. The voting records of all three are virtually identical so take your pick.

There is a battle going on between the DNC and the DLC over who will control he Democratic party from now on. If the DNC loses Howard Dean will be gone in a flash. If the DLC wins we'll go back to the situation in the 1990's and the Progressive Democrats will have lost out. As the DLC is little more than an arm of the Brafia this would not be an outcome to look forward to with glee. Hillary and Bill will be in charge and Republican lite will rule. Obama or Edwards are clearly the better choices but, like always, what candidates say they will do, and what they do, do once in office is mainly a mystery, a roll of the dice. Why do we keep participating in this charade?

"We have unmistakable proof that throughout all past time, there has been a ceaseless devouring of the weak by the strong."
Herbert Spencer

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hillary the Destroyer?

I only rarely watch Hardball as I think Chris Matthews is the worst host of such a program I have ever seen. Matthews, to me, is what I would describe best as a "ninny." I never ever watch Tucker Carlson who is such a despicable apparently mindless partisan that it makes me sick. So what I say here comes from an article by Marie Cocco on Truthdig (I think it was also on Buzzflash). According to her Matthews apparently said at one time that men who support Hillary are "castratos in the eunuch chorus." Tucker Carlson said something to the effect that when he sees Hillary he involuntarily crosses his legs as he feels she is "castrating, overbearing and scary." I have to say that whatever I think about Hillary, or have ever thought about her, I have never perceived her as a "castrating female" type. I asked two of my male friends an open-ended question as to what they thought of Hillary and the "castrating female" image did not come up (neither of them are fans of Hillary's). I have concluded on the basis of this non-random, totally inadequate sample, that Matthews and Carlson are apparently more fearful of their tenuous grasp of their masculinity than reality, and their comments tell you much more about themselves than about Hillary.

Bush is in the Middle East trying to drum up support for sanctions and/or attacks against Iran. He claims that Tehran "threatens nations everywhere," and the "security of the world." Come on, now, how is it that they threaten nations everywhere? Do they threaten South Africa or Belize? How about Venezuela and Brazil? Maybe Lichtenstein and Monaco? Costa Rica? Norway? This is obviously more Bush nonsense. He is trying to stir up support for action against Iran at the very moment that Iran's neighbors are opening up discussions with Iran over whatever differences they have. He is apparently too stupid to realize this or to have any grasp of reality in the Middle East (as usual). He claims Iran is the biggest supporter of terrorists in the world, apparently because they support Hamas and others who are trying to defend themselves from Israeli and U.S. aggression. And they are "meddling" in Iraq, right on their border, and thus interfering with U.S. meddling there from 8000 miles away. Bush is apparently once again following instructions from Dick the Slimy and the Israelis who have been doing everything they can to bring about a totally illegal and unnecesary military attack on that country. It is Bush and Cheney and their neocon gang that are the greatest threat to the security of the world and blah, blah, blah. Iran has not attacked anyone for more than 200 years and they have legitimate interests in the Middle East that far exceed our dubious plans for that part of the world (which is really none of our business).

Ho-hum. Another death resulting from a Taser. There have now been 160 Taser related deaths since 2001. Either law enforcement people don't know how to use them properly or they are deliberately harming people unnecessarily. Let's do away with them once and for all. If our law enforcement people can't handle little old ladies and others without Tasers they must lack the proper training.

"A man said to the universe,
'Sir, I exist!'
'However, replied the universe,
'The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.'"
Stephen Crane

Saturday, January 12, 2008


What a quandary! With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama now pretty much battling it out for the Democratic nomination (I don't mean to belittle Edwards although it looks pretty certain he will not make it), it will be virtually impossible to say anything about either one of them without being considered either a sexist or a racist. Similarly, it will be virtually impossible for either of them to say anything about the other without being cricized for the same reason. You may have noticed this has already started. Bill Clinton (of all people) is being criticized for comments he has made about Obama (his misinterpreted suggestion that Obama's campaign is a "fairy tale"), and Hillary is getting flak for her remark about Martin Luther King (who had to have Lyndon Johnson actually fulfill his promise), and so on. Erica Jong (of all people) has basically said that anyone who criticizes Hillary is a sexist. Chris Matthews is being accused of sexism. And so it goes. Perhaps Clinton and Obama should declare a truce and say nothing at all about each other?

Obviously this is not going to prevent wholesale roviation. Karl Rove, the master himself, has already begun. See the piece by R.J. Eskow on Smirking Chimp today for a useful guide to Rove's comments. There is no doubt that this kind of stuff, subtle and not at all subtle, is going to increase as the nominating procedure continues. I seriously doubt that the winner, whoever it may be, is going to escape being tarred as either a racist or a sexist. Clearly there are things that can be said about both candidates that are legitimate, but it is going to take some professional refereeing to sort it out and I doubt the public will have much patience for this. In the case of the Brafia we know from experience there is nothing they won't do or say to win for their candidate. They have already demonstrated they have no shame whatsoever.

Did you know that the Portuguese in the 15th century ushered in the European "Great Age of Discovery?" At the request of the Portuguese King on June 18, 1452, the Pope issued a famous Papal Bull that authorized the King " attack, conquer and subdue Saracens, pagans, and other unbelievers who were inimical to Christ; to capture their goods and territories; to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to transfer their lands and properties to the King of Portugal and his successors." (C.R.Boxer, 1969. The Portuguese Seaborne Empire 1415 - 1825.

Nothing very subtle about that. The Portuguese set about doing it on both coasts of Africa, India, and later in Brazil. It became a worldwide bloodbath that allowed the Dutch, Germans, French, English, and even the Belgians to forcefully and most unpleasantly establish their colonies throughout the world, a situation that still haunts us to the present day.

"If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all."
My dear departed Mother.

Friday, January 11, 2008

News 24/7?

I think we should do away with news 24/7. There just doesn't seem to be enough news to go around. Either they just repeat the same news over and over all day long, or they focus on trivia. I suppose that theoretically there ought to be plenty of news. I mean, after all, there's a whole world out there. But here in the U.S. we don't really get much news from around the world. If we do it's generally just an announcement like: Bush Travels to the Middle East, or Bush Meets With Olmert, or some such thing that is not exactly real news. Our MSM only gives sound bites, never any in-depth analysis of anything. They do repeat anything the White House tells them to but, again, that is hardly news.

We get things like Hillary's cleavage or her "cackle," or her pants suits, or hairdo, and Edward's $400 haircut, and now Obama's barber shop, and exciting things like that (that seems to be designed to keep us from getting any real news, like what's really happening in Iraq, or Iran, or wherever). And it steers clear of any of the forty or more scandals of the Bush/Cheney administration. The MSM just bury everything they don't want us to hear, like Wexler's impeachment attempt or just about anything Kucinich says, and so on. Now the latest flap over Bill Clinton's comment that Obama's claims about his opposition to the "war" was simply a fairy tale. This has been converted by the media into Bill Clinton's claim that Obama's pursuit of the Presidency is just a fairy tale. Anyone who has seen the clip of what he actually said knows perfectly well what he said and what he meant. But by keeping the lie alive they keep us from hearing anything about Bush's ridiculous visit to the Middle East and its inevitable failure. Bush's claim that the Palestinian/Israel problem will be solved by the end of his Presidency is just one more example of how out of touch with reality he continues to be.

I guess if the 24/7 news wanted to give us real 24/7 news they would have to spend some money on real reporters and travel, rather than on nice-looking young ladies to read us pap off the teleprompter. I should think the tons of money they are getting from the pharmaceutical industry would pay for some real news, but not, of course, when all the money goes to the CEO's. Do you think all that advertising doesn't add to the cost of your drugs? The main purpose of those ads would seem to be to get us to buy drugs we don't even need. If everyone took their advice and "asked their Doctor," we wouldn't need the ads in the first place. Common sense and reality has long since departed our American culture of the absurd.

Well, it's off to Nevada and South Carolina. That'll keep us informed for days and will certainly keep us isolated from anything the MSM doesn't want us to hear.

"There has never been a war yet which, if the facts had been put calmly before the ordinary folk, could not have been prevented. The common man is the greatest protection against war."
Ernest Bevin

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Imagining the "mark of the beast,"
man cuts off his hand, and
puts it in the microwave.

Everyone is talking about change. Everyone. Even the Brafia. No one seems willing to credit the status quo, although some of the Brafia candidates insist that Bush has done a fine job and they wish to more or less continue the "war" and so on. Change, in the abstract, is pretty meaningless. Some seem to think change means continuing the "war" but doing it better. Some seem to think that starting new "wars" might be a good idea. Democrats are more outspoken about change than anyone else. But they could mean anything from changing the administration, to changing health care, to changing education, to changing economic conditions, to whatever. Speaking of change without specifying precisely what it is you have in mind to change is not really very helpful. Changing the administration would be very helpful, however, no matter what else was involved. Just prattling on about change is pretty ridiculous. Of course there is going to be change no matter who wins the election. There are good changes and bad changes. Which is it to be?

One article on Truthdig today points out what seems to be the fact that Hillary did better in counties where Diebold machines were used than in counties where the votes were counted in the old fashioned way. The difference was not great but great enough to be noticed. Are we to make something of this. I don't think so but it is apparently true. One suggestion is that where votes were hand counted was mostly in rural areas where Hillary would not expect to do so well. Maybe.

Another article I saw suggests that racism may have proved to be involved. As I suggested earlier, people who have to vote in public, as in the caucus system in Iowa, would be less inclined to vote as a racist because they would be exposed. In New Hampshire, where the ballots are cast in the privacy of the voting booth this would not be a factor - hence some New Hamphire voters may have voted against Obama in spite of what they might have previously claimed. Maybe. I doubt this by itself would account for the difference but maybe in conjunction with the former, the two claims might have been part of the unexpected result.

Clinton received a much larger percentage of female votes in New Hampshire than she did in Iowa. This is a matter of fact. But why? Some think the voters in New Hampshire simply resented claims that they would vote like Iowa and were just contrary. Some think Clinton's performance (her tears, etc.) aroused a great deal of sympathy for her and exposed her "human" side which made a difference. Some think that Edwards and Obama ganging up on her made women angry so they came to her rescue. Maybe.

Still others blame the pollsters for just not getting it right. There were too many undecided voters that were not considered, the election was held too soon after Iowa for adequate polling, and etc. Maybe.

I suspect that the answers will come as the contest moves into other states. Obama is widely expected to win, in spite of New Hampshire. If Clinton continues to win we will know that at least some of these factors are wrong. I predicted long ago that Clinton would win because the powers that be wished it. The Diebold claim and the racism claim would fit right in with my beliefs about this. But I do not claimHere that is what is involved. At least not yet. There is, however, no doubt in my mind that racism will raise its ugly head from now on. The roviating will surely be terrible, certainly on the right-wing blogs. I am told it has already begun although I have not seen it myself as yet (I don't read right-wing blogs). I sincerely hope it will be resisted wherever it appears. Racism has no legitimate place in America. Not now. Not ever. I am reserving judgment on the Diebold machines.

"Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politicians corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered
and slanged,
I wept; for I had longed to see him
Hilaire Belloc

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Husband takes ipod away from son,
wife hits him in the face,
is arrested for assault.

Can you believe that a President of the United States is so hated and despised that he has to have a security guard of more than ten thousand to visit a small country that is supposed to be one of our closest allies? This is apparently what is involved in Bush's useless trip to Israel. Bush can confer with Olmert all he wants, and then to go on to hold hands in Saudi Arabia, but nothing of substance can possibly come from this trip. Bush is a lame duck President like no other before him. He has no credibility and is in no position to make any serious commitments. The whole world is just waiting for him to go. If he had even a shred of decency he would have gone a long time ago and taken Dick the Slimy with him.

We had the pleasure of a visit from Walt Minnick today. As you know, he is one of three Democratic candidates running for the Congressional seat now held by the completely useless Bill Sali. I liked him. He seems like a truly nice guy. And he seems to be on the right side of most of the issues that concern me. I will be very happy to support him should he win the nomination. However, there were a couple of things that bothered me a bit. First, when he was asked why he was a better candidate than Larry Grant he replied simply, "because I'll win." This implies to me that he believes Larry Grant can't win. I don't believe that. I assume he thinks that he will have the money and support to win whereas Larry Grant will not. I think if Larry Grant had the support of the Democratic party he would win. And I also believe he deserves to win as he has worked for it. I don't believe the accusation that he ran a lackadaisical campaign (he certainly didn't here in Bonners Ferry where he knocked on doors, walked in parades, met with citizens, answered questions, and so on). Minnick also allowed as to having been recruited to run. Who do you think recruited him? The main thing I didn't like very well was the fact that he seems to accept what I think is the French "cryogenic theory of nuclear waste." That is, you stockpile it somewhere safe because you might someday be able to use it. He explained that he knows the problem with nuclear energy is the waste, and he also admits that the nuclear waste in Southern Idaho is eventually going to leak into the water, but he still won't take nuclear off the table because we might need it for a while (at least). I am not only totally opposed to nuclear power plants I believe that anyone who is not, must be unconcerned with life on planet earth. Nuclear waste kills - indiscriminately. And it doesn't go away. It is said that the French re-use nuclear rods until they can't be used anymoe (but are still dangerous) and then safely stockpile them. Perhaps they do. But I have also read that they send nuclear waste to Russia (can't hurt anyone there?). Other than this I was impressed with Minnick and I have no doubt he will be a good candidate and, if elected, a good Congressman. But as for me I will stick with Larry Grant who is an outstanding candidate (whose biggest sin, I guess, is that he's not from Boise and doesn't have as much money).

There are those (on the far right, of course) who think that Hillary Clinton just turned on her tears on purpose (she is a consummate actress?), and still others (also on the far right) who say if you cry you are not fit for public office (like Romney, for example). What a crock, these people hate Hillary with such irrationality they can't, or won't, even give her credit for being human. I don't want her to be the candidate but I find myself now often defending her. I suspect this must have had something to do with the unexpected results from New Hampshire. So keep knocking her, her candidacy thrives on it.

"The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophes."
Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Amusing, at least

What a shock! Hillary Clinton, against all polls and expectations, wins the New Hampshire primary. It was both interesting and amusing to watch as everyone on TV, and the candidates themselves, continued to speak of how it was Obama would win, perhaps even by double digits. Not one person even contemplated a Clinton victory, not a single one. This in spite of the fact that she was from 2 to 4 percentage points ahead during the entire time. All of the pundits were wrong. All of the polls were wrong. So what happened?

Some think the voters of New Hampshire just didn't want it to be over so soon so they voted for Hillary to continue the contest. Maybe. Some think it turned around when Hillary cried and expressed her passionate feeling about what she was doing. Some think it was because of the overwhelming support by women of Hillary, unlike what happened in Iowa (which obviously had much to do with it). Some think that voters realized they didn't really know enough about Obama. Still others think it was because she started taking questions from her audiences instead of just making speeches. Of course the analysis has barely begun. In any case it was a remarkable and unexpected comeback.

I personally believe that this remarkable turnaround began during the last debate when the moderator told her that people liked Obama better than her. She replied immediately, "that hurts my feelings." I found that to be a genuinely touching moment and made me change my feelings about her. This is not to say I prefer her as the candidate but I certainly have a great deal of respect for her, and I think I know her better than I did before.

So the quest continues and there is a very long way to go. Nothing will be settled until February 5th. There is little doubt that the American public is fed up with the Bush/Cheney Brafia and overwhelmingly demand change.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
Robert Frost

Monday, January 07, 2008

Too late by far

George W. Bush, our fake President, is embarking on a trip to the Middle East, a trip that will include his first visit to Israel. After seven years of blatantly supporting Israel or otherwise ignoring the Israeli/Palestinian problem, Bush apparently wants the world to believe that he is going to bring about a solution to this long standing continually festering problem (he apparently also believes this will leave him with a positive legacy for his Presidency). I don't know if this is a world's record for chutzpa, or for arrogance, or for stupidity. Perhaps it is all three. In his last year (how he survived the first seven is utterly beyond my comprehension), while he is a genuine "lame duck," and has no credibility whatsoever, he thinks anyone will pay attention to anything he proposes? Furthermore, he has to deal with Olmert who has not much more credibility and little power to negotiate much of anything. Similarly, Addas, the pretend leader of the Palestinians, is also not in a position of enough power to negotiate anything much. It's like three old men in a tub slowly sinking into the Mediterranean while refusing to believe the tub leaks like a sieve.

This trip is presumably a follow-up of the Annapolis conference Bush organized, an attempt that accomplished nothing. I don't think it was meant to accomplish anything other than offering Israel more time to build more illegal settlements and continue their slow genocide of the Palestinians. How can anyone even talk about negotiations when the Palestinians have no power and nothing to offer but their dignity. This trip is just a gigantic waste of taxpayer money that will result in nothing. And of course the idea of negotiating without Hamas and the people in Gaza is absurd on the face of it.

Yes, I know the all-important New Hampshire primary is tomorrow. I'm already sick of it. I guess on the Brafia side it will be a contest between the Chief Warmonger and the Lying Mormon. For the Democrats it will be Obama the Younger against Clinton the Older. In any case Hillary will not give up until after February 5th no matter what happens tomorrow, and Obama won't either. Look for the roviating to begin in earnest, especially if Obama wins the nomination.

My poet friend, Barbara H., has been working very hard since her last poem. This one, dedicated to pet owners everywhere, goes as follows:

Oh Oh Oh
the cat is in the snow

She's becoming verbose.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The war party

I spent almost four hours last night watching the "debates." They were somewhat more in the form of real debates than all of the previous ones. First, of course, the war party and then the Democrats. I found it hard to believe just how warlike the war party really is. Just more war, more troops, more occupation, more killing, and so on. And with the exception of Ron Paul they all seemed to share this warlike stance. Amazingly, I thought, they even kept saying what a wonderful job Bush has done (made me wonder if we occupy the same planet). McCain, of course, continues arguing that the surge is working and that we will attain a victory. Victory is still to be defined as I, at least, have no idea what victory in Iraq would consist of (having killed every last one of them and stolen all of the oil?). Somewhere I read that McCain is interested in war for war's sake, no matter what it accomplishes. I think that may be right. Poor Ron Paul, the only one that seemed to me to be even half sane, was virtually hooted down every time he mentioned anything sensible. I must say I was truly shocked to hear Giuliani's absolutely astonishing claim that American Foreign Policy has nothing to do with the situation the the Middle East. It is, he claims, "completely irrelevant." No one even bothered to challenge this absurd claim except for Paul but no one listened to him anyway. I was rather surprised they did not paint their faces, drum, and do war dances. It was an incredible performance. Each one trying to outwarmonger the next. It was as if none of them (except Paul) had heard that the vast majority of the American public is sick to death of their "war," and want out as soon as possible. Where does the Brafia even find such characters?

I (happily) missed most of tonight's performance. What I did see was merely a repeat of last night's discussion of immigration and McCain and Romney engaging in their ongoing semantics about what constitutes amnesty. Totally unrewarding. I gather from some of the comments at the end that Romney seems to have done the best (I'm not sure what the "best" is in this context). The most interesting part, in a way, as the end when each candidate was asked to say why they should be President and what they would do as President. Most of them want to build a fence or otherwise keep anyone from illegally entering the country. Tellingly, not one of them mentioned ending the "war," or bringing the troops home. It's like they are all secretly pledged to endless killing and bloodshed. And they want us to believe that things are better now. Better than what? There are over a million innocent Iraqis killed, almost 4000 American troops killed, probably 40,000 injured and maimed in one way or another for life, 4 million Iraqis displaced, no one knows how many tortured, and human misery in the trillions of units (if, that is, there were units for misery). There seems to be a lull in the killing. I guess that's what they have in mind when they claim things are better. The surge is working, they say. But the surge, which was designed to give the Iraqis time to settle their political differences, has failed miserably in that dimension.

Someone, I forget who at the moment, once said that a second marriage was "the triumph of hope over experience." I can't help but think of that when I consider Barack Obama and his "Audacity of Hope." If Obama should get the nomination (and I think it is too soon to tell), I sincerely hope he will surround himself with good, solid, experienced advisers, and will actually listen to them. And I also hope he will hold accountable the war criminals that lied us into this disaster.

This is a new laptop (my regular computer is still not fixed) and I am having trouble getting used to it. The keyboard is a bit different and it has some rather strange quirks. No doubt it will all settle down in a few days.

"This interlude of school makes a somber gray patch upon the chart of my journey. It was an unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, and of toil uncheered by fruition, a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony."
Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Dead space

Window washer falls 47 floors
but survives. His wife insists
he find another line of work.

Dead space. No, I'm not talking about the space between the ears of George W. Bush. I'm reflecting on something that has been bothering me for some time now. We have been making quite a lot of trips from Bonners Ferry to Seattle and back. From about 20 miles west of Spokane all the way to approximately Ellensberg, there are more than a hundred miles of what appears to be entirely dead space. That is, you can drive all those miles repeatedly and never see a living creature, aside from an ocasional bird. I mean nothing alive. You don't even see any dead live things. No road kill. Nothing in the way of animal life. I don't recall that it has always been so. I seem to remember from many years ago when I occasionally drove that route there were always animals of some kind: rabbits, coyotes, snakes, mice, lizards, and such things. What has happened to them? I swear you can drive this route repeatedly and never see anything alive, or even dead. Nothing. I find it quite amazing. How is it that such a huge area seems to have been rendered entirely sterile, absent of life forms that used to be there? I don't know the answer to this. Perhaps my memory is faulty and it was always so. But I don't think so. Have we managed to poison and/or trap all the coyotes and other creatures that were once there?

Then, ironically, driving west, just before you get to Vantage, Washington, there is a Memorial to Wild Horses. If you look to the left up on one of the ridge tops there is a herd of sculptured metal wild horses clearly visible against the sky. I'm all for art, and I understand the sentiment, but at the same time it always fills me with an ineffable sadness. Why do we have to have fake wild horses? Why couldn't there be real wild horses? There seem to be thousands upon thousands of acres that must have once supported such creatures, along with many other species. Are we to just be satisfied with fake creatures from now on? We could have artistic renditions of the pygmy rabbit, for example, as they are on the verge of extinction. And coyotes, we could have replicas of coyotes, perhaps even desert tortoises, along with fake rattlesnakes and desert mice. A whole world of fake animals to replace those we seem to have decimated. A whole artificial world to complete the one we already live in.

"I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved, which a cow enjoys on giving milk."
H. L. Mencken

Friday, January 04, 2008


Bubblehead: Would you please use your influence with Bush to release my computer from his evil clutches. Doubling up on my wife's laptop doesn't work very well.

My apologies to Jerry Brady. I know his name is Jerry Brady. I've always known it was Jerry Brady. He's even been a guest in my house. I don't know why I typed John Brady. I think it was a missed synapse in my aging brain.

Jerry Brady did endorse Minnick. I don't know whether he endorsed Obama or not. In any case Jerry Brady is not going to be the Chair of Idaho Democrats, having lost out this evening to Keith Roark who, I am confident will be great in the job (actually I think Jerry Brady would also be fine but as he already committed himself to Minnick I don't think it would have been entirely kosher).

Someone suggested that I must be a conspiracy buff because of what I wrote about the Good Ol' Boys of Boise. I didn't say it was a conspiracy. I merely described what seemed to be happening. Grant was a fine candidate but they want Minnick. Brady endorsed Minnick but also wanted to become Chair of Idaho Democrats. Cecil Andrus had some influence in these goings-on as did John Foster. All I can say is, if it looks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be....a conspiracy. Furthermore, I do not see how I was "smearing" Cecil Andrus or Jerry Brady by simply reporting what seemed to be happening. I am a supporter of Larry Grant. I think he's a great candidate and deserves to be elected to Congress. He has nothing whatsoever to do with my blog. I do not consult with him or vice-versa. As far as Cecil Andrus goes, I think he was a great governor, and he's probably a great guy. But I don't think Boise ought to single-handedly try to run the entire State of Idaho. This probably has to do with my youth in Wallace when Boise was always meddling in our affairs. They seemed to think that the values of farmers in Southern Idaho should be forced on a small, wide-open mining town in the north. They failed but they never gave up, the money always spoke more loudly.

Anyway, Cecil Andrus, John Foster, Jerry Brady, Walt Minnick, and the rest of the Good Ol' Boys are entitled to think and do as they will. That doesn't mean everyone has to agree with them. And when the time comes that we are not even allowed to speak of their doings it will be a sad day indeed.

"We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. We have talked for a hundred years or more. It is time now to write the next chapter--and to write in the books of law."
Lyndon B. Johnson

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Beware of Good Ol' Boys

Beware the Good Ol' Boys of Boise who seem to be determined to have things their way, as usual. I am trying to understand this so be patient. First, understand that in the last election there was a perfectly fine Democratic candidate for U.S. Congressional Representative, Larry Grant. In this red state he came very close to winning against the Republican eccentric (I am being generous), Bill Sali, who was supported by no less than Vice-President Cheney who made two trips to Idaho for him, and also rather handsomely by the Club for Growth. Larry Grant is running for this office again in this election cycle. I believe there is little doubt that with even nominal support from the Idaho Democrats he would easily defeat Sali who has proven to be a virtually useless body in the House of Representatives.

But for whatever reason the Good Ol' Boys of Boise have decided to run another candidate, thus potentially splitting the Democratic vote. Their rationale for this seems to be their claim that Larry Grant ran a lackadasical campaign which, personally, I do not believe. In any case, their candidate, Walt Minnick, has lots of money and thus believes he can win against Sali (which is probably true as my useless cat, Katie, could probably win against Sali this time). So if it was simply a case of money the Good Ol' Boys could have contributed to Larry Grant and the Democratic party would be pretty much assured of a victory. So why Walt Minnick? He is well-known and widely liked but, more importantly, he is a Good Ol'Boy and Larry Grant is not.

But the plot thickens. The Chairman of the Idaho Democratic party, Richard Stallings, just resigned and has to be replaced. Apparently, taking a page out of the Republican game plan, John Foster, acting in conjunction with ex-Governor Cecil Andrus, simply wanted to appoint a new Chair for the Party, a procedure not in accordance with the rules. Not only did they want to improperly install a new Chairman, they wanted to install one who has already endorsed their candidate, Walt Minnick, which would appear to me to be somewhat unethical. Thwarted in this endeavor, there is now to be a meeting via telephone conference call tomorrow afternoon (Friday, January 4th), to vote on a new Chairman. There is one candidate, a lawyer, Keith Roark, who has promised to be entirely neutral in this procedure, and is widely respected. But undaunted, the Good Ol' Boys are going to nominate John Brady, the very person who has already endorsed Minnick. Their argument for this, such as it is, is that it would result in all three of the important offices (IDP Chair, Senate Minority Leader, and House Minority Leader) all being in the hands of people from Blaine County (no doubt a calculated attempt by Blaine Country to take over the State of Idaho). In short, the Good Ol' Boys are determined to have their way and their candidate for the House, no matter what.

So where was Walt Minnick during the last election cycle? Why didn't he run for Congress then? What is it, if anything, they actually have against Larry Grant except that he is from Fruitland rather than Boise? And why, if they are really interested in furthering the Democratic party in Idaho, rather than their own interests, would they risk splitting the Democratic vote when it is entirely unnecessary?

Larry Grant is a lawyer, he was General Counsel for Micron before he retired, he is a life-long Idaho Democrat, a hunter and fisherman, husband, father, intelligent, personable, hard-working, fair-minded, and dedicated to the people of Idaho. I cannot imagine a better candidate for Congress. He has done the work and demonstrated that it is possible for a Democrat to win in Idaho. I urge everyone to support him.

I was right about Huckabee. I knew the evangelicals would come through for him. Do you think the rest of the country will vote for a President who wants to bring the country back to Jesus?

I was wrong about Hillary. My apologies to the Democrats and Independents of Iowa who are apparently not as racist I thought they might be. But remember, it's not as easy to be a racist when you have to expose yourself in public as one. Will what happens in the privacy of the voting booth be the same? I sincerely hope so but I would not risk a lot of money on it. Congratulations to Obama. The fact that Hillary was third (one percentage point behind Edwards) I find inconsequential.

"He spoke with a certain what-is-it in his voice, and I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled."
P.G. Wodehouse

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Guest blogger- my son Julian-Iowa Predictions

I have already made my predictions for the Democratic caucus in Iowa. So tonight Morialekafa has a guest blogger who is more informed and much more of a political junkie - Julian Langness - who wants to offer his predictions.

Hi, for any of you who read my dad’s blog who don’t know me, I’m his son, Julian. I’m 22 and I go to the University of Washington. I’m a creative writing major but I am hoping to go to law school after I graduate. I’m also a total political nerd, and lacking my own blog or outlet for my predictions on the presidential race, my dad has been nice enough to let me use his for tonight.

So, first of all, in June I predicted that the general election would end up being between Barack Obama and Wesley Clark against Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee (Clark and Huckabee as Vice-Presidents I mean). I’m still reasonably confident in that, although I don’t think there’s any chance that Huckabee and Romney would pair up now that they have become such heated opponents and begun to attack each other so much. So yeah, I think if Romney wins he’ll probably still pick some evangelical southerner. Someone like Mark Sanford (Gov- South Carolina), or even Fred Thompson maybe.

But yeah, the main thing I wanted to talk about was the Iowa Caucuses tomorrow. I think that these primary’s are probably the most interesting in a very long time, probably in my dad’s whole lifetime even. Cause they didn’t even have primaries till what? Like forty or fifty years ago? And apparently this is the first time since 1952 where there wasn’t an incumbent president or vice president in them. So its pretty incredible just because of that. And then of course there’s also the fact that there’s a woman, and a black guy, etc. But mostly I think they are so interesting this time around because there are literally 8 or 9 candidates who could potentially end up being the next president going into Iowa.

I don’t know how much Iowa is going to narrow it down though. The Dem side is looking totally wide open, and the G.O.P. side is somewhat clearer for tomorrow, but in the long term its also pretty wide open. But anyway, I think the key influence on how they turn out tomorrow night is going to be attendance. I don’t remember the exact estimates, but I think that some people were saying there could be anywhere from 120,000 to 170,000 on the Democratic side and maybe only 50,000 to 90,000 on the republican. Those kind of numbers would be a good indicator that dems should do good in 08 too, but yeah, they also will have a huge impact on who wins tomorrow. For the democrats, the more people who caucus the better Obama will do. Because he has he most support among independents and crossover republicans. And then for the republicans, the more people who come the better Huckabee does. I think if you took all the republicans from Iowa who voted for Bush in 04 and had them all vote on a nominee, Huckabee would probably get around 40%, however, out of the three million people in Iowa, a pretty infinitesimal number are going to be caucusing. So yeah, if not that many people come out on the Republican side we could see some big surprises. I think that if that is the case Romney will pull a pretty wide upset, because he has so much money and such a good organization. Huckabee is way more popular, but he has little official organization outside of the homeschooling community and churches, and little to no money. And then the other person who benefits a lot if there’s a low turnout is Ron Paul. Because he has a core number of supporters who I think will come out for him no matter what. Some people on television have been talking about the impact it could have if Ron Paul gets fourth or even third. I think that that could very well be the case, as you’ll see below. I also think the suggestion going around that McCain will get a strong second is ridiculous. I think it is kind of just wishful thinking for the media, who have always loved McCain. Republicans do not like John McCain, its that simple. A lot of them disliked him in 2000, and they hate him now because of McCain-Feingold (which is understandable- I don’t support McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform myself…) and because of the illegal immigrant amnesty issue. I also think Thompson will do better than anticipated, because he has basically thrown everything he has left at doing good in Iowa, and I think this will hurt Huckabee. So yeah, here are my predictions-

Republican Prediction One -

(this is my bold, ballsy prediction, like my 70-1 bet that will make me look like a genius when it (hopefully) comes to fruition. It is also the one that represents what I think will happen if there is an especially low turnout for the republican side).

1) Mitt Romney- 26%
2) Ron Paul- 21%
3) Mike Huckabee- 20%
4) Fred Thompson- 14%
5) John McCain- 12%
6) Rudy Giuliani- 5%
7) Duncan Hunter- >1%
8) Alan Keyes >1%

Republican Prediction Two-

(this is my more reasonable estimate)

1) Mitt Romney- 30%
2) Mike Huckabee-29%
3) Ron Paul- 16%
4) Fred Thompson- 11%
5) John McCain- 9%
6) Rudy Giuliani- 4%
7) Duncan Hunter- >1%
8) Alan Keyes >1%

Democrat Prediction-

(I’m goin pretty even on this one, I think it is going to be pretty close among the top three, and then a big drop-off from there)

1) Barack Obama- 31%
2) Hilary Clinton- 30%
3) John Edwards- 28%
4) Richardson- 3%
5) Kucinich-2-3%
6) Biden 2-3%
7) Dodd 2-3%
8 Gravel >1%