Sunday, December 21, 2008

End of 2008 Hodge Podge Edition:


What do you think about the possibility of a Senator Al Franken?

Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo, or somebody else for NY Senator; who is your choice?

Are there too many familial dynasties in American politics, or is it just about name recognition (Kennedy, Cuomo, Clinton, Bush, Salazar, Sununu and the several members of congress who hold their husbands' former seats)?

Deep Throat has died at 95. What an important person in the history of our government working properly (and a symbol of how others tried to stop it from working).

"I will fight...I will fight...I will fight." Governor Blagojevich (almost didn't include this because I had to look up how to spell his name).

What are you looking forward to in government and politics for 2009?

Science and Technology:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Analysis: How will the tech-savvy Obama team remake the presidency using modern technology.

What would you like to see the new administration do?
Will these new ways improve American democracy or cheapen the democratic process?

By Chris Cillizza
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 14, 2008; Page A05

In the 26 years since the weekly radio address became a modern White House staple, presidents have often treated the speech to the nation as a task to be endured rather than an opportunity.

Not so with President-elect Barack Obama, who has been using his four minutes of weekend airtime not only to speak directly to the American people, but also to create news.

Yesterday, Obama used the address to announce Shaun Donovan, New York City's housing commissioner, as his nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Obama has previously outlined a series of specific proposals aimed at reversing the nation's economic torpor, and he sketched out a plan to save or create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.

Dan Pfeiffer, the incoming White House deputy communications director, said Obama will continue to use the addresses "to make significant news."

That contrasts sharply with President Bush, who presented little policy or political perspective in his radio addresses.

Bush's topic yesterday was the fight against illegal drugs; other recent subjects have included Thanksgiving and the transition process. Even when Bush dedicated six straight radio addresses to the economy -- from mid-September to late October -- the tone was more review than preview.

The incoming president's approach to the address also differs in how content is presented, by marrying the 100-year-old technology of radio to 21st-century tools: The speech is still beamed out to radio stations nationwide on Saturday mornings, but now it is also recorded for digital video and audio downloads from YouTube, iTunes and the like, so people can access it whenever and wherever they want.

"One of the fundamental precepts of our campaign was to use the new technology to reinvigorate our democracy. That's a commitment we will bring to this administration," senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

That strategy speaks to a broader revolution of how Obama will communicate with the American public, said Doug Sosnik, who was a senior aide in the Clinton White House.

"Once a decade or two, a president comes in and redefines how the White House communicates," Sosnik said. He noted that President Ronald Reagan, who introduced the weekly radio address in 1982, also perfected the political power of television broadcasts. That built on the concepts first grasped by John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, while President Bill Clinton took it a step further by focusing on cable and satellite television.

"The mainframe for this White House will be the Internet, not TV," Sosnik added. "They will cater to TV. And it will be integrated into the overall digital strategy. But it's not going to be the end-all."

In its availability and its immediacy, online video offers a powerful newsmaking tool for the president-elect, Pfeiffer said. It is also easy to produce: A videographer can record Obama delivering the address in his transition office in fewer than 15 minutes.

"Turning the weekly radio address from audio to video and making it on-demand has turned the radio address from a blip on the radar to something that can be a major newsmaking event any Saturday we choose," Pfeiffer added.

The roots of this digital communication strategy can be found in Obama's campaign for his party's nomination for president. Faced with the prospect of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's financial juggernaut during the Democratic primaries, Obama and his team made a series of early investments in building a direct-to-voter contact operation that relied heavily on the use of Web video. That helped to reaffirm the idea that each and every supporter had a hand in any successes the campaign enjoyed, and to forge a firsthand connection.

Obama announced his intent to seek the presidency via Web video, and throughout the primaries and general-election campaign, he used the medium to sidestep mainstream media and to speak directly with voters. Campaign manager David Plouffe became something of a cult hero to Democrats around the country, thanks to a series of purposely rudimentary video messages shot in his office and sent to supporters.

And some Obama videos have become YouTube phenomena: His speech on the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. and race in America has been viewed more than 5.5 million times, while his victory speech in Grant Park on Nov. 4 is nearing 4 million views.
"Through their new-age communications brilliance and their resultant electronic fundraising, they have changed politics forever," said Fred Davis, a Republican media consultant and the lead ad man for Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. "They have given the Democrats a major advantage in presidential politics long into the future."

Making the success of that communication strategy work equally well from the Oval Office is the task of the coming weeks and months. Obama's decision to use the weekly address as a platform from which to make news represents the leading edge of that effort.

Now, instead of asking backers to register friends to vote, Obama will aim to use technological advances to build grass-roots support for policy initiatives, according to Joe Trippi, who managed former Vermont governor Howard Dean's 2004 Democratic presidential bid.

"Obama will be more directly connected to millions of Americans than any president who has come before him, and he will be able to communicate directly to people using the social networking and Web-based tools such as YouTube that his campaign mastered," Trippi said. "Obama's could become the most powerful presidency that we have ever seen."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Opinion: Is a New New Deal the right course of action for the United States?

Obama Offers First Look at Massive Plan To Create Jobs
Project Would Be the Largest Since the Interstate

By Michael D. ShearWashington Post Staff Writer Sunday, December 7, 2008; Page A01
On the heels of more grim unemployment news, President-elect Barack Obama yesterday offered the first glimpse of what would be the largest public works program since President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the federal interstate system in the 1950s.

Obama said the massive government spending program he proposes to lift the country out of economic recession will include a renewed effort to make public buildings energy-efficient, rebuild the nation's highways, renovate aging schools and install computers in classrooms, extend high-speed Internet to underserved areas and modernize hospitals by giving them access to electronic medical records.

"We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least 2 1/2 million jobs so that the nearly 2 million Americans who've lost them know that they have a future," Obama said in his weekly address, broadcast on the radio and the Internet.

Obama offered few details and no cost estimate for the investment in public infrastructure. But it is intended to be part of a broader effort to stimulate economic activity that will also include tax cuts for middle-class Americans and direct aid to state governments to forestall layoffs as programs shrink.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for spending between $400 billion and $500 billion on the overall package. Some Senate Democrats and other economists have suggested spending even more -- potentially $1 trillion -- in the hope of jolting the economy into shape more quickly.

On Friday, the government reported that 533,000 jobs were eliminated in November, the largest one-month drop since 1974, raising unemployment to 6.7 percent. And last week, the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared that the country has been in a recession since last December.

"We have faced difficult times before, times when our economic destiny seemed to be slipping out of our hands," Obama said. "And at each moment, we have risen to meet the challenge, as one people united by a sense of common purpose. And I know that Americans can rise to the moment once again."

Governors praised Obama's proposals, saying their states stand ready with billions of dollars' worth of road and school projects that could be started quickly with an infusion of federal cash. At a meeting with Obama in Philadelphia last week, governors estimated that there are $136 billion worth of projects that are "ready to go" once money rolls in.

"Here in Virginia, we have more than a billion dollars in ready-to-go bridge, highway, rail, transit, port and airport projects that have been through appropriate local, regional and state planning processes and that can be under contract within 180 days," Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said in a statement.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said the plan would "help keep people employed and create new jobs, [and] it would allow us to deliver infrastructure improvements that will last beyond the immediate economic crisis and benefit generations to come."

In keeping with the secrecy that surrounds the development of his recovery plan, Obama has given the governors no commitment about how much money they would receive for such projects. But Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D), chairman of the National Governors Association, said yesterday that he is not worried.

"Is it going to be big or little? It's going to be big," Rendell said. "I have no doubt that it's going to be substantial. [Obama] didn't blink an eye when we talked about $136 billion."

This article continues at:

Click for Obama "Radio" Address 12-6-08

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 4, 2008 -- General Election Day in the United States of America.

From the simple to the complex, from the trivial to the sophisticated, what are your thoughts about this election cycle? What were your favorite or least favorite moments...or haven't they happend yet? What are your predictions for the election results or your predictions for what happens next? Will voting problems have an impact on the results (2000 all over again)? What did you find most interesting and what would you rather not see next time around?

Reflect on, think about, and comment on what Americans learned from the 2008 elections.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Analysis: Which congressional races are you watching and why?

Did you know that there is more than a presidential election happening on November 4 (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November)?

Time Dot Com 08 Congressional Races to Watch

Take a look at the 17 races discussed in the above pieces. I haven't read all of them yet, but the ones I've read are well done and make me want to do more research and find out more. You should do that too (there are House and Senate races that are discussed).

All 435 members of the House are up for election every two years. A third of the Senate is up for election every two years (6 year terms, of course).

Bonus Question: With the conviction of Ted Stevens of Alaska, can the Democrats pick up enough seats in the U.S. Senate to get to 60 votes? This would allow them to pass a cloture motion with 60 votes and stop any Republican filibusters (implied bonus, bonus questions: is this a threat to Pluralism and will Joe Lieberman (I) caucus with the Democrats to help them get to the 60 vote supermajority). The fun and intrigue are just beginning...

Advanced Placement Politics and Government
(AP POGO: Hopping from one topic to the next...)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stuff to be completed NOW ! Comments? Progress?

By Monday:
Ballots completed (includes Democrat, Republican, WI Green, Libertarian)

Second announcement explaining the Mock Election completed and submitted by second hour.

Announcement explaining why to vote and how to vote in the real election completed and submitted by second hour.

Each lunch shows 2 ads on flatscreens (Mr. Bretzmann facilitates)

Each lunch has two t.v.'s that show as many ads as possible. See Alex H. to find out who is in charge of the t.v.'s for each lunch.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

CLEARINGHOUSE: Use this post as a clearinghouse to share your information and progress regarding the mock election.

What would we need?
Matt C.
Limit who is on the ballot and not allow write-in candidates
Scott W.
Nathan L.
Matt L.
Jake K.
Ryan H.
Poll workers
See next page

Collect votes at lunch
Steph V.
Nathan L.
Tyler L.
Scott W.
Savannah B.
Matt C.
Ryan H.
Steph V.
Tyler L.
Addie B.
Kyle C. K.
Jessie R.
Ryan K.
Alli B.
Erik K.
Alex K.
Jake K.

Vote counters
Hour 6, Hour 7
Kyle K. (Coordinator)
List of students (divided alphabetically into 4 separate lists)
Matt C.
Scott W.
2 tables
Kyle K.
“Vote Here” signs (2)
Vince T.

Alphabetical order signs (4)
Tyler L.
Marketing Campaign Coordination
Scott W.
Kyle K.
Erik K.
Ballot Box
Jenni F.

Ask Election Commission for “I Voted” stickers
Addie B.
Information on registering to vote for real election
Jessie R.
Addie B.
Ask Administration for permission to vote and permission to run campaign ads and GOTV ads on flat screens
Scott W.

Fliers describing how and where to register for real and how to find out where to vote for real
Shannon O’
Vina A.
Copies of Fliers
Steph V.
Voting Statistics Research Coordinator
Matt L.
Civicsblog post for clearinghouse of info.
Mr. Bretzmann

Announcement that announces mock election
Scott W.
Announcement that announces real election
Scott W.
Announcement announcing results of mock election and encouraging 18 year-olds to vote today
Scott W.
Invitations to outside speakers
Nathan L.
Matt L.

Planning, preparation and contacts:

November 3

November 3 -- 6th, 7th, and after school

Results Announced:
November 4 in announcements

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Analysis: Who exceeded expectations in the town-hall-style format? WHAT ABOUT THE "SITTING AT THE TABLE" DEBATE?

The Players:
Bob Schieffer, Barack Obama, John McCain.
(In the audience: Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney)

(Your choices are John McCain, Barack Obama, or Tom Brokaw)

Ben Smith reports:
"Lynn Sweet reported yesterday that the two campaigns had reached an agreement under which, among other things, moderator Tom Brokaw wouldn't ask follow-up questions tonight.

But Brokaw wasn't a party to the deal, I'm told, and hasn't agreed to it, so the campaigns are expecting follow-up questions, a senior campaign official said."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Analysis: What does each candidate have to do to win the Vice Presidential debate on Oct. 2?

One of my favorite moments (38 seconds) from the primary debates. Keep in mind that Biden has a reputation for droning on and on in his answers. Enjoy.

Opinion: Who won the presidential debate on Friday?

By Tom ShalesSaturday, September 27, 2008; Page C01
John McCain wore the more presidential tie -- that much can be said for him -- but Barack Obama displayed the more presidential temperament, or the kind of demeanor people presumably would want in a president, when the two candidates met at the University of Mississippi last night for their first debate of the campaign.

Both men seemed well equipped in terms of facts and figures -- especially, as one would expect, dollar figures -- and neither made an outrageous blunder, although McCain did misidentify the new president of Pakistan. More critically, he came across as condescending and even rude to his opponent, a bit of bad behavior especially evident because Obama may have overdone the fair-minded bit in many of his remarks and answers.

Imperiously enough, McCain -- who had threatened not to show up for the debate because of America's financial crisis -- seemed determined to avoid even looking at Obama as the debate went on, although they did shake hands at the beginning and end. Many of McCain's answers were preceded with belittling references to Obama as if he were talking to a college freshman way out of his depth: "I'm afraid Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy," was one typical remark.

Obama supporters must have been displeased, then, to hear their candidate keep agreeing with McCain, a case perhaps of sportsmanlike conduct run amok. Doesn't Obama want to win?

On the matter of congressional earmarks and wasteful spending, Obama began one answer with, "Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right . . ." and later, on an issue related to the Iraq war: "Senator McCain is absolutely right . . ." etc., etc.

After all the nice-guy stuff from Obama, which may have reached self-defeating levels, it's perhaps not surprising that the most, perhaps only, electrifying moment of the debate was when he finally told McCain he was wrong -- three times in quick and effective succession. This was during debate about the origins of the war in Iraq. "You were wrong" about saying the war would be quick and easy, Obama charged, his voice rising. "You were wrong" about finding weapons of mass destruction, he continued. And there was one more "you were wrong" for good measure.

Obama was showing something that his personal appearances have too often lacked: passion. There was strong conviction behind his words, whether one agreed with them or not, and a welcome assertiveness. "You were wrong" was an effectively simple declarative sentence, not bogged down in qualifiers the way some of his sentences tend to be. "We've got to look at bringing that war to a close," he said of Iraq; why not just, "We've got to end that war"?

Although Obama was "crisper" than usual, as one commentator noted after the debate, he still may not have been crisp enough. His oratorical skills when giving speeches in vast venues have been amply demonstrated. But in debates and conversations, when he ad-libs, he sometimes seems to be weighing his answers almost too carefully, defusing his own remarks by diffusing them.

Democrat Paul Begala, one of CNN's army of pundits, criticized both candidates for the way they handled questions on the economy. The whole debate was supposed to deal with foreign policy, but as the economy shuddered and crumbled during the week, it was wisely decided to devote about a third of the debate to that crisis. But as Begala said, a stranger to this planet tuning in the debate wouldn't have known from the candidates' answers and attitudes that America is in the midst of what has been called the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.

Instead their answers were on the theoretical side, with no real sense of urgency. The folks out there in television land, losing their homes to foreclosure or seeing their retirement nest eggs obliterated, deserved more thoughtful and heartfelt answers.

The debate was moderated by public television's Jim Lehrer, who did a very accomplished job, willing to interrupt or challenge the candidates when they danced around an issue rather than addressing it. His first question was "Where do you stand on the financial recovery plan" now being debated in Washington. Both candidates merely reiterated economic policies from past speeches, with McCain preceding his response with a self-serving salute to Ted Kennedy, who was hospitalized earlier in the day.

Obama began his response with the usual bromide about America being "at a defining moment in our history." Yes yes, but how will we pay the mortgage when the interest rate goes up for the umpteenth time next month?

Lehrer took control. After the meandering palaver from the two men he said pointedly, "Let's go back to my question" and repeated it.

Since all three networks had access to the same basic pool video, some networks tried to dress up the picture with identifying decoration. NBC and CNN both had annoying animated graphics in the lower right-hand corners of the screen, just the thing for people who want to watch letters dance or globes spin around, distracting to everyone else. CNN had mercifully ditched its ticker-tape of fun facts, but replaced it with a chart that supposedly showed reactions from a sample group to the candidates' performances. The chart was hard to read and essentially useless.

CBS armed a test group of viewer-voters with "joy sticks" to measure their responses to various moments of the debate, but this gimmick also proved to be of little help. A CBS reporter interviewed one man sitting in the room; the man said he thought McCain looked "stressed."

And that was that. The research measurement was done by Nielsen Media Research, it was pointed out, the same people who rate television shows. That raised the discomforting specter of equating presidential candidates with sitcoms, soap operas and reality junk.

This was reality -- the realest kind of reality -- and the debate was, for the most part, encouragingly civilized and not flawed with frivolous name-calling. As NBC's able Chuck Todd put it, "no lipstick on a pig" nonsense. If McCain had been more civil, and Obama were more combative and fervent, it would have been better still.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Analysis: Is the economy broken? Is the economy in a downward cycle? or Is the economy OK?

Treasury's Paulson Urges Quick Action on Bailout Plan
Rescue Plan Grows to $700 Billion; Similar Measures Urged Overseas

By Lori Montgomery and David ChoWashington Post Staff Writers Sunday, September 21, 2008; 10:00 AM

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. today urged Congress to move quickly to approve the Bush administration's emergency plan to revive the U.S. financial system, a proposal that officials said yesterday would cost up to $700 billion as it relieved crippled financial institutions of their mortgage-based assets.

Paulson, who was making the rounds of Sunday morning news talk shows explaining the administration's plan, said lawmakers need to reassure credit markets and Wall Street quickly and should not slow the process down by adding proposals onto the emergency bill.

"The credit markets are still very fragile right now and frozen," Paulson said in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press. "We need to deal with this and deal with it quickly."

Senior administration officials meanwhile yesterday pressed their counterparts in Japan, Germany, Britain and elsewhere to establish similar programs to rescue their own troubled firms in what would be an unprecedented bailout of the worldwide financial system. The move comes in recognition that complex interconnections among financial institutions have created a global crisis that the United States cannot solve alone.

As part of his television interviews today, Paulson said foreign banks would be eligible for assistance under the U.S. rescue plan because "if a financial institution has business operations in the United States, hires people in the United States, if they are clogged with illiquid assets, they have the same impact on the American people as any other institution."

Congressional leaders responded positively to the administration's rescue plan, though the price tag they received yesterday was $200 billion higher than they had been told to expect just three days ago. But House Democrats said they would push to include a number of contentious provisions that could make it difficult to pass the plan quickly, including limits on executive compensation for firms that unload their bad assets on the government and new powers for bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages on primary residences.

Democrats also want President Bush to drop his opposition to a second round of federal spending aimed at stimulating the economy. While the administration's bailout plan would insure the money market funds of millions of ordinary Americans and help prop up the mortgage market, some Democrats worry that it will primarily be viewed as a bailout for big Wall Street firms.

"Obviously, this is of direct benefit to some people in the financial industry," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said of the rescue plan. "We need to be talking about direct benefits to people who are not in the private sector."

Bush, speaking to reporters during a White House appearance yesterday with Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, urged Democrats to set aside those demands. In talks with congressional leaders, Bush said he "found a common understanding of how severe the problem is" and the need for urgent action. "We need to get this done quickly and, you know, the cleaner the better,'' he said.

Bush also defended the size of the request, saying drastic action was needed because of the magnitude of the financial crisis, a cataclysm that started with nontraditional mortgage loans to U.S. homeowners, spread to the banking and financial services industry and now is enveloping markets around the world.

"This is a big package because it's a big problem," Bush said. "The risk of doing nothing far outweighs the risk of the package."

Bush, who campaigned as the nation's first MBA president and a free-market advocate, also appeared to address complaints from conservatives that the plan inserts the government too much into the economy.
This article continues at:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Analysis: Will the bailout help the political futures of incumbents or a particular political party?

Who the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout is really supposed to help.
By Daniel GrossPosted Monday, Sept. 8, 2008
On Sunday, the Treasury Department announced that it would effectively take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the critically wounded government-sponsored mortgage behemoths. (This landing page at the Treasury Department has the details.)

Generally speaking, the federal government has been content merely to watch the failures stemming from the real-estate/housing-credit bubble. If individuals default on their mortgages and get foreclosed on, that's their proper comeuppance. If subprime lenders go out of business, that's capitalism's creative destruction. If banks start to fail, as they're now doing at a rate of one per week, no big deal.

But Washington reacted with alacrity when a second-tier investment bank, Bear Stearns, threatened to take the plunge. And the case of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a rare example of Washington regulators being slightly ahead of the curve. Of course, Fannie and Freddie are bigger and more significant than any of the financial firms that have failed thus far. But the reason for the fevered weekend rescue activity has less to do with the companies' size than with their scope.

(this article continues at:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What are you watching for at the Republican Convention this week?

Republican Convention Preview (3:17) on Youtube

Directly from the GOP Convention's website:
The convention's overall theme, "Country First," reflects John McCain's remarkable record of leadership and service to America. Each day of proceedings will center on a touchstone theme that has defined John McCain's life and will be central to his vision for leading our nation forward as president. Read more...

Monday, August 25, 2008

What are you watching for at the Democratic Convention this week? (Same question next week for the GOP Convention...)

The following guest post is from Dan Conley, a former speechwriter for Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Here are the things the Democrats need to get done this week:
Sell the Middle Class Tax Cut. John McCain doesn't offer one, Barack Obama does. McCain is running ad after ad saying Obama will raise taxes -- it's a lie. For the bottom 97 percent of American taxpayers, Barack Obama will cut your taxes and John McCain won't.

Pound the economic elitism storyline. McCain gift wrapped an issue for Democrats this week by not knowing how many homes he owns. He's out of touch. He thinks people who make $4 million a year are middle class. He thinks the Bush economic approach is working.

Turnaround the celebrity/cult issue. There's a real political cult stalking America, but not the one you think. The real cult is one of warrior pencil-necked geeks ... a political Fight Club for all the boys who got beat up in high school. They hold the corner offices in think tanks and dominate the op-ed pages of big city newspapers. They walk in John McCain's shadow and throw around pro wrestling words like "smackdown," thinking that the U.S. military can restore their manhood. And yes, some of them are U.S. Senators, most notably McCain's fey sidekicks Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman ...

Destroy Joe Lieberman. The Dems made a huge mistake in 2004 by not bloodying up Zell Miller in Boston before he could attack them in New York. This time, Lieberman must be annihilated. I'd use Jim Webb or Wesley Clark to twist the knife into him.

Get real. No need for flash or showbiz. No need for soaring rhetoric. America knows we can do that, they expect it. Talk about where we are, how we got there and exactly how we'll get out. Bob the Builder chants aren't enough ... turn the convention into Extreme Makeover, America Edition.
Taken From:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who will be chosen for each candidate's vice president? AND/OR What do you think about each candidate's choice?

My predictions:
1. Biden
2. Clinton

1. Romney
2. Ridge

The "most fun for the fall" picks:
1. Bloomberg (D or R)
2. Gore (D)
3. Fiorina (R)
4. Lieberman (R)
5. Jindal (R)
6. Powell (D)

No Chance Picks:
1. Edwards (D)
2. Richardson (D)
3. Clark (D)
4. Huckabee (R)
5. Giuliani (R)

My Humble Opinon of who would help the ticket the most:
1. Clinton (this is a change for me. I think her help now outweighs her hurt for the ticket)
2. Ridge (doubles down on the national security narrative and the maverick narrative...the guy is would take a maverick to pick him.)
3. Biden (D)
4. Bloomberg (R)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Analysis: Showcased in these ads, which will be the most effective storyline for the fall?

McCain "Safe" ad "Not Alex" ad

Obama "Country I Love" ad

All three are running in Wisconsin. Wisconsin will be (is?) a battleground state. The Obama bio ad is running in 18 states--including many states where a Democrat has not been competitive for years. McCain's ad was the first one to be "up" (meaning: on t.v. in any given state).

So many elections are about defining yourself and defining your opponent. This is exactly what each campaign, and, are trying to do. started out as a special interest group trying to end the war in Iraq and has since expanded considerably to give its 2 cents on most liberal political causes. There is some question among Republicans as to why McCain waited so long to try to define himself. Why didn't he use the months that he had without an opponent to try to define himself and whoever his opponent would be? Notice how Obama talks about Kansas values (the values of the "heartland") and not big city Chicago values. Is he trying to court those working class Clinton supporters? Shouldn't he have won their support already?

Feel free to go to the websites to see more videos and get more information (if you like busses as much as my 2 year old son, you should check out McCains website where they have a "Cribs" tour of the Straight Talk Express Bus--no joke) (btw: shouldn't it be "Pimp My Ride" instead of "Cribs"?)

Friday, June 13, 2008

There is no opinion or analysis: Tim Russert has died.

Tim Russert.


Your enthusiasm for politics and your intensity for what we think is so important are unmatched and are admired. Thank you. We will work hard to continue your tradition of clinical analysis of all that is political. We learned from you that it's OK to love politics. Again, thank you. Your influence continues. . .

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Analysis: Too little too late?

Obama quits church after long controversy
Candidate seeks to distance himself from Wright

ABERDEEN, S.D. - Barack Obama said Saturday he has resigned his 20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago "with some sadness" in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and more recent fiery remarks at the church by another minister.

"This is not a decision I come to lightly ... and it is one I make with some sadness," he said at a news conference after campaign officials released a letter of resignation sent to the church on Friday. "I'm not denouncing the church and I'm not interested in people who want me to denounce the church," he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and "the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them."

Obama said he and his wife have been discussing the issue since Wright's appearance at the National Press Club in Washington last month that reignited furor over remarks he had made in various sermons at the church. "I suspect we'll find another church home for our family," Obama said. "It's clear that now that I'm a candidate for president, every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity, inlcuding guest pastors, the remarks will imputed to me even if they totally conflict with my longheld views, statements and principles," he said.

Obama said he had "no idea" how the resignation would "impact my presidential campaign, but I know its the right thing to do for the church and our family."

‘A pretty personal decision’"This was a pretty personal decision and I was not trying to make political theater out of it," he said.


Analysis: Will this unify or split the Democrats? Good or bad for John McCain?

Fla., Mich. Delegates Each Get Half a Vote
Compromise Prompts Anger From Clinton Campaign

By Dan BalzWashington Post Staff Writer Sunday, June 1, 2008; Page A01
After hours of emotional testimony and sometimes contentious debate, Democratic Party officials agreed yesterday on a pair of compromises to seat Florida's and Michigan's delegations to their national convention. But a part of the deal drew an angry reaction and the threat of a subsequent challenge from the campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The compromises by the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee called for both delegations, originally barred from the convention for violating party rules, to be seated in full in Denver but with each delegate casting only half a vote.

The actions by the committee were aimed at bringing the long and sometimes-bitter Democratic nomination battle between Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Clinton (N.Y.) to a close and to ensure party unity as the Democrats head into the general election. But the decisions prompted bitter and sometimes-tearful reactions from some members of the audience, who repeatedly shouted over the committee members as they voted.

Obama remains the heavy favorite to win the nomination, with his campaign hoping that he can secure enough delegates over the next week to do so. Puerto Rico's primary will be held today, and the last two states, Montana and South Dakota, will vote Tuesday. The committee's decisions represented a significant setback to Clinton, who had passionately called for seating both delegations with full votes.

The net result was a gain of 87 delegate votes for Clinton and 63 for Obama. Until yesterday's action, the magic number for winning the nomination was 2,026 delegates. Now the winner will need 2,118. According to a count by the Associated Press, as of last night, Obama controlled 2,052 delegates to Clinton's 1,877.

Obama campaign officials said they will redouble efforts to win over enough superdelegates to put their candidate over the top as quickly as possible, but Clinton hopes to emerge with more popular votes and continues to press the case that she would be a stronger general-election candidate than Obama.

"We're extremely gratified that the commission agreed on a fair solution that will allow Michigan and Florida to participate in the Convention. We appreciate their efforts, and those of the party leadership of both states, to bring this resolution about," said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.
The Florida agreement included a provision calling for the delegates to be allocated on the basis of the state's Jan. 29 primary, a decision that would net Clinton 19 more delegates than Obama. Clinton's campaign had pushed for a proposal to seat the full delegation with full voting power, but when that failed, her supporters on the committee relented, and the compromise was approved without a dissenting vote, 27 to 0.

But it was the Michigan plan, approved by a 19 to 8 vote, that drew sharper opposition because of the way that state's delegates will be awarded. Under the plan, Clinton will be given 34.5 delegate votes in Denver to Obama's 29.5 delegate votes, a percentage distribution recommended by leaders of the Michigan Democratic Party but opposed by the Clinton campaign officials, who said it violates the results of Michigan's Jan. 15 primary.

This article continues at:

Opinion: What's your opinion of this article?

Energized McCain wins over one teen
Posted: May 31, 2008
Mike NicholsE-MAIL

Greendale - Odd men in cow suits and rubber masks, or holding handwritten signs alluding to "Adolf Bush," usually provide the only unscripted moments at big campaign events.

So I didn't show up too early for an appearance by John McCain at Martin Luther High School - and was relegated to the "remote" room where we Wisconsinites often seem to end up.

Watched him along with a couple hundred others on two television screens that could, as easily, have been transmitting from Tuscaloosa.

Sometimes, though - lo and behold - the world comes to you.

No sooner did the man walk off the screen at the end of his event, than he came through the door. Right there in the scarred and wrinkled flesh.

This is Wisconsin in 2008, baby. We're all in the front row now.

"Wisconsin," as Congressman Paul Ryan was quoted as saying, "is going to be the center of the political universe."

At least for John McCain.

And the first impression?

"Very pale," said Morgan Johnson, a senior at Muskego High School who just turned 18 and was there with her aunt. "That was the first thing I noticed about him."

Yep. There's been a lot of speculation about Barack Obama becoming the blackest president ever. John McCain might just become the whitest.

But, allowed Morgan, "he looked good for his age."

The truth is that McCain, who is 71, gets younger when he walks right up and starts talking.
This is no somnambulant Reagan. You don't worry about him being under-engaged. You worry about him being over-engaged.

With all due respect to the "McSame" crowd, this is not George W. Bush either. I mean, with our current president, you cringe every time you hear him try to pronounce Ahmadinejad.

With McCain, you worry a little he is pronouncing it with extreme fluidity, over and over, in his sleep.

Obama, then again, is apt to add a "Sir" at the end and say it in person - without preconditions.
Morgan's aunt, Lisa Klug, asked the best question of the day.

She asked McCain what he "would say to Morgan to get her to vote for you instead of Obama."

Morgan is a self-described moderate who would have voted for Hillary in the primary, had she been 18. And she lives in Wisconsin, where John Kerry beat George Bush by fewer than 12,000 votes - which means she could well be a president-maker.

Many of her peers like Obama.

"He is young," she said. "I am not going to lie. I think his race has a lot to do with it."

She, personally, is basing her vote on other things.

"Base it on issues," Morgan said.

McCain walked spryly over and responded to Lisa's question by making light of his years. What America really needs now is a president who is "very, very, very, very , very old," he said, repeating a joke from "Saturday Night Live."

Then he told Lisa, in a more serious vein, that he will "try to make sure (Morgan) can believe she will inherit a safer and more prosperous world."

Therein lies the rub, of course. Elections are about the future, and to a lot of young eyes, McCain looks like the past.

Not to Morgan, though. She likes his experience and his fiscal conservatism. Likes him on a personal basis. Thought he looked good. Is inclined to vote for him.

All you wonder now is if he can repeat the feat.
About 12,000 or so times.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Opinion: Is this good public policy and/or is it the correct decision by the court?

California's top court legalizes gay marriage

By LISA LEFFThe Associated Press Friday, May 16, 2008; 2:45 AM
SAN FRANCISCO -- California's Supreme Court declared that gay couples in the nation's most populous state can marry _ a monumental but perhaps short-lived victory for the gay rights movement Thursday that was greeted with tears, hugs, kisses and at least one instant proposal of matrimony.

Same-sex couples could tie the knot in as little as a month. But the window could close soon after _ religious and social conservatives are pressing to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would undo the Supreme Court ruling and ban gay marriage.

"Essentially, this boils down to love. We love each other. We now have equal rights under the law," declared a jubilant Robin Tyler, a plaintiff in the case along with her partner. She added: "We're going to get married. No Tupperware, please."

A crowd of people raised their fists in triumph inside City Hall, and people wrapped themselves in the rainbow-colored gay-pride flag outside the courthouse. In the Castro, long the center of the gay community in San Francisco, Tim Oviatt wept as he watched the news on TV.

"I've been waiting for this all my life. This is a life-affirming moment," he said.

By the afternoon, gay and lesbian couples had already started lining up at San Francisco City Hall to make appointments to get marriage licenses. In West Hollywood, supporters planned to serve "wedding cake" at an evening celebration.

James Dobson _ chairman of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, which has spent thousands of dollars to get the measure on the ballot _ called the ruling an outrage.
"It will be up to the people of California to preserve traditional marriage by passing a constitutional amendment. ... Only then can they protect themselves from this latest example of judicial tyranny," he said in an e-mailed statement.

In its 4-3 ruling, the Republican-dominated high court struck down state laws against same-sex marriage and said domestic partnerships that provide many of the rights and benefits of matrimony are not enough.

"In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation," Chief Justice Ronald George wrote for the majority in ringing language that delighted gay rights activists.

Massachusetts in 2004 became the first, and so far only, state to legalize gay marriage; more than 9,500 couples have taken advantage of the law. But the California ruling is considered monumental by virtue of the state's size _ 38 million out of a U.S. population of 302 million _ and its historical role as the vanguard of many social and cultural changes that have swept the country since World War II.

California has an estimated 108,734 same-sex households, according to 2006 census figures.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Opinion: Is this good public policy? Does the U.S. Government too often "govern by crisis?"

39 Republicans Join Democrats As Mortgage Bill Passes House

By Lori MontgomeryWashington Post Staff Writer Friday, May 9, 2008; Page A01
The House yesterday approved an ambitious plan to rescue hundreds of thousands of homeowners at risk of foreclosure by helping them trade exotic loans with rapidly rising monthly payments for more affordable mortgages backed by the federal government.

Bucking a White House veto threat, 39 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill, the centerpiece of a broader housing package that represents Washington's most aggressive response to the nation's housing crisis. The measure aims to unfreeze mortgage markets by expanding the Federal Housing Administration's reach and strengthening mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It also would create a $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers to try to boost sales and slow plummeting home prices.

GOP House leaders blasted the bill as a bailout for speculators and irresponsible borrowers. But the measure, sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), gained strong support from rank-and-file Republicans worried that escalating foreclosures are ruining lives and decimating neighborhoods.

Despite President Bush's condemnation of the bill this week, White House officials seemed to leave the door open to negotiation. And key Republicans are working with Democrats on a similar plan in the Senate.

"People are in a world of hurt. My sense is there's maneuvering room," said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), whose state has been among those hardest hit. "There's still a good chance they'll get a bill the president can sign, knowing that a lot of the country needs help."

More than 1.2 million homes are in foreclosure, and an additional 3 million are forecast to join them over the next two years. Home prices have fallen more than 10 percent, and state and local tax collections are suffering. Polls show the economy is the top concern among voters, with one in four respondents saying they have been directly affected by problems in the housing market.

The borrowers most at risk of foreclosure -- and who have drawn policymakers' attention -- are those who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments but cannot sell or refinance because the value of their homes has fallen so far that they owe more than their homes are worth.

The Bush administration has tried to help such borrowers by urging banks to reduce their mortgage debt. The administration also has eased eligibility standards so borrowers who have missed a few payments can qualify for cheaper loans insured by the federal government through the FHA. But those initiatives have helped relatively few families.

Frank's proposal calls for the FHA to respond more aggressively, by offering to insure mortgages for even the least creditworthy borrowers if their banks will forgive a portion of the debt and help them stay in their homes. Under the proposal, lenders would have to take a significant loss, permitting borrowers to pay their original loans with new loans worth no more than 90 percent of their homes' new, lower value. Extra fees charged by the FHA would lower the payoff to lenders to 85 percent of a home's current value.

Borrowers would get lower monthly payments and an immediate equity stake in their property. If home values rise, the plan requires homeowners to share their profits with the federal government when they sell or refinance.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that as many as 500,000 homeowners will benefit from the program. But more than a third of those borrowers are likely to default, the CBO estimates, forcing the FHA to pay off their loans and take possession of their property at a cost to taxpayers of $1.7 billion.

The White House has balked at that price tag, calling Frank's bill an "attempt to shift costs to taxpayers [that] constitutes a bailout." But there are signs that the administration is open to compromise.

In a speech Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke appeared to endorse Frank's plan. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and other administration officials have spoken favorably of it. On Wednesday, even as Bush declared his intention to veto the measure, one of his top economic advisers told the Wall Street Journal that differences between the White House and congressional Democrats were not "insurmountable."

Yesterday, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Bush supports the concept of Frank's plan. "As a basic concept, it's what we're already doing. But it's what we're doing on steroids," he said.

"Is it possible to have additional housing legislation? Yes, it's possible. And maybe the Frank bill could change so much that there could be legislation we could accept," Fratto said. "But I think we're far away from that."

In House debate, many Republicans echoed the administration's concerns. Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) said Frank's bill would "bail out scam artists and those who were speculating in the market, and they want taxpayers to pick up the tab."

But other Republicans cringed at the indictment of troubled borrowers and said they were disappointed by the veto threat.

"What's offensive is some of the rhetoric," said Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), who voted for the measure. "They say it rewards speculators. No, it doesn't. It's limited to homeowners. They say it's a $300 billion bailout. No, it's not. It costs $1.7 billion."

"Would I have written the bill the way Chairman Frank did? No, but we're not in charge anymore," LaTourette said. The housing mess "calls for some bold action. People are expecting us to do something."

The House voted 266 to 154 to approve Frank's rescue plan and a broad array of other housing initiatives. The House also voted 322 to 94 to approve an $11 billion package of housing tax measures, including the $7,500 credit for first-time buyers who purchase a home this year. Under the measure, the credit would have to be repaid to the government over 15 years.

The package moves to the Senate, where Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and the committee's senior Republican, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, are working on a similar proposal. Senate Republicans have been more resistant than their House counterparts to broad plans to intervene on behalf of distressed homeowners.

But Francis Creighton, vice president for government affairs at the Mortgage Bankers Association who is working with both the administration and Congress to slow the rate of foreclosures, said he expects a compromise to be reached.

"We believe the administration is as committed to addressing this situation in the market as anybody. There's still a lot of time for negotiation," Creighton said. "Everyone wants to support something that can fix the housing crisis."


Sunday, May 04, 2008


Study, Review, Prepare, Sleep, Eat, Breathe.


Just do it!

Impossible is nothing!

Live in the moment and enjoy it.

You can do it...





P.S. #2 pencils, black or blue pen, a watch to keep track, social security number (optional). No cell phones.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Opinion: Should the U.S. Government subsidize what farmers grow even when food prices are at record levels? Is this special interest too powerful?

Negotiations On Farm Bill Add Billions For Nutrition

By Dan MorganSpecial to The Washington Post Saturday, April 26, 2008; Page A03

House and Senate negotiators reached tentative agreement yesterday on a new $290 billion, multiyear farm bill that would add about $10.4 billion for nutrition programs while continuing to channel billions of dollars to farmers, even if prices stay at current record levels.

Key details remain to be worked out, but lawmakers said a final deal could come next week on the bill. The government would spend $10 billion more than allocated by congressional budget committees last year. The Bush administration had proposed an increase of about $5.5 billion.

The current farm bill expired last October but has been extended a number of times.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said the agreement would include a new permanent program that guarantees aid to farmers and ranchers suffering weather-related losses, a priority of senators from Western states hit by drought.

Included in the bill is $405 million to be spent over 10 years on the cleanup of farm-related pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The program, sponsored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) would help reduce the runoff of nutrients and other pollutants from farms.

The bill would reduce the tax credit for ethanol made from corn to 45 cents per gallon from 51, but the tax credit would be extended through 2010.

Rising food costs gave a strong impetus to stepped-up funding for programs such as food stamps that help poor and near-poor families. Farm bill versions passed by the House and Senate last year proposed modest increases in food stamp benefits and eased standards of eligibility for the program.

Last week, Senate negotiators (CONFERENCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS) offered a $9.5 billion increase over 10 years. Yesterday, they upped that offer by $800 million to $900 million, sources indicated.

The bill also includes a provision that would require the labeling of imported meat and vegetables for the first time, a response to rising concerns about food safety.

Morgan is a contract writer for The Washington Post and a fellow at the German Marshall Fund, a nonpartisan public policy institution.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Analysis: Is this the opening that Sen. Clinton has needed?

MISHAWAKA, Ind. - A political tempest over Barack Obama's comments about bitter voters in small towns has given rival Hillary Rodham Clinton a new opening to court working class Democrats 10 days before Pennsylvanians hold a primary that she must win to keep her presidential campaign alive.

Obama tried to quell the furor Saturday, explaining his remarks while also conceding he had chosen his words poorly.

"If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that," Obama said in an interview with the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal.

But the Clinton campaign fueled the controversy in every place and every way it could, hoping charges that Obama is elitist and arrogant will resonate with the swing voters the candidates are vying for not only in Pennsylvania, but in upcoming primaries in Indiana and North Carolina as well.

Political insiders differed on whether Obama's comments, which came to light Friday, would become a full-blown political disaster that could prompt party leaders to try to steer the nomination to Clinton even though Obama has more pledged delegates. Clinton supporters were eagerly hoping so.

They handed out "I'm not bitter" stickers in North Carolina, and held a conference call of Pennsylvania mayors to denounce the Illinois senator. In Indiana, Clinton did the work herself, telling plant workers in Indianapolis that Obama's comments were "elitist and out of touch."

At issue are comments he made privately at a fundraiser in San Francisco last Sunday. He was trying to explain his troubles winning over some working-class voters, saying they have become frustrated with economic conditions:

"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

The comments, posted Friday on The Huffington Post Web site, set off a blast of criticism from Clinton, Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain and other GOP officials, and drew attention to a potential Obama weakness — the image some have that the Harvard-trained lawyer is arrogant and aloof.

His campaign scrambled to defuse possible damage.

There has been a small "political flare-up because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter," Obama said Saturday morning at a town hall-style meeting at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. "They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they're going through.

"So I said, well you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country."
After acknowledging his previous remarks in California could have been better phrased, he added:

"The truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, those are important. That's what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don't feel like they are being listened to."

Clinton attacked Obama's remarks much more harshly Saturday than she had the night before, calling them "demeaning." Her aides feel Obama has given them a big opening, pulling the spotlight away from troublesome stories such as former President Clinton's recent revisiting of his wife's misstatements about an airport landing in Bosnia 10 years ago.

Obama is trying to focus attention narrowly on his remarks, arguing there's no question that some working-class families are anxious and bitter. The Clinton campaign is parsing every word, focusing on what Obama said about religion, guns, immigration and trade.

Clinton hit all those themes in lengthy comments to manufacturing workers in Indianapolis.
"The people of faith I know don't 'cling' to religion because they're bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich," she said.

"I also disagree with Senator Obama's assertion that people in this country 'cling to guns' and have certain attitudes about immigration or trade simply out of frustration," Clinton added.

"People don't need a president who looks down on them," she said. "They need a president who stands up for them."

McCain's campaign piled on Obama, releasing a statement that also accused him of elitism.

One of Clinton's staunchest supporters, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., acknowledged there was some truth in Obama's remarks. But he said Republicans would use them against him anyway.

At a campaign rally in Wilson, N.C., former state Democratic Party chairman and current Clinton adviser Tom Hendrickson said rural voters don't need "liberal elites" telling them what to believe.

Bill Clinton was the featured speaker of the rally but avoided commenting on Obama's remarks. When asked about it afterward, he said simply, "I agree with what Hillary said."
Jim Kuhnhenn reported from Muncie, Ind. Associated Press writer Mike Baker in Wilson, N.C., contributed to this report.

COMPASSION FORUM (CNN) 7:00 our time Sunday. Clinton, Obama, McCain (invited). The presidential candidate forum on faith, values and current issues at Messiah College.

(Study and review a little bit more tonight)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Opinion: Forty years after his death, how is Dr. King still impacting our lives today? He was so in tune with reality. What would he say today?

He was tired, sick and running a fever. He wasn't planning to go, but his advisors asked him to go anyway. This is part of the short remarks he agreed to give after Ralph Abernathy agreed to give the speech. That speech turned into a great introduction of Dr. King. Abernathy is the person who "cathces" King after the speech.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Opinion: Should the Senate and the President back changes in the surveillance laws in the U.S.?

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House of Representatives voted Friday to back the Democratic-sponsored revisions to federal surveillance laws.

The vote was 213-197 in favor of a revision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill that was supported by the Democratic leadership.
One member voted present.

The vote came after a secret session Thursday night in the House. It was the first time the House has met in secret since 1983.

The Democratic plan would allow telecommunications companies to be sued for their role in the administration's much-disputed warrantless surveillance program.

The bill now goes to the Senate, but both the Senate and President Bush have made it clear that they will not support the bill without an immunity provision.

Bush has spent weeks pressuring the House to grant retroactive legal immunity to the phone companies that took part in the program, initiated after the September 11 attacks.

Bush argues that legal protection is needed for companies to continue cooperating with the government and has vowed to veto the House Democratic proposal, which would allow the lawsuits to move forward in federal courts.

The full article is much longer and has much more information. See it here:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Opinion: Does any of this matter?

Obama is imitating Ken Starr

Clinton is a monster

McCain has a bad temper

... and apparently when the republican party and the democratic party created their parties they forgot to make the names of their parties proper nouns. Why would they do that? OR MAYBE THEY DIDN'T !!!!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Analysis: Is the conservative movement changing?

Biography of one of the purest conservatives William F. Buckley, Jr.:

Fareed Zakaria's column in a recent Newsweek called "The End of Conservatism"(at the end he mentions Political Ideology!):

Long-time conservative columnist and commentator George Will writes about John McCain:

(if you answer the first question and want to give your predictions for March 4 and its aftermath, go for it)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Analysis or Opinion: Veepstakes! Who do you think probable GOP nominee John McCain should/will nominate as his running mate?

Bob Novak said today on Meet the Press that a possible nominee could be Congressman Paul Ryan. He's young, he's a tax cutter, he's from the Great State of Wisconsin.

If you answer the first question, you can answer this question too:
Who should the Democratic nominee nominate for VP? Imagine a Jim Doyle vs. Paul Ryan vice-presidential debate!

If you answer the first and second question, you can answer this question too:
Can you tell us about your experiences seeing and listening to presidential candidates in WI?

REMEMBER: Test on the Civil Rights Chapter on Wednesday.
REMEMBER: Monday is a great day to get out there and work for the candidate of your choice. What a great experience to talk about later: go door to door or you can even make phone calls from home now-just go to your candidate's website to find out how. If your candidate wins or comes close, you get to claim that YOU made it happen! :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Analysis: What will you be watching for on Tuesday? How will you "decide" who won?

States won?
Delegates won?
Certain states? (MO, CA, NJ, NY, IL, GA...)
"Obvious" Momentum?
Media Proclamations?
Candidate concession speeches?
Big, populous states vs. small states?
Relative closeness or distance in the results?
Region of the country?
Conservative Christians?
Registered Republicans as opposed to Independents?
Registered Democrats as opposed to Independents?

Campaigns and Elections:
If you're interested in campaigns and elections, you might want to take a look at this magazine that is offered online this month for free. I subscribe and have shared a couple of articles with you from past issues. I find it quite interesting (especially the advertising--check out the one that focuses on "Rich Republicans")

Super Tuesday Spreadsheet:
I'll share my Super Tuesday Spreadsheet with you via moodle so you can impress your friends and neighbors as you keep track of who wins which state and their delegate accumulation. I borrowed the template from someone else and then updated it for the other party. It's an ongoing process.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Analysis: What does it all mean? Candidates "FREEZE" their efforts.

After a strategy that would have been brilliant if it worked, Rudy Giuliani, "America's Mayor", is expected to end his presidential campaign today and endorse John McCain. Who benefits? Who loses?

After focusing on Iowa and not winning, continuing has campaign, but failing to win a state, John Edwards vowed to fight on to the convention. Today he is expected to drop out of the campaign. Who benefits? Who loses?

Forget the popcorn, get your seatbelt! Here we go...

Things to look forward to:
1. A Giuliani endorsement of John McCain
2. A Rush Limbaugh appearance for McCain?
3. Conservatives rationalize that McCain will be more conservative than Clinton or Obama?
4. A smaller debate field on Wednesday and Thursday night (head to head!)
5. The fight for an Edwards endorsement
6. An opening for Michael Bloomberg to get into the race? (Conservatives don't like McCain, Liberals don't all like Clinton--enter an Independent)?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

This just in . . .

On Friday the Regional Director for the Obama campaign called to talk to me. The call was unsolicited by me and it is the first such call I've received. I've decided to share any contact/involvement information with you that is sent to me. If I'm contacted by other campaigns, I'll share that information with you as well. You can do something with all of it or none of it. It's up to you. I do think that you should get involved in some campaign, some cause, or some movement if you haven't already. IF YOU NEED HELP DOING THAT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I'LL HELP FIND THE CORRECT CAUSE FOR YOU: RIGHT, LEFT, OR SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE!

Attention all high school civics, government and social studies teachers:

My name is Hy Safran and I am your regional director for Obama for America, Barack Obama's presidential campaign here in Wisconsin.

Senator Obama engages Americans from all backgrounds, political affiliations and age groups and welcomes them to his movement for Change and Progress. Just because most high school students can't vote, does not mean they can't be involved and make a difference in the political process.

As your regional director, it would be my pleasure to welcome the high school students to this great cause. There are many ways for students to get involved from volunteering at home, at school at the state headquarters in Milwaukee and throughout the greater region.
Please forward this information on to your colleagues and of course, to your students.

Phone Banking (Making Calls for Barack)
- Monday --> Friday (3-9)
- Saturday (10-6)
- Sunday (12-9)

Canvassing (Knocking Doors for Barack)
- Feb 1st --> 19th

*Internship positions (which look great on college applications) also exist for students who are truly dedicated to Barack's cause for uniting America.

Obama for Wisconsin State Headquarters: 633 S. Hawley Rd Milwaukee, WI 53214 (just past Miller Park located inside the Milwaukee Union Labor Building)

---Please feel free to contact me by phone or email at any time -- 319/899-8008-- Hy SafranObama for AmericaRegional Field Director, Wisconsin319/899-8008

Analysis: Was the South Carolina Democratic primary a setback for race relations in the U.S.?

An interesting question to consider as you read the chapter on Civil Rights and as Friday marks the beginning of Black History Month.

Unrelated bonus questions:
Who will win in Florida in the GOP primary Tuesday?
What will the outcome mean for Sen. McCain or Mitt Romney?
Will you watch the Republican debate on Wednesday or the Democratic debate on Thursday?
Do you have enough popcorn ready to watch the Super Duper Tuesday returns on February 5?

Also: Take a look at the Nevada Caucus information below.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

No post due this week. Go Review for the EXAM!

The next blog window is January 14-27.

Check out this blog post from MHS Graduate Elliot Anderson an activist in Nevada (complete with photo op with former President Clinton):

My inside man in Nevada says the Dem. caucuses are crazy. He says they are putting a lot of pressure on the people running the caucuses to make sure they are run fairly (he is running the open caucus at the Mirage). He said he actually yelled at Terry McAuliffe (former DNC chair) to make sure former President Bill Clinton had credentials when he entered the caucus for a last minute vote-canvass!

From what CNN is showing, it's a lot more of a raucous caucus than in Iowa.

Why isn't the Obama camp making more of the fact that they won more delegates in Nevada than Clinton did? Why aren't they saying, "Hey, we actually won!" 13-12 delegates.

Maybe the Obama camp is planning ahead for Feb.5 Here's the thought process: If Clinton wins the two biggest states of CA and NY and wins the most delegates, but Obama wins the most states throughout the Midwest and the West, maybe 15 of the 22 states (according to MSNBC's Chuck Todd), he could claim that as a victory. However, if he's harping on the fact that the delegate count is most important, Clinton can come back and say, "Barack, last month you said it was delegates that count the most, not the popular vote/number of states."

So, Feb. 6 Obama says, "Congratulations to Hillary for winning the most delegates, but we're happy we won the most states in a cross-section of the country in the rural areas and the cities and the suburbs. This shows we have what we will need to win in the general election: a broad-based support throughout the country."

Just some thoughts...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Analysis or Opinion: Dem or GOP Presidential Nominating Process: Your thoughts...

Holy Cow! The excitement. Romney spent millions of dollars in Iowa and didn't win. Huckabee and McCain have ganged up on him to make sure that in addition to losing to Huckabee in Iowa he will lose to McCain in New Hampshire. They must figure he'll get out then and it will be a two-person race (not including Thompson who is from TN who might compete in South Carolina and not incluiding Giuliani's Feb. 5 Super Tuesday strategy of lose all the early states and then win a bunch in the "national primary"). Huckabee got a bump of only 1% in the NH polls, but McCain got about a 4% bump and now leads in NH where Romney was a neighboring governor (and he owns a vacation home there).

Holy Cow! The excitement. Clinton spent a lot of money (and raised a lot of money) and came in third in Iowa. Edwards spent essentially the last six years in Iowa and came in second. An African-American former community organizer from the south side of Chicago won in almost all-White Iowa (98%). Edwards says it's a two-person race now. He says it's a race between the forces of change (Obama, Edwards) and the status quo (Clinton) is over. He actually has called for a debate between just him and Obama! Obama got a bump in the NH polls of 3% and is now tied with Clinton while Edwards trails. Change is the word of the day, week, and year! The amazing thing is that Clinton has been defined as NOT the candidate of change. Who could have predicted that 6 months ago!
(btw: WI Governor Jim Doyle just endorsed Obama as did former presidential candidate Bill Bradley).


P.S. Governor Huckabee has indicated he can't come to MHS next month. Hopefully he doesn't have an "arrogant and bunker mentality." :)