Monday, February 26, 2007

Gore's Almost Announcement

A few days ago I posted about speculation that Al Gore might announce his run for the White House at the Oscars. Well, he almost did...something.

Gore was in the middle of making an announcement that sounded an awful lot like he was throwing his hat into the ring. And then, just before the big payoff of his speech, the orchestra started playing. This was Gore's cue that (much like he was told by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000) it was time for him to get off of the stage.

I really doubt Gore was making an announcement of his candidacy. More likely he was about to make some sort of joke. But, the whole thing just came off looking bizarre.

Click here for the article.


Linked by Slavery

Here is an interesting little bit of irony. One of Al Sharpton's ancestors was owned by one of the late Sen. Storm Thurmond's ancestors.

Rev. Sharpton has been of the major voice's for civil rights for blacks while Sen. Thrumond, of course, built his career off of segeration. Talk about strange bedfellows!

Click here for the article.


Friday, February 23, 2007

The Road to the White is walked on a Red Carpet?

CNN is speculating that former Vice-president Al Gore could announce his candidacy for president at this year's Academy Awards ceremony. I'm really not sure that will happen. But, if Gore did announce his candidacy at the Oscars he would assure himself of defeat should he make it to the general elections.

Democrats are already seen as too friendly with the liberal elite of Hollywood. Gore would simply validate that charge should he announce his run at the Mecca of Hollywood events. People in the South and Mid-West will not trust a candidate who is more in tune with Tim Robbins and Sean Penn than he is with John Q. Public. If Gore were to run, which is unlikely, he would make his announcement from his native Tennessee. Even then that might not help him shed his all too liberal imagine with mainstream voters.

Click here for CNN's article.


Thursday, February 22, 2007


Rumors are swirling that Joe Lieberman (D-CT) could switch to the Republican Party. Lieberman has become very isolated in the Democratic Party due to his support for the Iraq War. This support led to Lieberman losing the Connecticut Democratic Senatorial Primary last year and running as an independent in the general election. Although he won the election as an independent, he has been caucusing with the Democrats in the Senate (thus helping to give the Democrats the majority in that chamber).

The relationship between Lieberman and the Democratic Party were further strained during the general election when many Senate Democrats lined up behind the Democratic nominee, and not behind Sen. Lieberman, during the general election.

Now with the GOP whispering sweet nothings in his ear, Lieberman is poised to deliver massive "payback" to the Democrats. Should Lieberman join the Republican Party the 51-49 Democratic majority in the Senate would become a 50-50 tie. With Vice-president Cheney having the tie breaking vote, the Republicans would have a de facto majority in the Senate and become the majority party again.

No doubt Senate Democrats are scrambling to keep Lieberman firmly planted in the Democratic side of the aisle. However, the relationship between the two may be beyond repair. Not only are the Democrats at risk of losing control of the Senate if Lieberman jumps ships, but they would also suffer the humiliation of seeing their former nominee for vice-president take up residence in the Republican camp.

Suddenly, the man who could not win the Democratic Senatorial primary last year has become all too important for the Democrats in the Senate.

Click here for further reading.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hillary's "Ugly Baby"

A few days a go I posted about how Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House could be harmed by her vote in 2002 in support of the Iraq Resolution (which led to the war in Iraq). I mentioned that those on the extreme left might not be so willing to forgive Hillary for her support of that resolution. Well, that seems to be what is happening.

The New York Times is beginning to take a pounding from the Anti-war Left for her position in 2002 and refusal to outright apologize for that position. She finds herself in a position of angering a base that she needs, or caving into them and being seen as a flip-flopper. Not a place any presidential hopeful wants to be.

Unless Hillary can find a way to placate the Anti-war Left, while not damaging her credibility, she could very well find herself on the outside looking at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Click here for the NYT article.


Getting the Shaft...Again

In the wake of homeowners filing for claims after the massive devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, State Farm Insurance has decided against issuing any new homeowner policies in the state of Mississippi. The company cites the "political and legal atmosphere" in Mississippi as the reason why.

But, what it seems to boil down to is that State Farm decided that they did not want to pay the claims of the homeowners whose home were damaged by Hurricane Katrina because (they say) the damage was caused by water (which is not covered) and not by wind (which is covered). Obviously that cock-and-bull story didn't sit well with the homeowners whose claims were denied (What drove the water? What caused the massive damage to houses and such? Wind of course). Many of them sued State Farm in court, and rightfully so. Even Sen. Trent Lott has sued State Farm after they rejected his claim (wonder how Lott feels about tort reform and "frivolous" lawsuits now?).

In order to try and protect the people of Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood asked Gov. Haley Barbour to issue an order to force the company to issue new policies to citizens. But, Barbour (predictably) sided with the big insurance company at the expense of the people he is supposed to serve. According to Gov. Haley Barbour, he does not have the " authority to force a private company to sell its products in the state of Mississippi."

Really? Is that so? The state does not have that power, but it does have the power (and power it acted upon) to force its citizens to buy the products of a private company. Mississippians are forced to buy car insurance or risk facing a heavy fine. Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the nation; with many of its people below the poverty line. Many simply can not afford to buy insurance and thus are "criminals" according to state law (as far as I know, Mississippi has no program to help poverty level consumers pay for this insurance).

These homeowners have to buy home insurance, they have to pay the premiums...they have no choice. Yet, file a claim or two and the company can drop your ass and leave you in a tough situation. These people were victimized by Katrina and rightfully filed claims. But, State Farm decided they did not want to pay out what could amount to hundreds of millions (if not a billions) of dollars in claims so they just denied the people seemingly en masse. No matter if John Doe was a loyal customer for 20 years and was never late on a payment. Tough luck, see ya later!

And Barbour, once again, sides with the big companies over the people of the state. I can not recall one single time where Barbour has sided with the people when it came to the interests of big business. I wonder why? Well,take a look at Barbour's contribution list. Count how many PACs and other special interest groups have given him money. Count how much money they have given. The people of Mississippi simply can not afford to "buy" Barbour's love and protection. And, since he is up for reelection this year, I am sure Barbour will once again be out "selling" the governor's office to these PACs and special interest groups.

Thank goodness Attorney General Jim Hood is standing up for the people and advocating for them. Hood has been in this position a few times during his term and always seems to side with the people (but watch how the state GOP holler "But he supported John Kerry" and try to ignore how Hood has went to bat for the people of this state).

It is a sad day when companies like State Farm can continue to rape the people of Mississippi...all while Haley Barbour dances to the tune of future campaign contributions.

Click for article


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Romney's In

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney recently announced his candidacy for president. He made his announcement in Dearbon, MI. In his announcement speech Romney struck the same themes (lower taxes and less government) that made Ronald Reagan popular with the GOP faithful. However, Romney may find the true blue Republican voters reluctant to embrace him as a modern day conservative hero.

In the past, Romney displayed a tolerance for abortion. But, now he says his views on thew issue have "evolved" and he is now pro-life. Conservative voters may believe his new views on abortion represent political opportunism rather than a deep seeded philosophical belief. The abortion issue is a major hot-button issue with Republican primary voters and Romney's past views may come back to hurt his run for the GOP nomination.

Also, it is interesting that Romney choose Michigan as the place to announce his run (rather than the state where he served as governor). One could be tempted to think that by doing so he may know that the voters of Massachusetts will not support him in the general election (you have to know that the state's two senators, Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry, would campaign against him). In fact, Massachusetts has not gone Republican in a presidential election since 1984 (when Reagan won reelection by a landslide).

Also, by announcing in Michigan (where his father served as governor), Romney may be trying to distance himself from his New England background. U.S. voters have not been kind to presidential candidates in recent years (having reject Michal Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004). By claiming his Michigan roots, Romney is trying to position himself as a "Middle America" type of candidate and thus broaden his appeal to voters in the Mid-West and the South (key areas for any Republican presidential hopeful). Plus, making his announcement in an important swing state (where his family is still popular) is a very good move politically for Romney. Early exposure in the state could help in Michigan's primary vote.

Although, at this point Romney is a long shot to win the nomination, it will be interesting to see if his Reaganesque speeches will resonate with the Republican primary voters.


Clinton Wars II: Return of the Nader

The spoiler of the 2000 presidential elections may be getting readt to throw his hat into the ring for 2008. Ralph Nader is putting out trial balloons concerning a possible run for the White House in 2008.

Many people claim that Nader's candidacy in 2000 siphoned off enough votes from Gore in Florida to deliver the state (and thus the presidency) to George W. Bush (who only won the state by a 537 vote margin). Now it looks as if Nader is ready to torpedo the presidential ambitions of another Clinton/Gore team member; this time going after Hillary herself.

It is no secret that Nader does not like Hillary Clinton and considers her a phony and not progressive enough. In 2000 Nader took only 1% of the popular vote. But, that was enough to deny Gore the White House. This time Nader has an even bigger issue upon which to base his candidacy; the war in Iraq.

On this issue Hillary is vulnerable to an attack from her left flank. Many die hard liberal democrats rail against anything that even remotely smells of being pro-Iraq War (they almost knocked off Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-CT, last year), and they would certainly be disappointed (to say the least) in Hillary's positions on this war.

As a senator, Hillary voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq. And she has gone on record as saying that she does not regret her vote. But, of course, that vote was taken when a confrontation with Saddam's Iraq was generally popular with the citizens of the U.S. and it was politically safe (indeed, politically wise) to vote for the resolution.

Now that the war is becoming increasingly unpopular, Hillary is trying to distance herself from her past support of that resolution. She recently stated that she voted to give the president:

"the authority to send inspectors back in (to Iraq) to determine the truth", but not"to authorize preemptive war."

Of course anyone can plainly see that she is trying to spin her way out of a corner and trying (perhaps in vain) to appease the more rabid anti-war wing of her base. In 2004 she flatly stated that she did not regret her vote which gave Bush the authority to launch military action in Iraq.

But, Nader can, and will, attack her on her vote (and later support of that vote) to give the president the authority to go into Iraq. He would have no problems in trying to paint her present day statements against the Iraq War as simple political spin and pandering. To the more extreme left of the nation's voters, Nader could be music to their ears.

But, will Nader actually enter the race in 2008? Here is what he said recently on CNN:

“I'm committed to trying to give more voices and choices to the American people on the ballot. That means more third parties, independent candidates and to break up this two-party elected dictatorship that is becoming more and more like a dial for the same corporate dollars.”

If he hasn't made up his mind yet, it definitely sounds like he is leaning towards running.

Does Nader have a real chance to cost Hillary votes from the left and thus cost her the White House the way he did to Gore in 2000? Former advisor to President Bill Clinton, Dick Morris thinks so. Morris says:

The ranks of antiwar voters could swell Nader’s performance far above the dismal 1 percent he got in 2004 and even above the 3 percent he won in 2000. It is not inconceivable that Nader could pass 5-7 percent of the vote or go even higher if he is the only antiwar candidate in the field."

If Nader does draw in 5%-7% of the vote he would do so at Hillary's expense (by drawing in left-wing voters who would normally have voted for Hillary).

Even though the primaries are still about a year off, 2008 is shaping up to be a very wild ride for the Democratic Donkey.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Taking Care of Number One

Apparently some Mississippi legislators are opposed to cutting the taxes on groceries (a move that would greatly help the middle class) but yet are all for cutting the business inventory tax (a move that would greatly benefot businesses).

Mississippi has one of the highest taxes, of not the highest tax, on groceries in the country. There is a bill in the state legislature that would cut the tax on groceries (while offsetting any loss of revenue with an increase on the tobacco tax).

The chairman of the committee where the bill now resides has said the bill probably won't even be brought up for consideration. The Chairman, state Sen. Tommy Robertson, said:

"I'm not going to have a bloody fight out there for the sake of having a fight to help the Democratic Party or to help the Republican Party take out people on key issues"

The people of the state want this bill. Eighty-five percent (85%) of Mississippians say they support this bill. Yet, this one state senator (who represents but one district of the state) has taken it upon himself to stymie the wishes of the citizens.

He further states:

"I don't know if we are really for the cut in the grocery tax as much as it's just a fervor and a fever with the people"

So it's just a fervor with the people? Is that your backhanded way to insult the will of the people of the state? The very people that pay your salary and for whom you work? Sen. Robertson needs to understand that it is not up to him to dictate his wishes (and perhaps those of his campaign contributors) to the people of Mississippi. They are his boss and it is their "fervor" that he should heed. The concept of public service seems to be lost on the good senator.

Meanwhile, he is all smiles about cutting the inventory taxes for businesses. Take a look at his priorities. He (and others who march to his tune) have shown were their loyalty lie. They have shown that when is comes to taking care of the interests of the people of Mississippi or the businesses of the state, the people will get the shaft every time.

Meanwhile, Gov. Barbour has chimed in on these tax cuts proposals. He stated:

"I wouldn't propose any kind of tax cuts until we've done a thorough analysis of the taxes Mississippians pay...Then you can tell if the income taxes or property taxes or whatever should be cut."

How much money do you want to bet that, if these two bills pass, he will sign the pro-business tax cut while (yet again) vetoing the pro-middle class Mississippian tax cut.

Hopefully the voters will keep this in mind when they go to the polls this year.

(Source: The Clarion Ledger)


Obama Slips Up

Speaking in Ames, Iowa, on Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il) made what many are taking as an insult to the memory of U.S. service men and women who have been killed in Iraq.

While speaking to a political rally in Ames, Sen. Obama stated:

"We ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized, and should have never been waged, and on which we've now spent $400 billion, and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted."

His use of the word "wasted" was quickly blasted by some as dishonoring the memory and the sacrifice that these men and women made in the service of the United States.

Obama later said that he regretted his use of the word. Turning to damage control, Obama said:

"I was actually upset with myself when I said that, because I never use that term," he said. "Their sacrifices are never wasted.... What I meant to say was those sacrifices have not been honored by the same attention to strategy, diplomacy and honesty on the part of civilian leadership that would give them a clear mission."

To some this slip-up shows that Sen. Obama is not ready for prime time and is still too politically immature to mount a serious race for the White House.

To many conservatives bloggers and talking-heads this is just more "proof" of the low regard in which liberals and Democrats hold U.S. military personnel. Many have already compared this to the infamous John Kerry statement that seemed to imply that those servicemen in Iraq were "stuck" there due to being uneducated.

It is highly doubtful that Obama (or Kerry for that matter) meant any insult to those in the military. But, faux-pas such as this can serve to solidify in the minds of American voters that Democrats can not be trusted when it comes to our military. And that a Democrat in the White House would only weaken our military and thus harm our national security.

At this stage in the game Sen. Obama needs to fully understand that every word he says will be closely examined and torn apart by not only the traditional media, but also the many politically astute bloggers that now play a major role in American politics. So far, the young Padawan still has much to learn about presidential politics.