Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Addendum - more politics

There is a lot of stuff, bad bad signs of the time, that even a stellar presidnet can't do much about. But he/she can sure set the tone and by focusing on the right fulcrums, raise our standards.

I dated a hot journalism major for a while at Georgia. My dad was a journalist (award winning in south fla) but the profession is starting to get too much like classical musicians - have to be sexy for glossy attention... where is the substance, the real talent?

I miss Connie Chung.

I'm not trying to be nilhistic, but I have to wonder if it makes a difference which Democrat runs? Can't they beat McCain based on the last 8 years and running someone with a birthday after WWII?

It could come down to this: if we are engaged in active battle or something happens to remind us of how vulnerable we are, McCain will take it 'cause he's yo Daddy. If not, then the Democrats have a real chance.

One new thought - the choice of a running mate will be crucial this year, for both parties. No sense forgetting that Cheney is the brains in the White House right now.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Politics - getting interesting

Tough race eh? I think if McCain goes against Clinton, it's a tight race. Not so sure with Obama.

So let's think about Obama vs. Clinton.

Obama is said to be thinned skinned and of course inexperienced. The real question to me is, do we want someone jaded and experienced, or clean and an outsider? It's the age old "youth and enthusiasm" vs. "age and treachery". What really helps us move forward and repair the damage done by No Brainers and evil Ice Kings?

Maybe they ought to have to serve together (Clinton and Obama) as retribution for all the stupid mud slinging we've had to hear.

Much as I like Clinton, I like integrity more, and I'm not sure that she can even seem clean, which is important. Obviously she's done the requisite deal making like everyone else. I still think she might polarize the right. Which many seem to fear. Well if anyone can stand the heat it's sure Hillary.

Heck, who knows, polarizing the far right could be a good thing. Give them something to froth about while we send in a Karl Rove to get stuff done. Howard Dean anyone?

While I liked Bill on many levels, he sure peed in his own wheaties and downgraded the party. What an easy target.

I still have bumper stickers from '93 that say "Don't blame me, I voted for Hillary". Had them printed myself. Sent her one many years ago :D

Bill was no Teflon Reagan.

What are the criteria for choosing a pres? ... Are you an issues voter or a party voter or a personality/character voter?

And more to the point, what do most people do - those without enough to really follow news, issues, history? Of course this is what all the political spindoctors and pundits spend hours debating and scrying about.

A great economics prof at Georgia taught me that people don't have time to really understand current events, so elections are naturally big tent shows based on our general lack of understanding. That must be why the news last night (which I rarely watch) was frighteningly like an entertainment show - ugh, who cares if Britney has had a melt down?? Is she running? Could she do better than Bush? And why why why is American Idol on the 11 o'clock news?!?!

Dumbing down => corruption + no accountability => the fall of Rome.

Oh yeah, that's right, we keep bailing out all those mortgage lenders... was it for national security? Of course this broke one of the fundamental rules of capitalism (high returns from high risk), but no matter. We do it because the entire economy, supposedly, will fail if we let predatory mortgage lenders eat their cake (or lake thereof). Too bad we've become so precarious in that one sector can crash the entire market.

Are we sure that it isn't also the billions we've wasted in Iraq? Perhaps dependency on foreign oil? Or worse, foreign investors? What about the incredibly, ridiculously high cost of American medical care? We still spend two or three times as much as any other Western nation, and have care that is very substandard in comparison.

I'm even wondering (and heard someone speak to it on NPR the other day, during Market Place) about the premise that our prosperity is based on consumerism and growth. Maybe that isn't as good as savings and being stewards for future generations? You know, those values our parents grew up with?

Maybe that's how I'll choose a president - "It's the economy, dear." And John McCain would make a fine stealth progressive.