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21 February 2008


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Col Lang : I am not willing to sacrifice our liberties for the promise of social justice.

Your other choices are McCain - who will continue the Bushian sacrifice of our liberties for the illusion of safety, and Clinton, who will support getting us into the wrong war if it aids her political career.

The following analysis of Clinton's and Obama's legislative record in the Senate may add to this discussion.



WRT: voices. Yes.

Needs some ethology.

Overheard in some nashville bar: "I can't vote for George McGovern, he sounds like Liberace."

Dick Cheney's conference table charisma would be considerably diminished without his enchanters voice.

During the 90s some of the republican women (Tilly Fowler IIRC, and someone from Texas) had voice training - they were more modulated, less nasal, and had much less accent.

Ditto Bubba. From time to time he lapsed into his less than appealing natural voice and accent.

And W, if he did not have that peculiar Texas accent Dubya, would come across sulky, bratty, whiney, nasty, and short.

OTOH, Jack Kennedy. not only the voice, but the accent. Aargh! Good thing he had TV and his dad's old Chicago business associates to help.

BBC had a good series on voice recently. Must have inspired the NPR folks.

[end caffeine-fueled tangent]


I hope I said "whiney, petulant, nasty, brattish and short."

Charles I

Over at Counterpunch Joshua Frank writes a short piece on the O's legislative history describing how Obama gutted a nuclear safety bill he introduced, apparently, quel surprize, because lobbyists and donaters helped rewrite it:


There's an excellent dissection of McCain's competence and ethics by Alexander Cockburn there today too.

Sailor on the Winds of Change

Dear Pat:

Let's see here ... who do I wish to throw in with?

"I will be ready to lead on the first day that I am the president." (Hillary Clinton.)

or ...

"Friends. When I'm your president ..." (John McCain)

or ...

"Change WE can believe in."

I'll roll the dice on the chance of a "boundless future."

Sincerely, a crusty cynical ol' sextigenarian "child."


When Obama speaks of change, I hear "throw the bums out" as USA needs to chart a new way. Do you dispute that the current way isn't working and an overhaul is needed?

I don't think Obama will be able to live up all expectations if elected, because voters will be expecting so much. But there will be more stakeholders to hold government accountable. And that is a good thing.

All the Obama doubters are wringing hands and declaring him dangerous. What about the irresponsibilities of the current administration -- those aren't dangerous?!? Or look at the Obama alternatives -- corrupt, perpetual "commander in chief" McCain, or a dynastic coronation of Clinton. Look at the dead-enders that he's running against.

Thanks for the warning about Obama. It's heart-warming that you are striving to save us from childish selves. He's a terrible manager after all just look at his failing campaign. He has no ideas (use "the Google"; its your friend).

Man, get a grip. BTW -- you offer up a rebuke of obama, but I wonder who you'd advocate for.

W. Patrick Lang


There seems to be some confusion here over what Obama and his wife are saying. She says that we have "holes in our souls" and he is going to fix that and that he is never going to let us revert to our "old ways?" Are you sure out there that you are really listening to what this man is saying?

Do not let your frustration over personalities lead you into a mind set in which you are willing to be someone's "lab rat."

Is the present system "broken?" No. It is not. Policy and personalities are one set of things. Tinkering with the basic structure of our law is another.

What "system" would you prefer after this "broken" one is abandoned?

Oh, by the way. If you tell me to "get a grip" again, you know the consequences. pl

Sailor on the Winds of Change


Dear Pat:

Lab rat?

We're beginning to stretch a wee bit, aren't we?

It's time for me to 'weigh anchor and let the sheets fill with the wind.

ps: I'll check back in, possibly within the decade ...


Mark Gaughan



We will never allow ourselves to be governed by Plato's Philosopher/King, for we are a democracy where the citizens value intuition over rational thinking.
Obama is charismatic and I'm sure that is all some people see (whether for or against) and like most reasonable people I fear the rise of a demagogue to the Presidency. But just because Obama appeals to people emotionally is no reason to discount his ability to lead.
First, I don't see him exploiting people's prejudices the way a demagogue does.
Second, I see him as the only viable candidate who would base his foriegn policy on self-confidence and not fear. F.D.R. and Bush are both examples of these extremes of management philosophy. A super-power needs to be self-confident in order to be respectful of other nations. But this administration acts like the world's bully, and everyone knows bullies act out of fear. Too much influence of people like Kissinger, Pearl and Wolfowitz who were probably picked on as children.
Three, domestic policy needs to change from a survival-of-the-fittest to we-are-in-this-together paradigm. Obama is the only one talking about renegogiating NAFTA and stopping tax loopholes that encourage U.S. companies to move overseas.
Charisma in high places can be a terrible thing but I think there is more to Obama than smooth talk.
Since we never know what a person will really do as president (look how 9/11 changed George) we have weigh the candidates positions and then go into that voting booth and take that leap of faith.
Good luck, America.


Dear Col.:

On rhetoric:

"Michael Kazin argues, persuasively in my view, that effective rhetoric is a really important part of being an effective politician so it makes little sense to castigate a rival as offering rhetoric rather than results. Obviously, rhetoric alone won't make the country a better place (it could be effective rhetoric in pursuit of bad policies) but it's an important element of an effective politics."

-the above from Matt Yglesias

On deeming anything that a candidates wife says being even remotely substantive from a policy standpoint:


On being a lab rat:

I'm quite certain that "the village elders" will not let this happen. Especially the Republican Senate minority.

best regards.


Here is an example of how people live in Russia.

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