Friday, November 30, 2007

Hostage drama

A New Hampshire man walked into a Hillary Clinton campaign office in his town with what he said was a bomb duct taped to his chest demanding to speak to Hillary Clinton. Link What the heck? I thought everyone is New Hampshire had already personally spoken to all the candidates multiple times.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How many reindeer pull Santa's sleigh?

I am starting to get in the Christmas spirit. I have been thinking about Santa Claus and his reindeer.

How many reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh? Is it eight, as in Clement Moore’s poem, or nine as claimed by the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”? It can’t be both. The two accounts contradict each other. At least one of them has to be wrong.

Of course, we don’t worry about such things because we know the authors of this poem and song did not intend us to take them literally. Since their purpose is to relate myth rather than historical accuracy they can both be true – they are both valued because they both serve their intended purpose in the realm of myth and fantasy.

But what if someone in the future only had access to the words of this poem and song in a printed form that did not make clear that they were fiction? What if all they had were the words of the poem and song themselves – no helpful library classification or other context? What internal clues within the text itself should clue the insightful reader how to classify these writings?

If the action was set in some fantasy place like Never-never land where people lived in tree houses or holes in the ground it would be easy to tell that it was fiction, but the action seem to be set in our world where people live in houses like ours, so that is no help. A good clue that should tell any intelligent reader that this is fiction is the supernatural feats Santa and his reindeer perform – flying and visiting every house in the world in a single night. Another clue to their fictional nature is the fact that the later account adds details to the story – an extra reindeer – without any explanation for why the first telling of the story was wrong about this. The author of the song felt free to modify the story told in the poem in a way that would render the first story false if it were viewed as history. That should alert any intelligent reader that the author of the song did not view the original story as history and did not expect her/his audience to view either the poem or song as literally true or historically accurate.

That all probably seems so obvious that you think it was hardly worth my time to type it. But you would be surprised how many people miss obvious points like this when dealing with religious documents from long ago.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Illinois considering scanning driver's licenses on boarding riverboat casino

According to an article in this morning’s Quad City Times:

Gamblers, no matter how old they are, may have to show their driver’s license and have it scanned before entering Illinois casinos under a new proposal.

The Illinois Gaming Board is considering the card-everyone idea as a way to catch people who have voluntarily agreed to be arrested if they board one of the state’s riverboat casinos

The article goes on to explain that once someone has banned themselves from the riverboat casinos it takes 5 years and a doctor's evaluation that they are no longer addicted to gambling to get their name removed from the lists.

I think this is an excellent idea. If it works out well how about extending it nationally to all forms of legal gambling? And if that works out how about extending it to sales of alcohol? Just think, once someone agrees that they are a problem drinker and promises to quit, you would get them to ban themselves from alcohol and then it would be a lot harder for them to fall off the wagon.

Everyone selling alcohol (by the bottle or by the drink) would have a driver's license scanner connected to a central database so fake driver's licenses used by underage kids would no longer work. Everyone who did not have a driver's license because they were illegal for any reason would not be able to drink. Everyone who was of age and legal and had never declared themselves a problem drinker would just have their driver's license scanned and they would be scarcely inconvienced. I think it is a great idea.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Randy Newman - A Few Words in Defense of Our Country

Check out patriot Randy Newman's "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country"

For those of you who don't get what he is talking about -- don't worry about it. He's just defending our country.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I am thankful for

Since today is Thanksgiving Day I thought I would talk about why I am thankful to live in the United States of America. I’ve been listening to a lot of immigrants lately talking about why they came to this country and this gives me an appreciation of what is right in this country. I believe the great majority of Americans believe that our government (federal, state and local) is and should be honest, non-corrupt and serving the needs of the people. I think most Americans are shocked and motivated to do something to fix it when they find out about instances when the government has been corrupt or has subverted the rule of law. That is not the case in many countries in the world, especially the countries from which many of our immigrants come.

The collapse of the Soviet Union showed how ultimately all governments, even the ones in countries we call non-democratic, can only stay in power with the consent of the people of that country. I think as long as most Americans refuse to accept as normal and commonplace that the government will be corrupt and serving special interests rather than the people then this country will remain free and democratic.

Polls show that about 70% of Americans think that the country is heading in the wrong direction. I am thankful that most Americans recognize the same problems I see and are prepared to do something about it. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

If a woman is b___ what is a man?

At the breakfast table this morning I was reading Leonard Pitts’ column which was commenting on the lack of reaction to a woman who asked John McCain, “How do we beat the b___,” referring, of course, to Hillary Clinton. McCain laughed and said it was an excellent question. The column asks if the reaction would have been the same if Lieberman had been the front runner and a questioner referred to him as a Hebe, or Richardson as a spic, or Obama as a coon? Leonard Pitts had no doubt that McCain would not have thought those were ‘excellent’ questions.

I agreed completely with the point the column was making but my wife did not. She did not think that calling a woman a “b___” was comparable to calling a Jew a Hebe or a Hispanic a spic. She thought an equivalent insult was calling a man a bastard. Should the column have asked whether John McCain would have thought that “How do we beat the bastard,” referring to Obama or Edwards was an ‘excellent’question? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Republican Values

According to the Yeas & Nays blog at written by Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin:

DeLay told Yeas & Nays that Republicans in Congress are "looking for something to believe in" and "they're not getting it out of this Republican leadership. … The leadership just isn't getting it."

"They're looking for some backbone,"

Presumably demonstrating the kind of backbone he thinks Congressional Republicans need Tom Delay said of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, "I'd like to bitch-slap him."

Read the entire article.

Tom Delay is an example of the kind of politicians the so-called "Values Voters" have been supporting. What values do you think he was demonstrating in that interview?

As bad as Dafur is Somali is worse

According to an article in this morning’s New York Times as bad as Dafur is Somali is worse.

The worst humanitarian crisis in Africa may not be unfolding in Darfur, but here, along a 20-mile strip of busted-up asphalt, several top United Nations officials said.

Top United Nations officials who specialize in Somalia said the country had higher malnutrition rates, more current bloodshed and fewer aid workers than Darfur, which is often publicized as the world’s most pressing humanitarian crisis and has taken clear priority in terms of getting peacekeepers and aid money.

Read the entire article.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Congressman Hare getting noticed

Our freshman Congressman, Phil Hare of Rock Island, is getting some notice for his work to try to prevent the Peru free trade deal. There is a front page story about this in this morning's Quad City Times

“I’ve been working on trade issues for 17 years, and Rep. Hare, as a freshman, showed more leadership, more character and, frankly, more relentless insistence for what was good for his constituents ... than I’ve seen more multi-term members pull off,” said Lori Wallach, director of the Global Trade Watch Program at Public Citizen, which opposed the deal. “It was incredibly impressive.”

Read the entire article

NAFTA was promoted as the kind of trade deal that is good for both developing countries like Mexico and developed nations like the United States and Canada. Well, the verdict is in on its effects and it has been a disaster for the people of Mexico, as evidenced by their desperation to come to our country to find work. The Peru deal is similar to NAFTA and there is no reason to think its impact would be any more positive for the working people of either the Peru or the United States.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Robert Novak being ignored

Apparently Bob Novak has written a column in which he claims that the Hillary Clinton campaign told him they have information about Barak Obama that would be disastrous for his presidential aspirations if it were to become public. Apparently the Clinton campaign has denied this. Apparently Barak Obama has responded by saying that he will not be intimidated by such rumors – he will not be “Swift-boated”. I say apparently because I can find no information about any of this from a source I trust. None of the newspapers I read have anything on this, including the New York Times. Nor do any of the mainstream or liberal blogs. The only source I have for any of this are a couple of local conservative blogs, here and here, that I read because they are listed along with this blog on a local blogger’s page on the local newspaper’s website. I gather other conservative blogs around the country are also talking about this.

It is not surprising that no one without a conservative ax to grind will touch this. The whole story is based solely on the thoroughly discredited word of one man, Robert Novak. In the same way that scientists usually just ignore crackpot theories rather than bothering to refute them, apparently real journalists are simply ignoring this story. I advise you to do the same.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

You can earn college credit by reading this blog

This blog's readability rating, the level of education required to understand the blog, has been judged by an independent rating service to be college level (undergrad). I would expect that would mean that college students (undergrad) can earn college credit by reading it -- check with your professors.

Of course, some of you may be thinking that this rating means that I am not writing clearly and plainly enough, that I am going over most of my potential audience's heads and that may explain my low readership ratings and the fact that my blog has been judged to be worth only $564.54 based on the number of links to my blog from elsewhere on the web. I choose not to look at it that way.

Instead, displaying the attitude that has got me where I am today, I say that anyone who can't understand this blog needs to go back to school.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lou Dobbs thinking about running for president

An article in the Wall Street Journal by John Fund says that CNN’s Lou Dobbs is thinking about running for president.

Friends of Mr. Dobbs say he is seriously contemplating a race for the first time, although it's still unlikely. They spin a scenario under which the acerbic commentator would parachute into the race if Michael Bloomberg, the New York billionaire and favorite of East Coast elites, enters the field as an independent. With Hillary Clinton continuing to score badly in polls in the categories of honesty and integrity, and with the public's many doubts about Rudy Giuliani and other GOP contenders, Mr. Bloomberg may well see an opportunity to roil the political waters by entering the race late. If so, Mr. Dobbs then sees a niche for a "fourth-party" candidate who could paint the three other contenders as completely out of touch.

Nothing could more perfectly illustrate how people in the media think about political races and running for office. They think politics is a matter of personifying opinions. For that, after all, is all that Lou Dobbs offers – opinions. He has no experience in government or even in running a business. At least Ross Perot had experience as an executive who had accomplished something by managing people and an organization. Lou Dobbs only has experience expressing opinions. If elected president Lou Dobbs would be in the position of having to work with a Congress in which no one was of his political party or owed him anything. The idea that campaigns and elections are how we select our leaders has been lost on these people who think elections are how we express our opinions.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

David Broder's feelings of awkwardness

In his column this morning David Broder opines that the relationship between Hillary and Bill Clinton poses unique challenges to the nation should Hillary be elected. He remembers his discomfort when Hillary was given a prominent role during Bill’s presidency:

When Bill Clinton was president, the large policy enterprise that was entrusted to the first lady -- health-care reform -- crashed in ruins. The causes were complex, and some of the burden falls on other people -- Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the interest groups and, yes, the press. But as one who reported and wrote in great detail and length about that whole enterprise, I can also tell you that the awkwardness of having an unelected but uniquely influential partner of the president in charge affected every step of the process, from the gestation of the plan to its final demise.

I don’t get it. How is having the president’s spouse in charge of some initiative any different than having any other equally unelected appointee or advisor, selected by the president, in charge? Condi Rice seems strangely, at least to me, close to President Bush. She is “an unelected but uniquely influential partner of the president.” Why is not David Broder disquieted by that situation? I have to suspect that David Broder’s feelings of “awkwardness” concerning Hillary Clinton have more to do with his political differences with her and his prejudices and hang-ups than with anything else.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Universal Hovercraft

Click on this link to go the website of an Illinois company named Universal Hovercraft. As you can see by their website this is a company that makes personal hovercraft. They helpfully list the various models as either 1-2 person, 3-6 person or larger. They offer “turnkey” hovercraft and also plans, kits and parts.

This company came to my attention when I was banking on-line and perusing the charges to my and my wife’s credit cards for the past week. A charge of $420 was paid to Universal Hovercraft. I did not have a receipt for that and did not remember ordering anything from that company or my wife having told me she had ordered anything. So, I googled to find out more about the company and discovered their website. As you can see the website makes no mention of anything the company does or sells other than hovercrafts.

So I asked my wife a question I had never imagined I would ever ask, “Honey, did you buy a hovercraft this past week and not give me the receipt?”

She got somewhat alarmed. She has always had a fear that a thief would get our credit card information and suddenly charges for things we had not bought would appear on our credit card statements. The charge for the purchase of a personal hovercraft apparently struck her as the epitome of something we would not have purchased and so it seemed that all her fears were suddenly coming true.

Hours later, after she had calmed down, she remembered what she had charged to her credit card for $420. Our cleaning lady had been complaining that she had borrowed some money from one of those car title/payday loan places and, because of the high interest her balance had kept increasing faster than she could get it paid off. The balance had grown to $420. My wife went down there, whipped out her credit card, paid off the loan. She told our cleaning lady she could pay us back by cleaning our house and we would not be charging her any interest.

Well, it was a relief to know that this was a legitimate charge to our credit cards but why did it show up as a payment to Universal Hovercraft? I have given it some thought and I now have a theory. Whatever relationship there is between the car title/payday loan place and Universal Hovercraft was created, at least in part, in order to give cover to the customers and employees of the loan place who are ashamed of their association with the high-interest loan shop. Not having the name of a quicky-loan place on their credit card statements must prevent some embarrassment for some customers (although it only caused confusion for me.)

The more speculative part of my theory is that the relationship between the two businesses gives cover to the employees of the loan shop who don't want to admit their association with the car title/payday loan business. When asked what they do for a living they say they sell hovercrafts. When they are asked to come to their children's school to talk about what they do they bring catalogs of hovercrafts for the kids to oh and ahh over. That's just speculation on my part, of course.

Why you can't see the news the way others see it.

Very few Americans have the opportunity to see international news the way millions of people in the Middle East see it, on Al Jazeera. Among those few are our soldiers in Afghanistan. According to Roger Cohen in his column in today’s New York Times:

In the gym at the NATO base in Kabul, U.S. soldiers hit the treadmills every morning and gaze at TV screens broadcasting Al Jazeera’s English news channel. When Osama bin Laden makes news, as he did recently with a statement about Iraq, America’s finest work out beneath the solemn gaze of their most wanted enemy.

Back in the States about the only way you can watch it is if you are one of the 147,000 subscribers to Buckeye Cablesystem in Toledo, Ohio.

Allan Block, the chairman of Block Communications, which owns Buckeye, [says]: “It’s a good channel. Sir David Frost and David Marash are not terrorists. The attempt to blackball it is neo-McCarthyism.”

Block, like other cable providers, got protest letters from Accuracy in Media, a conservative watchdog. Cliff Kincaid, its editor, cites the case of Tayseer Allouni, a former Afghanistan correspondent jailed in Spain for Al Qaeda links. This is evidence, he suggests, that “cable providers shouldn’t give them access.”

How do you feel about conservatives like Cliff Kincaid threatening cable providers to prevent you from seeing Al Jazeera?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Scott Adams, Dilbert Cartoonist – “Why We Should All Become Muslims”

I just discovered that one of my favorite cartoonists, Scott Adams, author of “Dilbert”, has a blog. As you would expect his blog is full of unexpected ideas that make a lot of sense. One of his recent posting got a lot of comment – “Why We Should All Become Muslims.” He points out that people around the world of all different religions seem about equally happy. If one religion was better or truer than the others and human beings were capable of determining that then we all (or at least the smarter ones among us) would be followers of that religion. But that is not the case so it appears that we have no reason to pick one religion over another based on the merits of that religion. Therefore, he concludes, we should all become moderate Muslims so that Osama bin Laden would have less reason to want to kill us.

As you can imagine, that provoked a big response. Some commenters responded to those ideas in the same spirit in which they were proposed. Others, presumably people who were personally invested in the idea that their religion was the true one, disagreed with his arguments without being able to offer any counter arguments. Check it out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Are driver's licenses incentives to illegal behavior?

Eight out of fifty states currently issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Does this fact encourage people in other countries to come here illegally?

There are an estimated more than 12 million illegal immigrants in this country and as far as I can tell they are all working or are the spouse or children of someone who is working. When you talk to them about why they came to this country and why they came to this particular state and city they invariably say that they came because they heard that they could find work here. I have never heard any of them say or indicate in any way that there was any other factor in their decision than their prospects of finding work. (If a baby is on the way they may also factor into the decision that it would probably be better for the child if she/he was born in America.)

So do the people who are arguing against driver’s license for illegal immigrants have any facts or hard evidence that issuing driver’s licenses is in fact an incentive to illegal behavior? My guess is that there are no such facts because no one decided to enter this country illegally based on any incentive other than the fact they could work here.

Notice the lack of facts in newspaper columnist Kathleen Parker’s column in this morning’s paper:

The illegal immigrant problem is huge, obviously, and there's no single solution. But there is one word that would get the ball rolling in the right direction and win a lot of voters' hearts: disincentivize. Stop making it so attractive to slip through, over and under the border.

As long as we offer jobs, medical treatment, drivers licenses and in-state tuition to those who come here illegally, why would any right-thinking, would-be immigrant take a number and wait his turn? Why not just throw in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and free tequila while we're at it?
Certainly, no serious person thinks we can round up 12 million people and deport them. But it would be refreshing if we began to take seriously what it means to be a citizen and stop making it so attractive to be a lawbreaker.

read entire article

Why can’t we round up 12 million people and deport them? The few times I have ever heard anyone address this issue they talked about the logistical problems of moving that many people and how many buses and airplanes it would take. But that is not the main issue. Although it is the 800 lb. gorilla sitting in the living room that no one talks about the main reason we cannot send them home is that there are whole industries dependent on their labor. It would have devastating effects on our economy if they were to suddenly disappear. We cannot deport them all in exactly the same way that we cannot shut down all the coal-fired power plants and we cannot stop cutting down trees in the national forests.

So, they are here and are going to remain here. The only thing to decide is how to treat them.
When Kathleen Parker admits we cannot deport them all and then talks in the next breath about “what it means to be a citizen” she is talking about a two-tiered class system in which we exploit the labor of the non-documented while denying them the benefits citizens and legal residents enjoy. This would have all the standard advantages for us that the upper classes enjoy in any class-based society – and all the disadvantages also. Does a permanent under-class of exploited workers with fewer rights and benefits than the rest of us fit your picture of what America is about?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Are you to blame for Iraq?

If you are one of the 75% majority of the American public who thinks that the War in Iraq is not going very well then you probably also have some opinions about the reasons our military has not completely vanquished those opposing them there. You probably blame some or all of the following: inadequate planning for the occupation, too few troops, a misguided mission, bad decisions made by our leaders, social and historical factors that result in our best and brightest young people not volunteering to join the military, our history of supporting unpopular repressive undemocratic regimes, our unquestioning support of Israel or other factors involving Washington insiders and the military-industrial complex. You probably have never entertained the thought that you might be the one to blame – your doubts, your lack of complete support for the mission. The idea probably seems absurd, if for no other reason than because those making all the decisions show no indication that they pay the slightest attention to what you think.

Well, hold onto those thoughts because, if history is any guide, at some point in the not too distant future people are going to suggest that our troops could have prevailed in Iraq if they had not been stabbed in the back by people back at home. As absurd as that idea seems at the moment, unless you make a special effort to never forget how you feel right now about the war, you might find yourself being swept up by this scapegoating. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Blog is worth $564.54

Based on the theoretical monetary value each link to a website supposedly represents and a count of all the existing links to my blog I have just been informed that my blog's worth calculates as $564.54. link

I guess I won't give up my day job.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Whose side is God on?

Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God, was in the Quad Cities over the weekend to speak at the Quad Cities Progressive Action for the Common Good's Spiritual Progressives Conference. There is an excellent article in the River Cities’ Reader by Jeff Ignatius about Rabbi Lerner and what he had to say. For example, this is Rabbi Lerner’s take on the Congressional Democrat’s lack of commitment for ending the war in Iraq.

Many Democrats, for example, believe in ending the war in Iraq but refuse to act on that belief. "They don't fight to end it because they think it's not realistic and it's not politically in their interest," Lerner said. "They don't want to offend those who do support the war. They're afraid they'll be labeled ‘not supporting our troops' if they vote to cut off all funds and say that they're going to end the war right now."

These "practical" Democrats have their priorities wrong, Lerner said. "The spiritual world view tells us to go for our highest values, and to let them shape our actions," he said, "not let your actions be shaped by what seems pragmatic at the moment. ... To believe in God is to believe that there is a force in the universe that makes possible the transformation of that which is to that which ought to be. To align yourself with that force is often to be aligned against being realistic."

Here is Rabbi Lerner’s advice for how to fight the war on terrorism.

"We have come to believe that the fundamental reality of the world is one in which people are out to get us and hurt us, and that the only way we can protect ourselves is to dominate others before they dominate us," he said.

Instead, the United States should lead "a global Marshall Plan" and "act toward others in a spirit of generosity and caring."

In terms of a policy recommendation, Lerner said the United States should dedicate 1 to 2 percent of its gross domestic product "to once and for all end global poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, [and] inadequate health care, and to repair the global environment." Further, the U.S. should encourage other world powers to make the same commitment.

The effect would be "to dry up the cesspools of anger and hatred against the richest country in the world - us - and the resentment that people have about the way the United States has acted in the world, as a dominator," Lerner said. Extremist groups wouldn't be able to find recruits, he claimed.

Read the entire article

When you give it a little thought it seems kind of strange that the religious right has convinced so many people that their values of homophobia, xenophobia, capital punishment and opposition to sex education and family planning are God’s values, when everyone knows that God’s foremost commandment is to treat others with kindness and compassion, feeding the hungry and housing the homeless. Although the news media refers to social conservatives as “values voters,” that is a misnomer since everyone votes their values. We progressives have values that are much better aligned with the fundamental teachings of all the world’s great religions than the mean-spirited, punitive world-view of the so-called religious right. It has only been our reluctance up until now to frame our arguments in religious terms that has allowed the conservatives to perpetuate the fraud that God is on their side.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Report on Moline Democrat's Candidates Forum

My wife and I just got back from attending the Moline Democratic Central Committee’s candidates forum held at the Moline VFW hall on 7th Street. Rock Island County Board member Virgil Mayberry spoke briefly in support of Hillary Clinton. No one showed up to speak for any of the other presidential candidates. Pat O’Brien spoke for Congressman Phil Hare.

Both incumbent State Senator Mike Jacobs and his challenger Paul Rumler spoke. Mike Jacobs emphasized the bills he had passed and the money he had brought home from Springfield. Paul Rumler talked about his commitment to Education and promised that he would conduct himself in Springfield in a professional and dignified manner. (Although he did not put it that way I took that as a promise that he would not embarrass us.)

Pat Verschoore spoke briefly. He was relaxed because again he has no opposition. Both incumbent State Rep Mike Boland and his challenger Jerry Lack spoke. Both men have a long history of working for the people of north-western Illinois. I suspect it will be a hard choice for a lot of people.

Rock Island County Recorder of Deeds Pat Veronda, Rock Island County Auditor Diana Robinson and Circuit Clerk Lisa Bierman spoke next.

The last to speak were the three candidates for Rock Island County Coroner. Incumbent coroner Sharon Anderson is retiring after 20 years, so the race is wide open. The Democrats of Rock Island County will have to choose between Dr. Ronald B. Fiscella (a licensed physician and surgeon in the state of Illinois since 1977), Brian Gustafson, a Registered Nurse and the current chief deputy coroner in Sharon Anderson’s office and Joel Moore, a Registered Nurse and a deputy coroner for Rock Island County. At this point at the very beginning of the campaign Brian Gustafson appears to be the better speaker and campaigner – he had campaign literature to hand out and worked the room better than the other two.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

"The dumbest thing we've ever done" -- Mike Huckabee

What would you say is the “defining issue of our time,” an action advocated by all the Washington and New York insiders that would be the “dumbest thing we’ve ever done” if we followed their advice?

Gail Collins, in her column in today’s New York Times alerted me to a right-wing delusion to which I had been paying little attention. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is leading a charge to prevent the United States from signing the “Law of the Sea Treaty.” The U.S Navy, Greenpeace, the oil and gas industry all want the United States to sign. 155 other countries have already signed including all the other industrialized nations. Among the few nations left that have not signed are our good friends, Libya, Iran and North Korea.

What threats do you worry about – terrorism, global warming, expanding war in the Middle East, our huge national debt, our declining dollar, antibiotic-resistant infections, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes? According to Mike Huckabee and his fellow wing-nuts, a greater danger than all of those is the possibility that the United States might sign the “Law of the Sea Treaty.”

I guess that must be a signal that the right-wing has given up claiming that the Democratic candidates are not sufficiently alarmed about the threat posed by terrorism. How could they make that claim when they themselves rate the terrorism threat as less of a danger than that posed by the “Law of the Sea Treaty?”

Friday, November 02, 2007

What Republicans are saying about Democrats

Have you noticed how often what someone says about you reveals far more about them than it does about you? An example of this is David Brooks’ column in today’s New York Times. If you actually saw the debate you know that it was not at all what he describes in his column. Although a few of the other candidates had already publicly announced decisions to more directly contrast themselves with front-runner Hillary Clinton they did so without attacking her patriotism, motives, marriage, voice or even her laugh. It is the Republicans who attack her and the other Democrats personally, impugning their character, motives and patriotism. A good example of how Republican criticism of Hillary reflects their own failings rather than hers is the talk about her marriage. None of the Democratic candidates talk about her marriage and certainly do not publicly wonder why she has not gotten a divorce. Of course, since all of the Democratic candidates for president are still in their first marriages that might explain why such questions do not occur to them.