Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Memorial Day (Traditional)

Today is the day that Memorial Day was originally observed on prior to being moved to create a three day weekend. Over at Done With Mirrors Callimachus tells the stories of soldiers and civilians that gave their lives doing what they believed was right and highlights one of the truly grim facts of war; that all too often war costs us the bravest, most selfless, and most principled citizens that our nation has to offer.

TGIF

Working some Doctor Who into the theme...


Frou Frou

New York To Recognize Gay Marriage

By edict of Governor Peterson state agencies will have to recognize gay marriages from other states.

From the BBC:

State Governor David Paterson has given state agencies until 30 June to change rules to recognize gay marriages.

The news came hours after California said it would start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples from 17 June.

The move does not legalize same-sex marriage in New York, but it means many bureaucratic restrictions experienced by gay couples will be lifted.

These include issues concerning family health care plans, property inheritance, tax breaks and adoption rights.

I'm not a proponent of gay marriage per se. However I am a firm believer that the less government meddles in the relationships of two consenting human adults the better. Marriage was primarily a religious matter until fairly recently and in my opinion it should have stayed that way. So on that note I say...

Nice first step New York.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beans Beans the Preventative Fruit?

Ordinarily I wouldn't blog about this but since I'm running an online beans only food drive until the 30th of May it seems germane. According to a recent study by Vanderbilt university eating a serving of legumes a day reduces the risk of developing Type II Diabetes by a whopping forty percent. Apparently legumes help keep blood sugar from spiking.

That means that if you were to contribute a buck to The Blogger Food Drive you'd not only be fighting hunger but diabetes as well (while promoting your blog to boot).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Cold Hard Truth About Gas Prices

Over at the NY Times Thomas Friedman dreams of a presidential candidate telling America the truth about gas prices:

For starters, he or she would explain that there is no short-term fix for gasoline prices. Prices are what they are as a result of rising global oil demand from India, China and a rapidly growing Middle East on top of our own increasing consumption, a shortage of “sweet” crude that is used for the diesel fuel that Europe is highly dependent upon and our own neglect of effective energy policy for 30 years.

Cynical ideas, like the McCain-Clinton summertime gas-tax holiday, would only make the problem worse, and reckless initiatives like the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep offer to subsidize gasoline for three years for people who buy its gas guzzlers are the moral equivalent of tobacco companies offering discounted cigarettes to teenagers.
He then goes on to promote a government mandated four dollar floor price for a gallon of gas. While some think its a bad idea whereas I think its a useless idea. I say that because I don't believe that gas is going to go down. Ever. Period. The Chinese and Indians aren't going to stop buying cars. Nations that are becoming industrialized aren't going to suddenly hit the breaks. There may be some downward fluctuations but I'm guessing that within a year we'll be looking at four dollar a gallon gasoline wistfully. Americans are already starting to drive less due to the current price of gas.

He goes on to state that America needs to convert totally to electric cars. The problem is that the current power grid can't handle the additional load. For that to be a reality homeowners would have to shell out another 10K dollars to add solar panels to their homes. Couple that with the cost of an electric car and you see just exactly how unlikely that is to happen. Not that there isn't hope. Because as market forces drive the price of gas upwards those same forces also create a demand for an alternative to gasoline. (Hence all of those crappy ethanol subsidies.) A car powered by compressed air is due to be released in Europe shortly. Technologies like solar shingles promise to eventually drive the cost of solar power down thereby making electric cars more viable. Waste and grass based ethanol is gaining support not to mention the possibility of producing oil from algae. Plus there's that guy in Florida who figured out how to burn salt water. Who knows what innovations that could lead to.

But the fact is until we have a viable alternative to one hundred percent gasoline in our cars Americans have a choice of driving more fuel efficient vehicles, driving less, or paying out the nose for for gasoline. That's just the reality of the situation.

Mr Friedman's idea would only be another unnecessary and useless government mandate given current market trends. I like Thomas Friedman because frequently he can see the forest for the trees but truth be told I wouldn't give him any matches.

Plug Your Blog and Fight Hunger

(Anyone that links to this post gets a link back.)

The rising cost of gas has become a real burden on the working poor causing many to turn to food banks to make up the difference. The increased demand is causing food banks to go bankrupt. My local food bank here in San Antonio has asked my workplace to do a beans only food drive in order to be able to provide as much healthy food as possible.

So it occurred to me that since dried beans are cheap, I have a blog, and bloggers love to see their Technorati ranking go up that I might be able to help out a few more families by trying to harness the power of blogtopia.

So for the month of May I am hosting a blogger food drive.

Here is the deal:

1: You hit the paypal donation widget and contribute 1$
2: I take that money and buy beans and then donate them.
3: I link back to your blog or website in a weekly update post. (leave your site's name and address in the Paypal comments field or email me the details at dyre42atgmail.com)
4: I create a blogroll consisting of all donors.
5: You get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you helped out a family in need and promoted your blog or site by doing so.

Details:
In the interest of fairness and accountability I will post a receipt every Saturday along with links to that weeks donors blogs or websites. That way you can compare the amount the widget says was donated to the total of all of all the receipts.

Once the food drive is over I'll take a picture of the barrel at work that I'm putting the beans in and you'll get too see exactly how much of a difference you helped make.

Also any blogger promoting this post on their blog will receive a link back.

Additionally anyone who either comments or emails me asking, "Why isn't my your link back to my blog showing up on Technorati?" should ask the folks at Technorati and will be ignored by me.

Finally I'm going open the ante with 20 pounds of beans. I donated five pounds last week, I have five pounds ready to donate tomorrow, this weekend I'll buy 10 more pounds (and post that receipt here.), I'll contribute another 5 pounds per week, and when the month ends I'll pony up enough cash to make sure that the number of pounds of food donated ends in a pretty round number in order to make up for the percentage that Paypal takes out.

Next month? The blogger GasX drive. Stay tuned for details.

**Updated**

We have our first donor One Fly from Outta the Cornfield graciously opted to kick start this campaign. And here's that receipt I promised...

I never did get around to waxing the car.

Thanks to Short Woman , Spyware, Spyware Biz, Gilded Pages, Security Ratty , The Big Stick, and Publius Endures for linking to this post. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No No, THIS is Appeasement

President Bush last week made a veiled accusation that Barack Obama would attempt to appease Iran by holding diplomatic talks. Conversely he's doing the same with a government that is as equally if not more reprehensible.

From the WaPo:

Bush Straddles His Hard Line in Engaging Sudan

Sometime in the next few weeks, a special envoy of President Bush plans to meet with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government sheltered Osama bin Laden and pursued a scorched-earth policy in southern Sudan that resulted in more than 2 million deaths.

Bashir's government has been accused by Bush of participating in a "genocide" in Darfur, the only U.S. government use of such a strong accusation. Yet Richard S. Williamson's visit to Khartoum follows a series of direct contacts by senior Bush administration officials with the Sudanese president, including Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Rice's deputies, and several special presidential envoys.

Bush has spoken to or exchanged letters with Bashir on numerous occasions, underscoring how White House policy has departed from his pointed public call to shun talks with radical tyrants and dictators. His appointees have also pursued aggressive diplomacy with North Korea and Libya and have even conducted limited business with Cuba, Syria and Iran.

In the case of Sudan, experts are deeply divided about how much the administration's engagement has improved conditions in a country beset for decades by mass violence and famine. It has at least provoked charges of hypocrisy, because Bush recently accused those advocating talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other radical figures of "appeasement."
...

Bush's Sudan policy has relied more heavily on diplomacy than that of the Clinton administration, which tried to isolate Sudan because of its ties to Osama bin Laden, imposed stiff sanctions against the government and placed it on the official list of state sponsors of terrorism.

My definition of appeasement is "all carrot, no stick"and that pretty much sums up this administration's policies towards Sudan.
Bush administration officials have acknowledged in the past that they have offered to restore full diplomatic ties, lift economic sanctions and remove Sudan from the American list of state sponsors of terrorism in exchange for concessions on Darfur.

Yet each Sudan failed to make any meaningful progress in ending the genocide did we up the sanction or call propose international sanctions via the UN security council? Contrast the crimes of Syria. Yes they actively support several terrorist groups but does the combined body of those groups come close to those murdered by the Janjaweed and Sudan's own military?Nope. So given the difference between the severity of their crimes why is one given the cold shoulder and the other treated with kid gloves? I have no good answer. All I can say is that I'm tired of the appeasement and the hypocrisy. Its high time for either some stick or some consistency.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day


And when the wind in the tree-tops roared,
The soldier asked from the deep dark grave:
"Did the banner flutter then?"
"Not so, my hero," the wind replied.
"The fight is done, but the banner won,
Thy comrades of old have borne it hence,
Have borne it in triumph hence."
Then the soldier spake from the deep dark grave:
"I am content."

Then he heareth the lovers laughing pass,
and the soldier asks once more:
"Are these not the voices of them that love,
That love--and remember me?"
"Not so, my hero," the lovers say,
"We are those that remember not;
For the spring has come and the earth has smiled,
And the dead must be forgot."
Then the soldier spake from the deep dark grave:
"I am content."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blogger Food Drive Week 3 Update

Week three continued the double digit donor trend which has been this drive's saving grace. As we move into the final stretch I'm hoping for a few last minute donations. Towards that end this week I'll donate one pound of rice for every person that donates to the drive.We're at seventy two pounds so far and it'll only fourteen one dollar donations to make it an even hundred pounds.

This week I'd like to that Progressive Conservative from The Big Stick for his generous donation.

And as per the rules here's the receipt for my five pounds:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Obama Enters the Veepstakes

Looks like he's not going to let McCain get ahead of him in the Veep hunt...

From the AP:

Obama has asked former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to begin vetting potential vice presidential picks, Democratic officials said Thursday. Johnson did the same job for Democratic nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Walter Mondale in 1984.

Obama refused to acknowledge Johnson's role when The Associated Press asked the Illinois senator about it in the Captiol Thursday.

"I haven't hired him. He's not on retainer. I'm not paying him any money. He is a friend of mine. I know him," Obama said. "I am not commenting on vice presidential matters because I have not won this nomination."

The Democratic officials spoke on a condition of anonymity about a process that the campaign wants to keep quiet.

Vice presidential searches are usually closely held secrets, but Obama campaign officials say the effort is being handled by a particularly tight circle of advisers.

Additionally Obama spoke about building a Lincolnesque "Team of Rivals" in Louisiana today.
I can tell you this. My goal is to have the best possible government. And that means me winning. So, I'm very practical in my thinking. I'm a practical guy. One of my heroes is Abraham Lincoln. Awhile back, there was a wonderful book written by Doris Kearns Goodwin called 'Team of Rivals,' in which she talked about how Lincoln basically pulled all the people he'd been running against into his Cabinet. Because whatever personal feelings there were, the issue was, 'How can we get the country through this time of crisis?' I think that has to be the approach one takes to the vice president and the Cabinet.
That makes a certain amount of sense considering that he was running against some highly experienced political players like Biden and Richards. Both of them have much to bring to the table. However I don't see either of them as Veep. Biden lacks lacks energy and charisma. Richardson has those but is America really ready for an all minority presidential package? Sadly enough I don't think so. But both of them are ideal for cabinet positions. Ultimately Obama needs someone that can carry a state for him, debates well, is a little older, has more experience, and can get a crowd on its feet.

Got any suggestions?

McCain to Interview Potential Veeps

McCain is scheduled to hold meetings with Mitt Romney, former Florida governor Charlie Crist, and Governer Bobby Jindal of Louisiana this weekend.

From the NY Times:

Senator John McCain is planning to meet this weekend with at least three potential Republican running mates at a gathering at his ranch in Arizona, suggesting that he is stepping up his search for a vice president now that the Democratic contest appears basically decided, according to Republicans familiar with Mr. McCain’s plans.

Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a one-time rival for the Republican nomination, have all accepted invitations to visit with Mr. McCain at his ranch in Sedona, these Republicans said.

After a week of campaigning, Mr. McCain is heading home on Friday for three days without a public schedule. His campaign described this as a social weekend that would include a number of couples, and — as has been its policy it declined to discuss any aspect of the vice presidential search.

“We don’t talk about the V.P. selection process,” said Steve Schmidt a senior adviser.

Of the three Romney makes the least sense. Sure he'd help assuage the base but against Obama he'd do noting to rake in the independents. Crist is well liked in Florida and did get some good common sense legislation passed so while he'd probably cement the state for McCain unless he debates really well he may again not pull in enough support from outside the party to ensure a victory. Jindal however being a Catholic of Indian descent would help McCain against Obama but his being a proponent of Intelligent Design could work strongly against him. Plus there is always the possibility that he'd be viewed as McCain's equivalent of Dan Quayle.

I'm thinking that McCain has to be wishing that The Governator wasn't intelligible for the job. After all he's well known, white yet ethnic, and could potentially carry California for McCain. Personally I'm surprised that Mark Warner wasn't invited as well. He'd do a lot more to show that McCain isn't W the Second than anyone else with the possible exception of Chuck Hagel (whose anti-Iraq war position excludes him from consideration). Sometimes its tough to be the presumptive nominee.

*Updated*
Over at The Gun Toting Liberal GTL states that he has an inside source that says McCain prefers Jindal but isn't picking him for fear of appearing to have caved in to the Far Right and in particular Rush Limbaugh.

Quote of the Day

"Hey, the concepts of fiscal restraint and minimal interference by the government in the lives of its citizens have a lot of value. Too bad that we don't have any political parties that believe in that." - Me

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dear Mr Pesident

Back when you were originally running for president you said that you'd make charitable donations a deduction on the 1040EZ. When exactly is that going to happen?

Sincerely,

Dyre42

Expected Results

Clinton won Kentucky and Obama won Oregon. While it appears that Clinton cut into Obama's pledged delegate lead she failed to drop him below a triple digit lead. Meanwhile superdelegates continue to defect to Obama's camp. Will Clinton capitulate? Nope, she going to fight to the bloody end unless she gets what she wants. Over at Stubborn Facts Tully explains:

That internal division of power and perks applies even if the nominee loses the general election. With the party looking to be in control of both houses of Congress for the immediate future, the rewards are enormous.

As point person for the DLC/Centrist faction, there is no real reason at all for Clinton to concede at this point even if she knows she won’t win the nomination. Unless the party leaders and the opposition faction agree to give HER faction some outsized influence at the convention, the power play for Clinton and for the DLC/Centrist faction is to continue fighting, to grab more sway and more delegates for the control-of-the-party intramural scrimmage coming up...a series of negotiations where close really DOES count.

In other words it ain't about probabilities. Its about power. And to think some folks don't understand why Clinton has such high negatives.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Finally

Over the course of my blogging career I've had a few major technical setbacks. The first is when Real Clear Politics' Buzztracker moved to Fox News they dropped my blog from their rolls which resulted in a 50% decrease in traffic. The second being that Technorati quit indexing my blog for about a year resulting in further loss of traffic (I really was blogging about Ron Paul because he and his followers were interesting and not just trying to suck in extra traffic). While the former was eventually fixed it didn't matter as it appears that RCP Buzztracker lost a lot of traffic due to the move. The latter however was finally fixed Technorati began spidering my blog as of today and that means that all links here now count towards your Technorati authority. The downside is I lost fifty points of authority in the process. Frankly I'd rather have the extra traffic and be able to help those that I link to gain a little authorotai.

So enjoy the link love folks. You deserve it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Buffett Backs Obama

Warren Buffet defected from the Clinton camp citing economic reasons....

From the AFP:

Warren Buffett, the world's richest man, is backing Barak Obama for US president and thinks current US economic policy will push the dollar lower against other global currencies

Buffett told a press conference here Monday he had offered support to both Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton but that since it appeared Obama would win the party's nomination, "I will be very happy if he is elected president.

"He is my choice," Buffett said.

Commenting on the US economy, the 77-year-old investor who is known as the "Sage of Omaha," stressed that fiscal, monetary and trade policies were of great importance.

"I think that the US has followed and is following policies which will cause the US dollar to weaken over a long period of time," he said.

I'm surprised that he endorsed Obama for the reasons cited. Obama has a good idea or two regarding the economy I don't see anything truly amazing about it. While this has to be a blow to Clinton I don't see where its going to change many minds nationally save for a few fiscally conservative Dems and Independents that are Buffett fans. However if Buffet actually fund raises on Obama's behalf McCain may seriously feel the pain. The real question is since Buffet has reconsidered how many superdelegates are going to follow him just to stay close to his money?

H/T to Memeorandum

Obama Has Double Digit Lead in National Polls

But fares less well against McCain than Clinton.

From Gallup Polls:

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup Poll Daily tracking finds Barack Obama with his largest advantage over Hillary Clinton in Democratic voters' nomination preferences thus far, 55% to 39%. Obama's previous largest lead was 11 percentage points, in May 15-17 and April 12-14 polling. His widening lead over Clinton has been evident in each of the last three days of tracking, after the two had been more closely matched earlier in the month.

Despite her growing deficit to Obama in the Democratic race, Clinton continues to poll slightly better than Obama in matchups for the general presidential election vs. John McCain. The latest tracking results, based on May 14-18 polling, shows Clinton with a 48% to 44% lead over McCain among registered voters nationwide, while Obama has just a 1-point edge (46% to 45%) over the likely Republican nominee. -- Jeff Jones
I'm curious as to whether or not the feuding between the Obama and Clinton camps has worked in McCain's favor. Obama previously enjoyed a much larger lead over McCain in the national polls. McCain has largely been doing an interesting mix of Town Hall meetings and appearing on TV shows occasionally popping up in the press to take a pot shots. It definitely appears that this strategy isn't hurting him at all. After all he's pretty good on TV for a politician ( despite being very blinky) and I give his sense of comedic timing good marks. Take this weekend for example:



With a month left in the Dem primaries anyone willing to bet that McCain is actually up a point or two in the national polls by their end at the rate the Dems are going?

Tired of the Primaries?

Then head on over to Happy News where there is no primary coverage whatsoever just all the good news you care to read.

Blogger Food Drive Week 2 Update

Week two of the blogger food drive was even better than week one largely due to another double digit donor. At current prices we raised enough to donate fifty two pounds of food. And now its time to thank everyone who donated this week:

Thanks to
Gilded Pages for opting to be our largest donor to date. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

As promised here's another five pounds from me:



Friday, May 16, 2008

TGIF

I think I'll get a theme going for a few weeks...

Three Doors Down

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sweetie-gate?

Oh please.

The fuss over Barack Obama calling a female reporter "sweetie" and his subsequent apology is non-issue. In fact I wouldn't bother mentioning it save that I think that in some regards it points to differences between rural/urban America as well as cultural the cultural divide that exists between the north/south . Having lived in the South my entire life I can honestly say that I've been called sweetie, hon, or sugar at least once a week for as long as I can remember normally by women I barely knew. Now I'm fairly certain that their intent wasn't to demean me. In fact I gave this matter a little thought a few years ago and came to the conclusion that those who use such terms lightly are generally speaking favorably inclined towards you and either don't know or have forgotten your name.

Maybe its a sign of the times that people would would rather look for offense rather than give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pinups for Vets


Aspiring actress and model Gina Elise has been making period pinup photos of herself and donating the proceeds of her calender sales to California VA Hospitals.

From Pin Ups for Vets:

I came up with the idea to recreate a nostalgic pin-up calendar that would serve three purposes:

1. The calendars would be sold to raise funds for our hospitalized Veterans.

2. The calendars would be delivered as gifts to our ill and injured Veterans with messages of appreciation from the donors.

3. The calendars would be sent to our deployed troops to help boost morale and to let them know that Americans back home are thinking of them.

Long term readers of this blog might wonder why I occasionally blog about pin up calenders and the answer is simple. I'm a subscriber to the theory that less is more in this instance meaning that a photo of a naked female has no mystery. Additionally those that modeled for period pin up photos frequently had proportions that were much more representative of average females which by the standards of todays men's magazines would be unacceptable (Jessica Alba is a good example). Additionally they approached their subject matter in a lighthearted and often campy way which has a certain appeal to me. Plus pin ups are something of a largely forgotten and under appreciated pop-art form.

Anyhoo take some time to drop by and see check out her site. As for me I think I finally found the right calender to hang up in my workshop as per the tradition.

H/T to OTB


Edwards Endorses Obama




Talk about a day late and a dollar short...


From The Political Radar:

Former Sen. John Edwards is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama's presidential candidacy Wednesday evening, in a dramatic attempt by the Obama campaign to answer concerns regarding Obama's appeal to working-class voters, several senior Democratic sources tell ABC News.

The Obama campaign confirms Edwards will endorse Obama at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan Wednesday. The event was originally scheduled to start at 7pmET, but was moved up to 6:20pmET, presumably to have the announcement make the evening news.

Edwards, who ran for president on a platform of eradicating poverty, plans to appear alongside Obama for the announcement. The event comes one day after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton defeated Obama by 41 points in the West Virginia primary, and Edwards' endorsement will give Obama a key establishment stamp of approval as he attempts to close out the nominating process.

While I'm sure that Obama appreciates the endorsement I don't think he's to happy about the timing of it. It would have benefited him more prior to the PA primary. The fact that Edwards waited to endorse until after after Obama had a lead in both pledged delegates and superdelegates just makes him look opportunistic. After all the vast majority of the race is over. That does however invalidate the rumor that Edwards was promised the AG position by Obama in return for his endorsement. At this point the Edwards endorsement may hasten the current exodus of of superdelegates fleeing Clinton's camp for Obama's banner. In that light if Edwards late endorsement allows the Dems to avoid a brokered convention it may prove to be worth its weight in gold if only to the DNC.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Clinton Wins West Virginia

Not that anyone expected anything different given the demographics...

From the AP:

As expected, roughly 95 percent of West Virginia Democratic primary voters were white. Half of voters were from rural areas.

It was one of the oldest electorates among 31 Democratic primaries with exit polls to date, with four in 10 over age 60. The only other states with somewhat similar numbers were Arkansas, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma — and Hillary Clinton won all four states.

It also was the electorate with the highest proportion — just about seven in 10 — of people who lack a college degree thus far this primary season. The same held true for whites without a college degree — again, historically a strong Clinton group.

According to CNN Clinton picked up nine pledged delegates. Which still leaves Obama with a triple digit lead. Whats more telling is that Obama now has a nine superdelegate lead over Clinton which means all totalled he has a 168 delegate lead over Clinton and if you've been reading Donklephant you'd know that Clinton is starting to hemorrhage superdelegates. Should that trend continue all of the hoopla over Clinton's big win tonight will prove to be nothing more than sound and fury.

Meanwhile McCain is using the extended Dem primary race to rally support via Townhall meetings. Clinton's refusal to capitulate is only buying McCain more time to build up grassroot support and that may very well be the deciding factor once election season starts.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Clinton Campaign Deep in Debt

to the tune of twenty million dollars.

From the WaPo:

Clinton Team Acknowledges $20 Million Debt

CLARKSBURG, W.Va., May 11 -- With her campaign falling ever deeper into debt, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton spent a rainy Mother's Day seeking votes ahead of Tuesday's primary here, turning a deaf ear to calls for her to leave a Democratic presidential contest she has little hope of winning.

Clinton aides continued to insist that she will remain in the race even while confirming that she is $20 million in debt. "The voters are going to decide this," senior adviser Howard Wolfson said on "Fox News Sunday," acknowledging the $20 million figure. "There is no reason for her not to continue this process." Wolfson said he has seen "no evidence of her interest" in pursuing the second-place spot on the Democratic ticket, contrary to rumors that she is staying in the race to leverage a bid for the vice presidential nomination.

In part this shows exactly how badly she wants the nomination. But in my mind I'm left wondering,"If she can't balance her own campaign's budget what is she going to do to America's budget?". However her campaigns debt may be one reason why she hasn't dropped out. After all if you gone twenty mill in debt on one thing wouldn't you ride that horse till it dropped?

Meanwhile over at The Politico Ben Smith offers a few possible exit strategies for Clinton. Of the those listed the one that could conceivably get Clinton to bow out is Hillary Clinton as Secretary of Health. Whats your take?

Another Sign of The Apocalypse

Nancy Pelosi and New Gingrich publicly agreeing on something...



Of course the final sign of the Apocalypse is Tom Delay and Jane Fonda publicly agreeing on anything or (Jeb Bush becoming president which is slightly more likely).

Blogger Food Drive Week 1 Update

Week one got off to a slow start. Not that I expected a landslide of support mind you. After all my target is only a dollar from every feed subscriber and reader of this blog rounded up to an even number.

And now its time to thank everyone that contributed this week..

Thanks to One Fly from Outta the Corn Field for being our first donor.

A special thanks goes out to Doug Woodall for being the first double digit donor. Doug runs the site Spyware Biz which both rates and sells spyware protection. Additionally he blogs at The Spyware Biz blog where he covers computer and internet security related issues and news.

Also thanks to Short Woman for promoting the blogger food drive on her blog.

As promised five pounds per week donated by me:


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Just a Reminder

Today is the National Association of Letter Carriers' annual food drive. That means you can donate to your local food bank just by sticking a few edible odds and ends into a bag and putting them out by your mailbox. Its a great way to get rid of that commercially packaged fruitcake and that dusty old can of beets. Just make sure you beat the mailman to the mailbox.

And now a related message from The Harlem Globetrotters

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Clinton Clinches Indiana But Obama Gains Ground

As expected Clinton won Indiana and Obama pulled in a double digit win in North Carolina. However the Indiana primary proved to much closer than anticipated with Clinton winning by only two percentage points. The net result according to CNN is that Obama widened his lead by eleven pledged delegates this week (twelve if you include Guam). Pretty impressive if you consider that Obama managed that with the Rev. Wright albatross around his neck.

But here is the cold hard truth for Clinton:

Even if she managed to get Florida and Michigan's delegates seated Obama would still have a triple digit lead over her. After all 40% of Michigan's Dems opted to vote for "Undecided".

More Than Just Pretty Words?

It looks like Obama's supporters are doing more than buying into his "Change begins with you." meme. It would appear that they are implementing it. Over at Donors Choose, a site that lets teachers post their projects and donors choose which ones they want to fund, Obama supporters have donated more funds than anyone else and funded five times more projects than Clinton's supporters.


Challenge Donated Donors Students
Reached
Give in honor of Barack Obama
$159,347 2327 34446
Give in honor of Hillary Clinton
$29,220 327 10097


How much have John McCain's supporters donated? Less than ten bucks.

I'm curious as to what the total charitable contributions of Obama's supporters are. Unfortunately there know way of calculating that.

Monday, May 05, 2008

In Defense of the Elite

I've been seeing a lot of criticism of "elites" lately. And it seems to me like there is some sort of concerted effort to redefine the word. Its current definition is this...

1.(often used with a plural verb) the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons.
2.(used with a plural verb) persons of the highest class: Only the elite were there.
3.a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group: the power elite of a major political party.
4.a type, approximately 10-point in printing-type size, widely used in typewriters and having 12 characters to the inch. Compare pica1.
–adjective
5.representing the most choice or select; best: an elite group of authors.

So by definition Green Berets, Navy Seals, Pulitzer prize winners, and Nobel Prize winners are all elite in that they are the best in their field. By definition two the Rockerfellers, the Kennedys, and the Vanderbilts are elite due to their wealth and social class. By definition three Howard Dean and Mike Duncan are elite. We'll skip four.By definition five The Travelling Wilbury's, The Union of Concerned Scientists, MENSA members, and all of Denise Richards' current and ex boyfriends and husbands are elite.

At first I thought there was some confusion between the word elites and the term elitist But over the course of time the current working definition of elite in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and political sound bytes seems to be:
A person that has access to a public forum who has a either a title or an uncommon job, possesses four or more years of education, who wrote or did something that I don't like, and happens to be of a different political persuasion than I.
This definition is meant to be a slur to infer that the person accused is disconnected from the American public and thus foolish. But here is the rub, the vast majority of those who truly excel in their field are disconnected from the general public either by their talent, skill, vision, or dedication. In fact without the true elite this country would have never gotten off of the ground. Washington, Madison, Jefferson, and Monroe were far from being Joe Schmoe. They were highly educated, wealthy, and influential. Most of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence were the colonial cream of the crop. Conversely most of those being branded as elite today seem to be the chaff in the process of seperating themselves from the wheat.

In my opinion the current anti-elite screed seems to have more to do with partisanship and a resentment of those who were fortunate enough to be afforded better educations than most than it has to do with any rational and objective view of their overall contribution to society. And if the many continue to villainize those who exceed how can we hope to compete in an increasingly competitive global market in which our competitors strive to produce as many true elites as possible?

Clinton a Little Confused?

Because when one week Hillary Clinton is talking about a gas tax holiday and the next week she's talking about suing OPEC at the WTO for being a monopoly...

"We’re going to go right at OPEC," she said. "They can no longer be a cartel, a monopoly that get together once every couple of months in some conference room in some plush place in the world, they decide how much oil they’re going to produce and what price they’re going to put it at," she told a crowd at a firehouse in Merrillville, IN.

"That’s not a market. That’s a monopoly," she said, saying she'd use anti-trust law and the World Trade Organization to take on OPEC.

She's either confused, misinformed, or pandering. After all Russia has the second largest oil reserves of any nation in the world, Venezuela's oil reserves aren't anything to sneeze at, and America produces a considerable amount of oil in its own right. Given those facts how can OPEC have a monopoly? I'm willing to bet that if she pursued such a course of action a few members of OPEC would begin performing "refinery maintenance" resulting in diminished supply just in time to rain on her gas tax holiday parade.

She's either confused about the definition of monopoly, not listening to the experts again, or pandering. Given the fact that she is a lawyer I'm pretty sure she knows what a monopoly is and given her intelligence, her education, and the nature of her job I highly doubt that she's quite that ill informed. So that seems to leave only one possibility.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Portents and Omens

Earlier this week:

Speaking at her Louisville, KY campaign headquarters, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., told a crowd of supporters Thursday that she is pulling for the filly, Eight Bells, for the upcoming Kentucky Derby.

In selecting Eight Bells, Clinton picked the only girl horse in the race. Perhaps the most fitting move for the woman vying to bethe nation's first woman elected president.

Eight Bells finished the race second and had to be put down. Hopefully Hillary Clinton can escape the latter fate should the former occur.

H/T to OTB

Friday, May 02, 2008

TGIF

And now a man that has turned his questionable tastes into a career:

Richard Cheese