Archive for September, 2007

Newt Out

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

After months of flirting with a possible candidacy, Newt Gingrich has decided not to seek the White House in ‘08. Can’t say this is much of a surprise. Gingrich is a very smart man, so he is probably well aware of what a long shot he would be. His enormous baggage and his demonization by the media and his opponents would have pretty much sunk him from the get-go, and Fred Thompson’s entry in the race further undermines his rationale (the “conservative void,” more or less, has been filled).

Questions that Need to be Asked

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Radley Balko has a list of questions he’d like to see asked to every presidential candidate. I’d love to hear the answers, but most require more of a response than simple bumper sticker slogans.

There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

P.T. Barnum said it best. There’s a great examination of the “NAFTA Superhighway” hysteria over at Reason Magazine.

Via Glen Dean

ACK Over Time

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

There is some talk in the Tennessee blogosphere over some changes that have been made at Volunteer Voters. A.C. Kleinheider used to offer commentary for his postings, some of it quite controversial, but these days he’s mostly just serving as an aggregator, linking to his favorite postings in the Tennessee blogosphere without offering much commentary. Michael Silence has even posted a poll asking which AC is better, the old or the new.

So what do I think? I liked the old AC better. I still enjoy reading Volunteer Voters as it is a wonderful sampling of blogs across the state, but his commentary was outstanding. And I say this as someone who often disagreed with it. AC is an old school paleocon whose views sometimes border on radical. But he is an independent thinker with views which haven’t been sent through the typical Republican or Democratic talking points filter, unlike 95% of our current pundits. So I say free ACK. We can all use a good challenge, and he provides one to everyone on all sides of the political spectrum.

History Lesson

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Michael Medved has an honest and sure to be controversial examination of American slavery.

Ahmadinejad, Worldwide Laughingstock

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I was among those who opposed Columbia University’s decision to invite Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on campus, but after watching it unfold, I am revising my position. Columbia president Lee Bolinger’s introduction was classic and may just earn him a few fatwas. The questions were also good, and only confirmed what most of us already knew: Ahmadinejad is a colossal nutcase worthy of ridicule and derision. My personal favorite moment of the whole event was this:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/4_3RUwAJ_MI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

The Iranian people are seeing this, and it can’t be improving their already low perceptions of their thug-in-chief. The decision to invite him was certainly a questionable but, having been made, I don’t think it could have been handled any better than it was.

Great News

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I am very, very happy to hear this, and I hope this guy gets what is coming to him.

Dobson Won’t Back Thompson

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Some have been musing about whether or not the Religious Right holds the power it once did in the Republican Party. It appears we may get an idea during this primary season:

“Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?” Dobson wrote.

“He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”

Dobson has also ruled out support for Rudy Giulani or John McCain, and has expressed concerns about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. Thus, it would seem none of the Big Four can count on Dobson’s support. I have no evidence of this, but it seems most likely at this point that Dobson, if he endorses anyone, will tap former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, who seems to be the only other candidate with any chance of winning the nomination, and whose social views tend to match up with Dobson’s fairly well.

It is worth noting that Fred Thompson has been well received by Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Religious and Ethics Liberty Commission, which could provide him with a boost. But with Jerry Falwell gone and Pat Robertson, well, Pat Robertson, James Dobson may well be the single most influential evangelical leader strongly involved in politics, and should any of the Big Four win the GOP nomination, it would suggest the influence of the Religious Right might be eroding.

Unpopular All Around

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

This is bad news for, well, all politicians:

Only 29 percent of Americans gave Bush a positive grade for his job performance, below his worst Zogby poll mark of 30 percent in March. A paltry 11 percent rated Congress positively, beating the previous low of 14 percent in July.

Does this mean that 2008 is ripe for success by a third party? Highly unlikely. Approval ratings this low and for everyone is not good for America, however, as such cynicism rarely leads anywhere good.

Canadian MP Gets Cancer Treatment in US

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Hillary Clinton and John Edwards would be surprised by this:

Liberal MP Belinda Stronach, who is battling breast cancer, travelled to California last June for an operation that was recommended as part of her treatment, says a report.

I certainly wish Stronach a full and speedy recovery, but I think it should tell us something that she comes to the US for this treatment instead of utilizing Canada’s universal health care system.