06 June, 2008

Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.

That's the theme of Newt Gingrich's Petition at American Solutions.

The text of the petition is short and sweet.

We, therefore, the undersigned citizens of the United States, petition the U.S. Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries.

As I've mentioned before, I'm big into energy independence and lowering gas prices.

Right now Newt has over 300,000 signatures. Originally he was hoping for 100,000. It'd be great if he could get another digit and hit 1,000,000.

UPDATE: As of June 13, the petition now has over 650,000 signatures.

UPDATE: As of June 17, the tally is nearing 850,000. I wonder if John McCain (R-AZ) has signed? I doubt these guys have.

UPDATE: As of July 3, the tally is over 1,250,000. The goal is 3,000,000 by the conventions.

Barack Obama and Socialism/Marxism

Recently, someone called me deluded for having the temerity to suggest that Barack Obama (D-IL) has Marxist/socialistic views.

Actually, he said that I claimed he was a Marxist (which I didn't) and that delusion was putting it mildly. Unfortunately, I took the bait offered and then did call Obama a Marxist.

I'll go back now to saying that he has Marxist/socialistic views and agenda.

And I'll spend the rest of this very long post backing that up. I'm going to talk about a lot of things here, and I really should break it up into several posts, but I'm not going to.

Let's start by looking at some of his history:

  1. Obama says that the well-known Marxist, Frank Marshall Davis was a “decisive influence” on him. This is in his book and and has been documented by the Communist Party USA.
  2. Obama says, "All of my life, I carried a single image of my father, one that I .. tried to take as my own." But what do we know about his father? We know that he supported:
    1. 100% taxation
    2. communal farms / the elimination of private farming
    3. the nationalization of businesses owned by “Europeans” and “Asians”.
    4. “active” measures to bring about a classless society
  3. Obama cites as one of his mentors and friends, the now infamous Bill Ayers, well known Marxist and terrorist.
  4. Obama's (until recent) church of twenty years is the Trinity United Church of Chicago. The Trinity United Church openly teaches Black Liberation Theology. Thousands have articles have been written documenting the ties between Black Liberation Theology and Marxism. It literally has its origins there.
  5. When running for state senate in 1996, Barack Obama obtained the endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America. In case you don’t know who they are, I’ll quote from their website: “The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA’s members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics.” (I have originally stated that he sought this endorsement--I was confusing them with the New Party--see below). It's not as if this group just automatically supports Illinois Democrats. They only supported 4 that year.
  6. When running for state senate in 1996, Barack Obama sought and obtained the endorsement of the New Party. There are conflicting statements as to whether or not this was Barack Obama's first political party. If you don't know who the New Party is, that's because they are now defunct. But, like a phoenix, they have risen from the ashes as ACORN.

Ok, that's all guilt by association, but it makes it quite plain that many of the people in Obama's inner circle, the people that inspired Obama, and the people that have supported Obama, are Marxist or at least have Marxist leanings.

Let's look at some of Obama's statements:

  1. Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
    1. This is despite the empirical evidence and even statements by members of his own party, that raising the capital gains tax reduces government revenue. He doesn't care how much the government brings in as long as taxes are "fair".
  2. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion
    1. Compare to “Religion is the opiate of the masses”, Karl Marx, 1843
  3. Each of you will have the chance to make your own discovery in the years to come. And I say “chance” because you won’t have to take it. There’s no community service requirement in the real world; no one forcing you to care. You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should by. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America’s.

    But I hope you don’t. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, though you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all those who helped you get here, though you do have that debt.

    It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story.
    1. Those are pretty words, and somehow uplifting in the “it takes a village” meme of uplifting, but the translation is simple. “Put away your childish thoughts of the American Dream. Serve the larger community. Share with the larger community.” Community is a big word in socialism.
  4. Oh crap, I've lost the link, but I've read that there are at least 15 complimentary references to Che Guevara on Obama's own website. Certainly Che is no friend to capitalism (or freedom), but without a link, I suggest you decide on your own the worthiness of this statement.

Ok, there's no smoking gun statement there. You have to read between the lines. What? You are expecting him to just come out and say "I am a Marxist and I want to turn the country into a socialist state"?

First of all, I don't think he thinks of himself as a Marxist/socialist (and I've tried very hard myself not to call him that, but instead to say that has a Marxist/socialist agenda). And second, even if he did, that's clearly not the way to get elected. :)

Ok, let's now look at his "Blueprint for Change", or as I like to call it, his "Blueprint for Socialism".

Before I begin in depth, here's the Webster definition of socialism:

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

The last definition there is interesting. Let's see what Webster has to say about capitalism:

: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

and communism:

1 a: a theory advocating elimination of private property b: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

2capitalized a: a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics b: a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production c: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably d: communist systems collectively

Also, under socialism Webster defines state socialism as:

: an economic system with limited socialist characteristics that is effected by gradual state action and typically includes public ownership of major industries and remedial measures to benefit the working class

and Marxism is defined this way:

: the political, economic, and social principles and policies advocated by Marx; especially : a theory and practice of socialism including the labor theory of value, dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society

Hmmm, there's a lot of big words there, dialectical materialism means:

: the Marxist theory that maintains the material basis of a reality constantly changing in a dialectical process and the priority of matter over mind — compare historical materialism

And dialectical is:

: of, relating to, or in accordance with dialectic <dialectical method> b: practicing, devoted to, or employing dialectic <a dialectical philosopher>

which is no help, what's dialectic?

: the Hegelian process of change in which a concept or its realization passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite; also : the critical investigation of this process b (1)usually plural but singular or plural in construction : development through the stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis in accordance with the laws of dialectical materialism (2): the investigation of this process (3): the theoretical application of this process especially in the social sciences

And what about proletariat?

1: the laboring class; especially : the class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labor to live

2: the lowest social or economic class of a community

Ok, so basically, Marxism is a socialism which grants more and more power to the working class in order to achieve a classless society, and does this through the policies advocated by Marx, and socialism is an economic system that does not have private or corporate goods, does not have investments determined by private decision and does not have prices, production and distribution of goods determined by the free market. It also does have goods owned in common and available to all as needed, and included public ownership of major industries and remedial measures to benefit the working class.

And, as a reminder, the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto.

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c.[4]

Or, to sum up, as Marx himself did: "A sympathy for the working class or proletariat and a belief that the ultimate interests of workers best match those of humanity in general."

Where does Obama's Blueprint stack up?

  1. Abolition of private ownership of land
    I don't see anything on this, so I think Karl would give Obama a thumbs down. However, Obama has remained completely silent on the Kelo decision by the SCOTUS, and has in fact, praised the Justices on the majority side of this opinion. He's also made use of "eminent domain" in the web to take over a MySpace site devoted to him.
  2. A heavily progressive income tax:

    Obama will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers the tax relief they need. Obama will create a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans.

    Obama will reform the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for their child care expenses.

    Obama supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security.

    Obama will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year.

    Obama is committed to repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    Obama will cut income taxes by $1,000 for working families to offset the payroll tax they pay

    I'd say Obama gets a big thumbs up from Karl Marx on his tax positions. Notice especially there's a lot of of the phrases "working families" and "wealthiest Americans". Creating class envy is a first step in working towards a classless society. And I think Marx would accept "working families" in place of his "proletariat".
  3. Abolition of all rights to inheritance.
    Well, I don't see anything in his "Blueprint for Change" about this, but I also don't see anything about reducing or eliminating the inheritance tax. Karl would want Obama to go father here, but you can definitely say that Obama's not moving any farther away from Marxism on this one.

  4. Confiscation of property of emigrants and rebels
    Obama gets a big thumbs down from Karl.

  5. National Bank
    We're already there. Nothing more for Obama to do here.

  6. Centralization of communication and transport

    Obama will encourage the deployment of the most modern communications infrastructure

    Obama believes we can get broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund

    Obama supports the basic principle that network providers should not be allowed to charge fees to privilege the content or applications of some web sites and Internet applications over others

    Barack Obama will ensure that rural Americans have access to a modern communications infrastructure

    Obama will double the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities

    Karl would be proud. Note that there are a lot of subtleties here. When a politician uses phrases like "will encourage", "should not be allowed", "will prevent", "will ensure", and he's talking about businesses, he's talking about more government control over business, which is exactly the opposite of letting the free market decide things and is precisely in line with moving towards a socialistic environment.
  7. Extension of state-owned factories and improvement of the soil in accordance with a common plan

    Barack Obama will prevent companies from abusing their monopoly power through unjustified price increases

    Obama is a strong supporter of a packer ban. When meatpackers own livestock they can manipulate prices and discriminate against independent farmers.

    Barack Obama will work for tougher regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to prevent air and water pollution

    Obama will develop domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers, and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands, or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

    Obama supports implementation of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Obama’s cap-and-trade system will require all pollution credits to be auctioned

    Obama will create a Global Energy Forum that includes all G-8 members plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa –the largest energy consuming nations from both the developed and developing world. The forum would focus exclusively on global energy and environmental issues.

    The UNFCCC process is the main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate problem and an Obama administration will
    work constructively within it.

    Obama will increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests.

    Once again, the tendency here is away from the free market, and definitely moves towards improvement of the soil through a common plan. If Karl were alive today he'd be up on his feet for Obama by now.
  8. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

    Obama will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. He will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama will ensure that his labor appointees support workers’ rights and will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers.

    Obama will ensure our farm programs help family farmers, not giant corporations.

    Obama will fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability.

    Obama supports guaranteeing workers seven paid sick days per year.

    Encourage Young People to Become Farmers: Obama will establish a new program to identify and train the next generation of farmers. He will also provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm. He also will establish a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America.

    There's not much that's big here, but let's face it, industrial armies have long been the goal of the Democratic party. Obama may not bring much new to the table here, but he doesn't move any farther way from Marx either.
  9. Gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country. To be honest, I'm not sure what this means, and I'm not sure that Marx would write it quite this way if he were writing today (remember all of his stuff was done before the industrial revolution) however:

    Obama will invest in rural small businesses and fight to expand high-speed Internet access. He will improve rural schools and attract more doctors to rural areas

    Barack Obama will ensure that rural Americans have access to a modern communications infrastructure. He will modernize an FCC program that supports rural phone service so that it promotes affordable broadband coverage across rural America as well.

    Rural health care providers often get less money from Medicare and Medicaid for the very same procedure performed in urban areas. Obama will work to ensure a more equitable Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement structure. He will attract providers to rural America by creating a loan forgiveness program for doctors and nurses who work in underserved rural areas. He supports increasing rural access to care by promoting health information technologies like telemedicine.

    Obama will create a Rural Revitalization Program to attract and retain young people to rural America. Obama will increase research and educational funding for Land Grant colleges.

    Obama will invest in the core infrastructure, roads, bridges, locks, dams, water systems and essential air service that rural communities need.

    I think it's safe to say that Karl would still be pleased. If we go back to our definition of socialism, we see a lot of goods being made available to all as needed.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools.

    Obama will expand the YouthBuild program, which gives disadvantaged young people the chance to complete their high school education, learn valuable skills and build affordable housing in their communities. He will grow the program so that 50,000 low-income young people a year a chance to learn construction job skills and complete high school.

    Obama believes that the goal of No Child Left Behind was the right one, but that it was written and implemented poorly and it has demoralized our educators and broken its promise to our children. Obama will fund No Child Left Behind and improve its assessments and accountability systems.

    Obama will create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that will make tuition at the nation’s community colleges completely free

    Obama will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school

    Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children.

    Obama’s “STEP UP” plan addresses the achievement gap by supporting summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children through partnerships between local schools and community organizations.

    Obama supports outreach programs like GEAR UP, TRIO and Upward Bound to encourage more young people from low-income families to consider and prepare for college.

    There's little doubt that if Karl were alive now, he'd be standing up and cheering for Obama.

And here's some more pieces that I think obviously qualify as socialist in nature, but I can't find a place in the 10 planks where they easily fit.

Obama will make available a new national health plan so all Americans, including the self-employed and small businesses, can buy affordable health coverage that is similar to the plan available to members of Congress.

The Obama Plan will have the Following Features:

      Guaranteed Eligibility: No American will be turned away FROM ANY INSURANCE PLAN because of illness or pre-existing conditions.

      Comprehensive Benefits: The benefit package will be similar to that offered through Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the plan members of Congress have. The plan will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity and mental health care.

      Affordable Premiums, Co-Pays and Deductibles.

      Subsidies: Individuals and families who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP but still need financial assistance will receive an income-related federal subsidy to buy into the new public plan or purchase a private health care plan.

The Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will act as a watchdog group and help reform the private insurance market by creating rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible.

Employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan.

Obama will require that all children have health care coverage.

Obama will set a goal that all middle and high
school students do 50 hours of community service a year. He will develop national guidelines for service-learning and will give schools better tools both to develop programs and to document student experience.

Obama will establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.

Obama will ensure that at least 25 percent of College Work-Study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries.

And, as one last reminder, our earlier definitions of Marxism and socialism:

Marxism is a socialism which grants more and more power to the working class in order to achieve a classless society, and does this through the policies advocated by Marx, and socialism is an economic system that does not have private or corporate goods, does not have investments determined by private decision and does not have prices, production and distribution of goods determined by the free market. It also does have goods owned in common and available to all as needed, and included public ownership of major industries and remedial measures to benefit the working class.

All the quoted pieces above are from his PLAN sections of the Blueprint. There are even more examples of his socialistic views in his RECORD sections.

I highly suggest you read the entire document.

Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution rests.

05 June, 2008

Question of the Day

It's considered an axiom that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

So, why do we keep giving more and more power to the federal government and keep being surprised that it's corrupt?

Since this blog is called Chris of Rights, I should address those first ten amendments to the Constitution at some point.

We need to remind our elected officials of the forgotten amendment, the 10th:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Very little that our federal government does these days is Constitutional under the guidelines of the 10th Amendment. And getting them to realize this and act accordingly would go a long way to helping with that whole "culture of corruption" thing.

Yes, I know, I'm dreaming. Taking power away from an organization is much harder than giving it. Now that the federal government has claimed this power, it's not going to give it up.

The Insanity of Democrats

Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Then the modern Democratic party is insane.

How else can we explain their obsession with Universal Health Care and other bigger and better entitlement programs.

Nothing our federal government has ever put its hand in has ever gotten cheaper or better (higher quality) for the American people.

Yet Democrats keep wanting us to believe that this time it will!  Universal Health Care is the latest policy in that long line of failures.

This time when we create a new large government program it will be different than all the other times we did.


04 June, 2008

Whither Now, Hillary? (When Will Hillary Drop out III)

Well, I watched most of Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) speech last night. I couldn't watch the whole thing. When the candidates start talking about Universal Health Care and Global Warming, I start to get nauseous.

But, right from the first, she made it clear that this was no concession speech. The first few minutes sounded much more like a campaign speech.

Then she started talking about party unity and working for the people to elect a President that won't ignore them, and that was sort of like a concession speech, but could also fit in the campaign speech.

She's hinted at taking the FL and MI battle to the Credentialing Committee at the convention. That seems like a Hail Mary pass to me. The lawsuits I've previously mentioned seem like better opportunities.

We keep hearing rumors that she's open to the VP slot. As I said earlier, Obama would have to be a bigger fool than John Kerry to take her up on that offer.

And, honestly, I wonder if it's a truly serious offer from Hillary. There's really no upside to it for her. The VP slot is a mostly do-nothing position, and if he wins in November, it's hard to see her as a viable candidate in 2016. She's much better off as the candidate of choice in 2012 (if he loses). Of course, that may be the reason to make that offer. She knows that Obama would be a fool to accept her, and it makes her look good to the party. Perhaps she's already campaigning for 2012.

Her best role now appears to be to take Ted Kennedy's place as the defacto Senate Democratic Leader.

But, whatever the case, she hasn't dropped out yet, so I will stick with my belief that the magic number is 2210 and not 2118.

03 June, 2008

Michelle Obama's "Whitey" Video

I've really tried hard to ignore this internet rumor. I've been hoping that it would turn out to be just that, a rumor. In case you haven't heard it's a video of Michelle at the Trinity Church with Lewis Farrakhan screaming about all the problems caused by "whitey".

More and more people are coming out as saying that they have seen the video or heard the audio now though, and apparently it's going to be released tomorrow at 9 am.

The site doing all the talking about releasing it is being slammed at the moment, as you can well imagine. Their name is No Quarter. I'm not linking to a specific post because it's hard to get through to their site, and because they now have several posts about it.

Ok, it's obvious I'm no Barack Obama (D-IL) fan, and I'm a conservative, so I should rejoice at this video, right?


Reading just a few of the older posts at No Quarter demonstrate that this is a site that clearly will do anything to take down Obama.

Not that I mind seeing Obama taken down. He deserves it. The press has treated him as the Messiah for far too long.

But there’s plenty of room to take down Obama on his naiveté and his socialist/Marxist ideas. And for his foolishly trying to present himself as a “different kind of politician” when he clearly is not. (As if anyone could really believe a “different kind of politician” could come out of Chicago politics anyway–how stupid does he think we are?) We don’t have to resort to this. It’s despicable.

It's sleazy and dirty politics at its worst. When Democrats talk about Republican "dirty tricks" (not that I buy into the idea that dirty tricks are exclusive to either party), this is exactly what they're talking about.

I’m truly depressed. I may stay home on November 4.

UPDATE: It's now past 9 am, and no tape has surfaced. It hasn't even been mentioned on Drudge, which is very odd, frankly. Maybe this is just a rumor after all.

UPDATE 2: After doing a little research, it's my opinion that this is a hoax. Michelle Malkin feels the same way. If it existed, it would've shown up by now. Supposedly, for a while, this video was available for download from the Trinity Church of Chicago's website. Hmmm...if that were true, I ought to be able to find it on Wayback or something. Can't. File this one under "waste of time".

UPDATE 3: Jim Lindgren does some actual "footwork" and decides that the story is false.

The Damage Done by the Trinity Church

Barack Obama's (D-IL) supporters keep claiming that leaving the Trinity Church is (was) unnecessary. They point to poll numbers showing that it wasn't a factor in many people's decision to vote against him.

But there's no denying that his rocket ship to the White House stalled when Reverend Wright appeared on the scene. He had unbelievable momentum up until that point.

His problems are twofold, and aren't improved by leaving the Church.


Ok, let's try to look at things objectively.

  1. One would be naive to assume that these controversial statements just started coming out of the church since Obama declared his candidacy for President.
  2. Obama has been a member of the Church for 20 years.
  3. One must therefore assume that Obama has heard a great many of these and similar statements before.
  4. Obama didn't leave the Church when he left them.

Why? Two options. Neither are good for Obama

  1. He heard them and didn't have a problem with them. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of people believe this and immediately brand him as a racist. This is obviously not a good thing for a Presidential candidate.
  2. He was an up-and-coming politician in Chicago. And Chicago politics, even more than most cities is all about who you know and who you're "in with". There's no doubt that Reverend Wright and the Trinity Church are "players" in Chicago politics. It's very likely that Obama ignored their controversies out of political necessity. The same political necessity that now requires Obama to leave the Church. As I've said before, for a person who has based their entire campaign on being a "different kind of politician", this is extremely bad. It turns his entire campaign message into a lie.

Obama Leaves Trinity Church - Better Late Than Never?

That's what Mark at Decision08 says. And many others as well.

Apparently, I'm in the minority viewpoint on this one as well.

I think late is worse than never.


Has the Church changed so much since he started the campaign? Doubtful.

So why should Barack Obama (D-IL) quit it? If he was proud to be a member before, then he should be now, right?

Answer? Political necessity. Perhaps because he's worried about a future bombshell, or to limit the damage from the bombs so far.

But if he's leaving out of political necessity doesn't that turn everything he's said about being a "different kind of politician" into a lie? And isn't that what his whole campaign is based upon?

Frankly, I'd have more respect for him if he'd stayed with the Church.

But it's doubtful that his campaign is worried about me. They're already aware that they're probably not getting my vote.

When Will Hillary Drop Out II

Well, this weekend the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee established the number as 2118. Barack Obama (D-IL) will likely reach this number tonight after expected wins in South Dakota and Montana.

So, is my earlier post crazy and wrong?

In a word, "no".

I still maintain that the decision this weekend means little. (Note that I have upgraded it to "little" instead of "nothing"). If the parties in Florida are still interested in pursuing their lawsuits, they will.

I've been told that the same law would not apply in Michigan, but I never doubt the ability of a lawyer to come up with an angle. If there's something there, they will find it.

I've also been told that such lawsuits have no chance of prevailing.

That may be correct, but that also doesn't matter.

The only thing that matters is if the interested parties can drag the legal process out until the convention. At that point, if Obama doesn't have the necessary 2210 delegates, they can inform Dean of how dangerous it would be to nominate a candidate whose legal status is still up in the air. At that point Dean caves. He has no choice but to give in to pretty much everything the Florida and Michigan delegates would demand.

However, there is one way this can all be over in the coming days.

If Hillary Clinton (D-NY) quits.

And we're hearing that she may, in fact, do that or something similar.

Personally, I never thought she would. But, maybe she's decided that Ted Kennedy's days are numbered, and she now has a chance to replace him as the Senate's Giant. I can't say.

There's another theory as to why she may sort of concede today, but I'm leaving that for another post.

GOP 2.0 - Rebooting the Republican Party

I stumbled upon a great post by Doug Ross about what Republicans need to do. Of course, it's possible that I think it's great because so much of it mirrors my statements here.

Indeed. The Republican brand has lost its way. I believe that it's time for citizens to rise up and demand a new Republican Party! I'm calling it GOP 2.0. And I'm perfectly willing to throw out those "Republicans" who are stuck on stupid -- and are stuck in the GOP 1.0 world.

His tenets include:

  • Strengthen Nation Defense
  • Gain Energy Independence
  • Secure the Borders
  • Death to Earmarks
  • Death to Corruption
  • English as a National Language
  • Implement Flat Tax or Fair Tax
  • Reduce Size of Government
  • Spur Healthcare Competition
  • Address Entitlements

And as he says:

This should not be a platform. It should be a promise -- an ironclad commitment -- to voters.

As they say, read the whole thing.