Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Some quick thoughts after being gone...

I have been on the road a bit and a touch busy so I haven't posted. Sorry. A few quick thoughts...

Politics:

South Carolina: Obama kicked Hill's ass in South Carolina. Wow...I wonder if that can translate into some real movement going into Super Tuesday. As of a few days ago, Hill had a nice lead in California, the biggest prize on Feb. 5. But can she hold on?

Florida: It looks like today's primary in Florida is going to be a horse race between Mitt and McCain. So, come on guys, sing along with me. You all know the tune:

"Start spreading the news, He's losing today, He won't be a part of it, Rudy Rudy..."
State of the Union: I'm still reading the transcript because I just couldn't listen to the man talk. He has become a characterization for himself. The cadence, the slurred pronunciations, I just can't believe that he is sitting in the office for which I have so much respect. Is it November yet?

Headlines

Middle Age Depression: Using data from 2 million people in 80 countries, researchers have determined that people in their 40's are more likely to be depressed than any other age group. Tell me something I don't know.
Middle-Aged Misery Spans Globe, Study Says

French Trader Loses 7.09 Billion Dollars (and what that could buy): According to French authorities, a young trader named Jerome Kerviel lost that huge sum gambling in the markets. He says the bank he worked for had to know, the bank is calling him a "rogue trader". Either way, according to the Associated Press, these are a few of the things you can buy for just over seven billion dollars

— 110 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets
— 8 Queen Mary 2 luxury cruise liners
— 1 week’s worth of U.S. oil imports
— 2 Freedom Towers at Ground Zero
— 17 million Apple iPhones
— Nearly double Bolivia’s foreign debt
— But only 4.75 percent of President Bush’s economic stimulus plan
By the way, that means the stimulus package is worth between 140 and 150 billion dollars. The current cost of the war is estimated at around 490 billion dollars. Personally, based on those figures, I think the federal spending priorities need some significant adjusting.

9 comments:

Jim said...

I keep muttering "November, November, November..." thinking that that dip will be done for. Then I remember that he won't be gone until January.

Even then, how long will it take for anyone elected (even in a best case scenario) to fix the AWFUL state this country is in? Will it even happen in my lifetime?

At that point I have to wonder how one person, or even one party let the country spiral so far out of control and finally come to the realization that everyone in Washington DC had to agree to let all this shit happen.

Perhaps it's time to scrap them all and bring back the Whig party.

Phil said...

I know this thing is far from over, but I do feel as though Obama may have turned a bit of a corner. It was a pretty good weekend for him. He had the South Carolina win and the endorsements of JFK's daughter and brother. If he can just avoid getting bogged down in this bickering with the Clinton’s I think he comes out looking pretty good. One thing I know for sure is that I would not have wanted to go on the air after the speech he gave Saturday night! We watched both Edwards and Clinton speak after him and it was like someone had let the air out of a balloon.

We were watching coverage on MSNBC that night and Joe Scarborough (not to be confused with 1980 AL rookie of the year Joe Charbeneau – remember that song?) said that each time Obama gives a speech his (Scarbourogh’s) blackberry goes crazy. He said it is like nothing he has ever seen. He said that people of every political stripe email him saying how much they like Obama and that some of his most conservative friends have told him that they would follow this man. A reporter that had been following the Obama campaign (can’t remember who as I write this) said that he had been at a rally in Charleston the night before which was unlike any political rally he had ever seen and that there was an energy level that was palpable. All that being said…. who knows what all of these people say when they are not on the air, but they were clearly giving the impression that there is something going on with this campaign that they have not seen before.

Will this carry over to Super Tuesday? I don’t know, but I hope so.

The T-Dude said...

Jim - Fear drove many to follow the terrible path we have gone down. Not fear of terrorism, but political fear. They were afraid that the voters wouldn't stand behind a candidate that voted against the war. And yes, you will see it better in your lifetime, change can be slow, but it will happen...I hope.

Patti said...

The energy of the Obama supporters and team is incredible. A colleague of mine was at a Nevada caucus and said the Obama group wasn’t the largest in the room, but was definitely the loudest. She said it was "Dean-like.”

I hope that when Edwards bows out today he will follow his ex-running mates lead throw his support toward Obama.

The T-Dude said...

Phil -- I do think that Obama brings an energy that few have seen, at least in quite a while. But I fear the political machine that is the Clinton Camp. Do not under estimate their ability to street fight, particularly Hillary. They fought through Paula Jones, Jennifer Flowers, Monica, Whitewater etc. They will take the fight to Obama and I hope he is up to the task.

Chuck said...

It is interesting reading the comments about Obama- "I would not have wanted to go on the air after the speech he gave Saturday night" and "how much they like Obama and that some of his most conservative friends have told him that they would follow this man" and "I do think that Obama brings an energy that few have seen". He is a dynamic and powerful speaker. I am just not sure how that qualifies him to be president. It illustrates the dilemma of being "electable". Whether you like Obama or not, oratorical excellence and that hard to define "like-ability" are usually much more important than postions on issues or experience in foreign policy or management ability. How could anyone who espouses conservative views vote for Obama?

Phil said...

Chuck,

I agree with much of what you say. It is perhaps unfortunate that electability is such an important part of the puzzle. However, without that attribute the best policy people in the world are unable to attain elected office. What we have to hope is that we elect people who have a few key traits. Yes, they must have a grasp of the issues and some sort of idea about what they want to do once they are in office. However, they must also have to have the ability to attract bright, capable, and competent people to work with them in their administration. Now we are getting close. Add to that the ability to listen with an open mind to the advice they receive, bring the group to some sort of consensus, and inspire them to go out and achieve the vision that they have all helped to lay out. Now you have yourself a pretty good leader. I think that many people see these qualities in Obama and see him as someone who can appeal to a larger portion of the populace than any other presidential candidate we have seen in a long time. Bush tagged himself as a “uniter” that would bring people together. If Obama really is that type of leader then he will have an appeal across party and ideological lines.

honkeie2 said...

I saw part of the state of the union by accident and I could have sworn for a second it was an SNL skit. But then I noticed the same episode was on all the crappy channels...2,4,5,7,9 and 11. Thanks to the gods for giving me that birdbath in the backyard that picks up tv signals from euorpe and south america!
And if you owe someone 7.09 billion dollars..... I think they should just make him president.

The T-Dude said...

Honk --

Exactly! I kept waiting for the punchline!