Archive for the ‘Brownback’ Category

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Why Biden?

August 24, 2008

Like so many others who signed onto Obama’s “Be the first to know” text message gimmick with regards to who he was picking to be his running mate, I received my alert about 5 hrs after the media confirmed that Joe Biden was the guy (the message came via twitter and was timestamped 4:24 AM CST; the other text message I never received, so I’m not sure what I did wrong there).  I was pretty disappointed, and I think it had less to do with the fact that it was a waste of time, and more to do with how it reflects on how Obama was managing his campaign, and what that might mean about he would handle his presidency.  ‘Cause lets face it, “Be the first to know” was a bit of a broken promise.  And for the record, I don’t think that the middle-of-the-night message was designed as a jab at Hillary (as many have opined and discussed) or to imply anything, rather, I imagine that it was timed that way to save as much face as possible, in light of the fact that CNN and others had pretty much let the cat out of the bag (a text message received after it was all over cable news networks on Saturday morning would have seemed pretty silly, no?).

In any case, Biden is the guy, and as an Obama supporter, I must say that I have some mixed feelings about this pick.  I have stated here in the Chamber my feeling that the best choice would have been Bill Richardson, but I’ve never voiced my opinion on anyone else on the short list (although now I’m not sure if Richardson was even on the list), so now that the pick has been made, I thought I’d post something about my initial reaction.  From where I sit, the selection of Biden as VP has pros and cons for both the campaign and the eventual presidency, so I’ll break it down here.

Pro

First, the oft-mentioned experience factor.  I see this from two points of view, in that the experience that the long-time Democrat Senator from Delaware brings to the table can have an effect both perceived (in the sense that voters are more comfortable electing Obama with the resume gap filled) and real (in the sense that Obama’s presidency will be shaped by the actual advise or influence that Biden wields).  I guess the question is which one overshadows the other.  Either way, I view this as a plus.

Second, as a no-nonsense character who is unafraid to speak his mind, Biden is a good choice for a candidate that promised to pick a VP that would  “challenge my thinking and not simply be a yes person when it comes to policy-making”.  I must admit that this is pretty comforting, considering that we’ve just been subjected to 8 years of governance from people who placed loyalty above competence.

Con

I’ve long stated that I wasn’t going to favor a candidate that voted in favor of the 2002 Iraq AUMF.  Biden did, and later ran his own campaign for the presidency that included an Iraq policy that was more in line with what Republican Senator Sam Brownback was proposing, namely, partitioning Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurd regions.   This was a position that, as Allah at Hot Air reminds us, even the Iraqis are vehemently against.

Also, Biden has a history of saying some really stupid things, which explains why blog after blog on the right are overjoyed, as they’re anxious for the next opportunity to highlight his next gaffe.  In fact, the front page of the RNC’s website features a “gaffe clock“, counting down the time until his next one.  If Biden takes on the role of a loose cannon, it could really be a turnoff to those who might otherwise be inclined to support the ticket, and can be a major distraction when they’re trying to get the message out.

Up For Grabs

The role of “attack dog”.  Traditionally, one of the benefits of a VP was the ability to deflect partisan criticism away from the president and allow him to remain above the fray.  When Obama launched his campaign and announced his bid for the presidency, he promised a “new kind of politics”, and one could make the argument that the addition of a fire-in-the-belly persona like Biden would undermine that.  On the other hand, as this campaign slides into the sewer of attack ads and personality wars, Biden could be the perfect countermeasure (something that Richardson wouldn’t have been as effective at), and provide Obama the ability rise above it.   The deciding factor might come down to the aforementioned gaffes, and a nightmare scenario might be one where Obama is called upon to disavow something that Biden has said (and don’t be surprised to see those calls come early, often, and for just about anything).

Also, the Biden pick could be seen by those Clinton supporters as a slap in the face, further disrupt party unity, increase recruitment of the PUMA mindset, and eventually lead to disaster in November.  Indeed, the McCain camp sees a light at the end of this tunnel, and has already begun to exploit it with a recent ad painting Clinton as “passed over”.  Will people fall for this?  Does Biden represent the “risky” choice, and Clinton the “safe” one?  Just how fractured is the party?  Time will tell, I suppose.

This is going to be one heck of a home stretch.

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

Update: It would appear that I was right about the text message: CNN forces Obama to release VP pick early

“Had a certain network not blown our cover at a certain time the text message would have gone out in the morning, 8 a.m. Eastern,” Robert Gibbs, a senior advisor, said with a grin on Sunday. “We told people they would find out from us. When we decided it was going to get out we decided to send the text out.”

Gibbs said he believes despite the fact that the rollout plan had to be altered, a “vast majority of the people” still learned by text message when they woke up in the morning.

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Goodbye Rudy, Tuesday

January 29, 2008

Well, the Florida results are in, and Rudy’s out

The question that is undoubtedly on many people’s minds:  What the heck happened to Giuliani?  I think we’ve just witnessed a campaign roll off a hill, and I’m not quite sure what caused it.  According to most polls, Rudy was the frontrunner for most of 2007, and as late as early December still had double-digit leads over most of the other candidates, including John McCain. 

1/15-17/08 12/3-5/07 11/5-7/07
% % %  
John McCain

22

13

13

 
Mike Huckabee

16

18

10

 
Mitt Romney

16

12

12

 
Rudy Giuliani

14

26

29

 
Fred Thompson

9

11

19

 
Ron Paul

4

3

n/a

 
Other (vol.)

1

1

2

 
None (vol.)

8

7

7

 
Unsure

10

9

8

 
Newt Gingrich

n/a

n/a

n/a

 
Sam Brownback

n/a

n/a

n/a

Was it “World Wavered, History Hesitated“, or did people simply forget about 9/11?  ‘Cause he was there on 9/11.

9/11.

He was there, and he didn’t waver, remember?

Oh  what the heck, one more time… for Rudy…

9/11.

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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In ’08 Race, Boo Birds Are Not An Endangered Species

January 15, 2008

Seriously, what’s with all the booing?

McCain booed in Michigan…twice; Update: Video added

Clinton booed at MLK rally in New York 

Mitt Romney Gets Booed For Attacking Ron Paul

Obama Booed At NAACP Speech

Giuliani booed on gun control

Ron Paul gets booed at the Univision GOP debate

Edwards gets booed

Brownback Booed For Support Of Federal Amendment On Gay Marriage

It reminds me of the old Chexx bubble hockey game. It had a “boo” button, which was usually pressed after your opponent scored a goal. It got me thinking.  Maybe I should just keep a “boo” track on my site for watching the debates. It might be fun!

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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A Great Debate In New Hampshire

September 6, 2007

I’ll have to give kudos to Fox and the GOP candidates tonight.  This debate was the best I’ve seen yet.  The previous engagements on both sides were more like talking point exchanges that an actual debate.  For a moment this evening, I’ll admit that I got goosebumps while watching Paul and Huckabee going back and forth.  We definately need more of this in the future.  Even if I disagree with the positions being taken here, it was refreshing to see the passion and poise coming from these candidates.  The Dems should take note.


(h/t Hot Air)

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Are We Clear, Kristol?

July 21, 2007

According to Federal Election Commission figures tabulated by a diarist on Daily Kos, the Q2 donations made my active-duty troops to presidential campaigns breaks down like this:

Anti-war:
Ron Paul 26.23%
Barack Obama 24.02%
Hillary Clinton 11.08%
Bill Richardson 5.59%
John Edwards 2.63%
Joe Biden 0.84%
Mike Gravel 0.16%
Dennis Kucinich 0.05%
Chris Dodd 0%

Pro-war:
John McCain 18.31%
Mitt Romney 4.05%
Rudy Giuliani 2.44%
Mike Huckabee 1.84%
Tom Tancredo 1.63%
Duncan Hunter 1.05%
Sam Brownback 0.07%
Tommy Thompson 0%
Jim Gilmore 0%
John Cox 0%

In other words, 70.6% to anti-war candidates vs. 29.4% for pro-war candidates (although I’m not sure if it’s fair to lump candidates like Brownback or Biden into opposite camps, seeing as they seem to be advocating a similar way forward in Iraq, but you get the idea).

Then, today, we get another wonderful bit of wisdom from William Kristol:  They Don’t Really Support the Troops

Having turned against a war that some of them supported, the left is now turning against the troops they claim still to support. They sense that history is progressing away from them–that these soldiers, fighting courageously in a just cause, could still win the war, that they are proud of their service, and that they will be future leaders of this country. They are not “Shock Troops.” They are our best and bravest, fighting for all of us against a brutal enemy in a difficult and frustrating war. They are the 9/11 generation. The left slanders them. We support them. More than that, we admire them.

–William Kristol

Does anyone else smell that?

groisman_fewgood.jpg
Clear?

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A Shameless Plug

July 17, 2007

Well, there’s nothing wrong with cashing in on a great piece of work, and I’ve stated before that Sisyphus should get “Post of the Year” honors for it ( Heliocentrism is an Atheist Doctrine ) , so….why not?

B4B Store

Heliocentrism Bumper Sticker Heliocentrism Hat
Heliocentrism T-Shirt Heliocentrism Clock

I’m not sure if a blog post has ever been marketed before, but there you have it.

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The Denver Post Labels Pro-Brownback Blog As A “Spoof”

July 6, 2007

One of my favorite blogs*, Blogs 4 Brownback, has caught the attention of the maintream media and labeled as a Colbert-style parody:  The Denver Post – Online spoofs cloud political stances

I suppose the author makes a valid point about how noise from blogs and the internet in general can undermine the messages that the presidential candidates are trying to get out there in the 2008 campaign, but the focus is all on the Brownback site:

It appears these so-called supporters – who also run the site Blogs 4 Brownback (blogs4brownback.wordpress.com) – are really using the sites to parody the senator’s conservative political and religious beliefs, and perhaps make it appear that he is aligned with people who hold some, well, extraordinary notions.

The sites look official and have blogrolls linking to a number of bona fide conservative websites, including Brownback’s presidential campaign. Postings from bloggers with names such as Mrs. T.D. Gaines-Crockett and Sisyphus provide just enough accuracy, and religious scripture, to appear oddly legitimate – even to other conservatives who comment on the musings.

Sisyphus responds:

I’m not a spoof.  That’s the standard leftist talking point- anyone who disagrees with them must be doing so in bad faith.  The liberal religion brooks no heresy.  Either one is with them, or one is only pretending to oppose them. 

As I stated when I featured B4B here in the Chamber a little while ago, I can understand how some people might dismiss the site as a parody at first glance, but after a week or two reading the site and the comments I think it becomes quite clear that it NOT a spoof.   I believe the saying is “you just can’t make this stuff up”. 

But, hey, you be the judge.  Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think. 

BTW- The B4B post mentioned in the DenPo article, “Heliocentrism is an Atheist Doctrine“, gets my vote for “Post of the Year” (if there is such an award).  If you have the time, go ahead and read the 1200+ comments (incidentally, the bloggers over at Scientific American weren’t sure if it was a spoof or not either).

Also, I guess it should also be noted that B4B already has a ‘watch’ site, Blogs 4 Moonbats. Ain’t blogging fun?

*As any regular reader of my blog can tell you, I am not a Brownback supporter.  I do, however, consider myself to be open-minded, and although I don’t agree with virtually everything that Sisyphus (and friends) posts on the site,  for whatever reason I find it entertaining. 

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Something That Sam Brownback And Joe Biden Agree On

July 5, 2007

You might have already guessed what that was, but I thought I’d put it in here because I saw another story about this come across the AP wires:  Scholars: Divide Iraq into 3 regions

Under the plan, Iraqis would divide the country into three main regions. Each would assume primary responsibility for its own security and governance, as Iraqi Kurds already have in Kurdistan.

“Creating such a structure could prove to be difficult and risky,” the report said. “However, when measured against the alternatives — continuing to police an ethnic-sectarian war, or withdrawing and allowing the conflict to escalate — the risks of soft partition appear more acceptable.”

Brownback has been talking about this for months, and if I remember correctly, he was the only GOP presidential candidate in the field that brought this up in the debates thus far (although I could be wrong about that).   Biden has been pushing for his “third way” for quite a while as well.  What I haven’t seen, I suppose, is a lot of serious talk about it in the media.

I should note that one of my blogger pals has dedicated his blog toward this solution: Partition of Iraq

I know all this isn’t exactly news, but I thought I’d bring the debate over to my blog.  My personal feeling on this is that it may be too late for this.  Had this been the initial plan, this would have gone quite a bit smoother that it would to try to do it now.  In fact, at this point, it is almost like starting over.  Maybe that’s why the idea hasn’t picked up a lot of steam.  Hypothetically, if someone were omnipotent and knew that this would be the only way to achieve a positive outcome in the region, it would be interesting to know if the American people would have the will to see this through.  The biggest problem is getting the Iraqi people to go along with it, and it isn’t clear that there is a lot of support for this idea.  Even if they were warm to it, it’s hard to imagine that they would have a lot of confidence in our ability to pull it off in light of all the missteps and incompetence that have plagued the effort up to this point.  In the end, there may be just too many variables and risks in just dropping what we’re doing and try something completely new.

For the record*:

sunni-shia-map.jpg

*I’m not sure how old this map is, or even its exact origin.  It’s quite possible that the war has changed the landscape quite a bit, so consider it a pretty basic visual representation.

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Bible Battles On The Campaign Trail

July 3, 2007

I couldn’t quite believe this when I saw it, but here it is: Brownback staffer’s e-mail stirs controversy over Romney’s Mormonism anew (hat tip: Political Pale Horse)

WASHINGTON – A staffer for Sen. Sam Brownback’s presidential campaign circulated an e-mail last week that raised questions critical of Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.
    Brownback says today that he plans to personally call Romney and the leadership of the LDS Church to apologize.
    Emma Nemecek, the southeast field director for Brownback’s Iowa efforts, sent the email to a dozen people last week asking if they knew whether “any of these [issues are] inaccurate.”
    The list included a sentence that says “the only thing Christianity and the LDS Church has in common is the name of Jesus Christ, and the LDS Jesus is not the same Jesus of the Christian faith.”
    It also said that “those who claim that [the] LDS [faith] is a Christian denomination don’t know Mormon or Christian theology.”

Not the same Jesus? 

(hat tip: loljesus)

Well….My Jesus can beat up your Jesus!

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Flag Burning 101

June 4, 2007

I happened to stumble upon this post by my pal Sisyphus over at Blogs 4 Brownback, where the notion of buring of the Iranian flag is put forth as a viable idea with regards to the Iran situation.  I left a comment in there, but it pretty much got ignored.  So, I thought I’d mention it here, just because I thought is was pretty darn funny:

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WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

May 25, 2007

I had an idea (strange, huh?). Originally I thought it would be neat to add political WordPress.com blogs in a special section of my blogroll, and create my own little community of amateur pundits that use the service. In a way, ALL WP.com bloggers are part of a community already, but I thought I’d start a club just for those who like to talk politics.

Most political bloggers will have blogs from other services in their blogroll.  Not everyone uses WP, after all.  There are advantages to staying within the community, however. One advantage would be ease of commenting. Once you’re logged in, you can hop from blog to blog without having to enter in tedious email info and quickly drop a comment (nice to have avatars too), and all discussions can easily be kept track of through the “my comments” section of our dashboards.  Another advantage: you don’t have to do a lot of work to ping these blogs.  All you have to do is link to a post, and it pings them immediately (leaving a pingback in the comments section).  With other blogs (or blog services), you may have to copy/paste trackback urls, and that can be a bit of a crap shoot.  It can work real slick for some blogs and not work at all for others (or at least I’ve discovered). Yet another advantage is how easy it is to search for tags within the community, but that is less special because services like technorati seem to be dialed into it as well. Anyway, you get the idea….

So, every so often, I’ll click on the WP ‘politics’ tag and check out what people are posting.  If I stumble upon a blog that I haven’t seen before, I’d just add it to the blogroll.  I’ve been adding a couple a week since I started it.  I’m sure there are more, so as time goes on this list will grow in my sidebar (under “wordpress political blogs”)

Then I started thinking. What if we formed some semi-formal alliance? A ‘club’ made up exclusively of WP.com political bloggers (right, left, and center) who could regularly exchange ideas and comment on others’ posts. So far I haven’t seen anything like that. Maybe it’s worth a shot?

I whipped up a ‘club’ button that we can put in the sidebar. You’ll have to forgive my photoshopping skills, but here goes:

wppoliblog1.jpg

If you want to add the button to your blog (it links back to this post), here is the code (with border):

<a href="https://chenzhen.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/wordpress-political-blogger-alliance"><img src="https://chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/wppoliblog1.jpg&quot; alt="WordPress Political Blogger" /></a>

WordPress Political Blogger

…and without a border:

<a href="https://chenzhen.wordpress.com/2007/05/25/wordpress-political-blogger-alliance"><img border="0" src="https://chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/wppoliblog1.jpg&quot; alt="WordPress Political Blogger" /></a>

WordPress Political Blogger

Update 11/2:  The alliance has become interactive!  The lowdown:

What I’m attemping to create here is a tool that we can use to make our blogs more lively and entertaining.  I’m not really forcing any obligations on anyone, so I don’t want you to get the impression that going along with this means that there’s going to be a whole list of expectations (beyond etiquette).  You don’t have to respond to every ping.   Just so you know.  

If you want to participate, there are just a few details…

  1. In order for this to work smoothly, everyone needs to create a page that can be pinged.  It took me about 2 min. to make mine: https://chenzhen.wordpress.com/wp-political-blogger-alliance/ .  And I need to know the link so that I can consolidate them, so just post it in that thread or respond in email once you’ve whipped it up.  That’s really the only requirement.  A handful of you already have done this, and the pings work beautifully.  The idea here is to compose a code that is easy to paste in your post that allows you to ping everyone in the alliance at the same time.*
  2. I don’t really like the idea of any one blogger “abusing” the tool by using it to try to dominate the discussion.  In other words, if you’re calling out and pinging the alliance 3 times a day it might get a little annoying.  Sure, it’s easy enough to just ignore such a thing, but nevertheless I think it would be akin to blog whoring just for the sake of blog whoring.  It’s kind of a fine line, and we’ll probably tweak the guidelines as we go forward, but for now I’ll stick with a rule of 1 per day max.  No minimums, since some of you might prefer to comment only.  And, it probably goes without saying, but we don’t want to double up on a topic either, so try to make sure that a story or headline hasn’t already had pings sent by someone else first.  If it has, and you’ve got your own unique analysis that you just spent like 2 hrs on, just link to that thread in your post instead.  We’ll see it.  Make sense?
  3. Be somewhat civilized.  This might be the hard part, ’cause a) there’s a very diverse crowd being pinged and b) it’s the internet.  In debate, you win by attacking the argument or idea, and you lose once you resort to attacking the person (there is a difference).  Keep that mindset, and we’ll be fine.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good blog war.  This will be a bit of a free-for-all, so I hope people are relatively thick-skinned when it comes to having  logic, facts, position, etc. challenged.  We’ll just have to see how this goes, cause I’m not sure if anyone has really tried anyting like this before. 
  4. This is about “politics”, so use the “politics” tag/category when you post, and only send the pings when you post about “politics”.  You might have a cool car, for example, but please don’t ping the whole group to show off the latest pics you just posted.  Also, consistent use of the “politics” tag in general means more views from the wider wordpress.com audience.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy as individuals to block urls and IP’s if #2 or 3 becomes a problem for someone.

* The up-to-date code can always be found in my sidebar (——>): 

Founder of the

WordPress Political Blog Alliance

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

Simply copy the “WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance” and paste it at the bottom of your post. Once your post is published, it will send a ping back to everyone in the alliance.  Easy!

Update 11/4: A tag (category) specifically for the alliance:

WordPress Political Blogs

Create the “WordPress Political Blogs” category and add it to your alliance-oriented posts.  In2thefray and I have already added the RSS feed for this tag in our sidebars, so we can see the latest offerings right on our blogs:

RSS WP.com political blog alliance

Even better, if everyone uses the tag consistently, the above link will provide a great chronological record of the posts within the alliance. In addition, you will have a record of your own contributions to the alliance in your sidebar (assuming you have added the “categories” widget).  Remember to use “WordPress Political Blogs” exactly (alternate spellings and abbreviations will be a different tag, technically)

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Righty Blog Of The Week: Blogs 4 Brownback

May 21, 2007

Don’t believe in evolution?  Think that Wolfowitz did a heckova job?  Do you love Alberto Gonzales (but don’t know how to spell his name)?  I have a website for ya:

Blogs 4 Brownback

Now there are visitors that may think that this site is satirical.  I don’t think so.  It did manage to make the ‘top blogs’ list for wordpress yesterday, however, so I think it’s worth a mention either way.   Go Brownback!