Monday, December 31, 2007

Bloomberg to Toss Hat in Ring?

The NY Times speculates that Michael Bloomberg may run for president as an independent. I like a lot of things he has to say about elections, parties, and the Constitution:

Mr. Boren declined to say which candidate would be strongest, but suggested “some kind of combination of those three: Bloomberg-Hagel, Bloomberg-Nunn.” He said Mr. Bloomberg would “not have to spend a lot of time raising money and he would not have to make deals with special interest groups to raise money.”

“Normally I don’t think an independent candidacy would have a chance” said Mr. Boren, who is the University of Oklahoma’s president. “I don’t think these are normal times.”

Mr. Bloomberg, who has tried to seize a national platform on gun control, the environment and other issues, has been regularly briefed in recent months on foreign policy by, among others, Henry A. Kissinger, his friend and the former secretary of state, and Nancy Soderberg, an ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration. (and Bono!)

Advisers have said Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire many times over, might invest as much as $1 billion of his own fortune (he spent about $160 million on his two mayoral races) on a presidential campaign.

But they warned that while they were confident of getting on the ballot in every state, the process was complicated and fraught with legal challenges, and that Mr. Bloomberg would begin with an organizational disadvantage, competing against rivals who have been campaigning full time for years.

Still, the mayor said this month at a news conference, “Last I looked — and I’m not a candidate — but last time I checked reading about the Constitution, the Electoral College has nothing to do with parties, has absolutely nothing to do with parties. It’s most states are winners take all. The popular vote assigns electoral votes to the candidate, and I don’t think it says in there that you have to be a member of one party or another.”...

...“You know,” he replied, “if it’s a three-way race, the public has more choice than if it’s a two-way race, and has more choice in a two-way race than a one-way race. Why shouldn’t you have lots of people running, and what’s magical about people who happen to be a member of a party?”

Ladies, are you considering voting for a woman just because you can?
Bloomberg's single! And he hangs out with Bono! That will be more fun to watch than Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, right? Who's with me?
Leave your party affiliations aside and bring your Constitution, we're taking America back! Anything to break the two-party system will help, doing it with a centrist like Bloomberg might be the best thing we can do.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He has an interesting article that unmasks some of the Bush-Clinton family dynasties' perversions. He concludes that Hillary and Bill's post-White House secret service detail may have "the goods" on the Clintons":

"During Clinton's presidency, I approached then-deputy White House chief of staff John Podesta and other senior officials to ask whether they had any plans to pursue important investigations that had been left undone in 1993. I was told those issues simply weren't "on the radar scopes."

However, if Clinton thought that his collaboration in keeping the Reagan-Bush secrets from the American people would earn him some bipartisan help from the Republicans, he was mistaken.

Clinton saw his prized domestic agenda, including Hillary Clinton's health care reform, defeated; his party lose control of Congress in 1994; the House vote to impeach him in 1998 for lying about an extramarital sexual relationship; and George H.W. Bush's oldest son steal the 2000 election from Clinton's Vice President, Al Gore.

Now, as Campaign 2008 begins to unfold, a similar dynamic is in place.

George W. Bush has engaged in a variety of acts that appear to be illegal, extra-legal or unconstitutional, while the Clintons are again signaling that they have no intention of holding the Bush family accountable.

"If Bill Clinton is right - that his wife's first act as President would be to ask him and George H.W. Bush to go on an around-the-world goodwill mission - Hillary Clinton is making it clear that she has no intention of holding George W. Bush accountable for any wrongdoing.

There is no way that George H.W. Bush would help the Clintons on the diplomatic front if they were taking action against his eldest son.

So, the stage seems set for another Bush-Clinton revolving door where the Bushes get a free pass as they leave in exchange for the Clintons hoping against hope that the powerful family will show them a little respect and maybe a touch of mercy.

Or, as the Clinton friend suggested to me last week, maybe their real hope is that the Bushes won't reveal what they've learned from the Secret Service records detailing where the Clintons have gone and with whom."

Then there is this article from WND:

Documents are being prepared for release by the National Archives that could reveal what Sen. Hillary Clinton already did while she was in the White House, as First Lady to President Bill Clinton, according to a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption.

Among the issues that remain clouded is her exact relationship with Hollywood Internet mogul Peter Franklin Paul, identified as the largest contributor to her campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2000, who now is presenting compelling evidence President Clinton destroyed his entertainment company – Stan Lee Media – to get out of a $17 million deal in which he promised to promote the firm in exchange for those massive contributions to the 2000 campaign, and other considerations.

Paul contends he was directed by the Clintons and Democratic Party leaders to foot the bill for a lavish Hollywood gala and fundraiser prior to the 2000 election that eventually cost him nearly $2 million.

Officials with Judicial Watch were forced to go to court to try to obtain the White House documents, including Hillary Clinton's calendar, daily office diary, schedule, day planner, telephone log book and other files.

That's a lot of baggage for the ol' lady....

Friedman Unit

Fred Kaplan at Slate has an interesting article about the all important next six months in Iraq. The article starts with a crack on Thomas Friedman that really hits the nail on the head. He might be right this time, though:

"Thomas Friedman has been lambasted for writing way too many times (at least 14 times from late 2003 to mid-2006) that "the next six months" will determine the future of Iraq. The waggish blogger Atrios, who first cataloged this habit, coined the term "Friedman Unit," defined as six months in the future.

That said, the next six months might really be the decisive six months in the course of this war—and, as much as recent trends seem hopeful, the long-term prognosis, alas, doesn't."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Moravian Horns

oldsalem1, originally uploaded by Watts4.

The Moravian Lovefeast at Old Salem, NC, 2007
The tradition continues!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Who is this lady?

Read The National Enquirer article to find out.

Yeah, that's right, I'm sourcing the National Enquirer. This kind of thing repulses and captivates me, especially since it's not in the mainstream media (yet)... But search Google for this lady's name....there's a whole other news world online often based on speculation and innuendo. Who can know what is true or not here....that's something the National Enquirer has excelled at exploiting, since way before Al Gore invented the internet. They paved the way for today's bloggers. NQ, I salute you!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Iraq War: Pay for Itself

An astute reader of the Star-News points out that the "war that will pay for itself" could in fact pay for itself:

"EDITOR: In the five years of war in Iraq, the media have reported on daily losses of servicemen, suicide bombers and any other mayhem.

There has been little news about rebuilding or redeveloping infrastructure. In particular there have been (few prominent) stories about the Iraqi oil fields, except for a few reports of equipment sabotage.

Now before the war, Iraq exported 2 million-plus barrels of oil per day.

What is the production status today?

The rate of 2 million barrels, at $100 per barrel yields $200,000,000 each day. That's $730 billion a year.

… That should be enough to rebuild the country and support our troops.

Why not bill Iraq for services rendered by our military to free the country from dictatorship?

The president recently asked congress for $50 billion to finance operations in Iraq. That's a small price compared to their oil revenues.

And a small price to pay for freedom.

Hank Oswald


Send 'em the bill!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ted Gup's False Alarm

It starts with a 5:23 AM hotel fire alarm, and ends with Gore Vidal in the lobby. Here's a delightfully told tale of the "false alarm" at the hotel:

"I make my way to the hotel's front entrance and into the lobby. Behind the reception desk a beleaguered woman is picking up the phone every five seconds to say "It was a false alarm... it was a false alarm... it was a false alarm." Beside me stands a man in a camel-hair overcoat and red baseball cap. He is chewing the stub of a stogie. He is familiar but the name escapes me, so I ask.

"George Tenet," he says." ....

"Ted Gup," I say, extending a hand. He smiles. He knows my work--the last chapter of the book I wrote on CIA operatives killed in service was deleted because of Tenet's appeal on national security grounds."

click through to read this story, it's an
unusual take on things...