Thursday, January 31, 2008
Out of Office Message
Sorry for the lack of new reading material. I hope my previous post gave you all some interesting fat to chew on. Indian Affairs is something that has always interested me, so I hope you all find my take on it interesting as well.
I promise... I'll be back tomorrow, in full force!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Lakota Sioux: International Notice, Same US Sentiment
As I searched blogs, blog comments, and online news regarding this issue, I was completely and utterly appalled. Likewise, I was ashamed to be an American, and associated with the history of this country.
Let me explain. As I read through blogs and news articles within the US, it was the norm to come across comments suggesting that we just send the military into the reservation to kill the rest of the Indians. Sadly, this is the same mentality, and lack of regard for the lives of the Native Peoples of this continent. And to think, in the year 2008 it is being suggested that we finish the genocide which was started during the expansion of the United States into the West. In 2008, when we are struggling for freedom and peace around the world, the solution at home is to murder. Inasmuch, where we are a nation that has gained little in the last 150 years where Native Americans are concerned, I have to hang my head in shame.
But my head was not hung for long... Though I am not officially belonging to any tribe, my heritage lies with four native tribes: From my mother - Blackfoot, Cherokee, Chickasaw; From my father - Iroquois. Of course I am also of Danish, English, and French ancestry... but I have always been drawn to the heritage of my family that (because of the racist history of the US) was passed on in secrecy, or in shame... That is the heritage of my Native American ancestors. But in doing so, I have also adopted a love for the history of the native tribes wherever I was. Most of my life it was that of the Pacific Northwestern Natives, where it is amazing that in the Northwest there is such a love for the culture of the native people. And now that I live in the proximity of the Sioux land, I am taking great interest in the history of this land, and the struggle of the Native People to remain free... the very thing that we are fighting for on behalf of other people around the world.
Here we are, in 2008, where we (the United States) consider ourselves the moral authority of the world, spreading freedom, democracy, and rule of law around the world, yet we find ourselves unable to follow that same rule of law. The Oglala council of the Pine Ridge reservation has taken the actions of the activist group into strong consideration, and though they were not initially consulted, the international interest has piqued their interest. The Rosebud Reservation, which is the second largest of the Lakota Sioux, has spoken out against the actions of the activist group, though they long for the ability to win back their land. What they do not fully grasp is that the means with which the activist group acted is entirely legal, both by the constitution and by international law of the UN. I imagine that if the Pine Ridge Reservation's elected officials decides to take action on the side of the activist group, then the other reservations that comprise of the Lakota Sioux will join as well.
What I have determined in my research of this event is this:
- In 1803, the US purchased the Louisiana Territory (530 Million acres) from France for $23 Million. The Lakota Territories where part of this territory on map, though France never owned the territory. It was occupied and protected by the Sioux.
- In 1805, a peace treaty was signed between the US and the Lakota.
- As tensions arose between the Lakota and US settlers, the Treaty of Fort Laramie was requested by the US in 1851. This treaty allowed for safe passage of US settlers on the Oregon trail through Lakota Territory. This treaty explicitly recognized the Lakota territory as an independent and sovereign nation, and promised it's borders for as long as the rivers flow and the eagles fly. Laramie also allowed for US forts and rail-lines to be built in Lakota territory. The treaty promised payment of protection of the US transportation lines for 50 years, later ratified to 10 years of $50,000 for the time. Nearly no payments were received by the tribes, and settlements began to pop up on Lakota land. This was in direct violation of the 1st Laramie Treaty.
- 1866 - 1868: With no payments received, and the increased population of homesteaders in their land, War broke out between the Lakota and the US. These were referred to as Red Cloud's Wars, for lakota Chief Red Cloud. The Lakota defeated the United States, and maintained control over the Powder River. This led to the 2nd Treaty of Fort Laramie. Red Cloud was the only Native Chief to win a major war against the United States.
- 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie: After losing the battle for the Powder River, the US defined the "Great Sioux Reservation", which is the land being claimed by the Lakota Sioux in today's legal battle. This treaty ceded the land to the Sioux as sovereign soil in exchange for peace.
- A Gold Rush into the black hills occurred, following George Armstrong Custer's confirmation that there existed large amounts of gold. Though it was known that this was Sioux territory, the prospectors came, backed by a thousand men led by Custer. The Sioux declared war on the occupying forces, but were unable to remove the prospectors. The natural resources of the Sioux were being stolen and exported out of the territory under the protection of the US. This was in direct violation of the 2nd Laramie Treaty.
- In 1871, the US had decided to no longer enter into treaties with Native Tribes. The US had grown significantly, and with no major wars (internal or external), the US had freed up it's military to occupy and settle the Native territories, though this was in direct violation of the treaties already recognized by both the US and native tribes.
- 1876: the US is defeated at Little Big Horn.
- 1883: The Ex Parte Crow Dog decision of the US Supreme Court, which recognized the ongoing freedom and independence of Lakotah
- 1885: The US Congress attempts to violate sovereignty of Lakota- Major Crimes Act, that unilaterally extended U.S. criminal jurisdiction into Lakotah territory
- 1903: The US Supreme Court ruled on the case of Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, which authorized congress to violate treaties made with the Native tribes. The United States not only said that it could violate, change or abrogate treaties with Indian nations unilaterally, but it also said that the U.S. Congress possesses plenary (absolute) power to legislate in any way in indigenous affairs without the consent or consideration of indigenous nations. This is in direct conflict with the Treaties of Laramie.
- 1969: Vienna Convention on Treaties - where international agreement is made on what a treaty is, how it should be handled, and what is the justification for the breaking of a treaty. Ref specifically Article 49, Article 60 Parts I and II
- September 2007: The United Nations passes a nonbinding Declaration of Indigenous Rights, outlining the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honor and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
- December 2007: The Lakota declare that the US has broken treaties, and wishes to withdraw from the treaties made with and broken by the US. This includes a complete hand-over of all territories taken in violation of the treaties.
- NOTE: Article VI of the US Constitution states: All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Though this is an epic legal battle 150 years in the making, I have yet to find just cause why this would not hold up in any court, with one exception: The lack of unity by the Sioux.
However, as the legality of this issue is further recognized by international leaders, and the pressure of the international community increases against the US, the Sioux are going to unite, and the United States are going to have to address this issue as a real concern.
Currently, the international community has this to say:
- Bolivia - the demands of indigenous people of America are our demands. We have sent all the documents they presented to the embassy to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bolivia and they'll analyze everything
- Ireland and East Timor: We're very interested in this development
- Venezuela, Chile, Russia and South Africa are looking into the situation.
The official response from the US Bureau of Indian Affairs is:
This doesn't mean anything. These are not legitimate tribal governments elected by the people [...] when they begin the process of violating other people's rights,
breaking the law, they're going to end up like all the other groups that have
declared themselves independent - usually getting arrested and being put in jail
I am still waiting for this story to develop... but at this time, all I can really say is that I am shocked at the response by the US citizen, who would see the US return to the genocide and murder of Native Americans struggling to do what we in the US fight for around the world: To Be Free.
In the era of Communication, and the Age of Recognition, how is the US to handle this issue without public outcry from the international community... and what about those of us in the United States who understand the struggle of the Lakota? How can the US continue to be the moral authority of the world when it ceases to do what is right, and as such what is the hardest thing to do... Uphold the supreme law of the land.
The US has never been tested on the level that it is about to be tested... how will her people react?
Friday, January 25, 2008
The Debate Whisperer
I had to YouTube it today to make sure I wasn't alone... and sure enough:
At first, I thought it was McCain whispering something. Other folks have said it was an open mike in the sound booth.
What I find coincidental, and what made my jaw drop, is that it APPEARED as if Romney was responding to the whisper voice, which just said "He Raised Taxes"... Romney's immediate response seemed to react to that voice: "I'm not going to raise taxes"
Coincidence? Who knows... but it made me raise an eyebrow.
Theories I have seen so far include:
- Capture of a radio transmission to a Romney Earpiece
- McCain whispering caught in his open mic (further theory is "they teamed up as a conspiracy to defeat Ron Paul")
- Sound booth operator with an open mic
- Romney being fed a scripted line, what was not heard was "I'm Not going", followed by what was heard "to raise taxes"... which is then exactly what Romney said: "I'm not going to raise taxes" - (the "Whisper" doesn't seem to wait for Tim to finish his question as much as Romney waits for the "Whisper" to finish)
- Brian Williams whispering to Tim Russert
- The signal could have been transmitted wirelessly and intended for a battery-operated earpiece worn by Romney, not unlike what people on talkshows and such wear, and picked up by receivers other than Romney's. It's kind of far-fetched but the timing of what is said in the whisper and what Romney seems just perfect for him to hear the whisper and react by repeating it.
Picture of webpage before vanishing
And Free Republic captured the story, vowing that this is not going to be swept away any time soon!
Did anyone else hear it? What are your theories?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Hillary Clinton No Friend to Natives - Defiles Memory of Genocide Victims in US
Perhaps Hillary Clinton, in all of her re-education, had forgotten that the West was won by a series of broken treaties with Natives, the mass murder of sometimes entire Native tribes including women and children... all under the order of the US Congress and the Presidents of the United States at the time.
A great example:
Hillary. The west was won by murder, thievery, and unconstitutional placement of Natives into "reservations" that have become breeding grounds for sickness, poverty, lack of education, and lack of a means to survive outside of US handouts (and still maintain their original way of life should they so desire).
Hillary - Your lack of sensitivity toward the genocide and bloodshed that occurred while the West was being taken is shocking. As a descendant of Natives, I demand an apology and an explanation for your hostility toward the Native Peoples of this Land!
I would love to hear you tell the Lakota to drop dead... that they lost their land at the hand of US invaders... Say it... please... you are so close!
Political Spin Post Fred Thompson
Things have sure changed since last July!
But I had to comment on one report that I just saw, which was BOASTING that Fred Thompson supporters were flocking to Mitt Romney. In this post, it was stated that in California, 30% of Thompson supporters identified that Romney was their 2nd choice.
The spin, is that they are NOT reporting that 70% of Thompson supporters in California are NOT supporting Romney as their 2nd choice.
This is all political fun and fluff... but I just had to call 'em on it! 30 < 70 ... nothing to boast about!
I KEEL You - a Fatwa against Bin Laden and others
Mufti Salim Ahmad Qasmi, a Muslim cleric in India, issued the fatwa, saying theSo, I got to thinking about how literal you could take these Islamic laws... and I began thinking about the strictest sense of creating a depiction of a living thing... Now, we all see that it includes wax statues of men... anyone watching Afghanistan in the 90's saw the Buddhist Statues destroyed, so stone statues are out. Apparently paintings including any living thing are out too... and most importantly, no cartoons of Muhammad!
statue is illegal according to the Sharia, which forbids depictions of all
living creatures, Mohammad in particular. A mufti is a Muslim scholar who
interprets the Sharia, or the religious law of Islam; a fatwa is a legal opinion
or ruling handed down by an Islamic scholar.
But what about photos? How is taking a photo of someone and hanging it on the wall any different than painting that same person's likeness and hanging it on the wall?
And if Photos are then outlawed, should videos be allowed... videos are simply a series of photos strung together and run back at a high rate!
I am not a "muslim scholar", so according to Sharia, I cannot issue a fatwa... but what the hey... I'll do it anyway...
Osama bin Laden... BAM - Fatwa... for all your videos. Your creation of your own likeness has caused idolatry for you and your efforts of jihad. For this, I sentence you to death.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - BAM - Fatwa... for the many photos of you in the papers, and videos of your many useless speeches in which you attempt to gain support in the coming war against the United States.
Tom Cruise - BAM - Fatwa... for the Scientology video that I can't go a day without hearing someone talk about, and your many movies that have raised you to Idol status, especially Rain Man... that was a good one... but Fatwa nonetheless.
Hey... this is fun! Depending on how I decide to interpret Sharia Law, I can call for the death of all these people, and I am not responsible if some crazy follower goes out and takes action!
***Note, This posting is intended to offend! I am mocking the very logic and reason of the Muslim Clerics, who call for the killing of an actor on the basis that he allowed a wax sculpture to be made in his likeness. It is ridiculous!
And to finish it off... enjoy this: I KEEL YOU!
GOP: So, Who Has the Momentum Again?
Huckabee claimed first blood in Iowa, taking the state from the long time favorite there, Mitt Romney. The Huckaboom had paid off, and Huck's momentum was back.
Fast on his tail was John McCain, perhaps in anticipation of his contest in New Hampshire, where Independents were able to rally behind their man as they did 8 years prior. John McCain's win in New Hampshire helped further propel his numbers in the positive direction, giving him the highest level of support since entering the race over a year ago.
Meanwhile, smaller and less contested races were taking place in states like Wyoming, Michigan, and Nevada... Victories out of these states heralded little notice by the press, but the delegates counted just the same as in the traditional early states. Mitt Romney's victories in these widely uncontested states did little to add to his momentum, though there is something to be said for leading the delegate count before Super Tuesday, and that is the headline he was hoping for.
Rudy Guiliani has yet to break 10% in a contest in the early states. His strategy of "Go Big or Go Home", where he is playing in states with only sizable delegate counts, has done little more than employ an army of campaign eulogy writers... but for Rudy, there is always Florida, right?
And all the while, Ron Paul and his supporters, after stacking every online poll in an attempt to appear as a front-runner, has been unable to muster more than 5% nationally in the polls, and has had his best showing in an uncontested Nevada, where he placed a very distant 2nd.
So I ask the question... Who has the momentum again?
The answer is simply: No One!
Fred Thompson's drop from the race, and lack of an expected endorsement, has left a large field of undecided voters hesitant to join any one campaign. The lack of a McCain endorsement has further served to help add gravity to McCain's falling national numbers, as voters remember why his campaign imploded over the summer: Immigration.
Duncan Hunter, yesterday, in an attempt to help swings some momentum in the direction of the Social Conservatives, endorsed Mike Huckabee... unfortunately this endorsement received little fanfare from the media, as they have all but declared the Huckabee campaign a bust. Huckabee is doing little to help his own campaign by not aggressively pursuing Thompson's supporters. Instead his campaign released a short press advisory welcoming support... while at the same time his campaign Chairman Chip Saltzman took a hit at Fred Thompson on the Mike Huckabee Campaign Blog. Huckabee missed an opportunity to claim victory in SC after the contest, by claiming that Fred's withdrawal, had it happened prior to the race, would have made him the clear victor.
Rudy's numbers have flatlined, which for him is a good thing at this point. A flatline is much better than the nose-dive he was seeing. This hesitation in the plummet may be temporary, unless he can pull off a come from behind win in Florida. Rudy's only source of momentum is anticipation of Florida... but all the momentum leads up to is a simple "no change".
Mitt Romney seems unable to break the invisible barrier of 16% in the national polls. His campaign had surged in the past, only to hit 16% and fall... rising again, only to fall again... he is at 15.8%, but the trend is ominous for his campaign!
It is hard to say what will happen in the debate tonight, but easy to see what must be done. There is a new flood of undecided Thompson voters that could cling to a new campaign and propel that campaign to the White House. Every person left on that stage needs to spend tonight aggressively wooing the ex-Fred-heads. The candidate who stands to pick up the votes MUST be conservative socially (this excludes Rudy and potentially McCain), must be strong, and must actually ASK for their support... no subtleties... now is not the time!
With no momentum from any candidate, no clear front-runner, and all candidates within 10% of being the leader on a very fluid scale... We start tonight at square ONE!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Fred Thompson Drops Bid
The Federal Reserve's "Bail Out" Bad for Economy?
After 9/11, the economy was stabilized because the Federal Reserve released a flood of money into the markets... therefore they are there to help.
And again, we see the Fed "bailing out" the US economy by flooding the market with more money, manipulating rates which have no basis in free market, or reality for that matter, and are doing little more than placing a band aid over a gaping wound!
The Federal Reserve is little more than a group of economist-elites dictating how the market should and will work. There is little room for free market and personal responsibility when one does not trust the free market to work.
So the gold standard is abandoned... The US dollar becomes little more than a figment of our economic imaginations... and we have nothing tangible with which to trade our money in for, should we so desire.
Economics has replaced Christianity as the religion of the US.
How can I say this? Because we need to have more faith that the next person will equally value and accept a green piece of paper as the appropriate medium for commerce. What's more, fewer people are carrying cash on hand, so we take it on faith that when I swipe a plastic card through a machine, that I will, in good will, back it up with a stack of green paper. Everyone has faith in the mighty dollar... but are we at a point where we should be questioning our monetary system?
The cause of economic issues prior to the Federal Reserve was a constant run on banks. It used to be the case that wealth was measured by how much gold or silver you had, or was had by the powers issuing the currency. It used to be that banks worked independently, and were expected as a private bank to be able to back a "deposit".
What was the case, however, was that "your" deposit of $100 was taken and divided up to the fellows behind you in line asking for loans or withdrawals. So should you change your mind and want your money back, assuming that your deposit was all the bank had so far that morning, the bank would be unable to give you the money that was yours... there was nothing tangible on hand, BUT the US Treasury had promised that for every dollar in circulation, there was One Silver Coin in the treasury, and they could request that coin. (It is fascinating to collect old US currency, and actually read what was printed on it!)
So the cause of economic strife was that there was not enough money to be handed out... so the Federal reserve came up with a brilliant idea... Print More!
The problem is that with the production of more money, you get something called Inflation.
Now it takes two green pieces of paper to get your one coin (in this example). The price of silver doubles, the price of bread doubles, the price of everything doubles!
In a free market, there is supply and demand. The Demand dictates the production of the Supply, while the lack of Supply drives the cost for Demand. This is helpful with new industry, as early high costs fund the Research and Development necessary for establishing a healthy industry... and when the ability to produce more allows an increased supply, the cost can lower to allow wider distribution at a lower cost, though the revenue is still coming in at the same rate (or roughly the same).
However, the Federal Reserve has eliminated the basis of free market... every time the market tries to correct itself, the Fed interjects, causing additional inflation, driving the value of the dollar down, and ensuring that when this market is actually allowed to correct, it is going to make the Great Depression look like a Maypole Festival.
When your system is based on faith, and not gold... and when your market is driven by manipulation, not free market economics... well, you are in the midst of a system on the brink of collapse... Especially when people begin losing their faith in your currency...
I say to the Fed, "Stay out of it! You caused the Great Depression, and now you are looking to outdo yourself! Let the Free Market work! We don't need our currency manipulated any more!"
I should have taken my own advice years ago... invest in Gold... Maybe it is not too late! Gold is most likely going to hit $1000 an ounce... what does that say about the strength of our dollar!
California Preaching Islam in 7th Grade Public Schools - ACLU nowhere to be found
As I was reading this article, I found myself increasingly willing to stand in revolution against California, against the ACLU, and against political correctness which is destroying the very fabric of our society.
I want to discuss society, for a moment. Society is best described as a grouping of individuals which is characterized by common interests and may have distinctive culture and institutions. We are a society of freedom, a society of life, and a society which includes family, friends, and even faith. By faith, I mean that we were founded on the principles of a natural God, a Creator, and it was believed that a free society could exist only with the moral code of natural law (God's Law).
Since our inception, we have struggled to better define what the purpose of this great experiment really was... and since our inception, there have been those who have attempted to tear us down.
Our enemy, first and foremost, is the ACLU. The ACLU is on a quest to destroy the moral fiber of this nation, and put in it's place a politically correct utopia where we are free to discuss issues as they see fit... issues that do not include Christianity, weapons, or life.
What their campaign of political correctness is actually doing is eroding OUR society, and putting in it's place a series of other societies... other beliefs, other moral codes, other distinct institutions... all in the name of Political Correctness.
But now, now they have gone too far. In California, they have a textbook which is disguised as a History Book of Medieval Times and beyond, which is nothing more than an attempt to introduce an argument for Islam in the world. Bob Unruh, of the World Net Daily, explains: "It makes an attempt to seem like an egalitarian world history book, but on closer inspection you find that seven (not all are titled so) of the chapters deal with Islam or Muslim subjects"
We are now teaching Muslim history to our 7th graders in California... a biased history favoring the struggle of Islam against the West.
Evidence of this bias can be seen in a direct passage from the book:
The word jihad means "to strive." Jihad represents the human struggle to overcome difficulties and do things that would be pleasing to God. Muslims strive to respond positively to personal difficulties as well as worldly challenges. For instance, they might work to become better people, reform society, or correct injustice.
Jihad has always been an important Islamic concept. One hadith, or account of Muhammad, tells about the prophet's return from a battle. He declared that he and his men had carried out the "lesser jihad," the external struggle against oppression. The "greater jihad," he said, was the fight against evil within oneself. Examples of the greater jihad include working hard for a goal, giving up a bad habit, getting an education, or obeying your parents when you may not want to.
Another hadith says that Muslims should fulfill jihad with the heart, tongue, and hand. Muslims use the heart in their struggle to resist evil. The tongue may convince others to take up worthy causes, such as funding medical research. Hands may perform good works and correct wrongs.
Sometimes, however, jihad becomes a physical struggle. The Quran tells Muslims to fight to protect themselves from those who would do them harm or to right a terrible wrong. Early Muslims considered their efforts to protect their territory and extend their rule over other regions to be a form of jihad. However, the Quran forbade Muslims to force others to convert to Islam. So, non-Muslims who came under Muslim rule were allowed to practice their faiths."
Imagine a textbook in which we chronicled Jesus' teachings, discussing how Jesus described struggle... imagine a 7th grade class in which the textbook quotes the history of the Bible, or describes the historical accuracies of the Bible... imagine a text book describing the historical significance and accuracy of the Old Testament. Simply put, it would never happen...
Not only that it would not happen, it would be decried as church issues in a state school!
But I take this one step further... California is now not only teaching Islam to it's students... it is teaching it in a "flowers and candy" way, making the religion appealing, by directly including incomplete passages, thus leading to a conclusion that is a blatant LIE about the religion.
Enough is enough! If you want religion out of school, then take ALL religion out of school... don't replace Christianity with Islam!
And if you want to discuss history, discuss facts. Discuss historical truths that can be verified! Whole truths, verifiable truths...non-biased truths!
No more two Americas! We need to STOP agenda based organizations fighting to destroy this country! The ACLU is the worst enemy of America, the enemy to true freedom. The enemy to civilized society! And the enemy to logic and reason.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sarah Palin as a contender for VP?
So, regardless of who the Presidential nominee is for the GOP, it is time to consider some excellent choices for VP outside of the current pool of presidential contenders.
I would like to discuss Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska.
There is an online movement to draft Sarah Palin as the VP candidate, and it is one that has caught my eye.
She is a perfect fit for any candidate in the GOP... here are her stances on the issues:
FREE MARKET – “I am a conservative Republican, a firm believer in free market capitalism. A free market system allows all parties to compete, which ensures the best and most competitive project emerges, and ensures a fair, democratic process.”
EDUCATION – "I envision a world class educational system founded upon the principles of safety, quality, social responsibility, parental involvement and fiscal accountability. Education is a service the state is mandated to provide. I strongly believe in providing an adequate level of funding to ensure high quality public schools. However, it will take more than money alone to pave the way toward better schools – it’s also going to take commitment and collaboration with all school districts and REAA’s to raise student performance and achievement. School districts must be held accountable at all times for the manner in which they expend public money."
GUNS AND HUNTING - “I am a lifetime member of the NRA, I support our Constitutional right to bear arms and am a proponent of gun safety programs for
Alaska's youth….I have always strongly supported the personal use of fish and game by Alaskans. I grew up hunting and fishing in Alaska, and I am proud to raise my children with this same uniquely Alaskan heritage. … Anti-hunting groups who oppose hunting and fishing rights will be the winners if we allow them to pit us against ourselves….As an Alaskan with strong beliefs on this issue, I am confident in my ability to build consensus among diverse user groups and reconcile the many competing interests in a manner.”
SMALL BUSINESS – “As Mayor and CEO of the booming city of Wasilla, my team invited investment and encouraged business growth by eliminating small business inventory taxes, eliminated personal property taxes, reduced real property tax mill levies every year I was in office, reduced fees, and built the infrastructure our businesses needed to grow and prosper.”
MILITARY - “I respect our military personnel and understand the importance of Alaska's National Guard. As I watched our military men and women being deployed I recognized how important it is for their families to know how much Alaska and America support them.”
HEALTH CARE – “I support flexibility in government regulations that allow
competition in health care that is needed, and is proven to be good for the
consumer, which will drive down health care costs and reduce the need for
government subsidies. I also support patients in their rightful demands to have
access to full medical billing information.”
SOCIAL ISSUES – “I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be
between and man and a woman.”
ENVIRONMENT – “Regimes to protect Stellar Sea Lions must be based on sound science not personal agendas…I will fight in every way possible to make sure that our fishing communities are protected from the personal agendas of federal fishery managers”
“I believe in protecting Alaska's environment through fair enforcement of our environmental laws. Having a clean record on environmental regulation is critical to getting ANWR open and maintaining our fisheries mining, timber, and tourism industries.”
Another look at GOP Super Tuesday
What I do see changing is a shake-up in the Thompson camp. Will he withdraw, or not?
For the time being, I want to re-post my Super Tuesday list, but in a way that is easier to read, and modify in the aftermath of Florida, and a potential Thompson withdrawal:
Alabama...................(primary)......48 delegates...............Huckabee (solid)
Alaska ......................(caucus) .......29 delegates................McCain (leaning)
Arizona ....................(straw poll) ..53 delegates WTA....McCain (solid)
Arkansas .................(primary) .....34 delegates................Huckabee(solid)
California .................(primary) ...173 delegates................McCain (leaning)
Colorado ..................(caucus) .......46 delegates................McCain/Romney/Huckabee (tie)
Connecticut .............(primary) ....30 delegates WTA.....McCain (leaning)
Delaware .................(primary) .....18 delegates WTA.....Rudy (leaning)
Georgia ....................(primary) .....72 delegates................Huckabee (solid)
Illinois ......................(straw poll) ..70 delegates................Huckabee (leaning)
Massachusetts ........(primary) ....43 delegates.................Romney (leaning)
Minnesota.................(caucus) .......41 delegates................McCain (leaning)
Missouri ...................(primary) ...58 delegates WTA.....Huckabee (leaning)
Montana ...................(caucus) ......25 delegates WTA.....Huckabee (leaning)
New Jersey ..............(primary) ...52 delegates WTA......Rudy (leaning)
New York .................(primary)..101 delegates WTA......Rudy (leaning)
North Dakota ...........(caucus) .....26 delegates WTA......Huckabee (solid)
Oklahoma .................(primary)....41 delegates.................Huckabee (leaning)
Tennessee ................(primary) ...55 delegates.................Thompson (solid)
Utah ..........................(primary) ...36 delegates WTA......Romney (solid)
West Virginia .......(convention)...30 delegates WTA......Huckabee (leaning)
This is clearly going to be a delegates race to the finish! Most states are currently leaning slightly in one direction or another, which usually means less than 5% difference, and is therefore up for grabs. States that are solid are consistently polling overwhelmingly for that specific candidate.
The key for delegates, for the non WTA states,is who is finishing in 2nd and by how much!?! If someone can consistently finish 2nd, regardless of who is first, they may be able to pick up a large number of delegates.
There are over a thousand delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday! I will update this list as events change...
My Thoughts in a post SC world...
We have already seen Duncan Hunter drop the race after a predictably poor showing in SC.
So who is next?
The headlines of the morning papers today, as seen on eGOPnews.com, are hinting that Fred Thompson is considering dropping the race after he was able to do little more than play the spoiler to the Huckabee campaign... of course they hinted at that before... but Fred had said that he needed a win or a strong second in SC to have a chance. And anyone who watched Fred's concession speech were left scratching their heads, wondering if he botched a withdrawal speech, or if he was trying to rally the troops on into Florida:
The AP Reports:
Despite the situation, Thompson was expected to bow out after failing to
win the states where he had hoped to perform strongly, Iowa and South Carolina.
The former Tennessee senator and "Law & Order" actor returned home after
delivering a speech in South Carolina on Saturday that sounded like he was
calling it quits. He stopped short of doing so but some supporters suspected it
would only be a matter of time before Thompson withdraws.
Before South Carolina, several aides had said he probably would need to
finish first or a strong second in that race to go forward. Aides didn't expect
a decision from Thompson until sometime after the weekend.
With Fred Thompson out, the race will become a McCain, Huckabee, Romney, Rudy contest... heading into Florida where they are all within 7 points of one another, it will be a race to distinguish the have's from the have-not's in the GOP Primary.
Current poll averages have the top four hovering around 20%, and Thompson & Paul way behind the field with 8.5 and 5 points respectively.
Should Thompson drop, and likely endorse McCain, one would wonder if Fred's social conservatives could get behind McCain, who has been no friend to Social issues... Rudy and Romney will likely not benefit from Fred's voters as much as McCain and Huckabee will. Should those votes distribute evenly, we should expect similar results as we saw in SC happening in Florida.
If Fred does not drop out, it will likely only serve to keep Huckabee's numbers low and help his friend McCain, as was the case in SC.
Moving into Super Tuesday without Fred could definitely shake things up. None of the top four are out, but Rudy is close, especially without Florida.
We should all listen very hard to any chatter coming out of the Thompson campaign. Once he makes a move to stay in or get out, we can better handicap the Florida race.
One thing is certain... Romney is counting on a brokered convention, where his wins in uncontested states may help... at least until Super Tuesday... then he could find himself falling to the rear of the pack... But when you have a brokered convention, every delegate counts!
I will provide updates if any news breaks...
Saturday, January 19, 2008
How Will SC Vote Today?
Some interesting happenings over the last days since Michigan... Mitt Romney is in search of delegates, hoping that delegate count in the "jump to the front" states will mean more than the traditional "first in the nation" states. He had abandoned his campaign in SC, claiming that 4th would be a victory, and instead opted to aim for Nevada, a Mormon stronghold, and a state also offering about ten more delegates. He took a similar approach in Wyoming, a Mormon state, where he was the only candidate who honestly campaigned in the state. He and Duncan Hunter were big winners in Wyoming... so that says something, I suppose.
But what about South Carolina? The state in which no GOP candidate of recent years has lost, but gone on to receive the GOP nomination. A state with strong ties to faith, independence, civil rights issues, and agrarian history. It is a state which encompasses the values of Iowa and New Hampshire... And it is truly a state which must be won by many in the GOP field today if they wish to continue the race for the GOP nomination.
Time for my predictions:
What does this mean?
Romney has made it clear that he plans to hold out for delegates. As I see this being a brokered convention, this is a smart move. He may be in the lead with delegates now, but he will find himself in the middle of the pack after Super Tuesday. Recent polling has shown that he is not doing well in a majority of the Super Tuesday states.
McCain will lick his wounds and live to fight another day... namely in Florida, where he and Rudy seem to be leading the polls... surely, though, a loss in SC will make Florida a hard win. And his recent surge in the national polls will likely be busted in favor of the SC winner.
Mike Huckabee, if he does get the win as I am predicting, will see another surge of support, similar to his Huckaboom of December, and his resurgence after Iowa (though short lived because of NH). Mike Huckabee is a contender in Florida, and has many states locked up in the Super Tuesday contest. He may come out 2nd or possibly 1st after super tuesday (in delegates) with a commanding win in SC. A second place finish will likely ensure a VP consideration, especially if it kills any chance of gaining momentum before Super Tuesday.
Thompson is plagued with 4th place finishes across the board so far, and one tie for third in Iowa. If South Carolina doesn't pan out for Thompson, he will have some serious soul searching to do. The best Thompson may hope for is a McCain victory, and a VP nod from his good friend... However, a surprise win or 2nd place finish tonight could give this summer's "Mr. Inevitable" a breath of life, and potentially a surge of support and delegates heading into Super Tuesday.
Rudy is still holding out for Florida, but as I have said before, with no momentum, no headlines, and waning support. This may be the biggest blunder in presidential campaigning since the Howard Dean scream... YYYEEEEAAAAHHHH!
All eyes are on SC. And for those looking ahead to Super Tuesday, what can we expect to see?
If my prediction of SC is correct, I expect the following:
*WTA = Winner Takes All delegates (by districts or entire state)
Alabama (primary - WTA districts - 48): Huckabee
Alaska (caucus - 29): Huckabee
Arizona (straw poll - WTA state - 53): McCain
Arkansas (primary - WTA district - 34): Huckabee
California (primary - WTA district - 173): Rudy (if he wins Florida)
Colorado (caucus - 46): Huckabee
Connecticut (primary - WTA state - 30): Rudy
Delaware (primary - WTA state - 18): Rudy
Georgia (primary - WTA district - 72): Huckabee
Illinois (straw poll - 70): Huckabee
Massachusetts (primary - 43): Romney
Minnesota (caucus - 41): Huckabee
Missouri (primary - WTA state - 58): Rudy
Montana (caucus - WTA state - 25): Huckabee
New Jersey (primary - WTA state - 52): Rudy
New York (primary - WTA state - 101): Rudy
North Dakota (caucus - WTA state - 26): Huckabee
Oklahoma (primary - WTA district - 41): Huckabee
Tennessee (primary - 55): Thompson
Utah (primary - WTA state - 36): Romney
West Virginia (convention - WTA - 30): Huckabee
Delegate count is nearly impossible, because some states are WTA by district, or proportional... But, let's look at total number of states won:
Rudy: 6 of 21
Huckabee: 11 of 21
McCain: 1 of 21
Romney: 2 of 21
Thompson: 1 of 21
Let's see how SC plays out, and I will be glad to modify these numbers. My predictions come from latest polls in those states, or state voting trends (by issues) where polls where not available, as well as predicted bumps by the predicted SC and Florida finishes.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Today in Weird Science
What caught me most about this string of scientific projects was the heart. Using stem cells, scientists were able to reanimate a heart after 4 days of death. They removed the heart, cleaned it, introduced young heart cells, and the heart sprang back to life...
What if this technology can be used in humans? Put a patient in need of a heart transplant on bypass for some time, remove the heart, clean and fix it with healthy heart cells, give it time to regain strength and youth, replace it in the body, and voila... you have a new heart.
But I bring up a morality and ethics question with the advancement of science... it is one that I often pose to my wife when she is watching shows about curing one disease or another... At what point do we stop, and accept death?
I was at a seminar being presented for Chiropractic Health, and it was reported that a University of Texas group has predicted that by 2050, over 800,000 Americans will be living between the ages of 100 and 150. Can you imagine? 150 years old. Not just that, but almost one million people over 100 years old! What is the quality of life going to look like? How much can we re-engineer our bodies to withstand the tests of time? And at what point do we stop trying to cure ailments?
We have beaten plagues, the pox, and now organ failure... we are working to cure cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and many others... This is pushing the life expectancy further up into old age... but when is it too much?
I suppose that the answer is directly related to the quality of life that we will experience into the old age. If we are defunct by 95, but life for another 10, 20 or even 30 years... what is the use of living? We need mobility, security, and the ability to be active in our community (as opposed to being a drain on society/community). What is the purpose of life if it can not be lived to the fullest?
Perhaps I am internalizing this a bit... I am trying to picture what my limit would be, how I would want to live... what would be acceptable to me in that age...
But then I pose another question. If we are able to stop death, or prolong it extremely... what is the purpose of reproduction?
Needles to say... there are a lot of questions that go with the new territory that we are exploring in science today!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Fair Tax or Flat Tax? How Will Americans Benefit Most?
Scientists are working hard every day to work on the Death predicament... but what are we doing about taxes?
Currently in the US, every dollar that we make is taxed on the order of +60% over four levels of government and by many means of taxation. We have Federal Income tax, Social Security and Medicare tax, State income tax, state sales tax, property tax, stamp tax, gas tax, gift tax, real estate tax, car tab tax, recreational vehicle tax, estate tax, luxury tax, capital gains tax, etc, etc, etc... I think the point is well made in that list...
So the general question that I would like to discuss is: With all these taxes on our achievements and wellness, not only how do we succeed, but why do we try?
It is very well known, and even discussed by Karl Marx, that the best way to stimulate economic growth is by reducing the taxation of the people. Imagine that... even the brainchild of the Communist Manifesto went forward understanding that communism stifled economic prosperity. But it seems that his followers today fail to grasp the fundamentals of economics, and have instead focused on his dreams of a Utopian communist society (aka Pipe Dream!)
Our infinitely complicated tax code in the United States is currently set up to stifle non-government controlled economic growth. There are penalties on savings, penalties on success, penalties on achieving breakthroughs in business that may bump you into a "higher tax bracket". So the harder you work, the harder you are taxed... Therefore, it is better to achieve the minimum and settle for modest results.
Let's look at an example. Imagine that you make $100 in a month in your business. The government says that if you make $100 in your business, you will be taxed $15. Your after tax earnings are $85. Now, suppose you had a boost in business, and the next month you made $101. The tax code is set up in a way that you are now in a new tax bracket, being taxed at a higher rate, and you will be taxed $20 for the month. So your second month after tax income, though you had more business, was $81. This is how our tax system currently works...
So where is the incentive to work harder?
It is in a new tax code system.
Currently, our tax code is 16,845 pages long... it is a mess of varying taxes, tax exemptions, blah blah blah... So how do we fix it?
Two solutions have been suggested: Fair Tax and Flat tax. Which one is better?
The Fair Tax is a plan that would eliminate income tax, and move the entirety of the Federal Tax to a consumption based tax rate of around 23%. What this means is that of the $101 made in the month, you get $101 in your pocket (or bank). Then the tax is applied when you go to purchase, say, a ream of paper for $5. The price after tax would be $6.15. Supposing that the ream of paper is the only purchase you needed to make in that month, your $101 will have been taxed only the one time, leaving you with an after tax amount of $99.85. Food is exempt from the consumption tax... so it is voluntary tax based on the level of your consumption. Assuming consumption rates stay the same, the net income to the government will be revenue neutral. However, there will be a boom to the economy because there is more money on the front side of the consumer process, so consumption rates would likely increase (though one would hope that SAVINGS rates increased!). There are a few down sides to the Fair Tax. The first glaring one is that to protect the citizens from a consumption tax AND an income tax, there will need to be a constitutional amendment. Repeal the 16th and rewrite to ensure that the Congress does not impose an income tax. The second is the uncertainty in tax revenue. You can predict trends in income, but if those trends do not pan out, the revenue will be short (which is fine by me... the US government does not need a 3 Trillion dollar budget!)
The Flat Tax is a flat, one rate, income tax. No matter what tax bracket you are in, you pay one tax one time. CATO institute suggests that maximum economic growth occurs with a total tax rate around 18%. That means if you make $100 you pay $18. If you make $101, you pay $18.18 and so on. There are no tax brackets, no penalties for success... just a one sentence IRS tax code that says: If you live and work in the US, You pay 18% income tax.
Of course neither tax fix deals with state and local taxes... so the flat tax rate would have to consider state and local tax rates to achieve the maximum economic growth. The logic behind the 18% is that all of the taxes listed above must add up to 18%.
Is one better than the other? I think they are equally effective in limiting government control on personal success and economic progress.
Is one easier to implement than the other? Yes. The flat tax would be the first step in halting the out of control government, and making a proactive change in our economy and society. The fair tax is a radical idea that would take much time and money to implement... though once implemented, it could be a great way to leverage power from the government back to the people (imagine consumption strikes to limit income to the government!).
The idea is economic freedom. The medium for freedom is through a people smart tax code. The rest is up to us.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Republican Race Open, but not THAT Open
Let me first begin by congratulating Mitt Romney on his win in Michigan. Michigan was always a pro Romney state, but the big surprise was the McCain surge, making Huckabee a non-player in the state. Ben is right on, and I agree that this race is still open... and it will continue to defy the pundits and predictions... However, without predictions, what fun is it in tracking the race so closely?
Respectfully...You wrote in an earlier post: "Should Mitt Romney take the top spot in Michigan, he and Huckabee will battle it out in SC, where it will likely be Huckabee's last stand." Given this previous statement and the fact that Huckabee SC shares are not selling at all on Intrades, do you see anything in tonight's modest 3rd-place MI performance (you predicted he would win here, so this has got to be a big disappointment) to turn around his plummeting SC numbers? Do you see SC as a 3-way race between McCain, Romney, & Thompson (whom you earlier predicted would dropout after the Iowa caucuses)? Do you still think Thompson will have an"embarrassing finish" in SC and withdraw? After this unexpected turn of events (Huckabee in IA, McCain in NH, now Romney in MI), how big of an opening do you see for Rudy's strategy to pay off? Do you agree that this race will continue to defy the pundits & the predictions? (http://bendegrow.com/2008/romney-wins-now-what/)
Regarding Romney's landslide... we must consider the fact that Michigan is an open priamry state, and the Democrats had nothing to vote for on their ticket... so:
Michigan's open primary means Republicans, Democrats, and independents can all
vote in it. Since there's no contested primary on the Dem side, their
participation in the GOP contest could be a wild card. Daily Kos steward
Markos Moulitsas, hoping desperately to be mistaken for a Machiavellian genius,
is encouraging his minions to vote for Romney for mischief's sake, under the
assumption that if he doesn't win today, he drops out. Kos reasons his
side prefers Romney staying in the race so that the well-funded bloodsport of
primary battling will continue among Republicans, presumably injuring the
Let's discuss how open the race is, and what SC means to which candidates.
Ben, who is a Fred Thompson guy, seems to be holding out for Thompson in SC. And Fred Thompson, who seems to sometimes be a Fred Thompson guy, is also holding out for something big in SC. I just don't see that happening. Fred is in SC, trying to make his stand, but doing so with absolutely no momentum from the first three contests. In the state, Fred Thompson support has gone from over 20% to just under 10% in the last three months... and nothing has happened to suggest a boomlet in Thompson's favor. I still stand by my word that this may be Thompson's last stand. Anything less than a 2nd place finish for Thompson in SC kills any chance for a momentum boomlet. (My Iowa prediction of Thomspon's withdrawal was hampered by a close third place battle between he and McCain, which almost forced him to stay in and take a stand in SC... but it did not help his numbers... they continue to fall)
So to answer the question of "is SC really a McCain, Romney, Thompson showdown?"... the answer is no... the race is open, but not that open! And Huckabee is still alive and well in the Palmetto State. Romney's win yesterday likely stifled McCain's boom, but I don't think it hurt Huckabee... What is hurting Huckabee is the McCain boom... so Romney's wion can only help Huckabee in SC. Based on the intensity of McCain's surge post NH, which was unforeseen at the time I made the two man race prediction, SC is very much a three way race. But Thompson is not in the top three. It will be a Huckabee, McCain, Romney battle in SC. Thompson, unless he can muster up some momentum in the next week, will likely be finished... I know I predicted a withdrawal after Iowa, but maybe the old man stays in to be part of the delegate race. The 4th place finish will be an embarrassment to the Thompson campaign. Remember, Thompson was elevated to savior status before getting into the race. He has, arguably, yet to finish above 4th (or 200 votes from finishing 4th in Iowa)
Regarding the Intratrade... I visited the intratrade site, and there was not an option to buy Huckabee stock in the state. He is not listed. Never was. So I am not using that as a measuring device.
The race is open... indeed! It could not be looking better for Rudy in Florida, though I think his decision to sit out the early contests likely makes him a non-contender in Super Tuesday states now... perhaps Florida could turn that around.
But what do I see in my crystal ball?
For starters, I will tell you what I did NOT see. I did NOT see McCain having such an effective surge... especially in the wake of the Illegal Immigration Shamnesty plan that he tried to ram down our throats. Maybe Tancredo's withdrawal from the race took some of that pressure off McCain, and the issue out of the limelight.
I did NOT see Rudy falling off as much as he has! Rudy is currently polling nationally at 13%, tied with Romney for a distant 3rd. By the time we get to Florida, Rudy will likely be battling Fred in national polls for 4th, somewhere around 10%. That is not a good place to be heading into Super Duper Tuesday.
And I did NOT see Ron Paul beating out Thompson in a state like Michigan. That doesn't do much for Ron Paul at this point, but it doesn't say much for Thompson's support in the state of Michigan.
At this point, we need to take a compass reading. Nevada will likely not give us that reading. Nevada is so wide open, and clearly blowing in the direction of the momentum, that it will likely be a race between the top four: McCain, Rudy, Huckabee, Romney.
If McCain takes SC, McCain will likely win out. If Huckabee takes SC, it will likely move the battle to a two man race on super tuesday. If Romney takes SC, Huckabee's run is likely over, and McCain will likely win out on Super Tuesday, with Romney and Huckabee finishing in a series of 2nds and 3rds... obviously some 1st's in their stronghold states. I don't see Rudy's plan paying off, and I don't see Fred Thompson as a major player anymore.
I am still predicting a brokered convention...
One thing that I know is that the water is very muddy leading up to Super Tuesday!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Voting in Michigan
As such, I have had a lot of time to think about Michigan, and what Michigan has the potential to do. Earlier, I posted that Michigan was the Alamo for McCain and Romney... either one losing will either stop their momentum or kill their campaign.
McCain has had a huge surge of momentum since NH...
Romney is struggling to stay alive until the Convention...
If Romney wins in Michigan, it will slow McCain's surge, and Huckabee may have a better chance of beating him in SC.
If John McCain wins in Michigan, he will likely continue his surge into SC, and win out... based on the strength of his surge.
Either way, I am still predicting a brokered convention... but McCain and Rudy seem to have traded spots as to who will be the top dog in the split field.
We are hours away from knowing how the day was won... and then let the spin begin!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
A Different Approach to Israel
As I was laying in bed the other night, I was trying to come up with a different approach to peace in the region...
There is much tension between Jewish Israel and her Muslim neighbors... there is much tension from the Arab Muslims within the country... friends and neighbors fight one another over religion and territorial boundaries...
Most all of the Palestinians live in squalor, uneducated, without the basic elements of stability: food, water, shelter, and safety.
The Palestinians have no vested interest in a successful Israel... The very existence of Israel means that at any moment their government could bulldoze their home, cut their power, or blockade and starve out their neighborhood.
So my question is this: How do you give the Palestinians something to fight for in Israel, rather than something to fight against?
My answer seemed radical, and I am going to do a LOT more research on this idea. Cursory searches have led to similar ideas, but seemingly for wrong reasons, or with the wrong approach. I will outline my thoughts, and I would love some comments... but keep in mind that this is just very early in the idea process, and there is much research for me to undertake.
My idea is similar to the "one nation" idea... But I want to ensure that Israel maintains it's ability to protect itself from foreign invaders and maintain order.
First I propose one nation: The Confederation of Israel/Palestine. There will be a weak central government in charge of national defense, ensuring resource allocation, maintaining infrastructure, and providing judicial oversight. The confederated central government will consist of One President, and One Prime Minister in the Executive Branch. The President will have control over internal affairs while the PM will have control over foreign affairs. Each will have to work together to ensure commonality for the nation. They will both be selected by the house of commons. 50 regional ministers, similar to congress, will be the legislative branch. There will be one house of commons (not two houses like the US) which consists of 25 members from Israel, 25 members from Palestine. They will have control over finances and laws/regulations, power to enact taxes, etc. The members will be elected by the people. The judicial members will be selected by the president, and certified by the HOC. They will have authority to review cases in the lower courts. This will resemble, in a sense, the structure of the US federal government, however, it will be a weak government, with the rights and powers left to the 2 states. The national capitol would be Jerusalem... a united district, similar to D.C., where neither state has authority over the city. They operate independent of either state.... this mean there is no division of Jerusalem, and both states can declare it their capitol.
Second, I propose the creation of two state governments, one of Israel, one of Palestine. The two state governments will be in charge of local security, police forces, crowd control, local judicial issues, and ensuring the basic rights are being met. They will have the authority to elect governors, and state representatives. They will focus on local commerce, trade, education and interstate relations.
The idea of the confederation was one that may allow the groundwork for distribution of opportunity, eduction, and infrastructure, as well as ensuring equal opportunity for employment, housing, water, and power.
My thought was that if we focus on the establishing and providing the basic elements of survival, food, shelter, and security... then back that with educating the population on the merits of joining in a democratic society, and the importance of ownership of their rights and land... that will provide the basis for peace and prosperity.
I think that if the Palestinians feel that they have equal rights, equal representation, and equal opportunity at a federal level, they will be less likely to want to destroy their own chance for progress. There may still be bitterness between the states, but the federal government would ensure that the regulated militias of each state are not used to attack one another.
That is where I am starting... Like I said, this is just a cursory idea, and I have much research to do. I came up with these ideas based on current relations in the region, current leadership, sentiment, etc... I think it may be possible to approach something like this...
I know one thing is for sure... the two state option leaves Palestine with no food, no money, no power (electricity), and no security. If the arrangements leave them with nothing, why would they be interested in going forward?
(I know that they have been given money, but used it to arm their militia and fight Israel, but they see Israel as the enemy... if we change the playing field, making Israel a partner, perhaps we can change the way the game is played)
Any thoughts? This is a radical idea... so I would love to hear some of your opinions.
Attempting to Undo NH's Fumble
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Michigan: McCain's and Romney's Alamo?
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
New Hampshire results... All eyes on Michigan, Nevada, SC
Here were my predictions and the actual results:
McCain: 37%...... 37%
Romney: 28%.... 32%
Huckabee: 15%.. 11%
Paul: 10%............ 8%
Rudy: 9%............. 9%
Thompson: 1%.... 1%
Obama: 39%....... 37%
Clinton: 26%....... 39%
Edwards: 24%.... 17%
Richardson: 6%.. 5%
Kucinich: 5%....... 1%
I was pretty on target for the GOP, there was a 4% vote swing in my prediction in Huckabee's favor that I took from Romney... looks like he took it back!
For the Dems, I was right on that the leader would get 39%... i just did not think that was going to be Hilalry. I suppose that the loss in Iowa motivated her base support to get out the vote!
The biggest losers of the NH primary: John Edwards and Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney spent upwards of $20 Million in 2 states, and has lost both of them. He is looking to a victory in Michigan to keep his campaign alive. The small amount of delegates he has picked up so far will be nothing come SC, Florida, and Super Tuesday... He has no momentum, and has been shown back-to-back defeats... It won't be too long before Ann Romney confiscates the checkbook and makes him drop out. Even with a Michigan win, his campaign is seriously in doubt... and he kissed his VP nod goodbye when he started attacking everyone to get on top. Poor form, old chap!
John Edwards' whooping in NH was a big shocker. After a strong showing in Iowa, John was picking up some momentum... Hillary took that out in one blow. The only way that John can look to beat Hilalry is to meet up with Obama and work out some sort of a coalition and VP nod... With both of them in the race, it looks like Hilalry is going to squeak out victory after victory... may have turned out to be a fluke, and with Edwards WAY behind in NH, Obama hanging on, you have to wonder how long Edwards stays in... the longer he does, the more likely that Hillary gets the nod.
What can we expect to see? On the side of the democrats, Obama's loss brings up questions of Hillary's inevitability once again... The pundits will say that Iowa was a fluke, and her support may begin to rise... the Clinton Machine is well funded and well oiled... She may have some fight left in her yet... This was a big night for her campaign... and likely ended John Edwards'.
The GOP will move on to Michigan, where Huckabee will likely beat out Romney. If Romney finishes second, he is finished. If Huckabee finishes second, he has SC and Florida to look forward to. A second place finish in Michigan for Huckabee would surely take the momentum away heading into SC, where he will be challenged by McCain. If McCain takes SC, he likely takes Florida, and will have all the momentum going into Super Tuesday, where he and Rudy will battle it out. There will be a three way tie in delegates between Rudy, McCain, and Huckabee after Super Tuesday, and the brokering begins... likely McCain and Huckabee join up and run on one ticket in 2008. However, if Huckabee takes Michigan and SC, Florida is his to lose, and he is clearly the front-runner going into Super Tuesday. He would likely lead with delegates after S.T. and we would go into brokering, where he will likely ask for McCain's endorsement and run on a Huckabee / McCain ticket. If McCain does not do well due to a SC loss, Huckabee may choose someone like Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate, and they will likely sweep into office in the general election.
Let's hear what happens in the next few days... there will be a dropped bid by Richardson, I am sure...
The Death of Establishment Politics?
The reason that this word is causing fear is that the people are speaking, and they are finally united in one effort: Get rid of politics as usual. One thing is for sure, politics in America will never be the same after 2008! At least if the trends continue.
The establishment candidates are falling faster than those poorly animated ducks in Nintendo's Duck Hunt... That hunting dog has his work cut out for him as he has to run around picking up nose-diving establishment candidates.
And if one pays any attention to tracking polls, you can clearly see that the populous was wearily supporting the establishment candidates, because the Media declared that they were the only viable candidates in either party. But, as the polls show, the first sign that there was even a hint of viability in another candidate, the establishment lost the wheels on it's bandwagon! (See the red arrows in the picture above... nose-dives indeed!)
Since 2006, the media has been building the next Royal Rumble... Hillary Clinton facing off on the national stage against Rudy Giuliani... pollsters and pundits have written books about this clash of the titans, made millions, and had nearly handicapped the 2008 race for us...
So was this anticipation the straw that broke the camel's back? Was it the grinding in on "viability" politics that finally made the people throw their hands in the air and declare "ENOUGH!"? I think so... I think the quasi-subdued citizens, distracted by American Idol and Top Model, were motivated by something different... and the tools of motivation made these citizens more accessible.
That is right... The death of the establishment politics, and the rise of populist politics, is due to the internet. The last vestige of free speech... and I mean free in that you can send powerful messages (via YouTube, e-mail, MySpace, Facebook) for FREE. No money required. That means candidates can focus on getting their messages out to millions of citizens at the cost of ZERO...
Then enter the bloggers... the most effective and passionate grassroots effort in American Politics... perhaps in history... capable of causing a revolution within our government without firing a single shot... The perfect example of the David v. Goliath... the Bloggers taking on the Major News Outlets... Communication amongst the people, giving rally cries, circling wagons, reaching out to one another, and waiting for our chance to pounce.
No longer are we restricted to the newspaper reading over the coffee table, where we are limited to bouncing our ideas and opinions off of our significant other... Now, each and every citizen has a forum... and we are excited about it.
Now that we are able to see our results, the impact that we have had, the downing of the establishment candidates... politics in America will never be the same. Empty campaign promises, negativity, gaffes, and slips... they will all be reported, they will all be discussed, they will all be scrutinized... because, in our lifetime, we have seen the beginning of the populist movement, when the people... WE the people... have decided to take our government back.
Let's see what happens after tonight... but I am willing to bet the farm that the trends continue, and that the pundits will be left scratching their heads over two obscure dark horse candidates getting the nod, and heading into the general election.
Monday, January 7, 2008
SCANDAL on Romney & FoxNews - Update NO
After the Fox News Presidential Forum in NH yesterday, Frank Luntz's had a panel of undecided voters who were supposed to have been watching the debate and then provide some feedback.
I felt what we in the Quality Engineering world call the "pinch", the feeling you get when something doesn't seem right, when all the voters where undecided coming in, and 98% for Romney after the debate... that, with the harsh things they had to say about Huckabee's performance was more than enough for me to say... hmmm....
Behold... FoxNews has been caught Red Handed:
Turns out that there is a Paid Actor??? who appeared twice, in two different random groups of undecided voters... Both debates occured in NH, but the random group of undecided voters seems to have a little consistency with whom they pick... in fact, so consistent that they choose the same people... is this true?
What the heck are they doing!
Stress of Campaign getting to Clinton, Clinton chokes back tears
Hillary Clinton, after a sit-down meet and greet with voters in NH, was asked a question about maintaining her campaign despite losing steam to Obama. To which she replied that some people think that elections are just games, that they support whomever is appearing on top... and what shocked everyone, including her campaign, was that she said it while choking back tears.
Is this a calculated move on the eve of the NH vote... another effort to attempt to appear more human, and possibly feminine fragile? Or is this a sign that Hillary's lack of actual leadership experience is showing through as the stress of campaigning is starting to get to her?
Time will tell... and with the deluge of polling done in NH over the past days, being reported today, it is easy to see why she is in tears... Obama continues to pull ahead... which could spell the beginning of the end... or at least it puts a question mark on the Clinton Inevitability.
Predictions for the NH Primary
But what about taking a look at New Hampshire? How is tomorrow going to play out? The debates showed that there are four candidates in this race nationally: McCain, Huckabee, Rudy, and Romney. Thompson will likely not register in these polls, and may hold out for South Carolina... but after an embarrassing finish there, he will withdraw.
I call NH this way for the Republicans:
On the Republican side, the poor 2nd place showing will be a second blow to the already critically wounded (post Iowa) Romney Campaign. After a 2nd place finish in NH, Michigan wont much matter, and there are no other states where Romney is polling in first besides Utah (and perhaps MA, but I don't know... the last poll was from April of 2007).
Fred Thompson is not expecting anything out of NH, and only showed up in the state for the debates, then it was off to SC where he is facing a 2:1 deficit to Mike Huckabee, who leads the state. After a fourth place finish (to Huckabee, McCain, and Mitt or Rudy)... perhaps a 3rd place finish if Mitt and Rudy continue to slip, Fred will give a speech along the lines of: "Well... we gave it a good run... but it looks like it wasn't meant to be... so I will be withdrawing my campaign from the race, and endorsing John McCain"
John McCain will get a huge boost from an overwhelming win in NH. This boost will likely propel him to a 2nd or 3rd place finish in Michigan, and make him a contender (likely finishing 2nd) in SC. This will give him some momentum going into Super Tuesday. I say SOME because he will not do well in Florida, so there will be one loss just days before Super Tuesday.
Mike Huckabee's convincing 3rd place finish will reignite the huckaboom, and add to his momentum from Iowa. He will likely go on to win in Michigan, South Carolina, and Florida... giving him the big Mo' heading into Super Tuesday. This is going to be a Huckabee McCain race to the finish.
Rudy's gamble of waiting for Super Tuesday did not pay off. He will have no momentum going into Florida, and likely finish second to Huckabee. This blow will lead to a lackluster performance on Super Tuesday. Rudy will likely hold out for the National Convention, hoping to win over some delegates as Romney and Thompson drop out of the race.
Ron Paul will make his last stand in NH. This is the only state where he would have had a chance to come out on top, with the support of the Independent voters. However, a 4th place finish will leave his campaign with no momentum... plenty of cash, but no momentum. I doubt that he runs as a Libertarian, but if he did, this could put the Libertarian party on the map, giving the Green party a run for it's money as the only viable third party. This would be optimal if Bloomberg also ran as an independent. We would see a four way race, where the Democrats are hit by the Independent Bloomberg, and the Independents are hit by the Libertarians, and the Republicans are hit by losing Independent voters to some degree... It would make it the most interesting election in recent history!
On the democratic side... if Obama pulls off another upset, as I predict, the Clinton campaign will be finished. Edwards will surge into first or second as Clinton's numbers plummet. The nomination will likely go to Edwards or Obama (in that order) after Super Tuesday clears Clinton off into a third place shocker. She will likely drop out and endorse Obama, but her voters will be split between Edwards and Obama... then it is a delegate war for who can cross the threshold first.
*Note, these predictions are subject to change assuming I am completely wrong and NH goes a totally different way.