Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Republican/Democrat Primary Rundown

I think that it's time to evaluate what's happening in this big cluster@#%* called a Presidential Primary.

First off, this kind of open field is nearly unprecedented. The only thing that would make it more confusing is if we had a three party system (which we should).

Secondly, the Democrats are far too positive about their choices than they should be, while Republicans have the opposite problem.

Thirdly, the top three candidates on either side are not the most qualified or the least divisive of the parties' offerings. This still confounds me.

Fourth(ly?), Hillary Clinton is a disaster waiting to happen. Democrats would be wise to dump her before she becomes a liability.

In the Fifth place, Rudy Giuliani should likewise be dumped before he splits the Republican party in two. Everything they have built for the last 30 years would be destroyed in one election cycle.

Sixthish, the writer's union strike is seriously effecting my mood. All my favorite television shows are having truncated seasons. Unless something gets resolved soon, we're going to be forced to watch all 24 hours of the 24 hour cable news outlets' programming.

Lastly, Bill Richardson for President!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Worst Person in the World*

3rd Worst: Bill Clinton

After spending 5 years defending the Bush administration's WMD screw-up in Iraq, the former President is now (and apparently has always been) in ardent opposition to the war. I remember being so mad at him for calling in to Larry King in early 2003 and basically regurgitating the same bull as the Bush people. Plus, he's stumping for his wife, arguably the most pro-war Democrat running. Talk about bad.

2nd Worst: Mitt Romney

Apparently (according to an exchange about torture with John McCain last night), we can't discuss what is "acceptable" as a culture. When asked if "water boarding" was a legitimate tool in interrogating terrorists, Governor Romney said that "as a candidate for President" he couldn't discuss that. But when it comes to abortion, that "right" should be banned. It's apparently okay to discuss unacceptable behavior when it comes to the behavior of average people, but not President Mitt Romney.

THE Worst: Osama bin Laden

For still breathing.

*"The Worst Person in the World" is inspired by, but is not in affiliation with Countdown on MSNBC

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Post Debate Run-Down

Senator Clinton...Senator Edwards...Senator Obama...back to you Senator Clinton...

The most frustrating thing about these debates is the ineptitude of the "moderators."
I can't stand Tim Russert anyway, but Brian Williams was just following the Russert playbook with regard to questions asked. The question to Kucinich about UFO's was utterly ridiculous. Russert was able to "get" Hillary with a question about driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. It was the first time I've ever seen her flustered when trying to express herself. Thankfully, the other candidates are no longer letting her get away with dodging questions and speaking out both sides of her mouth.

Here's the run-down of worst to best:

7. Dennis Kucinich: While I appreciate your candor and honesty, you sound more and more like a socialist everytime you speak. While I'm sure a great many of your supporters like that sort of thing, most Democrats won't buy it. Try to hold your composure when talking about ET's.

6. Barack Obama: Call it coming short of expectations. "Coming out hard against Hillary" means getting a little more energetic in your responses. You have the best speaking voice in the field. Let it get fired up!

5. Bill Richardson: I'm starting to get a little fed up with your performances. I really think you are the most qualified candidate on either side and you have the right ideas. Just start ignoring the questions that are asked like everybody else. Get some shit started. Oh, and don't defend Hillary!

4. Hillary Clinton: For the first time, I can honestly say you lost a debate. This one was all about you. Howard Dean had a similar moment in 2003. And guess who took him down...

3. John Edwards: By far the best anti-Hillary of the night. You didn't handle the trial lawyer contributions rebuttal by Sen. Dodd very well. You always seem a little too privileged to be the champion of the lower and middle classes. Maybe that's unfair, but it's a common perception.

2. Chris Dodd: I think you had the fewest minutes of the night, but they were all quality minutes. You were the first person to give the "right" answer on DL's for IA's without sounding like you were hedging your bets. Maybe Connecticut's illegal population is insignificant enough for you to feel no fear. Either way, you took Sen. Clinton down a peg or two.

1. Joe Biden: I thought you had the best debate performance, even though I think John Edwards technically won. It all came down to the minutes you were given. I have the feeling that the next debate will give you more time to deliver those gems for which you are famous. "Gaffe machine" or not, kudos to you. "Rudy Giuliani...a noun, a verb, and 9/11..." Priceless!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kill a Child, Save a Nation

I'm really tired of being told I can't have or do something because of some other dumbass that has or does something dangerous. The latest culprit is over-the-counter pediatric medicine. ApPARENTly, a few dozen kids a year have died as a result of either overdosing by PARENTS or intolerances to medications that are congenital or genetic in nature (inherited from PARENTS). Yet the hundreds of thousands of young children and infants who benefit from these medications with no serious complications are at risk of losing helpful products because of a few dumbass PARENTS (who, by the way, tend to have dumbass kids) and some unfortunate children with rare disorders that will likely incapacitate or kill them later in life anyway.

I'm sorry if I sound a little ticked off, but this isn't the first time this kind of crap has been presented as reasonable thinking by so-called "child advocacy" groups. Many states have made mandatory child restraint laws, products with extremely low potential for harm are constantly being recalled, and PARENTS' hands are tied quite effectively when it comes to forms of discipline. Enough is enough people!

No matter how many protections you put in place, people die. I know it's sad, and we should do what is reasonable to protect everyone we can, but you can't save everybody. Accidents happen. Mistakes in judgement take place. You can't legislate or regulate common sense and caution. It never works.

I'm not opposed to labelling for product dangers. I'm not opposed to safety standards and purity standards (we should have to worry about how much lead our water supply has or whether our child restraint will fall apart at 40 miles-an-hour). But there is a big difference between providing good products and good information as opposed to trying to stop people from doing stupid things. I've never known anyone whose child had died as a result of correct dosage of an over-the-counter drug. Only children with particularly rare disorders (i.e., the inability to process dextromethorphane) are at any real risk otherwise.

Non-prescription drugs have saved me alot of urgent care and emergency room visits over the years with my children. It's amazing how fast a "little sniffle" can turn into a full-blown chest cold without prevention. Tying PARENTS' and doctors' hands from doing what's right for your child's health is no job of the federal government. Just make sure the medicine is free from lead, mercury, or other poisons that aren't listed on the label. Hell, let 'em put out a pure lead supplement, I don't care. If people are dumb enough to give it to their kids, they're probably doing us a favor anyway.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Progressive, Fair Taxation

Here are some thoughts on tax reform...

I've been reading alot about the so-called "Fair Tax" that is being thrown around by conservatives and even some of my fellows in the Radical Center. First of all, the tax is at best simple. At worst it is nearly regressive (I say "nearly" because I have run tax models with lower tax burdens for lower income people. Without considerable spending by wealthy people, however, the tax can become practically regressive. Therefore, I submit that a progressive income tax should remain. I would insist on some pretty major changes (an overhaul if you will), but the spirit of our current tax system should remain.

There should be built into the tax code deductions for necessary expenses, investment, and state-mandated fees. The personal exemption should be increased to about $10,000 per person ($15,000 for military). I would rid the tax code of complicated tax credits. There would no longer be limits or exceptions with regard to deductions. And if a negative tax liability is realized, a portion (probably 10%) should be credited to the household up to 100% of payroll taxes paid.

In essence, a family of four would not pay any taxes, and would probably see a credit for income less than $40,000 (+$5,000 for every active military individual). Tax rates would have to be raised across the board, but wouldn't likely affect individuals negatively until reaching the upper 5% of incomes. An effective "maximum wage" would be enacted as well. Taxable income over $5 million would be taxed at 100%. Of course, this is more an incentive to invest in stocks, funds, or ones own business than a condemnation of wealth.

Here's a partial list of changes I would suggest:

1. Increase personal exemption to $10,000 per individual in household.
2. Eliminate all caps and income exceptions for currently available deductions.
3. Make state sales tax deductible regardless of other considerations.
4. Make Payroll taxes deductible and eliminate payroll tax income caps,
5. Make all involuntary fees and taxes deductible. (i.e., auto liability insurance).
6. Eliminate all tax credits.
7. Raise the percentage of, and increase the number of tax rates.
8. Make all investments in real business* tax deductible.

Hopefully, that is as clear as mud. Tell me what you think, and feel free to ask questions.

*real business--A business that deals in goods or services. Guaranteed investment such as a interest bearing checking account or savings account would not be deductible. Bank-related stocks would be deductible.

Friday, July 20, 2007

One Month in a Coma

I like to take a month or two off every two or three months to have a nice, reasonably long coma. Seeing as how not much has happened in the world of religion and politics since I feel asleep, I should be able to sum it all up in a few quips...

...Ann Coulter likes Bush, hates Johns...
...Muslim doctors want to destroy Great Britain...
...Al Qaeda is gaining strength, but we're winning the "war on terror?"...
...Michael Moore wants to live in Cuba...
...Border agents can't shoot drug smugglers...
...Bill Richardson is kickin' ass in Iowa and New Hampshire, but nobody cares...
...Bush commutes "Scooter's" sentence...
...John McCain is losing ground, but again, nobody cares...

and in local news, Ernie Fletcher and Steve Beshear will go head-to-head in two debates in October. I'm sure it will be riveting television.

That about covers it. Maybe something interesting will happen before September.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

DemoLiberal is 4-Years-Old Today

I started my little Deaniac blog on this day in 2003.

Reading some of my old posts reminds me how far we've come, but yet how far we have to go.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Richardson is Finally Stepping Up

As you may know from this blog, I was once a supporter of Howard Dean for President. And while they are very different, I sensed some of the same qualities in Bill Richardson. Enough so to make me support his campaign.

Around May of 2003, Howard Dean changed. Up to that point, he had been a reserved, yet consistent critic of the Bush administration and his "enablers" in the Democratic Party. At a rally during the spring of '03, Dean became visibly aggressive. The "angry liberal" the press loved and conservatives despised, emerged that day. His campaign skyrocketed. It was a critical moment in U.S. political history. Today, Bill Richardson had what could be his moment.

At the "Take Back America" conference, Bill Richardson "laid in" to his Democratic opponents for their political calculation and pandering. He made a zero residual troops pledge for Iraq, something he's been saying for months, but which noone seemed to hear. The only other "serious" candidate saying similar things has been John Edwards (he's my second choice). Gov. Richardson even called Edwards to the carpet over his support of the "legislation" congress passed last month.

I had hairs standing up on the back of my neck after hearing the Governor's empassioned statements. For the first time in four years, I felt like I had picked the right guy. Only time will tell if I'm right.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Republicans, Please!

Do everybody a favor and nominate Ron Paul for President. I may not subscribe to the same level of economic libertarianism as Mr. Paul, but I have to admire a man with such a fervor for freedom.

Do I think he has a chance? No. The religious right of the Republican party exerts an amazing amount of influence. Mr. Paul is also a civil libertarian. Oops. Somebody forgot to tell him that's not allowed. Apart from gun rights and the right to indoctrinate (implied), modern "conservatives" have no place for such a thing as civil liberty.

If the Democrats were to nominate a Clinton or Obama, Republicans could offer a Ron Paul to America as a welcome alternative. I would vote for him.

Just do it, don't make me beg.

There's a new "poll" section under the Blogroll. Please cast your vote.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I just saw this vehicle that is in development at GM. The "Volt" (as it is being called) is essentially the idea I was talking about in the last blog entry. Rather than being a pure "Flex Fuel Hybrid," the Volt is essentially an electric car. The developer points out that this vehicle also sports a flex fuel assist engine for when the electric power (acquired by plugging in) is low.

While this concept car is not exactly what I was talking about, it at least proves that people are thinking about the concept. Score one for innovation.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Best Ideas NOBODY Talks About

Do you ever sit in front of the TV when the news is on and see a panel of "experts" talking about their solutions to every problem imaginable? Then, do you often say, "Hey, why not just..." and ramble on about how YOU would fix the problem? I know I do. Here's my TOP 5 list of the best solutions nobody talks about, in no particular order.

1. Flex Fuel Hybrids: Everybody keeps raving about Hybrid Gas/Electric vehicles all the time. If it works with straight gasoline, why not with E85 (15% gas/85% ethanol). The milage numbers wouldn't be as impressive, but it would help solve the problem with ethanol not having as much energy as gasoline, wouldn't it? Just a thought.

2. Triple-Payer Universal Health Care: Now this used to be talked about, but nobody liked it, so they've stopped mentioning it. Basically, the government would cover every American with a Federally-subsidized, privately-managed health care insurance plan with income-sensitive premiums paid by individuals and/or businesses. It would be voluntary, portable, and absolutely American. Liberals hate it because it smacks of privatizing Medicare (which it would). Conservatives hate it because it would cost a few dollars. That must mean it's a good idea!

3. Tax-Free Retirement Accounts: This one's almost stupid. Combine the better aspects of Roth and Traditional IRA to produce a totally tax-free retirement account. Contributions could be limited on an annual and/or lifetime basis.

4. Fair Taxation: Everybody has their own view of what tax fairness is. Taxes are by their very nature unfair. But in my estimation, some taxation is necessary for the government to provide essential services (e.g. roads, military, etc.). "Fair Taxation" to me is not taxing people on what they don't have. If it costs more to live than you make, you should not pay taxes. Even payroll taxes and premiums on that health care plan I mentioned earlier should be partially refundable based on your ability to pay.

5. Open, Secure Borders: This might sound like a contradiction to alot of people, but let me explain. I would like to see northern and southern border security tightened like a screw. I would also like to see more people coming across the borders...legally. Fully fund immigration control and get private interests involved to secure the border and simplify the naturalization process. Then we could pursue the REAL threats to our national security instead of felonizing tomato farm workers in the hopes of stopping Al Qaeda.

That'll give everybody something to chew on at dinner. Leave me your own TOP 5 list in the comments.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Democratic DEBATE

This is how I ranked their performances from best to worst:

1. John Edwards: He really mixed things up with Clinton and Obama trying to move up in the standings.

2. Joe Biden: He gave some of the most impassioned responses of the night. I've always enjoyed his candor and demeanor. Strikes me as a more liberal version of Harry Truman.

3. Barack Obama: For standing your ground against attacks from John Edwards.

4. Bill Richardson: His answers were a little "heavy," but alot of Democratic primary voters like that. See John Kerry 2004. The media's giving you a hard time for some reason.

5. Mike Gravel: Love to see somebody pick on the big guys!

6. Hillary Clinton: I'm not sure she's trying to win the Democratic primary. We're safer than we were on 9/11? Is she running for Rudy's VP? She still has good stage presence. I'll give her points for that.

7. Dennis Kucinich: He just reminds me of the OLD liberal: Authoritarian, a spend thrift, and enamoured with all things European. We've got to keep him in the race to remind everybody that most Democrats are not to the far left.

8. Chris Dodd: I like Chris Dodd, but this was a pitiful performance. Partly it was due to CNN and the chuckleheads from New Hampshire. He needed (as did many of the lower tier candidates) to "insert" himself into the debate like Edwards was doing. When they don't do that, they look like they're auditioning for somebody's VP or Secretary of State. It's hard to get supporters if they don't think you're serious.

All in all a better debate than MSNBC put on. I can't stand Wolf Blitzer anymore. Some of the questions would have been better served in a "Rock the Vote" debate on MTV. We depend on CNN to be substantive. They're certainly not entertaining.

This debate probably didn't change much of anything. Edwards, Biden, and Richardson might get a bump. Hillary didn't do herself any favors with the core Democratic primary voter. In her mind, she's already "put this thing to bed" and is now running against the presumptive Republican nominee. I doubt we'll roll over that easily.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Bill! Oh Really?

Now, I listen to conservative talk radio on an almost daily basis (at least whenever I'm in the car). Today, I heard Bill O'Reilly on his usual rant about the "liberal" media. Of course he hates liberals, that's a given. Of course he's glad that Air America is devoid of lucrative sponsorship. Of course he's glad that most liberal publications have seen their circulation drop precipitously. But today, he said it was due to a "backlash" from the principally traditionalist and conservative buying public. Excuse me?

What Mr. O'Reilly seems to be missing is what draws people to media in the modern day and age. Do you think that people are listening to Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc. because they are echoing their beliefs? Perhaps some do, but I guarantee that most listen for the same reason they are drawn to Howard Stern: Entertainment.

I love conservative radio. I can't stand most liberal radio. I'm a liberal. Do you see the problem? Rush Limbaugh is entertaining. He's a bloviating idiot who speaks his mind and ridicules people who don't share his narrow world view. That's entertainment!

On the other hand, liberals don't have the same "pinache" that Rush Limbaugh exudes. Listening to most liberal talk shows (if you can even find one) is kind of like watching paint dry in slow motion. I don't even know what that means, but it's boring, okay. Liberals have often found themselves caring too much about the policy issues they speak of and not the entertainment value of their presentation.

I love Al Franken. He's a talented comedian and writer, but his radio show bores me to tears. Think about it. Would Stuart Smalley be funny without video? I doubt it. That's what it's like.

Here's my point. People have stopped listening to liberal radio because it's boring. They've stopped subscribing to liberal "rags" because they're too heavy on policy (and you can get the same info on many blogs). Entertainment sells, even crude, offensive entertainment as purveyed by Bill "O" and company.

Bill was also failing to mention two of the most successful shows currently in media: "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." Shows that he consistently attacks. I enjoy these shows more than any radio program. They disseminate information, and they do it with liberal bias; but mostly they entertain. If more liberal media outlets would emulate this approach, the patrons of good quality entertainment will return.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sleep Good

Steve Beshear is our man. Primary voters voted on May 22 and gave him a substantial vote for the Democratic nomination considering the size of the field. We actually avoided a runoff. He will face off against current governor, Ernie Fletcher in November. I wish Mr. Beshear the best.

It's been a slow start to the Presidential primary season. The field of Democrats is still pretty much where it was before the first debate. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are all clustered at the top in national polls. The polls in Iowa show some movement, but it is more or less insignificant. My man Bill looks to be gaining some support in early primary states, so that's interesting. Otherwise, boring.

The next Presidential debate is set for Sunday, June 3rd. Maybe some news will come out of that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Taken at Liberty

Jerry Falwell is dead at age 73.

Who gives a shit?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Atheist Blogroll

Visit the Atheist Blogroll to see a comprehensive list of blogs written from an atheist, agnostic, or freethinking perspective.

Free there's an idea.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Libertarian Left

I recently took a "political ideology" quiz and was told that I am a "Left Libertarian." Not that I needed to know that, I just like to see how other people label me.

What is a "Left Libertarian?"

A "libertarian" generally believes in limited or no government. Period. A "leftist" believes in government control of corporate interest as it relates to other "rights."

Both ideologies have difficulty inhabiting the same space, but in my case do so on a regular basis. It's a strange feeling being able to listen to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly (both of whom I despise) and come away with many points of agreement. Most of my disagreements with them have to do with degree.

For example, I believe that self-determination and hard work are far superior to government assistance, but I also believe that the government should help people when they are incapable of helping themselves. It is my sincere belief that America is the greatest nation on Earth, but I am not blind to injustices done in her name. I accept that "people of faith" are well-meaning and charitable, but I also realize that religion divides people more than it brings them together.

Being "liberal" or "progressive" is not the summation of my existence. I imagine that is true for most people who wear those labels with pride. While I believe that I have found the "right" path, many will disagree with me. I have never run from an argument I didn't think I could win. In fact, I often find myself agreeing with arguments I once considered laughable. Try it sometime. It is very liberating.

If you haven't, take this quiz and leave a comment about your results.

"Come, let us reason together"--Isaiah 1:18.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jonathan Miller Quits,

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle.

This is twice in two consecutive governor's races that my preferred candidate dropped out within weeks of the election. What gives?

I could see dropping out two or three months before the primary, but damn. The election is two weeks away. You hate Steve Henry and Bruce Lunsford so bad that you alienate your supporters? I can't say that I was a fanatic about your candidacy, but you were the only one I could stand to look at and listen to. I hate political calculating.

Ironically, Bruce Lunsford, who has done well in recent polling, was the last candidate to do this to me. Of course, you are supporting Steve Beshear which is a little better than Lunsford's endorsement of Jody Richards, and a hell of alot better than his eventual endorsement of Ernie Fletcher in 2003. I will consider Mr. Beshear, but like many of your supporters, feel unimpressed or disgusted with the rest of the Democratic field.

Again, I am left disillusioned. Don't make me root for Anne Northup!

Friday, May 04, 2007

That's it, I'm endorsing Bill Richardson for President

I've been leaning toward endorsing Bill Richardson for President for a couple of months now, and his latest remarks on immigration just cinched the deal. Here's a transcript of an older immigration speech from his governor's office that reports the same information with a bit more detail: Reform Speech from Bill Richardson

Here are the high points:

1. Secure the Border--Richardson supports doubling the number of border patrol agents, adding high tech security devices, and tearing down fences that don't work and send the wrong message.
2. Penalize Employers--He also supports raising the minimum wage and fining businesses that hire illegals.
3. Amnesty--He doesn't call it that, but admits that the term will be used against him. It's alot more complicated than that.
4. Work with the Mexican Government--Richardson realizes that there will always be a weak link in the chain of immigration reform unless the border is secured from both directions. He's already met with President Calderon as New Mexico governor.
5. Increase the number of Legal Immigrants--Just to accommodate the family members of current illegals who will become permanent legal residents, Richardson supports doubling the number of available family visas.

To me, these ideas are common sense. He lays them out articulately and with the wisdom afforded a public servant with his experience. I had not sought to endorse a candidate this early, but felt that it was necessary before Hillary sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. More on that later.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Promise of Nuclear (or Nukular) Power

If there's one thing that "gets my goat" about environmentalists, it's their aversion to anything that could help the environment. Mention solar power, wind power, or biodiesel and they get all happy. Mention nuclear power or ethanol and they start to have seizures. There is virtually as much power in one pound of enriched uranium as in 3 million pounds of coal. Solar power and wind power are nice supplements, but you would have to build arrays larger than the Mojave Desert to power Las Vegas alone. I have some "solar solutions" as well, but lets stick to the nuke plants.

Europe and Asia use Nuclear power for the bulk of their energy needs. Fission power plants produce less air and water pollution than coal plants. Their greenhouse emissions are on par with natural gas power (primarily from the production of the fuel rods). They are expensive to build, but are less expensive to operate than any other type of power plant. The bulk of cost goes to employment which is good for the economy. Sure sounds horrible.

The one downside (other than up front construction costs) is the idea of waste disposal. Seeing barrels of nuclear waste is enough to make the most conservative environmentalist cringe. But think of the alternative. If coal power waste was treated nearly as carefully as it should be, there would be thousands of barrels of waste for every one barrel of nuclear waste. Nuclear power's political downfall is its most admirable aspect: Containment. The net environmental impact coupled with job creation and more energy independence (most of our uranium ore comes from Canada) makes nuclear power the best alternative for our ever-expanding energy needs.

It's not perfect. No energy source is. But until hydrogen fusion becomes a reality, we will need many more nuclear plants to help the environment and "fuel" economic development. Somebody just needs to grow the cajones to make this point on the national stage.
Republican Candidate Debate (Forum more likely)

Tonight on MSNBC, the ten current Republican candidates for President will have a go with Chris Matthews. I don't expect very much, and since I can't vote in the Republican primary, I will probably have limited comments. It should be interesting to watch though. Keep an eye on Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul. They should keep the debate interesting.

DL out.

PS--Beware of Reagan idolatry.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Debate Rundown...

Okay. Here's the "down-and-dirty-I'm-up-at-1:15-in-the-morning-three-days-after-the-debate" rundown of how the candidates measured up.

First of all, let me say, I was not happy with this debate format. I hate group interviews that are called debates. This was a "speed forum" if nothing else. That being said, here ya go:

1. Hillary Clinton: Can this woman get any more fake? If I had never heard her speak and had no idea what she stood for, this performance would have made me her fan. As such, I give her the debate-winning prize. Her strong answer on the terrorist attack question and believable tone reminded me of her husband. Good going. (A)

2. Barack Obama: Who was this guy? Stick to the platitudes. They are your strong suit. Unfortunately, you are running for the Democratic Party nomination. If you don't get some policy points in your presentation before Labor Day, you'll be sunk. You said more words than anyone on stage, and yet you said nothing of substance. Down you go. (C-)

3. John Edwards: That $400 haircut looks just like your $50 haircut. Too bad that story got attention prior to the debate. I think alot of people were looking more at your hair than your platform. Overall, you gave very succinct answers that were heavy on policy. I like that. (B+)

4. Joe Biden: "Yes" was the best answer you gave all night. You dodged Mr. William's questions like a pro. I was particularly intrigued by your answer on the Virginia Tech shooting. Considering none of the gun laws you mentioned would have been useful in this case, what was your point? Thanks for complementing the Democratic field of candidates. Don't fawn over Hillary too much, though. (B-)

5. Bill Richardson: For experience, policy positions, and downright balls, you are my favorite candidate. However, you did yourself very few favors in this "debate." Did you have trouble hearing the questions? If not, were you constipated? Your answers were garbled and you looked uncomfortable. If I didn't like you so much, I'd give you a lower grade. (B-)

6. Chris Dodd: Stiff. Boring. At least you gave a creative answer on abortion and Justice John Roberts. (C+)

7. Dennis Kucinich: You have improved so much since 2004. Fmr. Sen. Gravel made you look almost sane. You earned a high grade, but your still just a bottom feeder used to make other candidates look more reasonable. (A-)

8. Mike Gravel: Dude! You like to scream, don't ya! I can't stand people who are too angry to make a convincing argument. (D)

Overall, a disappointing night for me. I can't stand Hillary Clinton, and yet, she did best everyone on tone and content. She probably just added to her already burgeoning lead in the polls. Everyone else gained a little name recognition and introduced themselves to primary voters. Hopefully the next debate will be more inspirational.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First Presidential Primary Debate of the Democratic Party Candidates

Airs tomorrow at 7pm Eastern/6 pm Central on MSNBC. All eight candidates will be there:

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel.

I'll be commenting on their "performances" sometime after the debate.
Screw Democracy!

I'm tired of people complaining about the lack of "democracy" in America. I know that sounds strange, but not if you think it through. Our representative form of government allows us the ability to bring our petitions and grievances to the government regardless of popular support. I've seen enough "recalls" and "ballot initiatives" to know how dangerous pure democracy is. Under a pure democracy, all minorities would be forced to accept the will of the majority. Then, if the previous minority attains majority status, there could be legal retribution.

Our Constitution has stood the test of time for a host of reasons. Primarily, I believe it is due to the checks and balances offered by our representative government. The majority, represented by the House and President must deal with the less democratic Senate and Supreme Court. It has worked very well (with a few exceptions) for the last 200 years. Let's not mess it up. Keep democracy at bay.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Virginia Tech and Gun Control

Since the horrible events at Virginia Tech occured, I have heard alot of Democrats and liberals calling for a renewed effort to pass gun control legislation.

Bad idea.

First of all, I'm not a big supporter of gun control. Personally, I believe you should fear a government that fears the people it represents. Yes, there are nut jobs out there who will use guns (even legally purchased ones) to commit horrible acts, but most of us are honest, law-abiding citizens. I don't even like guns, but I think every person should be allowed to carry one wherever they go, even on airplanes. Do you think there would have been a single highjacked plane on September 11th if 20 or 30 guns had suddenly appeared from passengers' jackets? (And for those of you worried about "cabin pressure." That myth was already busted. Watch the Discovery channel once-in-a-while.) If students and teachers at Virginia Tech had been "packing," it's possible that a dozen or more lives might have been spared.

Let's not have knee-jerk policy decisions based on horrifying and emotionally-charged events. That kind of action gets us things like the "Patriot Act." And that's not good for America.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

KET Candidate Debate--Governor's Race, Democratic Primary

Monday, April 6, 2007, 8pm Eastern/7pm Central

Live on KET stations and at

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So easily offended.

This whole Don Imus controversy has brought to mind some interesting characteristics of the human psyche. Our egos are totally incapable of insult, and even though other parts of our psychology are supposed to protect us and diffuse such comments, we appear to have lost that ability.

Muslims get offended when "Westerners" use the image of Muhammed (PBUH).

Christians get offended when Jesus is portrayed as a happily married man (or something less than the chaste western European that he really was).

People of color are offended when worthless old has-beens use racist language for the purpose of inciting controversy (looks like that worked out well), and white people get offended when black people call us out for having deep-seeded racism.

Illegal immigrants get mad when asked to learn English.

Telling a woman she is attractive in a workplace is tantamount to rape (if the perpetrator is ugly, of course).

Well, I believe Muhammed must have been really ugly (PBUH). I'll have my daughter draw a picture. Jesus was an unmarried 30-year-old Rabbi? With followers? Black people need to clean up their own racist language and stop worrying about what white people think, and white people need to stop over-compensating for what is obvious deep-seeded racism. Guilty! If immigrants, legal or illegal, can't learn to speak English, they don't deserve to be citizens. And if I weren't married, I would tell every woman how attractive she is and hope that I'm not so ugly that I get reprimanded.

We're not always going to get along, Rodney King, but that doesn't mean we have to crucify (no offense, Jesus) each other over the words or our mouths or the impulses of our primitive nature. When someone offends you to the core, wait for an apology. If an apology comes, do not treat it with disregard. "I'm sorry" is one of the hardest phrases to utter (especially if you haven't learned English). Remember, wise AND ignorant people have something in common: They've both pissed somebody off.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Addendum for "Imus"

I do not intend to be "glib" about the remarks made by Don Imus. They were reprehensible and he should be held accountable, but I've been hearing things about "laws" and "you can't let somebody get away with this." Why not? Freedom is a bitch. You can't have it AND deny it to others.

I should be able to say whatever I want in whatever forum I want, regardless of how offensive and cruel it may be. There can be private oversight (i.e. firing someone for racist or sexist remarks), but public policy should have no incursion into the basic right to free speech.

Don Imus is an idiot, and should probably be fired. But if he isn't fired, he should be able to show up on his next day of work and say whatever he wants without fear of imprisonment or other state punishment. I mean, we still let George Bush have a microphone! Candor and intelligence are not prerequesites of freedom. That's the last word.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Imus in the Mourning

I don't know what it is, but I never could stand Don Imus. Racist comments aside, the man is about as fun to watch as a bowl of cereal. In fact, the few times I've attempted to watch his simulcasted radio broadcast, I've found myself looking at the Corn Flakes in my bowl for entertainment. Who cares what he said about the black female basketball players at Rutgers? Although, if it gives CBS and NBC a reason to get rid of him, it's fine by me. I love MSNBC from 8 am to 10 pm, everything except for Imus (and those stupid "In-Depth Investigation Documentary Crime Stories").

On a related note: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson need to be hogtied. Let the likes of Chris Rock and Bill Cosby speak for people of color. At least they are still relevant. Moving on...

Should Imus be fired for his comments? Maybe. But he should definitely be "let go" because he's a has-been, a boring, washed-up old fart with nothing original to say. Trust me, Howard Fineman will get plenty of airtime without him. Give Allison Stewart a morning show with a Hispanic co-host in Imus' place. That'd be useful AND ironic.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What is up with John Edwards?

This is not the same guy who ran in 2004. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm glad you admit that you were wrong, but color me skeptical. You railed against Howard Dean in 2004 and now are trying to court the same voters. That's one heck of a conversion. Be genuine. You either have bad judgement, or you are a con man, which worked well for Bill Clinton, but if you think we want to go through that again, you're crazy.

Oh, and sorry about your wife.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A little bit about myself....

Since the candidates aren't giving me much to work with, I thought I might share a little bit about my life and my views. I'll try to be brief for those of you with ADD like myself.

I had a confusing childhood, although pretty typical of a person in my part of the world. My parents were and are Southern Baptists, but raised me to be a staunch Democrat. Now, of course, they are big fans of Fox News Channel...

...Sorry, I blacked out for a minute. Something about Fox...

....I really apologize. Anyway, getting past that...

For a long time, I tried to harmonize my views on civil liberty (all very progressive) with my religious tradition (arch-conservative). I basically depended on those in my church who took a very simplistic view of our faith: Love God with all your heart, and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. It was easy enough to ignore all of those ugly social views while I was a teenager and more concerned with what the girls in the pew in front of me were wearing than what the Pastor was talking about. Then came college.

There is a reason religious people look upon organized education with disdain. I tried to insulate myself from non-Christian influence by attending a Baptist college. Big mistake. They force you to take religion courses to graduate. Add to that a gay roommate who wanted to become straight because his religion told him that was the thing to do. Begin my "crisis of faith."

Anyway, shorthand (very shorthand), I followed a new path that acknowledged the problem with organized religion. I became a humanist and a spiritualist with an agnostic theology (an oxymoron, I know). This freed me to look at solutions to the world's problems through more practical means. I no longer believe that right belief is the path to salvation. Taking care of your fellow man (just like Jesus taught) and giving of yourself (also as Jesus taught) is the true path to salvation. I cannot guarantee there will not be reward and punishment in the hereafter, but I feel certain enough that it doesn't concern me.

That's me in a very small nutshell. Feel free to comment and dig deeper. Let me know about your personal journey.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hello World!

I've just awoken from a three-year coma induced by the 2004 Presidential Primary, and I see that we have a lovely new slate of candidates to choose from. Oh, and I heard that in my slumber Democrats regained control of Congress. But we're still in Iraq? Oh well, give 'em time. They're not used to having this kind of power.

I haven't made up my mind about the Democratic candidates, yet. They do, however, appear stronger than the Republican choices. We'll just have to wait and see. Kentucky is having a governor's race this year which will probably take up the majority of my blog until primary time (May 22nd). So far, I like Jonathan Miller for the nomination, so that means he has a snowball's chance in Hell of actually getting it.

If you want to see what I've really been up to in the recent past, check out my MySpace page at

So until next time...