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.