Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I don't know what's wrong with Blogger. It won't let me enter a blog title on the previous post.

So, I DVR'd CNN's "Faith and Politics" special from...oh, weeks ago...with Soledad O'Brien facilitating a discussion with Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, and only tonight did I finally get around to watching it.

There's much I could say, but I'll focus on Senator Clinton.

Regular readers of my blog know I'm not a fan. I'll say this, though, about a potential Clinton presidency: we could do worse.

Watching her speak, even on topics where I'd take issue with some of her positions, I can't help but notice that she is smart. It's not even worth discussing potential Republican opponents; there isn't a one that can hold an intellectual candle to Hillary Clinton. Comparing her to the current president is practically unfair, like betting on who'd do better on the SAT, an MIT grad or a homeschooled kindergartner. And yes, I think she's even sharper and more eloquent than any of her Democratic rivals.

I'm pulling for someone else (Obama), for a variety of reasons, but I felt obliged to state: we could do worse.


Mike B. said...

Other than Richardson--a nitwit, a notorious philanderer, and ugly to boot--we could do worse than any of our major candidates. I'm quite pleased.

DJRainDog said...

I still want them all guillotined. And most of Congress, too. Force this shit-pot of a country to start afresh!

Quinn said...

dj, I'm reminded of the aliens from Mars Attacks coming in to address Congress.

We'd still have 2 of our 3 branches of government... "and that ain't bad!" Of course, these days, those two branches are one and the same, and that's not a good thing.

Musicguy said...

the title issue is a "known problem" so says blogger. Move your mouse pointer slowly from the middle of he title box to the top. Your pointer should turn into an entry cursor.

DJRainDog said...

Actually, Quinn, the judiciary are the only ones I don't want killed. As long as there's Ruth Bader Ginsberg, there's hope.

Thunder Jones said...

My problem with Hillary is that she seems as proud and stubborn as Bush. She still won't admit that vote that gave Bush the authority to PRE-EMPTIVELY wage war against Iraq was a terrible decision. She still defends it.

I've had 8 years of a stubborn president that seems unwilling to learn from mistakes, I don't want another one.

Andy said...

Yes, but she can speak in complete sentences! Imagine that!

Gino said...

i never saw much wisdom in hillary.

she might be clever and well versed, but that doesnt make for smarts. it just shows she is clever and well versed.

Andy said...

it just shows she is clever and well versed.

Which still puts her leaps and bounds ahead of anyone running for the GOP.

Gino said...

giuliani seems pretty clever.
i think he'd beat hillary with a stick in the general election.

of the whole of both parties: i think i'll go with ron paul.

Andy said...

Clever is not the word I'd use for Giuliani. Yes, admittedly, he can speak in complete sentences. Clever? Not sure. I'd vote for "conniving."

Ron Paul? LOL. Yeah, when I heard him decry the Iraq war I was really excited -- wow, a Republican politician who's in the same version of reality as 70% of America, that's amazing! But then in his anti-tax zeal I heard him on the Colbert Report express his desire to eliminate things like FEMA and the Department of Education and let the "free market" take care of that, as well as health care, and I thought -- no, I didn't *think* it, I YELLED IT AT THE TELEVISION SET: YOU ARE A CRACKPOT.

No, I wasn't drinking. Why do you ask?

Gino said...

say like it is andy: FEMA. always there when you need them. yup.
keep FEMA going cuase only the govt can do things efficiently with out fail.

Andy said...

Oh, come on, Gino -- you're going to privatize DISASTER RELIEF??? Hurricane Katrina was a MESS because Bush staffed FEMA with idiots -- under Clinton, it was a globally respected government operation. You think the "free market" should be the one to respond to the next big quake to hit Orange County? You think we should just send the clean-up bill to the people who had to abandon their homes because they were no longer structurally sound and are now living somewhere else in the country? Should we charge them for the bus tickets to get them out of harm's way? You want to wait around until a hurricane or an earthquake or a terrorist attack is over and then have corporations like Bechtel or Halliburton (who've done such a bang-up, bargain job in Iraq) submit bids to the local government (or private individuals)? Come on, Gino. Seriously. There are a few things that the federal government is uniquely poised to do, and disaster relief is one of them. As Americans, we should all share the bill for restoring New Orleans and rescuing our fellow citizens. If you think Katrina exposed the ugly reality of America's attitude toward the poor, wait until we only decide to rescue those who can pay for the service.

Gino said...

why was walmart there first?

kr said...

walmart has capital and materiel and people and good business contacts

walmart actually cares about the American poor

Walmart specializes in efficiency

was Walmart there first? good for Walmart. maybe I'll wince less when I drive by.

Bet Walmart did a better job than FEMA ever did, anyhow.


FEMA mostly hires private contractors, anyhow, doesn't it?

Andy said...

So you think Wal*Mart should develop a nation-wide master disaster relief strategy? What about locales that don't have a Wal*Mart -- like MANHATTAN?

Of course the government uses contractors and partners with private companies. Nothing wrong with that. But don't you feel that disaster management should be centrally, nationally coordinated? And don't you think, in the wake of a terrorist attack, for example, that the agency overseeing the relief efforts should be in contact with and coordinating with the FBI and the Pentagon? You think Wal*Mart should hire a Homeland Security liaison, hmm?

And again, the bill? If the government wants to use Wal*Mart for aspects of disaster relief, I say great. But that should be paid for out of tax money -- I believe as Americans we all share a collective burden for repairing and rebuilding New Orleans. The private sector? Let's say Greyhound sends a fleet of buses to evacuate an area after a tragedy and they want to charge $25 or $50 or $100 to board the bus out of town. Who can tell them they can't?

kr said...

nah, now, Andy, I wasn't saying WalMart was the appropriate choice to coordinate national disaster relief

(although since Gino mentioned it, WalMart would probably be more effective almost everywhere than the last few rounds of federal efforts--not least because the Walmart higherups seem to still believe in strong concepts of "America" and "Americans." Although, the disaster had better not involve Portland, or Vermont, or any other uppity place that has done everything it can to make Walmart's local existence miserable or impossible ;). )

no, I was tweaking you because you were being so lefty: 'are you SUGGESTING ... we PRIVATIZE ... DISASTER ... RELIEF?????' (my ridiculous emphasis ;) )

really, largely, it is privatized. those buses et al, they do get to charge whatever they want--we pay for it in taxes, or FEMA denies it and the providers cry foul and various lawyers make much moolah ... and lots of free stuff/services were provided by private citizens and NGOs and non-government corporations

dammit, now I'm having all sorts of good revamp the system ideas again, that are totally pointless because not only will I never be President, noone who has any useful authority will ever listen to me (not least because I am such a political nutter)

perhaps I should (in all my free time) start an underground campaign website, and hope people don't realize how very unelectable I am until some of my ideas have percolated into the national conversation ... (eeville Mr Burns voice: "Yes ... yes ... exxxxcellent ... " ;) )

(it is always good to be told by one's number-savvy political studies buddy that you are "so unelectable" that "being from Portland" is only the top of the barrel ... that was a laugh last Christmas ;) ... )

ok, THAT was off-topic, sorry ;)

but anyhow, yes disaster relief should have wise overall coordination, and include if necessary branches of the government such as the National Guard

I'm working on a new political theory ... I think it will work out to be some sort of privatized socialism ... which should really tweak LC, perhaps I'll take it over there to try it out ;). It's been percolating for several years now; I think it's a clean application of Catholicism to modern political life ... (Catholics, you might know, were specifically forbidden from taking part in secular governments for a while, so the whole political-system argument got away from us.) Anyhow, it deeply informs my opinions of how involved govt should be (minimally, with maximum efficiency and a trust of the people) and how involved private citizens should be (maximally, with generosity and responsibility as the renewed old American values which we expect of ourselves and each other).