Sunday, November 30, 2008

WHO IS THIS GUY ON DEFENSE?

According to Obama transition team sources, President-elect Obama will announce his defense team on Monday. While he claims to like the element of surprise, his team has consistently leaked the appointments he was about to announce weeks in advance, and his defense team is no different. Press officials have leaked the name of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, along with the appointment of Jim Jones as National Security Advisor and the continued service of Republican Robert Gates as Secretary of the Defense.
And while on the surface, these names indicate a strong desire on the President elect to appoint the most experienced and intelligent officials he can find for his "dream" cabinet team, his proposed picks for his security team so far, without an appointment for CIA Director, seems to be in direct conflict with the Barack Obama foreign policy platform that vaulted him to the nomination.
Consistent throughout his campaign, and campaign stump speeches, was his insistence that he was the only one in Washington with a pulse to be against the Iraqi invasion. he frequently called the invasion a "strategic blunder." Yet, when choosing his Vice Presidential pick, and apparently his Secretary of State nomination, he has chosen two people who voted FOR the authorizing of the war, which is curious at best. Especially disconcerting is his apparent fondness for Hillary, the target of many foreign affairs debates in an attempt to illustrate their marked differences.
He also denounced her for voting in favor of a Senate resolution branding the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. During the primary campaign, Clinton declared that the US would "obliterate" Iran if it attacked Israel. Now Obama is considering placing her at the head of US diplomacy. Very curious, indeed. Did he in fact, protest too much, during the campaign? Did a clearer picture of his true foreign policy stance show itself when he vowed to bomb Afghanistan if they had a fix on the location of Bin Laden?
Did his campaign platforms truly represent the measure of the man, or the result of a staged and carefully measured set of positions guaranteeing victory? On one hand, of the votes he did cast as a one term Senator, he primarily voted the party ticket, taking the most liberal positions available to him at the time. As a Chicago representative, he was known to vote "present" on many issues, including one he sponsored himself, creating an incomplete voting record, at best.
As hopeful, optimistic and excited the nation is over the potential of an Obama administration, I do have qualms over what little we do know about his true positions on everything, especially concerning foreign affairs, with an emphasis on his positions involving the Middle East, the Muslim world, and terrorist radical Islam.
While I liked his positions in the primary season (although far preferring Clinton), he seems to have hop scotched to the center after getting elected. His opposition of the war in Iraq is somewhat negated by his picks of Biden and Clinton, and certainly placed in question with his choice to continue the employment of the Bush Defense Secretary. These are not the moves of someone wishing a foreign policy change, not withstanding his public assertions that he will provide the change visions to all cabinet members, and his willingness to talk to any foreign leader with the complete absence of pre-conditions.
Am I getting Obama "cold feet," or buyers remorse over a candidate who we know so little about. We can't even say to a certainty that he is a native born American, if you believe the conservative conspiracy theorists, led by Alan Keyes, himself a very intelligent, if slightly radical, former U.S. Ambassador.
With such a thin previous voting record Obama with the help of David Axlerod, could have simply created a personality and persona for this man to curry favor with the voting public. If true, we have to acknowledge that we have absolutely no idea where he honestly stands on any issue. Now we have no recourse but to get occasional glimpses of the true man one snippet at a time.
As a loyal Clinton supporter, I whole heartedly supported the nomination of Hillary to which ever post or position that she desired, and it seemed to be SOS. Now having second thoughts, I almost wish she had distanced herself from the Obama cabinet, and accepted what is being reported as offered to her previously, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, as powerful a Senate assignment as there is. Yes, this would have been a huge slight to the much senior Hawaiian Senator, Daniel Inouye, but the political power play would have effectively put her in charge of the nations purse strings. And of all of the congressional challenges thay lay ahead of them, spending less would be the easiest task to pull off, especially since the bailouts will have been effectively spent before her watch over the budget.
And that lofty position, arguably the most powerful in the Senate, would certainly be enough for even the most needy ego, and not demand the release of husband Bill's financial history, and foreign relationships, which may prove to be a political nightmare in and of itself.
But then the course of least resistence has never been a forte of the Clinton family, has it?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

BLISSFUL THINKING?

Eight years ago, Democratic nominee Al, and his spouse, Tipper Gore tried to create a loving moment at the Democratic convention. The nation was not prepared for the five second spectacle it was about to witness.
In a staged attempt to show the nation an example of a loving couple, what the nation actually got was a kiss of such nauseating magnitude, a show so staged and ludicrous that it transcended true affection into a fake carnal "can't wait to get back into the motel room" make out scene.
Now known as "The Kiss," it marked a new era in political acting, transcending even his former bosses audacity to hold the hand of his spouse, a woman who was publicly humiliated by ex-President Clinton's continued, and persistent philandering.

The Obama's seem to be quite the opposite to the casual observer. They seem to share a common affection for each other, and a genuine shared likability factor, a quality much more uncommon than love for long married couples. There is a genuineness that exudes when seeing these two together.

In fact, the only times you can really see the measure of the man behind the scenes of our next President is when he is sitting next to his wife. In public, Obama parses his words, and each phrase is carefully measured, so much so that the Obama hesitations when speaking off the cuff, are becoming legendary to comedians everywhere. It may be the one tick impressionists can capitalize on.

But when the Obama's are together in an interview (most recently interviewed by Barbara Walters over the weekend on ABC), it is Mrs. Obama that seems overly careful about her words, and Barack seems more than willing to crack a joke, or show his real personality. Her presence seems to give him a self confidence, an ease, which may be altogether unwise for a president, but it is there.

On the fluff subject offered up by Walters concerning a dog, Barack called Walters dog (a Havanese), a "yappie" dog, and "girlie." He discussed his parental style, and claimed not to be "too soft" on his children. He smiled, he laughed, and they seemed to be very much in love without the sickeningly sweet political need to hold hands or smooch on camera. They came off as very real and very much in love with each other.

So, why should we care? Because the nation as a whole has lost its moral compass, and the last two generations have been marked with the continuing decay of the American domestic family. This down slide has manifested itself in many ways, most importantly with higher crime rates among our youth, and a ever increasingly higher rate of poverty among the one parent families. Not to mention the moral effect on discipline and family values adversely effected by a one parent household. The single parent is so preoccupied with providing for the family unit financially, it inevitably results in a lack of parental supervision, and a decreased sense of belonging to the family unit among the children.

As important as this is to the nation as a whole, these pronounced circumstances have devastated the black community. For African-Americans, the image of a powerful black couple in love is particularly meaningful. In the 2005 census, 51 percent of American women reported they were living without a spouse. Among African-Americans, this number rose to 70 percent. With such a high percentage of black people unmarried, everyone is looking for images of black love. The Obamas personify that. It makes people say, "Wow, we want to be like them."

Will the Obama family start to bring about a new wave of family values with their example of the black nuclear family? I hope so. It is a daunting task, but one that I am certain has crossed the minds of each of the Obamas. We have lost the family unit to a certain extent, and one might argue, so has the White House itself. Not since the Kennedy's have we had a President and First Lady seemingly in love with each other, and even then, their relationship was marked with the repeated grumblings of his alleged cheating.

The Obama's may signify a new appreciation for the nuclear family unit, and loving partnerships unknown to Pennsylvania Avenue in quite some time. In testimony to this, I end with a quote from Barack; certainly a risky thing to say for a Presidential candidate to be sure, but here it is...."Michelle is one of the smartest people I know. She is my chief counsel and adviser. I would never make big decisions without asking her opinion."

The Obama's; seemingly a genuine partnership based on love, and mutual religious convictions. The question is, will anybody notice, or even care?

Friday, November 28, 2008

IT'S TIME FOR OBAMA TO SET HIS EXPECTATIONS.........ON US

He is only marginally closer to putting his hand on the Bible, but Barack Obama has garnered praise from both sides of the aisle for his thoughtful appointments to some cabinet posts, and a full blown economic team, as well as his three days straight of press conferences. Needless to say, his communication skills may well mark the biggest change from his administration and that of his predecessor, George Bush.
He has addressed issues with the economy, as well as counselled the current administration for a stimulus package we need now, as opposed to the Bush administration "phoning it in" during his lamb duck / dead duck period. His campaign rhetoric about "hitting the ground running" was not just words, it was a commitment he obviously is determined to meet from the very start of his Presidency.
What he has not done so far is something he has briefly touched upon during his campaign, namely setting his expectations upon us, the American citizens. Too often, politicians have blamed everything, every issue on the government and its representatives. In the process of running for office, they dare not place any blame on the very same people who will determine their collective fates, the American voters.
Not since JFK has any politician, let alone a sitting President addressed the citizenry with what they can do to solve this countries issues. His "ask not" speech was viewed as JFK at his very finest, and did not inspire the denial and anger of the American electorate other politicians feared most, and it is time for Barack Obama to do the very same. It actually energized his constituency, who wanted to pitch in and help.
No, I am not referring to the bad loans given out to undeserving and unqualified borrowers, although you could certainly make a case for it. Sitting back and claiming ignorance on the borrowers currently facing repossession is hopelessly naive and wholly unfounded. These loans were a collaboration between unscrupulous lenders, and the borrowers who knew they would face an uphill battle. There is ample evidence of fraudulent cases of loan practices involving the falsifying of qualifying information, especially in terms of salary histories.
What I am talking about are the core values and basic daily habits of a citizenry who have become alarmingly lazy, overweight and spoiled. I am talking about a failure to take responsibility for their lives, and especially in the raising and educating of their offspring. I am talking about a generation of slackers, who prefer to sit back and point the finger of blame upon their government, as their expectations upon them to solve the problems they have caused for themselves reach ridiculous proportions.
As the relative of many educators, I can state as fact the deplorable lack of abilities American children possess when first attending school. Read a book? Many cannot even hold a book, yet alone properly hold a writing instrument. Yes, the vast majority can sing the alphabet song, but mathematically and in basic reading (recognition of basic sight words, etc.) they are way behind those children in other countries.
These facts, disturbing in and of themselves, are maddening when you realize that these children come to Kindergarten able to operate a TV remote and a VCR. Many are able to use a cellular phone to answer a call.
Our priorities, and the examples we are setting for our children have come home to roost with statistics that our children are largely starting out, and continue to lag far behind most other countries for the balance of their educational career.
And this is just one area we have allowed this country to fall behind in. For the Obama administration to succeed, he must regain his charismatic hold he once held over the voters during the Obama nation period of his campaign. He must regain their attentions, and he must begin to motivate the American populous.
Barack knows; he can't solve the various issues facing his administration alone without the help of the people he will attempt to govern. And the time to start is now during the holiday seasons and not to wait for his inaugural address to begin. This country deserves a swift kick in the wallet, and waiting while he loses momentum amongst the electorate is the exact wrong tactic to take.
And that is the world........"The World According to Kimba".........as always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CLINTON PROMOTION INTO OBAMA CABINET UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Pete Williams of NBC raised the question on
MSNBC this afternoon:

Is Hillary Clinton barred by the Constitution from accepting the post of Secretary of State? Article One, Section Six of the U.S. Constitution says the following....

"No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office."

Essentially, you cannot take a job if the salary was increased during your current congressional term. And the salary for cabinet officials has gone up in the past year. Of course, no one will raise this question, especially the Republicans who would be thought to be mean and vindictive for even mentioning this fact. But the idea is, members of the Senate could raise the salaries for positions to any level of pay rate, then accept the position, a clear cut conflict of interest. Trivial, but interesting, to be sure. Obviously MSNBC's Pete Williams is on the top of his constitutional game. Now prove Obama is not a native born citizen, and that would be another matter entirely....

A SHANDA FUR DIE PUTZ

A picture of a Christmas tree is not the first thing you would expect to see on an invitation to an event celebrating Hanukkah, but that is exactly what recipients of invitations to this year's White House Hanukkah reception initially got in the mail.
The invitation sent to American Jewish leaders on behalf of the President and First Lady, requesting "the pleasure of your company at a Hanukkah reception," bore an image of a Clydesdale horse drawn cart, carrying the White House Christmas tree, with a Christmas wreath-adorned White House in the background. The card as originally intended featured a menorah given to the White House during Harry Truman's presidency.

CHANGE FROM "DAY ONE"

It is the quickest way to fulfill his promise to effect and mandate change. Although not intended to make law, but to clarify, or act to further an existing law, executive orders have the power of law, and are not limited in subject, or scope. They can be enacted immediately, and thus avoid the agonizingly slow grinding of the wheels of congress. A set of executive orders would establish on day one, the Obama vision, policy platform, and priorities for what is intended to come.
Reports are that the Obama transition team is looking into the Bush executive orders for potential reversals, much as ex-President Clinton did to his predecessor, President Bush I. There are precedents for day one executive orders making sweeping changes from the previous administration in power.
What is on the Obama short list? Here are my predictions...
Big 3 auto bailout
Reversal to Bush funding restrictions on stem cell research
Economic stimulus plan to directly help the middle class
Elimination of full abortion restrictions on U.S. overseas aid
Changes to the rules involving interrogation and detentions
by the military (definition of torture?)
Reestablishing due process for enemy combatants trials
by the military
Restrictions on domestic oil exploration
Here is my suggestion....
How about a full pardon for Bush and Cheney for war crimes?
This would state publically the potential for their prosecutions based on their actions over the past eight years, and eliminate wasting time in Congress on oversight, instead of looking forward.

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Obviously, we will have at least three Senate seats open
with the promotions of Obama, Biden and Clinton,
and I have the solution.
Illinois Governor appoints Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Biden's seat is filled with his son Beau (get him back from Iraq now)
and Hillary's seat is filled with hubby Bill
(which would keep him out of trouble).
Where is it said that a former President cannot get a job?
A seat on the Senate floor is not that big of a demotion.
And, it keeps him in the country.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WHAT IS OBAMA TO DO, CALL CENTRAL CASTING?

He has been called every name in the book. Radical, socialist, communist, Muslim, foreign born alien, plagiariser, race-baiter, political neophyte, anti-Semitic, you name it. He has taken more hits than Rocky Balboa.
And the hits just keep coming. The blogs and pundits are grilling him for assembling a third term of Clinton. And, yes, the players on his team are experienced veterans of the Clinton administrations....Emanuel, Summers, Richardsen, Geithner, even the first lady herself. But let me ask you, who on earth does he have to pick from? It is not like he has a plethora of experienced national leaders not associated with the former Clinton administrations. It is not like we have had a parade of former Democratic Presidents, is it?
What is he supposed to do, pull from the Carter administration? Carter had the same problem. So, he pulled from the people he trusted, a Georgian delegation solely made up of state leaders, with zero national experience, or exposure. And we all know how that went.
Obama is too intelligent to go with an all-rookie squad from Illinois. He wants a dream team, with as much experience and knowledge on the national level as humanly possible. While the buzz words "Team of Rivals" is thrown around Washington, the fact is the cabinet will be filled with the best and the brightest Democratic minds around, and that ain't all bad, especially in a period that will require immediate actions, and "right the first time" strategies.
And, if your particular preference of "change" means all new fresh faces on the political scene, then I invite you to stop talking about "Clinton Administration III, the Remake," and take in a re-run, "The Carter Years: Four Years We Will Never Get Back."
And that is the world......"The World According to Kimba".......As always, thanks for reading.

Monday, November 24, 2008

WHILE WE SPONSOR THEM, AIG & CITICORP SPONSOR SPORTS TEAMS

According to ABC News wire....
AIG, Citibank and a number of other federally bailed-out financial institutions have no plans to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in sports team sponsorships, even as they take billions in taxpayer support. Struggling Citibank just sealed a multi-billion-dollar emergency "backstop" deal with the U.S. government. The financial behemoth, suffering with billions in bad mortgage-related assets on its books, recently shed 53,000 workers and saw its stock price lose over half its value. Yet it's in a 20-year contract to pay the New York Mets $400 million to name the team's new stadium "Citi Field."
Citi isn't alone: Imploding insurance giant AIG is paying the British soccer team Manchester United $125 million for the privilege of having its logo appear on Man U's uniforms. That, despite the fact the firm is standing largely thanks to a $150 billion lifeline from the U.S. Treasury.
Bank of America (TARP take: $25 billion) is reportedly poised to ink a $20 million-a-year sponsorship with the New York Yankees – a team that is hardly hurting for cash. They are already in a reported 20-year, $140 million deal with the Carolina Panthers football team to call the team's arena "Bank of America Stadium."
PNC Bank ($7.7 billion in TARP funds pledged) is locked in a 20-year, $30 million deal to keep the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates named "PNC Park." A spokesman there said the bank did not use TARP funds to make payments on the deal.
J.P. Morgan Chase ($25 billion from TARP) has a 30-year, $66 million contract for the Arizona Diamondbacks to call their stadium "Chase Field." "That was an agreement that was signed 11 years ago," by a bank that was bought by Chase, said bank spokesman Tom Kelley. "Tell me what 2008 has to do with 1997? That's a contractual obligation."
Comerica ($2.3 billion in TARP funds pledged) has an identical deal with the Detroit Tigers to refer to their home field as "Comerica Park." Both expire in 2028.
Capital One – famous for their tagline, "What's in your wallet?" and a recipient of $2.3 billion in TARP money – are the proud and paying sponsor of the Capital One Bowl, formerly known as the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Our tax money at work, folks.

WILL HE LEAVE A SUPREME LEGACY?

While President-elect Obama considers his initial moves and strategies when assuming the Oval Office in January, it is not too soon to consider how the history books will define the Obama legacy. Given a national consensus that the current situation is so grave and so challenging that four years are not enough for a complete turnaround, one must assume he will get at least a four year honeymoon from making any substantial, meaningful changes.
Accepting this fact, it can be easily assumed he will be, along with a Democratic congress, in charge for the next eight years. Clearly, there are no leading candidates on the Republican side to challenge him in four years. In fact, the field is so limited, so devoid of leadership, the press and party have identified Governor Palin as a front runner. Needless to say, as a liberal, this tickles me to no end.
So, where will he carve out his legacy? It has to be on his mind, especially in light of his assuming the Oval from a man whose own legacy will be legend; legendarily bad.
The one overwhelming area where he can make a long term mark on American history is in the appointment of liberal judges to the Supreme Court. Of the nine justices, four are appointees of the Bush family, two of which are relatively very young for the Court (Alito and Roberts).
However, when you consider the ages of the balance of the Supreme Court, then add eight years to their collective lifespans, you can see that the Obama administration may well have the potential to appoint at minimum two justices, and quite possibly, a few more.
Not to be grave, or wish bad will on anyone, but Stevens at 88 (a Ford appointee) and Ginsburg at 75 (a Clinton appointee) may not wish to serve, or be able to serve, an additional 8 years on the court. Ginsburg especially may want to step down before Obama leaves office, and leave her chair to a moderate liberal such as herself. Stevens, may not have a choice, given his advancing years. One has to wonder why, at 88, he did not want to step down during the Bush II administration.
Chronologically, the next two justices are two Reagan appointees, Scalia and Kennedy, who are 72 years old each. Will they retire while a liberal president is sitting in office? Not if they can help it, although they will be eighty when (I believe) the Obama administration will end, and the conservatives have any hope of taking back the White House. This leaves Breyer at 70 (a Clinton appointee) and Souter at 69 (a Bush I appointee).
As a former college professor of constitutional law, Obama has to be acutely aware of the possibilities and potential he may have land into his liberal lap over the course of the next eight years. Possibly nothing else he does while assuming the top spot will have quite a dramatic effect upon American history than shifting the court to a more liberal, tolerant, civil rights oriented bench. Issues such as stem cell research, abortion rights, individual and civil rights may well hang in the balance.
One has only to picture the collective ages of the Supreme Court to see the potential for sweeping changes to the American landscape. In 2016, the court will be made up of a 96 year old, three 80 year olds, two in their late 70's, and three in their 60's. Considering the advancing years of the six oldest sitting justices, their average age will be 82. All I'm saying is do the math and you can see that the result of the Obama / McCain election may have judicial ripples for generations to follow. Talk about change.....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

NOT TO WORRY....THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY WELCOME US DEMOCRATS AS LIBERATORS

IS HE BUILDING A DREAM TEAM, OR A BAD EPISODE OF "THE VIEW?"

For a man who earned himself the nickname "No-Drama Obama" during the campaign, the president-elect seems to be assembling a surprisingly high-maintenance cabinet, writes Helene Cooper in the New York Times. From Larry Summers to Rahm Emanuel to Hillary Clinton, the partners that Obama has chosen or considered have big personalities and enjoy a cat fight—which could quickly turn his cabinet of rivals into a lion's den.
Some choices, especially Summers as possible treasury secretary, have drawn particular ire from the Democratic grass roots. But insiders say that Obama is girding for tough battles and wants heavy hitters in his administration. And aides to the president-elect say that it's nothing new: his press secretary Robert Gibbs is "no shrinking violet," and his choice of Joe Biden for VP demonstrated "a self-confidence and a willingness to tolerate internal conflict.
Lawrence Summers, former Harvard president (pictured to the right), is a veteran of the Clinton administration (treasury secretary), and a slam dunk pick as the top economic advisor to Obama, will certainly be Clinton approved. How he will interact with former Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner, on tap to be nominated to be Treasury secretary, the top economic post in the Cabinet, remains to be seen. Rumors on the hill are that Summers was somewhat slighted when he didn't get the top economic spot in the cabinet. Adding to his misery is in the knowing he was Geithner's mentor in the Clinton administration, especially during the Asian money crisis in the late 90's. Summers will continue to be Geithner's mentor, only this time he won't have the final say.
Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, the top cabinet post, and face of the nation to the world, does have some definable issues with the proposed Obama foreign relations platform. To what extent Clinton will represent the Obama vision, and downplay her own, more moderate philosophy will largely determine her relationship with the next President. Needless to say, there is a slight to moderate distrust between these two, which could manifest itself in many interesting ways, most of them not good.
Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the all-important Homeland Securities Committee in the Senate, despite sharply criticizing Obama during his strong, near career ending support of John McCain during the election. The independent senator from Connecticut hammered the President elect on his experience to lead the nation during these times of intense issues. Lieberman may be an old friend of the Clinton's, but hard feelings still exist over the Senator's harsh criticism of Bill during his two terms, primarily due to his philandering, and last minute pardons. Although weary, he will be Clinton approved.
And here is the rub. Bill Richardsen, the current governor of New Mexico, is being penciled in to be Commerce secretary. Richardson is a former Clintonite under Clinton administration. Many would say he would be nothing without Bill Clinton's help. This did not, however, stop him from coming out and endorsing Obama, a Judas like knife in the back to the Clinton family, to be sure.

Let's throw in two wild cards.......John Kerry and John Edwards. Is there anything in the cabinet for a philandering, albeit ardent supporter of Obama during the campaign (Edwards)? Obviously, he is keeping himself way under the radar, but it would be Obama like to pardon the one time presidential hopeful, and second on the 2004 Kerry ticket. This would not be Clinton approved, to be sure. During the campaign, and especially during the debates, Obama and Edwards took turns attacking Hillary, with Edwards proclaiming himself to be a partner with Obama as the only "agents of change." Oh, but it runs deeper than this.

Which brings me to John Kerry. Here is where it gets juicy. Kerry, a contender for secretary of state before Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) became the odds-on favorite, will accept the gavel as chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week, replacing Joe Biden, who has been inexplicably been promoted to VP. Would it have been Edwards rather than Biden for that pick if Edwards could have kept his gavel inside his zipper? We will never know. But, when it comes to Obama, Edwards brought ass-kissing to an absolute art form.

But back to Kerry. What significance does Kerry taking over the committee chair for Biden have to Clinton? As chairman, Kerry would preside over nomination hearings for President-elect Barack Obama’s State Department appointees, including Clinton, if she gets the nod.

Good for Clinton? Not so fast. Clinton did not come out and endorse Kerry during his 2004 run, which was a huge slight. Kerry, of course, returned the political favor by not only coming out semi-early for Obama, but connecting him with a vast network of high financed donors, as well.

And, who to rein in these high powered, high priced, high octane egos on cabinet posts? No one short of bull dog in chief (Chief of Staff, and number one advisor to the president), Rahm Emanuel, one of the most out spoken leaders in congress (and a former Clintonite). Emanuel, a devotee of three and four letter words, not all of them prepositions, has absolutely no qualms going toe to toe with the most senior, veteran governmental leaders. One thing for sure, Emanuel will control access to Obama, and has the next President's trust and ear. They are ex-fellow Chicago politicians, and good friends (I have been waiting to hear Emanuals name come up in the rezco trial as well). Witness this Obama roast of Emanuel, and you will see the relationship as it unfolded. One thing for sure, Emanuel has the faith and admiration of the next President, now all he needs is a whip and a chair....

Friday, November 21, 2008

ADMISSION INTO THE CABINET MAY REQUIRE PERMISSION TO LOOK INTO THE CLINTON FAMILY PIGGY BANK

Reports are circulating everywhere today (including the New York Times today) that Hillary Rodham Clinton will give up her Senate seat and accept the offer from the Obama transition team to be the Secretary of State in the Obama cabinet. Although the official line from the Obama transition team is that "meetings are proceeding on track," the official announcement is predicted to take place after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Her appearance on the Obama short list was greeted with a near unanimous approval from K street, especially from the conservatives, who see Clinton as more of a moderate than her soon to be boss, Barack Obama. Although they share a basic overall vision for American foreign affairs, Clinton is more hard line, as proven by her voting to declare Iraq a threat to the United States, and went on the offensive against Obama's willingness to talk to any head of state without pre-conditions. If memory serves, she also was quoted during the primary as calling the Obama diplomatic platform "naive," as well as calling him "dangerous" as a result. She was especially hard on Obama for speculating he would bomb Afghanistan, should intelligence confirm the where abouts of Bin Laden. These positions, although certainly fodder for the press, will be easy to explain away as spoken in the heat of the battle.
As a junior member of the Armed Forces Committee, she went especially hard on Condi Rice, and on Pentagon officials over the existence of an Iraqi exit strategy. Given that this is a done deal, besides the usual political posturing in congress, I expect a smooth and quick confirmation hearing.
The one hang up, the one sticky wicket in the Clinton confirmation fan will be the insistence by congressional Republicans for financial disclosures from the former President, and Hillary's erstwhile hubby, William Jefferson Clinton. It is a matter of public record that the 42nd president has made a ton of cash since leaving the Oval Office. Almost all former Presidents do.
Typically, ex-presidents make money on the lecture circuit while finishing the fundraising for their presidential libraries. In fact, they can start the fundraising in office, without being subject to the usual campaign finance rules. President Bush, for example, is busying himself raising half a billion dollars for his post-presidency, with, no doubt, much of that coming from individuals interested in influencing public policy. Not only can this money be collected in unlimited sums, there's no disclosure of who is doing the giving.
It is common knowledge that his father, a former president himself, once out of the Oval, made a beeline for the Middle East for a series of extremely lucrative speeches and appearances. Next came the obligatory ghost written autobiography garnering millions as well.
But, the speed in which Bill made his money (seemingly overnight), and the tremendous amounts of cash he generated, between his honorariums, his library and the global institute, make many Washington insiders extremely nervous.
It was widely reported that the Clintons, although far from broke, had a very modest financial portfolio post presidency. Six years later, they could afford to loan her campaign ten million during the heat of the battle.
The post presidential parade of dollars is a subject most are very reluctant to discuss, especially since it is a huge loophole which leads to no where pleasant, especially in terms of presidential foundations. Presidential foundations -- unlike political campaigns -- can accept contributions from foreign citizens and even foreign governments. So, although candidate Hillary Clinton was barred from cashing a $100 check from David Beckham, on the theory that he might be attempting to undermine U.S. sovereignty (or force decent Americans to play soccer), Bill is free to have his annual meeting co-sponsored by the country of Oman, whose interests surely don't overlap 100% with those of the U.S. Most likely, those companies (and one sultanate) that wanted their names on a poster outside the Global Initiative meeting rooms weren't after anything more insidious than a little good publicity. The donors to worry about are the ones who aren't eager to brag about their generosity, and that is what makes almost everyone nervous.
Any Senate confirmation hearing will surely focus on the ex-Pres, especially in these areas;
* Bill Clinton's overseas fund-raising from Chinese companies, the Saudi royal family, the king of Morocco, a foundation linked to the United Arab Emirates and the governments of Kuwait and Qatar - as well as many others never identified.
* The millions of dollars his foundation raised from Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra, whom the former president accompanied on a 2005 trip to meet with Kazakhstan's president. Within days, Giustra's company landed preliminary rights to buy into state uranium projects.
*The rumored deal between Giustra and Clinton's Global Initiative where Giustra will donate half of the profits from his Canadian mines to the foundation for the rest of his life, a deal which will reap the foundation untold millions.
As smart as this nomination will be, as well suited as Hillary is for the top cabinet post, this will officially mark the end of the "No Drama Obama" period he once enjoyed during the campaign and election. For as we all know, the Clintons almost always win, albeit sometimes in a rather ugly and distasteful fashion.
What I do know is, the ratings for Cspan during the Clinton confirmation committee hearings will absolutely go through the roof. Wherever the Clintons go, drama is sure to follow. And when Hillary swears into the position, Bill will need to swear off his jet setting ways.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

THE HOPES OF NOV. 4TH ARE CRUSHED BY THE REALITY OF NOV 5TH

An interracial couple in Pennsylvania who woke up
to find the remains of a burnt cross in their front garden.
A Calif. town which saw cars and garages vandalized
with swastikas, racist epithets
and slogans such as "Go Back to Africa."
Black effigies hung from nooses in an island community in Maine.
Students chanting "assassinate Obama" on a school bus in Idaho.

Barack Obama's historic election as America's first black president has led to a surge of racist incidents across the United States, hate-crime monitoring groups and analysts say. Here are more examples of an every widening and expanding white backlash since the election of our 44th president, Barack Obama.
The mayor of an eastern Idaho town where second- and third-grade students on a school bus chanted "assassinate Obama!" after the Nov. 4 election has publicly apologized, saying there's no excuse for such behavior.
The Mount Desert Islander weekly in Maine reported that a third effigy of a black man had been found hanging from a tree in the area since the election. This was was in Somesville, following reports of others in Tremont and Bar Harbort. The paper observes: "State police also are investigating the incidents, which are believed to be in response to the election of Sen. Barack Obama as president."
And this e-mail from a high school junior in a small, Iowan town..."I'm not sure who to email on this, but there have been several derogatory things said about Obama in our school, and one of them got a student suspended. I go to a school in a little town called Letts, Iowa. We are pretty down home, country road farm kids out here. But never, in my 11 years at the school, have I ever heard the conversation take such a negative turn."The remark that the student was suspended for was this, "Well, it's called the White House for a reason. We need to get that God damn N----- out of there."
An incident in another Obama-friendly state, Michigan, in the town of Buchanan. Members of the South County Democratic Club woke up Saturday to find their building vandalized with swastikas and racist comments, spray painted on the side of the structure.
"Anyone naive enough to believe that Barack Obama's landmark victory would mean an end to racial bigotry and stupidity need look no farther than Ossining for proof positive that we still have a ways to go. Americans made history by electing Obama the first black president; what they didn't do, by any stretch, is wipe away years of ingrained racial prejudice, insensitivity and, once again, stupidity."Thomas Reddy, assistant village fire chief, deserved a swift boot to the curb for circulating a 'knock-knock' joke that ends with a caricature of Obama and the words 'Eyes Yo New Prezident.'
And, finally onto Wasilla, Alaska, which boosted home owner Sarah Palin throughout the election campaign, provided column space this week to a local student who alleged anti-Obama racial comments the day after his election. Here's an excerpt from The Frontiersman op-ed by Waverli Raine.* Finally the campaign was over and I was actively supporting our new president, even though I knew I would be vastly out numbered at school. I expected complaints and qualms about the new president, but I was not prepared for the flat-out racist remarks said openly in the halls and classrooms. I was appalled. While I sat at my desk trying to do my work I could hear my fellow classmates:“I think we should kill Obama,” one said.“I hope someone comes up and shoots him in the head,” another would say.“I hate Obama … he’s black.”
There was evidence of a surge in traffic on white supremacist Internet websites such as StormFront, whose server crashed on the day after the November 4 election due to the uptick in activity. Not only has the election of Obama sparked the embers of racism, but look at the increase in non-white immigration; the recent estimate by the US Census Bureau that whites would lose their majority status by 2040 and rising unemployment all helped create a climate favorable for hate groups. Add to all of that the idea of a black man in the White House and you have a very significant number of whites who feel as if they've lost everything, that the country built by their forefathers is somehow slipping away from them.
Perhaps Mark Potok, director of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center said it best, when he was quoted as saying, "Barack Obama may well prove to be the perfect storm that incites a nerve within the hardcore racist movement in the United States."
Obviously any hopes that the Obama victory somehow meant that America is now officially beyond racism, and it finally marked the completion of the work of the civil rights movement, Dr. King and those that preceded him are sadly naive. It seems the farther we come, the more inescapable this country's unfortunate racist legacy seems to be.
One thing John McCain did get right...this country needs more than hopes and dreams...........and change........real substantial, meaningful change may be just a fantasy, for we cannot escape the one thing that needs changing the most in America.............ourselves.

I AM NOT SURE WHO WROTE THIS LETTER, BUT MY HATS OFF TO YOU

"Dear World,
The United States of America, for over 200 years your high-quality supplier of the ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for its 2001-2008 service outage. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service interruption has been located, and the parts responsible for it were replaced Tuesday night, November 4. Early tests of the newly-installed equipment indicate that it is functioning correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional by mid-January. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage, and we look forward to resuming full service --- and hopefully even to improving it in years to come.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The USA"

THE FINANCIAL "TARP" HAS SPRUNG A LEAK

With over one-third of the $700 billion dollar bailout money (TARP: Troubled Assets Relief Program) given away by Henry Paulson, it has become painfully evident that the money is being rapidly squandered away without any oversight, or pre-conditions whatsoever.
Paulson had originally stated the money would be used to generate new loans, and buy off bad loan bundles at whatever bargain prices the banks could afford / accept in a negotiation. However, the banks, some of whom like Bank of America didn't even want the money, have defiantly used the money to pay off dividends, deferred salaries, and for acquisitions of other smaller institutions. The rest of the bailout went to AIG, who renews and ups their monetary demands and requirements seemingly on a weekly basis.
True to the current administrations "free market" financial philosophy, this money has been given out like the money was sent raining down from the heavens, without any oversight, or logic. And the American tax payers have been rewarded with the financial institutions defiance, and the creation of a bailout plan spiraling out of control by any government agency. And the money, as always, has been given in a painfully ignorant "trickle down" fashion, rather than a "bottom up" manner which is preferred by the next administration, and would immediately jump start the American economy.
So what should Henry Paulson do? In my not so humble opinion, the money needs to be given only to banks to buy off at risk home financing loan bundles which the banks have been willing to renegotiate at more reasonable terms. It must be made illegal for anyone to take bailout money and apply it to any salaries, dividends, or to acquire any company without the Senate banking committees approval (in a public hearing).
Secondly, a portion of this money must go towards freeing up the credit availabilities for college students, small businesses, new car buyers (thus helping the big three auto makers), and to homeowners in trouble. And there must be strict oversight of these negotiations and bailout revenue distributions.
If the lame duck Bush administration cannot get it right, then congress must hold onto the final two-thirds of the bailout money FOR THE NEW ADMINISTRATION to oversee. I think this would be the prudent thing to do, as we have all seen the effectiveness of the current administration to do damn near anything. No sense throwing $700 billion dollars away after the bad money already squandered by the ignorant legacy of the Bush II administration.
And that is the world.....the World According to Kimba." As always, thanks for reading.

YOU WANTED CHANGE, HOW ABOUT AN ADMINISTRATION ACTIVELY SEEKING THE PUBLIC'S IDEAS?

This is an e-mail I received from the Obama transistion team, which is ground breaking to be sure....since when did any administration actively seek ideas, input and counsel from the American people? If for no other reason than their innovative use of the internet, the Obama team is changing the way government works, bravo!!
" 62 days. That's how much time we have left to prepare for the Obama-Biden Administration that will bring the change Americans demanded so strongly in this past election. President-elect Obama has set a high bar for the Transition team: to execute the most efficient, organized, and transparent transfer of power in American history.
As a co-Chair for the Transition, I want to tell you about a few steps we've already taken to achieve this goal. First, we adopted the strictest ethics guidelines ever applied to any transition team. President-elect Obama pledged to change the way Washington works, and that begins with shifting influence away from special interests and restoring it to the everyday Americans who are passionate about fixing the problems facing our country.
Opening up the Transition means listening to your ideas and stories and providing a window into how the process works. To give you a look at how we're approaching some of the nation's most pressing issues, we filmed this meeting of our Energy and Environment Policy Transition Team and interviewed team member Heather Zichal.

President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden have set an ambitious agenda, and we are going to make Change.gov a source of information, as well as a place to participate in the decisions being made about your government. Since the decisions we're making affect all Americans, we're counting on citizens from every walk of life to get involved. You can help us right now by making sure your friends and neighbors know about Change.gov and give their input, too. We're continuing to develop new ways to open up the process, and we'll keep you posted along the way." Thanks, John Podesta, Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A PRUDENT RESPONSE TO PROPOSITION 8

December 10th has been proclaimed "A Day Without A Gay" day, a day when all homosexuals are encouraged not to call in sick to work, but are encouraged to call in "gay"--and donate your time to service!
As their web site, http://daywithoutagay.org/ states, "Gay people and our allies are compassionate, sensitive, caring, mobilized, and programmed for success. A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love. On December 10, 2008 the gay community will take a historic stance against hatred by donating love to a variety of different causes."
"Day Without A Gay seeks to shift our strong feelings about injustice toward service! Let's fight for equality by out-loving those who would deny us rights. Call in "gay" on December 10th (International Human Rights Day) and volunteer for your local LGBT and/or human rights organizations. This site allows the LGBT community and our allies to be active in the search for service by posting and searching volunteer opportunities. We will not sit at home on December 10, 2008. We will offer love and support to those who need it most, the way only the gay community can!"

OBAMA WANTS TO BRING IMMEDIATE CHANGE TO THE MIDDLE EAST?

The Arab Peace Initiative, an initiative floated by Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2002, will soon be in the forefront of the world's attentions once again, as reported by the London Times.
The Times is reporting that Barack Obama is planning on immediately pursuing an ambitious peace plan in the Middle East involving the recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, according to sources close to America’s president-elect.
Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima party. The proposal has also been backed by Nobel peace laureate President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
On a visit to the Middle East last July, the president-elect reportedly said privately it would be “crazy” for Israel to refuse a deal that could “give them peace with the Muslim world”, according to a senior Obama adviser.
The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative
Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well, and calls upon Israel to affirm:
I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region
II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.
4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian repatriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries
5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighborliness and provide future generations with security, stability and prosperity
6. Invites the international community and all countries and organisations to support this initiative.
7. Requests the chairman of the summit to form a special committee composed of some of its concerned member states and the secretary general of the League of Arab States to pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this initiative at all levels, particularly from the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Muslim states and the European Union.

Friday, November 14, 2008

IF YOU WANT A "DREAM TEAM" CABINET, HILLARY WOULD BE THE CORNERSTONE

She's tough, she's a fighter, she's experienced, a first class lawyer, a tireless worker, and almost always the smartest person in the room. Who is she? SHE'S BACK!!
Hillary Clinton, the junior Senator from New York has been leaked as on the short list for Secretary of State for the Obama administration.
Why is this a wise move? She already has positioned herself as the unofficial leader of the Senate committee on Armed Services, the one person who truly put the Pentagon officials through their paces, especially on the availability of an Iraqi exit strategy. And while the Clinton name may have lost some blue book value domestically, the Clinton name adds an immediate cache and instant credibility to the state department in the eyes of the world. And that is most certainly "change" by any definition.
Needless to say, with her senate terms, and the eight years in the White House, she is already on a first name basis with the majority of world leaders out there, and that is huge. And, she shares a basic world vision with President-elect Obama, except for his debate gaffe of offering to talk to any foreign leader without pre-conditions, a stand he quickly backed away from.
While the Obama transition staff has admitted asking her if she is interested, they have leaked the rest of the short list for the cabinets top spot; Bill Richardson (former Clinton staffer and ambassador to the United Nations), Tom Daschle (majority leader) and John Kerry (Senator and former democratic presidential candidate), although sources have reported that Clinton walked away from the meeting under the impression that it was hers for the taking, should she be interested.
Could the Obama team possibly be so cruel and spiteful to Hillary that they would leak her meeting with Obama for the job, only to be publicly rejected, especially for Bill Richardson, who spit in the Clinton families eye when he came out for Obama during the late stages of the primary season? Time, of course will tell, but if he did, Obama will lose at least fifteen points to his favorables rating before even getting his hand close to the Bible. Clinton supporters, still slightly hostile towards the primary outcome, would not stand for it.
And while they certainly had their moments during the primary, he owes her plenty. For one thing, she vetted him during the primaries to within an inch of his political life. By the time John McCain got to him, he had no bullets. Just some very casual relationships with some unsavory characters like Bill Ayres, which got no traction whatsoever on the Teflon coated senator from Illinois. For another thing, no one, but no one, campaigned harder for him than Hillary Clinton, especially in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and New York, which he carried with ease.
Obama had been quoted as saying he wanted to fill up a "Lincolnesque" cabinet (A Team of Rivals), which would include members with dissenting opinions to him, and with different party affiliations from him. What is the old saying....keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer? Certain applies, but I like the Jon Meacham quote...."it's better to have someone inside the tent pissing out, than an enemy outside of the tent pissing in."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

HYBRID POWER

Rarely do I devote a posting towards urging my friends to run out and buy a magazine / book, etc. But Time magazine speaks for itself. Outstanding cover, which should at least get you smiling, as well as an article called the New Liberal Order, which predicts an irreversible wave of liberalism for the next century (yeah!!). Here is an excerpt.......
"Liberalism has sprung back to life. Ideologically, the crowds who assembled to hear Obama on election night were linear descendants of those egg throwers four decades before (at Grant Park, where Obama held his coronation, and mass riots occured 40 years ago). They too believe in racial equality, gay rights, feminism, civil liberties and people's right to follow their own star. But 40 years later, those ideas no longer seem disorderly. Crime is down and riots nonexistent; feminism is so mainstream that even Sarah Palin embraces the term; Chicago mayor Richard Daley, son of the man who told police to bash heads, marches in gay-rights parades. Culturally, liberalism isn't that scary anymore. Younger Americans — who voted overwhelmingly for Obama — largely embrace the legacy of the '60s, and yet they constitute one of the most obedient, least rebellious generations in memory. The culture war is ending because cultural freedom and cultural order — the two forces that faced off in Chicago in 1968 — have turned out to be reconcilable after all. "
The disorder that panics Americans now is not cultural but economic. If liberalism collapsed in the 1960s because its bid for cultural freedom became associated with cultural disorder, conservatism has collapsed today because its bid for economic freedom has become associated with economic disorder. When Reagan took power in 1981, he vowed to restore the economic liberty that a half-century of F.D.R.-style government intrusion had stifled. American capitalism had become so thoroughly domesticated, he argued, that it lost its capacity for dynamic growth. For a time, a majority of Americans agreed. Taxes and regulations were cut and cut again, and for the most part, the economic pie grew. In the 1980s and '90s, the garden of American capitalism became a pretty energetic place. But it became a scarier place too. In the newly deregulated American economy, fewer people had job security or fixed-benefit pensions or reliable health care. Some got rich, but a lot went bankrupt, mostly because of health-care costs. As Yale University political scientist Jacob Hacker has noted, Americans today experience far-more-violent swings in household income than did their parents a generation ago......"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DON'T TELL ME MY VOTE DOESN'T COUNT !!

click here for a video about your blogmeister, Kimba

I honestly did not know the consequences involved with my not being able to find my polling place. as you will see from the video, I owe a huge apology to you, my reader, my country, and the world. Kimba

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

IDENTITY CRISIS

Barack Obama. He has been portrayed as the anti-Christ, the Messiah, a radical sympathizer, the next JFK, a tax and spend liberal, a race baiter, a bigot, he's black, he's a dark skinned white, anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-white, a Muslim, a socialist, a hope monger, a liar, a closet communist, a Hugo Chavez junior, a charlatan and a host of other very appealing labels. OK, fine, it was election time, and the opposition desperately looked for something that would stick to Obama's hard Teflon coating.


But how on earth does anyone connect the dots and come up with the inane comparison between Obama and Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Castro (the poster above was found in a McCain campaign office in Florida according to reports)? By appealing to the youth vote to become engaged in the process? For calling for "change? (and at a time when the current administrations favorables were hovering just above 28).

The truth is, even after getting elected, he is still searching....no, the American population is searching for his true identity. And as his administration solidifies, we will begin to see the true measure of this man. And as we do, I for one think America will breathe a collective sigh of relief. Not only Democrats, but Republicans as well. I still think deep down inside, even most moderate Republicans hoped to hell McCain and especially Palin would not be elected.

And so now, the country waits, hopefully with an open mind, and the realization that it took King George II eight years to get us to this precipice, and it will take more than hope and one four year term to get us out of it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

SEATS AVAILABLE NEXT TO BEN AFFLECK


Event: Swearing in Ceremony - E
Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Time: 12:00 AM
Day: Tuesday
Section: Reserved Seating
Row: VIP
Qty: 2 x $20095.00
TOTAL: $40190.00
Tickets still available for the Presidential inauguration ceremony
pricing per GoTickets.com
But wait, here is the official version of how the tickets are distributed.....There's actually an office in D.C. that does nothing but prepare for inaugural events. It's called the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. It's the office in charge of tickets for the swearing-in. And it's busy."There's tremendous interest. Our phones have been ringing off the hook," says Carole Florman, the office's spokeswoman. She says her office printed 240,000 inauguration tickets. They're stored away in a locked office. The week before the inauguration, her office will distribute them to Senators and Congressional representatives. And those are the people who actually hand out the tickets.
So, what I want to know is, how is GoTickets.com so sure they can get tickets for the event, yet alone take advance money for them? Do they have Senators and Representatives in the bag? This is just plain wrong, folks.
What on earth will be next, the swearing in ceremony only televised on pay per view?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

ELECTION PONDERY

Am I the only one in California agast at the electorates willingness to vote in civil rights for chickens and farm animals, all the while voting to strip the gay community of the right to marry? What were you thinking??? HA!! The jokes on you, California. All chickens are gay, and pigs are the biggest perverts on God's green acres. Live with that, born agains !!

OBAMA ISSUE NUMBER ONE: JOE LIEBERMAN

OK, so Obama ran on a change platform. He promised to reach across the aisle, and end the divide that has infiltrated Congress. He claims to abhor the partisan politics that have marked American government for the past twenty years. Now, the entire platform will come to its first, and ultimate test; the Audacity of a Dope, Joe Lieberman.
Among party leaders (at least publically), they hope he will come back into the democratic fold, albeit with a chilly welcoming party to be sure. Privately, they have held their first meeting with Lieberman and the party leaders, who have assured him they will be glad to have him come back, but there will be punitive measures attached, namely the demotion to Senate committees caring zero clout or prestige. Clearly, the Homeland Security committee is out of the question, as is any committee speakership role.
You see, Lieberman didn't just come to the rescue of his lifelong friend, John McCain. He could have, and should have stopped at campaign stump speeches and his full endorsement for the Dems opponent, and we could have lived with that. What he did was to call Obama on the carpet. For his experience, his abilities, and worst of all (and quite possibly unforgivable), called Obama on his level of patriotism.
"Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead," Lieberman said in a speech at the Republican National Convention. "But eloquence is no substitute for a record — not in these tough times." Later in the same speech Lieberman misleadingly accused Obama of "voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground."
In the past, we could have forgiven Lieberman for the unique power his seat has in a very minute majority in the Senate. Of course, given the success of the democratic push to acquire additional senate seats, Lieberman's seat has far less importance to a party with a much larger majority than ever before.
And there is the rub. Lieberman's blue book value has depreciated over the 2008 campaigns, at least to the liberal base, still reeling at the voracity of his willingness to defeat the Obama / Biden ticket. A voracity that, rumor has it, McCain wanted to reward...with the bottom of the ticket, which would have been a truly "Mavericky" move, to be sure. But when the party elders balked at the VP position going even farther left than McCain himself, McCain threw up his hands and admitted defeat. And onto the scene came one Sarah Palin. And the rest is history.
This week, Lieberman has had audiences with both sides party leaders. Depending on who you talk to, Lieberman is either the ultimate free agent, valued wild card, or damaged goods. And while it may be tempting to listen to both sides, he must move cautiously, as his chances of being re-elected from Connecticut will be greatly enhanced without a conservative moniker. And so, the soap opera that is the beltway continues.
And that is the world...."The World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.

HER FUTURE LOOKS BLEAK

Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska fired back Friday at the unnamed McCain campaign aides who have been maligning her in recent days, saying that their criticism was “cruel and it’s mean-spirited, it’s immature, it’s unprofessional, and those guys are jerks.”
Fox News, quoted unnamed McCain campaign officials, as saying that Ms. Palin had not known that Africa was a continent, not a country, and claiming that she did not know which countries were covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement. Add this to her incredibly stupid early interviews with Katie Couric among others, and you will get a picture of a political neophyte, and not the "leader of the Republican party" others may try to proclaim her.

And so, we ask the question, does this mean, inexperienced and vapid Alaskan governor have a future on the national stage, or has she received her undeserved fifteen minutes of fame, and must, for the good of the party go gently into the night?

I for one, cannot believe she could be considered for dog catcher, let alone deserve national prominence. Despite making several gaffes on the campaign circuit, she continues to this day, to point the blame elsewhere. Of the press, she has been quoted as saying, “The majority of the press have been fair, but there have been some stinkers, though, who have kind of made the whole basket full of apples, once in a while, smell kind of bad.”

The McCain campaigns efforts to paint her as a hard nosed budget "bull dog" certainly back fired as the press reported on her $150,000.00 wardrobe expenditure, not to mention her love of all things pork barrel earmarked for her state. Even her boasts of selling the executive plane on E-Bay turned out to be a lie, as it was unloaded for a loss in auction.

Worst of all for the Palin reputation were the constant and persistent reports of her rogue-like behavior, described as "diva like" by campaign staffers, causing an enormous rift between her and Senator McCain through the final month of the campaign.

Did she cost McCain a considerable number of votes as speculated? I say yes, although with her or without her, McCain would have lost the election. The final analysis will show the ultimate causes of the McCain near landslide defeat to Obama was an economic downturn, the George Bush record / administration, the Barack Obama change message, Sarah Palin and McCain himself, in that order.

There are, of course, desenting views of Ms. Palin's future. Katherine Berry, in the right wing blog, Pajamas Media writes...."the continued inability of McCain’s staff to recognize that Sarah Palin could — indeed, should — have been the GOP’s Obama. Her folksy, “hockey Mom” persona was the perfect foil to Obama’s claim that he was a relative Washington outsider, just as her from-the-hip speaking style was the mirror image of Obama’s soaring, lofty rhetoric. Where Obama sought to break the racial barrier as a harbinger of change and reform, Palin as the vice president would have broken the gender barrier, accomplishing the same goal. Yet despite the huge surge in the GOP’s favor after naming Palin to the ticket, the McCain campaign squandered away her appeal. Some wonder now, in hindsight, whether this waste was intentional."

As to Palin's future, she, as always, has the last word....“I don’t have any idea of what the next chapter of life is going to open up into, and I look forward to just the surprises that life offers.” Pithy, as always Governor. Your fifteen minutes of fame are up, and you have been relegated to a very small asterisk in history. Go live your Alaskan life Grandma, and leave us alone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PROPOSITIONAL INTRIGUE

While all eyes will certainly be on the race for the White House, their are some very interesting propositions on state ballots across the country, which could explain the record turnouts many states are experiencing, and straining to control.
California has two propositions with nationwide attention, one involving same-sex marriages, which are currently legal since a state Supreme Court decision in May and thousands of gay and lesbian couples already wed. Florida and Arizona also have constitutional amendments on their ballots that would limit marriage to a man and a woman. More than two-dozen states have previously approved such amendments.
San Francisco has proposition K, which will decriminalize prostitution. An Oregon initiative would tie any merit pay for teachers to "classroom performance." Colorado and Nebraska have proposals that would ban race-and gender-based affirmative action, similar to measures previously approved in California, Michigan and Washington.
In Washington, voters will decide whether to join Oregon as the only states offering terminally ill people the option of physician-assisted suicide. Massachusetts has three distinctive measures on its ballot — to ban dog racing, ease marijuana laws and scrap the state income tax, a step that could unleash budgetary tumult.
Of course, the true hot button issue is abortion. California, a very liberal state, votes on whether to require a 48-hour waiting period and parental notification before a minor’s abortion. Much to the opposite of California, Colorado has a "person hood" amendment on its ballot that would define human life as beginning at fertilization. A South Dakota initiative would outlaw abortions but includes exceptions for rape, incest and pregnancies that threaten a woman's health.
An interesting potpourri of issues out there. One state wants to legalize assisted suicides, one wants to allow minors to have abortions without the knowledge of their parents, and at the same time, two move forward to ban abortion altogether. In other states, propositions seek to allow gambling casinos, decriminalized prostitution and the easing of marijuana penalties. Oregon wants to tie performance based merit increases for their educators, and has another proposition to limit teaching of students in languages other than English to no more than two years in Oregon.
Just looking at the nation's statewide propositions underscores what we already know, this nation has become a red / blue nation, a strict dichotomy of people and beliefs, not the least of which are our moralistic views on allowing any governmental influence on our individual rights and behaviors.

Monday, November 3, 2008

THE BALLOT ACCORDING TO KIMBA

I am about as comfortable telling someone who and what I will be voting for as I am when someone at work asks me where I have my 401K money invested in (I moved my money into a mutual fund over six months ago, thus saving a down market). But, I have had a sufficient amount of people asking me, and I am assuming if I don't give them my positions, they will get their info from someone else, so here goes. My hope is that they will read my positions and do a little research on their own prior to going into the voting booth.
President: a true no-brainer. OBAMA / BIDEN
1 high speed rail project ...................NO
2 animal rights ..................................NO
3 childrens hospital bond .................NO
4 parental abortion notifications .....NO
5 non violent crimes / parole.........YES
6 criminal penalties .........................YES
7 renewable energy ..........................NO
8 eliminate gay marriage ................NO
9 victims rights ................................YES
10 alternative energy ......................NO
11 redistricting ...................................NO
12 veterans bond .............................YES
S salt water system ban ..................NO
Needless to say, I am in favor of the straight Democratic ticket.
And, for everyone living in the Bay Area, please vote YES on Proposition K (You rock).
BUT without doubt, no matter who you vote for, VOTE.
It amazes me how few citizens do.
The same citizens who have an opinion on friggin' everything the rest of the year.
Be a patriot and vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

LATEST GOP AD RUNNING IN THE BATTLEGROUND STATES

As the McCain campaign starts to get some traction with a message on taxes and moves away from Ayers/Wright, the 527s pick up the slack. This morning on Fox News Sunday, a group called the National Republican Trust PAC ran an ad linking Obama to Jeremiah Wright. They will put $2.5 million into running the ad in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio in these last desperate days.
Needless to say, the issues are not even on the GOP radar screen as they seek to continue painting a very ugly, scare campaign against Obama. He is a socialist, terrorist, Palestinian sympathizer / enemy of Israel, radical, Muslim, anti-American son of a bitch. He wasn't native born, he spent his entire college career being guided by the PLO, post college, he freely associated with radical enemies of the state, he is risky, scary, inexperienced, and Black. Watch this nostalgic ad and tell me they aren't the swift boat party.

The National Republican Trust PAC also ran a campaign against Obama over drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants, with a blast email entitled "Obama’s Plan: Mohamed Atta Gets His Driver’s License." FactCheck.org said that the Atta ad "mixes a pile of false claims and the image of 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta to create one of the sleaziest false TV ads of the campaign." They indicate that the NRT PAC is run by a former writer for the Moonie Insight magazine:

OBAMA 357, McCAIN 181

Make your prediction at http://www.cnn.com/

Saturday, November 1, 2008

APPREHENSION, APPLIED LIBERALLY

We have waited nearly eight years for next Tuesday to come. Eight brutal, inept years, marked with an illegal occupation of a country that did nothing to us, and posed no threat. A nation so weak the administration needed to invent and deliberately mis-characterize the intelligence reports to the American people to prevent an uprising.
Our economy has finally gone from the surpluses of the Clinton administration to the rock bottom we experience today. No job creation, rising unemployment levels and record home foreclosures. The public confidence in our representatives at every level, is at an all time low. You would need a micron telescope in order to find one thing, one particle of minutia that could be called a positive result of the incredibly stupid public exercise that was electing George Bush and Dick Cheney, not once, but twice.
So, three days before our next election, the question deserves asking....Why on God's earth is the election so tight? How can the McCain campaign find a group of citizens so unintelligent, so misinformed that they would possibly want to risk four more years of arguably the worst administration in our lifetimes?
Given that Obama has made the case for McCain's love of all things Bush, and given that McCain has put an absolute political incompetent on his ticket, a woman whose candidacy has been marked by daily examples of her ignorance in almost every possible area, we should be up by twenty, no, thirty points in the polls. And yet, we are sweating this one out, and will be to the very end of November 4th.
This should be a landmark decision. A landslide, a clear mandate that the American populous have finally awoken, and we will tolerate this no more. We can't afford to squeak out a victory. We need an overwhelming and distinct victory on Tuesday.
We need a victory the size that rocks the Republican party by the foundation, a true cataclysmic event. We need to declare November 4th forever more as Republican epiphany day, a national holiday that marks the power of the people, and gives a glimmer of hope that the moderates of each party might band together and give rise to a third party.
We can't afford overconfidence, or hubris today or tomorrow. We can't look past this Tuesday, and pick our cabinet, our chief of staffs, or request the health information on all of the Supreme Court Justices. We need to make sure we get this done.
There is a reason why John McCain is spouting off about a possible victory next Tuesday. His base sincerely believes God wants them to show up at the polls and in doing so, will help to ban baby killing and inhibit the sin of homosexuality.
Our base is currently hanging streamers and planning victory party menus.....for a victory that could be circumvented by our arrogance and belief that this is inevitable. So inevitable that our votes are not critical. So, we sweat it out, pace the floors, and continue to check the Weather Channel in fear that bad weather might inhibit the liberal turn out at the polls.
Our reticence is justified, we have seen this movie all before. 2000 and 2004. and, as devastating as those two ill fated Democratic efforts had on our country, they will be nothing compared to the devastation that will be caused by the old man and the hockey mom.
So, mark your calenders, call all of your friends, drink a glass of warm milk before retiring for the evening, and double up on your Prozac dosage for the next few mornings. This is going to be a rough few days to come. And, in one last bit bit of irony, with the time change which occurs Sunday Morning, we get an extra hour to sweat it out...
And that is the world...."The World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.