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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GOP Running With Scissors and No Leadership

From Slate.com: Lord of the Flies" inside the GOP:

So who runs the Republican Party? Apparently nobody. Perhaps the most startling political development of the bailout process thus far was the amazing lack of leadership on the GOP side of the aisle.

Let's run down the list of Republican leaders who attempted to persuade skeptical House Republicans: President Bush, John McCain, Dick Cheney, and John Boehner. (We'd add Newt Gingrich to this list, but no one is quite sure if his last-minute support was actually cover for his behind the scenes whipping against the bill.)

Bush's leadership and trust issues within his party has been evidenced for quite some time, and the icing on the Bush legacy cake is that fact that he could only convince FOUR Texas House Republicans to support his bill.

And then there's John McCain, who last week decided to insert himself into the process and then (before the bailout failed) took credit for getting wavering House Republicans on board. Perhaps he did get a few wayward House GOPers on board -- but it wasn’t enough.

Now McCain gets a double stomach punch: He's stuck being seen as supportive of this bailout (which isn’t exactly popular with the conservative grassroots) and he gets to share in the blame for the defeat since he didn't have enough political capital to get this done (By the way, not a single member of the Arizona GOP delegation voted for this bill). Watching the McCain campaign deal with this yesterday, one could sense that they were fearful that they were going to look inept and take an even deeper political wound than they sustained last week.

link | posted by Jae at 9:42 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Hail Mary from McCain? He's Going to Run Out of Hails or Marys Pretty Soon

What Is Politics?
By Marc Armbrinder

This is the time when politics matters the most, not the least.

* When the philosophical differences that each party organizes around are put to the test of reality.
* When conflict builds consensus.
* When the public craves answers and debate from their politicians.
* When the stakes of the presidential election could not be more acute.

Comparative advantage: the best thing the presidential candidates can do now is to practice their politics honestly, not to abandon politics altogether -- itself, of course, a political move.

Suspending your campaign basically says: all that over the past sixteen months? It wasn't important. Ignore what I said or did. Too late.

The tough thing here for McCain is that nobody in Washington asked him to come back; nobody seems to need him to come back; and that Democrats simply do not trust John McCain's motives.

link | posted by Jae at 10:54 AM | 1 comments

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Do Not Go to Ortho" Nothing Political Today, Just Supporting a Fellow Twin Cities' Blogger

Do not go to Otho. I'm not talking about the food, the drinks, or the decor. The reason you should not go there is much more serious.Background: My good friend Imran and I threw a party at our building last Friday night. It was 80's themed with costumes, decorations, and a professional DJ. Many people we work with celebrated with us - public defenders, private attorneys, city attorneys, county attorneys... It was a welcoming environment and everyone had a blast. We even worked out a deal with Otho for a late night happy hour special and 80's music for our guests starting at midnight after the party ended.

Background on Otho: It's located in the Skyscape Condominium complex. Considering both Grant Park Condos and Skyscape are full of young professionals adjacent to this restaurant, you would expect it to be constantly crowded. But it's not. Imran and I always tried to support business there.

We had celebrated a birthday there. And Imran and his fiance had their engagement party there. We thought we were doing our local establishment good by bringing them our business.

What happened: At midnight, as we were cleaning up the party room, I received a phone call from one of my guests: "The bartender is saying there aren't any drink specials. He's being really rude about it." I walked over to try and clear up the problem. I walked toward the establishment and many of my other guests were standing outside talking about how rude the bartender was being to them. I walked inside and asked to speak to the manager.

When I found her she indicated to me that now they were honoring the special and playing the music. I thought the problem was solved. I was excited because the wild party-goers had calmed down and now everyone was talking in different groups. No one was boisterous. No one was going nuts. And there were only 4 people in the entire bar that were not with our party.When Imran came, he ordered a few shots for himself and two friends.

The aforementioned bartender poured them and then printed up the bill. Imran was planning on spending more money, so he told him to hang on to it and he'd pay it. That was not good enough for the already angry bartender who continued to wag the bill in front of him to get him to pay immediately. Oblivious, Imran then went to grab the other two shot-takers to come to the bar. The bartender followed him with the bill in hand.

He approached him and said:"Hey, [racial slur] take your fucking shots and pay your bill!"

Imran was so shocked by this statement, he said, "What the fuck did you just say?" As words were exchanged, the bartender said, "If we were out on the street, I'd fucking kill you!" and proceeded to come from behind the bar in an aggressive manner.

Several people were witnesses to the bartenders aggression. The manager grabbed me and told me that Imran had to be kicked out of the establishment. I saw the confrontation and went between everyone and grabbed Imran and said,

"Let's get out of here." Once outside, I found out what happened and came in and told everyone who I brought to Otho that we were leaving and not giving them another cent of our money.That bartender used a racial slur against my friend and threatened his life. The establishment kicked my friend out.

That bartender was back at work at Otho the next night. I would not be surprised if he had a history of such behavior based on how he was acting to the patrons before he served Imran. To this date, no formal apology has been issued to Imran and as far as I know that bartender is still working there.

The service industry is no place for racism or violence; and therefore, should have no place for Otho.

Do not go to Otho.

If they are willing to keep such a person under their employ, they do not deserve your money or your time. And please, tell everyone you know.Update: Both my friend and others have been in touch with management several times since this incident. One individual stayed after we all left that evening to speak with the manager and Imran himself called after he got home. As far as I know, no apology has been issued nor has there been any action taken against the bartender.

link | posted by Jae at 3:02 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Secret Killing Program In Iraq

This is what my own personal fear has always been. America has already been listening in on her citizens' electronic conversations. Now, there is a secret and, I assume, high-tech assassination program. Are we to believe we'd never be targets?

Bob Woodward's new book says this new, secret killing program in use in Iraq has been much of the reason violence there is down.

Militant of Reddit, a community of bloggers, chimes in. He or she hints about having inside information about the program. Here is the link -

"When this program is shown to the world, it will be marveled at, until the basic methods sink in. This, coupled with news that special forces were able to listen in on every move and heartbeat of the Iraqi PM...

"All I can get away with saying is put two and two together. And then, ask yourself whether this is a technology and a tactic and a program that you feel comfortable with your government having and keeping secret.

"I know the broad overview of what this program is and how it is operated - how much of the specifics I know is a matter I'll leave alone. But do you, the voter and citizen of a 'free' country, enjoy the idea that people can be tracked and listened to no matter where they go or what they're doing or what precautions they take? When the very sustenance they take in results in the loss of their privacy? Sure, in this situation one would think, 'Oh, but they're terrorists!' But do we -- now -- believe in summary executions on the battlefield? And, wouldn't you like to know what this is all about, considering the level of secrecy and threat coming from washington these days?"

link | posted by Jae at 7:06 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin's Speech

Lawyers have a phrase that goes something like "If the facts favor you, argue the facts. If the facts don't favor you, but the law does, argue the law. If neither the facts nor the law favor you, attack your opponent." The strategy of the McCain campaign seems pretty obvious. Unfortunately, the "elite" "liberal" media appears for the most part to have been entranced by what was in reality nothing more than pushing attack buttons. The uniform praise for this speech from the media is really an embarassment. Sure it sells copy and raises ratings, but there is more at stake here.
-- John, Charlottesville, VA

link | posted by Jae at 10:26 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Southern Strategy - That the GOP is Never Called On and Racist Voters

Richard Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips in an interview included in a 1970 New York Times article, he touched on its essence:
"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats."

Now that the Bristol/Sarah Palin issue is a rallying incident for the arch-conservatives, I am once again confronted with rampant, flaming racism. I'd like to address at least one of them. I'll put it in the form of a question. Black people in America - when they've had the vote - have voted for white politicians in every election in the nation's nearly 250 year history. Why are we singled out as racists when we vote for the ONLY black candidate ever to win a major party primary? I have white friends who don't want to vote for Obama and one of the reasons I don't see them as racist is they don't make an issue of black people voting for him. Quick hint: if you're on a message board, bitching about black people voting for Obama you're probably a racist.

Oh, and by the way - tokens, quotas, pre-marital/unprotected sex are cool with the GOP, now? Sweet! I would join, then... if not, you know, for that whole racism thing.

link | posted by Jae at 5:44 PM | 2 comments

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