Sarah Palin: “I can see Russia from my backyard.”

September 26, 2008

This woman is such a blockhead. She knows nothing at all about war or foreign affairs. She flippantly talks about war with Russia with no idea of the result.

This summer I drove through the Minuteman missile fields of Montana around Great Falls. It’s a sobering experience. They look innocent enough, but if you really think about what’s in them, it is chilling. Each of these silos contain a long-range ICBM tipped with a nuclear warhead capable of annihilating a city. Sarah you need to drive through these missile fields and get a peek inside one of them. Someone needs to show you film of nuclear tests.

To those who say nuclear war isn’t much of a danger anymore, I say wake-up. Russia just announced today they are embarking on a program to upgrade their entire nuclear deterrent force including more missiles, space defence systems, and missile submarines. The recent Georgian invasion and crisis brought on by Russia proves the point they don’t really care much for international law.

If the United States ever goes to war with Russia, the missiles will rain down in all our backyards. Grab a brain Mrs. Palin.

What’s truly scary is that this is a person who could become Commander-in-Chief.

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Is John McCain Nuts!?

August 31, 2008

McCain has lost it. Selecting Sarah Palin for his vice presidential candidate. It is downright scary.

Mr. McCain will be 72 if he is elected president. Not only that he is an individual who has had cancer several times. Now I surely hope he keeps his health and I don’t wish the worse on anyone, but like insurance agents we should all think – what if the worst case does happen.

Is Palin ready to be president? I think not. She has been the governor of a large, but sparsely populated state for less than two years. Before that she was the mayor of a town of 9,000 persons. Great experience granted, but certainly not enough to qualify her to be president. Foreign policy experience and military experience nil. Oh I forgot she does have a son who is in the military, guess that counts.

Sorry to be cynical, but this is a person who could be a heartbeat away from being President of the United States. Would I feel comfortable if she got a crisis call at three in the morning? No I wouldn’t.


The Democratic Party – A Short History

August 25, 2008

Modern Democratic Party logo

This week the Democratic Party will hold their convention in Denver. History will be made in the Mile-High city this week. The first black candidate for president will be nominated by a major party. Barack Obama will officially become the nominee of his party for President of the United States.

The Democratic Party came out of the Democratic-Republican Party which was organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the early 1790s. The party favored states’ rights and strict adherance to the Constitution. It also opposed a national bank and wealthy, moneyed interests. In the election of 1800 the Democratic-Republican Party ascended to power with the election of Thomas Jefferson.

In 1828 led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren the Democratic-Republican Party split and the faction supporting the old Jeffersonian principles became the Democratic Party. In 1844 the name was officially shortened to the Democratic Party.

Before and during the Civil War the party split along Northern and Southern lines, but still remained one party. Today the Democratic Party remains one of the two major political parties in the United States along with the Republican Party.

Factoids:

  • Mascot symbol commonly associated with the party is the donkey. This has never been officially adopted by the party.
  • Since election night 2000 the color blue has become the identified color of the Democratic Party. This is because all major broadcast networks used those same colors to identify the parties, blue for Democrats and red for Republicans.
  • The song “Happy Days Are Here Again” is the unofficial song of the party.

Notable Democratic Presidents:

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Harry Truman
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Bill Clinton

This week no matter what your political persuasion watching the convention is observing democracy in action.


Vice Presidential Candidate Predictions

August 20, 2008

Before Barack Obama and John McCain announce their choices of running mates I thought I would post my predictions.

Republican Ticket
John McCain and Tom Ridge

Democratic Ticket
Barack Obama and Joe Biden

If this comes about I actually believe they would be excellent choices. We’ll soon see as the conventions for both parties near. Traditionally the VP choices are announced a week or two before the conventions open.


Election 2008: The Contenders

June 3, 2008

Someone once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” Well I believe it’s all over and the candidates are set for the general election in November, vice presidential running mates to be decided soon.

In the Democratic corner is Senator Barack Obama from Illinois trying to become the first African-American president.

Factoids:
Photo: Associated Press

Born August 4, 1961, Honolulu, Hawaii (age when inaugurated would be 47)
Family: Married Michelle Robinson (1992-present); Children: Natasha (2001) and Malia Ann (1999)
Religion: Christian; attends Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago
Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1983; Harvard University, J.D., 1991
1990s: Practiced civil rights law and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.
1997-2005: Illinois state senator, representing the 13th District.
July 27, 2004: Delivered keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
November 2004: Won the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, defeating Alan Keyes.
Author: “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” (1995); “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream” (2006) and “It Takes a Nation: How Strangers Became Family in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina” (2006).
2008: presumptive Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

And in the Republican corner is Senator John McCain from Arizona attempting to be the oldest president.

Factoids
Photo: Official U.S. Senate photo

Born: August 29, 1936, Panama Canal Zone (age when inaugurated would be 72)
Family: Married Cindy Hensley (May 17, 1980 – present); Carol Shepp (1965-1980, divorced); Children: Bridget, 1991 (adopted from Bangladesh, 1992); Jimmy, 1988; Jack, 1986; Meghan, 1984; Sidney, 1966; Adopted sons from Carol’s previous marriage: Andy, 1962, and Doug, 1959.
Religion: Episcopalian
Education: U.S. Naval Academy, B.S.
1967-1973: McCain held prisoner by the North Vietnamese after his plane shot down.
1977-1981: Director at the Navy Senate Liaison Office.
1981-1982: Vice president of Hensley & Company.
1983-1987: U.S. representative from Arizona’s 1st District.
1986: Won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Barry Goldwater.
1990s: Worked with Democrats on normalizing relations and increasing trade with Vietnam.
March 9, 2000: Dropped out of the presidential race after Super Tuesday losses, and endorsed George W. Bush.
2004: Apparently Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry asked McCain to be his vice-presidential running mate, and that McCain refused.

Awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross after his release as a POW in Vietnam. McCain’s father and grandfather were both U.S. Navy admirals. They were the first father and son to achieve that rank.


Hillary Clinton and the Super-Delegates

April 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton’s big primary win yesterday in Pennsylvania kept her hopes alive for the Democatic Party nomination. She still trails Barack Obama in pledged delegates, but the gap has been closed. The big question is what impact the so-called “super-delegates” will have on who the final nominee with be. Super-delegates are made up of Democratic Senators, Representatives, party officials, former Presidents, etc. These delegates are not decided or assigned by the primary results. They can vote as they wish. Normally they don’t vote until the convention and there are several hundred of them. (Above: Hillary Clinton after Pennsylvania primary, AP Photo)

Most of all she has demonstrated she can carry the big states like Ohio, New York, Texas, California, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania, all of which she won the primaries in.

If the goal of the Democratic Party is to win the general election against the strong Republican candidate John McCann, then they need to consider Hillary’s ability to win those states having the most Electoral College Votes. Remember that winning the popular vote has nothing to do with winning the presidency. The candidate winning the majority of Electoral Votes wins. Here is the breakdown of Electoral Votes up for grabs in the large states in the general election:

California – 55
Florida – 27
Michigan – 17
New York – 20
Ohio – 20
Pennsylvania – 21
Texas – 34
Total = 194

You can see that if a candidate can carry all the large states they would be well on the way to reaching the magic number of 270 Electoral Votes needed to win the presidency. This certainly doesn’t dimish the importance of those states having smaller numbers of Electoral Votes because they would have a major impact in a tight election.

The most populous states have the most Electoral Votes because the number of Electors a state has is equal to the number of Senators and Representatives that states sends to Washington as elected officials. The total number of Electoral Votes is 538. A winning candidate in the general election has to win 270 (one more than half).

By winning the primaries in those states with the most Electoral Votes available in the general election Hillary Clinton hopes to be able to convince the unpledged “super-delegates” to support her. If she can do that, she will win the nomination.


Democratic Roadshow Continues- Pennsylvania Primary

April 21, 2008

Tomorrow, April 22, is another big day in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. The present delegate standing according to CNN Election central <www.cnn.com> is,

Senator Barack Obama
Pledged delegates = 1437
Super-delegates = 226
Total = 1663

Senator Hillary Clinton
Pledged delegates = 1264
Super-delegates = 248
Total = 1512

Candidates need a total of 2,025 delegates to win the nomination. It is becoming clear neither candidate will win the required votes prior to the convention in August. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is pushing for the super-delegates to publicly declare their votes by July 1st to break the deadlock. Normally they would not vote until the convention. This would allow the party to unite behind the winning candidate earlier than August. Democrats need to get a candidate selected so they can focus on the general election scheduled for November 4, 2008.

Dean is also advocating for the Florida delegates to be seated at the convention and to divide their candidates proportionally based on the results of the Florida primary. The results of this primary were not recognized because Florida scheduled their primary early against the wishes of the Democratic Party. So far none of the delegates have been factored into the totals. Hillary Clinton won the Florida primary so she would get the majority of the over 200 delegates at stake. Michigan is another state that Clinton won and again it has not been seated, nor the delegates assigned.

It is a certainty if the race is not decided before the convention, the super-delegates will decide the race. They vote at the convention under existing rules. These 800 super-delegates consist of party leaders and officials such as congressmen, senators, etc. Howard Dean himself is a super-delegate.

The Pennsylvania primary will allocate 158 delegates based on the voting results tomorrow. Clinton is expected to be the winner, but the vote will likely be close, so each will pick up many delegates. Again nothing will be decided. One candidate or the other would have to win an overwhelming majority for any kind of knockout blow to be landed.


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