Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid -

Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid -

Sounds good to me...
Conveners of the meeting include such prominent Democrats as former senators Sam Nunn (Ga.), Charles S. Robb (Va.) and David L. Boren (Okla.), and former presidential candidate Gary Hart. Republican organizers include Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.), former party chairman Bill Brock, former senator John Danforth (Mo.) and former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman.

Boren, who will host the meeting at the university, where he is president, said: "It is not a gathering to urge any one person to run for president or to say there necessarily ought to be an independent option. But if we don't see a refocusing of the campaign on a bipartisan approach, I would feel I would want to encourage an independent candidacy."

The list of acceptances suggests that the group could muster the financial and political firepower to make the threat of such a candidacy real. Others who have indicated that they plan to attend the one-day session include William S. Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine and defense secretary in the Clinton administration; Alan Dixon, a former Democratic senator from Illinois; Bob Graham, a former Democratic senator from Florida; Jim Leach, a former Republican congressman from Iowa; Susan Eisenhower, a political consultant and granddaughter of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower; David Abshire, president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency; and Edward Perkins, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Until plans for this meeting were disclosed, the most concrete public move toward any kind of independent candidacy was by Unity08, a group planning an online nominating convention to pick either an independent candidate or a ticket combining a Republican and a Democrat. The sponsors, an eclectic mix of consultants who have worked for candidates including Jimmy Carter (D) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), have not aligned with a specific prospect.

Now, some people with high-level political and governmental credentials are moving to put muscle behind the effort. A letter from Nunn and Boren sent to those attending the Jan. 7 session said that "our political system is, at the least, badly bent and many are concluding that it is broken at a time where America must lead boldly at home and abroad. Partisan polarization is preventing us from uniting to meet the challenges that we must face if we are to prevent further erosion in America's power of leadership and example."

Not one of the Republican candidates appeals to me in the slightest (except for Ron Paul, maybe, and I don't much trust him). Mark Kleiman and Paul Krugman have each been making persuasive cases for their chosen Democratic candidates (Obama and Clinton, respectively), and if forced to pick between the two I'd probably back Obama despite some reservations. I admire Mrs. Clinton, but I feel that so many people hate her that electing her would be bad for the country. Otherwise, I tend to think Krugman's case for Clinton is slightly stronger.

This piece (via Krugman) rang my bell.

In any case, there's no chance for Gravel or Kucinich, and Richardson doesn't seem to be getting anywhere, so what to do?

In my fantasies there's a peaceful revolution coming.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Selling garden hoses to firefighters is lucrative

Mexican marijuana is still plentiful — and cheap | - Houston Chronicle:
"Drug czar John Walters portrayed a spike in cocaine prices during the first six months of 2007 as progress because a key drug-war goal is to squeeze supply and drive up prices to discourage use. DEA spokesman Steve Robertson said low marijuana prices, however, don't signal defeat.

'Every time we seize an amount of marijuana, no matter how small or large, that is a blow against these criminal organizations, and that deprives the organization of money. It is also one less opportunity for somebody to mess up their lives,' he said."

Right. What a smokescreen.

National drug policy is the stupidest and most dishonest goddamn thing I've ever seen, but it employs lots of people and generates major money for some. End of story.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So I'm home sick today, lying down is making me feel worse, so I'm sitting at the confuter reading the internets. The Unknown Candidate had a must-read link to an Online Journal piece, the excerpt of which simply didn't fit the Wall Street Journal's editorial stance in the slightest. (Turns out I had read Online Journal but thought

I read the piece

Ah, I'm losing interest in this post. Long story short, there's this study done back in the 70's by Stanford Research Institute: Changing Images of Man. Someone put a 30 MB pdf of the book here. I didn't find anything about it on the SRI website.

Damned post wants to get long again. No!

The must-read piece, The planned collapse of America, by Peter Chamberlin, takes off from that study and paints a scary picture of the fairly near-term future. Being the pessimistic and ignorant nihilist that I am, OK, sounds plausible.

But I've grown tired of this kind of stuff. Nobody knows what will happen. It's very hard for me to imagine a good short- to medium-term future. It seems that all the trends, ALL the trends, point hopelessly in the wrong directions. Paying attention only darkens my outlook, so I seem to be paying less and less attention. Ekhart Tolle's living "in the now" seems to make more sense to me now than when I read his book (which kind of turned me off at the time).

Whatever... Nobody knows what will happen.

Merry Christmas! Steve

Friday, December 07, 2007

I hope he's right

This article about Unity08 made the point that they are too far behind in signing up members and raising money to make a difference in the next Presidential election, concluding that the movement won’t see much success unless people quickly begin joining in larger numbers.

I liked Bob Roth's response. I hope he's right.
By Bob Roth, 12-06-07
Well-written article, Heath. The rush to membership that you suggest should have or should be happening is just not the plan that we envision here at Unity08. We've taken the time this past summer and fall to strengthen the infrastructure, build the team, and put the plans in place for ballot access and the June Online Convention. We've been in contact with the major media outlets along the way. We've briefed more than 60 candidates, some who have announced and others who have not yet done so. We're ready... and America is ready, too.

We believe that Unity08 is perfectly timed. After the two parties make their choices (probably as early as February 2008), supporters of the losing candidates will feel homeless. And after a few months more, many who thought the party choices were the right ones will suffer the buyers' remorse that historically occurs. For these people and, the independents yearning for another choice, the Unity08 online convention in June 2008 is timed perfectly.

Bob Roth
VP, Online Marketing