February 14, 2008
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers from the folks here at the 12 Angry Men Blog. We know that behind the celebration of the Hallmark holiday that drives up the stock prices of the likes of Hershey and Nestle we have a serious celebration, well, at least in Europe, anyway.
Today is the feast day of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, as celebrated in the Latin Church. These two brothers, co-patrons of Europe are known as “Apostles to the Slavs.” Born in 827 and 826, respectively, they are responsible for the evangelization of much of Eastern Europe. They not only invented the pre-cursor to the modern Cyrillic alphabet, but they also invented the (Old Church) Slavonic language, and developed the first Slavic civil code.
In many ways, I can’t think of a better pair of saints on whose feast day to celebrate love. They not only model for us the love of brothers and family, but a love of God that reached so wide they went into the hinterlands of Eastern Europe to bring it to everyone. And I imagine they presided at a whole lot of weddings too!
So, as you indulge in the depths of gushy, passionate, hedonistic, romantic love, remember that you do so on a day sacred to two celibate brothers who worked themselves to death to spread the Faith to the absolute ass-end of their world! All the best to you and your sweetie-pie!
(As an aside, St. Cyril is buried in Basilica di San Clemente in Rome. If you’re ever visiting the Eternal City, it’s definitely a place not to miss.)
February 12, 2008
Gary Kasparov, in a Wall Street Journal article last July, suggested that the West’s failure to come up with a model of post-Soviet Russia’s political system was due to the fact that it was looking in the wrong place. The best model, he suggests, can be found in books by Mario Puzo.
A chap I met who emigrated from the Soviet Union waxed rather emotional and, with the attendant loss of the definite article, explained to me that the West’s view of Putin was bullcrap. I suggested that it was perhaps unwise and heavy handed for Putin to reactivate deterrence patrols on Russia’s borders. His response was that Putin had no choice — NATO has expanded to include countries on Russia’s borders, and with the intended deployment of anti-missile defenses, Russia was threatened. He commented that Polish politicians publically stated that the missile defense system was not, as advertised a defense against Iran, but against Russia (of whom they have more immediate history). He stated that even US military experts have stated that the range and capability of the Iranian missiles make a very implausible threat against Europe. [While this may have been true in the past, it is unlikely to remain true in the near future.]
My comrade also pointed out that when the country was the Soviet Union, extended families lived in Ukraine and Russia, and that they traveled back and forth, but that after the democratization of the Ukraine, political considerations led to the curtailing of travel. His analogy was how would you feel if your grandmother lived in Indiana and a few people decided that Indiana should become an independent democratic country, yet because of political differences, your grandma could no longer visit you at Christmas. His contention was that 80% of the country was against the “revolution” and wanted to remain as part of Russia. Also asserted was that a few people were paying back their Western political masters for financial support of their Orange Revolution. Is this another case of Karl Rove’s evil?
I have read about Russia’s amore propre as being the root cause of Russian woes. A majority of the Russian people admire Putin because they do have bread to eat, and they do have a rising middle class, and there is a nascent rise in nationalism after what could only be called a humiliating surrender to the West. It is, however, reminescent of the same respect that New York Italian immigrants had for their Capo de la Familia. [Let's see: does democracy feed my family? Are the police going to catch the guy who's is ripping me off? Should I pay a little protection money to the KGB to insure that my mom-and-pop store survives (the KGB). Putin: "I just want to wet my beak a little".] From what the average Russian worker endured under the Soviet regime, the current situation must seem infinitely better. And if things go bad, everyone knows that America is out to get Russia, even though no American president ever banged his shoe on the podium at the United Nations and taunted “We will bury you“. None the less, it seemed that the person I talked to was more interested in defending the amore propre than Putin. It’s always interesting to solicit a view from the other side of the window.
So we have a country with a political system which can at best be described, according to Kasparov, as a oligarchy with some feudalism thrown in and a patina of democracy just thick enough to fool the G8. This allows us another interpretation of the missile defense issue. Think of drug distribution in any major city and the turf fights that occur when a competing family attempts to take over that market. The mafia isn’t concerned about “how it looks” to the international community — this is defense of territory and profits. When you read about some Russian action and say to yourself “How can Putin do this? Doesn’t he know how bad it looks?” — you have to reset your mind into the Mario Puzo novels.
To respond to Putin you have to either respond as family (e.g. assassinate a few close associates) or find some international equivalent to Elliot Ness.
February 11, 2008
After the big kerfuffle at Columbia over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit, the issue of Iran’s nuclear program has once again come to the fore of media attention (though it hasn’t seemed to make in onto Mr. Ahmadinejad’s blog recently). Besides the utterly bankrupt position of hiding your head in the sand and pretending it isn’t so (much like Mr. Cline on Obama’s run for the presidency), the number of options remaining on Iran have dwindled tremendously. Here they are, as I see them and why they’re all bad. In our long standing tradition of multi-part series on complicated issues, I’ll be looking at America’s options in four parts. Unfortunately for us in America, they range from bad to worse…
Option #1: Accept the inevitability of Iran becoming a nuclear weapons state.
This is, largely, the position of Gen. John Abizaid [ret]. The argument here is that we’ve dealt with nuclear states who don’t like America before (the USSR and China) come to mind, and things have worked out alright. Like the Soviets and Chinese, the Iranian regime doesn’t desire it’s own annihilation, and would be incredibly unlikely to use the weapon unless directly threatened with their own destruction. The big problem with Gen. Abizaid’s approach is that it will tear a very large hole in the non-proliferation regime (though after Bush’s devil’s deal with India, there might not be much worth saving).
You see, a Persian bomb gives Iran the #1 spot in the middle east and will exacerbate the Arab world’s already overgrown inferiority complex (because, you see, the hated Persians, who also happen to be Shiite heretics, are now provably “better” than Arabs). This means that there will be serious pressure to develop an Arab-controlled nuclear weapon. My money is on Egypt doing the dirty deed, since they actually have the technical expertise for it, though I’d wager that the Saudis’ would be quietly helping to foot the bill. Syria, who has never been Iran’s patsy (no matter what the news media and the Bush administration would have you believe), would also need a weapon to rebalance their relationship with Iran (witness the recent Israeli airstrike inside Syria shortly after a North Korean ship off-loaded it’s cargo). They’d probably try to buy a weapon off Pakistan or North Korea (good luck with that) or try to buy they’re way into the Egyptian/Saudi project. Either way this puts us at 2-3 new weapons states in addition to Iran, all run by non-Democratic strongmen. This will not end well. To make matter worse, all these bombs will have the nasty side effect of increasing the price of oil even more. This is bad for everyone (now even the House of Saud has to worry about getting nuked), except perhaps Hugo Chavez (where the increased oil prices might give him a better shot at staying in power).
You might wonder why I don’t mention the possibility of Iran selling the bomb to the likes of al Qaida. I feel this is unlikely because the Iranians know that should al Qaida get the bomb, Persian Shiites are up on their hit list right after the US and Israel (witness the sectarian killings perpetrated by al Qaida in Iraq). From my perspective, this makes Iran very unlikely to share the technology with al Qaida. Besides, if you’ve got the biggest bomb on the block, the last thing you do is give it to your neighbors.
February 9, 2008
Posted by mildlypiquedacademician under Mildly Piqued Academician Rants
| Tags: Democracy
, Ethically Challenged
, Hates America
, Mildly Piqued Academician Rants
, The Intarweb
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The Soviets loved their “five year plans,” much imitated by other Communist nations back in the day, though often with slight variations like the “seven year plan”. (ObFascism: Five years was too long for Germany: The Nazis had four year plans.) It seems that some Democratic primary voters are touting the “sixteen year plan.” This is a plan dreamed up by people who say things like:
Imagine the possibilities…
- A generation of progressive leadership in the White House
- A new era of global cooperation to combat poverty, hunger, and AIDS
- A lasting commitment to protecting the environment and combating global climate change
- A new progressive balance of power on the Supreme Court
- Enough time to begin undoing the damage caused by 8 years of George Bush
In other words, people who are blowing as much sugary sunshine the back door way as a delusional modern progressive can stand without going into insulin shock, in a nice way that makes Barack Obama look Rush Limbaugh-mean.
In a nutshell—which is about all there is here, and it’s one of those disappointing empty peanuts—the Sixteen Year Plan is:
- In 2008, HRC runs for President, BHO runs for Vice-President.
- In 2012, HRC runs for Vice-President, BHO runs for President.
- In 2016, HRC runs for President, BHO runs for Vice-President.
- In 2020, HRC runs for Vice-President, BHO runs for President.
This plan, therefore, neatly side-steps that 22nd Amendment, which states that a person is eligible for two terms as President, c’est tout, you’re done. I admit that it sounds “hinky” to me (thanks Abby) and probably violates some constitutional thing or another, but it’s on the edge of plausible, legally. I recall seeing this touted on the Washington Post forum by a poster (not one of the columnists) and thought it was ridiculous then but, it has taken on a life of its own on the intarweb much like other dumbass ideas. It’s the sort of plan that a smart high school civics student might dream up, with no notion of just how amazingly damaging to the all-too-fragile system and the norms that hold the entire electoral edifice up it would be. Such an idea was bandied about on the Republican side in 1976 when they were facing a split convention… Ronald Reagan wisely rejected such a deal, and waited four years to win a legitimate victory. We don’t need plans like this, not after the 2000 election, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, invented notes about George W. Bush’s service record (thin as the real one was), Karl Rove’s shenanigans such as accusing John McCain of fathering a black child out of wedlock in the 2000 South Carolina primary, and whatever other sleazy shit from the pile of digested Alpo from the last several years you want to pick up. No, right now what we need is a nice, clean “by the book” election, not this is freakin’ stupid and profoundly anti-“little d” democratic idea.
It’s wrong but not close to wrong enough to be “so wrong, it’s so right.” No, it’s just plain wrong.
Never mind the fact that this would be a clear case of “too many chiefs, not enough Indians” (two too many, given the unelected presence of Bill Clinton throughout the whole process).
Never mind the fact that it’s ludicrous to believe it would be a “credible commitment” for whomever went first—Hillary, obviously, given that this is a cheesedick way for wavering HRC supporters to get Obama to back down. Sure, I believe that you’re going to step down after being president, sure. It’s with that property in Florida and the Brooklyn Bridge….
It makes a total mockery of the electoral system and is, in essence, a throwback to the smoke filled room in the worst sort way. And I’m somewhat a fan of the old days of the smoke filled room, but this is pathetic.
It’s the kind of scheme that elected dictators of the likes of Vladimir Putin dream up when political pressure gets high enough that they need to step out of the office. Wait… Vladimir Putin IS ENACTING it!
It’s the kind of thing that shows up in Latin America, cf. Puntofijismo. It might have been OK for a while but lead to the inevitable stagnation down the road that gave the world my buddy Hugo Chavez.
I’m sure Karl Rove got semi-hard when he was hanging in Dick’s secure, undisclosed location thinking about this sort of thing, but then laughed when he realized that one’s never going to the altar with him….
This is America. We can, and should, do better than this pathetic scheme.
February 8, 2008
As a bit of variety for our readers, I’ve decided to throw together a periodic humor piece inspired by Simon Travaglia BOFH. It’s not exactly an angry rant… but it is Friday — you deserve a few laughs. For those new to the HoS series, the first episode is here.
The Advisor is pretty pissed about what happened to Li and seems to think that I was at fault in the matter, even if, to the trained observer (and the university police, for that matter), it appeared to be nothing more than an unfortunate accident. Despite spending the evening in university hospital, Li seems not so particularly worse for wear and is “excited about getting back to work.” This means that my offensive did not have the desired effect — instilling fear in Li. That must be rectified, but first I need to switch to defense mode. I must protect the server.
As the only guy in the group who does any computing beyond the “Excel” level, I use about 95% of the non-idle cycles on the server (yeah, ok, that counts BitTorrent), so protecting the server from idiots like Li is high on my priority list. As any decent admin knows, physical access is root access (or in Li’s case, break-memory-in-half access). Ergo, I need to come up with a better place of stashing the server than in the lab so Li and his ilk keep their bloody hands off. Seeing as I don’t really have an office — Javier, the first year and I work in the lab — there’s no obvious place to put it. The thought of leaving it in Amy and Sasha’s office makes me shudder… the prospect of putting in some spadework with Amy is overshadowed by the prospect of having to interact with Sasha at all. I will need another plan.
After finishing off a few rounds of Xevil against the first year and the condensed matter guys down the hall who’s advisor is gone all week, I grab my coat and head out to McSweeney’s for department happy hour. On the way out, I see the Jimmy the janitor and invite him along. Despite the fact that he’s on the clock, he joins us. I like this man’s work ethic. A few hours (and more than a few stouts) later, I’m sitting with Jimmy and Javier and discussing the server problem.
“… and you see, after the memory chip problem, I need to put the server somewhere more secure.”
“What about the department server room?” says Jimmy offers.
Javier and I laugh heartily. “Uh, No.” The departmental web site has been rooted 3 times in the last six months (OK, one of those times was me and Javier), so I wouldn’t trust those guys further than I could throw them (which, given their computer-user physiques isn’t very far).
Jimmy responds, “Well I suppose I could keep it in one of the janitorial closets.”
“Well, I don’t know. I mean, what about moisture?”
“I’ve got the perfect dry space in one of them. And nobody has access but me.”
“And if I need to get to the machine?”
“Come by any time I’m on shift and it’s yours.”
“Well, I’d need to see the facility,” I note.
“Not a problem,” smiles Jimmy.
Now Jimmy is probably about 50 with the libido of a 18 year old. Even the normally oblivious female grad students notice his naughty leer and make it a point to avoid him. Even given his Dirty Old Man status, I’ve made it a point to shout Jimmy a few beers — in the large, heartless bureaucracy that is the university, a janitor is one of the best friends you can possibly have.
After happy hour ends, I head back with Jimmy to inspect his proposed server site… in the basement. I wonder for a moment whether or not I’ve just stepped into a slasher flick when Jimmy opens the door to the room. Needless to say, I’m impressed. Ecce love nest.
Jimmy’s “closet” is almost as large as the lab, and it’s equipped with a large flat panel TV (so that’s where the screen from conference room 234 went), a mini-fridge, a fully stocked bar, the complete collection of the works of Ron Jeremy and a bed that’s so gaudily decorated it looks like it came from a motel with hourly rates. I whirl around to face Jimmy.
“Uh, man, if you’re a thinking that I’m…”
“I’m not a fuckin’ queer, you moron,” Jimmy retorts, “This is for the ladies.”
I ponder in disgust as to what kind of “ladies” would find their way here. Swallowing my doubts, I ask, “Where do you think I can put the server?” Jimmy responds by pointing to a nice area in the corner, near a powerpoint where I could easily place the machine and have it completely undisturbed.
“Well that will do quite nicely. What’s the catch?”
“I know I was buying drinks, but if there’s an off chance I might be interrupting your escapades, this is going to cost me a lot more.”
Jimmy smiles and says, “Son, you definitely have your head on straight. I’ll tell you what I want. The department just installed a satellite HDTV feed up on the roof, and I’ve heard they have all the special channels. You’re going to get me a feed.”
I shudder to think exactly how many porno channels that thing will carry. But it’s either give the man his porn or have Li’s hands all over my server… an easy choice, but a tough job. I’ll need to tap the line, run cable all the way to the basement and do all of this without anyone noticing or caring. I pause for a moment.
“For that much work, I want a key. I won’t use the bed, I promise.”
After a quick trip to city hall in the morning, the next afternoon Jimmy and I are inspecting the dish — it’s a pretty nice system. I can only begin to dream about watching the Super Bowl in HD in one of the conference rooms. I jar myself back to reality by realizing that snow has started falling. Quickly I pull out the laser range-finder and find that the dish is precisely 465 feet from the west wall. Looking over the blueprints for the building (thank you Mr. Mayor!), I trace my finger across them to find out exactly where the feed will drop. A chill comes over me as my finger settles on the office of the professor known as the “Columbian Slave Driver.”
Gulp. This is going to be much harder than I thought.
(to be continued…)
February 6, 2008
President Bush’s new (and DOA at the House) $3.1 trillion dollar budget projects that, by September 30, 2008 — the end of the current Federal fiscal year — the shortfall over revenues will be $410 billion. The House majority party is salivating over the choice chops of political fodder this provides in an election year, while at the same time patting themselves on the back for delivering a $150 billion stimulus package to the economy, which does nothing to stimulate the economy. Because this stimulus spending is short term, the package outlay translates dollar for dollar directly to the deficit. (To be fair, the President has signed off on this package also in the spirit of true bipartisanship — lookout taxpayer!)
I consider myself somewhat prudent in that while I have a mortgage, the P&I seldom exceeds $1000 a month (it’s an ARM and thus varies with LIBOR); I don’t have any outstanding credit card debt — I am a transactor rather than a revolver; and I have some investments and savings.
The Federal Reserve has reduced interest rates in the last few months by almost 2 points. This is to bolster the economy (as perceived through the lens of the equities and bond markets). The markets have rallied, and then sunk as the impact is absorbed and evaluated. Democrats in Congress are talking about not being able to ‘afford extending the Bush tax cuts‘ and not being able to ‘afford the revocation of the AMT‘. They are also talking about expanding many programs.
What does this all mean to me?
My ARM resets every February based on the preceding six months LIBOR so the reduction of the Fed rate is likely to have little impact on my P&I. Additionally, since the LIBOR has lately decoupled from the Fed rate there is no guarantee that any Fed action will lower LIBOR. Credit card issuers adjust their loan rates monthly, usually based on 10-12% over the Fed rate, so that they can maintain a good net interest margin. However, since I am prudent and have no revolving card debt, I obtain no benefit from this. Since the rate goes down, so does the interest accrued to my meager savings and money market accounts. Current savings rates are less than the CPI so in terms of dollar denominated spending power, the value of my savings actually decreases.
One effect of the cuts manifests in the dollar’s value compared with other currencies. The dollar has achieved new lows. As a result, dollar denominated commodities such as oil and grain, have increased in terms of price. The value of a barrel of oil is the same or slightly rising (due to demand) but the value of the dollar is falling meaning that you need more of them to buy that barrel. Consequently, gasoline is hovering near $3.00 per gallon and can only rise as demand picks up again. Consequence to me: I have to pay more to get to work and back to buy fuel. I have to spend more of my pay to keep my house heated in the winter and to pay for electricity.
Policy decisions in Congress, particularly with the ethanol alternative fuel initiative, have also had their effect. These efforts are a derivative effect to mitigate the higher oil prices. Subsidies to ethanol producers — again an expense supported by taxes — have driven corn prices higher. Basic grain products have increased in price, cattle feed and thus meat has increased in price, and since corn syrup is used in about everything, most other processed foods have increased in price. Consequences to me: inflation.
One of the reasons that is used to support the package is that the liquidity of the financial markets is being reduced. The reason for that is simple — bankers don’t have a good feel anymore for what an asset is worth, and consequently are reluctant to lend money against that asset. Multiple levels of risk diversification haven’t quite worked out as planned. While I am a fan of and support securitization, the packaging of asset and mortgage backed securities with credit enhancements and credit default swaps constituted building a house of cards. Young financial engineers with little experience in the downside of things spun up an edifice of risk that is still in the process of toppling. But the Fed has already provided an answer to the liquidity problem through its discount window where banks are assured of obtaining the capital they need. The stimulus package doesn’t affect this. By viewing the economy entirely through the lens of the financial market, rate cuts only reinforces risky behavior. The Fed action is predicated on the premise (unsubstantiated) that whatever affects the markets eventually affects the general economy.
Finally, it seems as if Congress doesn’t learn anything. If anything was clearly demonstrated by the Bush tax cuts, it was Laffer’s theorem that there is an optimum taxation rate to provide maximum revenue. Since the stimulus package will increase the deficit, the inevitable result will be a call for an increase in taxes. The result of that will be a slowdown of the economy, a decrease in tax revenue, which will result is still higher deficits. Plus, the effect will flow down to the States and their revenue streams. All of the ‘good’ and ‘beneficial’ programs will be strained and States and Cities will attempt to make up the shortfall. Consequence to me: My take-home pay decreases as my fed taxes increase. My property tax component which is now slightly less than my P&I amount will exceed it and I will absorb more of the burden of government.
The reason that the market has blipped higher and then reset is that investors collectively know these things. This non-stimulus stimulus package offers no long term market or economic benefit. This package and the rate cut itself is a profligate renunciation of fiscal prudence. The current set of policies rewards the behavior the current Congress rails about: the lack of savings of US citizens; an excessive burden of credit card debt; highly leveraged mortgages; overreliance on oil.
Here is my table of consequences:
|Credit Card Payments
|Risky Financial Behavior
||Dude! I rent.
Never one to bitch without offering a solution, here is what we need to do:
- Actually limit federal and state spending. Cut agency staff and eliminate costly programs which do not perform. Insure each agency has a performance metric upon which future funding is based.
- Stop adding new entitlement classes to existing entitlements of Medicare and Social Security. Take a close look at the implementation to insure that the program is not driving UP the cost of health care.
- Eliminate tax deductions on corporate contributions for employee health care.
- Increase the Fed Rate by 3 full points. The market will take a dive. So the next day …
- Announce the elimination of the AMT (and follow through) and make a permanent tax rate of 10% ($20,000 < Income < $250,000) and 22% (Income > $250,000).
- Completely eliminate capital gains tax.
- Eliminate corporate income tax. (This is just another tax on the consumer , since it’s passed through).
Basically, fix the tax problem and all other problems will fall into line. There is a reason why formerly Communist countries have gone to flat taxes and low rates.
February 5, 2008
Today is Super Tuesday, where almost half of the delegates of both parties are up for grabs. But who will win? Can Hillary stop the Obama Man Train? Will Ann Coulter’s anti-endorsement actually hurt John McCain? Courtesy of our patented Angry Crystal Ball technology, the 12 Angry Men offer their predictions of who’s going to come out on top.
If we get off our angry behinds, we might actually update this during the day. Or not.
Angry New Mexican
On the Republican side of the aisle, I expect to see some fairly solid support for McCain in most of the bluer states — New York, California and New Jersey, for instance. Romney picks up most of the redder states, discounting a Huckabee victory in Arkansas, plus perhaps a surprise in Missouri, Alabama or Tennessee. Overall, I see McCain picking up a (slim) majority of the 1,081 Republican delegates chosen on Super Tuesday. This will probably be enough to off Huckabee for good, but not enough to quash Romney. Ron Paul will get no delegates, which will of course, providing tin-foil hat whining from his partisans on slashdot.
On the Democratic side of things, expect to see Hillary take a majority in all of the big states save Illinois and Georgia. Obama does very well in the smaller, more liberal states like Connecticut. States with large Hispanic populations (New Mexico, Arizona) go heavily for Hillary. Overall, Hillary comes out on top by about 5% or so in the polls and a tighter margin among the 2,075 Democratic delegates. Obama will be able to keep up his campaign for a bit longer, perhaps even until the convention.
Angry Overeducated Catholic
On the Republican side, I agree with ANM in general terms, but with some important caveats. California remains too close to call, with McCain and Romney trading the top spot constantly. I’m going to call it for McCain but I would not be surprised at all to see Romney take it (esp. with the immigration issue looming large). New York, of course, is a no brainer: on it’s most conservative day it’s slightly to the left of Castro—so McCain there for sure. Jersey, ditto, it’s New York with more mobsters and toxic waste dumps. And Illinois, which might still be glancing nervously towards Nauvoo. Romney, meanwhile, carries his own state of Taxacusettes, Utah (duh), Nevada (still duh), and some of the other western states. But he loses the South to McCain(!) and maybe Huckabee in one or two places. I just don’t see Romney able to overcome both Huckabee and his open Mormonism to take the more conservative voters in the South. Overall, I think there’s a real solid possibility that Super Tuesday to cement McCain as the clear choice, put the final nail in Huckabee’s coffin, and persuade Romney to bow out as well for the sake of party unity. Ron Paul, of course, will soldier on, no matter what, as will his followers, but who cares.
The Democratic side strikes me as even more interesting. Despite ANM’s clear Billary boosterism, Obama is a real contender in Califronia, as well as in Illinois and Georgia. None of those are winner-take-all states, though, and Hillary has a lot of support across New England and through the Mid-Atlantic states. Obama may take several states in the Midwest and Deep South, but it’s by no means certain. My gut tells me that there won’t be a clear leader after Super Tuesday, but Obama will be in trouble if he doesn’t come out with either a majority or a close minority of the votes. Given the number of superdelegates leaning towards Hillary in the Democrat’s corrupt nominating system, Obama has an uphill fight unless he can show clear momentum today. Still, unlike the GOP side, I see little chance for a decided race tomorrow, which will doubtless make Hillary even more shrill and uncompromising towards “uppity” Obama. Worse, the Clintons will be smelling blood and enraged by Barack’s lack of meek obedience: so look for the last remnants of restraint to fade after today, as the Clinton smear machine shows Barack what a dirty campaign really looks like.
Angry Political Optimist
Frankly, I am sick of the political coverage of this dragged out election season. It even makes the Brittany Spears/Natalie Holloway/Paris Hilton celebrity coverage look attractive. Gag! (I can’t believe I said that.) I suspect that there are a lot of people who feel like me and will express their displeasure at the voting booth by voting for Ron Paul or Mickey Mouse. Expect to see an uptick in low percentage candidates.
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