Monday, February 25, 2008

The Travails of the Legal Immigrant

via Moderate Voters

United States Military Index from FP

Challenge We Can Believe In

McCain will plainly be challenged in the same way Hillary has been, to dissuade people from listening and taking seriously the message that hope is the right place to start looking for unity and solutions to the worsening problems of America. Obama needs a VP who can shore up his foreign policy and military chops. I have been reading up on Anthony Zinni for a few days and I believe that the former Marine Corps General and CENTCOM Commander could be persuaded. His long opposition to the war, like Obama he voiced it before the invasion, coupled with a grasp of military affairs that dwarves that of Senator McCain could make for a potent combination. What's more, Zinni is a bonafide expert on foreign relations and while he has not expressed political ambitions, others clearly see it for him.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Fair Lady

George Will makes several good points here-

1. The preposterous claim by the Clinton campaign that Florida and Michigan delegates ought to be seated has gained no traction and is moribund
2. The devotion of the Clinton faithful is based on a sense that Democrats should favor Clinton because it is her turn. Her claims for a record of experience that outways that of Senator Obama do not hold up to scrunity.
3. There may be a good reason that presidents with copius experience in the capital and the federal bureaucracy, such as Buchanan and Lyndon Johnson, have lacked the political will or judgement to take courgeous action against the status quo, on sectional compromise and Vietnam repectively.

One point that George Will hints at, but does not develop is the number of similarities between Lincoln and Obama - including their adopted home of Illinois, their stiring oratorical skills based on their experiences as unglamorous lawyers, and their ability to bring new perspective to an American capital riven with strife between to powerfully opposed factions.

Some may believe it preposterous to compare Obama to Lincoln in this way, but they would do well to remember that there was a time before Congressman Abraham Lincoln became the President when he could not cite enough experience to win even the Class 2 Senate seat in Illinois, held now by Dick Durban, an early supporter of Obama.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama Tactics Already Working

President Bush will try to say of Obama:
The only foreign policy thing I remember he said was he's going to attack Pakistan and embrace Ahmadinejad.
but what he will not tell you is that while he is busy crowing about how he needs the authority to do away with warrants for the sake of the imperial presidency, the CIA is able to do it job quite well when it acts decisively in a manner advocated by Obama, a man who actually understands foreign policy better than the "Decider". Coincidentally, that man also knows why the US Constitution is worth following.

Tell Me About DADT

Human Rights Campaign: Obama Takes Clear Stand Against Don't Ask Don't Tell

There appears to be reason for some gay rights groups to believe that there is difference between Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama as regards the ability to make a commitment to gay rights. Nobody would reasonably charge that Hillary Clinton is against gay rights, but it is fair to say that doubts remain about her ability to subordinate political considerations to what seem to be her genuine beliefs about the need for equality.

In March of last year, Hillary supporters called on her to sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act in the Senate and to date she has not do so. To be fair neither has Senator Obama, presumably because the rigors of the campaign trail have taken both away from their day jobs. But as the candidate running to a great extent on an appeal for validation of the Clinton presidency, it seems fair that she bear some responsibility for aggressively seeking to address a failed policy that alienates a core Democratic constituency as well as keeps the American military weaker than it absolutely must be to guarantee our national security.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WSJ: Will Obama Deliver the Beef?

I hope so, but more importantly, I think so.

John McCain - Wrong on Terrorism

This is an important assertion. We need a candidate who can effectively make this argument with nothing hampering their credibility. McCain can be beaten on foreign policy, because he is plainly wrong in the contention that we can subordinate other pressing issues- like competition with China on many fronts, progress on a solution in Israel/Palestine, the increasing tension caused by petropolitics in Eastern Europe- to an obsession with Iraq.

Part of this problem McCain has with accurately assessing our most important problems is that, in my opinion, his profound experiences at the hands of the North Vietnamese makes him unable to consider that a fight might not be worth fighting. In my opinion, the fact that many experts draw parallels between Iraq and Vietnam make McCain all the more eager to prove that both wars were worth the cost in blood and treasure. Just like Gen. Westmoreland, McCain will be forever fighting the same fight, and while we must salute him for not giving in so many years ago, we cannot make the same mistake 40 years later and keep fighting a war just because we can.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Are there actually people who believe Roger Clemens that he did not use HGH and probably a bunch of other banned substances? It seems to me like the only thing that is unambiguous is that everybody trusts Andy Pettitte and he is pretty sure that Clemens has done and said some illegal things, and in my book that makes Roger Clemens a criminal, allegedly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The Exile is returning from... well... yeah. No brilliant change in formatting is planned at this time. Just a resumption of posting and perhaps a bit less formal attitude (because let's be honest, that was probably what kept readership down).

I watched the movie Michael Clayton the other week, and with the amazing revelation that George Clooney can act, even though he was a bit outshone by Tom Wilkinson, it made my day. Besides the snappy editing, strong filming technique (those compliments were stolen directly from my friend, who has self-described "movie OCD"), and enticing foreshadowing, the movie has a great anti-corporate streak that has been missing from the public discourse for about a week and a half (since St. John of Edwards left the race).

Michael Shermer has a great piece about the evolutionary psychology behind corporate greed which helps to explain how the grandaddy of greedy corporate scumbaggery -- Enron under Jeff Skilling -- came about. My own take on the article is that it shows that greed, while natural, is not good; and more than that it is DUMB when a convict like Jeff Skilling makes it the basis for a corporate culture.

Okay, the treat for reading this far is on YouTube.