Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Obama Challenge

This is a line from a blog post by MJ Rosenberg:
Staking out some new territory here will make Obama look like the leader I think he is.
I tend to prefer a President who knows how to get things accomplished. I generally prefer to see a demonstrated leadership ability or else some specific ideas, or a framework in which I can judge their decision process. I've yet to see that from Obama. I've gone through his legislative record during his Illinois tenure and was less than impressed.

So here's my Obama challenge. Can you name something specific that clearly demonstrates Obama's leadership and ability to get done? For the people in my top five list of candidates, I can name things off the top of my head which are pretty specific. I just can't find anything even comparable with Obama. Before I consider him as a serious presidential candidate, I'd like to know why I should vote for him. I just don't see him as being better than my other top contenders.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fight The Power

Is there anything energy companies are good for?

This is a bit personal to me. My parents live outside of Seattle and have been out of power for a few days now and word on the street is they may be out for several more days. My last remaining grandparent--my maternal grandmother--lives with my parents and is not in the best of health these days. The temperature in my parent's house is in the 40s.

Fortunately, one of my sisters lives close enough and has power. But what about those who do not have this luxury. There have already been reports of several deaths and a hundred cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. I've been listening to a radio show based out of Seattle and have been hearing horror story after horror story. Yet no outrage from prominent politicians--and very little coverage of the problems there.

Once again, nature has exposed our vulnerabilities and unpreparedness. We're in the 21st century and a windstorm shuts down a large chunk of a highly populated area and the lovely power companies can't get their stuff together. Meanwhile, my parents are hovering around a battery operated radio trying to figure out when they are going to get power. If this is all it takes to shut down a city, we're in trouble. The mayor and governor--whom I've defended and lauded--have some explaining to do.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bush Deserves No Credit

One thing that has been bugging for a while now is Bush getting credit for suddenly taking an interest in listening. John at AmericaBlog brings it up:
Let me get this straight. The President of the United States has decided he needs to consult with the people who work for him about Iraq. Almost four years in to this disaster, Bush wants "advice," now.
For the life of me, I can't figure it out. If Bush were a CEO, his rear would have been chucked a long time ago. How many workers would be able to get away with blistering incompetence for so long without getting the boot. Yeah, he got reelected, but would he have if the media reported more accurately. Heck, even the ISG says things are worse than most Americans think. Half of us believe we have found WMD in Iraq. A lot believe Hussein was directly behind 9/11. I guess it is no surprise, then, that the media wants to portray him as looking for answers rather than the incompetent leader that he has been. After all, the media would have to share in the blame as well.

Better late than never doesn't cut it when thousands of American troops have been killed or wounded and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died. Not to mention the fact that this is projected to be a trillion dollar war.

Friday, December 08, 2006

2008 Is So Far Away

2008 is so far away and I'm already tired of hearing about it.

I'm tired of hearing how evil and bad Hillary Clinton is. She's a deeply caring person, a solid leader, a smart tactician and much more popular than she's given credit for. I find it ironic that the left has bought into the tens/hundreds of millions of dollars worth of "anti-Hillary" propoganda more than people in the middle and to the right. Anyone who has a 50 percent approval rating despite universal name recognition and such a concerted effort to trash their reputation has to have something going for them. The truth is, she can win a primary and win a general election. I wish I didn't have to hear how she can't anymore, but such is life.

I'm also a little tired of hearing how great Obama is. What has he done and what are his ideas? That's what I want to know. He likes to have it both ways. And when all you do is give heartwarming speeches, its easy to do so. For most of my adult life, and definitely the last 6 years, our country has been run by GOP rhetoric. I'm tired of that. I want answers not slogans and soundbites. Talk is cheap so I judge my presidential candidates by results, their votes, and/or their experience(s). I don't have such stringent criteria for lower offices, but president is pretty darn important to me. I guess my lack of enthusiasm is about ten fold higher for Edwards. Saying you want to end poverty is not the same as proposing ideas and actually doing something legislatively.

I'm tired of the media trying to crown their favorites (e.g. McCain). Let's cut the crap about momentum and do some reporting on the issues. Give us a chance to elect the best leader, not the best rhetorical Houdini, would ya?

End rant.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group

The Iraq Study Group report is out and from the little I've had to take a look at it, nothing seems earth shattering. After browsing through the executive summary I went back to a post I wrote a year and a half ago on what I wanted Bush to address in his Iraq policy.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I have to say I'm a little surprised that my ten minute blurb overlaps at least a little with the executive summary. Specifically, I mentioned a year and a half ago that we needed to get a regional discussion going and have Iraq's neighbors secure their borders. I even mentioned the need to address Iran's nuclear program in the context of Iraq. In terms of reconstruction, I mentioned that "A timeframe will be set for the completion of all vital projects in conjunction with regional stability." Not word for word, but kinda close. The ISG mentions that there should be some flexibility in time frame for the milestones, which I also mentioned--seems common sense to me.

I think everything the ISG is coming out with should have been addressed a long time ago. If the administration couldn't come up with it on their own, they should have sent this group out years ago. Hell, if you're going to start a war, you should have had this information BEFORE you went in. I don't think the president should be praised for this. It should have been known by now. You don't undertake a big "project" without having a detailed plan to get it done as quickly and effectively as possible. I get a little sick thinking that the president is getting credit for something he should have done years earlier and after many soldiers and Iraqi civilians died. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.