Archive for the ‘Iowa Caucus’ Category

>The Next President Has Been Named

January 10, 2008

>From Dale Jones, Editor of The Western Star:

“Hillary is out. Despite their efforts, mainstream media cannot carry this election for her, and Hillary Clinton will soon ride off into the proverbial sunset.”

Far from it, Dale. Senator Clinton may or may not be the eventual nominee, but it is far from over. And even if she does not prevail, she will not be riding off into the sunset.

Dale often writes about the “moral, ethical, Christian stance” that he takes on the issues, and in this column he claims “how overwhelmingly people support” his stand on the issues.

Let’s not discuss here the irony of those claims when his editorial policies (plagiarism, twisting or ignoring truths, flat out lies) are considered. (Tell me, how can a plagiarist make a claim of ethics?)

Instead, let’s consider his assumption that only Republicans hold moral, ethical and Christian values, and just wait and see how many voters in Bessemer vote in the Democratic Primary compared to the number who vote in the Republican Primary. That in itself won’t tell us which party holds the key to those values, but it will tell us that not everyone in Bessemer ascribes to the ethical and moral edicts put forth by his philosophy. In other words, “The World According To Dale” is a myth. And not all Democrats are heathens, in spite of TWATD.

Dale states that 60% of those who participated in the Republican caucus in Iowa are “evangelical Christians”. That is no surprise, and similar or higher numbers might be found if they did a similar poll in Alabama. I don’t know what percent of Democrats in Iowa are evangelicals, but I bet it’s a pretty high number.

Examine the numbers a little more. Of the 60% of GOP voters (114,000) who are evangelicals (68,400), less than a majority, 46% or 31,464, voted for Huckabee, who Dale Jones has already crowned as president: (“When all is said and done, just as in years past, the American people will speak, and good, honest, moral, conservative values will prevail and Mr. Huckabee will be our next president.”)

To make it clear, more evangelicals who voted Republican voted against Huckabee (54%) in Iowa than voted for him. And Iowa does not have a great history of picking winners. It’s hard to believe anyone would make a bold prediction after just one state has spoken.

I wonder what Dale thinks now that Hillary beat Obama in New Hampshire? I can’t wait to read next weeks column.

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The Next President Has Been Named

January 10, 2008

From Dale Jones, Editor of The Western Star:

“Hillary is out. Despite their efforts, mainstream media cannot carry this election for her, and Hillary Clinton will soon ride off into the proverbial sunset.”

Far from it, Dale. Senator Clinton may or may not be the eventual nominee, but it is far from over. And even if she does not prevail, she will not be riding off into the sunset.

Dale often writes about the “moral, ethical, Christian stance” that he takes on the issues, and in this column he claims “how overwhelmingly people support” his stand on the issues.

Let’s not discuss here the irony of those claims when his editorial policies (plagiarism, twisting or ignoring truths, flat out lies) are considered. (Tell me, how can a plagiarist make a claim of ethics?)

Instead, let’s consider his assumption that only Republicans hold moral, ethical and Christian values, and just wait and see how many voters in Bessemer vote in the Democratic Primary compared to the number who vote in the Republican Primary. That in itself won’t tell us which party holds the key to those values, but it will tell us that not everyone in Bessemer ascribes to the ethical and moral edicts put forth by his philosophy. In other words, “The World According To Dale” is a myth. And not all Democrats are heathens, in spite of TWATD.

Dale states that 60% of those who participated in the Republican caucus in Iowa are “evangelical Christians”. That is no surprise, and similar or higher numbers might be found if they did a similar poll in Alabama. I don’t know what percent of Democrats in Iowa are evangelicals, but I bet it’s a pretty high number.

Examine the numbers a little more. Of the 60% of GOP voters (114,000) who are evangelicals (68,400), less than a majority, 46% or 31,464, voted for Huckabee, who Dale Jones has already crowned as president: (“When all is said and done, just as in years past, the American people will speak, and good, honest, moral, conservative values will prevail and Mr. Huckabee will be our next president.”)

To make it clear, more evangelicals who voted Republican voted against Huckabee (54%) in Iowa than voted for him. And Iowa does not have a great history of picking winners. It’s hard to believe anyone would make a bold prediction after just one state has spoken.

I wonder what Dale thinks now that Hillary beat Obama in New Hampshire? I can’t wait to read next weeks column.

1. Iowa 2. Creationism 3. Recipe for left over ham

January 4, 2008

1. The big winner in last night’s Iowa caucus was…the Democratic Party!

Barack Obama walked away with 38% support, and John Edwards followed with 30% and Hillary Clinton with 29%.

Clinton would have like to have won, no doubt, but this is not a death knell for her candidacy. Look at history, in 1988 Richard Gephardt won the Iowa Caucus, but fizzled after that, and Michael Dukakis became the nominee. The results were so close, that any one of the three leaders could go on to secure the nomination.

But the Democratic Party attracted over 220,000 participants, compared to only 114,000 Republicans. This was almost an 80% increase in the number of particpants for the Democrats, compared to an increase of about 30% for the Republicans. The White House will be painted Blue in 2008! Figuratively, don’t worry.

The Democratic Party also showed that in conservative (60% of Republican identified as evangelicals), white (>90%) Iowa they are not afraid to support a minority candidate. This is in a system where your vote is not secret…you stand in a corner with like minded voters and somebody counts heads. You wouldn’t see this in the Republican party, that’s for sure.

And here is a reason Hillary’s third place finish is not as significant as it looks. As an example of how the Democratic caucuses work, CNN took actual numbers from the first round of a caucus, then showed how those with less than 15% of the votes had to drop out, so their voters had to re-align with other candidates. In the example they showed, Clinton had the most votes in the first round, but of the re-aligned votes, she got none, so Edwards and Obama benefitted. As Bobby said, Obama won in a state where people get to vote twice. If in Iowa everyone got to vote just once, Clinton probably would have won.

If anyone felt the death knell, it was Mitt Romney. Good. He is so lame, here is what he said trying to explain his lie that he once saw his father march with Martin Luther King, Jr. “You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there. Excuse me, the Super Bowl.”

The Patriots play at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro in Romney’s home state, and he can’t even keep it straight what sport they play? Romney thinks his looks can get him elected, but if looks were all it took then Tom Brady would be running as Massachusetts’ favorite son:

from Most Beautiful Man

But even this didn’t just happen. Here’s Brady’s NFL Scouting Combine picture from 2000:

from The Big Lead

How quickly the focus can shift from politics to…

2. Science, Evolution and Creationism. This is the title of a new book published by the National Academies that was featured on NBC nightly news last night and is being released today. The book explains why Creationism or Intelligent Design should not be taught in Science classes, although it may have a role in other subjects in schools. Read the Summary Brochure or view or buy the book here .

Read my post on Intelligent Design is not Science here.

3. Tired of leftover ham. Ham or other parts of the pig are commonly served on New Years Day, and leftover ham sandwiches get old. Try this soup. I cooked it last night and got good reviews. Of course, the cornbread I made to go with it helped.

Ham and Bean Soup.

1 pound dried Great Northern beans

6 cups of water

1 1/2 pounds cubed cooked ham

2 tsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme (whole or powdered)

4 peppercorns

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

2 cups water

4 potatoes, peeled and quartered

3 carrots, scraped and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 medium onion, chopped

With the beans, sort and wash and cover with water and let soak overnight, or do like I did and bring to a boil and gently cook about an hour or so. Drain. Then add 6 cups of fresh water, and the ham and the next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer about an hour or so, then add the remaining water and vegetables. Cover and simmer about 30 more minutes until the veggies are tender.

If you need the cornbread recipe, let me know. Yum

>1. Iowa 2. Creationism 3. Recipe for left over ham

January 4, 2008

>1. The big winner in last night’s Iowa caucus was…the Democratic Party!

Barack Obama walked away with 38% support, and John Edwards followed with 30% and Hillary Clinton with 29%.

Clinton would have like to have won, no doubt, but this is not a death knell for her candidacy. Look at history, in 1988 Richard Gephardt won the Iowa Caucus, but fizzled after that, and Michael Dukakis became the nominee. The results were so close, that any one of the three leaders could go on to secure the nomination.

But the Democratic Party attracted over 220,000 participants, compared to only 114,000 Republicans. This was almost an 80% increase in the number of particpants for the Democrats, compared to an increase of about 30% for the Republicans. The White House will be painted Blue in 2008! Figuratively, don’t worry.

The Democratic Party also showed that in conservative (60% of Republican identified as evangelicals), white (>90%) Iowa they are not afraid to support a minority candidate. This is in a system where your vote is not secret…you stand in a corner with like minded voters and somebody counts heads. You wouldn’t see this in the Republican party, that’s for sure.

And here is a reason Hillary’s third place finish is not as significant as it looks. As an example of how the Democratic caucuses work, CNN took actual numbers from the first round of a caucus, then showed how those with less than 15% of the votes had to drop out, so their voters had to re-align with other candidates. In the example they showed, Clinton had the most votes in the first round, but of the re-aligned votes, she got none, so Edwards and Obama benefitted. As Bobby said, Obama won in a state where people get to vote twice. If in Iowa everyone got to vote just once, Clinton probably would have won.

If anyone felt the death knell, it was Mitt Romney. Good. He is so lame, here is what he said trying to explain his lie that he once saw his father march with Martin Luther King, Jr. “You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there. Excuse me, the Super Bowl.”

The Patriots play at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro in Romney’s home state, and he can’t even keep it straight what sport they play? Romney thinks his looks can get him elected, but if looks were all it took then Tom Brady would be running as Massachusetts’ favorite son:

from Most Beautiful Man

But even this didn’t just happen. Here’s Brady’s NFL Scouting Combine picture from 2000:

from The Big Lead

How quickly the focus can shift from politics to…

2. Science, Evolution and Creationism. This is the title of a new book published by the National Academies that was featured on NBC nightly news last night and is being released today. The book explains why Creationism or Intelligent Design should not be taught in Science classes, although it may have a role in other subjects in schools. Read the Summary Brochure or view or buy the book here .

Read my post on Intelligent Design is not Science here.

3. Tired of leftover ham. Ham or other parts of the pig are commonly served on New Years Day, and leftover ham sandwiches get old. Try this soup. I cooked it last night and got good reviews. Of course, the cornbread I made to go with it helped.

Ham and Bean Soup.

1 pound dried Great Northern beans

6 cups of water

1 1/2 pounds cubed cooked ham

2 tsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme (whole or powdered)

4 peppercorns

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

2 cups water

4 potatoes, peeled and quartered

3 carrots, scraped and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 medium onion, chopped

With the beans, sort and wash and cover with water and let soak overnight, or do like I did and bring to a boil and gently cook about an hour or so. Drain. Then add 6 cups of fresh water, and the ham and the next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer about an hour or so, then add the remaining water and vegetables. Cover and simmer about 30 more minutes until the veggies are tender.

If you need the cornbread recipe, let me know. Yum

Iowa Caucus Guide for Republicans and Democrats

January 2, 2008

What is a blogger in Bessemer, Alabama doing giving advice to Iowans as they make their final decisions before Caucus Day on Thursday?

What you do in Iowa affects how Alabamians will vote next month in our primaries. And I do have a connection of sorts. I have a brother who with his family lived in Des Moines for several years, and as an aside, on a visit with my children when they were little kids one summer, we were caught in the middle of a tornado south of Iowa City during which we had to abandon our vehicle and seek safety in a water filled ditch. But that is a story for another day.

From Bessemer Opinions, this can serve as a guide for Iowa caucus participants as they express their preference for president in the upcoming caucus. Key candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties will be given a yea, a nay, or an OK, and a reason.

First the Republicans

Mike Huckabee – Nay. Huckabee has shown himself to be a joke of a candidate. His lack of knowledge regarding foreign affairs is frightening.

Think: NIE blunder and Iran nuclear program.

Think: Comments regarding immigrants from Pakistan after the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

His comments regarding HIV and quarantine are demeaning and show that when he made those remarks he had a complete misunderstanding of the knowledge that was current at the time.

His latest antic, calling a press conference to “show” his “negative ad” before claiming to be above such, then telling the media he will show it to them but not release it is just the strangest thing any candidate has done. Trying to put negative information out and…, or rather trying to get the media to do it for you is low and deceitful. We do not want this uninformed, deceitful man as president.

Mitt Romney – Nay. Romney is the prince of flip flop, as his changing positions on a woman’s choice and gay rights confirms. Whatever position gets him the votes he thinks he needs to win is the position he will take on an issue.

Rudy Giuliani – Nay. This man, after the first attack on the World Trade Center, moved emergency operations in to the buildings. That shows how much sense he has. Listen to what the firefighters of New York are saying. Giuliani wanted to “scoop up and dump” debris from the Trade Centers. This “debris” contained the remains of firefighters and others who were killed in the attack.
Here is the story on Fox News. In addition there is this: “Meanwhile America’s mayor Rudy Giuliani is trying to figure out how to explain to the Christian Conservatives why he lived with two gay men, and why he married his second cousin Regina Peruggi and about being pro-choice.” (From the Archives ) .

Wait, I spent this much time thinking about what to say about Giuliani and he is not even campaigning in Iowa? What a waste of my time…and yours.

Fred Thompson – Nay. Is this guy even awake? Reagan slept through half his presidency, but at least he was awake during the campaign. Nothing about this man seems presidential.

John McCain – Nay. McCain is a hero to our country, but he is not presidential material. Plus he is too old. I am not one to discriminate based on age (I’m a 53 year old college student, after all) but I think we need a president who is not approaching the average life expectancy for someone his age. If that seems cold, sorry. McCain missed his chance in 2000.

Ron Paul – OK. Ron Paul makes the most sense of all the Republicans, especially when he is talking about the war or about corporate fascism and the military industrial complex that runs this country. But his solution to federal tyranny is giving control of issues like protecting rights and liberties over to individual states and this reeks of the racist cries of “states’ rights” that we heard in the south over the years. Change that “OK” to a “Nay.”

Democrats

Barack Obama – Nay. Obama would make a fine president but lacks experience in dealing with foreign policy, and would require some on the job training. In addition while he probably is as gay friendly as any democratic candidate, he is too close to his homophobic pastor, and his South Carolina gay…anti-gay tour episode really lost favor among the community of those who believe all people were created equal. Remember what the Declaration of Independence says: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Hillary Clinton – Yea. It is no secret that I am a Hillary Clinton supporter. She has the experience and the knowledge and skills to become an effective president, and she is ready now and will not need on the job training. She is strong on defense, yet realizes we need to change course in Iraq. She understands that the focus should be in Afghanistan. She has a winning health care policy as well as progressive environmental policies. Plus she comes with someone who has White House experience who will give her worlds of advice – Chelsea Clinton. Chelsea is 27 years old and just a few years older than my daughter, and I am sure she is full of advice for both of her parents.

But Senator Clinton as President Clinton would not rely on her daughter or her husband for advice on running the country. Hillary is intelligent enough to lead the country on her on, but also smart enough to surround herself with quality advisors.

This is very important. Hillary Clinton, among all the candidates of both parties, will be able to restore our standing in the world in less time than any of the others. First we have to regain the trust of the leaders of other countries, and only then can we begin to regain their respect. And with respect comes leadership, and only then will we be able to regain that position in the world that we lost soon after 9-11.

A vote for Hilary Clinton is a vote for a secure, sound America that treats all of its citizens with respect and dignity, and an America that respects science and the environment as well.

And maybe she will choose General Wesley Clark as vice president candidate. Wouldn’t that be nice?

John Edwards – Nay. Edwards would make a good president but I don’t think he generates the excitement necessary to win the race in November. His experience does not begin to compare with Clinton’s and his negativity in the debates turned me off.

Bill Richardson – OK. Richardson has plenty of experience, both with domestic issues and in dealing with foreign policy. In addition his role as a successful governor shows that he has leadership qualities that are required to head an executive branch of government. However Richardson did give a weird answer at the so called “gay debate” when asked whether homosexuality is a choice or not. See video here Video from the debate . Some of the video here does show that he has an impressive gay record as governor, though. But again, Richardson does not generate the excitement in the party to get him elected. But look for him in the administration.

Dennis Kucinich – Nay. Kucinich has a role, but unfortunately being president is not in the cards for him. It’s too bad, because he does make sense at times, especially when he is not talking about UFO’s and Shirley McLain.

So, Iowans, your big day is almost here. Make your choice wisely, and make those of us in the rest of the country proud.

>Iowa Caucus Guide for Republicans and Democrats

January 2, 2008

>What is a blogger in Bessemer, Alabama doing giving advice to Iowans as they make their final decisions before Caucus Day on Thursday?

What you do in Iowa affects how Alabamians will vote next month in our primaries. And I do have a connection of sorts. I have a brother who with his family lived in Des Moines for several years, and as an aside, on a visit with my children when they were little kids one summer, we were caught in the middle of a tornado south of Iowa City during which we had to abandon our vehicle and seek safety in a water filled ditch. But that is a story for another day.

From Bessemer Opinions, this can serve as a guide for Iowa caucus participants as they express their preference for president in the upcoming caucus. Key candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties will be given a yea, a nay, or an OK, and a reason.

First the Republicans

Mike Huckabee – Nay. Huckabee has shown himself to be a joke of a candidate. His lack of knowledge regarding foreign affairs is frightening.

Think: NIE blunder and Iran nuclear program.

Think: Comments regarding immigrants from Pakistan after the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

His comments regarding HIV and quarantine are demeaning and show that when he made those remarks he had a complete misunderstanding of the knowledge that was current at the time.

His latest antic, calling a press conference to “show” his “negative ad” before claiming to be above such, then telling the media he will show it to them but not release it is just the strangest thing any candidate has done. Trying to put negative information out and…, or rather trying to get the media to do it for you is low and deceitful. We do not want this uninformed, deceitful man as president.

Mitt Romney – Nay. Romney is the prince of flip flop, as his changing positions on a woman’s choice and gay rights confirms. Whatever position gets him the votes he thinks he needs to win is the position he will take on an issue.

Rudy Giuliani – Nay. This man, after the first attack on the World Trade Center, moved emergency operations in to the buildings. That shows how much sense he has. Listen to what the firefighters of New York are saying. Giuliani wanted to “scoop up and dump” debris from the Trade Centers. This “debris” contained the remains of firefighters and others who were killed in the attack.
Here is the story on Fox News. In addition there is this: “Meanwhile America’s mayor Rudy Giuliani is trying to figure out how to explain to the Christian Conservatives why he lived with two gay men, and why he married his second cousin Regina Peruggi and about being pro-choice.” (From the Archives ) .

Wait, I spent this much time thinking about what to say about Giuliani and he is not even campaigning in Iowa? What a waste of my time…and yours.

Fred Thompson – Nay. Is this guy even awake? Reagan slept through half his presidency, but at least he was awake during the campaign. Nothing about this man seems presidential.

John McCain – Nay. McCain is a hero to our country, but he is not presidential material. Plus he is too old. I am not one to discriminate based on age (I’m a 53 year old college student, after all) but I think we need a president who is not approaching the average life expectancy for someone his age. If that seems cold, sorry. McCain missed his chance in 2000.

Ron Paul – OK. Ron Paul makes the most sense of all the Republicans, especially when he is talking about the war or about corporate fascism and the military industrial complex that runs this country. But his solution to federal tyranny is giving control of issues like protecting rights and liberties over to individual states and this reeks of the racist cries of “states’ rights” that we heard in the south over the years. Change that “OK” to a “Nay.”

Democrats

Barack Obama – Nay. Obama would make a fine president but lacks experience in dealing with foreign policy, and would require some on the job training. In addition while he probably is as gay friendly as any democratic candidate, he is too close to his homophobic pastor, and his South Carolina gay…anti-gay tour episode really lost favor among the community of those who believe all people were created equal. Remember what the Declaration of Independence says: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Hillary Clinton – Yea. It is no secret that I am a Hillary Clinton supporter. She has the experience and the knowledge and skills to become an effective president, and she is ready now and will not need on the job training. She is strong on defense, yet realizes we need to change course in Iraq. She understands that the focus should be in Afghanistan. She has a winning health care policy as well as progressive environmental policies. Plus she comes with someone who has White House experience who will give her worlds of advice – Chelsea Clinton. Chelsea is 27 years old and just a few years older than my daughter, and I am sure she is full of advice for both of her parents.

But Senator Clinton as President Clinton would not rely on her daughter or her husband for advice on running the country. Hillary is intelligent enough to lead the country on her on, but also smart enough to surround herself with quality advisors.

This is very important. Hillary Clinton, among all the candidates of both parties, will be able to restore our standing in the world in less time than any of the others. First we have to regain the trust of the leaders of other countries, and only then can we begin to regain their respect. And with respect comes leadership, and only then will we be able to regain that position in the world that we lost soon after 9-11.

A vote for Hilary Clinton is a vote for a secure, sound America that treats all of its citizens with respect and dignity, and an America that respects science and the environment as well.

And maybe she will choose General Wesley Clark as vice president candidate. Wouldn’t that be nice?

John Edwards – Nay. Edwards would make a good president but I don’t think he generates the excitement necessary to win the race in November. His experience does not begin to compare with Clinton’s and his negativity in the debates turned me off.

Bill Richardson – OK. Richardson has plenty of experience, both with domestic issues and in dealing with foreign policy. In addition his role as a successful governor shows that he has leadership qualities that are required to head an executive branch of government. However Richardson did give a weird answer at the so called “gay debate” when asked whether homosexuality is a choice or not. See video here Video from the debate . Some of the video here does show that he has an impressive gay record as governor, though. But again, Richardson does not generate the excitement in the party to get him elected. But look for him in the administration.

Dennis Kucinich – Nay. Kucinich has a role, but unfortunately being president is not in the cards for him. It’s too bad, because he does make sense at times, especially when he is not talking about UFO’s and Shirley McLain.

So, Iowans, your big day is almost here. Make your choice wisely, and make those of us in the rest of the country proud.