Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brief Thoughts: Florida's Primaries

Here are the results.

It's the talk of the news channels today. There's not much that can be said that hasn't, so I won't repeat a whole lot of what others have been saying, ad nauseum.

That said, here are some brief thoughts about the significance of the voting yesterday:


Hillary won big, but other the candidates were supposed to be honoring a boycott of the state. You will note the party that disenfranchises voters in this case is not the GOP.

But beyond this, Hillary gets a boost anyway. She may not get the delegates, but she gets the publicity. She gets her name in the papers as the winner, she gets the positive press. One thing important to note (among many) is, Obama does not do well in areas where he doesn't spend a lot of time. He does better in areas where he can concentrate on organizational development.

Some of the racial rhetoric has died down for now, but it's still simmering. When all is said and done, the division we see now between the two camps may run deeper than can be repaired.


Much closer race, but distant enough to give an edge to McCain in the upcoming races. This will be especially true in areas where Giuliani was expected to run strong. Rudy swings his support to McCain today, according to news hounds everywhere. I have little doubt this will happen. I also think there's a job somewhere for Rudy in a McCain administration.

Once Bhutto was assassinated, McCain's stock rose greatly. I think this is because people once again began to remember that this is a dangerous world. They may have issues with the current administration's handling of foreign policy, but they also know and understand that no Democrat seems to have a handle to what the right approach is to this component of the job they all seek.

It's a shame that Romney and McCain do not like each other. The reasonable thing to plan for is a McCain/Romney ticket. McCain handles foreign policy, Romney takes the economical issues. I say this because both are stronger in one area than the other and would compliment each other's skills better. It takes a team.

Recommended Reading

If you haven't had a chance yet, you really need to read Mustang's latest post. If covers a lot and is lengthy. But it is well worth the time you will put into it. It will give you much to think about as you ponder the future of this country.

One can continue to choose idealistic theory over realism, or they can wake up to reality and deal with it appropriately.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Unhealthy Analysis In The Equine World

There's only one way to beat a dead horse. The variations come with what you use to do the beating and which horse you actually beat. The only prerequisites necessary are having an object to use and a horse that is dead.

One scenario is found in Brattleboro Vermont.

Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.

I am sure the night life in Brattleboro is confined to few small local pubs and there probably isn't much in the way of crime there. So, the pressing issues of the day aren't as big as other localities. But still, I would think there would be more important things on the agenda to discuss than beating a dead horse at the federal level, where their votes mean nothing and they have no jurisdiction. I would think there would be the need for a stop sign at some intersection, somewhere.

Another scenario can be found at The Center for Public Integrity. This is a group self-described as:

....a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.

Based on this description, you'd think it is without an agenda. So when they decided to publish this example of beating a dead horse, many normally astute and intelligent people might be tempted to fall for it, without question. Some already have.

Here is the crux of their latest argument, which beats the dead horse one more time:

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

Nothing new here, no surprises. The liberal blogs have been stating this kind of thing since the beginning of the war. And they still are. So then the question becomes, why spend the kind of money they spent and devote the time they did, just to restate what has already been claimed by the Bush-haters, ad nauseum?

Well, I looked at the financiers of this non-partisan organization and was not at all surprised at the list of wealthy contributors.

Among them is The Streisand Foundation.

And we all know that Babs has never minced words about how she feels about the President. She would never support anything that would give him the benefit of any doubt, on any issue, at any time. Here is a sample of her lack of fondness from the article:

"How could such a destructive man be so popular with the American people?" she asks of Bush.

"Not only is he poisoning our air and water - he's poisoning our political system as well."

Hyperbole at its best. Look up the word and give the teacher one example and this would qualify. Others can be found scattered about here.

Another prominent contributor you'll recognize right off of the bat, is The Heinz Endowments. You know the one, John and Theresa Heinz-Kerry's group. Need I say more? Do some research on the others and I would bet you'd find the same bias in 9 of 10.

So, what of it? Does it mean as much now, as it did when we were just looking on the surface?

It's really no more or less important than it was when the leftist bloggers started this campaign, from the outset of the war or anytime else, since the day Bush was inaugurated. The words Bush lied will be typed 100's of thousands of times over this article and any other that supports their preconceived notions and "after the fact" analysis.

A lie is something told that is told while knowing it wasn't true. In all of these writings over the past few years, I have tried to uncover strong evidence that he knowingly lied about WMDs. Being wrong, and not knowing is a miscalculation. It is not a lie.

In all of this, Sunday's 60 Minutes gave us something to think about, something that Brattleboro, the Center For Public Integrity, and those that sound their trumpets will not discuss at any length. Aired was an interview with George Piro, a person that spent a long time with Saddam after his capture and had many conversations with him. Here is the portion of the interview which is certainly pertinent to this post:

"And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?" Pelley asks.

"He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the '90s. And those that hadn't been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq," Piro says.

"So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk, why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?" Pelley asks.

"It was very important for him to project that because that was what kept him, in his mind, in power. That capability kept the Iranians away. It kept them from reinvading Iraq," Piro says.

Before his wars with America, Saddam had fought a ruinous eight year war with Iran and it was Iran he still feared the most.

"He believed that he couldn't survive without the perception that he had weapons of mass destruction?" Pelley asks.

"Absolutely," Piro says.

"As the U.S. marched toward war and we began massing troops on his border, why didn't he stop it then? And say, 'Look, I have no weapons of mass destruction.' I mean, how could he have wanted his country to be invaded?" Pelley asks.

"He didn't. But he told me he initially miscalculated President Bush. And President Bush's intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 under Operation Desert Fox. Which was a four-day aerial attack. So you expected that initially," Piro says.

What? Saddam miscalculated?

He had the power to stop the invasion, but didn't?


I guess Bush should have known that he was bluffing.

No, sorry Bush haters. No lie here. I know Chirac told him and this will be salt the French will pour on wounds, for decades. But far more in the world community believed he had them, because his behavior was designed to create that perception. Fooled yes, Lied no. Another thing I notice about those that continue to beat this dead horse is, I hear no one in these circles holding Saddam accountable for what has transpired, for the false impressions he gave.

There is more than one dimension to a song on a record. But if that record gets stuck in a rut, there's only one part you'll hear. And the song won't make any sense.

Addendum: Thanks to Greg for reminding everyone that this video is pertinent and needs to be looked at again.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

Many times, we roll the calendars way back into the past. And with good reason, because there are some songs that just simply stand the test of time and are worth the look back. But, as good as those tunes are, we would be remiss of we didn't look at some of the more recent musical masterpieces. Whether or not these songs featured will someday stand that same test remains to be seen.

This weekend we have a few that I think stand a darn good chance of being those very songs, which will eventually be played on classic rock stations everywhere, someday.

The 90s brought us a new rock and roll style that has since been named, alternative rock. I cannot say that I liked a lot of it, at the time. But as I heard the new sound more and more, there were some shining artistic moments in this genre. One band was Stone Temple Pilots.

I found them to be a very talented band that had a couple of great tunes worthy of hearing. This is one of their tunes from 2000, called Sour Girl:

If you know rock and roll, you know about the Austin sound. Many of the bands that comprise this particular style contain a mixture of blues, country, and even some rockabilly. But the next band is one that is considered somewhat of an anomaly for that area. They have made an indelible mark in this decade. They are a band called Fastball and one of their songs is a little tune titled, Out Of My Head:

We cannot have any kind of celebration of recent rock music, without some representation from Britain. The next song is by an English group that has made a name for themselves in the modern rock world and believe me, they get a lot of airplay and critical raves. The band is Coldplay and this is one of their best songs (and maybe one of the best of this entire decade). It's simply called, Clocks:

Finally, we have an act that originated in Mississippi. They have a little rougher edge to their music than the previous tunes had. It is a harder sound that does not cross over into heavy metal. Here is the song that put them into the rock radio rotations, it's a tune with an interesting accompanying video. Here is Kryptonite:


Friday, January 25, 2008

Progressivism: Intro

Talk to a person that embraces the progressive ideology and you will think life would be so grand if their initiatives would be implemented. Real grand.

These are they that think healthcare under a single-payer system would magically become a compassionate solvent system that would meet the needs of the people, far better than now. Furthermore, they think government has all of the solutions to anything in the corporate business sector. They cannot stand the notion that someone with some capital would risk that capital and successfully turn into such an evil thing, like profit.

They also think implementing more welfare programs would eliminate poverty and ease suffering. And if we just had the courage to invest large amounts of capital in inner city programs, crime would be severely reduced, and outlawing handguns would effectively cause a marked drop in violent crime.

Many of these people are very noble people. They are honest and hard-working. And one cannot say they are not passionate and sincere about what they believe to be true. But somewhere along the line they have come under the spell that makes a person trust government. They think government is put on this earth to nurture and raise up a crop of dependent children that never leave home to seek their fortunes.

What they do not realize is, government wants them that way.

Government, by generational evolution, has slowly become co-dependent in nature and thrives on this unhealthy dependency. This is because those that serve in government need to be needed. They need to be relevant. It keeps them empowered.

Progressivism did not start out as a strategy for government to have so much influence and control of our lives. It was conceived not as a means to empower, but as a means to equalize things that needed some moderation. It was needed at a time when human suffering was exponentially greater than it is today and those that weren't suffering were very few.

Note-This started as one post, but as I am typing and thinking about it, I realize this cannot be covered in one post (without boring the hell out of people more then they otherwise would be). So, consequently, this is the first part of a series.

Next up: Some history.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Update: The PYY Depraved Bastard Of The Month

For those that caught the last installment of "Depraved Bastard", here is an update on the case, as it is known. Law enforcement officials chased down a lot of leads and finally got to what they think is the bottom of the whole affair and have made some arrests.

The men charged in the Hovey Street slayings were trying to score 50 pounds of marijuana and cash in a house they saw as an easy target because they expected only women to be inside, prosecutors say.

The men charged were named in the article. Pictures accompany those names. Altogether, five have been charged in connection with this horrible crime, and as you may surmise, the death penalty will be sought in the case of the shooter.

In the midst of this, one must ask the fundamental question of if these two girls and their two babies would be alive today, had they not been selling pot? Granted the fact that they were possessing a large quantity, did not directly cause their deaths. But if the reputation hadn't been there, as a house that had it and had it abundance, there would have been no attempted robbery and no murders as a result.

There was no call for shooting these girls and their little ones, none whatsoever. It was cowardly and dastardly, at the very least. But, people must realize that living and working in an underworld environment, when something like this happens.

State Immigration Bill Goes To Full Senate

Mustang at Social Sense has posed a question about a bird feeder.

In Indiana, a tough immigration bill has been voted 10-1 to go to the full state senate, for consideration of taking down the bird feeder. Not much time for me to comment today, but the details are here in the Indy Star.

Opponents of a tough new illegal-immigration bill say Indiana will be treading on constitutionally dangerous ground if it becomes law.

Naturally, the birds do not want the bird feeder down so the old "constitutionally dangerous ground" argument comes into play.

Check this out when you get the chance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

PYY Outrage Of The Day

If you want to see something that will really irritate the hell out of you, take a look at this story from the Indy Star. Sometimes the wheels of justice do not think of every possibility until some blood-sucking attorney takes up a case like this, just to pad his own pocket along the way.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Just Another Split In The Seam

I find it interesting that the "first black president" Bill Clinton is being told to lay off the criticism of Obama. Here, House Majority Whip and member of the Demcocratic Black Caucus, Jim Clyburn says the former president needs to "chill a little bit". From the article:

Bill Clinton's attacks on Obama, Clyburn said in a CNN interview, were unfair because a former president's viewpoint "carries with it extra weight."

"I think they would say in 'Gullah Geechee' country he needs to chill a little bit. I hope he understands what that means," Clyburn told CNN.

"I can understand him wanting to defend his wife's honor and his own record, and that is to be expected. But you can't do that in a way that won't engender the kind of feelings that seem to be bubbling up as a result of this."

"Gullah Geechee" refers to African-Americans who live in South Carolina's Low Country region near the Atlantic coast.

"He is revered in many sections of the African-American community, and I think he can afford to tone it down," Clyburn added.

Not fair? Obama threw his hat into the ring and said he wants to be president. Is he so thin-skinned that he cannot take criticism? If he were to get elected and his policies and proposals come under scrutiny like every last president before him, would they then cry, "not fair"?

Then, we read that the mayor of Atlanta (a black lady) said some things yesterday, as well:

Speaking at the 40th annual MLK commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Franklin said the country is on the "cusp of turning the impossible into reality. Yes this is reality, not fantasy or fairy tales."

Could somebody direct her to You Tube, so she can hear the entire "fairy tale" statement again? If that doesn't work, try to explain it to her - one more time.

As you may guess, it's now boiled over into the debates and the intense dislike for each other has become even more evident.

Personal antipathy and pent-up anger boiled over as Democratic foes Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama accused each other of twisting the truth, in a fiery 2008 campaign debate Monday.

The two senators stared one another down, gesticulated and constantly interrupted one another, flinging accusations and counter-charges at a vital stage of their quests for the White House.

Some of this is the creative writing skills of a sensationalist reporter, wanting to make this sound like a bare-knuckled street fight. But what all this boils down to is evident. By the time, the Democrats' nominee is known, the party will be grievously split. I cannot imagine that this much animosity will ever be forgiven, by either side. The real question will then become: If Hillary wins, will the Obama camp support her or will they stay home in the General Election?

Now that the debate is over, the hacks will be out in force. The media jump starts it, the hacks spin it out of control. The longer this goes on, the more harsh things will be said. The more harsh things that are said, the deeper the divisions will go. And the deeper they get, the harder it will be to reunite them come November.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bill Clinton's Nightmare

It wasn't during this little speech during an MLK event, when the speaker lulled him into some involuntary periods of dozing. That was the pleasant part of all of this. After all, they say quick-doze power naps in the afternoon, sometimes can rejuvenate a person.

No, his nightmare is just beginning.

Now that the media has a hold of this, the outrage from Obama's surrogates will be jumping all over this one. They will claim he is disrespecting blacks. They will hammer him mercilessly.

And yet, during the courses of their castigations, they will not consider that the poor guy has been out on the campaign trail for a long time; nor will they care that his health isn't what it once was. Very little will be said about his past bypass surgery and I can guarantee with a good amount of certainty, you won't hear anything about how boring the speaker was. To say this, would constitute racism and bring calls for harsh condemnation.

I have been where he is at on many occasions. I know what it's like to be so tired and someone speaking isn't interesting enough to stimulate my brain cells that have been deprived of rest and repair. The hours, the pace, very few could keep up with Bill Clinton in his heyday (or me in mine). He always was a textbook example of a workaholic, during his days in the White House. He's been though many a campaign and it all takes a toll, especially when you get older. But in the grand scope of things, this will all be a non-factor in the onslaught that is about to occur in the Democratic ranks.

Recommended Reading

The NY Times has a good article on Michael Yon, the online blogger that has logged more hours in a combat zone than any other journalist. (However, according to the article, his background is not in journalism.) His narratives are up close and personal, unlike the hotel room journalists that pay for stories from biased sources that purposely skew the real stories, into some propaganda pieces that advance their antiwar agenda.

Give it a read, if you are so inclined and when you get the time.

A Fractured Fairy Tale

Most people my age remember the cartoon of the same name, from our days as kids. Well, today there is a fractured fairy tale that will not go away.

The now famous Bill Clinton phrase is becoming embedded in the political jargon and keeps getting good traction in the news media. Here is a recent editorial piece by Bill Kristol from the NY Times that centers around this moment in 08 campaign history. It opens with the crux of the whole matter:

“Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” Thus spoke Bill Clinton last Monday night, exasperated by Barack Obama’s claim that he — unlike Hillary Clinton — had been consistently right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) on the Iraq war.

I believe that is exactly what Clinton was saying, despite those race-baiting elements that wanted to spin it otherwise. (Keep in mind, I am not in Clinton's fold and do not agree with many of his stances on the important issues of the day.) But now, Obama wants to challenge the former President and confront him personally over what he deems to be an inaccuracy in that statement.

"You know the former president, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling," Obama said during his first morning television interview since coming in second in Nevada.

Why? Because Hillary has a former President for a husband? Normally it would be troubling for a former president to openly campaign for a candidate in the primary season. Past protocols have forbidden such a thing, but it is not etched in stone. As a courtesy, most have followed this unspoken rule of courtesy. But this is his wife and it may very well be he feels obligated because of what he put her through, with the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Regardless, it is is his wife. If my wife was running for some office I had held at one time, I would do the same thing. Most of us would, if we still wanted to keep our wives. Better yet, why does Obama not consider it troubling when his surrogate race-baiting supporters misrepresent the content of Mr. Clinton's statement?

But let's read on:

"He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts -- whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas.

Ah, yes. This is the old "statements not supported by the facts" response. Let's listen to the statement in it's entirety, once again:

Bill Clinton claims Obama took down the text of a speech that said he stood with the President. Why can't Obama provide the text of that speech as evidence that Clinton is distorting his record on the war in Iraq? Why was it taken down?

Another question:

If Obama was so against the war, why did he immediately vote unanimously with his colleagues (right after taking office in 2005) for emergency defense appropriations, which included funds for the Iraqi operation? It seems like that would have been a good time go against the grain, if his conscious was truly under conviction.

The bottom line here is simple. If Obama wants to be the anti-war candidate, fine. But it would behoove him greatly to not distort his own record, while claiming others are doing it. And if he wants the negative campaigning to stop, he needs to call off his surrogates from making race an issue.

Monday Morning Quarterback

NE Pats 21 - SD Chargers 12

I thought the San Diego defense did all that could be asked of them. They held the Pats to 21 points and all the Charger offense had to do was come up big, like they claimed they could. Although the flamboyant (without cause) Rivers moved the ball at times during the game, they couldn't get the ball in the end zone. And you cannot beat the NE Patriots by kicking FGs. You must score TDs to beat them, there is no ifs, ands, or buts here. You just have to.

Tom Brady throwing three interceptions is certainly an anomaly and it was the kind of day that many teams wish they could have had against the Pats. But Maroney stepped up the running attack and opened up the passing game enough for NE to clamp down in the fourth quarter.

But the real key to the game was the NE defense, particularly in the red zone. Bend but do not break, give up yards but limit points. That's how the Colts got the job done last season, it's how you win championships. They did not fold they kept playing and in the end they compensated for Brady's lackluster performance (by his usual standards).

Bottom line, New England has too many weapons. If some of them misfire, they use the ones that are firing. They have one more to go to be in history for the ages. If they lose, all of this will be for naught.

NY Giants 23 - GB Packers 20

No matter what the inside armchair critics say about how sloppy this game was played, it's hard enough to get out and start the car in this kind of weather, much less try and play four quarters of NFL playoff football. You cannot understand it, unless you've been in it. The football is slippery and hard as a rock, the ground is like cement, and each hit by an opposing player hurts that much more.

If you were ask people in the beginning of the season which QB named Manning would be in the Super Bowl, very few would have guessed Eli. Give the kid credit, he came to play and play he did. He put his team in a position to win in regulation. When that didn't pan out, it did work in OT. He moved the ball

The first FG that was missed was Tyne's fault, The second was the long snapper's blunder for snapping the ball too high. But how great it must have felt, when he put the game winner through. The Giants play so much better on the road, it's not even funny. They win, even though they win sloppily. They gut it out.

I thought the cold affected both teams equally, but especially hurt Favre. After all, age does matter in these kinds of extremes. He couldn't get into a rhythm and the Giants defense had much to do with that. But thing thing that hurt both teams was the personal fouls at critical points in the drives.

At any rate, congratulations are in order for the Giants and their fans. Enjoy the moment, because they hjave their work cut out for them in two weeks.

Colts News

Today is the day, Tony Dungy is supposed to let the world know if he is still the coach. If not, then Jim Caldwell is set to step in and it is highly doubtful anything will change. Caldwell has been Dungy's Assistant Head Coach, philosophies are completely the same. He is a quality individual that Indy fans will definitely embrace, every bit as much as Dungy. (And the black coaches lobby will have no beef with the selection process, because like Dungy, Caldwell is a black man.)

I saw the last Peyton Manning "Priceless Pep Talk" commercial last evening. Indianapolis feels as sad as Peyton looks in it as he ponders the end of the season. But, don't kid yourself. He is most certainly excited that his brother Eli has made it into the big game. Now if the Manning family can find some voodoo specialist in the French Quarter to put a hex on the Pats, he might have a chance to win it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

I am going to spare the narratives somewhat. If you care, the links will lead to you the wiki entries and you can read up on the bands, there. This week is a montage of some country rock songs from the past, with one more recent and unusual combination of artists. First up is a song from a band formed by two former members of Buffalo Springfield. The band is Poco, the song is In The Heart Of The Night:

If you've ever been out west, you know there's plenty of these things to drive on. Having lived in Kansas for a year and a half, I drove down my share. Here is Pure Prairie League and one of the biggest hits, Two Lane Highway:

I knew him as Michael Murphey. Then he added his middle name, Martin, to the mix and became a successful country artist. If you like the banjo, you will find this performance to be most excellent. Here is Carolina In The Pines:

The unlikely duo is Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame and his partner is Alison Krauss, a bluegrass icon. It's hard to imagine how this must sound. But if haven't heard it, give it a shot. The song was written by the Everly Brothers and is titled, Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On):


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bin Laden: An Emissary Of Peace?

I don't know about you, but I love a good heart-warming story as much as anyone. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel there is some good to be found, in the midst of some bad things. Nothing wrong with silver linings, but there are some moments in time when caution is wise and prudent.

Take this latest story about the son of Osama bin Laden, for instance.

Omar Osama bin Laden bears a striking resemblance to his notorious father—except for the dreadlocks that dangle halfway down his back. Then there's the black leather biker jacket.

The 26-year-old does not renounce his father, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he said there is better way to defend Islam than militancy: Omar wants to be an "ambassador for peace" between Muslims and the West.

Maybe I failed to successfully emerge from Erickson's "Trust Vs. Mistrust" stage of development with C's or better, but this outreach program is not going to be an easy sell. It's one thing to speak to a reporter about wanting to bridge gaps between the Muslim world and the West, but it's quite another to actually do it.

There's bound to be a lot skepticism and doubt that this communique will generate, So, don't think it strange when most realistically grounded people blow this off. Mr. bin Laden hasn't said what he plans to do to implement this grandiose strategy. And what that usually means is, there is no plan, just talk.

Again, I think it would be great to have someone from the Muslim world look hard at establishing a realistic worldview and becoming better able to work against terrorist forces everywhere they exist. I think this way, because I think it's sorely going to be needed in any long-term solution to the hostilities that exist, between the two worlds. But until I see something more definitive than rhetoric and feel good statements laced with hope and vision, I cannot be optimistic.

St. Reagan Humanized

The GOP candidates have invoked Ronald Reagan's name numerous times during this campaign. He was a great president for many reasons, in my view. And certainly we could use his pragmatic approach to many of the problems we are facing today. But in making him some kind of standard for the 2008 GOP primaries, these candidates are overlooking that Ronald Reagan was a man that was prone to mistakes, just like everyone else. In short, he was a politician.

For a better synopsis of Ronald Reagan the human being, read VDH's latest essay.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hoosier Hostility

If you watched the San Diego-Indianapolis playoff game this past Sunday (the one in which the Colts' defense could not stop a Charger drive late in the game, with LT and Rivers both out of the game). You might have caught the annual NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick winners being announced in between the 3rd and 4th quarters.

In the girls' category was one New Hampshire girl that had a New England Patriots jersey on and as you might expect, she got booed by some of the Indy fans. It was classless, in my view. But she took it well, and has received a lot attention over it.

In fact, she has some pretty good parting gifts coming to her.

The owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft, felt badly about the reception the teen got in Indy, so she's getting tickets to the AFC championship game on Sunday.

"Our whole family was invited to the game. We have tickets. They want to take me out on the field as the guest captain for the coin toss. That's pretty exciting," said Anna.

Not a bad deal for getting booed. In fact, maybe I could apply somewhere to get booed for monetary compensation (plus benefits). But it doesn't end there. A local TV station felt bad for her and wanted to make it up to her, as well.

WTHR also wanted to set things right so that Anna and her family have a good impression of Hoosier hospitality, so we're giving her an Indianapolis 500 prize package including VIP tickets to the race, 500 Festival Parade, a chance to go around the oval as well as some shirts and hats. Anna's reaction? "Wow! Thank you so much!"

VIP tickets? I have never sat in a suite there, but from what I hear, it's not a bad experience. These packages aren't cheap either. But beyond it all, she will get to see a better side of Indy, when it's not in football season. It's called Hoosier Hospitality, not Hostility.

Like I said before, this is not a bad deal, just for getting booed. Now where did I put that comedy club application?

Thought For The Day

There's an old saying. I am not sure if anyone knows who is attributed with this particular quote, but I first came across it many years ago:

Nobody is ever completely worthless. At very least, they can serve as a bad example.

With this in mind, one needs to look no further at what has become of the most famous North Carolina prosecutor in history, Mike Nifong.

Disgraced and disbarred, Mike Nifong is now bankrupt.

Whenever his name comes up, I still sit and shake my head in utter amazement and ask just how in the hell everyone in the free world could see this coming, except for him. I also wonder, how many people tried to talk him out of it?

The PYY Depraved Bastard Of The Month

This honor goes to the people that perpetrated this heinous and depraved act.

An infant wounded in a shooting on the Near Northside died early this morning bringing the death toll to four, Indianapolis Metro police said.

Four people, two were just wee ones. These men are rotten to the core and I am not the only one that is incensed.

Police had not identified suspects by late Tuesday. Sheriff Frank Anderson asked the public to help police find the killers and vowed to track them down “like dogs.”

“We’re not going to stop until we find you and put you in a cage where you belong,” Anderson said. “There’s a special place in hell for you, and we’re going to see that you get there.”

Let's hope he gets these low-life jerks. These are low-down dirty dogs that deserve to spend the rest of their days in a cold and damp cell in the winter, and a lot of hot and muggy ones in the summer.


Upon further thought and deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that the Sheriff means what he says. Take a look here and see why I say this. From a PR standpoint, he's lucky these murders stole the limelight from this act of incompetence committed by one of his staff.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Outcome In Michigan: Romney And Meaningless

As the pundit corps debates the meaning of the Michigan primary results, other election questions need to be pondered.

Hillary, the only top-tier Democratic candidate to not have his/her name removed, has beaten Uncommitted fairly soundly. And Mitt's win shows that Michigan has not forgotten the Romney name. But other states loom in the distance and must be won, if a candidate is serious about winning.

Democrats have much to decide, but the power bases are more concentrated in three candidates. The consensus is, it's really a two person race at this point. John Edwards really isn't projected to win anything in the near future, although one cannot rule out that if he remains, a state or two may actually swing his way, somewhere down the road. But unfortunately for Mr. Edwards, it will not be enough.

It's widely accepted that Hillary and Obama are the two that will bring the Dems down to the wire. One of the major questions this leads to has already been asked: Who will Edwards supporters swing their allegiance to after their man is gone?

From the NY Post article linked to above, we read what Dick Morris thinks:

THE Democratic nomination for president will likely be decided by the subtle pulls of ego against duty that tug at the conscience of John Edwards. He manifestly can no longer win - but he helps Hillary Clinton if he stays in the race and boosts Barack Obama if he pulls out.

It's a given that he will be in the race at least until after South Carolina, and then Super Tuesday. After that, there will be massive calls for him to exit, I am pretty sure.

I am not sure that all of the support that Edwards currently enjoys will be transferred straight to Obama's camp. But clearly, a lot will. There is an anti-Hillary element that exists within the party and the conventional wisdom of such people is anyone is better than her. The question is, will it be enough to cast her down out of contention in the upcoming big states that have many coveted delegates.

In the GOP side, Romney has won Wyoming and now, Michigan. These are two that he should have won and sorely needed to, if he was to have any chance whatsoever. Sure, he leads the delegate total right now. But, Super Tuesday is around the corner and the delegates up for grabs will mean much more than the nickel and dime amounts that have been at stake before tonight.

Nevada will be hard to predict. There are a lot of Mormons there, who may fall behind Romney. At the same time, we also must keep in mind that it is a neighboring state to John McCain's Arizona. McCain is quite popular in the west. Still, one cannot rule out Romney (based on the religious demographics).

In South Carolina, McCain and Huckabee will be the top two, with McCain probably winning a squeaker due to the military vote. After that showing, I think McCain stands a good chance of carrying California and some other key states.

Back to the Democratic side, I think Obama should win big in SC (mainly due to the race issue that has arisen of late). But I do think NY and California will go Clinton, the latter by a far lesser margin than the former. I also think Hillary has a good chance to win in Nevada, but I would not count Obama out.

Key point, if Hillary makes it close in SC, there will be signs that the polls (like in NH) may be in the midst of some serious media manipulations. We may find that Hillary is more formidable than is currently being thought. And we may also have a better understanding that the media is trying to do what they do best, which is play a role in the coronation of a democratic nominee.

But tonight, the results of the Democratic race means little or nothing; that is, unless the DNC decides down the road to restore the delegates it took as punishment for holding the contest too early for Howard deans and company's tastes. And unless it is in the best interest of the party, I seriously doubt they will.

One factor tho think about is the winner, which (in this case) is Hillary over the Uncommitted. Had the Uncommitted won, I would say that they would likely be restored at some point soon. However, the only way they may be restored now is, if Hillary is a few delegates away from the nomination without them and to prevent a protracted floor fight that the GOP could somehow exploit, they opt to avoid such a scenario on national TV.

So, here we are again. A lot can happen in the coming weeks. There will be those that claim front-runner status as part of their campaign rhetoric machines. But in reality, there really is none on either side. It makes it even plainer, when you sit and think about how much is at stake next month and how much can be lost if someone really screws up between now and then.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

SD 28 - Indy 24

There are so many reasons the Colts deserved to lose this game, but I do not have time to list them all. The one thing that stands out among others is, the defense didn't show up. Neither did Manning. Sure he moved the ball down field and passed for a lot yards. But if you cannot get the ball in the end zone when you need to, it's all for naught. Yards aren't points. SD can savor this win now, next week they go home. Rivers taunting the fans was highly unprofessional and cheap. It will be fun to see him pouting next week. The way the Colts played today, they would have been embarrassed next week, anyway. Better the Chargers be the one to look incompetent on national TV, than my team.

NE 31 - Jax 20

There is this semi-permeable membrane the Jags seem to be trying to break through. Every time they get the opportunity to show why they should be given respect, they blow it. Too many mistakes at the wrong times. They are clearly not as disciplined as it takes to play at the level NE is playing right now, and they need someone to throw the long ball to. Plus, their defense was not able to stop the Pats enough, so they just came up short. Garrard is the real deal, he just needs a little more seasoning and more options down the field to take some of the workload off of the running backs. Running game may get through at the college level, but not in the NFL.

GB 42 - Seattle 20

Spotting the Seahawks two TDs to start the game off is not the preferred method of playoff football. But when you have the magical old man leading the team, it's no sweat. This is the fairy tale of the season, the least likely outcome anyone could have predicted. The Pack is back for one more run. Most old men like me cannot help but root for a cagey veteran that still has the ability to lead a football team. This is why he will be in the Hall of Fame first year ballot, when he's eligible.

NY 21 - Dallas 17

If I had slept all day and woke up to hear there's a Manning in the conference championship, I wouldn't have guesses Eli was the one. Gutsy performance by a young greenhorn that still has a way to go before being close to big bro. But knowing that Peyton didn't play as well as he should have, may have motivated Eli a little more. The Giant defense was a very important factor in stopping the Cowboys in their own stadium. These guys played better on the road than they did at home, so it comes as no surprise that NY handed it to them today. it's going to be tough beating GB at Lambeau in January. Not many can do it. They have a chance.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Race Issues May Damage Democrats

There's trouble brewing within the Democratic Party. Dems may not want to think so, but the pot is beginning to simmer and could turn to a full roiling boil by the time they have a nominee. And if it boils over, there's going to be a big mess to clean up.

The issue is not the unexpected loss of Barack Obama in New Hampshire, although I am quite sure that hasn't set well with those in Obama's camp. It's more of a perception problem than anything else, and it centers around what some African-Americans are perceiving as divisive tactics that threaten to divide the party, specifically along racial lines.

From the Politico comes this story:

A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband and her supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the presidential primary as the candidates head south to heavily African-American South Carolina.

Naturally, some of the most vocal critics of these perceived tactics are none other than those that generally benefit from acts that could be taken as racial, but usually aren't. Finding out his now famous "fairy tale" remarks were getting a lot of wear and tear on black radio talk shows, the former president called into Al Sharpton's radio show to answer the critics that tried to spin his remarks, heard everywhere in cyberspace.

Jesse Jackson Jr. - co-chairman of Obama's national campaign - has never missed an opportunity to make a mountain of a molehill to capture publicity that otherwise would not be there, following in his father's footsteps. Here is his sound bite statement of the day:

“Following Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa and historic voter turnout in New Hampshire, the cynics unfortunately have stepped up their efforts to decry his uplifting message of hope and fundamental change,” he said in a statement.

I heard the statement made by Bill Clinton and I am not often willing to defend him, particularly when it comes to ideology and policy. But in this case, I cannot see where it was intended to be a snarky remark on Obama's campaign. It was a snarky remark about how some - like Jesse Jr. - have hammered the Clintons, while conveniently forgetting things that would make their candidate look hypocritical.

I mean, let's be fair about this. Here is the text that led up to the fairy tale remark:

“It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, enumerating the years, and never got asked one time — not once, ‘Well, how could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn’t know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war. And you took that speech you’re now running on off your Web site in 2004. And there’s no difference in your voting record and Hillary’s ever since.’

“Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairytale I’ve ever seen."

Look folks, this is fair criticism.

In a civil election campaign process, this should be followed up by Obama's supporters refuting the content of the remarks, not the latent racial undertones and intentions. But instead we get subtle (and some not so subtle) responses with partially hidden accusations from those that are well-known for promoting complaints of racism, where there often is none.

Hillary hasn't escaped the political prosecution, either. She should leave the history of the civil rights lessons out of campaigning. I'd rather hear more about the socialist agenda and the the political scheming she plans to do in order to come up with the money to pay for this proposed political shopping spree, of hers.

I can't hide it, and it's certainly it's no big secret. I am not a fan of either of these three front-running Dems. But petty is petty here. The next step will certainly irritate the Clintons, if the two sides let thing thing spiral out of control. It's never-ending, you know?

Better yet, let me say it like this: I can think of a million things for these people to criticize each other on, but not race, not when it's not warranted. Bill Clinton is supposed to be the "first black president". He's had his accolades from everyone. Now that a man with African heritage is running, does that somehow discount what Clinton has done in the world of race relations?

At least Hillary is telling us what she wants to screw up. Obama is talking about hope and vision, faith, hope, and charity (of the government-type). Who knows, what he means? He will discuss policy after he gets the nomination, I suppose. Just take a seat.

If he wants to criticize fairly he could say: Hillary is a automated technocrat that wants more government, more expenses, and more analogies of all the makings of a Robin Hood government. But, he won't, because the truth be told, it's probably him too.

He could also say: She's right on "it takes village". People do need other people for support systems, and some of that comes from the government. But, when the village wants to have more rights over your children, your property, and your behaviors that affect no one else but you - you have to say something. But that's probably him too.

Well, it's not me.

For the love of Pete, I cannot understand why Dems didn't get behind Biden or Dodd. (Note-I am not their biggest fans.) I am sure both would blow a lot money on crazy domestic programs that create more jobs, for government. But, they get it right way more than the current three (soon to be two) leading candidates do, especially on foreign policy.

So anyway. There you have it.

Instead of arguing about specifics, we have activists in two very huge and significant demographics in the party, battling each other for power. It's bound to get uglier as time goes on. But hang on a while longer, because Super Tuesday will be here soon enough (and the stakes will likely be higher than ever). That's where the damage may become irreparable and the party wounded.

Have a good supply of chips and dip, the show has yet to start.

Note - At the time I wrote this post (for posting today), the only real solid stories were the ones I linked to in the post. Since then, the following stories have come out, further feeding the fire that is currently erupting in this area:

Clinton camp hits Obama | Attacks 'painful' for black voters

Clinton Sounds Off On Backlash

Get ready. I am sure there will be more before the campaign is over.

There is more.

Hillary on Meet The Press.

Playing the race card works. At least the latest ABC/WaPo poll reflects so. But it pays to be careful about these things, the polls had Obama cruising in NH.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

There was once a band that did more to bridge the gap between the old Memphis rockabilly sound and that of the new wave period, than any other I can think of. Just think of it as a Memphis meets British invasion genre and you have this unique flavor figured out.

The nerve center of this band were two guys from the UK, Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds. The band was called Rockpile. If you liked that crazy Carl Perkins sound, it's hard not to tap your foot to this stuff. This was (and in many ways, still is) the very essence of the purest form of Rock and Roll.

This first cut has Edmunds singing sans Lowe and it was written by Elvis Costello. It's called Girls Talk:

Next is a tune that features Lowe singing and playing, without Edmunds (although he did appear with him on the studio cut of this song). Here is Cruel To Be Kind:

This one has both of the guys in it. Here is a dedication to teachers (both past and present) everywhere. No, I am not necessarily thinking of Mustang here, but more like my "fresh out of college" high school junior English teacher, Miss Vogel (she was an old Ohio State cheerleader, you know -wow). Here is Teacher, Teacher:

And finally, as if these first three tunes were not catchy enough, here is one that really rocks, Switchboard Susan:


Friday, January 11, 2008

The Drunken Sailor Approach To Government - Made Easy

When your banks are tanking from making bad loans and the credit card companies are taking a dive from extending credit to people they know cannot pay it back, who do you call to bail them out?

Answer: Nations that don't like you very much and would love to see you weakened.

Citigroup is putting the final touches to its second big capital-raising effort in as many months, seeking up to $14bn from Chinese, Kuwaiti and public market investors.

Under the proposal being discussed, the bulk of the money – roughly $9bn – would be most likely to come from China, people familiar with the negotiations say. The Kuwait Investment Authority would contribute about $1bn, while $2bn to $4bn would be raised through a public placement of shares.

Well, it's only a matter of time. When we get so far into these people, they are going to call these loans in. Mark it down. Meanwhile, they will own a significant amount of our financial infrastructure and control nearly all of the means of production, all because we export our factory jobs overseas.

In WWII, we succeeded partially because we converted regular plants that could manufacture the supplies we needed, to defeat a formidable enemy. But many of those are slipping away with a lot going overseas to nations like China. If the balloon goes up, does anyone think China will let us job that out to them?

This is what happens to a nation, when it spends way too much.

To state it in a Greek patriarchal manner much like Michael Constantine's character in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, "But nobody leesens to me".

More Recommended Reading (And Watching)

Despite the fact that it keeps him broke and poor in his retirement paradise, I am glad Mustang of Social Sense isn't working any more. Naturally it gives him more time to write stellar blog posts. As I have said before, he has the rare ability to inform, enlighten, and entertain, many times in the same post. This newest post is no exception.

Over at Obob's World is an embedded video from You Tube that every person who is under the delusion that PETA is a noble cause, should watch. It's a little lengthy and it contains the usual salty language we've become accustomed to with Penn and Teller. But nonetheless, it gets the point across rather well.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Supreme Court Hears Indiana Voter Identification Law Case

The cases Crawford vs. Marion County Election Board and Indiana Democratic Party vs. Rokita will be heard today in the U.S. Supreme Court. In essence, Democrats are challenging the law because they feel it hurts their party more than Republicans. And since the law was enacted by under GOP majority, you know this has be unsettling on a couple of fronts.

The Indy Star has coverage here.

For a Democratic viewpoint, you can read this piece by Marie Cocco.

On Wednesday, the justices will hear a challenge to Indiana's strict law requiring photo identification in order for a voter to cast a ballot at the polls. The state claims the law is necessary to stop voter fraud. Yet no one -- not Indiana officials, not the U.S. Justice Department, which has taken the state's side, nor any commission -- has come up with a single case in the state's history in which an imposter showed up and cast a vote.

Evidently Ms. Cocco hasn't heard one of the fastest growing demographic of voters also known as, the dead vote. Maybe she doesn't think illegals are voting in some areas, but who would bet against this?

For The GOP side, you can read the Star editorial page.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker, in a 2006 ruling, demolished arguments put forward by the Indiana Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. "Despite apocalyptic assertions of wholesale voter disenfranchisement, plaintiffs have produced not a single piece of evidence of any identifiable registered voter who would be prevented from voting,'' Barker wrote at the time.

Think about that: The plaintiffs failed to find a single voter who couldn't cast a ballot because of the ID requirement. If no was injured, is there really a case?

The obvious answer to this is no. All citizens that want to vote can get an ID card, if they do not have a drivers license. There is no excuse whatsoever, for feeling disenfranchised.

Yet, the big comeback is always a concern, "the poor cannot afford an ID". But what they don't tell you is, by law anyone in Indiana can get it free.

Then, we get the "but the shut-ins like the elderly and the handicapped cannot get around town very easily" objection. I say, if they can get to vote, they can certainly go to the local BMV and get an ID on one of the other 364 (or 365 days) of the year. Certainly the same people that make sure they get to the polls can get them to the BMV, can they not?

I have often wondered, when people cry the loudest about new safeguards to stop people from breaking rules, if they aren't the ones breaking them.


With all of the excitement you would find at an insurance seminar, here is a discussion on this case. (Warning: It's not a short video.) As I post this update, I am not quite a third of the way through listening to this and it's obvious the leanings of the panel (at least thus far). The first two speakers are clearly against this law and yet, they have come up with no logical reasoning as to why it should be ruled as unconstitutional.


AC of Fore Left has left a link in the comments that goes with this post. Take a look at this little gem.

Clinton, McCain Win in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton and John McCain have scored victories in the New Hampshire primaries. McCain's victory was not unexpected, despite the fact his closest rival was well within the margin of error in some of the pre-election polls. On the other hand, Barack Obama led Clinton in every poll since Iowa, with one showing him ahead by 13 percentage points. So we can safely score this one as a clear upset for Hillary. (Usually, this many polls showing such a large margin are right.)

Hillary beat Obama by 10 points in the women's vote, so maybe the crying did help. If it wasn't the crying, it had to be the indignation shown by her in the final debate or her husband Bill, when he called the Obama campaign's claim of consistency on the Iraq War, a "fairy tale". Whatever the reason, the emotion got her back in it and now she's back in the saddle, far from folding her campaign.

What this vote tells us now is, we have a horse race in both parties. And although the GOP race is far from over, the Dems could be poised for a longer fight than expected too.

But in all of this analysis we will hear today and in the coming days, one thing has to be clear. The media has to eat some crow over their premature anointing of Obama as the nominee.

Once a favorite of the media, the Clintons have found themselves shut out of the most favorable coverage they received, in months and years gone by. They came to N.H. fully prepared to slug it out with greenhorn Obama and his campaign supporters. And they used the media to their advantage on this one. They beat them at their own game, which is playing on people's emotions.

As a side note, it is a sad state of affairs that someone can waltz onto the political scene with little experience running anything, make speeches about hope, vision, and change; only to have people following him around as they would the pied piper and claiming some kind of rock star status, with no record behind him. This is the media's doing. This is what they do best.

The man can make good speeches, but I find little substance in them. And as far as specifics go, there are none. At least Hillary leaves the specifics out of her well-defined issues. She may not tell us how she will fix it, but she does tell us what she will fix. Obama is all about generalities and wants to ride some magical wave that catapults him into some kind of JFK status. That's good for college kids and it may work with them. But those of us that lived through the Kennedy era know he isn't anywhere near that magnitude.

So here we are, again. We are waiting for the next round of voting, get ready for more sound bites, more rhetoric, and more negative spins by all sides and factions. Nothing has been decided. Stay tuned.


I watched interviews on the Today Show with Hilary, Obama, and McCain.

Hillary looks tired, it's amazing how much this campaign has aged her. Makeup isn't doing as well as it once did. Taking into consideration that she was tired, she still didn't sound as sure of herself in answering the simplest of questions.

Obama was very nervous, his answers weren't flowing like his speeches. Understanding he too was tired, he still seems to have trouble with live interviews. The interviews I have seen have all been taped before this one, and it makes me wonder how much editing goes on behind the scenes before these things get aired.

McCain sounded the most comfortable and looked to be the better rested of the three. He didn't fly off into a lot of long answers, but did do a good job of communicating his thoughts. Experience in the fine art extemporaneous speaking pays off great, at this level.

Deliberate Acts, Deliberate Purposes

As many of you may already know, there was a stand down situation in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend.

To see the video, is a bit nerve-racking because of the intensity of the situation. So many emotions, so little time to process them and the event unfolding. The need to make the correct decision or risk disastrous consequences has a way of elevating one's sense of awareness or blood pressure, depending on the personality-type. This has to be the case here.

The objective behind this deliberately provocative act is still not known. But here are a few things to consider:

Although it's easy to second guess as to why the Navy didn't fire, it's not easy an easy thing to problem to solve. One has to consider the ramifications of such an act in a few seconds. The Commanding Officer of the group must not only consider the presence of explosives that could explode when within range of the Iranian boats, he must also consider the kind of explosives.

There is a distinct possibility the speed boats could be loaded with nuclear material that could have devastating consequences, if they were hit by Navy fire.

One thing we know is the act was purposeful and very likely directed by the Iranian government. It could have caused a big international incident, one that would have likely been discussed in UN focus groups for weeks to come, with no real solutions.

If the incident was designed to be a dry run, there will need to be some after action briefings producing a clear-cut policy on how to handle the next one, which could be the one that really sends the region into chaos, if not handled properly. Whatever the reasons behind the Iranians' display of poor judgment, there has yet to be one candidate address this. If there has been, I haven't heard them.

The next President will need to show the American people he/she can handle the kind of pressure incidents like these. I think it's a fair question to ask when evaluating the vote that we will all cast, in November.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Closing The Deal

Very seldom is there a group of people that can come up with with a true consensus on a given topic. Philosophies vary greatly among those in a given profession. But, if you were to put a group of sales managers and/or trainers in one room and ask them what's the secret to a successful sales career, you'd hear one consistent answer: You have to close the deal.

Once, many years ago, I was a salesman for a subsidiary of a huge mega-corporation. The man that hired me led me to believe that just the name of my company (and the corporation that owned it) would be enough to get me in the door and likely would be enough to make the sale. In some respects he was right, but not completely. It was work, and work is never guaranteed. There was much to be done.

Everyone I talked to, knew the company and the corporation and there were very few that didn't. But the real test was, convincing them they needed what this company had to offer. The "#1 in its industry" corporation owned a company that was not #1, in its. My job was to do my part to get the company to #2. I was able to get it to #3 in certain areas, but the hours were ungodly.

Name brand recognition wasn't going to get it done, but first, I had to convince the customer that it could be done. I had to work long hours to take care of the people that were already doing well with the company and still find time to expand the customer base, in order to realize the vast marketing potential that could have been achieved.

Despite being a a fairly well known name owned by an even bigger name, it was a tough sell. I had to persevere through a of rejection. But, there were some real successes.

In politics, it's no different.

In reality, a president is a salesman. And when I think back to some of the presidential campaigns of yesteryear that have occurred in my lifetime, I see some defining moments where the winning candidate closed the deal and made the sale with the American people.

Being a household name, who could forget Reagan's moment in 1980? America was in a funk and here comes this actor saying he wants to be President. Capitalizing on discontent and a malaise that had been brought on by four years of ineffective and incompetent leadership, Mr. Reagan seized a moment during his last debate. After all of the specifics were both hashed and argued out, he made one final plea to the American people, as to why they should buy what he was selling.

He looked into the camera and said something to the effect of:

If you think that you are better off now than you were four years ago, then, Mr. Carter is who you should vote for. But if you think we can do better, then you should vote for me.

Right there, he closed the deal. He made the sale. And subsequently he won the election in a landslide.

Not such a well known name, Bill Clinton had his deal closing defining moment too. In his case, it wasn't what he said but what he did. Going up against an incumbent that was perceived as being out of touch with common people, he did something that candidates of years gone by, would never have dreamed of doing. He played the saxophone on Arsenio Hall's show. Granted it had little to do with policy, hope, or vision. But it demonstrated to a younger generation that he was more like them, than the incumbent president. He went on to win a lot of the younger demographics and I truly believe that it was at this point in time, where he sealed the deal.

I could cite more examples, but here's the point I want to make in all of this:

Hillary Clinton (the subsidiary) has made some grave mistakes. She assumed that the name brand recognition would carry her through to the nomination. She also has been under the delusion that Bill Clinton (the mega-corporation) would be able to close the deal. Before the tide was rolling, she took much for granted and did not take into account the need to close the deal, based on the same principle with something as simple as making a sale. She never expanded her base, she never convinced people that she was an agent of change (which is what people, particularly the Democrats and independents, are clamoring for). She, like the company and corporation I worked for, sorely miscalculated the importance of closing the sale.

You see, the company I worked for did just that and it failed, for that reason. It was subsequently sold off in increments to various other parties, by the corporation. And, it is no more. But lucky for me, I saw it coming and bailed after I had made some good money, and before the break-up. It worked out good for me, as some of the money was used to go back to school and seek a different profession. The rest was used to pay off my attorney bills I had been forced to accrue, in the midst of a tough divorce.