Political Critic Archives - June 2007

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 5:30pm

GOP Senators Voinovich and Lugar Urge Iraq Withdrawal

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) came out publicly Monday to state that President Bush's Iraq strategy is failing and that the United States needs to pull out.  Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) joined him today in calling for an immediate withdrawal.  In addition, Senator John Warner (R-VA) predicted that a number of Republicans will jump ship after the July 4th holiday.

 

 It should be noted that the only way the U.S. will get out of Iraq is if Republicans in Congress stand up to President Bush.  The Democrats are clearly opposed to the war, but they do not have enough power to stop this war, short of cutting off funding for the troops.  The left needs a lot of the guys on the right to back them up in their push for a withdrawal.  Lugar and Voinovich join a small number of Republicans publicly calling for at least a reduction of troops.

 

Up until now, Republicans have been extremely reluctant to speak out against this White House.  As the 2008 elections near, Republicans who are running will start to abandon ship to save their own hide.  That is what's important to politicians, after all.  They will speak out against the war eventually, not because it is the right thing to do, but because it will help them get re-elected and remain in power.

 

The end game is to get our soldiers back home.  However we get to that result is fine by me, but we need to get there sooner rather than later.  At this point, I don't care if the Republicans' objective is simply to get re-elected, so long as they get out of Iraq beforehand.  If enough Republicans call for a withdrawal, the President will have no choice but to bring our boys home.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 7:30pm

Gauging Michael Bloomberg's Chances

If ever there was a time for an independent bid for the president, it is now.  Both the Democrats and Republicans have screwed up this country so badly that we are collectively begging for an alternative.  In step billionaire Michael Bloomberg.  Unlike the train wreck candidacies of Ross Perot and Steve Forbes, this candidate has a legitimate chance to win the presidency.

 

Michael Bloomberg's current position is the Mayor of New York City, but he is more widely known for creating the financial software company that bears his name.  He founded Bloomberg L.P., the largest financial news and data company in the world.  His famous Bloomberg Terminals can be found in thousands of investment firms around the world.  The company now has 9,400 employees and reported $4.7 billion in revenue in 2006.  His success has allowed him to donate hundreds of millions of dollars every year to many different organizations.

 

The other candidates in this race are very accomplished, but none of them hold a candle to what Michael Bloomberg has done in his career.  Bloomberg has carried his success over to his job as mayor of New York. He has reduced crime, stabilized the city's finances, and pushed for gun control.

 

Aside from Bloomberg's accomplishments, his biggest appeal is that he is not a Democrat or Republican.  As an Independent candidate spending his own money, he will not be influenced by interest groups who funnel cash to politicians.  That is a huge deal.  All the other candidates are bought and paid for by the unions, the NRA, environmental groups, and others.

 

In 1992, Ross Perot received an astounding 19% of the vote, despite having no political experience and being an all-around crazy, nut job.  Four years later, an equally inexperienced man with no personality, Steve Forbes, did nearly as well.  Michael Bloomberg is more successful than both of those men combined, has two terms as mayor, and is infinitely better in front of a camera.  If Bloomberg decides to run, I would consider him the favorite.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007 - 12:30pm

If Sex Sells, Then Obama Wins!

You know the 2008 Presidential election is going to be different when you see a video like the one below.  The Obama Girl is singing the praises of Barack Obama in a new YouTube video.  The clip has already received so much attention that it has landed on national news.  In the video, scantily clad model Amber Lee Ettinger, now known as the Obama girl, dances around and lip-syncs the catchy tune.

 

  I'm not sure what this says about the political process in America, but anything that takes Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Rosie O'Donnell off the front page is a beautiful thing.

 

The Obama camp's response to the video was that they had nothing to do with it.  In the world of YouTube, I guess it's best for presidential candidates to stay as far away from these types of endorsements.

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Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 6:35pm

Paris Hilton Goes Back to Jail...Will Scooter Follow?

Scooter Libby was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison earlier this week, but you can be sure that he will spend less time in jail than Paris Hilton has already served.  Everyone keeps talking about if George Bush will pardon Libby, but the only real question is when.  'W' will make sure that Libby doesn't do any time for his crimes.

 

Even though Scooter Libby was sentenced to jail this week, he doesn't actually have to go until the appeals process plays out.  That could take months upon months.  The longer the process goes, the better it is for Bush, as he would prefer to pardon Libby on the last day of his presidency.  This would be the least problematic time for Bush because it'd be after the 2008 elections and because he wouldn't have to answer questions about it.

 

The wrench in the administration's plan is Judge Reginald Walton, who was, coincidentally appointed by Bush.  The judge may force Scooter Libby to go to prison while the appeal is pending.  This would force Bush's hand ahead of time.  Bush isn't going to let someone from his inner circle go to prison, so I'm betting the pardon comes quickly.

 

From Bush's point of view, he has very little to lose by offering up a pardon.  His approval rating can't go much lower and he isn't running for anything.  However, many people in the Repuiblican party are running for office in 2008 and a pardon would make the party look very bad.

 

Most of the yes-man candidates for the GOP nomination already support a pardon, but you can bet they didn't when President Clinton was in a similar situation.  Like much in Washington, most politicians check which party is engaging in criminal activity before offering an opinion on it.  The GOP will castigate Clinton for lying under oath because he is a Democrat, but if a Republican does the same, it's not that big of a deal. 

 

Likewise on the Democratic side.  President Clinton's crimes were brushed off by liberals, but they are first in line to string up Scooter.  In my opinion, they should both go to prison for a long, long time....but it's never gonna happen.

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Monday, June 4, 2007 - 12:55am

Third Deadliest Month for American Troops

127 U.S. forces died in Iraq in the month of May, making it the third worst month since the start of the war in March, 2003.  The most deadly months for soldiers have been November, 2004 when 137 died and April 2004 when 135 were killed.  In the first three days of June, there have already been sixteen troops killed.  In total, there have been 3,487 American soldiers killed in the Iraq War.

 

photoThe month of May was not an aberration.  April was nearly as deadly, with 104 U.S. forces killed.  There have now been seven individual months (out of fifty one) where more than 100 Americans have been killed.  Four of those seven have been since October of last year.

 

Unfortunately, we can not get around the fact that this war is getting worse, not better.  We are losing more troops this year than we have in any prior year...and it's not even close.  If this isn't proof that the troop surge is not working, I don't know what is.

 

What might be even more alarming is the number of soldiers that have been wounded in action.  A total of 25,549 American troops have wounded since the beginning of the Iraq war.  That represents 1/6 of all the forces the United States has in country today.

 

This war has to stop if for no other reason than the United States will not be able to physically maintain troop levels in Iraq for very much longer.  The military is in the process of breaking, either through injury, death, or being discharged.  The only one who can't see that is George W. Bush.

 

One thing is clear.  President Bush will be forced to draw down the number of soldiers in Iraq before the end of his presidency.  He may not want to, but he will have no other choice.  He simply won't have enough soldiers to send. 

 

By the time Bush hands over the reigns to his successor, he will have succeeded in destroying the world's greatest military.  He has played a large part in killing 3,487 American soldiers and he has no intention of stopping.  The coming months will be equally as deadly for U.S. troops because the commander-in-chief refuses to come to grips with reality.

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