Backstabbing or Bandwagoning, Pt 2

In Part 1, I mentioned a possible positive Iraq War report and the potential reactions by some different groups.

Then there are the panderers, you know, the one’s running for president. Voting for use of force, not just against Iraq, but anyone else who is a threat – wordplay for war approval. Explaining the vote, and bragging about it when Saddam went down. But when it was politically expedient, they apologized for the vote, or said they were duped. Then the one-upsmanship of saying they’ll get the troops out on X date, followed by a promise of a few months earlier, then a few months before that, followed by “immediately”, then “yesterday”. Is this an auction?

But the polls are doing a funny thing. Congress’s numbers are down below Bush’s, and this spread can’t go on forever (zero is as low as you can go). Could be the news on the war is helping Bush, I don’t think he really cares about his poll numbers, but I’m pretty sure Congress is concerned with theirs. Comon, who thought last November these numbers would be like this? I sure didn’t. If it is proven there is a direct correlation between the war and these numbers, there isn’t a bandwagon big enough for all of these people.

The number one job of a member of congress is to get re-elected, or to get elected to a higher office, say President. The handwriting is already on the wall. In a recent New York Times article, a few candidates who couldn’t pull the troops out soon enough are basically admitting they (the troops) aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. To that I say “duhh”. I don’t see how anyone who watched “Shock & Awe” and what followed, and the history of this region and warfare in general, could ever think this was going to be anything but a long, long process. This wasn’t Grenada, or even Gulf War 1. Whether you were for it or against it, once it started, it was ” on“, as they say. You can kick and scream all you want, but for better or for worse there was no turning back.

But back to these evolving opinion ideologues (also known as flip-floppers), what will their goal be, mass public amnesia of everything else they’ve said? That may have worked prior to the “new media” and the internet, but not anymore. It’s all on record, including voting records and resolutions. Perhaps the latest “hawkish” comments of militarily invading allies will fog the memory of the public, after the laughter wears off that is.

I think the most telling comments were in the following Washington Post interview of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (Democrat-S.C), further pointing out, to me anyway, that ” politics above all else” is the way it is for a large contingent of our (so-called) leaders. He was asked “What do Democrats do if General Petraeus comes in in September, and says, “This is working very, very well at this point. We would be foolish to back away from it”? His answer ” Well, that would be a real big problem for us, no question about that.” At least he’s honest. But what’s the problem? That things are “working very well”? I thought we were on the same team.

I guess the joke’s on the dolts who voted for some of these people thinking they’d do anything differently. They never were going to deviate from the original strategy, just like they never were going to change the way pork flies out of the Capitol (that would be earmarks, not “flying pigs”) and now they’ve even approved warrantless wiretapping! The words “lies” and “lied” have been used a little too liberally (no pun intended), guess we’ll see where the double standard “lies”.

Backstabbing or Bandwagoning, Pt 1

I like making predictions. I don’t much care if I’m wrong, it’s not as if my life or livelihood (in this context) depends on it. I look at past words and actions, current trends, and make opinions and predictions on possible future strategies and outcomes. Unless I predict candy-filled skies and rivers of chocolate, half of you are not going to like these opinions. As always, I don’t care about, or need, anyone’s approval or high rating. If you have a constructive disagreement, great, have at it. But if you’re just another hater and this doesn’t fit your worldview, pound sand and go scream in your own blog.

I don’t pay or subscribe to any commentator or personality. I didn’t go to one of those websites that bends news or transcripts to fit their (or their readers) political leanings. Much of what I comment on is bumped into accidentally, something that catches my attention. I don’t need someone else’s talking points, I have enough of my own. Today it’s the political fallout of the Iraq War.

For months now we’ve been hearing about the September Iraq report from General Petraeus. It appears that the report will be positive on the situation over there. By many accounts, including anti-war correspondents, things, while not perfect, are trending in the right direction. The reaction from our leaders sure could be interesting.

On the one side you have the “stay the course” people, and while some have been swaying, they should be content with the report. I expect some “We told you so’s” and the historical context of the number of casualties. On the other side, it’s all over the map and it could go a couple of different ways.

Let’s start with the negative approach: Total character assassination of Petraeus including lack of credibility, he’s a liar, he’s a Bush hack, not telling the whole story, etc. This should come from the same quarter that calls our soldiers criminals, thugs, mercenaries, baby killers, runners of gulags, and the comparisons to Nazi Germany. You know, the same ones who are against the war yet support the troops? (No one’s buying that line anymore, by the way)

Speaking of which brings up a local angle on this, State Senator Brandon Shaffers votes on the war. He not only voted twice for SJM07-002 “Memorializing Congress and the president to stop the escalation of the war in Iraq”, he was also a co-sponsor. He then voted for, and co-sponsored SJR07-022 Concerning an expression of support for the United States military personnel in Iraq.” Guess the winds (from Ken Gordon’s office) were blowing differently that day. Re-election time is November ’08 for him, watch carefully how this “tow the party line” type of representative zigzags.

The group that is anti any war should be consistent: no matter how things are going, we shouldn’t have gone there in the first place and need to get out. A stand on principal, I can accept that, but they usually can’t help themselves and delve into the same shrill nuttiness. I have noticed our local 3 marchers have taken down from their website the slanderous remarks toward some alleged troop misdeeds. I’m not sure if these are the same troops that were recently cleared of these charges, but it is telling how quickly this group will attack the military. Then again, not all military members are of one party affiliation, now are they?

In Part 2, we’ll look at the implications of this on “Election ’08”. Speaking of predictions, in addition to calling every state but one (damn you Wisconsin!) in the ’04 election, prior to the ’06 midterm elections I predicted if one party controls both houses of Congress between ’06 and ’08, whichever party it is, that party will lose the presidential election of ’08. Did I expect Congress’s poll numbers below the President’s this soon, or ever? No. Did I expect a possible positive Iraq report? No. Could I still be wrong? Sure, but these things don’t point that way.

Bombthrowing Anarchists

Messrs. Kennedy, McCain, Bush, and Salazar, you say you want to bring some people ” out of the shadows“. I ask that you take some of that advice yourself and conduct this important business in the ” sunshine” of the publics view and scrutiny. Stop trying to ram down our throats this backroom legislation. Huge changes to the future of our country usually go through some kind of hearing process and public debate. If this plan is so great and you’re so proud of it, let’s see how it stands up to that.

As far as our own Senator Salazar calling opponents of this immigration bill ” bomb-throwers“, since he apparently has such low regard for the peoples right to be involved in the legislative process, and the rule of law, I guess he should be rightly called an ” anarchist“.

Wise up, above mentioned leaders. We won’t forget come Election Day, no matter what party you claim to be part of.
Figures, the shortest letter I’ve ever sent to the Times-Call, and they don’t run it.

City Council Needs You!

November’s not that far away, and that means election time for Longmont’s City Council. We’re bound to see some new faces as three members are being term-limited out, and one won’t be seeking re-election. As in the past, I’ll put the candidates on my site so you can get to know them. Although I’ve yet to endorse anyone, which could be the kiss of death anyway, the more people involved, the bigger the turnout, the better. This is an off-year election, not a general election, so interest usually runs pretty low. But with the possibility of turning over the majority of City Council, we should pay attention.

First off, the Mayor position. Mayor Julia Pirnack is being term-limited out, and I thank her for her service. This is an at-large position, everyone in the city can vote for this spot, and anyone in the city can run. So far, current councilmembers Roger Lange, Karen Benker, and Doug Brown have announced they are running.

Ward One Councilmember
. This ward is generally the east-northeast side of town currently being served by Doug Brown, who is being term-limited out of his seat. To run or vote for this seat you must live in the ward. Aaron Rawlins has announced his candidacy.

Ward Three Councilmember
. This ward is generally the northwest side of town currently being served by Marty Block, also a member being term-limited out of his seat. Same rules apply as with Ward One. Sean McCoy and Bonnie Finley are running for this seat.

One of the at-large seats is held by Fred Wilson, and he is not seeking re-election. Like the Mayor position, anyone can run and vote for this position. Gabe Santos, and Paul Tiger are running for this position.

All I’m looking for from a prospective council member is accountability and accessibility to their constituents first, and their staff members second. Remember who runs this city, you, the council, not some of these staffers who hide behind you, safe from the voter’s wrath. Don’t look for new and interesting ways to spend our money with more taxes and fees. Find ways to get more value out of what we pay, and find ways to lessen that burden, all the while being fair to your employees.

Candidates: Speak your mind, get heard, and good luck.

Vote Every Day

Why wait for elections to vote when you could vote every day, several times if you like. Of course, I’m talking about the old “voting with your pocketbook”. Your impact is probably far greater than you realize. It’s all the greatest things about this country neatly wrapped up: capitalism, democracy, and freedom of association, speech, and choice.

Sometimes it takes a little digging and research to find out if your money is going to someone you want it to go to. Sometimes it’s easy. Let’s take our local government for starters. If you like how the city is running, shop there, give not only the businesses some income but also some taxes to your city. This applies to the county and state level, too. With the internet, it’s not that hard to shop out of town or out of state. If you are going to shop at a store that has multiple locations, you can pick which county you want to give your money to. If you don’t agree with your city, county, or state representative, you can try to contact them (good luck with a response), or you can just find out what they do for a living and do your business elsewhere. If you like them, show them with your purchasing dollars.

Large, multinational corporations might be a little harder to pinpoint on where they stand on the issues. There’s plenty of talk about Walmart, if you don’t like them, don’t shop there. If you side with them, spend your money there. Figure out where you spend your money, whether it be fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, whatever. It’s possible that issues and agendas that are extremely important to you may not be well served by how you spend your money. Being an informed consumer means more than finding bargains. Once in a while, substitute coupon clipping with a quick check on places you shop.

Lastly, more people are getting their points across in more ways than ever, be it letters to the editor, call-in recordings, blogs, websites, and advertising. Our community is no different, and it’s good to see all the involvement. Take note of these people; some are doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners, many aren’t one-timers, and are usually consistent with their point of view. If you like what you see and want to help them, find out more and support them in a way you see fit. If, on the other hand, they consistently infuriate you, make your point by giving your hard earned money to someone more like-minded. This is not a call for a ban on anyone, just smart voting through informed spending.