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Really Late Political Punditry

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:38 AM

1. Lieberman: As I told Pressed, this is a guy I could almost vote for. I liked him in 2000 when he was running for veep, and I like him now. He has reasonable policies and presents them in a likable way. Concerning Iraq, I don't mind people who didn't support it, however, I do find Edwards and Kerry annoying for dropping support once we started — that isn't good. Lieberman supports the sanctity of marriage and the ousting of the USA PATRIOT ACT too. Unfortunately, the fact that he's pro-choice tarnishes an otherwise good choice.

2. Dean: I think he came out good tonight. He kept himself under control, presented the case that he'd “been there, done that” to all the things that the others talked about doing in the future, etc. His temper definitely would make him a dangerous president though, I'd guess. The “Think with my heart, not my head” quote looks bad, although I think I do understand what he was trying to say.

3. Edwards: Edwards seems energetic, excited, and optimistic. He's very electable, unfortunately, he's a standard liberal. Edwards did really bad with the Sanctity of Marriage act. I mean, this guy talked about what it “would do” as if it wasn't passed (and demonstrated zero knowledge of what it would do or is doing anyway).

4. Clark: Clark has a lot going for him – good credentials, good at talking and appearing on TV (good experience from CNN), etc. But, he doesn't seem to really be very good policy wise. He comes across as someone who just is a bit unprepared. He also appears confused on his opinion concerning the war – why did he write good things about it in the Telegraph if he was against it?

5. Sharpton: He may not know what he wants to do with Greenspan, but at least he added some humor to the debate. I enjoyed his comment to Dean, which in effect said he understood Dean's performance in Iowa. “If I had spent as much money as you did and came in third place, I'd still be hooting and hollering,” he told Dean. Sharpton appeared to be in another world, for the most part, not really usefully, at least, participating in the debate. Sharpton's other major problem was morality and family values. He suggested that the Democrats were actually the “moral” party and that the Republicans had stolen that item. The part that was hard to swallow was when Sharpton tried to suggest his pro-choice views were a strong component of this morality.

6. Kerry: He appears very arrogant every time I see him, including this time. He appears very wishy washy about his voting record on Iraq. He just doesn't have much to offer and I honestly am puzzled as to why people like him.

7. Kucinich: No offense to Rep. Kucinich, but he too appears to be somewhere else – maybe with Sharpton. His plans don't sound very reasonable, and his timetable for withdraw from Iraq is irresponsible to say the least. Let's just say I understand why this fellow isn't doing better than he is.

So that was my take on the Dems performance last Thursday. Lieberman is only slightly more problematic than Mr. Bush, whereas the others have significant issues.

Although, perhaps Howard “the Doctor” Dean/Jesse “the Body” Ventura ticket could be highly entertaining. Hey, rather than going to an undisclosed secure location, Jesse could actually go fight the terrorists for us. What do you think? Dean-Ventura '04, anyone?

Rep. Richard Gephardt

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 2:24 AM

The State of Our Union is 'Strong'

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:08 AM
  • State of the Union: Yes, it is strong. While President Bush was faced with a recession at the end of the tech bubble when he came in, he is building up a better, more reliable economy.
  • USA PATRIOT Act: This was the lowest moment in the speech, so I guess it was good he got it out early. I'm hoping the parts that are set to sunset in 2005 will be allowed to terminate. The PATRIOT Act is the worst thing the administration has done thus far.
  • International Diplomacy: President Bush wisely pointed out the difference between negotiations with Libya and Iraq. The president's firm, unchanging policies have lead to improvements in Libya. Mr. Bush also emphasized the need to bring democracy to the “greater Middle East,” emphasizing that everyone has the God given desire for freedom. He emphasized the need for free people, free speech, and (interesting emphasis here, is this another attempt to take an issue away from democrats?) free labor unions.

    “America is a nation with a mission and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman.” — President George W. Bush
  • Deficit and Budget: The president appears to be moving back to a strong, conservative budget with just a 4% growth this year. The president's budget would lead to a 50% reduction in the deficit in just 5 years. This is GREAT news. It's time to return to fiscal responsibility, and the president seems to be aiming for that goal.
  • Taxes: The president emphasized the need to end the death tax permanently, as well as the marriage tax. It's time that people are taxed once and taxed fairly. He, quite rightly, notes that congress failing to renew these tax cuts will really simply mean a tax hike. That's very true.
  • International Support: The president named the dozens of countries that have committed troops to the effort in Iraq. It is to the shame of the democrats that they keep talking about making it an international effort as thousands of international troops, monies and materials are assisting us. Let's not ignore our allies. More dittos to the president.
  • Empire Building: The president emphasized, as the included quote says, that we are not building an empire. The goal of the United States is to spread democracy, not to enlarge its holdings.
  • Education: “Jobs for the 21st Century” will help prepare people for the more complex jobs of today. The president also emphasized strengthening America's excellent network of community colleges.
  • Traditional Values: The president promoted traditional values in his speech as well. President Bush argued for increased funding of programs promoting abstinence, as well as insuring “activist judges” will not destroy the sanctity of Marriage. This shows the president is listening to the concerns of Americans.
  • Social Security: The president argued for the privatization of Social Security, giving people ownership of their retirement funds — to an extent. This is the way things should be!
  • Illegal Aliens: The president continued to promote his compromise plan that recognizes the difficulty of removing illegal aliens, while realizing full amnesty is not fair or right. While I wish this wasn't necessary, I think Jonah Goldberg is right when he asserts it is about the only practical solution at the moment.
  • Healthcare: Another touchy subject, but overall ok solutions. Medicare can be adjusted to whatever the needs of the individual are per the new Medicare bill the president was “proud” to sign. As I reflect on the bill more, I do think it this is again, a good compromise, if not perfect. The president stood firm on the seniors' right to choice as well. Association Health Plans were also emphasized to allow SMB organizations to be able to afford to provide healthcare. Mr. Bush also emphasized providing tax credits to help low income families pay for private insurance (good). Finally he made the much-needed comments on restricting frivolous lawsuits and the need NOT to go with a government healthcare program.

    “The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable and it is not carried forward by our power alone. We can trust in that greater power who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that his purposes are just and true.” — President George W. Bush
  • Athletes: They — like it or not — are young people's role models in this day and age. They should quit taking performance enhancing drugs, the president said. You're right, Mr. President.

    Overall, the President provided a good balance of offerings for everyone. He continued to follow his commitment to be a president for all Americans, not just the special interest groups that the Democrats so enjoy appealing to.

    If the president continues his determination to get done what he promises, we ought to have a great year this year. Go Dub-ya!

  • Iowa Voters Prefer Kerry, Edwards; Gephardt Considers Quitting

    By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:41 PM

    John Edwards (D-N.C.) a rising star of recent weeks nabbed a second place finish with 31% of the vote. National poll leader Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vermont) came in a surprising third at just 18% of the vote. However, perhaps the biggest shocker was Rep. Richard Gephardt's (D-Mo.) fourth place finish, giving him just 11% of the vote, according to CNN.com.

    Gephardt, a long time representative of St. Louis, Missouri, was expected to be one of two contenders (the other being Dean) in Iowa, a state he had won in his last presidential bid (1988).

    CNN reports that Gephardt's weak showing in what was generally considered “his territory” will lead to his announcing a Withdraw from the race.

    The no. 2 leader in the polls, Rt. Gen. Wesley Clark (D) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Con.) both made little or no showing in the caucuses, perhaps a reflection of the fact that both skipped campaigning in Iowa and concentrated on New Hampshire, where a primary contest will take place next Tuesday.

    Sen. Lieberman appears to be the most conservative of those running, offering a platform far less extreme than those of Gov. Dean and Rep. Kucinich (D-Oh).

    Information based on data provided by CNN.com.

    Dean: The Bible Scholar?

    By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:36 PM

    Political Views (Part II)

    By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:22 PM

    Political Views

    By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:39 AM
    World's Shortest Political Quiz [Link]
    Your Personal Self-Government Score is 40%.
    Your Economic Self-Government Score is 60%.
    Political Compass [Link]
    Economic Left/Right: 2.75 Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.05
    This makes me more libertarian than Gerhard Schroder and Tony Blair, but economically about the same.

    I think this has to do with my (slightly) lessening interest in economic versus social issues (never fear, I'm not turning liberal or anything awful like that! ;-)). So how about you?

    Spam Bill

    By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:01 AM

    Schwarzenegger, 40 DoP and Limbaugh Updates

    By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:00 AM

    The Rush of News

    By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:15 AM

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