Saturday, February 10, 2007

Shocking Obama Announcement: He's IN!

I know, I was as surprised as you are by the announcement today that Barak Obama, junior Senator from Illinois, has decided to run for the democratic nomination for president!
In other startling news the situtation in Iraq is reportedly very, very grim.

Friday, February 09, 2007

2008 Road to White House Paved in Platinum? (Redux)

I initially published this entry some months ago, but in light of the current campaign craziness, and we are still a year out of the first primaries, I thought it was worth revisiting. If you are like me, the notion of candidates having to raise $100 Million to be considered serious contenders is an affront democracy itself. The more I think about it, the more I think this modest proposal of mine has some I resubmit to you...A More Honest Approach to Electoral Politics.

Could this be the answer?

This from the Washington Times, politics' answer to the Weekly World News:

"The chairman of the Federal Election Commission yesterday predicted that 2008 will produce the first $1 billion presidential race and that the $500 million that each party's candidate will need to compete will severely limit the field of contenders. "


Is this what we want or need in America? What will this give us for choice? LTS knows what...

Two less than sterling candidates of varying shades of vanilla, with boundless supplies of filthy lucre. Instead of voting for a leader, we will be forced to choose which collection of powerful interests we would rather see dictate our nation's policy for the next four to eight years.

I have a proposal. I don't know if it is a particularly unique proposal, but it is an honest one. If we are going to eschew public financing for political campaigns we need to do it honestly. Remove the option to contribute from our tax returns, return our tax dollars (yep all of them) and go for full disclosure.

Candidates for public office would have to openly pursue sponsorship. Candidates should be forced to wear their intentions. No more of this light blue work shirt rolled sleeves "I'm one of you" crap. They could be outfitted in NASCAR style jumpsuits and helmets to wear the badges of their sponsors, and the campaign buses would no longer be allowed to wear disingenuous slogans like, "Feeling America's Pain," or "Operation No Jive Talk." They would have to show who owns them....Pfizer, Merck, Winston, Anheiser-Busch, NRA, AFL-CIO...whatever.

The winning team would get a big trophy cup, and the corporate sponsors could spend the next four to eight years running the country (don't be fooled, they are already doing it) and pushing policy that favors them, but here is the catch. Instead of taxpayers paying the bills, the winning team's sponsors get to pick up the tab!

No more taxpayer subsidized East Wing makeovers. No more taxpayer subsidized trips across the country to sell unjustified wars or poorly planned policies for seniors. No more taxpayer subsidized anything. If our politicians want to hand our country over to special interests, then special interests should have to pay.

Hillary, Running for President, Discovers Darfur Situation is Bad

Hillary calls for the redeployment of US troops to Darfur

Yes, the situation in Darfur is horrible. There exists no human crisis on our planet equalling the magnitude of the civil war in Sudan, but do we need another military conflict, when America's solution to a failing campaign in Iraq is sending another 21,000 soldiers in to be maimed or killed? (OH WAIT, that's right Bush lied about that number, I meant 48,000.)

It is great that Clinton wants to make Darfur a campaign issue. I am all about getting the word out that the world needs to intervene in Sudan and stop the violence, genocide and atrocities in the region. I applaud her bringing the issue to the forefront. The problem with Hillary, like so many other hopefuls, is that she has no diplomatic experience and only sees military intervention as a solution to conflict.

About a month ago Bill Richardson went to Sudan. He asked for an audience with President Al Bashir, and then went to the militia camps. He was able to broker a 60 day cease fire agreement after four days of talks. No one else could get a meeting with Al Bashir, not Jesse Jackson, not Barak Obama. Both men were turned away. Richardson is able to go into places no one else can and seek out peaceful resolutions.

">Richardson is seen here in a refugee camp in Sudan

And here, negotiating for peace...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Praise the Lord and Pass the Astroglide: Haggard Finds His Moral Center

(Church officials wish him luck in the secular world and offer to help him pack, isn't that nice?)

Betty Bowers would be proud! The fundies of CoSprings have gotten together and asked one another WWJD (Why Wouldn't Jesus Damn?) and urged Pastor Ted Haggard to pursue a secular career, going further to suggest that the family relocate. Rev. Mike Ware said "It's hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It's like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed." (LTS thinks this sounds like a thinly veilled threat.)

Haggard and his family plan to relocate to a midwestern state.

In more upbeat news, Haggard says he is cured of his homosexuality and meth cravings.

Way to go Ted!

“Blogosphere” Buzz Builds About New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s Weekend Speech to DNC

SANTA FE, NM- During the past 48 hours positive reaction to Governor Bill Richardson’s speech to delegates at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting has been building and spreading across the Internet. Bloggers have been calling Governor Richardson’s speech “Presidential” and The National Journal’s online political site “The Hotline on Call” calculated that Governor Richardson’s speech was punctuated by seven standing ovations from the audience, more than any other candidate who spoke at the event.

You can watch or read the Governor’s entire speech at (Also at, LTS)

Here is a sample of some of the Blog postings about Governor Richardson’s speech:

University of Wisconsin College Democrats:
“New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson gave a hell of a speech. It was surprisingly energetic, was excellently delivered, and touched on many points that had been glossed over by other candidates such as sexual orientation, teacher pay, North Korea and his diplomatic experience, a developed strategy in Iraq ... I think, and the consensus in the room I'm sitting in agrees, that Richardson did the best job of putting out a solid plan for America with details where details were due while at the same time conveying a feel good message. Full disclaimer: I took home a Bill Richardson rally sign and put a Bill Richardson bumper sticker on my laptop. I was sold on him today.”

From dailykos:
I'm here to tell you that I went into that room undecided about '08 but leaning to Edwards. That changed after Richardson spoke. He is an amazing speaker who had the audience, many of whom had never heard of him before, eating out of the palm of his hand and cheering wildly for a guy they had never seen before. ... Bill Richardson has rhetorical powers to rival any of the main three (and I think better than Hillary or even Edwards). He gave a powerful speech that had the entire room bursting into what must have been 7 or 8 standing ovations (more I think that Obama or anyone else) ... It was almost embarrassing to hear how experienced he is. .... But the best part was that he wasn't just listing his resume, he was actually mapping out a future plan for the country. He wants us out of Iraq by the end of the year. He wants to restore ties around the world. He wants to bring what he has been doing in New Mexico to the rest of the country. The man has a plan, and he has the experience. ... I don't know how the press is covering this, but he won a lot of converts yesterday. ... Hopefully people give him a chance. This race is not over. Richardson is one of those guys who not only could be President, but who I believe will win people over as they hear from him.

Richardson is amazingly good at pumping up the room. I can feel that he really gets "it" and that he would be a top campaigner. ... Richardson is impressive in a very different way than Vilsack. Richardson has a palpable confidence when speaking of foreign policy and in particular--no surprise here--when speaking of diplomacy. Richardson also has a real charm that seems to bring people in the room to his side. I'm trying to find the right word to describe this..."magnetism," maybe? It's noticeable.

"I don't need 7 minutes, I can do it in four words: 'Elect a Democratic President.'" Gotta love it!! He's got moxie, too, regarding having any of the other Dem candidates as his VP. ... He is surprising me as a speaker--he's pretty good. And I haven't really been considering him. ... He seems positive and is quite--if you will--articulate.

Geez, I had no idea I would start swooning over Bill Richardson. I want to hear more from him.

In a room full of very dull speeches his clearly stood out, as does his experience and record of success. If there's a dark-horse in this race it's him. I can see him going into Iowa knocking the socks off the room and finishing in the top 3 and riding that wave to Denver. I'm saying it here - today - February 3, 2007. Still flirting with Obama, waiting for Gore, but if I had the guts I'd be booking a flight to N.M.

From drydendailykaz:
“He suggested that we need a candidate who can win in every region. He stated that the mission in Iraq was complete and it was time for "our troops to leave with honor." And he finished by saying "Stay loose--we've got a year to go." A real grownup, a terrific speaker, and he just brokered a cease-fire in Darfur. What more could you want?”

From Blue Mass Group:
“And here's some big news: one of the bits of conventional wisdom on Bill Richardson appears to be wrong. The guy's got plenty of charisma. His speech was funny, charming, plain-spoken, bold, passionate, and had the crowd on its feet cheering numerous times. And this was interesting -- few if any of the other candidates talked about this issue, and he got huge applause for doing so.
‘In New Mexico, our fight for equality extends to sexual orientation. For the first time in state history we have a hate crimes law. We've extended civil rights protections to include sexual orientation. And we're providing state health insurance for domestic partnerships.
Some call New Mexico the land of enchantment. I now like to think that we live in a state of enlightenment.’
Did he come out swinging for equal marriage? No. But no one else even bothered to talk about gay rights.
Also, I thought Richardson was excellent on Iraq:
‘The War in Iraq is not the disease. Iraq is a symptom. The disease is arrogance.
A struggle for human rights is worthy of military intervention. A true threat to our country's security is worthy of war. But a struggle between a country's warring factions, where both sides hate the United States, is not worthy of one more lost American life.
As someone who served in Congress for 14 years, I know the power they hold should they choose to wield it. The Congress passed a resolution authorizing war. They need to pass another that overturns that authorization and brings our troops home by the end of this year. You would think that when the Congress realized they were lied to, they would have done something about it. Well, they still can.’
If Richardson keeps wowing crowds like he did at the DNC, I'd look for him to be breaking into the alleged ‘first tier’ soon.”

From Oval Office 2008:
“It surprised me to find New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson delivering the best speech of the whole event - and it surprised me more that his speech was, in my view, better than the rest by some margin ... it was, I have to say, almost (Bill) Clintonesque in execution. He knew his strength was his track record as Governor, and he played on it remorselessly, before moving nimbly onto his foreign policy experience as well. He brought a clear sense of logic to his approach to Iraq, and expressed it with considerable eloquence. He also took the initiative with his call to his fellow candidates for a clean, positive campaign. It was the performance which, for me, most exceeded expectations. If he can do more of the same on the campaign trail and, importantly, get noticed doing it, I think Richardson has the potential to surprise in this campaign.”

From Burnt Orange Report:
“Bill Richardson: Wow. Ok, remember my words here: Bill Richardson will be either of two things in this race - a spoiler for some other candidate much like Clark spoiled Edwards last cycle; or a sleeper candidate who could be thrust into the top tier and have an actual chance in the race. Remember how Bill Clinton did better in NH than expected and the other candidates did worse than expected; propelling him forward. Richardson is poised to do the same. He sure as hell did it this weekend. I had medium expectations of him and he blew me away. He was funny and smart and at-ease. And Presidential. He gave the best speech of the weekend when handicapping for the audience and purpose of the speech. Learn about this guy and pay attention to him. ... Just got back from Richardson's room. From the response he is getting from DNC members, he appears to be a 1st tier candidate. The excitement and size of his crowd was 2nd only to the 1st place tie for Obama and Clinton. I was not the only one heavily impressed with his speech today it appears. None of the other candidates had a reception anywhere close to those three. Well, Edwards might have if he'd stuck around.”

From Demnotes:
“[Richardson] was probably the surprise of the day in terms of his speech. Governor Richardson gave an energetic and exciting speech about what he's been able to accomplish next door in New Mexico, and what he wants to do nationwide. ... I think the best example of the power of Richardson's speech can best be seen by what we saw in the "meet and greet" rooms after the session this morning. Each candidate has a small conference room where DNC Members can come and meet the candidate personally and ask questions. Governor Richardson was the only candidate besides Hillary Clinton to need an ‘overflow room’ for DNC Members to wait because of the crowd in the main conference room assigned to him.” <>

From Wood Co. Democrats:
“On Governor Bill Richardson: Though he went noticeably over the soft seven-minute time limit, he kept the audience with him -- not just because he had supporters strategically located throughout the hall but also because he gave a very good speech.”