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William Jefferson Gingrich January 26, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, News and politics, philosophy & politics.
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How long have I been saying it? At least for 15 years, but in private I have been aware of it longer. Newt Gingrich is conservatism’s Bill Clinton, but without the charm. He has acquired wit but he has all the charm of barbed wire.

Newt and Bill are 1960s generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl hopping. It is not as egregious as Bill’s, but then Newt is not as drop-dead beautiful. His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorces, and there are private encounters with the fair sex that doubtless will come out. Thanks to my big brother for this piece.

via William Jefferson Gingrich – The New York Sun.

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Anti-Trade Tirades Scare World March 3, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics.
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Zakaria: Dems vs. Free Trade | Newsweek Voices – Fareed Zakaria | Newsweek.com
A senior Latin American diplomat, who asked to remain unnamed because of the sensitivity of the topic, says, “Look, we’re all watching Obama with bated breath and hoping [his election] will be a transforming moment for the world. But now that we’re listening to him on trade—the issue that affects us so deeply—we realize that maybe he doesn’t wish us well. In fact, we might find ourselves nostalgic for Bush, who is brave and courageous on trade and immigration.”

The facts about trade have been too well rehearsed to go into them in any great detail, but let me point out that NAFTA has been pivotal in transforming Mexico into a stable democracy with a growing economy. And, in Lawrence Summers’s words, “[it] didn’t cost the United States a penny. It contributed to the strength of our economy because of more exports and because imports helped to reduce inflation.” Trade between the NAFTA countries has boomed since 1993, growing by about $700 billion. There are no serious economists or experts who believe that low wages in Mexico or China or India is the fundamental reason that American factories close down. And labor and environmental standards would do very little to change the reality of huge wage differentials between poor and rich countries’ workers. (more…)

Superdelegates For Sale February 19, 2008

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Capital Eye – Seeking Superdelegates
Because superdelegates will make up around 20 percent of 4,000 delegates to the Democratic convention in August–Republicans don’t have superdelegates—Clinton and Obama are aggressively wooing the more than 400 superdelegates who haven’t yet made up their minds. Since 2005 Obama has given 52 of the undecided superdelegates a total of at least $363,900, while Clinton has given a total of $88,000 to 15 of them. Anticipating that their intense competition for votes in state primaries and caucuses will result in a near-tie going into the nominating convention, the two candidates are making personal calls to superdelegates now, or are recruiting other big names to do so on their behalf. With no specific rules about what can and can’t be done to court these delegates, just about anything goes.

The Rise Of The Independent Party February 19, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, philosophy & politics.
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Lexington | A declaration on independents | Economist.com
ONE of the most interesting political videos on YouTube features a young Obama supporter, Derrick Ashong. A camera-wielding interviewer collars Mr Ashong in the street and starts to pepper him with questions. The interviewer assumes that his victim’s casual appearance—he is wearing a baseball hat, a shell necklace and is chewing gum—betokens an equally casual approach to politics. “Do you have any specifics?” he demands aggressively. “What are their policies?” Mr Ashong delivers a series of carefully argued replies that could form the basis of an editorial in a serious newspaper. The interviewer is increasingly abashed. But, having delivered his defence of Barack Obama, Mr Ashong concludes the interview by saying “I’m independent. I’m not a Democrat. I might vote for McCain.”

If Obama Doesn’t Win February 10, 2008

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Next Up for the Democrats: Civil War – New York Times
Frank Rich doesn’t think that the Clintons will go quietly. He says: Last month, two eminent African-American historians who have served in government, Mary Frances Berry (in the Carter and Clinton years) and Roger Wilkins (in the Johnson administration), wrote Howard Dean, the Democrats’ chairman, to warn him of the perils of that credentials fight. Last week, Mr. Dean became sufficiently alarmed to propose brokering an “arrangement” if a clear-cut victory by one candidate hasn’t rendered the issue moot by the spring. But does anyone seriously believe that Howard Dean can deter a Clinton combine so ruthless that it risked shredding three decades of mutual affection with black America to win a primary?

back_on_the_plantation.jpgA race-tinged brawl at the convention, some nine weeks before Election Day, will not be a Hallmark moment. As Mr. Wilkins reiterated to me last week, it will be a flashback to the Democratic civil war of 1968, a suicide for the party no matter which victor ends up holding the rancid spoils.

Education Divides Democrats February 9, 2008

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Questions for Dr. Retail – New York Times
The essential competition in many consumer sectors is between commodity providers and experience providers, the companies that just deliver product and the companies that deliver a sensation, too. There’s Safeway, and then there is Whole Foods. There’s the PC, and then there’s the Mac. There are Holiday Inns, and there are W Hotels. There’s Walgreens, and there’s The Body Shop. And as the post below points out there are Latte Liberals a nd Dunkin’ Donuts Democrats. If Obama loses the Nomination, the resulting backlash could put another Republican in the White House.

Hillary Clinton is a classic commodity provider. She caters to the less-educated, less-pretentious consumer. As Ron Brownstein of The National Journal pointed out on Wednesday, she won the non-college-educated voters by 22 points in California, 32 points in Massachusetts and 54 points in Arkansas. She offers voters no frills, just commodities: tax credits, federal subsidies and scholarships. She’s got good programs at good prices.

Barack Obama is an experience provider. He attracts the educated consumer. (more…)

Latte liberals v Dunkin Donut democrats February 9, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in philosophy & politics.
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Latte liberals v Dunkin Donut democrats | Gerard Baker – Times Online
Among voters whose voting choice is not based on identity politics, Mr Obama’s supporters are the latte liberals. These are the people for whom Starbucks, with its $5 cups of coffee and fancy bakeries, is not just a consumer choice but a lifestyle. They not only have the money. They share the values.

They live by all those little quotes on the side of Starbucks cups about community service and global warming. They embrace the Obama candidacy because to them he transcends traditional class and economic divides. He is a transformative political figure – potentially the first black man to be president – and is seen as the one to revive America’s faith in itself and restore America’s status in the world. For these voters the defining emotion is hope.

Mrs Clinton is the candidate of what might be called Dunkin’ Donut Democrats. They do not have money to waste on multiple-hyphenated coffee drinks – double-top, no-foam, non-fat lattes and the like. Not for them the bran muffins or the biscotti. They are the 75-cent coffee and doughnut crowd. For them caffeine choice doesn’t correlate with their values but simply represents a means of keeping them going through their challenging day. (more…)

What is Ted saying that has Obama slyly eyeing Hilary? January 28, 2008

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