Monday, July 11, 2005

Miscellanea: Odds and Ends Edition

AJ Strata points to this poll and tells us he's so chillin' he's Mr. Freeze...

A long-time reader who shall remain anonymous (oh, what the hell, it's Andy!) emailed with two good items today, and one link reference. The link first: Dafydd at Captain's Quarters says no Hillary in 2008, no way, no how...the gist of his argument is the senatorial curse, to which he adds:
Her nomination would be catastrophic for the party, as it would galvanize Republican voters against her like nothing before, eclipsing even 2004 -- and especially Republican women, who Hillary has scorned and dissed from Day-1. This at a time when the only way the Democrats can hope to win the presidency is if Republican voters are apathetic and fail to turn out; for Ken Mehlman has already proven that when both sides turn out heavy, the Republican wins.
Good points all; but she's got the Clintonistas behind her, so don't rule her out yet...

Speaking of Hillary, Andy has some good thoughts on Hillary's snarkfest at the Aspen Ideas Institute. First, Hillary:
Clinton did not mention the presidential election of 2008, but she did make several critical, even derogatory, remarks directed at President Bush.

"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Newman is in charge in Washington," she joked, getting a warm laugh as she described President Bush's attitude toward the tough issues of the day as, "What, me worry?"

She accused Bush of undermining the national economy with deficit spending and huge tax cuts for the wealthy; endangering U.S. soldiers by not giving them the proper equipment to fight the war in Iraq; and harming the nation's historic role as a leader in scientific research and technological innovation by slashing funding for such efforts.

"There has not yet been one net job created in the last four years," she continued, arguing that the Bush administration has concentrated on helping the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

That middle class, she said, is now threatened by the ailing economy, which is suffering from everything from a burgeoning national debt (she called America the "largest debtor nation the world has ever known"), to the loss of manufacturing diversity, rising health care costs, loss of pensions in many sectors and other causes.

"You can find rich people anywhere in the world," she said. "But you can't find the American middle class anywhere else in the world.
Well, with all this going on, we better get us a trade agreement, right? Think again...
She was critical of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which is being sought by the Bush administration. It is intended to enrich corporations without providing adequate safeguards against unintended negative effects, she said. She maintained that trade agreements to open up the flow of goods and service throughout the Western Hemisphere are a worthy goal, but they must be coupled with protections for American jobs, the environment and worker safety in the rest of the hemisphere.
So, what about this terrible economic record Hillary speaks of? Well, we've managed 3.8% growth over the last two quarters and 5% unemployment in the midst of a huge runup in oil prices...not too shabby (Bill Clinton's best unemployment figure was 5.3%, and that was in the middle of the great Internet boom)...and especially good when you compare us to the staggering European Union. More thoughts in a similar vein from Captain Ed...

Andy also points me to this op-ed by that OTHER New York senator. Quoth Schumer:
Twenty-four years ago, when Former President Ronald Reagan faced his first Supreme Court vacancy, after a divisive election, he picked someone who was thoughtful, mainstream and pragmatic. He picked a consensus nominee - Sandra Day O'Connor. She was confirmed 99 to 0. President Bush should take a page from Reagan's book as he faces his first Supreme Court pick, also after a divisive election. He should select a mainstream, thoughtful pragmatist in the mold of O'Connor.
My, that's inspiring. Excuse me while I get out my hankie - wait a minute! Divisive? Reagan? As Andy points out, Reagan won the 1980 election by 8 million votes, with a winning margin of 9.8%, and an Electoral College blowout of 489-49. Of course, ever since Reagan, politicians have DREAMED of being that divisive! Another quick point: if Mother Teresa was still alive, she couldn't get a 99-0 vote from this Senate...

For more SCOTUS news, including a post-mortem on the Novak-led Rehnquist frenzy, here's the redoubtable Erick-Woods Erickson...

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