The Economy, Stupid
Iraq has been the overshadowing issue for this election season, and that will hold to be true all the way to November 2008. Iraq cost the Republicans 2006. Iraq will cost the Republicans 2008.
And health care is going to be President Obama's signature achievement.
But he has been hurting himself by not giving the economy equal attention. He has to tie the loose ends and assure Americans he will be as good if not better than Bill Clinton on the economy.
You end the war on Iraq. That helps you end the huge budget deficits. And that right there is a big part of the puzzle.
Universal health care also brings down costs for the economy as a whole, for companies in general, and especially for small businesses.
Confronting global warming is about the next big industry that will create new jobs. For Bill Clinton it was software and dot com. For President Obama it is going to be the clean energy industry.
And there is the usual democratic stuff about investing in education, investing in basic research.
What Bill Clinton attempted and did was pretty simple. He himself has called it basic "arithmetic." But the guy who followed has made Bill Clinton look like some kind of a genius.
Barack Obama needs to eat up Hillary Clinton's lunch. And you do that by grabbing all the sensible elements of Clintonomics, which are all of the above and other stuff like 100,000 more police officers onto the streets, and earned income tax credit for the poor. Yes, be for tax cuts, but tax cuts for people who actually will go out and spend that money and boost the economy.
But it is not about photocopying. You grab what you want to, and you add your own. Bill Clinton did not tackle health care, he did not tackle chronic poverty. No, he is not America's first black president. America's first black president will tackle chronic poverty in the inner cities. We already know how to. So far what has lacked is political will.
And he did not tackle global warming in a big way. He is on record saying, "I like Al. He is a smart guy, but he sees things that don't exist."
In short, there is Iraq, there is foreign policy, but everything has to be woven into an economy narrative. That is how you wean the Democrats away from their Bill Clinton nostalgia. Hillary is perceived as a stand-in for Bill Clinton.
Barack Obama has yet to give a major speech that was just about the economy, the economy as a whole.
I am for publicly financed elections. And I am against term limits. It was a failure of democracy that Bill Clinton was denied a third term. America hurt itself in the process. Dot com wannabes like myself got sent to Siberia: it was a nuclear winter that lasted a good few years.
I am a huge fan of Bill Clinton. I am very fond of him and always will be.
In The News
Bill Clinton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia the North American Free Trade Agreement ... the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993
Pakistani leader assured on re-election AP, Sat Sep 15, 2:43 PM ET "It is our preference that whosoever wishes to contest for the presidency, whether General Musharraf or somebody else, should do it from the next assembly, and it should be a civilian who contests the ... presidential election from the next assembly," she told Pakistan's Dawn News TV channel. ...... "We want to take the country back slowly but surely to the constitution that existed before the military coup," Bhutto said. ..... While the ruling coalition says it has enough support in parliament to get the simple majority to re-elect Musharraf, the support of Bhutto's party would help achieve the two-thirds majority needed for constitutional amendments that could head off legal challenges to his taking office for another five years. .... Despite the uncertainty over the talks, the government says that on her return, Bhutto will not suffer the fate of Sharif, who was swiftly expelled when he came back from exile Monday. But officials said she would have to face pending corruption charges.
Musharraf says no terrorist safe havens in Pakistan AFP, Sat Sep 15, 9:25 AM ET told a visiting US Congressional delegation there were no safe havens for terrorists on Pakistani soil ...... Pakistan says it has arrested more than 700 operatives since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. .... has also deployed around 90,000 troops to hunt down Al-Qaeda fugitives who crossed the border after the ouster of the fundamentalist Taliban in late 2001. Nearly 800 Pakistani soldiers have died in clashes with militants.
Violence Kills More Than 60 in Northwest Pakistan at The Washington Post Sep 14 killed by an explosion in a heavily secured dining hall for army commandos. ...... most likely the work of a suicide bomber ..... an incident late last month in which 200 to 300 Pakistani troops were taken hostage in South Waziristan. ...... a population that has grown hostile toward domestic military operations that are part of a war widely seen as driven from Washington. ...... Osama bin Laden is more popular than Musharraf in Pakistan, but both get far more approval than President Bush. .... only 19 percent of Pakistanis have a positive view of the United States. ...... Musharraf is in the midst of the fight of his political life as he tries to hold off a burgeoning pro-democracy movement. He is seeking to be reelected by parliament and regional assemblies within the next month, but the Supreme Court is expected to hear a petition next week alleging he is ineligible to run because of his other job as army chief. .... Some of Musharraf's advisers have urged him to declare emergency rule before he can be disqualified
Lights, Camera, Bhutto! Time.com via Yahooo! News, Sep 15 in a series of carefully orchestrated simultaneous press conferences held in eight Pakistani cities ...... In Islamabad the PPP headquarters were decorated as if for a wedding: strings of lights were draped over every surface and rose petals dusted the heads and shoulders of the gathered crowds. ...... The Bhutto press conferences all started precisely at 5:30 p.m., exactly 40 minutes before sundown on the first day of the Muslim fasting month ....... The good Muslims in her audience hadn't touched food, drink or cigarettes since dawn. And so, the post press-conference invitation to a traditional sundown feast was met with more cheers than the announcement of her return - proof that she knows what will please a crowd. ....... a massive presence of police - one that was, tellingly, nowhere to be seen for Bhutto's celebratory announcement ..... Supreme court rulings on Musharraf's ability to run for another term while maintaining the office of Army Chief, and a contempt of court case against the government for preventing Sharif's return among them ........ a brand new press corps, an unpredictable new factor in Pakistani political life that neither Sharif nor Bhutto ever faced. ..... One of the hallmarks of Musharraf's reign has been the wholesale liberation of 's electronic media. Over the past five years media deregulation has meant that dozens of independent TV stations have exploded on the scene, ready and all too willing to exploit the slightest misdemeanor of those in power. Musharraf has already felt the bite of this newly unleashed press: exhaustive coverage of his attempts to dismiss a popular Supreme Court justice contributed significantly to his plunge in popularity. ........ husband Asif Zardari still carries the nickname "Mr. Ten Percent."
A Familiar Face in Pakistan Time.com via Yahooo! News, Sep 15 martial law, but that would be highly unpopular, even within the military, which doesn't want a confrontation with an angry populace. Sharif's party faithful, undaunted by their leader's absence and the arrest of many of his aides, are planning mass protests. ...... terrorist attacks, once confined to tribal areas in the north, have spread across the country ... If Musharraf sheds his uniform, they can block him with another constitutional provision: retired soldiers must wait two years before standing for office. ...... But Bhutto's own standing has plummeted since she started dealing with the dictator. ..... her demands that he resign as head of the military, drop corruption charges against her and give up the power to dissolve parliament. ..... the Americans are "naive" for thinking that Musharraf will have any clout once he steps down as military chief or that Bhutto will be able to control the army as Prime Minister. ...... His two stints as Prime Minister were marked by mismanagement and corruption. .... Bhutto's party "has historically been more popular and closer to the moderate center than Nawaz's party."
Running on Empty at The New York Times Sep 12 blocked the return of his longtime political rival, Nawaz Sharif, and then arrested nearly the entire top leadership of Mr. Sharif’s party. ..... Pakistanis — professionals, ordinary people and even some in the military — have made clear that they are now sick of the general’s rule. Most want a return to civilian democracy. ...... It’s time for General Musharraf to leave the military, for Pakistan to hold free and fair elections and for the army to find ways to support, not sabotage civilian democratic rule.
The General's Best Chance at The Washington Post Aug 29 $10 billion in American aid ..... Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Sharif both are two-time failures as Pakistani prime minister. Both have been credibly accused of breathtaking acts of corruption; both have been unscrupulous in pursuing their personal ambitions. ....... it is time for the general to make a deal.
Obama needs an ace Guardian Unlimited, UK Generating enthusiasm for change isn't enough. To beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama will have to make a move. ....... Americans retain a desire to believe in their leaders that apathy and cynicism has gnawed away in most other western democracies. .... especially given the deception of the current Presidency ..... 2008, more than usual, will be a change election .... so many people have been so fed up with a sitting president for so long ..... after 20 years of leadership by the two same families, what could be less about change than another Clinton in the White House? Two words repeated - Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton - could yet pierce Hilary's increasingly comfortable lead in the polls. ...... Obama is an intriguing candidate, with a whiff of real integrity. ..... "you get the sense he just might be one of those 'two in a century' Presidents". ..... Obama revels in a glorious uncertainty. He stresses the fact he doesn't know everything, that he will listen and learn from other viewpoints. ..... an unconviction politician, the antithesis of Bush's moral certainty. ...... The simple, believable change that Clinton offers is a return to competence: change merely as an end to Bush's bumblings. That could be change enough for most voters. ....... He's gambling on the hope that Americans want not just change but upheaval. ..... Obama is going to have to make a move. His current campaigning, rousing as it is, will not propel him past Clinton on its own. ..... If he's got an ace up his sleeve, he's going to have to play it soon.
Supermodels launch anti-racism protest Several of the world's top black supermodels, including Naomi Campbell, Iman, Liya Kebede and Tyson Beckford, yesterday launched a campaign against race discrimination in the fashion industry - which they say is at its worst since the 1960s. About 70 leading models, designers, agents and fashion show producers gathered at a New York hotel in the first of a series of rallies designed to put pressure on the industry to face up to the problem. ..... her recent claim that she could no longer get on to the cover of British Vogue. ..... She revealed that she had forced her way on to the cover of French Vogue only after the designer Yves Saint Laurent had threatened to break off relations with the magazine unless they did so. ...... "In the past decade the black image has been reduced to a category - she is not even to be seen; she has become invisible ..... several of the New York fashion week shows, including Calvin Klein, had featured only white models. ..... the industry had become progressively closed to African-Americans through open discrimination that would be unthinkable in any other US industry. ...... when he invited Somalia-born Iman to guest edit a recent edition with the cover line "black girls rule", a major advertiser had pulled out at the last minute on the grounds that the phrase was racist. ...... there was brief discussion of the possibility of bringing a class action law suit against the most blatant discriminators.
Rudy’s 50-state strategy
Blacks moving away from Clinton to Obama, poll shows The Times and Democrat, SC a groundbreaking Winthrop/ETV poll, conducted exclusively with S.C. African-Americans between Aug. 19 and Sept. 9 ........ "Early on, African-Americans threw their support to Hillary Clinton, primarily based on the Clinton legacy. However, as African-American voters have gotten to know Barack Obama, support for him has increased significantly. The real tipping point in the Democratic primary election may be undecided African-American female voters -- there are many more African-American female undecideds than males, and Clinton and Obama are dead even among African-American women. It may literally come down to whoever gets the African-American female vote. Clearly support for Edwards, etc. is coming from white voters. On another note, among African-Americans in South Carolina right now, George Bush is proving to be a much more polarizing figure than the Confederate flag." ......... historically, African-Americans have made up to 50 percent of voters in Democratic primaries in South Carolina. ..... Barack Obama emerges as the winner in three out of the four match-ups, trailing Clinton in the fourth match-up (taken of women only) by .3 of one percentage point. ...... almost 30 percent count themselves as still undecided. ..... 56.2 percent of respondents felt that the national Democratic Party, and 57.1 percent of the respondents felt that the SC Democratic Party were taking their votes for granted. ...... almost 50 percent of respondents felt the Confederate flag was primarily either a symbol of racism or hate, almost 20 percent saw it as symbolizing both pride in heritage and symbolic of racism and hate
Poll: Obama narrowly leads Clinton among black South Carolinians
Bush warns against hasty Iraq withdrawal AFP
Preview: US Democrats plan new tactic to change course of war
Greenspan says GOP "deserved to lose"
Magic gives Clinton a boost in LA Los Angeles Times
Obama Gets Oprah, Hillary Gets Magic
Al Qaeda: $100G To Kill Swedish Cartoonist
Obama to Storm: "Democracy Isn't About Whose Turn It Is"
Menon in Nepal to help resolve impasse Times of India
AP Poll: GOP Presidential Race a Toss-Up The Associated Press
New twist in Patna lynching case Times of India
Collective fine for mob violence in Bihar Times of India
Study Says Iraq Not Meeting Benchmarks
Putin's man vows to restore Russian power The Age
Pakistan's Bhutto sets return date Los Angeles Times
Vietnam at centre of “Wimax storm” VietNamNet Bridge
Vietnam will become one of the centres of the Wimax storm which will hit Asia in the next one or two years. ... the race for implementing wireless telecom technology Wimax is burning and will be very fierce in 2008-2009. In that race, like for any advanced technology related to ‘mobile and wireless’, the race will run from the east to the west, firstly in Asia and then to Europe and finally the US. ..... the ‘thirst’ for wireless technology or Wimax of Asia. If this technology is implemented and brings about benefits like people expect, it will seriously threaten 3G-based mobile service providers. ..... One of the prerequisite conditions for the success of Wimax is the commitment of governments. ..... Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, during his visit to India, asked the Indian government to not protect old technologies to create favourable conditions for other new technologies to develop. ...... During his Indian visit, Mr. Barrett disclosed that Intel cancelled its decision to choose India as the place for its transistor plant. It has chosen Vietnam and China because the Indian government was moving slowly in working out related policies. ...... praised the sharpness of the Vietnamese government in issuing investment attracting policies in the field of technology. ..... Vietnam’s early grant of frequent bands, licences and facilitating tests of Wimax technology shows that Vietnam will become a centre of the Wimax storm, which is forecast to come in the next 1-2 years. .... Vietnam will receive many benefits in technology as well as economic and social development.
US Poised to Advance in Women's World Cup Football Voice of America
Brazilian physicists boycott Dell Register
After Speech, Bush Seeks to Overcome Doubts on Iraq New York Times
Will Iraq sink the GOP?
Ten suspected thieves lynched in Bihar
50 Cent's retirement? Not so fast
Giuliani slams Clinton on Iraq AFP
Fundraiser's Legal Woes Dog Clinton Camp Guardian Unlimited
Barack Obama tries to revive campaign with late push in opening state Times Online
Why Women are for Obama
Poll: Hillary Clinton Takes Lead in Iowa Her move up in the ranks in mirrors what has been happening in the rest of the country. The survey shows that part of her rise in popularity has to do with the positive opinions that the voters have of her husband. .... Clinton's lead with the women is higher than it is with the overall group ... Governor Bill Richardson .... is also being mentioned as a choice for vice president, based mostly on his experience in the foreign policy field. ..... if Hillary Clinton were to be elected President, would President Clinton have a positive or negative effect on his wife's administration. Positive came out way ahead with 81% ...... 77% want the next administration to return to the policies of the Clinton years
Poll: Hillary Clinton Leads New Hampshire Primary