Monthly Archives: January 2008

Hillary Clinton = Tracey Flick

Sometimes it’s like Slate Magazine reads my mind.

If you haven’t seen the movie “Election” (the 1995 film), it’s a political classic…surprisingly enough, a political classic produced by MTV.  I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary Clinton was their inspiration for Reese Witherspoon’s obsessively sociopathic character.

I Can’t Think Of A Catchy Title

I suppose the best way to describe myself would be to say that I have a problem with authority. I’ve always disliked when people told me what to do, even as a young child, and I’ve always preferred to find my own path through life and make my own decisions, even if it occasionally went against the conventional wisdom and sometimes worked to my short-term disadvantage. My dad said I inherited it from him, but that I’ve taken it to a whole new level. When I was young I wanted to be a journalist, until I got to college and realized that journalism was less about the search for objective truth than it was about writing the stories that best suited your employer’s interests, whether they were true or not (which didn’t sit well with me at all). So I drifted aimlessly through a couple of years of college as an indifferent (often drunk) student, unsure of what to do with myself until one of my fraternity brothers gave me a copy of “The Fountainhead” and I got hooked on the ideas that success and a refusal to conform to societal standards were not mutally exclusive, and that the greatest evil in the world was society and government’s failure to recognize or accept individuality and individual freedom as a strength, not a weakness. So I threw myself into studying politics and history, worked in a few political campaigns after college, had some success, and thought about doing a career in politics until I realized that most of the people I knew who had never had a career outside of politics had no comprehension of how the real world actually worked and tended to make a lot of bad, self-absorbed decisions that rarely helped the people they claimed to be representing.

That didn’t sit well with me either, so I decided to put any thoughts of going into politics on hold until I’d actually had a life and possibly a real career, and I spent the next couple of years drifting between a series of random yet educational jobs (debt collector, deliveryman, computer salesman, repo man, dairy worker) that taught me the value of hard work, personal responsibility and the financial benefits of dining at Taco John’s on Tuesday nights (2 tacos for a buck) when money got tight.

After awhile, however, the desire to see the world (and the need for a more consistent and slightly larger paycheck) convinced me to join the Army, where I spent ten years traveling around the world on the government dime working as an intelligence analyst. I generally enjoyed my time in the military, despite the aforementioned problem with authority (which wasn’t as much of an issue in the military as many people might think it would be), and I got to see that the decisions our political leaders make were sometimes frivolous, often ill-informed, and always had unforeseen repercussions down the road…especially on the soldiers tasked with implementing those decisions. I was fortunate enough to spend most of my 10 years in the military doing jobs I enjoyed, traveling to countries that I always wanted to see (Scotland is the greatest place in the world to hang out, Afghanistan is very underrated) and working with people I liked and respected, until I finally decided that at 35 it was time to move into a job where I didn’t have the threat of relocation lying over my head every two or three years, where I didn’t have to worry about my friends being blown up, and where I didn’t have to work in any capacity for George W. Bush.

I work now for a financial company in Kansas where I’m responsible for overseeing, pricing and maintaining farms, commercial and residential properties, mineral assets, insurance policies, annuities, etc. In my spare time I like to read books on economics, history, and politics (I’m preparing to tackle Murray Rothbard’s “Man, Economy & State” and Von Mises’ “Human Action”…should take me about a year at the rate I’m currently finishing books), watch movies, and destroy posers on “Halo 3″ (where I’m signed in under “UCrawford” for anyone interested in taking a shot at me some time). I used to play rugby until age, inconsistent conditioning, and a string of gradually worsening injuries finally convinced me to quit. I’m a rabid fan of the Kansas Jayhawks in general and their basketball and football programs in particular and I’m also a devoted fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. I’m also fond of going online and debating/picking fights with people on the merits of the philosophy of individual freedom…sometimes to the point of being an asshole (but hopefully a reasonably well-informed asshole). I’ve been a big fan of The Liberty Papers ever since finding it online, I respect the body of work they’ve put out, and I’m honored that Brad Warbiany invited me to join his jolly band of freedom fighters. So cheers, Brad, and to everyone else I look forward to reaching consensus or locking horns with you in the near future.

Al-Qaeda’s “Number Three Man” Killed…Again

I think this brings us up to seven or eight “number threes” killed in the al-Qaeda hierachy since 2001.  Must be a hell of a corporate flow chart they have.  I wonder what country the next guy will be situated in when our government decides to “promote” him.  Somehow I think it will end up being whatever country the president’s taking the most criticism on that particular day.

 Update:  According to the updated version of CNN’s story on the death of al-Qaeda “number three” Abu Laith al-Libi:

In October, the U.S. military’s anti-terror Combined Joint Task Force-82 announced rewards ranging from $20,000 to $200,000 for al-Libi and 11 other mid-level Taliban and al Qaeda leaders.  The military distributed posters and billboards with pictures and names of the insurgents around eastern Afghanistan.  Al-Libi and the others were described at the time by CJTF-82 spokesman Maj. Chris Belcher as “mid-level bad guys.” (emphasis mine)

Translation:  “Mid-level” is not generally a classification for a high-value target, which means there’s pretty much no difference between al-Qaeda’s recently deceased “number three man” and a couple dozen other schmucks running around out there on the AF/PAK border except that the military and the press happened to have a photo and a name for this guy.

I Can’t Think Of A Catchy Title

I suppose the best way to describe myself would be to say that I have a problem with authority. I’ve always disliked when people told me what to do, even as a young child, and I’ve always preferred to find my own path through life and make my own decisions, even if it occasionally went against the conventional wisdom and sometimes worked to my short-term disadvantage. My dad said I inherited it from him, but that I’ve taken it to a whole new level. When I was young I wanted to be a journalist, until I got to college and realized that journalism was less about the search for objective truth than it was about writing the stories that best suited your employer’s interests, whether they were true or not (which didn’t sit well with me at all). So I drifted aimlessly through a couple of years of college as an indifferent (often drunk) student, unsure of what to do with myself until one of my fraternity brothers gave me a copy of “The Fountainhead” and I got hooked on the ideas that success and a refusal to conform to societal standards were not mutally exclusive, and that the greatest evil in the world was society and government’s failure to recognize or accept individuality and individual freedom as a strength, not a weakness. So I threw myself into studying politics and history, worked in a few political campaigns after college, had some success, and thought about doing a career in politics until I realized that most of the people I knew who had never had a career outside of politics had no comprehension of how the real world actually worked and tended to make a lot of bad, self-absorbed decisions that rarely helped the people they claimed to be representing.

That didn’t sit well with me either, so I decided to put any thoughts of going into politics on hold until I’d actually had a life and possibly a real career, and I spent the next couple of years drifting between a series of random yet educational jobs (debt collector, deliveryman, computer salesman, repo man, dairy worker) that taught me the value of hard work, personal responsibility and the financial benefits of dining at Taco John’s on Tuesday nights (2 tacos for a buck) when money got tight.

After awhile, however, the desire to see the world (and the need for a more consistent and slightly larger paycheck) convinced me to join the Army, where I spent ten years traveling around the world on the government dime working as an intelligence analyst. I generally enjoyed my time in the military, despite the aforementioned problem with authority (which wasn’t as much of an issue in the military as many people might think it would be), and I got to see that the decisions our political leaders make were sometimes frivolous, often ill-informed, and always had unforeseen repercussions down the road…especially on the soldiers tasked with implementing those decisions. I was fortunate enough to spend most of my 10 years in the military doing jobs I enjoyed, traveling to countries that I always wanted to see (Scotland is the greatest place in the world to hang out, Afghanistan is very underrated) and working with people I liked and respected, until I finally decided that at 35 it was time to move into a job where I didn’t have the threat of relocation lying over my head every two or three years, where I didn’t have to worry about my friends being blown up, and where I didn’t have to work in any capacity for George W. Bush.

I work now for a financial company in Kansas where I’m responsible for overseeing, pricing and maintaining farms, commercial and residential properties, mineral assets, insurance policies, annuities, etc. In my spare time I like to read books on economics, history, and politics (I’m preparing to tackle Murray Rothbard’s “Man, Economy & State” and Von Mises’ “Human Action”…should take me about a year at the rate I’m currently finishing books), watch movies, and destroy posers on “Halo 3″ (where I’m signed in under “UCrawford” for anyone interested in taking a shot at me some time). I used to play rugby until age, inconsistent conditioning, and a string of gradually worsening injuries finally convinced me to quit. I’m a rabid fan of the Kansas Jayhawks in general and their basketball and football programs in particular and I’m also a devoted fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. I’m also fond of going online and debating/picking fights with people on the merits of the philosophy of individual freedom…sometimes to the point of being an asshole (but hopefully a reasonably well-informed asshole). I’ve been a big fan of The Liberty Papers ever since finding it online, I respect the body of work they’ve put out, and I’m honored that Brad Warbiany invited me to join his jolly band of freedom fighters. So cheers, Brad, and to everyone else I look forward to reaching consensus or locking horns with you in the near future.

Quote Of The Day: Inadvertently Telling The Truth Edition

Bill Clinton in Colorado:

“We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

And there you have it, the progressives are anti-progress.

Update: It would appear that Clinton’s quote was taken out of context. Here’s the full quote:

“Everybody knows that global warming is real,” Mr. Clinton said, giving a shout-out to Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize, “but we cannot solve it alone.”

“And maybe America, and Europe, and Japan, and Canada — the rich counties — would say, ‘OK, we just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.’ We could do that.

But if we did that, you know as well as I do, China and India and Indonesia and Vietnam and Mexico and Brazil and the Ukraine, and all the other countries will never agree to stay poor to save the planet for our grandchildren. The only way we can do this is if we get back in the world’s fight against global warming and prove it is good economics that we will create more jobs to build a sustainable economy that saves the planet for our children and grandchildren. It is the only way it will work.

I stand corrected, and Jake Tapper is apparently an idiot.

Reagan Library Debate Roundup And Reaction

Before I get into the analysis of what happened in Simi Valley tonight, I’ve just got to say —- best debate backdrop ever.

I mean, seriously, how can a stage somewhere in Florida, New Hampshire, or Podunk, Iowa compete with a stage that looks out on the plane that served as Air Force One for nearly two decades and a beautiful California sky ? Quite literally, it seemed as if Ronald Reagan himself would come down the stairs, walk into the hall and tell all four of these losers to go home and let a real man lead the country.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and we’re stuck with the candidates we’ve got, so let’s take a look at what we have.

So what the heck do we have ? In one sentence, we have the coronation of John McCain as the Republican nominee even if nobody wants to admit it yet.

John McCain: Less than an hour after an endorsement that pretty much guaranteed he would score huge victories in California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut on Tuesday, McCain pretty much did what he needed to, which is not make a mistake. He did reveal his relative economic ignorance in the first question, but, quite honestly, I don’t think anyone noticed or that it will make that big of a difference. At this point, it’s all about winning primaries and getting delegates and McCain is set to score big on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney: Given the fact that he’s got guys like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin egging him to take McCain on, one would’ve thought that Romney would have been far more combative tonight than he was. Yea, he challenged McCain on tax cuts and got into an argument with him over a negative ad that McCain ran in Florida (which got so confusing that I honestly lost interest), but he didn’t really do much of anything to distinguish himself from McCain in a way that would make a difference to the people that will be voting next Tuesday. Romney will be in the race for awhile if only because he can afford to be, but he’s not going to be able to stop McCain.

Mike Huckabee: Apparently, not only does Mike Huckabee want to spend billions of dollars on a make work project to add two lanes to I-95 on the East Coast, but he’s open to spending billions more to do the same thing to highways all over the country. That, pretty much, was the only thing that Huckabee said that differentiated him from the other candidates. When I listen to him, I just can’t shake the feeling that he’s interviewing for the position of John McCain’s running mate, and judging from the reaction shots of McCain that I saw when he was speaking, he seems to be making some progress in that regard.

Ron Paul: What can you say ? He scored some points when he talked about the economy, but this debate made even clear than others that Ron Paul just isn’t an effective communicator of the philosophy of freedom in a political context. That, more than the newsletter story or anything else, is probably the main reason that conservative/libertarian voters who might otherwise agree with him haven’t voted for him and aren’t likely to anytime soon.

At this point, I don’t think that anything that happened in this debate is going to change the nature of the race. It’s more important the McCain has received endorsements from Rudy Giuliani and, reportedly, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of which will go a long way toward making Super Tuesday a big day for the Senator from Arizona.

Paul, Bloomberg Would Hurt Republicans More Than Democrats

A new Rasmussen Reports poll seems to suggest that third-party runs by Michael Bloomberg and Ron Paul would hurt Republicans more than Democrats in the General Election:

In a head-to-head match-up between Romney and Obama, Obama currently leads by nine percentage points. When Bloomberg and Paul are added to the list of possible candidates, Obama’s lead grows to twelve points, 42% to 30%. Paul attracts 8% of the vote, Bloomberg 6%.

Hillary Clinton leads Romney by five in a head-to-head match-up, but her lead grows to fourteen points with Bloomberg and Paul in the mix—Clinton 46% Romney 32% Bloomberg 7% Paul 7%.

In a McCain-Obama poll, the Democrat leads by five. That grows to seven points with the third party options—Obama 40% McCain 33% Paul 11% Bloomberg 5%.

The pair of third party candidates attract from 13% to 17% of Republicans in each match-up. They earn only 5% to 10% of the Democratic vote.

This is, of course, merely a snapshot in time and doesn’t necessarily reflect how things will pan out in November.

If Bloomberg does get into the race — by no means a given at this point — he is likely to do a lot better than he’s polling right now largely because he has the financial means to get his message, whatever it is, out to the public. That is going to pay off with increased support.

With Ron Paul, on the other hand, I think the numbers he’s polling here actually over state what he’d get in a General Election campaign. I get the sense that Ron Paul’s campaign peaked with the December money bombs. Except for finishing a distant second in Nevada, he hasn’t done better than fourth place in any contest yet and actually did worse in Florida than he’s done anywhere else. Oh, his core supporters will follow him to the gates of hell if necessary, but they aren’t going to be enough to get him more than maybe 3 or 4 percent of the vote in a heavily contested nationwide election with high turnout, which is what I expect we’ll see in November.

Of the two, the Republicans need to worry about Bloomberg far more than Paul at this point. Paul’s supporters aren’t going to vote for McCain anyway, so the fact that they might vote for Paul if he runs as an independent isn’t going to change things significantly. Bloomberg, on the other hand, has the potential to pull away large numbers of moderate independents that might otherwise vote for McCain.

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