Monday, June 09, 2008

Is every earned dollar hard-earned?

I think politicians over-use the terms "hard-working families" and "hard-earned dollars"; this usage is more demagoguery than descriptive.

Sure, there are many workers who have boring, sweaty jobs or who have to spend much of their time with abusive bosses or customers or who have dangerous jobs.

But there are other workers who spend at least some of their time enjoying the outdoors, gazing out the window, having coffee and donuts in a meeting, or standing around the water cooler chatting with co-workers.

Personally, I've had jobs that run the gamut from making me bone-weary to making me eager to come in to do extra work. I've stood at a cash register with lines going half-way down the aisle. I've loaded 100-pound bags of potatoes on a truck. I've had customers and bosses yell at me. I've stood around chatting or even playing games on the clock. I've been sent out of town when I'd rather be at home. I've been paid to take very interesting trips. I've had days when I couldn't wait until five o'clock arrived. I've had days when I was so involved I forgot about eating. I've had days when I was paid just for showing up. I've had days when I was expected to work around the clock.

So, when politicians talk about hard-working people, are they talking about coal-miners deep underground or are they talking about somebody sitting in air-conditioned comfort listening to the radio? Are they talking about the rushed chicken processors wondering when they're going to slip with the knife or the front office clerk playing solitaire on the computer?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

We now have a three-party system

I read Frank Rich's "One night, two Americas" in today's New York Times.

He essentially writes that Clinton and McCain are of the past and Obama is of the future. From this I thought of how both the left and the right are stuck in battles and world views of the past; Obama has captured the hopes of those who look to the future. My quick diagram of this is

|| –

The vertical lines are the parties of the past, stuck in the past; the horizontal line is the party of the future moving forward. Another way to look at it is the right is the party of globalization of business but of anti-globalization of politics (we know best) and the left is the party of anti-globalization of business but of globalization of politics. They are also stuck in the polarization of ideas many Americans would rather not take a firm stand on: gun control, abortion, immigration, and so on.

I think that Obama will win in a landslide because he represents the future. He will win because he will get more people voting than ever. He will win because he has built a strong organization of average people rather than of Washington insiders. He will win because he is a better speaker and thinker. Finally, he will win because people do want change.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

"Democrats Win Landslide Victory" Hoax or reality?An email supposedly from former Sen. Bill Frist is making the rounds. It is titled "Democrats Win L

An email supposedly from former Sen. Bill Frist is making the rounds. It is titled "Democrats Win Landslide Victory". It is a request for donations to the National Republican Senatorial Committee because Obama is working hard so that "new voters and record resources will produce a Democrat landslide victory this fall."

I am always suspicious when people quote an email in the hope of nailing the author and his associates. I have tried looking for a denial of this email or for a posting on a Republican website supporting the email. I have found neither using the keywords "Democrats Win Landslide Victory", frist, and nrsc.

I can only conclude for now that Frist actually sent it. Such emails and letters often go out to huge mailing lists which often include opponents and non-interested persons. Many of these non-supporters probably jumped on it with glee. Look what the Republicans have been doing with Clinton's and Franken's words. Turnabout is fair play.

As to Frist's concerns, I believe heavy voter turnout has generally favored Democrats. Remember that Bush didn't win because of Nader in Florida; he won because too many Democrats stayed home.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Just who's voting for Clinton?

It seems to me that Hillary Clinton has been "winning" more primaries since John McCain gained enough delegates to clinch the Republican nominaton.

Could it be that people who call themselves Republicans are voting for Clinton because they think she will be easier to beat than Barack Obama?

If so, will these voters be there for her in November if she does win the Democratic nomination?