Wednesday, June 11, 2008

McCain Veep talk ...

Earlier I posted about Barrack Obama running mate talk.

McCain running mate talk is starting to heat up, too.

According to the New York Times, McCain joked earlier about vetting VP candidates with Google.

Of course, in actuality, he has a VP vetting team, led by former lobbyist Arthur Culverhouse, according to ABC News. The story says his firm lobbied congress to weaken consumer protection rights. Might McCain's lobbyist ties come back to hurt him?

Columnist Bob Franken, meanwhile is suggesting that McCain select NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his running mate. Interestingly, Franken also suggests Obama choose Bloomberg as a running mate. Sounds stupid, but it's a good column. Read it here.

Judge: Give judges a raise ...

A New York State judge has ordered the state legislature to approve a pay-raise for judges.

(click here for story)

Makes you wonder ... if the judges don't think it's worth what they're making, go into private practice. Or get a friggin' job at McDonalds.

I just don't feel bad for 'em.

Veep talk ...

Seems all anyone on the internet is talking about is who would make a good running mate for Barrack Obama.

I'm not helping matters by pointing you to their posts ... but that's exactly what I'm doing ...

Camille Paglia on Salon, for example, says: Given the looming importance of national security concerns, I used to think that Virginia's pugnacious junior senator, Jim Webb, an ex-Marine, would be Obama's most prudent running mate. Obama doesn't need some veteran pol like the 66-year-old governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, who would simply make Obama look younger than he is. Arizona's ebullient Governor Janet Napolitano would certainly fill out my Italian-American dream ticket and help to nail down the Southwest. But I've come to feel that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is Obama's best bet. She is a polished public presence who epitomizes that cordial, smoothly reassuring, and blandly generic WASPiness that has persistently defined the American power structure in business and government and that has weirdly resisted wave after wave of immigration since the mid-19th century. An Obama-Sebelius pairing would be visually vibrant and radiant, like a new day dawning.

Timothy Noah of Slate, says: On paper, Webb is the perfect choice for veep. Is Obama too closely identified with the left? Webb is a former Republican who served in the Reagan administration. Is Obama too cautious and detached? Webb is famous for speaking his mind. It's this last characteristic that's the problem. Webb, 62, is a bit of a blowhard. Because he's a writer, he's left a paper trail.

An AP story states: Barack Obama is considering former top Pentagon leaders among his possible running mates, which would address his lack of foreign policy experience and balance the military bonafides of a GOP ticket led by a war hero. Two senators who consulted Tuesday with the Democratic presidential candidate's vice presidential vetting team said retired military generals were among the names they discussed. "We talked about many names," North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad told The Associated Press, including "some that are out of the box, but I think would be very well-received by the American people, including former top military leaders."

Of course, Obama got himself a team to give him VP suggestions, and according to this story, yesterday he defended his choice of Jim Johnson to run his vice presidential search team, despite reports that Johnson got reduced rates for millions in loans from a subprime mortgage lender Obama has blasted during the campaign.

And then today, the Democratic candidate realeased this statement: “Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept. We have a very good selection process underway, and I am confident that it will produce a number of highly qualified candidates for me to choose from in the weeks ahead. I remain grateful to Jim for his service and his efforts in this process."

Then ... of course, there's Hillary. Let's hope not ...

From the email ...

I got this on Monday and had wanted to get it on the web site sooner, but this is my first bit of "down time." The following is in response to a phone call I got on Dialog blaming environmentalists for the rising gas prices. I had agreed with the caller.

Scott,
We've ruined the country over a war in Iraq trading blood for oil, and are plummeting the entire planet into a global climate change catastrophe, but god damn those environmentalists for making me pay $7 a gallon to drive my motor home to Tennessee.
Scott, why are you not spending precious air time skewering this human filth?

Truth of the matter is - or at least as I see it - there's plenty of blame to go around. While the Democrats tend to blame the war for the rise in gas ... and the Republicans tend to blame the environmentalists ... both sides are to blame for the outrageous cost of filling up the car.

As much as I'd like to completely blame the GOP and their phony war on terrorism for my $4 (plus) gas, we'd definately be better off if we had access to more oil. And we'd definately be better off if we weren't buying a large percentage of our oil from the always embattled Middle East. In other words, we'd be better off if we could drill here in the US.

And while the caller may have been right that the "environmentalists" not allowing us to drill is part of the problem, it isn't the whole problem. The hornets nest we've stirred up in the Middle East set the price problems in motion. Our vain attempts at "liberating" the people of Iraq and threatening Iran certainly hasn't made the area more likely to want to help us. So when we ask for lower oil, they just laugh.

And while it was widely reported that President Bush asked the Saudi's to increase production, one has to wonder if "Bandar Bush" winked when he asked.

So - to the emailer ... I didn't skewer him because he's right ... in part. I probably should have presented the other side, but (frankly) just wanted to get him off the phone and move on.