From the the shores of Los Angeles, analysis of Politics and Culture from the Valley of the Shadow!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Groovin' with the Whovians
If you read this Blog long enough, you will find my interests all connect. Wilsonianism as a weapon against Terrorism, Politics, Policy, Economics, History (American and Ancient Rome), Marvel Comics, Eugene Delacroix and of course.....
....Doctor Who. I first saw this show on WPIX (11) in New York. Before I read The Economist or watched the Prime Minister's Questions on C-Span, I was hooked on Who.
My first episode? Horror at Fang Rock.
The first Doctor? Tom Baker.
Favorite Episode of the Old Series? Genesis of the Daleks
Favorite Episode of the New Series? The Sound of Drums
Last weekend, I went to a Gallifrey One Convention (Gallifrey is the name of the Planet of the Time Lords) at the LAX Marriott.
However, some issues regarding the convention:
1) Bring Tom Baker to the States. Many of us "Old School" fans were brought in on his scarf. Huh? Watch the early stuff.
2) It's 2008. It's an Election Year. The New Series put The Master as Prime Minister of England and no panels on Harold Saxon?! For shame! The antics that could have ensued.
3) Russell Davies is political. So was the old show. But the Old show emphasized Queen and Country (It is a British show after all) with a touch of British Internationalism (UNIT anyone?). But, the Doctor was never partisan or issue oriented. Save the world. Have some Jelly babies. Bring that back. And these arguments come from folks who oppose my politics.
And a final note: If you must travel down the Westside, and the 405 is stopped, and Sepulveda pass is slow, find a TARDIS.
Belated Gametime: The Warm Pacific to the Frozen North
Welcome back to PNN -- The Political News Network! Due to unclement, unforseen circumstances, we were off the air. Now, smooth sailing till November.
First, the Overview.
Next, Jason's version of the February 19 Primaries.
These contests were:
Hawaii (D only): Obama
Washington (R Only) McCain
Wisconsin: Obama, McCain
And after the 19th there was the contest of the Democrats Abroad (Democrats overseas who vote), and Obama won a majority of that one too.
When Republicans vote overseas, they do it by the State rules they are registered in.
Senator Obama was Hawaii's (The State's first) native son. In Wisconsin, even Ann Althouse endorsed Obama.
Here are some questions as we come closer to Ohio and Texas (March 4):
1) If Hilary Clinton does not win both states, will she continue to fight? Will she overturn the rules in Denver to gain power?
2) When McCain gets the next 273 Delegates to make 1,191, will Huckabee endorse? Or are the Clinton's still calling his shots?
3) Did the NYT think that an article using little to no sources (a journalistic sin, I was taught), would not cause the Conservatives to defend him? Will they use little or no sourced articles to go after Hillary Clinton? If not, then don't give me this "Truth to Power" crap. (That rule applies to CBS, CNN, MSNBC, GQ, Esquire and the Los Angeles Times)
Next: On to Chess' home state of Texas! and O-hi-o!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Feeling under the weather....
Just came from the Doctor. Bad case of the Flu. Will be resting. Posting this weekend (and also catch up on the Primaries).
Monday, February 18, 2008
The Myth of Democrats and National Security
The Senate Democrats looked at the long picture. Speaker Tip O'Neill learned to disagree with President Reagan and they still got along. What is Speaker Pelosi's problem?
As detailed in this post, the Democrats are opposed to using many tools in the War on Terror. In fact, if you listen to Pacifica or Air America, they refer to it as: "Quote unquote, the War on Terror"
The Director of National Intelligence [DNI] is a non-Partisan job. In this article, he appealed to Speaker Pelosi to pass FISA. It didn't matter. Here is why it is important to pass FISA.
Because Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats were supported by the Association of Trial Lawyers, they refused to vote on the FISA Bill. The House Republicans responded as when their voices silenced were during the "Bloody 8th" debacle; They walked out. Democrats do not believe in free speech. At least when Repulicans are involved. Heck, in Speaker Pelosi's district, they want to rid themselves of the United States Marine Corps.
As detailed in the book, "Fight Club Politics" Speaker Pelosi has never lived up to a deal with any Republicans. After always reneging, how does she expect Republican votes to help her with her agenda? She supposedly learned Politics from the best, forgot the two most basic rules of all:
1) The Security of America is a Bi-Partisan issue.
2) To get votes, trade in good faith.
Speaker Pelosi cannot do either.
Meanwhile, Israel is under fire for protecting itself. The murder of the Head of Hezbollah has caused Israel to put it's embassies on High Alert. Oh, and the head of Hezbollah was no innocent -- read his crimes here.
The Democrats don't support American allies outside of Europe or East Asia. They don't support Iraqi democracy (Wilsonianism was a Democratic idea, last used during the Clinton Administration); They don't support Israel during it's time of need and because they shut down FISA, no one can hear the networks talk. (And take a listen to the Anti-war protesters, they don't support Israel either or Democracy overseas).
Here is two questions.
A) In the past eight years, what have the Democrats proposed for National Security? What tools do they want to use?
B) How do House Democrats expect to work with House Republicans when Speaker Pelosi reneges on every deal she makes? Is their someone who can be a better House Speaker?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Gametime: The Potomac Primaries!
Welcome back to PNN -- The Political News Network!
First, here is Jason's take of last nights Primaries.
Here is the overview.
For the Democrats, Senator Obama won all three races.
For the Republicans, Senator McCain won all three races.
Can you say: SAAAA-WEEEEEEEPP!!!!
And here is the why:
1) The Beltway area has great food, such as Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street, Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon and Armands Pizza all over the area. Over these food places, the staffers and friends of the White House and Congress congregate. If anyone would know which Senator would best represent their party, this is the area. Notice how Senator Clinton did not do well, and they know her best in the Beltway.
2) The Democrats still have the two time bombs (Super-Delegates and the two Invisible Primaries) but Senator Obama is ahead. His secret? Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post figured it out: Senator Obama doesn't call those he disagrees with, evil; Senator Clinton thrives on battling (and destroying) Republicans.
3) Senator Clinton has not won since Super Tuesday. She is building a "firewall" in Texas and Ohio. They don't vote until March. Mayor Guiliani believed in putting all his eggs into one state before Super Tuesday. Notice how the Valley does not talk about Nominee Giuliani. If the Beltway, who knows the Clintons, won't vote for her, why should Texas and Ohio be any different?
My questions are:
A) Name you favorite DC Beltway restaurant and why.
B) Does the American Harold Saxon pull out a win before the Convention? How?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Role of the Partisan
Revolutionary Jimmy tried to tease me at work regarding Romney's speech at CPAC. The part that got to him was when Romney said:
"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.
"This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters – many of you right here in this room – have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country"
What makes Romney stronger for 2012 and Huckabee weaker, is the mention of Party. Romney had more States and more Delegates than Huckabee, yet he, "took one for the team," Huckabee still hasn't answered if he is for the team.
In Shakespeare, the Partisans are usually in the Chorus. Watch the first thirty minutes of Titus (with Sir Anthony Hopkins) to see the Partisans choose their Emperor.
For each campaign season, their is a designated role. Partisans support their candidate and cause shenanigans for the opposite candidate and their Partisans. It is the Press' job to call a flag on any play out of bounds (However, they blow the whistle on more Redskin plays than Dallas ones -- but that is another post).
Meanwhile, the audience consists of what I call the 60%. In any given year (election or non election year), 40% of the American population is active. Sometimes, that majority of 40% is Republican; In 2008, that cycle is majority Democrat.
The 60% are the folks who show up every four years and return to normal life after Election Day. They are the Partisan's audience. You win them, you win the election. Part of that 40% are the Bloggers who post about Politics in off-years (Yes, both Aurora and Jason). As partisans, we are the used car salesmen (and women) in the realm of politics. But without the 40%, the 60% would not care.
Does that mean partisans are unworthy? After all, Shakespere relegates the 40% to the Chorus. No, our role is not defined by our friends who are uninterested every 3 and 1/2 years, but by our candidates and what roles we play upon our Local Stage.
Partisans and Intelligence Agencies look upon the public the same way. There are members of the tribe, and then there are civilians. So, when I note "Hate Speech from the Democrats" or "Anti-Semitism from the Democrats," I am doing two things:
1) Playing my role on the Electronic Stage and noting the other side's words.
2) Hoping the 60% do not get inspired by the same Partisans who write those words above.
So, why does Huckabee stay? Because he is flying under false flags. The Clinton's have helped him up. Huckabee will leave the stage when the Clintons, not the Republican voters, tell him.
And now I exit, Stage Right.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Gametime: The Wet Quintet and the Two Time Bombs
Welcome back to PNN -- The Political News Network!
Here is Jason's view of this weekend's events.
Why 'Salem's Lot? And why "the Wet Quintet"?
First, follow the path of the Primaries and Caucuses. Here is the roundup.
Kansas (R only): Huckabee
Louisiana: Huckabee and Senator Obama.
Nebraska (D Only): Obama
Washington: McCain and Obama
Maine (D Only): Obama
Kansas and Nebraska are in "Tornado Alley"; Washington has cold rains from Canada and Louisiana has the Southern rains from the Gulf Coast and Maine has the wet New England weather by the fall. Thus, "The Wet Quintet"
Obama swept the Democartic races and Huckabee kept McCain on his toes. There will be a more detailed analysis after "The Beltway Primary."
'Salem's Lot was a fictional town in Maine, state of the last caucus, written by Stephen King. In 'Salem's Lot were two time bombs: the desolation of the town spiritually and the coming of the vampire, Barlow.
Given the current status of the Presidential Election, the Democrats have two time bombs to deal with. I won't presuppose an answer. Just think on this: Will Governor Dean work on these before the Convention to the detriment of both candidates or will it come together before the summer with only one candidate unhappy (as well as their supporters)?
Time Bomb 1: The Super-Delegates. Senator Clinton is using Chelsea and President Bill Clinton to lobby for their votes. What if the regular voters choose Obama (as they did this weekend)? Will the Super-delegates follow?
Time Bomb 2: The Invisible Primaries -- Florida and Michigan. If it is a tie by the Convention, who chooses the Delegates from these states? Will Governor Dean offer a do over?
I won't emphasize that Democrats are blocking their own people from voting in the latter or might overturn their own voters in the former. But it is truly a conundrum. How do you see the Democrats resolving these issues?
Next stop: The Beltway Primary!
Friday, February 08, 2008
How to debate a Republican in Hollywood
On Wednesday, I got into a debate (closer to an argument) by a guy at work I'll call Artist Glenn. He is a Liberal Democrat. Like most Liberal Democrats in the Hollywood community, he doesn't know any Conservatives or Republicans.
I used to be a Liberal Democrat. Now, I am a Conservative Republican with a Liberterian streak. When I debate with Jason, I usually know where he is coming from. Occaisionally, he surprises me by knowing where my debate points are from and agreeing with me.
When Artist Glenn debates, he starts with the idea, "All Conservatives are bad," and the assumption "Nothing good has ever come from Republicans," Fine. Okay. But how do you expect me to agree with your arguments when you won't concede any positive points on my side.
As we got close to Super Tuesday, I was going to all the different studios: MGM in Century City, Universal in Universal City, Disney in Burbank, etc. I noticed a trend. Most staff and Below the Line people tended Republican or Right leaning. Those that weren't, leaned Conservative Democrat. It is the Executives who lecture and hector who have the funds to remain in the Liberal Democrat column.
This trend is found all over town. The WGA Strike brought more folks over to the Republican side. After all, how many people who made less than $150,000/a year made it to a Hillary Clinton fundraiser with the Guest of Honor available? Not the staffs of the Executives or the Above the Line people.
So, Artist Glenn, a hint on how to debate a Republican in Hollywood (or anywhere else).
1) Acknowledge the good that Republican Presidents have done. For instance, Reagan believed in freeing Eastern Germany and the Bloc. He suceeded. Decades later, a Republican President took up the mantle of Wilsonianism and believed the Middle East and Central Asia deserved to be integrated into the world. Dictators and failed states have no place in the 21st Century. That President is President George W. Bush. I will cite good works of LBJ and Bill Clinton; It's your job to say good things about Reagan and George W. Bush.
I make it a point to say three good things about a President in office, whatever the party. I also do it about Presidential candidates of either party. We live in America, we have one President at a time. I am a partisan but I am fair to the non-committed, non partisans (the 60% of Americans who don't do this every year). Other Americans are not the enemy. I will go into more detail on this issue on another post.
2) Notice how open minded the Conservative and Republican is to your views. When examples are cited that contradict your views, take the time to investigate. Dismiss ideas at your peril, that brings out the Authoritarians who feel un-listened to.3) Debate. Win some, lose some. Maybe find someone to greenlight a story when a Conservative politician is a hero. When was the last time a movie like that occured?
And that is how you debate a Republican in Hollywood.
Go to In Bruges
Off the beaten path here, but being in Hollywood, I get to see movies before they are released. Last night, I saw the movie, In Bruges.
In 1993, I traveled briefly in Belgium, where the European Parliament sits. The characters of the movie are traveling to Bruges, Belgium for darker reasons.
Colin Farrell (of Phone Booth) and Brenden Gleeson (of 28 Days Later) play the assassins who are in Bruges because of a botched job in Ireland. Ken (Gleeson) is spending the time taking in the sights. While Ray (Farrell) is bored in the museum like town. They discover a movie being filmed there. There is a love story, a drug story, a skin head, and an obsession with midgets that tie the film together.
Ken and Ray's boss, Harry (Ray Fiennes of Strange Days) also comes to Bruges to follow up on a mission that Ken was supposed to do.
Hidden in the story is a tale of Old European Christian Redemption. No one is ever free of their earlier crimes but they learn to take responsibility for their beliefs. Ray learns his; Ken is comfortable in his past and Harry's is the most surprising of all.
If In Bruges comes to your town, give it a couple of hours.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
CPAC News -- Romney drops, Mccain Rises.
It is Mccain's turn. Romney saw he did not have the delegates. Here is Romney's speech.
Senator McCain cannot play the Maverick -- he is the Party Leader for the next few months. Here is his speech.
Senator McCain will spend the next few weeks mending fences with the Conservatives while the Democrats spend money in their Primaries. If the Democrats truly wish to end Senator Clinton's campaign, they will support Senator Obama. But I doubt it.
Here is my one worry: That Election 2008 might be a replay of Election 1996, with no GOP Congress. Like 1996, I am planning on going to the Convention.
Onward towards November!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Gametime:Super Bowl, Super Tuesday, Super Duper!
Welcome back to the PNN -- The Political News Network!
First, read Jason's view of Super Tuesday.
There are a multitude of results. Read them here.
On Super Sunday, the New York Giants scored a win in the last two minutes of the Super Bowl (I was in Sonny McLean's in Santa Monica during the game -- A Boston expat bar), it was expected that some candidate might pull out a surprise.
Now the breakdowns. First, the Democrats:
With Senator Edwards out, it is a race between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. Something to remember: Edwards has not endorsed anyone; Clinton built a political machine and Obama has the beginings of a movement. All three of these factors have led the Democrats to the greatest of problems:
A tie between Obama and Clinton.
Now the Republicans:
After all the hemming and hawing of the pundits, the Republicans were true to form. After an incumbent President, the GOP always nominates the next in line.
Remember: Senator Dole lost against President George HW Bush in 1988, than in 1996, it was Dole's turn. In 2000, Senator McCain went against the son. Now that the son's term is up, the Republicans coalesced with the next in line: Senator McCain.
Also helping out McCain was Governor Huckabee (the Clinton creation); They negotiated to keep Romney from winning in West Virginia. Unless there is an upset in the next few weeks, Senator McCain will win a majority of delegates for 2008.
Next stop: Kansas, Nebraska, Louisiana!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
I Voted, did you?
I voted in Burbank today for Governor Mitt Romney. Did you vote today?
Who did you vote for and why?
Super Tuesday Breakdown will up later today.....
Monday, February 04, 2008
Shameless Plug for Links
While I have been busy writing my two books (Non-fiction and fiction), I notice on technocrati, my links are going down.
So, a quick advertisement for the Valley:
What other Blog has a Joint Left-Right take on the Election?
What other Blog can tell you about Hollywood and DC? And talk about the Conservatives and Republicans left out of both equations?
What other Blog holds the Democrats and Liberals to their words?
What other Blog can you find Art and Business with a sense for both?
So, if you have a blog, Consider linking to the Valley of the Shadow.
And if you are a reader, consider subscribing.
Thank you. More election news coverage tomorrow.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Musings from a Sale
Microsoft is buying Yahoo; Meanwhile, there are only two (major) candidates running in each primary. If Microsoft buys Yahoo, than Yahoo is back in competition with Google (which runs Blogger -- the structure the Valley is built upon). If Yahoo declines, who will be left to buy it? Google?
With the choices between McCain and Romney for Tuesday, here is a breakdown of my potential vote (If you heard me on Hugh Hewitt's show on Thurday, I was the first caller and I said it there).
Romney, from MA, has taken opposing views within the last five years, but since he started running for President they are the (forgive the pun) the Right views.
McCain, whom I met at the 1996 Republican Convention, has been in the Senate and has fought for "Clean Government," (After being involved with The Keating Five) but that begat McCain-Feingold, and quelled free speech. Romney is getting allies from the Conservative camp -- yet McCain is becoming the new "establishment" candidate. A title that Romney owned prior to Florida.
If McCain wins the Primary and loses the General, the three pillars for Conservatives will be splintered. There will be a dogfight over Conservative issues and personalities among Conservatives. It will make our time in the wilderness last longer.
If McCain wins the Primary and the General, then the Conservatives will still be out in the cold. But with no allies left to speak of.
If Romney wins the Primary and loses the general, Conservatism, at the end of 2008, will remain on ice until 2010. Nothing forward, nothing lost.
If Romney wins both Primary and General, I do worry he might follow the polls to decide where to tack. But he would, to quote Speaker Tip O'Neill, "dance with the one that brung ya,"
Conservatives should not look for the next "Ronald Reagan," But they should find people who best represent the future. In 1980, Reagan represented America's hopes and dreams for it's time (1980). He brought America up from the doldrums of Carter. Looking for the next Reagan is a futile exercise -- Reagan was not Reagan until he started to govern in the West Wing.
(And a side note to you Democrats, he liked Wilson and FDR -- What Democratic President will cite Republican Presidents in their rise? Hmm. The answer is none.)
As Conservatives, we should be foward thinking and planning for the next election. As far this election, I am choosing the Conservative candidate on Tuesday. Mitt Romney.
For now, Microsoft sees Yahoo! as the future to stay as a challanger on the online world. Conservatives and Republicans should follow Microsoft's lead.
**But should McCain win the Primary, I will use my efforts to support him. However, we might see a replay of the 1996. That is my worry.