Sunday, April 13, 2008

Losing Latin America

One of the consequences (left to the reader to care or not) of growing anti-Americanism around the world (left to the reader to decide how much of it was avoidable) is the growing popularity of politicians in other countries with anti-American agendas (shocking that). But let's just talk Latin America for a quick sec and take a look at a few changes that have taken place in the political landscape in the new millennium:
  • Resource rich Venezuela continued (Chavez was already in power at the turn) its slide towards policies based on anti-Americanism, crazy lefty socialist ideas, local and regional bribery, and consolidation of power. There have been recent signs of hope as some countrymen appear tired of Chavez' gross mismanagement, but Venezuela continues to bribe its neighbors into its anti-American coalition.
  • In 2007, Chavez protegĂ© Rafael Correa took power in Ecuador. Ecuador has eagerly joined the anti-American block of Hugo Chavez. Why does tiny Ecuador matter? Well, besides another radical lefty voice and the potential non-renewal of leases, Ecuador seems to have a friendly relationship with FARC. Amid all the disastrous policies of the War on Drugs, the one that actually seems to be working all right is Plan Colombia — not so much with its stated goal of reducing the flow of drugs, but in Colombia's fight with FARC. FARC has been pushed back to the borders (and at least in some cases over the border). Recently Correa sacked some military types for helping with the fight against FARC. With a reasonable administration in Ecuador, the battle against FARC might be won, but as long as they have a safe haven, who knows?
  • Anyone remember Daniel Ortega, the leader of the Sandinistas that the US helped oust? Thank God we got rid of him for good, even if there might have been some actions of questionable legality in the process. Well, our friend Daniel ran again in 2006 and — with the help of some ham-fisted diplomacy by the openly anti-Ortega American ambassador — won in a quasi-legitimate vote. Nicaragua seems to be forging friendly ties with our Persian friends.
  • Bolivia.
But amidst all the bad news, there's some good, too. It only took 50 years, but we finally got rid of Castro! Seriously, though, smack in the middle of all the anti-Americanism is our staunchest ally Colombia and it's pro-US leader Alvaro Uribe. Amidst all the anti-free trade and anti-American rhetoric stand Colombia. For years, the US has given aid to Colombia and kept US markets open to Colombian goods.

And so how do the Democrats propose to build on this oasis of goodwill in a continent of badwill? By destroying it!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Genius or Sleaze?

An online petition calling for Obama and Clinton to run together is making news.

I'm sorry. I misspoke. An online petition calling for Clinton and Obama to run together is making news. The group is called "Democrats United for Clinton/Obama 08," and the one-sentence petition reads as follows:

We the undersigned call upon the members of the Democratic National Committee to support a unity ticket with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The site/petition is "Authorized and Paid For By Clinton/Obama 08."

Nowhere does the petition state who should be at the top of the ticket. This is, I think, a crucial bit of information. If I were to ascribe the most generous motives to the principals of DUCO '08 — names not available — I might say that this is the sticky part, and DUCO wants only to support the general notion of a Clinton/Obama and Obama/Clinton ticket, with the details TBD. The site is about transcending the conflict, and not perpetuating it.

But is it, really? Why does Hillary's name appear first on this page, every time? "Clinton/Obama 08" has an obvious connotation, doesn't it? Not to mention that the idea promoted here sounds a lot like an idea Hillary ingeniously floated a month ago. The site could easily have said, "Sign here, if you want these two on the same ticket, regardless of who is the Presidential nominee." It doesn't. It could also easily have said, "Hillary supports the idea of naming Obama as her running mate. Sign here, if you support Hillary for President and Obama for Veep." It doesn't say that, either.

You have to figure this site means to mislead people. If you favor an Obama/Clinton ticket over an Clinton/Obama presentation, you probably shouldn't sign it, because the Unnamed Principals could easily run off with your signature and proclaim that you and everyone else want the Clinton/Obama ticket.

Verdict: sleazy genius. I.e., it has the Clinton campaign written all over it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


What are the odds that a person would actually have the name "Viagra Cialis?" I mean, really. "Alice C. Viagra," maybe. But "Viagra Cialis?" Give me a break. I won't fall for that again.