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Posts Tagged ‘hillary clinton

Barry to Nominate Hill for SCOTUS?

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The Washington Post, among other news agencies, believes that Obama giving Clinton a nomination to the Supreme Court would go a long way to unify the party, and allow a better VP choice.

This choice is simply asinine. It would go a long way to show moderates how liberals enjoy having politically active justices on the bench. Granted, Clinton is a lawyer by trade, but having her as Attorney General would be a much less overt way of bringing liberal politics to the bench.

This would do nothing more than play strongly into Republican hands for 2012 with the Democrat President turning the Supreme Court into a political institution as opposed to one that checks the political institutions on the legislative and executive branches.

Matthew Franck, writing at the National Review, via Andrew Sullivan, agrees:

Promising the Democratic Party that he would appoint Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court would put Barack Obama on record as committed to the proposition that the Court is just another political institution like any other. Its vacancies would be viewed as political chips, to be wagered in a presidential campaign without regard to legal or constitutional categories of thought.

We’ll just have to add this to the many different offices Obama could give Hillary and the strategery still to be played out.


Written by walonline

May 22, 2008 at 9:40 am

Or, Is Hill Sabotaging Barry?

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Earlier today, I posted regarding a clip of Obama’s post-primary speech last night. This afternoon, James Pethokoukis posts an analysis from Merrill Lynch’s David Rosenberg, who believes that Clinton may be trying to sabotage Obama ala the 1976 Ford/Reagan primary. Here’s the quote:

[The battle between Clinton and Obama] is highly reminiscent of the intense battle between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan back in 1976 that also went all the way to the convention (Ford ended garnering barely more than 52% of the delegates)—and what happened when all was said and done was a Jimmy Carter victory as the GOP was still in healing mode during the presidential campaign (maybe this is why Hillary wants to take this to the finale—Reagan took the White House in resounding fashion in the next election in 1980).

Of course, we’ll all be hanging around to see what happens. One thing is for sure, it will certainly be entertaining.

Written by walonline

May 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Did Barry Offer Veep to Hill?

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John Podhoretz believes that to be the case. He points out the following from Obama’s speech last night:

One of the most formidable candidates ever to run for this office….In her 35 years of public service, Hillary Rodham Clinton has never given up on her fight for the American people…We’ve had our disagreements, but we all admire her courage and her commitment and her perseverence…Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and has changed the America in which my daughters and your daughters will come of age and for that we are grateful to her.

Podhoretz thinks Obama used this in a coded fashion to Hillary and supporters of either candidate. Depending on the context, it could also show his weariness at how long this primary has been extended.

If Obama and Clinton ran together on a ticket, I’d give John McCain about a 2% chance of winning the general.

(hat tip: Instapundit)

Written by walonline

May 21, 2008 at 8:25 am

Put A Fork In Her!

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Bump: Greg Mankiw points out. via the Washington Times, that McCain’s economic advisers did not give him advice on the gas tax “holiday” at all. Instead, it was a pollster. This whichever-way-the-wind-blows politicking will not win  Senator McCain any points among  conservative voters, who normally associate this action with Liberal politicians.

First Published May 5 @ 12:00a:

Comments like those Hillary Clinton made earlier should be heeded by Democrats and John McCain. This is effectively political suicide for her, if you ask me. As the New York Times reports:

This morning, George Stephanopoulos began his televised interview with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton by asking if she could name a single economist who supported her plan for a gas-tax suspension.

Mrs. Clinton did not. “I’m not going to put in my lot with economists,” she said on the ABC program “This Week.” A few moments later, she added, “Elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantages the vast majority of Americans.”

Throughout the exchange, Mrs. Clinton argued that she trusted her own eyes and ears instead. “This gas tax issue to me is very real,” she said, “because I have been meeting people across Indiana and North Carolina who drive for a living, who commute long distances, who would save money.”

Is Mrs. Clinton reading Dr. Seuss books to get policy ideas? This shows classic political posturing based on whatever direction the wind is blowing (as opposed to leadership, which would be nice).

Senator Clinton must believe in a free lunch as well. That would benefit everyone. Sadly, it doesn’t exist. The “holiday”–as it is being billed–would only increase demand for fuel. We’re still cheaper than Europe, and the tax isn’t entirely effective at its present level for maintaining our infrastructure. It probably should go higher, rather than lower.

Luckily, one of the candidates, Obama, has called this “holiday” what it is: ridiculous. It sounds like Barry’s too busy putting out other fires with regards to Ayers and Wright to really get Hill by the throat on this one.

This “holiday” is nothing more than a search for votes. The pols believe it will look good to the lay person because they see gas prices every day. They see the prices rise and they might be in a bit of a pinch. In reality, however, for the average consumer, gas prices make up just over five percent of ones expenses, which is less than the normal person spends eating out. (See a breakdown of how inflation relates to the average consumer’s spending, hat tip: The Big Picture.) It just begs the question: where are the other candidates economic advisers on this one? Who dreamed up this “holiday”? It’s yet another asinine energy policy proposal that, if passed, cause everyone more pain than anything.

Bill Clinton’s famous “its the economy, stupid” comment rings true here, too. Bill had a reasonable policy, though, unlike these cheap (albeit, expensive for the taxpayer) vote-buying policies.

As for McCain, he needs to quit pandering for votes with this worthless ploy as well. He would run well if he didn’t pander and just maintained a very moderate platform. A candidate with a strong reputation for defense and a moderate domestic platform would probably run very well.

UPDATE @ 12:20a: The Times has released information on their new tracking poll that finds 49% of people don’t like the idea of the “holiday” while 45% think it would be helpful.

Written by walonline

May 6, 2008 at 8:10 am

PA Wednesday Morning Quarterback

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The following links are the best on the web to wrap up the PA Primary last night in which Hillary “Hill” Clinton defeated Barrack “Barry” Obama by a margin of 54.3 to 45.7% (you might also note that Ron Paul picked up nearly 16% on the Republican side). Overnight, there were many reports (including the BBC Newspod I listened to this morning) that Hill got her much-needed double digit margin. In actuality, it is closer than reported (and that line is exactly the spin from the Obama camp).

  • Maureen Dowd offers her thoughts–complete with all the sexual innuendo you can handle–claiming that Hill’s campaign has now become completely emasculating of her opponent:
  • She’s been running ads about it, suggesting he doesn’t have “what it takes” to run the country. Her message is unapologetically emasculating: If he does not have the gumption to put me in my place, when superdelegates are deserting me, money is drying up, he’s outspending me 2-to-1 on TV ads, my husband’s going crackers and party leaders are sick of me, how can he be trusted to totally obliterate Iran and stop Osama?

    Now that Hillary has won Pennsylvania, it will take a village to help Obama escape from the suffocating embrace of his rival. Certainly Howard Dean will be of no use steering her to the exit. It’s like Micronesia telling Russia to denuke.

    Barry’s camp also seems to have taken on Hill’s historical belief in her own entitlement to the White House.

  • Power Line has a negative tone, but they’ve been attacking (and rightfully so!) both Democratic candidates dutifully from the beginning. In the end they call neither the winner, instead hailing Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” in a landslide.
  • Josh Marshall doesn’t believe anything has really changed, but sure hears is a lot of spin coming from both camps:
  • I’d say the real story is that this leaves us basically where we were. It was a decisive win for Hillary but that was the expectation. Going into tonight I think the dividing line was about 8 points. Closer than that and the story would have been that Obama didn’t win but closed the margin (which is how it looked early in the evening). A bigger margin than that and the story would be that Hillary got her big victory.

There are still more primaries to come; North Carolina and Indiana are next. For what seems like months Barry has been trying to hold together an unassailable lead. Even Rush Limbaugh knew too well shortly following Super Tuesday that Hill’s push will take her right to Denver. It is highly unlikely that she will be successful.

This is the exact situation Dem’s wanted to avoid, because Hill will cause Barry to spend more (draining his war chest), while McCain takes none of the shots. McCain also gets the chance to raise funding, consolidate his party and move towards the center. Whoever comes out of Denver with the nomination, will still have to take a considerable amount of time consolidating their base before their move to the center.

What is clear is that the race will continue to evolve and become more negative. Its part of the political game. If Barry can’t put up with a single reporter while he eats, his route to Denver will be as enjoyable as a root canal sans pain killers.

For now, however, viva Ron Paul Revolution! As mentioned earlier, his supporters won’t give up, grabbing over 15% of the vote in a meaningless primary. Hillary isn’t the one with a never-say-die attitude. It is the “Paultards,” as they are affectionately (or not) referred to at Wonkette. David Weigel, writing at Reason, adds:

Ron Paul will come out ofhis home state with around 127,000 votes, giving him around 974,000 votes total for the caucuses and primaries that have wrapped thus far. He’ll undoubtedly hit one million for the whole primary season: More than Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, or John Edwards.

A great grab for him indeed.

Written by walonline

April 23, 2008 at 9:06 am

Energy Policy and the Election

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Steve Chapman writes in Reason about the different candidates and their “stupid,” “pathetic” plans for their country’s energy policy. In a nutshell, his thoughts on

Hill and Barry:

[Their ideas] rest on the unshakable belief that Big Oil is guilty of chronic profiteering at public expense. In fact, from 1987 through 2006, oil and gas companies did worse than other industrial companies on return on investment in all but four years.

When the price of gasoline is high, drivers notice. But when it’s low, as it has been for most of the period since 1982, everyone takes it for granted.


He wants to stop collecting federal gas taxes for three months, which he says “will be an immediate economic stimulus—taking a few dollars off the price of a tank of gas.” It sounds like a simple, sure remedy, and it is simple and sure. It’s just not a remedy.

As energy analyst Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute points out, prices are now at the level required to balance supply and demand. Cut prices by the amount of the gas tax, and consumption will rise, pushing prices back up. So drivers would get no holiday, and the economy would get no stimulus.

Not to mention the roads, which would be falling apart quicker because of decreased funding and increased traffic. As Chapman said, it appears we’re busy looking for the chaff, not the grain.

I’m hoping they make an actual effort to bring up nuclear power, at least in the interest of further discussion in the public arena.

Written by walonline

April 18, 2008 at 8:44 am

Stupid Energy Policies: Ethanol and Politics

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Even before commodities were on a steep rise, the agricultural lobbyists have pushed for new ways to sell grain. In many Midwestern states, corn-based ethanol was added to gasoline as a way to sell the ethanol that was produced to helped maintain the values of corn. All of this was (and still is–to the tune of $5.5 billion per year) subsidized. Now, with the increasing political push and popularity of buzz words such as energy independence, global warming/climate change, and green, this has turned into an energy policy.

This year, Congress passed legislation to increase the US biofuel output by nearly five times, the UK just enacted a policy requiring the use of biofuels, and the EU is working on meeting a 10% of transport fuel requirement by 2020. Quite obviously, this will vastly increase the amount of needed biofuels, but is this the right direction for energy policy in the United States and Europe? There are a number of problems with biofuels–especially, the corn-based ethanol. Briefly, we will look at some of the issues: the debate on commodity inflation, academic research completed recently on biofuels, and other issues.

Many articles have claimed that biofuels are driving the inflation in commodity and food prices (see Ronald Bailey at Reason and Simon Jenkins at the Guardian). A report from Texas A & M’s Agricultural Policy and Research Center sees it as the increase in petroleum costs. There is also a lot of talk on Wall Street about the overall upward push commodities (see Seeking Alpha, for example). This overall inflation, not just one or a group of commodities, might be to blame, but there are still plenty of empirically proven problems with biofuels and the policies dreamt up by governments and lobbyists (or are those one in the same?)

For example, Chinese academics Zhang and Yuan have found that corn-based ethanol does not reduce carbon emissions compared to gasoline over its lifecycle. They suggest that a reduction in fertilizer usage and electricity used during irrigation would help this.

Second, Searchinger, et al, have found that using crop lands for biofuels increase greenhouse gases via changes in land use. Corn-based ethanol, thought to save emissions (compared to gasoline) by 20%, actually doubles emissions. Switch-grass increases emissions by 50%. The study also, “raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products.”

Third, Groom, Gary, and Townsend believe that bio-diversity is at risk and that there are many fuels that have very poor carbon footprints. Carbon output should be less over the entire production process of the raw material, fuel synthesis and transport to market. They write that, “Corn-based ethanol is the worst among the alternatives that are available at present. […] We urge aggressive pursuit of alternatives to corn as a biofuel feedstock.”

Ronald Bailey (linked above), writing in Reason believes food prices will be driven up by sheer population demand and a broadening worldwide middle class, both requiring much more food. Also, he uses a favorite of free-market economists–that governments need to quit supporting these industries with subsidies and handouts. If they are economically viable, and there really is a market for biofuels, they will expand and be efficient without burdening the taxpayer.

As for the up comming election, economist Paul Krugman believes none of the candidates have good policies. A blog, JustOneMinute, looks more deeply into the issue and separates himself with a sort of lesser-evils analysis, saying:

Let’s say that McCain may have flipped (probably without much conviction or knowledge) on the science by declaring that ethanol “is part of the solution to this climate greenhouse gas emissions problem” but he has been consistently opposed to subsidies, which means that in terms of policy he is miles ahead of Obama.

He also places Hillary in the middle of the two party nomination front runners.

It is pretty easy to see that we have made some bad decisions on biofuels and developing industries before we know whether they truly are better. Simon Jenkins (linked above), is with me, believing we could do better in reducing our carbon footprint as nations if we simply told the anti-nuclear lobby to “shove it” and got comfortable with the fact that nuclear power is clean and efficient, if managed correctly–but that’s an entirely different screed.

The answer is plain–an energy policy that doesn’t use a flawed economic policy (the subsidies of ethanol) and allows for investment in many new energy technologies, will be most effective at reducing pollution and dealing with the popular political buzz words of the day.

UPDATE (4/18 @ 1PM): CNBC just reported that the Bush Administration has taken a stance on moving away from corn-based ethanol to other options. I’ll get an article link up when I find one. Also, Gordon Brown sent letters to G8 leaders requesting further inquiry into the use of biofuels. This news is one of the things weighing down corn futures today.

Works Cited:

Zhang and Yuan. “[Carbon balance analysis of corn fuel ethanol life cycle].” Translated from chinese. Abstract found here.

Searchinger, et al. “Use of U.S. croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change.” Science 319(2008): 1238-40.

Groom, Gary, and Townsend. “Biofuels and Biodiversity: Principles for Creating Better Policies for Biofuel Production.” Conservation Biology (2008).