Category Archives: Politics

The Popular Vote

My friend Paul and did some polling last night, and we uncovered some surprising results! See who the public thinks will win the election: http://www.pkgraham.com/popular_vote/.

Barack Obama: Right for Ethics Reform

Gov. Sarah Palin’s speech to the Republican convention yesterday was focused on the promise of ethics reform. Never mind that the Republicans have been at the center of nearly all of the ethical lapses in Washington. In the last 8 years, the GOP has featured such distinguished congressmen as David Vitter, who admitted to soliciting a prostitute while in office; Sen. Larry Craig, who pled guilty to solicitation last year; Tom DeLay, indicted on campaign finance improprieties; and Bob Ney and Sen. Ted Stevens, respectively convicted and indicted of accepting bribes and lying about it. Vitter and DeLay even had the nerve to show up in Saint Paul this week!

But these issues are minor compared to the larger ethical issues facing our executive branch. George W. Bush spearheaded the invasion a sovereign nation and his top officials made 935 false statements in the process — is that not a lapse in ethical judgment? Bush authorized and encouraged the U.S. military to torture its prisoners, and John McCain has repeatedly endorsed Bush’s use of torture. In February, McCain even encouraged Bush to veto legislation which would have prohibited waterboarding. When the executive branch sanctions prisoner abuse, isn’t that an ethical issue too?

Sen. Barack Obama’s ethics record stands in stark contrast to John McCain and the GOP. Obama worked to pass significant ethics reform in early 2007 and worked hard to keep it from being watered down by the rest of the Senate. Last year Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus said that Obama “leads the pack” in his record on lobbying reform. And Obama has a four-pronged plan to restore ethical integrity to the executive branch.

If Sarah Palin was serious about restoring good judgment to the White House, she would know that a vote for John McCain is an endorsement of the ethical judgment we’ve seen from the GOP over the last 8 years. Barack Obama stands up for his ethical principles and has true credentials as an ethical reformer. If Sarah Palin truly wanted to promote ethics reform, this is what she would have told the Republican convention.

The Jane Galt Tax Plan

Megan McArdle, a.k.a. Jane Galt, suggested a very interesting and smart tax reform plan about five years ago. I don’t agree with everything she’s suggesting, but I agree with most of it, and her rationale is quite sound. It’s a much more nuanced and smarter approach than the “tax simplification” plans proposed by our politicians.

Marc Andreessen's 90 minutes with Barack Obama

Entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape, sat down with Barack Obama last spring for an hour and a half. He’s finally published his impressions from that meeting. This is a great read — very interesting and inspirational.

Are you in Texas, Ohio, Vermont or Rhode Island? Then be sure to vote in tomorrow’s primary!

The Supremes

So, the next nominee is Harriet Miers. Or as Joel Achenbach put it: Bush Nominates Totally Random Person for Court.

I’m really disappointed in this choice. She’s like the Anti-Roberts. Miers has no significant legal background. Her chief qualification seems to be her loyalty to Bush, which would automatically someone a poor justice. (The whole reason we give lifetime appointments to federal judges is to prevent undue influence from politicians.) But she certainly doesn’t appear to be an intellectual heavyweight. John Roberts went to Harvard Law School, Harriet Miers went to Southern Methodist. And while SMU may be a decent law school, it makes her look like a lightweight when combined with the lack of experience on her resume. (She ran the Texas Lottery Commission?!? That’s the best Bush can come up with?!?)

I’m also disappointed in the Democratic leadership. They opposed Roberts and now they support Miers? Apparently they want the least qualified Supreme Court possible. Oh well, Miers is the least of their problems…

Update: Harriet has her own blog! This is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day!! (Thanks to Jeremy Blachman for the link.)

Update #2: Andrew Sullivan’s coverage of Ms. Miers has been particularly strong. Follow the link to hear what some conservatives and Republicans have to say about the nomination (they seem to be pissed).

Secret sauce

I wonder if John Roberts was Judith Miller’s secret source.

Chavez & Robertson

Chavez May Try to Extradite Robertson

From Reuters, via the New York Times. If this were in The Onion, I’d find it really funny. Being in a real newspaper, I find it kinda disturbing.