how many children or spouses of drunks (dry or not) do we have?

Over at Digby, tristero recounts a conversation with a liberal hawk that ends with the punch line, "Tristero, you're not a trained wonk.  Why were you so right in '02 and everybody else was so wrong?" (read the whole thing) 1_digbysblog_archive.html#11474333828408 1431

I've wondered about this myself, resulting in this query.  It's well known that Bush is not a reformed alcoholic, he's a dry drunk, meaning that even if his claim to have stopped drinking is true, he retains the sociopathic behaviors of the active alcoholic.  The old joke about alcoholics totally applies to Bush:  "How do you tell if an alcoholic is lying?  His lips move."

I grew up surrounded by alcoholics and spent many years married to a dry drunk. (I'm not whining, it's just a fact.)  It's a truism that the children of alcoholics (including me) develop a preternatural ability to read people and sum them up intuitively, instantly, correctly.  It's an essential skill if you must depend on someone inherently erratic and unreliable.  I took one look at Bush in spring of 2000 and started giving money to McCain, then to Gore.  

And I've been dead right about Bush ever since.  It can't be things I know -- I'm better informed than your average CNN watcher, but not in a league with the majority visiting this and similar blogs.  But still, I just knew, in real time, that he was lying about Iraq, he is up to his elbows in the Plame affair, he's been organizing U.S. security forces into a personal Gestapo since the beginning (remember how the Homeland Security Department is set up to make it easier for the president to install his allies, and fire his enemies?).  I'm convinced that he won't voluntarily yield the White House except possibly to his brother.

Whence, query:  Are family members of alcoholics or dry drunks overrepresented among progressives who knew, just knew, that Bush was lying in 2000, or 2001, or 2002. . . ?

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Better system of presidential elections?

In my humble opinion, our current system of choosing our presidents would benefit from some improvement.  Before considering some of the alternatives to the present form of the Electoral College, let us review the goals of election reform.  Listed below are some of the important characteristics that are often cited as part of an ideal democratic election process.  

1.    One-Person, one-vote
2.    Election winner reflects popular mandate, avoid president elected with small plurality or minority of the vote
3.    Integrity of states' rights
4.    Minimize election fraud and maximize transparency
5.    Expand opportunity for minor party and independent candidates
6.    Avoid complicated process that creates confusion and/or lowers turnout
7.    Campaign reaches throughout the country (adjusted for population density), not only a few select areas
8.    Winner determined by the people or through fair consideration on their behalf, prevent arbitrary decision by House or electors
9.    Votes convey as much information about voter preferences as possible

Indeed, it is quickly evident that many of these criteria are inconsistent with one another, and it is virtually impossible to satisfy all of them.  Thus, we must assign some relative weights to these attributes as we ponder the choices.

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It Is Your Government And Your Laws And Your Military And Your War

We have often discussed where the guilt of war might lie.  It is at this point I must admit that I often become quite emotional about this issue because of my personal commitment to this country and it's military.  Having said that, I want to share a few thoughts with my friends who sometimes openly "pray" for the complete collapse of the United States military and sometimes denigrate the soldiers serving in it.

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The X-Factor: Will there be an Independent candidate in 2008?

Al Rodgers diary "Sunday Talk: MUTINY!!" on the front page of DailyKos had one thing in it that did not make me feel too good about our future prospects. That is the LATimes/Bloomberg poll asking if the 2004 election would be held today, who would you vote for with people responding 49% Kerry and 39% Bush. If I'm not mistaken there were polls in 2004 that had better numbers for Kerry (if not for Bush). In such a poll Kerry should definitely be above 50%. That he's not worries me deeply and just goes to show how divided this country really is. It certainly doesn't bode well for any of our candidates in 2008.

So, here comes the X-Factor: Will there be an Independent candidate in 2008? I believe this to be an important question. Whoever he or she is, an independent run could either be a spoiler for Democrats or Republicans, maybe for both. I can already see the mainstream media touting such a candidate saying that if anyone could unite the country it would be an independent President.

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The President and War Powers

...The favorite Presidential excuse for claiming the right to initiate war unilaterally is nothing more than the reasoning of a child: Everybody does it.

But, the Constitution remains valid even after Presidents violate it...

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