I don't know that Webb inherently pulls in VA. It is more the case that immigration of blue voters to VA is pulling that state in and Jim Webb happened (narrowly) to be the beneficiary. Also, let's face it, Webb was the beneficiary of a grossly incompetent opponent who had forgotten how to conduct a real knock down, drag out campaign.
Hillary strikes me as the type who is going to pick one of her own strongest supporters.
Her campaign is going to be as well-organized and tightly-run of a campaign as we'll ever see in our lifetimes. Hillary's campaign is going to be everything that people claimed the Bush campaigns were, just minus the imbecile candidate.
I don't see her straying far in VP choice unless her closer choices really screw up in the next year. Jim Webb isn't one of her people. At all. That works heavily against him.
He's not Hillary's VP. The general consensus I've heard is that Rendell was asked to use PA as a test-bed for universal healthcare as part of his audition to be Hillary's VP. If he pulls it off and she gets the nom, Rendell gets the job.
I'm not giddy about voting for Clinton. But, the current primary field is a total joke.
You know it's a thin field when a first term Senator (Obama) is considered a serious contender.
Right now, I'm leaning Bill Richardson, because come January 2009 this country is going to need a serious adult to start fixing a lot of junk. Since both Richardson and Clinton are going to bring in a lot of the same staff, it's only reasonable to lean toward the candidate with the resume.
If Clinton wants my vote in the primary (of course, I live in PA, so it's not like my primary vote will really matter) she needs to start doing something of real merit. You see Richardson adopt the nuclear issue. You see Gore adopt the climate crisis.
And Clinton is trying health care. We'll have to see how this pans out. It is a good start. I'd like to see a few more demonstrations of seriousness from her.
Even as crazy as Bush is, there is no Iran War coming any time soon... really ever.
First off, the military brass is at its breaking point. The sad part, actually, is that the field military is holding together better than the brass. Of course, that's a testament to the all-volunteer army more than anything else.
Secondly, the Iranians, for all the bluster, are inherently an isolate culture. Watch our friendly President Ahmadinejad not even achieve re-election.
With tanking oil prices, the Iranian regime is not in a bucket of internal troubles. High oil prices were the only thing keeping Iran out of an economic depression.
Likewise, Iran is virtual humanitarian disaster waiting to happen come the next (eventual) earthquake. Some day that quake will hit Tehran, wipe out most of the government support agencies, and then all hell will really break loose in Iran.
Iran is a blustering cripple of a regional power. They couldn't even bail Hezbollah out when the Lebanese government quietly let the Israelis stomp all over them. This despite Hezbollah making a good accounting of themselves on the battlefield.
Iran is goddamned joke. The US is close to joining them.
Even as dimwitted as this group of jokers is, their entire gambit in Iraq was conducted on the back of a strong post-Vietnam military plan. Now that they've wasted any serious military option, they hope bluster will do.
History will look back on this as the age of server retards. People will wonder how the hell the whole of civilization could be beholden to people this stupid.
Let's just thank God at this stage that the math isn't there for much more than a decent sugirical strike by the US and maybe a slightly less surgical strike by the Israelis.
I doubt his motivations, but at this stage a good move from any ally is still a good thing. While Biden has a long way to go, this is a damned good first step IF he follows through.
We can't be far from impeachment now if the Republicans are testing the waters on throwing Bush under the bus.
I saw Lindsey Graham jumping on the "fuck Bush" bandwagon today. That's a bad sign for Bush, because Graham is generally considered the pre-eminent legal scholar among the GOPers. It's a strong sign that the GOP is laying the legal groundwork for supporting an impeachment, rather than opposing it, should Bush try to take America further into shark-infested waters.
The GOP coalition is too flawed to have held together for any length.
The GOP was elected by people who feel it is OK to pick on a braindead person!
The GOP was elected by people who applauded the floating corpses of Americans after Katrina just because the corpses were the wrong color.
The GOP was elected by people who think fighting two simultaneous ground wars in the Muslim world is a good idea.
The GOP was elected by fiscal conservatives who think it is OK to cut taxes, wage two wars, increase spending and sneak in appropriations not included in the bottom line of the budget.
The only unifying feature of the GOP is that its members have a real knack for being naive and unfair while trying to be hardass. It's almost like watching a kid on the playground trying to tough. You ever see the results when enough kids try to be tough all at once?
That's basically what happened with the GOP. And it would have been worse had they tried to skew centrist, because only the Bloomberg wing of the GOP cares for any of that.
Karl Rove made his mark by being so goddamned mean that opponents thought twice about getting into a fight with him.
The trick now for Dems is to make sure we lay waste to all the GOPers who kissed Roves ass after he creamed them.
The first victim should be John McCain. Someone needs to ask McCain point blank why he didn't just punch Bush and Rove in their shit-eating faces for what they pulled in the South Carolina primary in 2004.
And, frankly, the question needs to be asked, what kind of leader is John McCain that he would go along with these people's plans?
What concerns me is who's replacing Abazaid. Fallon is CinCPac right now. Navy guy.
Navy guys tend to be dead enders. Look at Rumsfeld and McCain.
While I never particularly like Abazaid (mostly because he made Tommy Franks look smart), I have to wonder about anyone who wants to go along with the troop surge.
Also, isn't this the same Bush who said decisions would be made by the generals? So... get rid of the general, replace him with an admiral and badabing! Bush no longer has to listen. After all, he said he'd listen to generals, not admirals! Duh. Geeeeez.
This move scares the hell out of me, because it's a sign that Bush is going down the same path a lot of crazy leader have gone. There is no restraining influence besides a snippy Congress and small military not capable of doing everything Bush wants (otherwise, we'd be bombing Syria and Iran by this point).
I just think it's a very difficult distinction to make in public. One of the problem with the Democrats' view of the economy is that our view requires a great deal more nuance than the GOP's view.
The GOP's view is... cut taxes... and then... I dunno. The tooth fairy takes over or something.
However, that view articulates very well into "keep the government out of my checkbook".
As for housing, I've been down on housing for eons. It's a weird feature of the current economy that bubbles carry a strong resistance with them.
Where I think everyone is missing the mark about the current economy is labor supply. One of the reasons the business wing of the GOP has been so tough on minimum wage and so keen on immigration is they're trying to avert what they see as a supply crisis in labor (of course, the laborer calls this an opportunity, not a crisis).
In an economy that is driven from the bottom upward, a tightening labor market carries with it certain inevitabilities. One of those is increased consumer spending. Couple that with an energy price drop and/or a strengthening of the dollar, and a lot of delayed spending could spill forth into the economy. If all three pan out happen, you end up with a veritable economic wonderland (at least until the production shortfalls of tight labor eventually catch up with us).
And, of course, God forbid all these spenders end up in a cheaper housing market...
Honestly, I think we're overdue for a correction of the economy towards the little guy. Obviously, the Bush years are going to be remember as a second age of robber barons.
But, the environment suggests that the higher end of the market is struggling to get while the gettin is good. Once a lot of the structural "shortcomings" of the economy kick in, the rich are going to have to pony up some cash to keep their enterprises running smoothly.