,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Viewing Presidential Contenders without Rose Colored Glasses

After the Rhetoric Who Will Walk the Walk?

When John Edwards pulled out of the race Barack Obama became my choice. Hillary Clinton's fixed smile, at times almost rictus-like, and her tiresome emphasis on experience fail to convince me. Above all, Clinton's support of the war and attempts to skirt around the issue made me turn against her long before the nationwide momentum for Obama began. She certainly can claim more years in politics. Does that translate into ability to govern? No president can be successful without competent cabinet members. Obama can be expected to select people who will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to assist him.

However, let's not delude ourselves. Once elected, politicians have a habit of forgetting what they said during campaign. I do not expect either Obama or Clinton to fulfill the promises they are making. That is how the system works. No matter who occupies the White House the power brokers -- big money contributors, lobbyists, labor unions -- will extract their "pound of flesh". Obama's flipflop on campaign financing cannot and must not be condoned. There will be deals cut. There will be scandals, created ones if not real. If Obama is elected, the search for his feet of clay will be intense; warts will be magnified. But the bottom line: undoubtedly a better America....many times better than the abysmal depth to which Bush and his neocon cohorts have taken our country to.

Charlie Wilson, the then chairman of General Motors, reportedly said in 1955: "What is good for General Motors is good for America". GM is no longer the major force it once was but there are others and they wield tremendous power. Under Republican administrations rules that were in place to prevent unethical corporate practices were removed or government watchdogs looked the other way as rules were broken. Targeted tax cuts that benefit those at the highest level of income were promoted and passed. Ordinary Americans were conned by smoke and mirrors as Republicans sacrificed their interests in championing free-market economy. They would stand to get a more fair deal; their concerns would receive attention. Soldiers would be brought home from the unjustified war.

McCain has moved to the right as far as possible. He now acts like a Bush clone except that he speaks better than the incumbent of the White House. But knowledge of English language is not a good reason to elect him. As to the Vicki Iseman story, if McCain's supporters desert him because of that piece of fluff then perhaps he is better off without them.

McCain distorting Obama's statement about Pakistan.

Dear Musafir,
This mail is apropos of a posting you made in April 2006. Commenting on Bruce Springsteen's festschrift to Pete Seeger, you mention that you were present in the concert that Seeger gave in Calcutta in the late-60s. Now, I am a Ph.D. student in Syracuse University researching the influence of American musicon Calcutta's youth culture. I will be grateful beyond estimation if you would partake of your memories of that concert with me. I rather fortuitously stumbled upon your blog while doing a google-search on the matter.
In the limited space afforded here, it will not be possible for me to discuss my project with you in any appreciable detail. If, however, you feel inclined to share your thoughts with me then do kindly acknowledge this email. I will be more than glad to relate my project to you in greater detail. My email id is: shbasu@maxwell.syr.edu.

Thank you in advance,
While I do not share your hatred of capitalism, free enterprise, and corporations, the thing that I do agree with is your understanding that politicians lie to get elected. Some more than others. Why in your opinion do we allow that in the people we elect to govern?
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