Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Get Out da Bushes?

Jeb Bush, finds himself in the twilight zone of politics. He's hugely popular with the GOP base but Americans may be wary to make him the third Bush to be president among the last four of the country's leaders. One hears conservative politicos wishing that he had a different surname. (What did you say, Jesse?)

Even though America has prided itself on being a meritocracy that objures dynasties, of the 43 presidents, we have had two father/son combos (Adamses & Bushes), one grandfather/grandson set (Harrisons), and 29 (of the 42) cousin/cousin groupings. (N.B. Grover Cleveland was our 22nd and 24th President: ergo, we have had only 42 men serve in that capacity.) Only thirteen, including Reagan, Jackson, and Kennedy, have not have had presidential relatives. Perhaps, Americans can tolerate another Bush.

As for Jeb, he would be probably the strongest choice for Republicans if he had a different last name. The ratings of his brother, W, are in the tank now: however, W's ratings are similar to the nadirs of his seven immediate predecessors. Maybe, he'll can find a way to win in Iraq and/or rally the nation domestically. If so and if Hill (wife of an earlier prez) looms, maybe, America will be amenable to a new first--presidential brothers.

Jeb could bring alot to the table. As a conservative Catholic married to a Mexican lady and a popular past two-term governor of a big state with with an older, Democratic demographic and a significant Hispanic community, Bush has more than a few top cards to play. His strong leadership in natural disasters would be a welcome contrast to those who felt that his brother did not excel in Katrina. Further, his social and conservative credentials would help keep the base.

Cf. http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0312172/cousins.html and http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46832.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

POTUS: Healthcare Must Be Affordable & Available to All Americans

"The future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available healthcare." Who made this statement? Castro, Reinfeldt (Prime Minister of Sweden), or Bush 43? This quote was uttered by none other than the current President of the United States in the State of the Union to a rare bipartisan standing ovation. He added, "When it comes to healthcare, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children, and we will meet those responsibilites: for all other Americans, private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs but many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy."

Thus, President Bush offered two new initiatives to allow more Americans to obtain a health insurance policy. First, he proposed a standard tax deduction for health insurance [no income or payroll tax on first $15,000 (families) or $7,500 (singles) on their income for those with private health insurance]. Second, he proffered a plan to use existing federal funds to be given in "affordable choices grants" to states with innovative programs to bring basic private health insurance to all of their citizens.

The President is certainly going in the right direction on healthcare. Perhaps, the Congress and the President should offer the federal employee insurance program enjoyed by the Congress to all American citizens at affordable rates. Of course, Americans would have the right to buy private insurance policies if they opted out. And for those who did not avail themselves of either of the aforementioned options, they would be covered by a basic governmental health program available to all.

Cf. State of the Union speech (January 23, 2007) - carried by FNC.

UPDATE: Sen. Obama (D-IL) called for universal health care within six years at a healthcare advocacy meeting yesterday (01/25/07).

Cf. FNC update (01/25/07).

Friday, January 19, 2007

China Zaps Satellite

Yesterday China joined the US and Russia in the exclusive club of nations that have successfully downed a satellite according to the (UK) Telegraph. An American report indicated that the Asian superpower destroyed one of its old weather satellite that was 530 miles into space with a ballistic missile. Japan, Australia, Great Britain, and the U.S. condemned the test: however, the Chinese foreign ministry reassuringly stated, "China consistently uses space only for peaceful purposes" (as quoted by Taro Aso, the foreign minister of Japan).

Cf. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=GBMJXOM5SCYLNQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/19/wchina19.xml.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It Ain't EZ Being da Big Easy

If you are a recent veteran visitor of New Orleans, you've noticed that the old New Orleans is no more--at least, for now. The Big Easy is not teeming with the alcohol-addled, randy rabble-rousers, and carefree carnival crazies that one would expect on even a mundane Lundi. Bourbon Street exuviatrix and manager of a Bourbon burlesque establishment elaborates, "The money's not the same: i remember when I made $1,200 a night." She added, "I know girls who used to never let people touch them, and now they're resorting to prostitution."  Not only are the tourist traps down but native haunts such as O'Flaherty's (an Irish pub appreciated for its ales, darts, and authentic atmosphere), Bella Luna (a restaurant much remembered for a rehearsal dinner), and La Madeleine (a restaurant chain haunted by those who enjoy a nicer Mickey D's approach to fast faux French food) are now defunct thanks to Katrina's wrath. The homogenized demographics make one appreciate racial, ethnic, and aesthetic diversity.

Cf. http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jan17/0,4670,FrenchQuarter,00.html.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Whole Milk and Cheese R4 Losers

Sick and tired of slim milk and low fat cheese? Guess what! Your suffering and sacrifice have been in vain: in fact, you may be bigger than you would have been otherwise. According to the Svenska Dagbladet, a new study by Stockholm's Karolinska Institutes researchers indicates that eating whole milk and cheese will help reduce obesity. Based on the interviews of almost 20,000 women whose eating habits had been tracked for a decade, the women who routinely imbibed whole milk or enjoyed regular cheese had a lower BMI (body mass index) than the others in the group. According to the study, a daily glass of whole milk will result in a 15% less weight gain whereas a whilom wedge of regular cheese will result in a 30% less weight gain. Professor Alicja Wolk of the Karolinska Institute stated, "The surprising conclusion was that increased consumption of cheese meant that overweight women lost weight." Bon appetit!

Cf. http://www.thelocal.se/6019/20070108.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Obama: The Real Thing

Sen. Barack Hussein Obama, the young, photogenic rising star of the Democratic party, admitted marijuana and cocaine use in his youth. In his decade-old autobiography, Dreams from My Father, Obama described his flirtations with Mary Jane and coke ("or blow," as he referenced it) as efforts to escape his internal conflict in dealing with his mixed heritage (Dad-black Muslim and Mom-white Christian). His admission has come to the fore in the national press with the Washington Post's article yesterday questioning the effect of his candor.

Nevertheless, in the country's most conservative state, Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune praised Obama for his honesty in contradistinction to our current President's inartful evasion of drug-use queries and Clinton's much-mocked claim to have not inhaled. The "flyover" country consists not of moralizing Babbitts as the patronizing intelligensia and partison pols may presuppose: rather, it is made up of people who work hard, trust in God, and believe in redemption. Obama is a breath of fresh air: he may not have the ideas, depth, and conviction of a Reagan but he has the charisma, optimism, and good looks of a JFK.

Hillary and John Edwards better watch out for Oprah's favorite candidate during the primaries. If he gains the Democratic nomination, Rudy, John McCain, and Mitt Romney should be wary, too: none of them has a rock solid base among Republicans nor would they likely have a lock on the independents.

Cf. http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_4848123 and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/02/AR2007010201359_pf.html.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Happy New Year!

Did you have black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, and did you make resolutions for this year? I enjoyed this traditional fare prepared by my mother, and I made some goals that I think that I'll keep mine sub rosa for the time being. However, let's all resolve to love Him more: it will be the right thing to do and it will make the lives of others and ourselves much better. Happy New Year!