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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C

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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!


  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild


  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  


Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Jan012008

THE REALITY OF GLOBAL ECONOMICS

uploaded-file-22840    RAD:  Getting bored from overdosing on New Year's bowl games, I started surfing the channels on my new HD TV made in Japan of course. 
    I came to a November 11, 2007 interview on C-SPAN by Arianna Huffington of journalist Robert Kuttner discussing his most recent book - "The Squandering of America - how the failure of our politics undermines our prosperity.
    In the interview Kuttner referred to a NY Times article and a picture of Indian workers making manhole covers for New York City.
    As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and can blow away the arcane academic discussion of free trade as well as the obfuscations by corporate minions who try to spin their way so we all avert our eyes from what the picture uncovers.
    The picture frames the hypocrisy of free trade in an unregulated global economy where multi-national corporations (both here and abroad) have no limits placed on them to protect the rights of workers, their working conditions and/or the environmental damage done by early stage industrialism. 
     For the complete article go to http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/nyregion/26manhole.html
    J. Adam Higgins for the NYTimes, Nov. 26, 2007:  NEW DELHI — Eight thousand miles from Manhattan, barefoot, shirtless, whip-thin men rippled with muscle were forging prosaic pieces of the urban jigsaw puzzle: manhole covers.
    Seemingly impervious to the heat from the metal, the workers at one of West Bengal’s many foundries relied on strength and bare hands rather than machinery.
    Safety precautions were barely in evidence; just a few pairs of eye goggles were seen in use on a recent visit. The foundry, Shakti Industries in Haora, produces manhole covers for Con Edison and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, as well as for departments in New Orleans and Syracuse.
    The scene was as spectacular as it was anachronistic: flames, sweat and liquid iron mixing in the smoke like something from the Middle Ages. That’s what attracted the interest of a photographer who often works for The New York Times — images that practically radiate heat and illustrate where New York’s manhole covers are born.
    When officials at Con Edison — which buys a quarter of its manhole covers, roughly 2,750 a year, from India — were shown the pictures by the photographer, they said they were surprised.
    “We were disturbed by the photos,” said Michael S. Clendenin, director of media relations with Con Edison. “We take worker safety very seriously,” he said.

    RAD:  A PBS series narrated by economist John Kenneth Galbraith based his book by the same name - The Age of Uncertainty - in a segment entitled The Metropolis re-creates a scene of Frederick Engels - author of  The Condition of the  Working Class in England (1845) - where Engels is walking through the slums of Manchester with a British capitalist. 
    Engels is disgusted by the filth and deprivation he sees about him in this walk but his host blandly comments "that there is a good deal of money made here."  Gee one might imagine the same bland comment made today by a corporate manger or commissar of industry anywhere in the developing world! 
    As the global economy brings the working conditions of early capitalism to the developing world one question demands an answer by the proponents of globalism and free trade - captains of industry, their legal mouth pieces, the fawning media and the political minions who support "free trade" - would you allow your son or daughter to work under these conditions?  I think we know the answer!
    As "free trade" circumnavigates the globe from the US to China, from Japan to Vietnam, from Canada to Mexico, from Western Europe to Eastern Europe and from Russia to Iran et al don't we have the moral responsibility to ask what price workers at home and abroad pay in this brave new world economy where the market place trumps political ideology? 
    Those who would be president have to answer this question - if elected what are you going to do about the impoverishment of American labor on the home front as the forces of globalism outsource jobs hither and yon? 
    Now don't expect any GOP candidate to answer that question - they are all "true believers" in Adam Smith's famous "hidden hand."  But ask Hillary, ask John, ask Barack - and carefully listen!
    At the end of the day it's not about the "immigration problem" - it's about the outsourcing of the US economy under 19th century economic rules.   

Monday
Dec312007

A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

    In the spirit of David Letterman's top 10 list here's TEN reasons why Bush should be impeached inspired by Dahlia Lithwick's article "Legal Fictions:  The Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year," SLATE.COM, December 28, 2007. 
    As the author says - "This time last year, I offered up a top 10 list of the most appalling civil-liberties violations by the Bush administration in 2006. The grim truth is, not much has changed. The Bush administration continues to limit our basic freedoms, conceal its own worst behavior, and insist that it does all this in order to make us more free.
    In that spirit, it seemed an opportune moment to commemorate the administration's worst legal justifications and arguments of the year. And so I humbly offer this new year's roundup:
    The Bush Administration's Top 10 Stupidest Legal Arguments of 2007." 
    10. The NSA's eavesdropping was limited in scope.
      9. Scooter Libby's sentence was commuted because it was excessive.
      8. The vice president's office is not a part of the executive branch.
      7. The Guantanamo Bay detainees enjoy more legal rights than any prisoners of war in history.
      6. Water-boarding may not be torture.
      5. Everyone who has ever spoken to the president about anything is barred from congressional testimony by executive privilege.
      4. Nine U.S. attorneys were fired by nobody, but for good reason.

      3. Alberto Gonzales.
      2. State secrets.

      1. The United States does not torture.
    RAD:  This is another reason to celebrate the end of '07 and celebrate the New Year of '08 - it's the beginning of the end of the most corrupt presidency since Grant. 
    For the original article and the specifics of each charge go to: http://www.slate.com/id/2179934/

    Happy New Year! 

 


 

Monday
Dec312007

DUCKS STOMP BULLS

images-1.jpg    Well Quack Attack fans your Ducks finally won the big game!  Even for a die-hard Dawg fan the 56-21 thrashing of South Florida was impressive.  Good for you and the PAC-10 (now 3-2 in bowls so far).  But one has to wonder that if coach Bellotti hadn't rolled the dice after the ASU game and held Dennis Dixon out and played Roper would the Ducks have ended the season in a "so-so" bowl game instead of the Rose Bowl or better.
    Nevertheless, a victory is a victory and the Ducks are set up for a good season next year.  Most of their key players return and it looks like the post-Dennis Dixon era is looking good with Roper at the helm.
    But if you true "green" Oregonians look at the Duck's roster you'll note that in the current 115 man lineup only 20 of the Ducks are from Oregon!  OSU's roster by comparison has 34 Oregon players out of 105, while the UW roster includes 44 Washington players out of 116.  WSU doesn't count since we all know their team is a bunch of ex-pat Californians!  So maybe the Ducks should be renamed the "Mercenaries." 
    Now guess who the Ducks open up with in Autzen August 30, 2008?  It won't be patsies from the Big East!  Just announced on the UW website - Jake Locker and the Huskies.  We'll see who has bragging rights after that one is over.
    PS:  Just for the record UW scored MORE points against the Ducks than any team this season (34) except for the Beav's 38 to 31 victory. The Huskies unfortunately had the worst defense of any NCAA Division I team in the nation. If they fix that - then the Dawgs may derail the Duck's in game #1.  Math is not on the Duck's side, they've won 4 in a row over the Dawgs - but they've never eclipsed that mark while the Huskies have beaten the Ducks several times with 6 straight victories.  Leave it to Bellotti to screw things up with a choice of 3 new q-backs next season. 
 

Sunday
Dec302007

THE OLD TIME RELIGION, FDR STYLE

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) in a Madison Square Garden speech which began his 1936 re-election campaign took the super-rich of his era to the wood shed.  The current malefactors of wealth who have bank rolled the Republican Revolution since the 1980s and their GOP sycophants who have reinvented the Gilded Age with the culture of corruption, the outsourcing of the public treasury, the war machine and the sub-prime loan scandal - George Bush to Tom Delay - deserve the same tongue lashing: 
    FDR:  We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace - business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
    They had begun to consider the Government of the United State as a mere appendage to their own affairs.  We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
    Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today.  They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred. 

    Source:  Paul Krugman, The Conscience of a Liberal, pp. 60-61 

Sunday
Dec302007

WRAPING UP '07 UPDATE

    Pipeline Controversy: The proposed LNG (liquid natural gas line) from Astoria to Klamath Falls is getting a lot of attention in my part of Oregon since the line would follow the eastern edge of the Coast Range, including parts of western Washington County very near Forest Grove and environs. This is an environmentally and economically dumb proposal. The environmental risks are obvious.
    Placing a LNG along some of the best timber and farm land in Oregon would rip the ecological balance of this area and put the land above the line at risk from line eruptions posing a serious fire and pollution risk. Even more important - why should Oregon be treated as an "economic colony" of California since the gas is not for Oregon consumers but headed to California? This is nuts.
    Even our "Caspar Milquetoast" Governor Ted waffled his way to asking the right questions: the plan has no clear plans for mitigating environmental impacts; the project puts at risk air and water quality on the lower Columbia (and beyond); a possible gas line emergency or disaster event would gobble up state funds better used for natural disasters like fires and floods; the plan makes no provisions for mitigation of CO2 emissions; and according to the Gov "there is no assurance that the private facility won't go bankrupt."
    Other than that - it's a great plan to "Californiate" Oregon!
    Oregon Bar Cover-up: The Oregon Bar's decision to close down its investigation of when and what Governor Ted knew about former Governor Neil's sexual abuse of a 14 year old girl when Neil was Portland's mayor in the mid 1970s is another example that the power elite in Oregon can't stand the heat.
    To close this case without the OBA interviewing the accuser and former speech writer for Kulongoski, Fred Leonhardt, is very suspicious. If this had been the approach of special prosecutors in Watergate or the Clinton impeachment processes the American public would have remained in the dark.
    But in Oregon the power elite among the political and media class in the state have a consistent record of looking the other way when it comes to accusations of sexual abuse by the high and mighty as the Packwood and Goldschmidt cases have demonstrated.
    So while RAD reviles Lars Larson's style - go for it big guy. You are the only hope that the cover-up won't stick.
    Bush Judge Derails Gays: Federal judge Michael Mosman, a Bush appointee, blocking Oregon's domestic partnership law is another lesson that elections do matter - a lot. Do you really think a Democratic appointed federal judge would have ruled against gays? Not a chance.
    Aside from the politics of it all which is obvious (on both sides of this issue) - the judge's reasoning illustrates that "judicial activism" is not just a knee jerk reaction of liberal judges. The judge put a hold on the law's going into affect because of a controversy over whether Oregon's Election's Division under Secretary of State Bill Bradbury followed the letter of the law in counting petition signatures for a proposed ballot initiative designed to overturn the bill passed in the 2007 session.
    Mosman claims that the decision by the Election's Division was "a subjective and unilateral" decision which denys petitioners a right to a public hearing. But the process the election division used to count signatures is the same old same old method used in all such cases!  If Mosman has his way it's an invitation for other petitioners (aka ballot measure ambulance chasers like Bill Sizemore et al) to run to the courts for a judicial review of an agency whose record in Oregon has always been clean as a whistle.
    Mosman may uphold the decision to allow the bill to take effect or to invalidate the bill in February. But in either case, his decision will be appealed to the 9th Circuit Court - the most liberal of the federal appeals courts in the nation. So Mosman's decision is probably merely a bump in the road for gay rights supporters. But Mosman's rhetoric makes it clear to RAD that he will bring his hammer down on the side of the anti-gay rights folks. So much for judicial neutrality. As we found out in 2000 - courts can be very partisan when they want to be.
    Slick Willie on the Stump: Washington Post online/NASHUA, N.H. -- Former president Bill Clinton yesterday [Saturday] delivered in stark terms a version of his wife's central campaign message: that her experience in Washington better prepares her to "deal with the unexpected."
    RAD: Presidents need to be prepared for the "unexpected" no doubt.
    But 9/11 was not in that category. Clinton and Bush were warned about a possible attack on America by the jihadists. They largely ignored the warning signs - Clinton in part because he was so consumed by Whitewatergate et al and Bush because he didn't think foreign policy was important and Condi was in denial.
    But what's Hillary's record on the "expected" and "unexpected" - humm?  Hillary knew husband Willie had a wandering eye.  So her record on that front is typical of the battered wife syndrome.  And when faced with the question in '92 on 60 Minutes she stood by her man.  So dealing with the "expected" she denies reality! 
    On the "unexpected" her health care plan in '93 was built on the quicksand of keeping the conversation within a tightly knit and loyal group of Clinton supporters while at the same time leaving out single payer as an option. So what was her reward? The health care industrial complex's opposition led by the Harry & Louise campaign ads.
    So much for Hillary's ability to triangulate the "known" and "unknown" challenges she's faced. The fact is that a president's challenge is less crisis management per se than anticipating the next crisis while managing the everyday functions of government. Only on TV does the "West Wing" operate like a Hollywood soap opera.
    What a successful president needs is to have 1) some core principles; 2) a short list of policy goals; and 3) competent advisors. Hillary's squishiness on the issues doesn't evidence #1. What are her top 3 issues aside from the "experience" card?  And many ex-Clintonistas support Barack, why?  Finally, of course Slick Willie will be there to be the "co-triangular" not co-president.  Are you comforted? 
    Barack's personal life evidences core principles of family, acting on conviction and helping the vulnerable.  He has stuck to main themes - opposing the war in Iraq, talking about empowering the American people not K-Street lobbyists, and making a down payment on health care.   And if elected he will be freer than Hillary in casting a wide net for his cabinet and West Wing staff.
    Ultimately, a president's strongest suit is combining FDR's ability to being a good listener and Ronald Reagan's sticking to his core values. After that authenticity seems important.  Is there any question about who is more "authentic" between Barack and Hillary?  While Barack talks about wanting to be a change agent, Hillary is running as if her claim to the Oval Office is her divine right.
    Fearless New Year's Prediction:   Even though it is a high risk enterprise (akin to "March Madness") to "guess" who will win the Democratic or Republican presidential nomination before a single ballot has been counted - some have already been cast in NH (absentee) - just for fun RAD will take the pundit's plunge. 
    While Hillary Clinton is the favorite on the Demo side, if she stumbles in Iowa, New Hampshire and/or South Carolina her shield of invincibility will crumble.  Minus such stumbles after February 5th Super Tuesday she should have clear sailing in big states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and California.
    However, her lead in California is already showing signs of narrowing to Barack Obama and the RealClearPolitics polls  in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Caroline are within the margin of error for Hillary, Obama and Edwards.  So let's assume a mixed record for the "Queen Bee" in these states. 
    Let's also assume Barack and Edwards are in this game for the long haul.  They have the money to stay in for the marathon race.  National polls give Hillary around a 49% support mark.  So even if she continues to win primaries and caucuses Barack and Edwards will pick up enough delegates to keep nipping at her heels. 
    If the delegate count is not settled by mid-February heck even Oregon could come into play.  Again, this is not likely but it would be sweet revenge!  It would be nice to see the front loaded primary process derailed just to spite the nut cases who set this mind numbingly stupid system up. 
    When the Dems meet in Denver - they will be confronted with a "49% percenter" candidate who may have enough delegates to put her over the top, but with major questions of electability still in play.  So enter Al Gore who recently suggested he wouldn't shun a late night invitation to the party.
    RAD's pick for the Dems - a Gore/Obama duo for '08.  How can the party ignore Mr. Global Warming and a chance for historic vindication?  Eight years as VP gives Barack the "experience card" for a run in '16.  He's young, he can afford to wait. 
    On the GOP side - the guess is even more risky except that in the end NO Republican can win in November.  So does it even matter who the GOP goes with?  Nope!  But since the base loves litmus test right wingers whoever panders best to the base will win.  My guess is that Romney will prevail.  He's the GOP's "Mr. Slick."  While Huckabee is "Mr. Congeniality" anyone who in light of the Bhutto assassination can come up with the "Pakistani immigration threat" line is clearly not ready for prime time. 
    RAD's pick for the GOP dynamic duo for '08 will be the "DC outsider" Mitt Romney and the "insider/war hero" John McCain
    Just for the record - I hope I'm wrong.  A McCain/Obama contest would be better for the country!  
    The Theater of Dumbness:  The upcoming February session of the Oregon Legislature increasingly looks like a dud.  The Democratic majority want only non-controversial bills to be considered, while the GOP will push a very partisan agenda.  Each party's strategy is based on setting themselves up for the November election cycle not for doing the people's business. 
    The most risky issue which will come up is denying illegal immigrants the chance to get a driver's license - a truly dumb idea.  But it plays well to the "natavist" instincts among Oregon and American voters - many of whom are in denial  that our economy needs these "illegals" as a workforce on the farms, the meat packing, in textiles, in construction and the service industry.
    Expect both sides to posture their way to the "racist" or "cowardly" lion default position.  Yes, we need immigration reform!  It's called a guest worker program which allows people 1) to come across the border legally, 2) to get fair wages (with all the benefits) and  3) to pay taxes.  Our global based economy requires this with two options - amnesty for the 12 million already here and a green card for those who are here year round or seasonally.
    Building a US version of the "Berlin Wall" on our southern border is a waste of money but since "fascism with a friendly face" (Dubya's)  is in power in the West Wing what do you expect!