Space Shuttle

I just saw the space shuttle, from my front yard in Savannah, GA– about 300 miles away from the launch site.

From here, the shuttle looks like a jet. It was due east over the ocean, about 30 degrees off the horizon, and moved very quickly from South to North.

It’s pretty darned cool.

Of course, the last shuttle I saw during launch was Columbia back in 2003, and it never made it back to the launch pad. Let’s hope this one fares better.

13 Months of Distraction

Moments ago on MSNBC, Terry McAuliffe stated that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both been on the campaign trail, “day in and day out,” for 13 months.

That’s 13 months of distraction from their jobs as senators– 13 months of distraction from the people who were kind (and foolish) enough to elect them to the senate.

Now is a good time to remind you of one of my several proposed constitutional amendments that are essential to preserving and restoring the greatness of America. The wording is not quite right, but the sentiment is there:

No person holding any position of employment in the federal government may seek office while said employment is ongoing.

Basically, if we’re paying you to do a job, you must do that job as the sole focus of your professional activities. Restated, no person holding federal office may seek federal office.

This has several advantages. It prevents career politicians without setting term limits. You can serve as many terms in the senate/house/whatever as you want, so long as you do not serve two consecutive terms. Likewise, it forces elected officials to live in the private sector directly under the laws they just passed. How’s that for eating your own dogfood? In terms of bureaucrats, it forces them to risk their cushy job if they choose to leave the red tape applications industry for the red tape manufacturing sector instead. Further, it prevents people from paying a salary to an elected official or bureaucrat without receiving their full and committed attention to the job for which they are being paid.

Because there would be a huge, regular turnover in our highest elected bodies, the walls of tradition would come crashing down. The house of the people may again become the house of the people. The importance of restoring senatorial appointment rights to the state, instead of popular election by the people, would never be greater.

It’s a good idea, I know. Just wait until I tell you about my proposal to increase the size of the House of Representatives to 2,175 (or likely greater).

Supreme Smashing Spiffy Sensational Super Tuesday

It is now officially Super Tuesday. As you almost certainly already know, the largest concentration of states will vote today for their choices for the 2008 Democratic and/or Republican presidential nominees. I’m in one of those states — Georgia.

In Georgia, we have an open primary system. You are not required to be a registered member of a particular party to vote in that party’s primary. Democrats can vote in the Republican primary and Republicans can vote in Democratic primaries; Independents can vote in the primary of their choice.

Over the past few days, I’ve been trying to figure out for whom I will cast my vote.

In 2004, it was easy to decide in which party’s primary to vote. There was only one Republican candidate, and so my vote went to a Democrat by default. In that case, it was John Edwards. I had seen him speak in the center of downtown Savannah, and he was impressive in comparison to the only other candidate that had paid Savannah any attention, that being Wesley Clark. Edwards went on to lose, but did end up as the chosen vice presidential nominee.

This time around, it is much more difficult. There is no clear nationwide winner of either party, and there are serious flaws with candidates of either party that, if nominated, will prevent me from voting for those specific candidates in the general election.

Here’s my breakdown as I see it. I list my reasons honestly, regardless of whether or not anyone reading this gets offended.

  • Democrats
    • Hillary Clinton – I will never vote for Hillary Clinton for anything– not for dog catcher, not for coroner — unless I am voting her off the island. Hillary is shrill and harsh. She was born and raised in Illinois (my former state) and spent a considerable time as the first lady of Arkansas. When it came time to seek power, however, she chose to take root in New York. That tells me that she was not wanted in either Illinois or Arkansas, and if the people of your own state(s) don’t want you, neither do I. Hillary is as divisive as they come, seemingly willing to take any approach necessary to get her way. The ends always justify the means with her, and that is not a good quality for a president. She has no executive experience– none. She will never get my vote.
    • Barack Obama – I do not support Barack Obama’s policies at all. I do support his generally positive outlook and his apparent message of hope. The only reason I would vote for Barack Obama would be to vote against Hillary Clinton. In terms of the Democratic party, he is the lesser of two evils. Of course, Hillary Clinton is an evil we know, whereas Barack Obama should probably be considered an unknown evil. No matter how bad his policies might end up were he to win in the general election, I think it is highly unlikely that I would find myself longing for President Hillary Clinton in the midst of an Obama administration.
  • Republicans
    • John McCain – Much like Hillary Clinton, I will never vote for John McCain. First off, he’s too old. The guy would take office at 72, run for reelection at 76, and start the speaking tour at 80. That’s just too old for me. He recognizes that his age is a factor, whether he will admit that in the media or not, and he has shaped policy specifically to appeal to young voters. The reality is that he is out of touch with many of them. He has taken on the global warming cause as his own, when there is much skepticism surrounding the issue. He has taken strong positions on the wrong side of the illegal immigration issue, only to reverse them when politically expedient. He, by his own admission, has a poor grasp of technology and would need to bring in advisers for even the simplest of decisions, and last I checked I don’t get to vote on his advisers. Quite possibly the most revealing aspect of John McCain is that he chose to cheat on his wife. He was willing to breach and violate the most sacred of trusts– that with his wife and presumably his god– because it was the easier, more personally satisfying path at that time. To top it off, he did this during a period in which his wife was sick, as in “in sickness and in health.” If he is willing to betray his commitments to his wife and his god, I have no faith in his ability to uphold and protect the constitution.
    • Mitt Romney – Certainly I’m not the only one who, time and time again, is left with the impression that Mitt Romney is the political equivalent to a slick used car salesman. Just as Barack Obama is to Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney is the lesser-known-of-two-evils in comparison to John McCain. His religion means nothing to me, so long as he doesn’t try to impress it upon the people in the same manner that Mike Huckabee seems to have indicated he would with his own views. I think I could live with a president Romney, and I certainly could if the alternative was President McCain or President H. Clinton.
    • Mike Huckabee – This guy scares me. Sure, he’s probably a nice guy, but I was fooled on that nice guy act in 2000 when I made the mistake of casting my only vote for the current president. I do not want a preacher leading this country. I will never vote for a candidate who fails to recognize the scientific validity of evolution, and instead has blind faith in a fictional story that is more suited as a fairy tale than a historical account of the origins of the universe. I like his support of the fair tax, but I think he took the position in order to align himself with IRS-hating Americans (all Americans by my last count) instead of as a result of his studying and considering the fair tax. In the end, I would rather be taxed to death than preached to by a religious huckster like Huckabee.

The Democrat delegates for the Georgia Democratic primary are awarded in a proportional fashion. There is little doubt that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both going to get some delegates. The Republican delegates for the Georgia Republican primary are awarded in a winner-takes-all fashion. Whoever has the most votes wins all the delegates.

I haven’t officially decided who will get my vote, but I am pretty sure that Romney will be the one. I’m willing to run the risk of Hillary Clinton getting a few more delegates than Barack Obama if that keeps McCain from winning all of Georgia’s delegates.

Let the games begin.