political update

It struck me that this coming election is the perfect caricature of our two parties. The Democrat candidates are black and feminine and include an ambulance chasing lawyer – how perfect is that; the Republicans are fielding a business tycoon, a Bible thumper, a prisoner of war hero, and a top cop tough guy – all white males. Each of these represents exactly the face of one of their respective constituent groups. We are missing a Jew. There’s a Catholic, a Mormon, a Baptist, and a hint of Muslim. Perhaps one of the VP’s will fill the obvious hole.- Lieberman? Or will somebody do a deep genealogical search on Bill or Hillary and find an old Jewish grandmother way, way back there?

I’m actually starting to enjoy the process because this year it’s turning out to be so blatently hypocritical. The Kennedy’s can come out with their dislike of the Clinton’s and no longer have to pretend that the NE liberals really do like the old south rednecks. And you get to see the Sharpton’s and Jackson’s squirm around trying to make Bill happy even though they dislike Hillary. McCain who fought all the Bush tax cuts is all of a sudden a big tax cutter; Romney who won MA by being a pro abortion, gun control guy is all of a sudden seen the light and gone pro life and is joining the NRA. Huckabee is a standard old fashion Southern Democrat. He’s the way they all were back in the 50’s and 60’s but was forced to the other side when all the liberal Supreme court decisions went against the south in the 60’s – that would be Roe V Wade; Miranda; prayer in the classroom. He’s the guy most of my Southern Democrat friends would like to vote for if only he were a Democrat.

So on the Democrat side it’s easy to figure out who votes for whom because they all have exactly the same policy positions – none, vote for me because it will be a change and I’m a __________ (fill in the blank). It’s also easy to figure out the numbers. I think blacks represent about 12% of the voters; women 52%. So even pulling off the black females, it says that in the end behind the curtain, Hillary gets about 40%. The redneck democrat vote goes to Edwards; Barack pulls off maybe 30%.

The Republican numbers are harder to come by and splits more along geographical lines. Guiliani will do well in the NE if he can survive Florida; McCain will do fine in the south where there’s a large military presence; Huckabee does best in the south and farm areas; Romney dominates the mountain regions. In the end I’m sticking with my earlier prognostication, McCain. Too many people will not vote for a Mormon; will not vote for a New Yorker; will not vote for a Catholic; will not vote for a Baptist preacher. That leaves McCain – the only group that won’t vote for him are the conservative Republicans (like me).

In the ensuing general election, McCain wins because there are so many people who won’t vote for a Clinton and so many Democrats who like McCain because he votes with them so often. So my democrat friends and family should be happy campers – either way a democrat wins. I’m going to vote a straight “none of the above” ticket. The good news for the Democrats is that O’Bama has 4 years to get out there with actual positions and collect some money. Even if McCain wins, at 72 not likely he’ll be an 8 year president and he’ll be in excellent shape to try again.

Garden news – Planting the last batch of winter crops and starting summer seedlings. Lots of new stuff including celery and Asian vege’s which I’ve never grown before. Vege’s with names like suhoi, tatsoi, komatsuna, haruki, and Michili – you know, all the old standbyes. I started the celery seeds a couple of weeks ago and was surprised to see how incredibly tiny the seedlings are. Wispy, fine plants that look too delicate to ever turn into anything. I’ve never grown celery before but expected something quite a bit bigger at the start.
The transition from winter crops to summer crops is soft so there’s really never a time when the garden is not fully planted and one item or another is either being harvested or planted. The trick is understanding the timing of each type of vegetable so you know when to start seedlings so that they are ready to transplant coincident with harvesting something. I’m getting the hang of that but still mess up more often that I like to admit. I attribute some of my mistakes to the variability in growth rates caused by weather changes. A crutch.

I’ll finish the soil building program in the next few weeks attacking the last couple of areas which have not been fortified. It’s interesting that when you view the garden you can visually pick out those areas instantly because the plants there are just not as robust and healthy looking. The plants never get as big and they are much later to actually produce a crop. I’ve split some crops with some plants from the same starter set in one area and the rest in another so that I could quantify exactly what the difference is and whether or not it’s worth all the extra effort. It is.

political prognostication

I usually don’t write back to back blog entries, but it’s too cold to go out.

I want to make my political forecast before the Iowa caucuses so that I’m not biased by those results – which I think are meaningless this year. As a broad overview, there has never been a more motley crew running for as long as I’ve been politically aware. It makes me sad that between the two parties, there’s not one person I could really get behind. Of course It’s not likely I’d ever vote for a Democrat as they define themselves these days – in the 50’s, when the Democrats were far more conservative – think Southern Dem’s, Scoop Jackson – sure. But when the Democrats moved their base of operation to San Francisco, Boston, and New York, and drummed Joe Lieberman out of the party for being too conservative, they lost me along with most of the south.

That said, how in the world can the Republicans field a group with guys like an ex governor from Massachusetts, a thrice married, pro abortion, pro gun control New Yorker, and a guitar playing, aw shucks, Baptist minister from Hope Arkansas as their leading choices. You don’t win elections in Massachusetts or New York by being conservative. At least Rudy doesn’t back away and deny his past; Romney is a plastic guy and will say whatever it takes. He even looks like a Ken doll. I don’t count Fred Thompson as a real candidate and hope he can get his day job back. I do enjoy watching Ron Paul win the hearts and $$ of the non-voting crowd.

When all the dust settles, no doubt the dem’s will pick Hillary. The press will do their best to make it sound like there are other candidates, but trust me, it just ain’t so. The Clintons have money, organization, are ruthless and know where all the bodies are buried. End of story. I’m certainly happy about that and truly believe she’s the most beatable candidate they could field. I would be far more concerned about Obama and his ability to provide all the guilt ridden Dem’s a chance to wipe the slate clean on their racial past. One scenario I think about is Edwards dropping out and throwing his support to Obama. Reasonably sure that still wouldn’t do it but that would make the Clinton’s (and me) groan a bit. I can’t imagine anyone cares who Biden or Dodd would support. My guess is the reason they are in it at all is to collect money and maybe a shot at the VP slot regardless of who gets the eventual nomination. Biden could help Obama and I suspect that’s who he’ll throw the 3 voters he accumulates toward. Don’t think he’d be too interested in a slot behind Bill.

For the Republicans, as much as I don’t like him, McCain will be the winner. Given the choices, he wins by default. He benefits by any nasty world events that are sure to happen over the next year and is scruffy enough looking to win the trustworthy, honest guy vote. Prisoner of war, married 100 years to the same woman, Arizona home, maybe Episcopal or Methodist – nothing too out there, nothing too negative for most people. And I think he gets the dropout support. Fred Thompson will be the first to hang it up and will support McCain. Huckabee goes next and goes to McCain – no way he can support Romney. Game over. I guess the good news about that is he can for sure beat Hillary. He’ll be able to swing plenty of Democrats because many of his past positions were so Democrat – think McCain Feingold (supposed) campaign finance reform; an easy path for illegals to gain citizenship; and sufficient Bush bashing along the way. He’ll be a hold your nose pick of most Republicans – given the choice between him and Billary. I’m not going to predict a running mate, since he is so unpredictable, but if he proves weak in the South, Huckabee could make sense – kind of an Al Gore sort of choice. Good at Funerals and on the entertainment committee. It really doesn’t matter who Hillary chooses because we get Bill and he’d be a de facto VP. Probably a good chance to name an ethnic – how about the rev’s Jackson or Big Al Sharpton.

The one scenario that makes me nervous is Bloomberg getting into the race as a third party candidate. Perot gave us Clinton 1; Bloomberg could give us Clinton 2. That’s the one exception to my ABC theory – Anybody Beats Clinton.

Just my opinion.

And another “suspicions confirmed”. Dr. Frank, the big guru from the National Hurricane Center, just said that 6 of the 15 named storms this past season shouldn’t have been classified as tropical storms – too weak. He also said that for the last decade the NWS has been routinely categorizing storms as Tropical Storms which would not have qualified in prior years. And he also reiterated his position that the storms have nothing to do with any global warming and that the practice of naming smaller storms is done to support theories that the number of storms is hooked to global warming. I think most of us old guys in Fla have known that this storm categorizing thing has been over inflated so it’s nice to hear it from the expert.