Saturday, March 29, 2008


The divergences (shall we say) between Hillary Clinton's descriptions of her trip to Bosnia and what actually happened are now well documented. See, for example, the video compilation at And there is talk now that the incident has "blown over."

But has it?

There are also problems with her claims of having been "instrumental" in the peace process in Northern Ireland, a claim that has been refuted by just about everyone who was actually involved in the peace talks.

As a result of these and other statements by Clinton, the non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center's "" has described her claims of foreign policy experience as "exaggerated."

What might that mean for the general election?

During the 2000 election, Al Gore was repeatedly held up to ridicule because he had claimed to have "invented the Internet," and had claimed that he and his wife were the models for the central characters in Erich Segal's Love Story, even though Al Gore did not make those claims.

During the 2004 election, John Kerry came under attack by the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" for allegedly lying on the military reports that resulted in military citations and medals during his service in Vietnam 40 years before. The stories told by the "Swift Boat Veterans" were politically motivated and were eventually found to be not credible, but not before political damage was done.

That's what Republicans and conservatives have done when they have had to fabricate in order to create the appearance of dishonesty in a Democratic candidate. What is going to happen when they have recent and well-documented evidence of what appears to be dishonesty?

It's going to a long campaign for Hillary Clinton in the fall if she is forced to spend most of her time explaining that she "mis-spoke" repeatedly during her primary campaign.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


There are an increasing number of "solutions" that Republicans and conservatives seem to want to apply regardless of the problem.

Tax cuts are one. If the economy is going well, tax cuts are needed to sustain economic growth. If the economy falters, tax cuts are needed to stimulate the economy. If the federal deficit gets too big, then tax cuts are needed to stimulate the economy in order to produce higher tax revenues. Tax cuts are the remedy to every economic problem.

Keeping our troops in Iraq is also the conclusion no matter what happens. If things are going badly, then we need to maintain troop levels in order to avoid losing. If things improve, we still need to maintain troop levels because we're winning. No matter what happens in Iraq, the solution is military.

Imprisonment is also a "solution" that seems to have gotten out of control. We now have 1% of our population in prison, which is the highest incarceration rate in our history and the highest incarceration rate in the world. Imprisonment is applied not just to violent crimes but to social crimes such as drug addiction, gambling, and prostitution. And if people who are released from prison commit another crime, make the prison sentences longer. It doesn't make any difference what the crime was, or whether crime rates are going up even as prison terms are getting longer, the solution is still to make the prison sentences longer still.