Category: Government

May 22 2008

Politicians Give Me A Headache

I don’t write much about politics on this blog.  Like father, like son – politicians (and politics) give me a headache.  However, I love to pimp my father’s blog and he’s got a great post up today titled John McCain Describes His Health Plan; In Reality A Non Health Plan. 

For the past few months, my dad – a retired endocrinologist and now healthcare pundit – has been inspecting, dissecting, and commenting on what the various presidential candidates have been saying about healthcare.  He’s got plenty of stuff on Obama, Clinton, and McCain.  It’s a compendium of uniformly dismal, sad, and disappointing non-solutions. 

While he doesn’t write short posts, if you are interested in original thinking in this area from someone who has a lifetime of experience practicing, thinking about, helping to reform, and experience the healthcare system, you should spend some time with Stan Feld’s Repairing the Healthcare System

As a special bonus, if you are involved in the Obama campaign and want some tips, I know Stan is game to help.

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Apr 4 2008

It Can Pay Off To Be President

From the WSJ:

The Clintons had gross income of $109 million for 2000-2007, newly released tax documents show. President Clinton made $51.8 million speeches over eight years and $29.6 million in book income, while Hillary Clinton made $10.5 million in book income. The Clintons paid $33.8 million in taxes between 2000-2007, or 31% of adjusted gross income, and gave $10.26 million to charity over eight years.

Nice tax bill.

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Mar 19 2008

Superdelegates

I’ve never really understood the primary process – especially for superdelegates.  That shouldn’t be surprising since there are a lot of things about politics that I don’t really understand – like why "one person, one vote" doesn’t actually equate to a democracy (or maybe it does, just not the way we run one around here.)

I just got an email that a friend of mine – Rick Klau (FeedBurner – now at Google) has put up a great site called SuperDelegates.org which keeps track off all the Democratic superdelegate stuff.  It’s very cool and based on MediaWiki so you can edit it.

While after reading it I now know more about how superdelegates work and the little cynical part of my brain understands better why they exist.

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Feb 22 2008

Elementary School Politics

Katherine McIntyre has a scathing post up describing her experience at the Colorado Democratic primary caucus.  I think the caucus, primary process, and superdelegate thing is idiotic, a gigantic waste of economic resources, and about as far from a representative democracy as you can get and still be in a democracy.

All that said, I’m still proud to be an American and love that we have a democratic political process.  I just wish it started in August, finished in November, and was "whoever gets the most votes wins."

By the way, when did the word "evangelical" become a noun?  I thought it was an adjective?

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Feb 6 2008

What Was A Colorado Caucus Like?

Andrew Hyde has a fun post and some pictures up at Colorado Caucus where he describes his experience last night.

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Dec 17 2007

Should the Next President Be Scientifically Literate?

Amy forwarded another 3QuarksDaily article titled Science Debate 2008, and Krauss on Science and the Presidential Campaign.

Did you know that according to a 2006 National Science Foundation Study, 25% of Americans did not know that the earth goes around the sun?  I had to stop and read that twice.

I’m not talking about the age old "evolution vs. creationism" discussion that eventually devolves into a polarizing (and in my mind irrational) religious debate.  I’m not talking about global climate change.  I’m talking about basic science.  How do plants grow?  How do planes fly?  What’s the difference between ice, water, and steam?  What is the relationship between the earth and the sun?

While it’s entertaining to me to consider the notion of having a qualifying science test (say – ninth grade science level) for all voters to be able to vote, I know this isn’t the right path to go down for a variety of reasons.  However, maybe we should give this test to all the presidential candidates.  Anyone up for a "Leave No President Behind" rule?

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Nov 25 2007

Sunday Morning Political Link Love

Yesterday was a great "very little computer" day that resulted in me reading three books (one great, one 50% great, and one poor that turned into a skimmer.)  More on these later.

I read two things in FeedDemon this morning that spun my head around better than the Sunday morning TV political talk shows could.

First was another post from Jared Polis chronicling his trip to Iraq.  This was was titled Inside a Private Mercenary Compound in Iraq and is better and more authentic than virtually everything you see in the NY Times about life in Iraq.

The second – from a Boulder entrepreneur that I’ve gotten to know named Jenn Ross – is titled Foreign Entrepreneurs and US VisasI’m a huge believer that our current Visa system is completely broken and stories like Jenn’s make me crazy.  There is no rational reason that someone like Jenn – a Canadian no less – should ever have to think or deal with this stuff.

I love the web.  I’d never have the chance to read stuff like this and get stirred up before Amy wakes up if it didn’t exist.

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Nov 22 2007

Thanksgiving in Baghdad

Jared Polis is continuing to blog his trip to Iraq.  His post – Arrival in Baghdad – was better than most stuff I see in TV (ok – I’m setting a low bar here.)  He also did a live Q&A on Colorado Confidential that included a flamer under the handle “IraqWarVeteran” (created on 11/21/07 – apparently just for the live blogging event.)

I’m proud of my friend Jared for making the trip and being open about his goals.  I personally have no interest in going to Baghdad so I’m happy to live vicariously through someone like Jared, especially when I get to reflect about it quietly on Thanksgiving morning.

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Nov 21 2007

Jared Polis in Iraq

I was at a meeting with the other two TechStars founders yesterday (David Cohen and David Brown) to discuss some new and exciting things around TechStars 2008.  Jared wasn’t there and in a sudden burst of amazing observation skills, I asked “where’s Jared?”

Both David’s chimed in an said “he’s in Iraq.”  I had one of those moments where you pause and process the words to try to make meaning of them.  Then I remembered that Jared was going to Iraq for Thanksgiving to support the United Way’s efforts to assist in the development of nonprofit and humanitarian organizations.  He’s blogging his trip and starts with a thought provoking post titled My Arrival in Amman, Jordan.

Jared is a long time friend (he was one of the first 10 people I got to know when I moved here – thanks Dave for the introduction.)  I have huge respect and adoration for Jared and am delighted he’s running for CongressAmy and I are big supporters and believe Jared is one of the clearest thinking, most principled, and true to his values person currently running for office today.  While I don’t agree with 100% of Jared’s positions, I know he’ll always listen, learn, express his point of view, and engage in every discussion.

If you are a voter in Colorado’s 2nd district, I encourage you to get to know Jared.  If you are a supporter, please donate to his campaign (any amount is helpful.)  And – if you are interested in participating in Thanksgiving in Iraq from the comfort of your home, follow the blog.

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Nov 12 2007

This Time I Support Mike Gravel for President

Mike GravelThe last time I took a Select A Candidate Quiz, I ended up supporting Dennis Kucinch.  I got a note from Ian Manheimer, the founder of Glassbooth.org, who suggested I take his Election 2008 quiz.

I thought his quiz was a little more interesting.  This time around I support Mike Gravel. A little digging informed me that he’s a democrat from Alaska (go figure) who was a Senator from 1969 to 1981.  I also like Joseph Biden and Bill Richardson.

Whatever.

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