Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Lincoln Strategy

For the past two weeks...the media has been blitzing the public with a new expression...."the Lincoln strategy". Its the Obama phrase which immedately makes everyone feel good, because Lincoln was so good. There is this 90 second explanation by a journalist and everyone believes the entire story that the guy gives, and America is now feeling comfortable in that Lincoln is taking office....not Obama

I'm a historian. I sat and laughed at the strategy, and the entire 90 second history of Lincoln given out. The public is buying this like a bottle snake-oil in the late 1800s. Most of this strategy and the 90 second explanation are bogus.

Lincoln won the Republican primary because he set up a platform of only one significant value....end of slavery throughout the entire US, period. There was not much of anything else that the platform contained that you'd even discuss a year later....let alone 100 years later.

The Republican convention win meant only one thing to the Democratic convention that came next....the hardcore Democrats wanted a platform of exact opposition....which Stephen Douglas (the chosen one, and the anticipated winner) simply could not agree to. He wanted the exact same platform as the previous ten Democratic winners....slavery was bad and would be worked upon (course, with no results). It was a simple platform that Douglas could have worked out of and won the election. The hardcore southern Democrats refused....and in the end....put up another party of sorts, with another southerner of sorts....whose platform was the anti-Lincoln platform.

Lincoln won and walked into office, with one agenda only....which he knew without doubt would split the country. A divider? Yes, with no doubt.

The cabinet posts? This is the amusing thing. Lincoln had no real pull or power within the Republican party, so he was put into the position of hiring all insiders. They each had an agenda or a special lobby group behind them. If you had to pick a group of unspired Republicans for any president to manage...this was it. They had no respect for the president or his agenda.

The war? If you added up all of the screw-ups by the Union Army and the Cabinet....with various special agenda players in congress and the Senate....it was a disaster. If the south had any support at all from England or France....the war was theirs to win....but neither choose to get involved (it was the wrong time and wrong reason). Had the war occurred in 1845? Its more likely that England or France would have involved themselves.....which would have been a totally different outcome.

The soap opera as Lincoln is assassinated? His legend is concreted at this point. The newspapers write entire special editions to publish his glory, and the nation buys off totally....then the game of VP Johnson starts....where no one on the Cabinet or the Senate have respect for him. Whatever weak vice-president strategy that Lincoln had....was a total failure. Johnson could never climb out of this pit, and was left to fight fight political battles rather than lead the nation.

So the Obama "Lincoln strategy"? You hire a bunch of top of the line former Clinton insiders to run the cabinet. The majority don't really worship your agenda or your plan. They will have various players in the senate and house to work up a totally different package than what the president envisions. You don't really worry much about this because you really have the experience to lead a major group anyway.

Lincoln's entire legacy is built upon one topic only....slavery. The Obama period? There are around forty different legacy topics that people talk about now....which makes you laugh how anyone could associate Obama with Lincoln.

Lincoln choose to divide the country...in the interest of our future. Obama? Its curious....he advertises his plans and agenda as a "uniter" in nature.

None of this makes much sense...unless you really like the 90-second media blitz and perfer not to ask stupid questions. And if you did....don't expect the CNN guy to respond...it'll just confuse him more.

United State of Organized America

In the past week, in the midst of inauguration week....the President-elect has announced the forming of a new group. The name for the group? "Organizing for America".

Apparently, as the president says: "As President, I will need the help of all Americans to meet the challenges that lie ahead. That's why I'm asking people like you who fought for change during the campaign to continue fighting for change in your communities."

So in plain speak, this is the effort to take the political power that surged up in the campaign effort...which would normally shrink down and settle back into normalcy for four years until the next campaign....and instead keep them on the trail.

For the past five or six years....its was bad enough that there was a continual democrat versus republican war going on....with Sunday chat shows offering a stage for verbal missiles to be flung left and right...but now, "Organized America" to take on any and all opposition....for possibly the next eight years?

I kept thinking of that wonderful phrase of how people would work together and make agendas meet somewhere in the middle. There would be a "norm". There would be efforts to stop all of the fighting. Instead, we get fighting 2.0 instead.

Instead of stopping the vast left view and vast right view...this effort simply adds fuel to the fire. Its hard to see how it would benefit anyone but those who guide the president's agenda. There is no middle ground while some "Organized America" pumps its might.

Its amusing...I kinda had some hopes there for about a month. Maybe things would go the way as General Powell had suggested. Maybe some quiet period could be found, and we could wean the public off the political fight. At this point, I see chaos, turmoil and continued fighting. Every senate seat and every congressional seat now matters in 2010. Its as though the election never ended now. This is the sad woeful state of America tonight.

Real Science, Sort Of

I saw this over at FreeRepublic, and felt it was worth keeping. Its science, for the non-science types. Alot of us went through school...pretended we learned something in science...and by 19...had forgotten everything. Sadly, we are making our way through life today, with the help of NASA scientists, engineers, and dimwit environmentalists who keep us well informed. So this is what you really should know:

1. H2O is hot water and CO2 is cold water.

2. To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.

3. When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.

4. Water is composed of two gins - Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin and Hyrogin is water and gin.

5. A super saturated solution is one that holds more water than it can hold.

6. Litre : A nest of young puppies.

7. Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat.

8. Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away.

9. Vacuum: A large empty space where the Pope lives.

10. Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the bull.

11. The pistol of the flower is its only protection against insects.

12. A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.

13. To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose.

14 . For a nosebleed, put the nose much lower than the heart until the heart stops.

15. For head colds, use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat.

16. Germinate: To become a naturalized German.

17. The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in the fight.

18 . Blood flows down one leg and up the other.

19. When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.

20. Nitrogen is not found in Ireland because it is not found in a free state.

21. Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars.

22. Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.

23. To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow.

24. A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants to go.

25. Genetics explain why you look like your father and if you don't why you should.

26. Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun. But I have never been able to make out the numbers.

27. We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation. Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on.

28. To most people solutions mean finding the answers. But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

29. In looking at a drop of water under a microscope, we find there are twice as many H's as O's.

30. I am not sure how clouds get formed. But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing.

31. Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dogs tongue will kill the strongest man.

32. Isotherms and isobars are even more important than their names sound.

33. Wind is like the air, only pushier.

34. The process of turning steam back into water again is called conversation.

35. Algebraical symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.

Your Typical DC Problem


There are three things you come to Washington DC for: to shake hands with dimwit political figures, to bribe dimwit political figures, and to find a hooker.

I realize some of you will argue that there are fantastic museums there...that the FBI employs thousands there....and that its our nation's landmark. But think for a while about my comments.

This week, the DC cops came around....along 5th and I Streets, and put up signs say: "Warning, Prostitution Free Zone."

With Obama day on Tuesday....its critical to have the streets "clear"...if you know what I mean. The cops are willing to fine anyone doing hooker business $300 and jail them. The question here...will the city's clean up for day or two save the purity of the city when the two million arrive?

Most of the guys who live along these streets will readily admit that hookers are a major problem. Course, no one asked them if senators using hookers were a problem....but if they had....I'm sure the guys would have smiled and said that was a problem too.

The one hooker that did comment to the media....calling herself Tamira....says that most hookers will ignore the signs. Tamira also kinda commented that some folks may come to the inauguration for legitimate reasons but hook on the side for some extra cash. How many of two million might do that? Thats a curious question. I'm thinking at least a thousand.

If you can imagine Marda Gras, in broad daylight....with ten percent of the inauguration drunk or stoned...thats the picture of DC on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure the cops will arrest at least fifty hookers on Tuesday...just to say that they tried to keep things neat and tidy. Hopefully, the senators can stay busy and not think so much about sex.