Peace and Progress

A blog by Jim Hannan, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I ran for the US Senate from March, 2007 until Tom Udall announced in November.  Jim Hannan for US Senate

2.6.09 - Barack Obama and Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton has basically been a politician his entire adult life.  He went from Georgetown to Yale Law to Oxford to Arkansas, and ran for political office almost immediately.  Barack Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago. 

I think this explains a fundamental difference between the two gifted politicians.  I think that ultimately Clinton has no true political beliefs.  He is, by and large, always looking for what is best for Bill Clinton.  I think that Obama has a deep political core.  I think this core is that government should help those of us that need help.  Because of that, I have great faith in our current President.  We may not always understand his tactics or even his strategy.  But we should sleep well at night knowing that he ultimately has our best interests at heart.

1.15.09 - George W. Bush

Goodbye!

1.2.09 - The Pete Domenici National Debt

I propose that we name the national debt after Pete Domenici.  After all, he served as Budget Chair when Reagan first started our country down the road of supply side, voodoo economics.  And he served as Budget Chair under George W. Bush.  Together, they managed to turn a $5.6 trillion surplus into a now $11 trillion debt.

12.23.08 - Chimerica

It is hard to overstate the connection now between China and the U.S.  Much of the backstory on the financial bailout has to do with placating the Chinese. 

11.7.08 - Election Reform

One of the most pressing issues for the new President and Congress is election reform.  We must simplify voter registration, standardize voting machines, and eliminate long lines at voting places.  I favor a national ID card, for election purposes only.  Currently, many states are requiring Social Security numbers to register to vote.  I oppose the use of Social Security numbers for this purpose.  I also believe that we can manufacture a voting machine that will print out a voter's choices, two copies, one for the government, one for the voter.

10.31.08 - Presidential Endorsements

Barack Obama has been endorsed by Republican Colin Powell, former Secretary of State.  John McCain has been endorsed by Joe the (unlicensed) Plumber.  I think that pretty much sums up this election.

10.2.08 - The Surge

The "surge" of US troops into Iraq has been a minor factor in the decrease of violence.  The real reasons are: 

1. Ethnic cleansing.  Much of Baghdad is now either Sunni or Shia.  Approximately 4 million Iraqis have left the country and mostly living in Jordan and Syria. 

2.  Bribing the Baathists.  The US government, with David Petraus as bagman, has been paying former Saddam Hussein followers $300 per month so that they don't attack us.  This program is  ending.  The Iraqi government is now taking over the management of the Awakening Councils.  And it will be very interesting to see how or if the Sunni Baathists are incorporated into the mainly Shia military units. 

3.  Moqtada al Sadr has been neutralized by Iran.  Apparently, al Sadr is basically under house arrest in Iran, and his militia have stood down.  The Iranians preferred to work with the other Shiite political movement, SCIRI, which is more compliant.

When John McCain talks about the US achieving victory in Iraq, what he means is that the Iranians are now in complete control. 

9.25.08 - More Bailout

John McCain is simply bizarre.  A week ago, he told us that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.  Next, he said that we should have a commission study the problem.  Then he said that he would fire the Republican SEC Chairman.  Now, he tells us that if we don't act today we are doomed.  He simply has no credibility.  If Bush is the worst president ever, I think that McCain might be even worse.

The Democrats can't allow a vote on the bailout without ensuring that most Republicans vote in favor.  There is absolutely no way that any Republican be allowed to run against Bush/Democrats.  Let me be more specific on this.  There should be at least 40 Republican senators and 150 Republican congressmen in favor of the bailout before it is even brought to a vote.  This is a Newt Gingrich/Dick Cheney trap that has been set.  None of the Republicans in danger, like Ted Stevens, Gordon Smith, and Norm Coleman, should be allowed to vote no on this.

If Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don't understand this simple dynamic, they both must be replaced in January.

9.20.08 - Wall Street Bailout

It's simply amazing that Bush and pals want to add another trillion dollars to the national debt and Congress has a couple of days to study the proposal.  Why are working people paying for the bad bets of the financial industry?

9.6.08 - BRIC

There is a new world order, and it's name is BRIC.  It stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China.  It's just starting to jell, but it will have tremendous consequences for the Anglo-American empire.  Soon, China will be able to invest it's vast earned dollars into these other countries, and the US will be hard pressed to increase the national debt.  Our interest rates will rise accordingly.

8.18.08 - John McCain and Georgia

Apparently John McCain speaks on the phone every day with the president of Georgia.  This brings up the question, what is the role of McCain and his advisors in the attack on South Ossetia by the Georgian army?  Did McCain and his advisors encourage the government of Georgia to launch the attack? 

8.8.08 -The National Debt

Congress has now approved a debt ceiling of over $10 trillion.  And this year's deficit, including war costs and Social Security "borrowing", will run close to $800 billion.

Progressives have not looked favorably on the idea of a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment.  I think that progressives have missed the boat on this.  If we had supported a balanced budget amendment in the mid to late 1990's, most of the Bush agenda, wars, tax cuts, never would have happened.

7.21.08 - Musings

John McCain has been in Congress since 1982.  And he has the gall to blame Barack Obama for high gas prices. 

What if Muqtada Al-Sadr and his allies win the upcoming elections in Iraq.  Does the US do what we did with the election victory by Hamas in the Palestinian territories?  That is, do we say that the election doesn't count.

There is now open talk in Israel of launching a pre-emptive nuclear attack against Iran, a country of 70 million people. 

Don't forget, Pete Domenici announced his retirement when he was at a 41% approval rating.  Pete was good at bringing New Mexico federal money, but he also consistently voted against the interests of working people.

7.5.08 - Cuba

I predict that most of the industrialized world will be beating a path to Cuba over the next few years.  Cuba is the only "modern" country in the world that has directly faced the problem of peak oil and lived to tell the story.  When the Soviet Union crashed, Cuba was left to fend for itself.  It's energy inputs were decreased drastically.  The Cubans were able to transition without a great deal of human catastrophe. 

5.26.08 - Musings

With a week until the New Mexico primary, several thoughts.  Don Wiviott will end up spending $1.5 million of his own money in CD3.  He may get 20,000 votes, so $75 per vote. 

If Bill McCamley loses in CD 2, will he have money in the bank?

I understand Diane Denish endorsing Harry Teague in CD 2, they were high school classmates, but I don't understand her giving money to Michelle Lujan Grisham in CD 1.  Martin Heinrich will win easily.

I was a John Edwards supporter for President early on, then came over to Barack Obama.  I've never supported Hillary.  But I actually like the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket.  I think that Barack will use her and Bill very effectively in the campaign.  He'll also figure out a way to utilize her strengths as VP.  My second choice for VP is Jim Webb.  I think that Virginia is in play this year, and Webb has been a terrific first year US Senator.

12.28.07 - Rudy Giuliani's foreign policy credentials

It is fascinating that Rudy Giuliani claims some kind of foreign expertise.  His only political experience is as mayor of a large city.  Now it's true that the United Nations is located in New York City, so Giuliani may have attended certain soirees with foreign diplomats.  But experience?  Nada.

12.23.07 - Putin and Gazprom

As Americans, we tend to focus a lot on what is happening in our own country.  We don't pay a lot of attention to events in the rest of the world, unless they affect us directly.  I've been fascinated lately by what is happening in the former Soviet Republics in regard to gas and oil deals, both new production and pipelines.  It appears that Putin is trying to hold on to at least some of the old soviet states.  If Russia controls the natural gas pipelines, it's coming influence in the EU is hard to overstate.

12.21.07 - Jason Call

I read with some regret that Jason Call is withdrawing from the Congressional race in CD District 1.  Jason has run a fantastic campaign, on very limited funds.  It's been a real pleasure to get to know him from campaign appearances.  I hope that he continues to stay active in New Mexico politics.

12.19.07 - 2008 Political Predictions

US President:  Hillary Clinton (D), Mitt Romney (R).  Hillary Clinton wins, she carries all the states that John Kerry carried in 2004 plus Ohio.  Bill Clinton spends much of October 2008 in Ohio, and there will not be 10 hour waits to vote in the poorest neighborhoods.

NM Senate:  Tom Udall (D), Steve Pearce (R).  Tom Udall wins, the Clinton GOTV (get out the vote) helps.

CD 1:  Martin Heinrich (D), Darren White (R).  Martin Heinrich, one of the most gifted young politicians in the country, wins in a very tight race.

CD 2:  Joseph Cervantes (D), Ed Tinsley (R).  Tinsley wins in this conservative district.

CD 3:  Ben Ray Lujan (D), Marco Gonzales (R).  Ben Ray Lujan wins, but Marcos runs a strong race.

12.18.07 - Northern New Mexico Congressional Race

With the announcement by Patsy Trujillo that she will not run for Congress in District 3, the field appears to be set.  The main candidates appear to be Ben R. Lujan, Don Wiviott and Harry Montoya.  Other candidates may still announce, but it may be hard for anyone else to achieve the minimum 20% at the pre primary Democratic convention.

Ben Lujan may be able to garner 60% of the votes at the convention.  If so, it makes for an interesting race between Don Wiviott and Harry Montoya to also secure a spot on the primary ballot.

Wiviott had previously announced for the US Senate, but changed to the Congressional race when Tom Udall announced for US Senate.  Harry Montoya has served on the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners since 2003.