‘Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term’

According to this May 20, 2008 Jerusalem Post report, the US may be planning to attack Iran before Cheney leaves office.

If you’ve read up on Dick Cheney, and read up on the Iraq invasion’s real winner (Iran), its difficult (and not cynical at all) to imagine that an attack on Iran isn’t waiting in the wings, probably during the month before the US presidential election. October Surprise! The US invasion of Iraq has strategically set Iran ahead in so many respects, and now, strangely, some of Iran’s interests are in alignment with US interests (such as Iraqi stability, which, as it develops, continues to serves Iran’s interests). The problem is that everything that the US has done in Iraq since 2003 has served to empower and embolden Iran’s influence in the region, while simultaneously putting US soldiers to the east and west of its borders. Of course Iran is on the defense with its nuclear ambitions and rhetoric, but it is strategically also in an offensive position, able to make things difficult for the US. In the end, an empowered Iran is NOT a Cheney/Bush interest, and will likely cause Hawks like them to conclude that their patriotic duty will be to deal with Iran militarily before they leave office, convinced that a Democratic president won’t. That military action will escalate, and Iran can make things very difficult in the region, for Iraq, for oil tanker traffic, and for Israel. If a much larger escalation of the situation in the middle east doesn’t start to boil before inauguration day, we can continue to hope it never will. But prepare yourself for an October Surprise.


Recommended Podcast: Stanford Technology Ventures Program Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Lecture Series

I’m a big fan of podcasts. When you see me walking my dog, Sam, in Stockholm, I’m not listening to music. I’m listening to podcast lectures on current events, politics, art, books, etc.

Check out this recent podcast lecture from Stanford’s Technology Ventures Forum Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Lecture Series . The lecturer, David Rothkopf, is the author of SUPERCLASS: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making. It’s a fascinating insight into the few people who hold nearly all of the world’s power and how they’re using it.

I’m not posting it with any leftist political agenda in mind — it’s just INTERESTING.

I just added the podcast to Rothkopf’s bio on Wikipedia.

I always knew I needed multiple, or larger, computer monitors . . .

. . . and now there’s some research that proves it. It makes sense. If you use 3 or 4 applications (and who doesn’t these days) or if you like to have several different web sites or word or excel documents visible simultaneously (even if you’re using the same application), then OF course productivity improves if you have a large, or several, monitors.

I need a 24 inch MacBook Air. Steve Jobs, are you reading this?

Here’s the story from NPR.

A recent New Yorker profile of Spitzer

Down he goes.  So sad.  He was supposed to be the real crusader for justice!  And he was quite successful prosecuting insurance and financial industry fraud.  Not that I care what he does in his personal time, but what is the deal with these people who have to pay so much for sex?  Is it THAT difficult to find someone to have some fun with when you’re the governor of New York?   Here’s the interesting profile I’d read about him in The New Yorker, just a few months ago.  So much promise. 

What kind of presidency would she or he make?

Assuming the next president will be a Democrat — which is never safe to assume, considering it’s never wise to underestimate the ability of Republicans to sell themselves, nor the inability of Democrats to do the same — what would a Clinton or Obama presidency look like for America?   There’s a big risk that an Obama presidency would be an enormous failure in history, because he may not have learned the lessons that Hillary has learned.  Just days before what might be Clinton’s last stand in the primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island, I cannot help but wonder what we’re losing as a country if she fails to reach the general election.   For all of us who have wondered what a female presidency would look like, we’ll have to wait.  Yet, there’s a bigger opportunity that’s being lost, and it is not just bland “experience”.  It’s the most experience we may have ever seen.  It’s the possibility that Hillary Clinton just might be the most qualified person in the world today for the particular job she’s applying for, and may, in fact, be the most qualified person ever to have entered the job in my lifetime, were she to do so.   No president, in my lifetime, has entered with 8 years of experience in the executive branch, 8 years of experience in the legislative branch, and a lifetime of working in law and justice, the third branch of our government’s balance of power.   She has travelled to some 120 countries.  She knows everyone that needs to be known throughout the world.  She knows how the current power structures work both here and abroad. And her experience, both in terms of her learnings from her mistakes and the recoveries and reinventions of herself in the Senate, are unparalleled.   We’ve probably never had a chance in my lifetime to elect someone as qualified for the job as she is.   Can anyone think of a president who has entered office with so much qualification and wisdom earned from their experience in all 3 branches of government?  Who has made high profile mistakes (health care), followed by high profile learning (the Senate)?  It would be an incredible thing to see that experience put to use for the country.   Yes, in a Clinton presidency, lobbyists and corporations will still run the country, and we’re likely to be involved militarily in the middle east for decades to come, but we might see some changes to health care policy and tax policy that would help the non-wealthy classes in America catch up and catch a break.  And we’re not likely to see any major blunders of judgement.   Would an Obama presidency look much better?  Would he really end lobbyists? Would he really end the conflict in Iraq?  Would his presidency translate into a transformed America, more than Hillary’s might?   If other change agents that Obama is modeled after are any indication (MLK, JFK, RFK), then the prospects are not very good.  A slight over reach of power can backfire.   I’m a huge Obama fan, but my enthusiasm was perhaps somewhat predicated on not believing he could really make it to the general election.  Now that I see Hillary’s sun possibly setting into the west, I can’t help but think differently now about who I’d vote for.  As much as my heart wants to vote for Obama, I think I’d vote for Hillary if I were in Ohio on Tuesday.   Why?   I feel that I know what a Clinton presidency would look like.  It is difficult to imagine that it would be a failed presidency, as, say, Carter’s (or Bush II’s) are often considered.   An Obama presidency is easy to imagine as a failed presidency.  Why?  Obama cannot possibly realize all that he’s asked us to dream of.  We’re bound to be disappointed. If he tries to implement any of his ideals, he will be stopped by the systems that are in his way.  It would be sad if we had to watch Obama make the same mistakes Hillary once made with her health care plan, the same lessons she has already now learned from.  Back then she was filled with purpose and ideals.  And the system pushed back, and pushed back hard.   Perhaps it would be sad if we miss this chance to bring the most qualified person in the world into this job.  But things are not looking good for Hillary.  The campaign was not prepared for the Obama momentum, and aided it.   Bush II has been a disaster for the Republicans.  We may just have to hope that an Obama presidency won’t do the same to the Democrats.

Hillary or Obama? What’s the difference?



The Clinton-Obama battle reveals two very different ideas of the Presidency.

by George PackerJANUARY 28, 2008

Here’s an excellent article that goes into detail about the difference between Hillary and Obama. 

Reversing the “Bradley Effect” – Gender Style

A new explanation for Hillary’s Iowa loss & New Hampshire win

[NOTE: Most often I post other people’s articles, but here’s an editorial of my own.] 

We’ve all heard the chatter that has erupted regarding why polling failed to accurately predict Hillary Clinton’s win last week in New Hampshire.  We all know it had something to do with women – lots of them – turning out in support of her. 

Simultaneously though, many leading political analysts, including, respectably, The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, have cross-examined the possibility that it was less a Hillary win and more of an Obama loss thanks to the so-called “Bradley Effect” – the term used for the theoretical phenomenon where some voters will publicly tell pollsters that they’ll vote for a black candidate but actually won’t do so once they are ensconced in the privacy of the voting booth.  Ultimately, most analysts have concluded that the “Bradley Effect” was, probably, not in play last week.  End of story.

Is it though?  What no one is considering, Lizza included, is that a related phenomenon – shall we dub it the “Hillary Effect”? – may be in play, wherein some voters may not be willing to publicly say to pollsters that they’ll vote for Hillary, but once in the privacy of the voting booth, they actually will vote for her.  It’s a gender-based version of the “Bradley Effect” – reversed.

This explains both her Iowa loss and her New Hampshire win, where Iowa’s caucuses are almost embarrassingly public carnivals compared to New Hampshire’s quiet and tidy private primary voting booths.

It is not unthinkable that this new phenomenon – the “Hillary Effect” – may be introduced in this election season.  Why?  The complexities of gender combined with a vocal and public hatred that borders on the irrational.  The press regularly informs us that Hillary has high negative ratings.  We all know she’s a lightening rod for impassioned hatred (though some, including me, are not exactly sure why).  The knowledge that so many voters supposedly dislike her may make some of us less willing to admit publicly that we will vote for her.  Many Republican women (and Republican men, for that matter – heck, even regular Democrats) may be supporting her in secret, afraid to reveal their feelings.  In other words, if they do support her, they don’t support her enough to speak up about it for fear of having to cross swords with those supposed loudmouths proclaiming so publicly that they really really hate her.  Faced with voices screaming a chorus of Hillary hatred, her supporters may just keep their support secretly to themselves.

Perhaps, come November, should Hillary be the Democratic Party’s nominee, the first woman to be President of the United States will win in a historic landslide that the pollsters could not possibly have predicted.

— — — —

[NOTE: You can read my editorial about Kerry’s 2004 loss that was printed in the Boston Sunday Globe on November 14, 2004.]