Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sic transit gloria mundi

First of all, a humble thank you to all of you who stopped by this newly resurrected blog and a hearty thank you to Paul Bass at the New Haven Independent, who put up a refer to this site. I hope you enjoyed and will come back often. I will do my best to make sure there will be something new to read.

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The Latin phrase that headlines this post means, literally, thus passes the glory of the world. It really can mean a lot of things, including all glory is fleeting or even we gave it our best and it didn't work out.

So goes it with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. As you may remember if you followed this blog before the Connecticut primaries, I was for Clinton as the Democratic candidate. I still am. See the original endorsement here. http://mindoflen.blogspot.com/2008/02/after-eight-years-of-bush-theres-no.html

It looks as if Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois will have at least the minimum number of delegates to clinch the nomination. In the next few days, Clinton will probably speak to her supporters, acknowledging that fact.

According to the blond and the banal, otherwise known as the talking heads at FOX News, MSNBC, CNN and the rest, she may concede. I hope she doesn't.

Although I still think Obama is not ready for prime time, I am more convinced the nation is not ready for John McCain. Despite the protestations of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and McCain's wife and mother, the Arizona senator would continue President Bush's economic policies. I can't, and I'm sure most of you can't abide another four years of laissez-faire economic policy.

The price of a barrel of oil, which should be somewhere south of $75 a barrel, hovers close to $130. The chairman of the Fed says it's supply and demand. I say the supply is being managed by a small cadre of speculators. As far as gas at the pumps is concerned, that's altogether a shanda, which in Yiddish means a combination of sin and shame.

The same thing with the mortgage crisis. Real estate executive Barbara Pearce once told me that giving builders money is like giving a child candy. They can't help but eat it. The same thing existed and still exists in the mortgage market. Offer people the American dream and they'll take it and worry about how to pay for it later.

That's human nature, and government regulators are put on Earth to save us from our all-too-human nature. They failed miserably. They didn't regulate but just watched as the market hurled itself toward that cliff. That's Bush policy and McCain will provide more of the same.

I know I'm howling into the windstorm, but I don't think it's too late for Clinton. Yes, Obama has more than the minimum number of delegates, but they include the super delegates who are not bound to vote for any candidate, even if they have endorsed him or her.

Despite what the blond and the banal tell us, the job of the Democratic National Convention is not to carry forth the will of the people. Its job is to nominate someone who can win the White House in November and who can carry enough candidates on his or her coattails to assure a Democratic Congress.

If that also reflects the will of the party, fine. But the job of that convention is to make sure John McCain's mother and wife do not watch proudly as he takes the oath of office as president on Jan. 20, 2009.

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A few words about the New Haven Board of Aldermen's budget session Monday night. It was sleight-of-hand at its best.

As the alders fussed and fought about a few dollars here (the Peace Commission, for cryin' out loud), the huge budgets just slid through. Reminds me of the last hour of the last day at the State Legislature. A bill designating Shrek as the state ogre could easily pass in Hartford on that last day. Sounds like the same type of activity went on Monday night. Read all about it here. http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2008/06/budget_passed_c.php

I saved the best for last. After blaming the state for not kicking in enough money (he probably has a point), the budget passed by the Alders counts on millions in concessions from the city unions and counts on things like cadets dropping out of the police academy. Things to be hoped for?

Excuse me, but did I see a general ledger being pulled out of that magician's hat?

Until next time...

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