Saturday, February 16, 2008

Uh Oh, "Barack = War In Iraq"?

By way of Skippy, the inventor of Blogtopia, we have this remarkable story:
An undeclared $3.5 million (£1.8 million) payment from a corrupt Iraqi-British businessman has landed Barack Obama’s former fundraiser behind bars.

The payment, disclosed in court papers, is the first time that Mr Obama’s long-serving bagman Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a Syrian immigrant to the United States, has been linked to Nadhmi Auchi, the Iraqi-born billionaire who is one of Britain’s richest men. The relationship is a potential embarrassment for Mr Obama, who has made his opposition to the Iraq war a central plank of his campaign.
Why, you may ask? Here's why:
The Times has, however, discovered state documents in Illinois recording that Fintrade Services, a Panamanian company, lent money to Mr Obama’s fundraiser in May 2005.

Fintrade’s directors include Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr Auchi’s wife. Mr Auchi’s spokespeople declined to respond to a question about whether he was linked to this business.
Under federal election law, Obama is barred from accepting money from foreign nationals:

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.

Now you *could*, I suppose, make the case that a campaign loan is not really "contributing or donating," but that "spending" bit...that's going to be hard for O-Bombers to spin easily. Too, to be accepting funds from an Iraqi-born billionaire, who presumably would have some skin in any Iraq policy of an Obama White House, speaks volumes about the "sizzle, but no steak" meme of Obama's campaign, where it's easy to talk a good game, but hard to actually follow through and act in accordance with the grandiose "principal" you've set forth.

And in conjunction, this destroys an awful lot of Obama's "change now" planking that is supporting his pulpit: you can't really be for change if you've been benefitting from the old ways, is what he's claiming the Clinton campaign's flaw is.

Well, Senator? It looks to me as if you've been dipping your ladle into that same stew pot!

UPDATE: Let me draw a map, for the mapless: Iraqi oil billionaire, repatriated oil assets, oil wells need guarding.

American troops stay.

Clearer now?


The one bulwark of sanity in the entire Bush administration is leaving...and he's the last vestige of the Clinton administration:
One of government's chief internal watchdogs resigned yesterday, as Comptroller General David M. Walker, an outspoken gadfly and frequent witness on Capitol Hill, announced his plans to lead a new foundation focused on U.S. fiscal responsibility.

Walker has led the Government Accountability Office, Congress's investigative agency, for a decade.

Walker was an outspoken critic of the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare spending -- issues on which the Democratic-led Congress, and Republicans before it, have had trouble building consensus.
This means George W Bush will get to appoint a partisan Comptroller who will be all over any Democratic Presidency with respect to economic issues, a linchpin of the next four years as we struggle to steer a course through a depression.

On any number of occasions in the past, I've written admirably about David Walker. He hasn't been afraid to call a spade a spade, going so far as to call America bankrupt, to highlight the problems facing returning Iraq invasion veterans, and to dispute the casualty rates the Pentagon has released.

In short, he's spoken up for solutions, when everyone else prayed the problem to go away quietly. And he managed to do all this with both a hostile Congress and administration opposing him at every turn.

In fact, the only real black mark against Walker, the recent contract troubles within the GAO, even served a progressive purpose: the first new governmental union in the past fifty years. In such fires, wise men make tools for progress.

His resignation takes effect on March 12. Had he not resigned, he could have served during Hillary Clinton's first term, as his term would end in 2013. The one saving grace is that the Democratic Congress will have a hand in naming his successor, who must be nominated by a bipartisan commission and confirmed in Senate hearings.

His is a shining example of what a political appointment should do, and demonstrates the depth of quality that was a hallmark of the Clinton administration.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Music Blogging

Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Watching The Detectives

I thought this was an appropriate song, given the whole FISA bill and telecom immunity debate.

Friday Kitten Blogging

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) I guess the right will stop calling her Hanoi Jane now...good on Eve Ensler for defending her vigorously, too!

2) Izzy Stone once wrote that you should report the news so that no one is surprised by it. Here is an object lesson in how to write, and read, a newspaper story. Tell me in comments what the subtext here is: what is the relationship between the man questioned and the victim?

3) Looks like I'll be buying my new high definition DVD player soon. Call it payback for Betamax!

4) Uh. Yea. OK, they lost your notebook, but what could you possibly have that's worth $54 million and in that case, how could you let someone else repair it?

5) One quibble with this otherwise exciting news story: 5,000 light years is hardly "across the galaxy". It's more like Boston, from New York

6) More space news. Listen, you guys better hit this on the first shot, or all that Star Wars funding you've been bitching about is going away permanently. You feelin' me, playah? (My sister will understand why I wrote that)

7) By the way, best news source in America? Is from Britain.

8) For their bluff and feigned outrage, Republicans will end up caving. There's too much at stake this fall.

9) If this is true, then why wasn't Barry Bonds benched? Look, I'm with you: this is really a non-story, except that it's pervaded even the halls of Congress, which means it's become real news, so the questions have to be asked: why not and why now? (cf. Izzy Stone)

10) Somewhere, Tom Brady is buying land in Nicaragua.

11) Hm. I wonder what the winning bid was? Did they compare lengths? How come eBay hasn't thought of this?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Would You Buy A Used Car From This Man?

I did a thought experiment in my head, and imagined Barack Obama as an used car salesman, trying to sell you a used Ford. What would he sound like?
It has now been one year since I began selling you this used car.

At the time, there weren't too many who imagined we'd be standing where we are today. I knew I wouldn't be GM's favorite competitor. I knew we wouldn't get all the big sales or advertisements right off the bat. I knew Ford would be the underdog in every contest from January to December. I knew it wouldn't be easy.

But then something started happening. As I met people in their living rooms and on their farms; in churches and town hall meetings, they all started telling a similar story about the state of cars today. Whether they're young or old; black or white; Latino or Asian; salesman, dealer or even sales manager, the message is the same: We are tired of being disappointed by our cars. We are tired of being let down. We're tired of hearing promises made and ten-point maintenance plans proposed in the heat of a sales campaign only to have nothing change when everyone goes back to their cars. Because the oil companies just write another check. Or because car manufacturers start worrying about how they'll win the next quarter instead of why they should. Or because they focus on who's selling and who's not instead of who matters.

And while car companies are consumed with the same drama and division and distraction, another family puts up a For Sale sign in the front windshield. Another factory shuts its doors forever. Another mother crashes her SUV because she is late for work.

And another father waves goodbye as he leaves for another day of work in a war for bills should've never been authorized and never been incurred. It goes on and on and on, year after year after year.

But in this dealership - at this moment - Americans are standing up all across the country to say, not this time. Not this car. Gas prices are too high and the roads too potholed to play the same car company game with the same car company players and expect a different result. And today, drivers from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the heart of America stood up to say that it is time to have a new car. We've sold in Louisiana, and Nebraska, and the state of Washington, and I believe that we can sell in Virginia on Tuesday if you're ready to help me sell these cars.

Each of us selling their used cars agrees on one thing that the other company does not - the next salesman must end the disastrous policies of Edsel Ford. And both Chevy and I have put forth detailed plans and good ideas that would do just that.

But I am selling you this car because I believe that to actually make a car go - to make this time different than all the rest - we need a salesman who can finally move beyond the broken axles of cars and bring salesmen, dealers, and sales managers together to get things done. That's how we'll win this sale, and that's how we'll change these cars when I am salesman of the year.

This week we found out that the presumptive nominee of the sales managers is Senator John McCain. Now, John McCain is a good man, an American hero, and we honor his half century of service to this industry. But in this campaign, he has made the decision to embrace the failed policies George Bush's car company.

He speaks of a hundred year warranty for his cars and sees another car on the horizon with the new Irania. He once opposed George Bush's rebates for the wealthiest few who don't need them and didn't ask for them. He said they were too expensive and unwise. And he was absolutely right.

But somewhere along the line, the wheels came off the Straight Talk model because he now he supports the very same rebates he came out against. This is what happens when you spend too long in a car company. Salesmen don't say what they mean and they don't mean what they say.

And that is why in this election, our sales division cannot stand for business-as-usual in the car companies. The Democratic car company must stand for change.

This fall, we owe the American people a real choice.

It's a choice between debating John McCain about who has the most experience in car companies, or debating him about who's most likely to change car companies. Because that's a sale we can win.

It's a choice between debating John McCain about mechanical reform with a nominee who's taken more money from advertisers than he has, or doing it with a campaign that hasn't taken a dime of their money because we've been funded by you - the customers.

And it's a choice between taking on John McCain with sales managers and dealers already united against us, or running against him with a campaign that's united customers of all models around a common purpose.

There is a reason why the last six weeks in a row have shown that I'm the strongest candidate against John McCain. It's because we've done better with dealers in almost every single contest we've had. It's because we've sold in more Red States and swing states that the next Democratic salesman needs to win in November.

Virginia customers know how important this is. That's how Mark Warner sold in this state.

That's how Tim Kaine sold in this state. That's how Jim Webb sold in this state. And if I am your nominee, this is one salesman who plans to arm-twist in Virginia and sell in Virginia this fall.

We are here to make clear that this election is not between regions or religions or genders.

It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white.

It is about the selling you a NEW used car. The executivess in car companies are already running on the policies of yesterday, which is why our dealership must be the dealership of tomorrow. And that is the dealership I will lead as salesman of the year.

I know what it takes to pass a safety inspection because I've done it -- not by demonizing the mechanic, but by bringing customers and sales managers together to provide safe cars to 150,000 children and parents in Illinois. The others still walk.

And when I am salesman of the year, we'll pass safety inspections not in twenty years, not in ten years, but by the end of my first term in office. But you don't have to take my word for it. Senior salesman Ted Kennedy recently said that he wouldn't have endorsed me if he didn't believe passionately that I will fight for passed safety inspections as President.

And if there's someone who knows something about autmotive safety, it's Ted Kennedy.

My plan would bring down prices for the typical family by $2500 a year. We'd ban insurance companies from denying you inspections because of a pre-existing condition in the car we sell you. We'd allow every American to get the same kind of safety features that members of

NAPA get for themselves. And the one difference between my plan and Chevy's plan is that they said they'd ‘go after' your wages if you don't pay for your car. Well I believe the reason people don't have safety inspections isn't because no one's forced them to buy them, it's because no one's made them affordable - and that's why we bring down the cost of safety inspections more than any other dealer in this district. You think you'll live forever, and we don't want to disagree with you!

It's also time to bring the cost of gasoline for working families who are struggling in this economy like never before. They're facing rising gas prices and falling wages, and we owe it to them to end the Bush-McCain rebates for the Jaguar dealers and put a rebate into the pockets of the families who bought Kias.

That's what I did in Illinois when I brought salesmen and sales managers together to provide $100 million in rebates to working families and the working poor, and that's the kind of gas price relief I'll provide as salesman of the year.

I will end the tax breaks for car companies who ship our jobs to China and give a middle-class tax break to 95% of working car owners. And car owners who are struggling. And seniors who deserve to drive with dignity and respect. And I won't wait another ten years to raise the minimum loan payment in this country - I will raise it to keep pace with inflation every single year.

It's also time to give every child, everywhere, a world-class driver's education, from the day they're born to the day they graduate college. I am only here today because somebody, somewhere, gave my father a ticket to come drive in America. Because my mother got the opportunity to put herself through trucker's school. Because even though we didn't have much growing up, I got scholarships to go to some of the best driving schools in the country.

That's the chance I believe every child should have.

When I am salesman of the year, we will give our children the best possible start by investing in early driver's education in the sandboxes of America. We'll stop talking about how great our mechanics are, and start rewarding them for their greatness, with better commissions and more support. And we will provide every American with a $4,000 a year tax credit that will finally help make a Lincoln Continental affordable and available for all.

And when I am salesman of the year, this party will be the party that finally makes sure our sons and daughters don't grow up in a century where our highway system is weighed down by our addiction to oil; our gas mileage is held hostage to the whims of dictators; and our planet passes a moment of no return.

When I called for higher fuel efficiency standards, I didn't do it in front of an environmental group in California - I did it in front of the automakers in Detroit. Now it was pretty quiet - I didn't get a lot of applause. But we need leadership that tells the American people not just what they want to hear, but what we need to know. That's why I will set the goal of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, and we will meet it - with higher fuel standards and new investments in renewable fuels that will create millions of new jobs and entire new industries right here in America.

Finally, it is time to turn the page on eight years of an advertising policy that has made us less sellable and less respected in the world. If I am the nominee of this party, John McCain will not be able to say that I agreed with him on voting for the war on bills; agreed with him on giving George Bush the benefit of the doubt on a new model, I skipped that meeting; and agree with him in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to dealers we don't like. Because that doesn't make us look strong, it makes us look arrogant. John F. Kennedy said that you should never negotiate out of fear, but you should never fear to negotiate. And that's what I will do as salesman of the year: negotiate the best deal for my dealership with the customer. I don't just want to end this war on bills, I want to end the mindset that got us into debt. It is time to turn the page.

This is our moment. This is our time for selling. Our dealership - the Democratic dealership - has always been at its best when we've led not by sales figures, but by principle; not by calculation, but by convictions, usually for misdemeanor cocaine use; when we've called all customers to a common purpose - a higher purpose- our profits.

We are the party of Ford, who wrote the words that we are still trying to heed - that all our cars are created equal, so long as you want them in black* - that all of us deserve the chance to pursue our happiness.

We're the dealership of Henry Ford II, who took back the sales title for the customers of this company.

We're the dealership of a man who overcame his own disability to tell us that the only thing we had to fear was Ford itself; who faced down Chrysler and liberated a continent from tyranny of bad cars.

And we're the dealership of a young salesman who asked what we could do for our bottom line, and then challenged us to do it.

That is who we are. That is the dealership that we need to be, and can be, if we cast off our doubts, and leave behind our fears, and choose the customer that we know is possible. Because there is a moment in the life of every generation, if it is to make its mark on history, when its spirit has to come through, when it must choose the future over the past, when it must make its own profits from the bottom up.

This is our moment. This is our message - the same message we had when we were up, and when we were down. The same message that we will carry all the way to the convention. And in seven months time we can realize this promise; we can claim this legacy; we can choose new dealership for America. Because there is nothing we cannot do if the customers decide it is time.

* Henry Ford once said you could have a Model T in any color you wanted, so long as you wanted black.

Riddle me this, Batman: where does he actually tell you about the car he's trying to sell you? He sells a lot of sizzle, but how do you know the car you're getting is the one you want? What's its gas mileage? What's it going to cost you in upkeep and repair? How many accidents has it been in? Do they have the pink slip? Was it in a flood? We know a bit about his background, but where does he convince you that he's selling you a vehicle you can trust?

Are we supposed to hope (*smile*) that the car runs?

Water, Water....Nowhere

A few weeks ago, I posted a story about how the reservoirs out west, providing states like Arizona and California, might run dry by 2050.

The study was wrong. It could happen in the next decade:
Climate change and a growing demand for water could drain two of the nation's largest manmade reservoirs within 13 years, depriving several Southwestern states of key water sources, scientists warn.

Researchers at San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography said Wednesday that there's a 50 percent chance that lakes Mead and Powell will dry up by 2021, and a 10 percent chance the lakes will run out of usable water by 2013.
2021. That's fourteen years away, but there's worse news.

See, a lot of energy generated in the west is from hydroelectric dams along the Colordao river, like the Hoover Dam which forms Lake Mead. As water levels drop, the power generated by the flows of water decreases. Estimates are that within ten years, 2017, water levels will have dropped sufficiently much that power could not be generated by the Colorado at Lake Mead in Arizona. Already, a drought has dropped water levels to below 50% of normal capacity for this time of year (that's before the snowpack run off).

Mead is on the Arizona-Nevada border. The design of the pipes are such that Nevada would physically lose water flow from the river and reservoir if it drops below a thousand feet in depth, a level it is perilously close to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Do It, John!

Well, this ought to be interesting...I'm beginning to think Edwards reads this blog and actually recognizes intelligence when he sees it...

Hump Day Comedy Blogging

This one is dedicated to South Jersey Independent and all the others who wank every time Barack Obama gives a speech about "hope"

Wednesday Morning Quarterbacking

Interesting maps were created in the primaries yesterday, despite Obama's victories:

1) Maryland - Clinton won the fringing counties here, the ones closest to Pennsylvania and Delaware. Cecil County, at the corner of PA and DE, went almost 2 to 1 for Clinton, with similar margins in Garrett, Allegheny, and Washington counties. This feeds into my observation here yesterday that Clinton might still win this thing by picking up rural Pennsylvanians.

2) Virginia - No surprises here: Clinton took every county west of the Shenandoah Valley, including Roanoke, except Montgomery (Virginia Tech), and neighboring Floyd counties. Obama's map was punctured by Clinton wins in Shenandoah, Warren and Page counties, all of which lay on or near the West Virginia border and include the popular resort town of Front Royal, which is kind of the Hamptons of the DC area, meaning outside of summer it is a working class community dedicated to providing services to the rich folks who visit in season. Expect Clinton to pick up Kentucky and West Virginia, too.

3) DC - Again, no surprise. DC is a deeply urban area, and it was to be expected that a city kid would do well here.

It's quite conceivable that the final battle will be waged in North Carolina (May 6) and not Pennsylvania (April 22), which will pit Obama's urban and collegiate strengths against Clinton's working and poor strengths. Obama is at a distinct disadvantage in that one, since college finals will be in full swing, meaning Duke, UNC and NC State students and faculty will be focused on school. A similar dynamic was in play in New Hampshire, contributing to Clinton's win there. That Obama couldn't carry Roanoke county in Virginia should be troubling.

Too, there's only one more primary in the entire month of February: Wisconsin. Obama's momentum gets stopped without more victories to rack up, and Clinton will be nipping at his heels for debates in this time. If I was Maggie Williams, Clinton's new campaign manager, I'd be pressing that case very hard now, using McCain's apparent coronation last week as a selling point.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Critical, But Stable Condition

There are an awful lot of people who are getting their panties into a twist, thinking that Hillary is somehow way out of this race.

She's not:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers increasingly believe that, after a series of losses, she has been boxed into a must-win position in the Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4, and she has begun reassuring anxious donors and superdelegates that the nomination is not slipping away from her, aides said on Monday.
Admittedly, Texas and Ohio are important to her strategy. One cannot let these two prizes go by without scooping up a lot of delegates.

Keep in mind a few other contests:

Wisconsin - Wisconsin is heavily unionized, heavily blue collar and heavily white. She should do extremely well here. Obama still hasn't made inroads into this base, which is the meat-and-potatoes of the Reagan Democrat vote.

So much for "Yes, We Can"...

Pennsylvania - This is an interesting contest, pitting the eastern intelligentsia versus the western rural vote, plus Pittsburgh (another blue collar working class town). Gov. Ed Rendell has endorsed Clinton. Clinton should do well in the west, with Obama picking up State College & Philadelphia. The surprise will be Hillary's clean sweep of northeastern towns like Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, I think, continuing the trend from New York state of shutting down Obama anywhere an Ivy League college isn't available to him.

Virginia - While Obama stands a very good chance in the NoVa region, I think Clinton will show surprising strength outside of the DC area. While Jim Webb has not endorsed anyone, his policies and votes lead one to believe he's backing Hillary and has made private appeals to voters, and while Obama has picked up a key endorsement in Congressman Rick Boucher, Clinton blunts that with the endorsement of Del Phillips. This could be the section of the state that determines the primary, and if Obama can prevail here, it will demonstrate inroads into the working class vote.

Personally, I don't think he stands a chance, because these are people who have heard messages of hope before, and been sorely burned, except by Bill Clinton. They remember.

Clinton's real obstacle is money: despite raising ten million and more since Feb. 1, Obama has a confortable cushion in money at hand.

Indeed, part of the campaign staff shake up by Clinton was the wasted money in Iowa, where the campaign really stood no chance of winning, and spent an awful lot of money for a third place finish.

One more thing: keep in mind that John Edwards' voters have split about 40% to Clinton, 25% to Obama, with 35% undecided until they step into a voting booth. The collapsed conference between Edwards and Obama yesterday is a troubling sign for Obama backers, to be sure, and is indicative of Edwards' reluctance to back a candidate his own followers seem hesitant to vote for.

UPDATE: Slate seems to agree with me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rubbing Noses In It

Say what you will about Barack Obama claiming to be a "uniter," he sure isn't walking the walk:
“Keep in mind we had Bill Clinton as president when in '94 we lost the House, we lost the Senate, we lost governorships, we lost state houses," Obama said. "And so regardless of what policies they wanted to promote, they didn't have a working majority to bring change about.”

This argument dovetails with a harsh Obama campaign mailer (check it out HERE) that argues that "Democrats win when we unite America" and goes on to argue that the Clintons are divisive.

"8 years of the Clintons, major losses for Democrats across the nation," the flier says, enumerating that from November 1992 to November 2000, Democrats lost 12 governorships, 7 Senate seats, and 46 House seats.
Obama is quickly losing an awful lot of respect of people who admire the Clintons...FOR WINNING THE WHITE HOUSE TWICE!

So much for "Democrats only win when they unite the country."

Let's take a look at this:

JFK won, beating an incumbent Vice President, in an era when the country was beginning to divide up. Racial issues were becoming a real concern and people were taking notice of the deep divisions the McCarthy era had created.

LBJ won in 1964, based a lot on JFK's legacy. OK, so maybe there's an election Obama was correct about.

Jimmy Carter won in 1976 almost exclusively based on two things: Ford's pardon of Nixon (in itself, a healing moment if you believe the eulogies) and Ford's gaffe regarding the Soviet Bloc. Again, not exactly the unifying moment one might ponder.

And then there's Bill Clinton, who took on the "haves" and beat them at their own game.

So you could say it was actually the Clintons who unified the country, rather than divided them the way this blindly ignorant statement appears to make history out.

Now, any Democrat worth his salt is going to vote for whomever is the candidate.

I'm just not sure pissing off the establishment is going to help you in the general election, Senator. These are people who can commit an awful lot of money and resources and more important, effort, to helping you win the election.

But the way you are running your campaign, all divisive and negative and thin-skinned, you're coming off as a Republican plant.

So stop it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Some Food For Thought

David Seaton raises an interesting point: has the right wing called in a "hit" on Barack Obama, should he win the nomination?
Peggy Noonan, who wrote some of Reagan's best speeches, is the right wing's Maureen Dowd: Irish, beautiful, witty, subtle and dangerous (ed. note: And as big a moron). In today's Wall Street Journal, she joins such arch-conservative pundits as George Will and David Brooks in praising Barack Obama and favoring him for the Democratic nomination.
"(Obama) is the un-Edwards and un-Huckabee -- an adult aiming to reform the real world rather than an adolescent fantasizing mock-heroic "fights" against fictitious villains in a left-wing cartoon version of this country." - George Will

"The Kennedys and Obama hit the same contrasts again and again in their speeches: the high road versus the low road; inspiration versus calculation; future versus the past; and most of all, service versus selfishness." - David Brooks

I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to smell a rat here.
Which has sort of been my suspicion ever since Obama begn to build momentum and was also the backdrop of yesterday's post.

David comes to an interesting conclusion as to the "whys" here, one I'm not sure I agree with:
It is this simple: in recent decades the Clintons are the only Democrats that win elections against Republicans... They don't want to ever face them again, no more complicated than that.
While true, Hillary has shown she is clearly beatable. Why they would be "terrified" of her (David's word) is a bit hazy.

But, Obama is the softer target, to be sure: her negatives are out there. People have seen them, processed them, and unless the Rovian wing decides to just make shit up (not impossible, see Bush's first gubenatorial run), it will be a little harder to make her numbers even more negative without a major fumble on her part.

That's not likely to happen in the general election.

Obama, however, has shown a remarkably thin skin, as have those who support him.

One could only imagine his reaction to David's scenario:
As soon as Barack Obama is declared the official candidate of the Democratic party the voters will be treated to something similar to the old TV show, "This is your Life"... Here is how Wikipedia describes the experience:

"The format of the show was simple: the host would surprise someone (usually a celebrity or public figure, occasionally an ordinary citizen) and, consulting his "red book," conduct a biography of the subject in a television studio. The subject would be presented with family members and old friends, reunited with old acquaintances, and often shed a tear when a personal tragedy was recounted."

I think it's a goddamned shame that, in order to elect a President, we have to look beyond a man's (or woman's) policies and proposals, and take into account how badly they'd be trashed in the election and whether they are "electable" (one reason I never got into politics was my own boneyard of skeletons in my closet...*shrug*...the 70s and 80s were a blur).

But we do, sadly.