Friday, December 29, 2006


I'm guessing that it will be normal for me to post less often during the holidays. Hopefully 10 day breaks will not be normal.

Besides the obvious Christmas festivities and work, I have been doing very good with my running until this week. Sometime on Christmas day my right ankle began to hurt. I went running on the 26th and, although running was fine, I noticed that my ankle got worse. My Achilles tendon began to swell some so I have been staying off it for the last few days. I don't know how it happened, but I have to assume that it is related to the running. Hopefully resting it this week will allow me to get back to training sooner than if I pushed harder. I'm going to give it a try with a short run tomorrow.

I'm still trying to find the balance of what I write about here. I was doing lots of candidate endorsements before the break, but I want a better balance. I have found that there are two new candidates who have filed with the FEC since I last wrote. I guess I had better get caught up again because it looks like we are likely to have even more in the coming weeks.

Last night I got a call from my Grandpa and we got to catch up. I had not talked to him for a few months as he has been busy with his new wife trying to keep up with their combined 48 grandchildren. I don't know about her grandchildren, but I realized that of his 24 grandchildren half of them were married so we're all getting spread out a bit.

I can only imagine how busy it would get trying to keep up with 48 grandchildren. Anyway, it was nice to catch up with him, that's why I decided to do a little catching up here.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Michael Smith

With positions such as the desire to institute the draft for the Iraq war, I was not sure if I could consider Michael Smith as a legitimate candidate. Further investigation showed me a man who is as realistic about his candidacy as he is serious about it - neither he nor I fail to recognize that his candidacy is limited to his home state of Oregon.

I commend him as a person for trying to do something, but I can't endorse him as a candidate.

UPDATE 12/29/06: In case anyone sees this without seeing the comments - Michael Smith has dropped his position of supporting a draft. I think that was a wise move.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

George Phillies

I have finally found another candidate whom I can endorse unequivocally. His name is George Phillies. He has a solid understanding of politics and a clear agenda which can appeal to a majority of voters.

George is highly educated (PhD in Physics from MIT) and should have a good understanding of a variety of Americans since he has lived on the east coast (Massachusetts) the west coast (California) and the mid-west (Michigan).

As I said before - I endorse George Phillies for President.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel is a candidate with lots of experience in politics as an ex-senator from Alaska. He even tried to get nominated as a vice-presidential candidate earlier in his career.

I heartily endorse Mike Gravel as a candidate for President, with the hope that he might help to keep the discussion from becoming stale. Realistically, he has no chance of getting on the ballot. There are two reasons for this: first, he's from Alaska which only has 3 electoral votes; second, he is 76 years old. By the time he could get elected he would be 78. To put that in perspective - Ronald Reagan was our oldest president and he was 77 when he finished his second term. Mike Gravel would be 78 before he started his first term and would be 8082 (I got lazy - as noted in the comments) before his term ended. We will never have an octogenarian as President unless half the population of the United States is over 50.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Steve Kubby

Steve Kubby is running for president. That's the only "positive" thing I can say here. Actually, I was wrong, he has the best looking MySpace page I have ever seen - it actually fails to look like psychedelic vision out of a drug-induced dream.

He waves the flag of his home state by giving plenty of time to his position related to medical marajuana. (We are a long way from that being a major issue in national politics.) He advocates an immediate pullout from Iraq and decries illegal immigration.

In short, Kubby is serious about his candidacy, but he is not a serious candidate. If he became the president, the United States would begin to look as quirky and unstable to the outside world as Venezuela has come to look under the presidency of Hugo Chavez. I don't mean to imply that Kubby is like Chavez, only that he is equally far from the mainstream.

While I think that most voters would like to see a change in our political system, they don't want this kind of change. Kubby will get up to 5% of the vote in California and not more than 1% in any other state where he can get on the ballot.

I cannot even think of endorsing such a "candidate".

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Too Busy

Yesterday was one of those days. I wanted to get the Christmas lights up on the house and possibly write another candidate endorsement. Instead my day went something like this:

  • Get up with Isaac for night feedings at 2:00am and 5:30am
  • Run 6 miles at 6:00am
  • Help get breakfast on the table for the kids who have kept Laura up since I left to run
  • Talk about what the girls want to do today
  • Start putting clips on the house to hang the lights
  • Run to the store for extension cords and light socket adapters (skipping lunch)
  • Have a friend over for games
  • Finish getting the lights up
  • Go to a dinner/Christmas party
  • Put the girls to bed
  • Feed Isaac for his late feeding
  • Fall in bed - looking forward to the night feedings

I would love to show a picture of the lights on the house but, thanks to a shortage of lights at the store, I only have half the lights I wanted so it still looks a little weak - even by my meager standards. I guess you'll have to settle for a picture of what my hair looks like after a six mile run once I have run my fingers through it and it has had time to dry.

Hair after 6 mile run plus drying time.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Annual Family News

It's that time of year. Many people have probably already had at least one newsletter arrive in their mailbox from friends or family. Laura and I have talked about doing a newsletter many times over the years and every year we are moving/graduating/having a baby (pick one) and so it doesn't happen. This year we are again planning to start that tradition. For one thing, it would be a new kind of writing challenge for me in addition to all the other writing that I do (this blog is not half my writing every day).

Enter my brother's wife. Their son just had his first birthday - the day before Isaac passed the one month mark - and she used that as an excuse to give a family update in her blog - twice. She posted a nice little visual update and then she posted a written year in review.

While many of the newsletters I have seen over the years include pictures, I liked one thing she did differently. Her pictures spanned the year rather than just being recent photos. Unlike other newsletters, her written review was a snapshot of their family at the end of the year, not a summary of the year.

John Cox

I was not sure what to expect from John Cox when I started me research. I had never heard of him, and without any of the titles in front of his name that are so common among the well known candidates (Governor, Senator, Representative) I half expected to find that he was one of those people who has a message but will be happy if they can just get that message on the evening news sometime because of their campaign.

What I found was a very serious, dedicated candidate who really believes in his message. He has years of experience in various political areas, just none that are in the spotlight so much as where better known candidates have usually been.

Instead of finding a man who had ideas and dreams, I found a man who had experience in making things happen in his own life and in the lives of people around him. I believe that he is a candidate who will not be overwhelmed by the office if he should win the presidency.

Having been pleasantly surprised in my findings, I still had to decide if I would endorse John Cox for president. My conclusion is that - although I do believe that he could fill the office of the president - I do not believe that he is the type of man that this country needs at this time.

His tone is slightly too divisive and idealistic. We need someone who can be grounded in their morals and pragmatic in their direction. Some of John's ideas are not pragmatic. Others are good, but not focused on the issues that are the most important to us today.

Monday, December 04, 2006

More to Come

I just discovered a good listing of candidates and potential candidates for 2008. The real surprise came as I saw that there are two Republicans, two Democrats, and two Libertarians who have all filed with the Federal Election Commission as candidates. That is the standard I use for choosing when a candidate should be researched for endorsement purposes. The list also states who has formed exploratory committees and others who have shown that they are seriously considering candidacy.

Of the six official filings, I have covered one candidate so far. While I will not list the party of any candidate that I endorse, I feel that it is only fair to cover these first six candidates without grouping them in parties. I will jump from party to party for the remaining five candidates. Thereafter, I will endorse (or not) candidates in the order that I discover that they have filed for candidacy with the FEC.

I have also concluded that I may choose, in some third-party cases to research candidates for endorsement before they file with the FEC. In any such case I will clearly state that they have not filed for candidacy.

Tom Vilsack

Tom Vilsack is finishing his second term as the governor of Iowa. He did not run for re-election. My research indicates that Vilsack had a vision for his state and in his eight years in office he succeeded in implementing that vision to a great degree. This suggests the ability to focus on a goal and work with others to make it happen. This shows leadership.

In my searching, Vilsack came across as a candidate with ideas and experience who is ready to do more than talk about what should be done. Rather than forming an exploratory committee, he made his decision to run and filed his papers for candidacy. This suggests that he will take action once he makes a decision.

The language of his dialog is positive and issue oriented. I hope to see this kind of campaigning continue when there is a specific opponent to campaign against. In other words, I hope to see more of campaigning for issues and ideas and less of campaigning against other candidates.

I endorse Tom Vilsack for President.


I had not intended to suspend posting until I had done some research on the governor of Iowa, but that is how life played out so here, after four days, is some insight into the endorsement process. I freely admit that, even as an independent voter, I am not free from bias. The first time I hear about a candidate choosing to run for president I will probably have an idea, based on their position and what I have heard previously, of whether I expect they will receive an endorsement from me. For example, with Governor Vilsack I had heard very little about him which suggested a lack of showmanship. The fact that he was a two term governor of a state which was not known to be particularly liberal or conservative suggested an experienced public servant who was not a polarizing force. I would initially guess that I would endorse such a candidate.

On the other hand, I will openly admit that most third party candidates are likely to have a harder time getting an endorsement from me based partially on the wacky ideas I have heard from a variety of third party candidates over the years. My experience suggests that the majority of third party candidates have an agenda or a specific issue and lack the propensity to work with others. On top of that, most of them don't honestly expect to have a shot at winning and it shows in the way they campaign to their niche supporters.

At these early stages of campaigning, my endorsements have the possibility of changing as a result of new information. That being said, I am not at all opposed to getting through the primaries with candidates in each party that I endorse. In fact, I hope that the candidates who win the primaries from each party are candidates whom I can endorse.

One final caveat, when I endorse someone it should not be construed as an endorsement of a party. I never vote for a presidential party, I vote for a president. If I endorse Governor Vilsack it says nothing about the Democratic Party. If I endorse Governor Bush it is an endorsement for Bush, not for the Republican Party. (Honestly I do not expect Jeb Bush to run. I used him as an example because I do not want to suggest an endorsement for a candidate who has not yet chosen to run. In the case of Governor Vilsack, I will be posting the results of my research presently.)