I am a lawyer and a Phd candidate in Political Theory at the University of Florida. First off, I will use this place to host info about classes I am teaching (syllabi, assignments, etc). This is so that most people will be able to have up-to-date info. I might also keep academic works-in-progress here, as well as a current CV.
That being said, I write--academically and informally--about culture and politics. Stick around if you like left-ward slanted politics, discussions about academia, indie-rock, genre and subculture films, pomo literature, comic books, continental political philosophy, and/or TV shows like Lost, Buffy (RIP), The Office, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire (RIP), or Twin Peaks (RIP). I might also write about my family, my house, restaurants and shops I have enjoyed, the little hamlet of Gainesville, and/or how someone SERIOUSLY annoyed me today. But mostly politics, art, and culture. Enjoy and give me feedback.
Let me first say that I don't support telecommunication immunity, and I think FISA is a mistake. But the left-wing bloggers who are all up in arms about Sen. Obama's middle-ground stance on a bill that both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid voted for is just silly. Is it dogma like this that makes liberals lose over and over.
Obama has shown that he can take tough positions and convince the public (gas-tax holiday), or--with the case of North Korea--even the administration. That being said, I take Obama at his word:
"This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that
passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the
legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that
we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. It grants
retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have
violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration's program
of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent
effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people
to demand accountability for past abuses. That's why I support striking
Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman
and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.
I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect
America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision
makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no
law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world,
government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need
to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority
cannot be unlimited. As I've said many times, an independent monitor
must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil
liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the
FISA court has that responsibility"
100% fidelity is a curse. Cut Obama some slack. Go read McCain's policy positions, and then get back to me.
Plus, here is an upcoming picture of Obama at the Democratic National Convention:
Oh wait, that is the Beatles at Shea Stadium. Obama is actually speaking for more people. He is going to do his acceptance speach where the DENVER BRONCOS play. It seats 75,000 people. I hope he gets Kanye West or Coldplay to come play the event too.
What to make of Hillary Clinton? I am not, by any means, a Hillary-hater. That being said, it is pretty damn clear that Obama has the nomination. Sure, Clinton can do some Huckabee-like damage in West Virginia and Kentucky, but I do not see her catching up in pledged delegates, popular vote, or super-delegates.
Clinton has a great mastery of the issues and she is a fighter from hell. To a certain extent, she--and her husband--are the defining politicians of their time. I obviously believe that the Clintons have large egos, but I also think they really believe that Obama will be destroyed by the GOP--either in November or while he is in his first term. For the Clintons, politics is a zero-sum knife-fight. They may be right. Obama could be as weak and naive as McGovern or Carter. On the other hand, Obama could be a transformative political figure on the level of FDR, JFK, or Reagan.