The LitiGator
Michigan lawyers specializing in civil litigation




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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

And while we bask in the glow of positive comments on our adversaries, check out the column by Ralph Peters in the New York Post, describing Bill Clinton's speech to a conference in Qatar.  Peters was surprised at how forceful and how positive Clinton was.

As soon as he took the podium, Clinton began taking stands as brave as they were necessary. With virtuoso skill, he led the audience where they needed to go - while convincing them it was where they had wanted to end up all along. His sense not only of what required saying, but of how best to express it to that complex, contrary audience was almost supernatural. . . He didn't pander. He made America's case and made it well. Beginning with a sometimes-rueful look at the progress his administration had failed to make and noting that the wars that plague the world are begun by men his own age or older, but paid for in blood by the young, he refused to direct one syllable of blame at the Bush administration. Accepted as a citizen of the world, he spoke as a convinced American.

Asked by an eager-to-Bush-bash delegate if he, Bill Clinton, would have behaved differently after 9/11, our former president said he would have followed an identical course, pursuing our enemies into Afghanistan and beyond. Queried about his position on Iraq, he stated that any disagreements he might have would be most appropriately expressed at home in the U.S., not before a foreign audience.

The contrast between the former President, speaking confidently and positively to a group that would not be expected to be friendly, and the bunch of nattering nabobs of. . .  well, you know, who want to have the chance to run for President could not be more striking. 

8:32:45 PM    

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank based in Midland, has issued a report card, grading Gov. Granholm after her first year in office.  The verdict, perhaps a bit surprising: a B-.

The report compliments Granholm for avoiding the prevailing liberal tendency to resort immediately to tax increases to counter declining revenues, the approach used by Gov. Bob Taft of Ohio.  She has cut spending at many levels of state government, including the Executive Branch, and the report notes that this is a sharp contrast to the President's push for "massive hikes in domestic, nondefense spending at more than double the rate the Clinton administration delivered".  She has even sought modest reductions in K-12 education, a "sacred cow" of politics in any state.

One key observation:

While we applaud many aspects of Gov. Granholm’s handling of the state budget deficit this year, we know that a new and important test on that front may be coming soon. What will the governor do when the nascent economic turnaround begins to yield higher revenues for Lansing? Will all the talk about reinventing government give way to pleasing traditional constituencies, throwing money at one perceived problem or another, expanding state programs that the citizenry would do better without? Will she set state government once again on the course of more spending, thereby making it all the more difficult for Michigan to weather the next downturn, whenever it comes? This remains to be seen.

The report identifies several areas in which Granholm has faltered, including the debacle over charter schools in Detroit, but overall a grade of B- is a pretty favorable rating for a Governor from "the other side of the aisle".

6:35:25 PM    

William Saletan offers two pieces in Slate, one new and one old, describing how chaotic and erratic the Iowa caucus procedure is.  It makes Florida 2000 look, well, democratic by comparison. 

8:20:06 AM    

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