Get Gears To Speed Up Browsing the Blogs

WordPress 2.6 came out yeasterday with a number of enhancements, including support for Gears. This is a free download from Google which can add a number of improvments. For now WordPress uses Gears to cache commonly-used Javascript and CSS files on your computer, speeding up the loading of many pages.

Gears works on Windows XP and Vista computers with both Explorer and Firefox (another free download you should consider) with support for Safari and Opera pending. I don’t know if any blog software other than WordPress supports Gears yet, but quite a few blogs currently use WordPress and therefore this should speed up your browsing as bloggers using WordPress update to the latest version.

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Clintonistas for McCain

Washington Wire reports that Carly Fiorina is meeting with Clinton supporters in an attempt to win support for John McCain. The question is what issues they have in common. From my perspective, Clinton’s conservative views on civil liberties and social issues (other than abortion) in many ways do place her closer to McCain than Obama in ideology. She even has closer ties to the religious right than McCain, other than for McCain’s willingness to pander to them on abortion.

While there are considerable differences between Clinton and Obama on issues, these differences are rarely what motivated most people to back Clinton. I don’t think many people backed Clinton specifically because they agree with her opposition to banning cluster bombs or agree with her support for banning flag burning. I just have not seen many Clintonistas push for Clinton because of her crusades against video games and cartoon sex.

Amy Siskind organized the meeting and gives some clues as to what issues they were interested in:

Siskind said Fiorina agreed to provide details regarding McCain’s stances on mandating health insurance coverage for birth control pills, federal mandates for paid maternity leave and a reinvigoration of federal legislation aimed at giving women equal pay for comparable work.

Woman’s isssues apparently dominated the talks. If this is what the Clinton supporters are interested in, the qualifications I added to the first paragraph sure do matter. While her views and tactics often are at odds with liberalism, Clinton and her supporters are clearly supporters of abortion rights, and therefore fall much closer in some areas to Obama than McCain. How many Clinton supporters really are willing to return to the days of shirt hanger abortions, even if McCain compromises with them on coverage for birth control pills and paid maternity leave?

Nuclear Disarmament

Conservative blogs such as Little Green Footballs are attacking Obama saying, “Barack Obama has a plan to get rid of all the nuclear weapons in the world,” referring to this article.

Nuclear disarmament sure sounds radical. One such radical who previously occupied the White House and sounded like this was Ronald Reagan, as even John McCain realizes. We are seeing sime similarities between Obama and Ronald Reagan on foreign policy–yet again. Sure, it might never be accomplished, but it is a worthwhile goal. On this issue I’ll take the side against the conservative bloggers, along with Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and John McCain. George Bush is also on the other side, but it might have something to do with his difficulties in saying the word.

(I primarily like showing such comparisions between Obama and Reagan in the hopes it causes the heads of a few conservatives to explode. If it also causes the heads of some Clintonistas to explode, that’s fine too.)

Dreams of a Clinton Revival

There’s something about politics which make some people unwilling to agree that they have lost and move on. Hillary Clinton annoyed many by staying in the race long beyond when she had lost any real chance of winning, but at least there was some sense to that. Clinton had obvious personal reasons for remaining in and hoping a miracle would happen. Alegere’s Corner is a pro-Clinton blog which runs with a subtitle saying, “We’re not finished folks – not by a long shot!.” At first glance one might think that this means they are planning to work for Clinton in a future election, or that they will continue to pursue Clintonism. (As if we need people continuing to push for increased Nanny Statism, compromise on principle whenever politically expedient, and a willingness to ignore the basic principles of democracy to promote a political candidate.)

It turns out that they mean they are not finished this year. They really think Hillary still has a chance. They are running a story reporting: Breaking: Eight Supers Switching to Hillary.They actually think there is a chance that Hillary Clinton is going to be the surprise winner at a roll call vote at the convention, as if eight votes means anything, even if this rumor is true. They make a big deal out of a story in The Politicothat exaggerates complaints that the Obama campaign has rubbed some Democratic Party insiders the wrong way. This was inevitable as party insiders never like to share their power with the new guy, but there are far more people who would be upset by a second coming of the Clintons.

Reaction is mixed in the blogsophere. Clinton backer Pamela Leavey at The Democratic Daily is skeptical and writes that “I’m not big on the rumor thing and I really believe it’s important to support the nominee.” Initial reaction from the hard-core Clintonistas who have been frequenting her blog does not appear to be in agreement with this support for Obama. Not surprisingly, No Quarter goes along with the idea of a convention victory for Clinton, envisioning an uprising in Denver if there is not a roll call vote.

If people think the scattered complaints about Obama are meaningful, this is nothing compared to what would happen if Clinton somehow got the nomination. As I’ve discussed many times in the past, Clinton provides virtually none of the reasons which have motivated me to support the Democrats in recent years while she represents the same qualitiesI have opposed in George Bush. Hillary Clinton doesn’t give me much reason to vote for her over and John McCain despite all the nonsense coming from many Clinton supporters that there is little difference between Clinton and Obama on the issues. Besides, someone who ran for president in a manner as dishonest and disrespectful of the basic principles of democracy as Hillary Clinton is likely to govern in the same manner. The Clinton family, like their counterparts in the Bush party, should never be allowed to return to power.

Clintons in the White House with a compliant majority in Congress is a scary thought. Americans realized this in 1994 and acted on the problem (unfortunately also creating a number of new problems). My bet is that they will realize this again and the nomination of Hillary Clinton will guarantee a victory for John McCain. While I doubt I could ever vote for McCain, in many ways a mixed government with a Democratic Congress to hopefully place checks on McCain is less scary than a one-party government under Hillary Clinton.