The Presidential Race is More Interesting than You Have Been Told
The Zogby organization has long been regarded as a credible polling agency by the mainstream media (MSM). In fact, John Zogby’s polls are cited very often by the major news networks when discussing the possible outcomes of various political races. Thus, it is surprising that no mention of “The Zogby Electoral College Map,” as it pertains to the presidential race, has been made by the MSM. This is a shame, since the data collected by Zogby points to an exciting and interesting race for president.
For instance, according to Zogby’s data, many state polls are close between McCain and Obama. He identifies twelve states that are too close to call at this point. In six of those twelve states, John McCain trails Barack Obama by a much smaller margin in each than Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, polls in each state. These six states include the much talked about Ohio and represent sixty-six electoral votes or twenty-four percent of the total needed to be elected president. A political drama could be developing here that the MSM should be happy to cover. You talk about reality TV. Barr, with virtually no money and media exposure compared to Obama and McCain, is polling at eleven percent in New Hampshire, ten percent in Nevada, eight percent in Colorado, , and even eight percent in Ohio. The really big story is that Barr, probably because he is considered a conservative more than a libertarian by rank and file voters, is taking votes away from the moderate Republican McCain, which could cost the “Straight Talker” the election. It would be a pity for the MSM to miss this story or perhaps they haven’t and are just choosing to ignore it.
R.I.P. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa
Last week, Zambia and all of Africa lost a great statesman when Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, the president of Zambia passed away in a French hospital. Mwanawasa served his country as head of state for seven years. In that time, his policies were instrumental in bringing inflation down into the single digits, which is no small accomplishment for a developing economy in Africa. Because his administration provided a relatively stable political and economic environment, Zambia was able to attract foreign investment, thereby providing more jobs for its people. However, in his view, he fell short of lowering unemployment in Zambia, and because of this he will be remembered as the president that actually apologized to his country for his shortcoming.
But his greatest legacy to Zambia and the rest of Africa will be his role as an anti-corruption crusader. He served as vice president for his predecessor Frederick Chiluba. Before the world even knew that Chiluba was a crook, Mwanawasa resigned as vice president, citing widespread corruption in the administration as the reason. Chiluba actually endorsed Mwanawasa when he ran for president in 2000, hoping the future president and former ally would quash the corruption investigation and impending indictment against him. This was to no avail, as the investigation proceeded under Mwanawasa, and an indictment was eventually handed down against Chiluba. More recently, Mwanawasa has been the most outspoken foreign critic of the brutal regime of Zambia’s neighbor, Robert Mugabe.
Levy Patrick Mwanawasa will be remembered as the African leader who truly had the best interests of his people in his heart. His strong character and sensible policies have been responsible for the enormous progress Zambia has made in building a resilient democracy and a more prosperous economy during the last seven years.
The Miracles of Central Banking
Imagine money that has an expiration date, eleven zeros and is still virtually worthless. Well, don’t imagine too hard because in reality this currency exists – the Zimbabwean 100 billion dollar bill. With inflation in Zimbabwe officially at 2.2 million percent, the central bank in Harare already has had to issue new high denomination notes eight times this year to battle the enormous cash shortage. It all began in January, with the issuance of a 10 million dollar note. In April, a 50 million dollar note was issued, followed in rapid succession by a 100 million, 250 million, 5 billion, 25 billion and 50 billion dollar note in May. Then in July, the 100 billion dollar note was issued. Needless to say, continuing to print high denomination notes is only worsening the inflation situation, and is increasing the likelihood of even larger notes in the near future. But then again, what is a central bank to do after it has begun the process of debasing its fiat money system in order to satisfy the political whims of a dictator?