Guus Bosman

software engineering director

You are here

Politics & News


Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday.Ah, another great night for political junkies -- the Super Tuesday results.

I had a meeting until 8.30 pm today but I received the first projections on my cell phone. During the evening we watched the results coming in. I had to look up the locations of some of the states (Idaho, Missouri) and it was interesting to see the differences between various parts of the countries.

Lots of states were still being counted as of midnight, but it looks like Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama are going head to head, with a slight edge for Clinton. Pretty amazing, compared to the polls only two months ago when Clinton was ahead it every state on the ballot this week. The contest on the Democratic side will go on for many more weeks, something that I believe is in Obama's favor.

The results on the Republic side were quite interesting. My prediction that Mr. Romney would win the nomination looks pretty shaky right now as became clear in the last week. Mr. Huckabee is doing surprisingly well -- better than Romney even. The only thing that caused the crowd to loudly cheer in Mitt Romney's headquarters was when he said: "...and we're going to end illegal immigration". Neither McCains nor Clinton's speeches were very inspiring but all candidates must be extremely tired by now. At the same time: Mr. Obama's speech was again very well delivered -- what a gifted speaker.


Heated debate on Martin Luther King Day

Tonight's Democratic candidates debate was very heated. Possibly too heated for Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama's good, but I thought it was very enjoyable and a good exchange of ideas. I don't think the debate changed the minds of a lot of voters, but Mr. Obama did take his chance to address some of the attacks by the Clinton campaign from last week.

It was interesting that the candidates thought that Mr. McCain is likely to be the Republican nominee. I still believe Mr. Romney will be their choice.

Today is Martin Luther King Day and I watched 15 minutes of his famous speech. As a blog put it: "it never gets old".

The program for this week: Thursday the Republican Debate on MSNBC, Saturday the Democratic primaries in South Carolina, and Sunday again a Democratic Debate, this time in Florida.


Republican primaries

Mitt Romney.Like I said earlier, watching the primaries unfold is great. Tonight from 8.00 pm we were at the TV and watching the first results coming in from 8.30 pm. Too bad CNN had Lou "War on the Middle Class" Dobbs presenting the first part; I was glad that Larry King took over at 9.00 pm.

Let me try a little predicting for the Republican race: I think Huckabee will win in South Carolina. His organization is strong there, the polls look good and coming from Arkansas he should do well in the South. For Florida, the next primary after South Carolina on Saturday, I find it hard to make a reasonable guess. Guilliani keeps saying that Florida is 'his state' because of the people who moved there from New York but that seems to me a weak idea for an election strategy. Guilliani has done embarrassingly bad in the first few primaries even in states where he could have been expected to do well. Mitt Romney is somewhat stiff in his manners, and his opponents call him a 'flip flopper' but of all the candidates he has the best chance of winning, if not in Florida then at least on February 5th, Super Tuesday.


Watching the primaries

Hillary Clinton yesterday night. (c) AP Photo.The primaries have started and the campaigns for the presidential nominations are in full swing.

Over the last couple of days we've been watching quite a lot of television: campaign speeches, debates and news shows. C-SPAN, cable's political channel, provides 24/7 coverage of all things political which is great.

Yesterday we saw the results of the New Hampshire primary coming in. The CNN reporting was a lot more interesting than the coverage of the New Hampshire local channel, at least as long as Lou Dobbs wasn't talking.

I'm looking forward to a year of many election events and it's fascinating to follow all this... only 6 more days until Michigan.


Horrible news Virginia Tech

Horrible news from Virginia Tech today -- someone killed more than 20 people at the Campus today.

I was there for a career fair in November 2005 and it's deeply sad to read this news.


Duke lacrosse charges dropped

Duke lacrosse.Today the State Attorney General of North Carolina finally announced that the sexual offense and kidnapping charges against three former Duke lacrosse players are being dropped.

It's a long, sad case based on what turned out to be about false accusations, with an overly active District Attorney who wanted to get reelected.

It is tremendously important to be careful and diligent when researching rape allegations such as these. However, when it became clear that the accusations were clearly false District Attorney Mike Nifong should have dropped the case.

Today's conclusion by the State Attorney General: "We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations," Cooper said. "In the rush to condemn, a community and the state lost the ability to see clearly. Regardless of the reasons this case was pushed forward, the result was wrong. Today we need to learn from this and keep it from happening again to anybody."

It's strange to see this from so close. The Kroger supermarket on Hillsborough Road where we do our shopping played a small role in the case.


Presidential Candidates: Barack Obama

Barack ObamaThe presidential elections are less than two years away so candidates for both parties are starting to express interest in running.

One of the candidates that has announced last week to set up an exploratory committee is Barack Obama.

He is an interesting candidate because he is African American and relatively young and he has received a lot of positive buzz in the last year or so. I'd read some articles about him but never really heard him speak.

I found a nice TV fragment about him on YouTube: watch Barack Obama on the Daily Show.


Dutch politics -- Mrs. Verdonk does it again

Mrs. Verdonk in debate with parliament today.Amazingly, Mrs. Verdonk (Immigration Minister of the Netherlands) managed to provoke yet another crisis in Dutch politics. Her questionable behavior in the case Ayaan Hirshi Ali brought down the ruling Cabinet a few months ago, and forced new elections in November. Today she ignored a vote of no confidence by parliament, a first in the constitutional history of the Netherlands.

Her party did -deservedly- rather bad at the recent elections and she is now a 'lame duck' minister, taking care of business while a new government is being formed. This can take a few months, as in the Netherlands governments are created by forming a coalition of two or three political parties.

The newly elected parliament asked Mrs. Verdonk's to postpone the extradition of a group of 26,000 asylum seekers to allow the new cabinet to decide on them. She refused, even after two formal requests by parliament and as a result the parliament issued a vote of no-confidence. In normal situations that would be sufficient to force a minister to resign.

However, her political party the VVD announced that it would retract support for the entire government if she was forced to leave. This would have left a strange void, as the cabinet strictly speaking already had resigned. As NRC, a Dutch newspaper put it: "it's frightening that the situation is more tough than the politicians are who dealing with it".

Mr. Balkenende, who has been leading a series of disastrous cabinets, was apparently in favor of Mrs. Verdonk resigning but at the end she stayed on as member of the Cabinet. She did have to give up her position as Immigration Minister, and the deportations will be temporarily halted.

The unrest in the VVD party, the Dutch free-market conservatives, must be considerable. It's interesting that the support Mrs. Verdonk received today from the party's number 1 came after she tried to unsettle him from his position a few weeks ago when she had received more votes than he did in the general elections.

All in all, this affair leaves a bitter taste for many people, not in the least of course by the asylum seekers, some of which have been in legal procedures for over 10 years. It will not make it any easier to form a new government either.


Saving the world, one picture at a time

Jaap de Hoop SchefferA regular reader sent me a great photo series in the Volkskrant. The text is in Dutch but the pictures speak for themselves.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the Dutch Secretary General, saves the NATO group picture when he realizes that 1 person is missing from the group...


Election results 2006

Elections 2006.
The first elections results of the elections for the Dutch parliament have been coming in from 3 pm EST today.

  1. A sad day for the PvdA: they were unable to leverage the failure of the VVD/CDA government to gain more seats and lost some 9 seats. Should Wouter Bos resign?
  2. The biggest surprise is the very strong result for the Socialist Party. I disagree with their ideology but they are a true grass-roots party and have worked hard for their success.
  3. The SP now probably has more seats that Lijst Pim Fortuyn ever had.
  4. Balkenende will get a 4th chance to come up with a stable government. He will likely continue to represent the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  5. There is now a party in Dutch parliament that has animal rights as its main priority.
  6. It is now a good time for Mr. Marijnissen to start thinking about his successor, to prevent the SP from becoming a one-man party and prove that they are a strong organization
  7. Mark Rutte has failed as the first man for the VVD. His party lost significantly, and only 36% of the VVD voters voted for Mr. Rutte. He should resign his partijleider position or will otherwise be moved aside by his party anyway.
  8. It's sad that Mr. Wilders did quite well with a projected 6 to 9 seats. Unfortunately it shows that there is a consistent base of anti-immigrant voters.
  9. The LPF likely no longer has any seats in parliament, nor does Mr. Nawijn get a seat.
  10. "EenNL", a LPF follow-up party, did get a seat. Comment of its first man: "I would feel horrible sitting in parliament alone".
  11. D'66 virtually disappeared (finally) from national politics after withdrawing support for Balkenende III.
  12. The election results of Dutch citizens abroad will be published on Friday.


Recent comments

Recently read

Books I've recently read: