Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Speeches from President Obama and Senator McCain on election night

For those that missed it, here are the speeches made by Senator McCain and President Obama after the election results were announced.

Senator McCain Concedes


President Obama victory speech pt 1


President Obama victory speech pt 2


Both were very good speeches. I though Senator McCain was exceptionally gracious and supportive of President Obama.

President Obama set the bar high. Let's hope that he can match or exceed it.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Presidential election update at 9:30

So far the votes are on-going, but at least Fox News currently calls the election 200 - 90. With the loss of Ohio to Obama, McCain virtually needs the entire mid-west and west coast to win the election.

While the electoral vote leans strongly to Obama, the popular vote is a near total tie. Currently it's 15.9 million to 15.8 million. So while the electoral vote is in favor of Democrats the people are evenly divided.

If Obama continues to hold out the lead he has currently, which seems likely, that means that we will have a Democratic President, who is the most extreme liberal in the Senate. He is also the 4th most partisan Senator. But once elected the facts will no longer matter.

I am not too happy right now, and I'm making plans for where I need to move my money as I expect a 500 point drop in the stock market by January and another 500 right after the inauguration.

But it's not over, and McCain still is in the running. Florida, California, Texas, and many other States have yet to be called - or even close voting.

More soon

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First set of exit poll results in the Presidential election

The early results are starting to come in. At 5:30 the first exit poll results I have heard of (from Fox News) have been announced for Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia. These results are based on 10% of the vote. As with all exit polls there is a tendency to exaggerate Democratic results, and at this early a stage nothing is concrete.

So if you haven’t voted yet, there is still time. Don’t let early poll results sway your choice. Any result at this point will change, guaranteed.

But that said here are the results.

47% expect that race relations will improve if Obama is elected President

70% are fear/expect another terror attack

62% are worried about healthcare

68% favor domestic (offshore) drilling

70% expect higher taxes if Obama is elected

In addition the voting is turning out with 10% new voters and likely will hit 130+ million voters this year – short of my hoped 150 million but a record. So far 36% of all voters have been White men.

With 10% of the vote as represented by exit polls, not actual votes,

Indiana – 73% for Obama
Ohio – 69% for Obama
Virginia – 63% for Obama

Of the White male vote, which is an Obama weak point

Indiana – 44% for Obama
Ohio – 47% for Obama
Virginia – 39% for Obama

Late deciders may be very critical in the eventual tallies. So far it seems that late deciders made up their minds within the last 3 days and account for 7% of the vote.

Indiana – 52%
Ohio – 54%
Virginia – 44%

Based on all this little can be said for sure. If this trend continues Virginia will go to McCain. Ohio might slip to Obama. Indiana is a toss up. But it seems that late deciders are very mixed on who they chose.

No data on Black voters, women, age groups, or any other category has been released yet.

More throughout the night.

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Presidential candidate quotes to start your voting jucies

As we all head out to vote today, and I do urge all my readers that are American citizens to vote, I stopped to notice a couple of the better quotes of this Presidential election. Now I won’t go all the way back to the Primaries, just looking at the McCain and Obama campaigns since they each got the nomination.

Each of these quote reflects an aspect of the candidates. And I think these sum up my thoughts about the campaign well. I invite you all to send in your favorite quote as well. I’ll add them up and let you know what is the winning vote (not counting my selection) and if that matches the winning candidate.

Should be interesting.

From best to bottom for me are:

    Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago. – Senator John McCain during debate with Obama

    I don't know what's next. By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. – Senator Obama on the question of his socialist ideals

    I'm looking forward to meeting [Joe Biden]. I've never met him. I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, the second grade. – Gov. Sarah Palin

    Senator Obama has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate. It's hard to reach across the aisle from that far to the left. – Senator McCain stump comment

    I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities. – Gov. Sarah Palin at RNC

    What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you. – Senator Obama at DNC

    I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody. – Senator Obama to Joe the plumber

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Presidential election levity

You know what? I’ve been following the Presidential election everyday for 2 years now. It’s been serious and informative. It’s been important and annoying. And I am tired.

So for a brief moment of complete levity I present the following videos. Because sometimes we all need to relax from the stress this election can bring.



and now the candidates please



Ok, now go vote!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

What the Presidential election numbers might be

Well great minds think alike, and so several writer’s are discussing the chances of Senator Obama maintaining his lead and winning the Presidency. I too have been waiting to discuss this issue, trying to time it to be just in the attention span of most voters. But because this is important I will jump on the bandwagon.

Unlike many other writers I don’t care about polling results too much. And I won’t discuss an Obama or Bradley effect. Others have crunched the number more than enough on that. Instead I will focus on basic math that I think everyone can figure out.

There are racists in America. A shocking statement to some I am sure. Not everyone, not just in one region. And not just a stereotypical type of Whites or Americans. In all honesty there are racists of every color and creed in America, each for their own small-minded illogical reasons. And all to different degrees.

Taking that fact into account let’s do some numbers. Let’s say that there are only 1 racist close-minded individual per ten thousand in America. Let’s also say that only 200 million can vote in America. That makes 20 million that will vote based solely on skin color. Of that number roughly 30 percent are Black, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian. Assuming all 30% vote for Obama that is 6 million for and 14 million against. Those are just general numbers. Time to get more exact.

If we take into account that 43% of the nation was registered Democrat in 2004 (72 million and 55 million Republicans with 61% of voters voting) and that Rasmussen recently reported that the ratio in the nation was 38% Democrat and 34% Republican I gather that some 40% are Democrat with roughly 36% Republican.

Also taking into account the number of people in the nation was around 250 million, almost 75% of the nation made a vote. So the population today is over 300 million and thus some 225 million should be able to vote.

That means the vote should go 90 million Democrat, 81 million Republican with a total of 171 million votes which would be a record. That would be a 5% win for Obama, which is close to most polls right now.

But we need to add race. Adjusting the numbers we get 154 million votes splitting 81 million Democrat and 73 million Republican. That’s 8 million or 5% for Obama without race being a factor (which I pray is an underestimate of racial indifference but could be an overestimate).

Adding race we get 5 million for Obama and 12 million for McCain. The numbers change to 86 million Democrat, 85 million Republican when race is factored in again.

Now comes the real interesting part. The Hillary Democrats, and Democrats that just don’t like Obama’s political platform (which has nothing to do with race or gender issues). I will group them all together though they have different reasons, and I will take out 10% because they are part of the above figures. If 1 in 10 Democrats don’t like Obama’s plans and/or inexperience (which is what I have found in my conversations over the election cycle), and 10% of the Hillary Democrats are combined we get 16 million or 20%, minus the 10% I noted above, and you get another 10% of Democrats against Obama. The numbers are now 78 million to 93 million.

And for the sake of the unknown and to just correct for my adjustments I will add 4 percent to Democrats (since they have that lead in numbers) and 10% from Republicans (because that is an accurate measure of people that do not follow predictable patterns). Final numbers come to 81 million vs 84 million – in favor of McCain. There is 6 million left over or 3.5% that are really in question (including my rounding off of numbers).

That is the real race. That will decide the election. That’s how important the vote of every single American is. By my numbers the race is 47% for Obama, and 49% for McCain.

My experience says that the youth vote will not be as strong as hoped for currently, which will hurt Obama. In addition women will be in higher numbers, though I expect only a slight bias to McCain as a factor of that. Those 2 factors could make a 5 – 10% difference in the numbers above – against Senator Obama.

So my expectation is that we will likely see the following results:

  • 154 million votes or 70% of Americans that can vote will, which will be a record.
  • 78.5 million votes will win the election, or 51 percent.
  • McCain will win 51% to 49%
  • Democrats will claim that voters in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio were restricted from voting.
  • A Democratic Congress will be re-elected
  • The economy will continue to be bad, though the stock market will recover 1500 pts after the election.
  • There will not be an international incident over the next 6 months.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Before you vote, questions you should have answered



The following is a transcript of the video. Just in case you missed something or wanted to quote and/or respond directly.

Over the next few days there will be a slew of television ads discussing the views of each candidate and why you should vote for them. Some will make sense to the one part of the public or another. But they are just polispeak and no decision should be made based solely on a 30-second ad.

Before you decide who to vote for in this critical election I suggest you think of these things:

In the last 20 months we have come to know Senator Obama, but do you know the relationship that exists with Bill Ayers today – He is an admitted terrorist and self-described anarchist without remorse as late as 2001 while he helped start Obama’s political career?

Senator Biden believes Obama will be challenged on the international stage if elected within 6 months, as he directly said. This is because Obama is inexperienced. Can America afford an international crisis while in a financial crisis and fighting 2 wars?

The major media is overwhelmingly biased in favor of Obama. They have used this bias to avoid asking tough questions, such that a plumber asked one of the hardest questions Obama has received in this election cycle. What has the media failed to let you know? And what will they receive as a benefit for this lopsided support?

The Government has not been able to balance it’s spending in over 40 years, which you and I do everyday. Considering that every department and agency of the Government costs more and runs less efficiently year after year, why would bigger Government cost less or be better?

After a century of running the post office, the Government still can’t get that right. What would make you think that they will be able to run the incredibly complicated task of healthcare better than delivering the mail?

We all want the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to end. But how they end is important. If you think an immediate retreat is best, think of the 3 million that were killed in Viet Nam after America retreated there. More importantly think of the fact that Al Quida and Iran will use a U.S. retreat as a sign of weakness and fear of their radical beliefs, which would spur future attacks. How we leave is as important as when.

Senator Obama promised to take public funding for the race against Senator McCain. He backed away from that promise. Senator Obama promised to speak to America with McCain in at least one if not more town hall events. Again he backed away from that promise. What other promises is Senator Obama capable of backing away from?

Higher taxes on business sounds great, but small business creates jobs. Higher taxes means less money to hire or employ workers. With business slowing down, less money means more unemployment. Is your job recession proof, especially if business taxes are higher?

I don’t proclaim to know all the answers. I admit I support Senator John McCain. But that doesn’t change the fact that you should know the answers to these and other questions before you vote.

Vote for whomever you believe in, but know what you are voting for. Vote for a reason, not a 30-second soundbite. Vote because you love America.

I’m Michael Vass, owner of M V Consulting, Inc. and I approved this message.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How does media bias affect Presidential election

For as long as Democratic candidates have been mentioning their desire to run for President most of the major media has been promoting them. Going back as far as 2006 the media was virtually guaranteeing Senator Hillary Clinton would be the next President of the nation. Once Senator Obama took the national attention they began they love affair with him.

While that is not as important a reaction when we are speaking about bloggers, though many of my colleagues are more than capable of swinging independent votes as I believe I am, the major media is meant to be independent. It is the purpose of the media to ask questions, tough questions, of the potential candidates. It is their purpose to inform the public of facts and comments of note by the candidates. It is the fact that they receive more attention and response than bloggers of most any size that we rely on them.

But the media has been remiss in their responsibility. There is no question about this. From the New York Times refusing to allow Senator McCain to write editorials, while approving 8 of Obama’s, to the failure of the media to investigate the relationship of Bill Ayers, the media has failed America.

Gov. Sarah Palin has had her kids, her husband, and her friends investigated by the media. Senator Obama has yet to have his friend Bill Ayers confronted. Yet audio tapes of Ayers decry his belief in anarchism, and interviews has clearly stated his lack of remorse and desire to have inflicted more terrorist acts against America. All of that while he served on a board with Senator Obama, and while he was supporting – if not creating – Obama’s political career.

We have heard about every aspect of Senator McCain’s health. His reports have been reviewed and questioned multiple times. So we know that he is in excellent shape for a man of younger years than he is. But there was no question asked of Senator Biden, who denied to present information about his health which is important because of his past health problems.

And just this week Senator Biden directly stated caution if Senator Obama is elected President. He directly stated that Obama, AND ONLY Obama, would be challenged on the international stage because of his inexperience. He further went on to state that the response of Obama would look inappropriate or bad initially. He even went as far as to say that there are 4 or 5 scenarios that could happen.

The major media failed to ask what those potential national threats might be. They failed to ask how America might protect itself, regardless of who is President. They even failed to notice this dramatic and important fact. Because they don’t want to affect those that might chose to vote for Obama. So they would spite America to satisfy their own wants.

In fact, in a moment of honesty, while interviewing Gov. Sarah Palin one of the few honest views on this matter was recorded.



So think of this. What else is the media not telling you about on the Democratic candidates. What other facts that are they withholding because it can affect your vote. What gain are they expecting in return for their targeted help and support of Democrats?

When the media is willing to ignore facts, and report polarized views, how is the public served? And where will it end? Will they ignore important facts about laws that Democrats want to pass that the public may not support? Will they gain tax or other incentives for their support? Are they being bought or allowing themselves to be compromised?

Most importantly, is Senator Obama and Senator Biden really the best choice for America if the public is not being told all the facts? Or are they the best choice for selected groups with targeted agendas that can mold public thought through deception and omission?

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Full video of 3rd Presidential debate of 2008

As with all the prior debates of the candidates involved in the 2008 Presidential election, I present the complete video of the 3rd debate between Senators McCain and Obama.

This was the most interesting debate of all 3. Yet I must state that 3 debates are far too few. In addition I have to say that 2 minutes to discuss intricate issues like education or healthcare, with a 5 minute rebuttal period shared between the candidates, is far too short to make a real statement. Given these shortcomings there was a lot of non-stump speech information in this last debate.

No matter which candidate you chose to vote for, you need to be informed on where each candidate stands. To that end I suggest you review the debates, and all the comments and debates of the Primaries, that each candidate has been involved in.

We have a right to vote, it’s important and vital. And only in all Americans voting can we receive the best choice as President.

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Presidential debate number 3 - initial thoughts

In watching and reflecting on the 3rd and last Presidential debate of 2008 there are a few immediate thoughts that come to my mind, a more detailed review will come tomorrow. The foremost is the thought that 3 debates, and only 1 for the Vice Presidential candidates, is far too few to really convey to the public the issues facing the nation. The next is that there were several inaccuracies by both of the candidates. And I have to say that this debate was by far the best of the 3.

Going beyond that I have to say that Senator Obama was very eloquent. His ability to debate is quite impressive. He made no major mistakes, and was very sure of his answers.

Yet I think that his answers were stylized and edited polispeak. He had poor answers to several subjects, which if you just listened in a cursory manner, or only heard him speak once, you might have missed. In fact if you have followed the campaigns since before the Primaries, as I have, you would find fault with several subject he spoke on.

Senator McCain was a bit more fiery at points tonight. It was invigorating when he got on the attack, which he has needed to do for some time. But at several points he disappointed as well. While he was less edited in his answers, he also failed to close a subject definitively several times. And he made a major gaff, in my opinion, when he was surprised by the answer of Senator Obama about the cost of healthcare on small businesses.

And speaking of Joe Wurzelbacher I’m not surprised that Obama did not want to discuss him much. The fact is that Obama has clearly stated that he wants to effectively cap the income Americans can make. That he will take money to redistribute to whatever he believes is best. That he does not trust the ability of individual Americans to use their wealth to the benefit of their families and the nation – preferring instead to grow a larger government that will oversee such decisions.

And by the way, Joe the plumber was not swayed by the argument of Obama. In fact he has clearly stated that he will not vote for Obama. Because the tax plans of Obama will mean that in buying the company he will lose money as Obama increases the corporate tax, personal tax, and capital gains tax nullifying future investments. Which means that Obama will either stifle growth of small businesses, or cause those businesses to fire or reduce the hours of workers just to pay the increased taxes.

Another fault of Obama, and this is more the problem of Democrats in general, was his insistence on being firmly focused on the past. He is fixated on placing blame, and living in the past descisions of President Bush. This lead to the best line for McCain

“I’m not President Bush. If you want to run against him you should have run 4 years ago.”


But McCain did not stay consistent in his strength. He failed to demand a clarification on William Ayers, which was never provided. The man was a terrorist, and it is unclear how much influence he had on molding Obama’s political career or when Obama became aware of the past of Ayers, or if their association has ever ended.

McCain failed to exemplify the importance of vouchers and better schools, not just more money for bigger Government run programs. McCain failed to deliver on the importance of having individual choice in healthcare, and how a system based on the Canadian or British models is a system doomed to failure. McCain failed to mention that there has never been a Government Agency or Department that has run efficiently or effectively in the last 40 years, at least.

McCain failed to mention that many of the economic proposals made by Senator Obama are similar to another President besides Herbert Hoover. That President was Jimmy Carter, and the result was double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, and an overall malaise for the nation.

So in the end, the debate was a draw. Neither candidate shone more brightly than the other. Both were able to provide solid arguments for their proposals and views, and point out problems with their opponents position.

But Senator Obama was clearly the better debater. Of course this is not some school competition, there is no blue ribbon award for parsing huge subjects into the equivalent of a soundbite. The next president cannot be elected because of their composure in a debate, or the speed in which they respond to a question with bullet points of their stump speeches.

Polispeak may win elections, and look great on the television. But it does not prove the worthiness of a Presidential candidate. Nor does catchy phrases like “Senator Government” – even if it was an accidental blurb.

I have long ago declared that I am a supporter of Senator McCain. M V Consulting, Inc. has endorsed McCain for President. Evenso I can see and admit that Senator Obama does have some ideas of interest, surrounded and encompassed in a Government that spends far more than it can collect in taxes, is involved in more aspects of individual lives, and controlling the choices we are able to make. That is his national healthcare, federal education, higher corporate capital gains and individual taxes, unfettered abortion, and hand picked energy alternatives really means – Big Government to a degree unseen previously.

You may not agree with that conclusion. You may vote for Senator Obama. That is your right and I respect and admire that, even while I can disagree with your choice. But the debates have made one thing clear to me, we all need to vote because if we do not America may suffer as a result. And in making that choice of who to vote for you should review the records, votes, and campaign promises of each candidate.

Because in the end, 2 years from now, you can look backwards and/or place blame but you can’t undo your vote.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Full second Presidential Debate of Senator McCain and Senator Obama

Here is videos of the entire debate for those that might have missed it last night.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


Part 7


Part 8


Part 9


Part 10


Part 11

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Keating 5, Tony Rezco, William Ayers - a lot of bluster while candidates avoid the economy

Wow, the words are flying now. The Presidential race has taken a step to overdrive as both the candidates attack each others past. And the points picked by the McCain campaign seem to have the Obama campaign flustered to say the least.

The Obama campaign has been targeting the investigation of McCain in relation to the Keating Five investigations. Senator McCain was vindicated in that investigation and found to be without blame. Yet this was a huge problem at the time, and may again be, as the economy flounders in the wake of the mortgage bailout and the credit crunch.

With all eyes on the Dow Jones Index, which had dropped as low as 781 points down in the day. Expectations that all the problems of the mortgage crisis were averted by the $700 billion bailout have been proven false, which really should be no surprise. Europe and other world markets are now facing their own problems which again rippled from the initial failure of the Fed, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd on their Congressional banking committees, and President Bush. Note that neither Senator Obama nor Senator McCain were responsible for this economic fiasco. But with the introduction of the Keating Five Obama is trying to paint McCain as fiscally irresponsible.

Of course if the record is to be looked at only McCain has tried to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and highlight problems while Democrats denied the existence of a problem. And only McCain actively worked on improving the bailout plan from what was essentially a blank check to an unwatched Treasury Secretary, with repayment going to Democratic pet projects of dubious nature (ACORN) instead of the public.

The McCain camp has targeted the highly questionable association of William Ayers and Senator Obama. I admit that I have trouble with the close association of the potential next President with a known, and self-admited, terrorist that actively was involved with the bombing of Government buildings on American soil and remains unrepentant. And it is accurate that Senator Obama has initially described their association as a friend, and has backed away from that since the early Primaries while the major news media has avoided all discussion of the matter.

The McCain camp has also targeted the association of Obama with Tony Rezco and Rev. Wright. I disagree with these associations being used against Obama as much as I disagree with The Keating Five tactic. Obama has never been found to have been influenced by either man in this voting record since he engaged in politics in Illinios. Without a reason to be alarmed, their less than perfect public images are just mud to be thrown at the candidate. And I have discussed my thoughts about the attacks using Rev. Wright, which I feel are a sidestep to a racial attack, in depth during the Primaries when Senator Clinton first used the tactic.

But the fact is that neither of these items being used by each camp address the fact that the economy will be weaker and troubled during at least the first year of the next President’s term. It is unrealistic that further cuts to taxes will be immediately available to stimulate the economy. It is equally unrealistic that adding 800 billion in new spending will be possible.

Right now Senator Obama is talking about taking on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s dream of a second stimulus plan. Considering the over $1 trillion spent this year just on failing banks and finance companies I can’t imagine where this money would come from, or how it would be any more effective than the first stimulus plan. Infact it would be less effective considering the economic landscape.

As for McCain he continues to believe that lowering corporate taxes is the only solution, which I believe will be a hard sell.

The fact is that right now the drop in the Dow Jones Index, and the up coming horrendous 4th quarter earnings that will reflect the slowdown in the economy, are helping Senator Obama and Democrats. There is no logical reason for this, since both Parties were equally lax and culpable in the creation of this problem (though arguably Democrats are slightly more at fault especially if the past is considered). But if the economy continues to falter drastically, and the promise of a 2nd stimulus plan gains attention (as it likely will) the chance of Obama winning the election increased dramatically.

And if that is what happens, for the reason of the economy, the real pain will start. In my opinion the weakest plan, and the least fiscally flexible plan, is held by Obama. With him in office, and a Democratic Congress again, I expect new record low approval ratings, double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, and an increase in taxes of all Americans by 7 – 15% minimally. Essentially a return to the environment that President Carter created.

But we will see if I am correct and if the various mudslinging attempts of the campaigns have any backlash.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

McCain vs Obama - my thoughts on the debate

So I went over the details of the entire debate a couple of times and I want to share my observations.

First of all we start with Senator Obama and the first question of what is going on with the bailout of the mortgage crisis. The initial thought that Senator Obama brings to fore is the separation of Wall Street and Main Street. That concept in itself is dumb. Millions of regular people are as much a part of the stock market as the corporations on the market. The 401k’s, mutual funds, and investments held by individual investors are as critical to the market as any other group. What affects one, affects the other.

But in making the distinction as he does he infers that the stock market is a matter of a class war. This thinking is the backbone of many of the financial proposals made by most Democrats, and Obama. But to view the economy or stock market in such a manner is to view it as if it were in a vacuum, that anything affecting one has no bearing on the other. That presumption is both a lie and idiotic.

He goes on to discuss oversight of the bailout funds. Currently Democrats that are most in favor of a fast tracked deal are the very people responsible for failing to identify the problem. That is Barney Frank and Chris Dodd directly. Having them continuing to be in charge is a joke if it were not for the damage they have allowed to occur.

As for getting the money back, the proposal that was rejected Friday is again of interest. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, and Harry Reid loved the deal. Senator Obama was willing to back it as well. Republicans were not. Because instead of giving the money back to the public they instead had a provision in the deal that would take the money and put it into ACORN. An organization that is currently under federal investigation for mismanagement of federal money and a pet project of Democrats.

But in the 3rd point I think everyone can agree. There is no reason why a CEO who has damaged a corporation deserves to benefit to any extreme point. That does not mean they are not entitled to a retirement package, but to reward them with tens of millions of dollars for weakening a company is dumb. If the company makes money, thus ensuring jobs and increased value to shareholders (which means you the public ultimately) then I can see a bonus. But without that success paying enormous sums of money is just wasteful.

Homeowners that failed to read the contracts they entered into do not merit help. Their rash actions do not necessitate contributions from my pocket. That may sound harsh, but as a homeowner who did read my mortgage documents, got a fixed rate loan, and ensured I could afford the home I own with room to spare I have little pity. In necessitating me to give up my money they are in fact placing a second mortgage into my finances, one that I receive no reward for paying. That is a bad plan indeed.

And for all the concern of Senator Obama for the middle class he fails to mention that he has voted to increase the taxes of those making $31,850 or more in March 2008.

As for the McCain view on this same question, it is not enough that politicians are working together. They should work together more often, in fact as a norm. The fact that politics are so partisan in general is a problem that helped to create and magnify this problem. But if politicians fail to think about what they have done, or the plan by which they promise us a resolution, the mere fact they joined hands in the failure is small consolation.

But another problem I must note with Senator Obama is the fact that he loves to look backwards on issues that are in America’s present. He look backward on Iraq – seeking who to blame, he looks backward on the bailout as well. What he said 2 years ago is as important as what McCain said 3 years ago, or the bill that McCain tried to pass to change the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which Democrats voted down and Republicans gave up on).

And if any politician was so brilliant as to have seen this problem a year ago, where were they when Barney Frank was telling the public everything was ok in July? Or Paulson said they had things under control in February?

And as for Republican spending under President Bush, it has been atrocious. And I don’t mean the earmark spending which has been bad enough. $18 billion is insane, but that hardly is the same as the hundreds of billions that are being wasted in every department of the Government.

Still in a down turning economy adding new spending is a dumb idea as well. Obviously adding these new sources of spending can’t happen when we have already spent that money on the bailout. And both candidates need to be honest enough to mention that either taxes will be increased because of this or that social entitlement programs will be cut, or both.

And if anyone thinks that raising business taxes will not affect workers they are insane.

Also, everyone needs to keep in mind what Obama keeps rewording. 95% will receive a pay cut from Obama’s plans. But what he drives at is avoiding anyone hearing the part that is important. 95% that receive a paycheck. That means business owners of all sizes will pay more in taxes – separate of the increase in taxes from the bailout.

But let’s focus on the issues the debate was really supposed to be about. Foreign policy.

The big question is Iraq. We know Obama was always against the war, and he never lets us forget his position in the past. And McCain was for it, as was nearly every Democrat and Republican at the time. Including Senator Hillary Clinton, who insisted Congress vote in favor of the war.

But the fact is we are in 2 wars today and when the next President takes office. Not wanting to be there has nothing to do with where we are now. I don’t want to have to bailout the banks for the mortgage crisis, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are about to anyway. The question is what are we going to do going forward?

Is running away a good plan? According to McCain it is not. Iran is a big part of that reason. And there is no one that can convince anyone in the world that Iran is not in favor of America being destroyed.

The surge has worked. Even Obama has admitted that. But he still refuses to accept the consequences of that, or the need to finish the job. By refusing to accept the new conditions, which he barely saw in a day during his recent run through the nation, he fails to see how to make America safer in the future.

But McCain must also accept that the cost of the war is outrageous. We need to get Iraq to do more, and pay for their share of the work being done. Especially since we know they have the money to do so.

By the way, the series of items that Obama quotes as things that McCain said is incorrect. Those were the claims of the Bush Administration. And McCain is wrong about Obama’s oversight of Afghanistan. Not that either man has really done any work they were elected to do, other than McCain working on the bailout. And in hearing Obama’s comment about tactics and strategies, I agree he has no idea what the difference is. Of course that may partially be because he has not been in Iraq 1/3 as much as McCain has.

And I want to ask a simple question. If you are in a bar fight, it doesn’t matter who started the fight, and you look at your watch and say “I’ll stop fighting in 5 minutes.” You keep fighting for 5 minutes, then step away, turn your back and walk off. What do you believe will happen next? What are the odds that you will get a barstool smacked against your head? And how is this different than declaring a timetable in a war?

It is interesting how close both candidates are on Pakistan. Though the means by which they want to enact their actions in that nation, and the terrorists hiding there, differ to a degree. Again, as with many of Obama’s policies, we see the junior Senator telegraphing his intentions.

I have to mention though that neither man mentioned Darfur. They speak about Bosnia, and Georgia, Pakistan and Iraq. They cover all the media popular and pundit laden hotspots around the world. But when it comes to a genocide that has been ongoing for the past 4 years, they seem satisfied to continue the same see no evil policy the Government has maintained from the start of fighting. America should do more.

Thank goodness each candidate agrees that Iran is a threat to stability and U.S. safety. This is a bit of a reversal for Senator Obama. His comments during the Primaries and just after Senator Clinton gave up were of a very different tone.

And his continued instance on speaking to Iran reflects that early position. Though what he claims about Mr. Henry Kissinger backing up his views is an outright lie. Or as politicians like to say, he misunderstood or misspoke. As is the thought that we are not currently speaking with Iran, which we are doing currently on low levels. And following Obama’s wishes we would empower Iran and other similar nations.

Of course I would feel better about many of Senator Obama’s positions if he was more consistent. Like his comments about Georgia and Russia. From his initial flubs about UN action – which Russia can veto – to his eventual adoption of the McCain response on the first day. It’s just more examples of inexperience in this arena.

Lastly, we all realize that another 9/11 style attack is not only possible, but likely. Nothing can prevent such acts forever. Every major city in the world has had to deal with these events, and the best any country can do is delay an event and minimize the effects.

I also find it interesting how Senator Obama is so focused on the image America has in the world. Since the 1960’s I believe America has been seen as a superpower, free and rich. And it is those things that have prompted the determined hatred of America for 40 years and counting.

Overall I think both candidates made interesting points. Each identified things that are important to Americans. Each highlighted weaknesses and failures in the other. But if we are to draw a conclusion for the entire debate it would have to be that experience in foreign policy, while under war at the least, is critical for America.

I think McCain won the debate. Not in a landslide but that is not important. Because the point is not how stunning a President we have, but how effective they are.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Full video of the McCain - Obama Presidential debate

The following is the full video of the Sept 26 2008 Presidential debate of Senator McCain and Senator Obama.

I believe that it is imperative that every American listen to exactly what each candidate said, and plans for America if they become President. My comments and in-depth analysis will be up shortly. In addition I will be providing a copy of the complete transcript of the entire debate.

I hope that this information helps each of you to come to a decision on who you wish to vote for. Because no matter whom you choose, your vote is vital to get the best person possible in the White House, and we can only get that if everyone makes an informed vote.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The bail out deal: Polispeak and political campaigning instead of action

I love listening to Harry Reid. He is absolutely partisan and 2-faced. He is the best example of what polispeak means. Listening to hear him talk today you just can’t escape this.

He is speaking about Republicans that didn’t want to go to the meeting at the White House yesterday, but he has no comment on the fact that Senator obama wouldn’t go until the President asked him to be there.

He speaks about Senator McCain and blames him for the failure of the deal, but fails to mention that there was no deal. House Republicans, and many in the Senate never liked the Paulson bailout proposal. There was no deal, except as expressed by Democrats and the media.

He wants to blame McCain, but he forgets that he stated earlier this week that there could be no deal if McCain was not on board, which he was not. He refers to McCain as an outsider, yet McCain is an active Senator with responsibilities to those that elected him.

Democrats like Chris Dodd and Harry Reid, and Barney Frank want to make it seem like this deal is good for America, yet those that look closely at the deal think it is not. And they want to add to the bail out items that are not part of the issue. They want to include the $50 billion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi advocates, that does not have to do with the bailout but is another stimulus plan that is ineffective and a waste of money.

Democrats are being very political here. They are trying everything they can do to phrase this as a Republican or Senator McCain problem. They want to rush forward and throw money at this problem. That type of plan did not work when Bear Sterns failed, or when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed, or when Lehman failed, or for AIG. They seem to think that throwing your money, my money, at this problem is more than just filling a leaking tub with more water.

Not one Democrat can state that the Paulson plan, as proposed and what they are trying to advance, will work and prevent another problem in a month. Not one can explain why a single person in the position of the Treasury Secretary, should be left with virtually sole responsibility and accountability of nearly $1 trillion dollars.

Harry Reid, and Chris Dodd are speaking about how they will be in D.C. and working on this deal all night tonight, and Saturday and Sunday if necessary. They are saying this is the most important issue before them. Yet they support that Senator Obama go off and focus on a debate, that can be postponed. This is the most important issue in America right now, that’s why all of Congress is doing their jobs – except for Democratic Presidential candidate. And the Republican Presidential candidate is the one being blamed for doing his part of the job.

Either Obama or McCain will be President in a little more than a month. One of those 2 will be faced with the resulting issues that this mortgage crisis bail out will cause. But Democrats believe that neither should be involved in the terms or process of this deal. That seems smart doesn’t it.

I find it completely partisan and polispeak when Barney Frank states that everything is fine in 2003 and July of 2008, and now is trying to blame everyone else for what he failed to stay on top of. Chris Dodd is no better. And as I mentioned above Harry Reid has flipped as well. Not to mention how Senator Obama sprinted from the meeting with the President yesterday to get out and in front of cameras, instead of going back to Congress to wotrk on the deal more as McCain did, is quite telling on who is using this as a means to win the Presidential election.

Our elected officials need to stop with the politicing and focus. This deal needs to resolve the liquidity issue, and ensure that we are prepared for the difficulties to come. It does not need to give away money to pet projects that otherwise would never pass. It is not an ad for the election campaign. It is not a gift to Wall Street, nor an open invitation for every company and industry with sagging sales to line up at the door. Neither should it be the start of the American Government as a real estate broker/business.

Anything short of that is false and stupid, and baseless polispeak meant only to prop up the political futures of selected individuals.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The bailout and mortgage crisis: Where did it start, who screwed up, who tried to fix it, and when

I just can’t step away from the most pivotal issue in the election and the lives of Americans right now. The spin in the media is that Senator McCain is avoiding Senator Obama on a debate of foreign policy – something McCain has experience at for decades and Obama has a speech in Germany. And many are calling the deep desire of McCain to serve the nation, as was called for by Harry Reid yesterday, a political stunt. Though they ignore the school boy-esque scolding that Obama received when the President called him to the White House today.

But I am tired of hearing Democrats and some media pundits running around blaming every economic woe of the nation on Republicans. There is certainly more than enough blame for all the politicians in Congress, which is why it has the lowest approval rating ever. Republicans have screwed up and spent more than they should. But Democrats have been no better, in fact those that are critical to the finance of the nation have been particularly blind. Mr. Magoo could have foreseen more with their level of information and influence over the years.

But lest my words be seen as partisan, which to an extent I am sure they are as with any pundit or blogger, I present talking heads from across the spectrum of the cable news media and pundits, as well as politicians themselves. Listen to those that we have elected, and their votes and assurances. Then tell me this is only a Republican caused problem.

And please explain to me why we should believe that those that planted the seeds for this problem, and fostered it to the debacle we are required to deal with today, should be believed when they say they have a solution

History of mortgage crisis back to 2003


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contributions – Sept 18 2008


Chris Dodd was watching closely but did nothing – August 2007


Treasury Secretary Paulson progress made – February 2008


Barney Frank – Improving regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac July 14 2008


Obama accuses McCain of opposing reform


Have Republicans tried to do anything?


S. 190 [109th]: Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 - A bill to address the regulation of secondary mortgage market enterprises, and for other purposes.

So I also ask this, If Senator McCain did not go to Washington D.C., if the President did not call Senator Obama to the White House, are you sure there would be a resolution to the bailout crisis? Would that resolution be in the best interest of the nation?

Is a debate, that could be easily rescheduled, more important than the potential of 4 out of 5 Americans losing their homes and jobs?

And lastly, isn’t it a bit hypocritical that Democrats claim that the debate must happen because America wants this; yet they defended Senator Obama when he refused for 2 months every request that was made for Obama to join McCain in speaking directly with Americans at town hall meetings across the nation?

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Presidential candidates work on bailout and political images

It’s amazing how in the last 24 hours the Obama political machine has spun around and launched polispeak that turns almost a 180 from yesterday. All of this revolving around the bailout that is being worked on today.

Yesterday, Warren Buffett compare the current financial crisis to a Pearl Harbor event in America. He strongly felt this was a serious threat to the well-being of America. President Bush called for television time at 9pm to put pressure on Congress to get the bailout done, by speaking to the public about the status. And then come the Presidential candidates.

At 8am yesterday, Obama suggested a bi-partisan announcement to support specific controls in the bailout plan. At 10am Warren Buffett made his comments, at 11am the President made plans to speak with the public. At about 2:30pm McCain made a press statement



The Obama campaign immediately releases an email that clarifies their position at 8am. At 4:40pm Obama has a press statement that states



And since that time the polispeak wheels have been spinning. Democrats have been stating that the Senators are not needed. That the bailout will be resolved without them. That they have no need to do the jobs they were elected to office to do. Or at least they should be working on both situations.

Now maybe it’s me, but if this bailout could cause a depression equal to the Great Depression as many of the best financial minds believe don’t you want the next President and your Congressional representatives to be doing their jobs? Do you believe that this is their first priority?

President Bush believes it is. And thus he asked both candidates to come to the White House, along with both Parties Congressional leaders, to ensure a deal can be made as quickly as possible. Because as Warren Buffet said yesterday in various interviews, this is not something he would want to see take weeks to resolve. It’s too important and dangerous. So bi-partisan agreement is required.

But it seems the Obama campaign is ok with dividing its attention. And supporters are trying to make this seem like McCain is not doing his job and acting on America’s benefits first. They are questioning why Gov. Palin is not continuing the campaign in place of McCain. The answer to that seems obvious, she is not running for President. And since Senator Biden also needs to do his job, it is more bi-partisan to allow both campaign to stop while both work on this.

Yes, a President multi-tasks each day. Yes you must deal with many events at once. But priorities are important. And approving political ads or practicing for debate questions while you speak with say Chris Dodd on the phone about what compromise or terms of repayment are ok for the bailout presents itself as the wrong kind of order to me.

But I asked an average guy about this today. He is a cable repairman, doesn’t follow politics much, and I have no idea of his politics. He heard of the bailout, but had no idea how that could affect him and America. He heard about what McCain and Obama were planning to do. In his words

“They both sound like politicians to me. It’s all just political showing off.”


I asked him about the bailout, and he mentioned he wasn’t sure what it meant to him. I clarified the point, giving him the comments of Warren Buffett (who he had heard of) and detailing what a Depression would mean – 4 out of 5 people he knows would be without jobs, and possibly homes, within 2 months. That is the worst case scenario.

I asked him again, based on that severity, and the fact that all 3 Senators involved in the Presidential race still have jobs in Congress, how he felt. He still could see the political nature of both their actions. He further said

“But that [Obama] doesn’t seem right, if it’s that important.”


How important could it be? Well in a press conference on the 23rd it was stated that several Democrats would not vote on the bill if McCain did not (5:05)





If this bill must be bi-partisan, and it must be resolved as quickly as possible, and it should hold safeguards that ensure that the crisis is ended and we won’t need to spend another trillion dollars in a month, then both Presidential candidates need to work on this and not their campaigns. I think so.

And I really think that Obama should have thought so too, and not need the President to call him to bring him back to D.C. to do the job he was elected to the Senate to do.

If this is not the single most declarative statement of which candidate will act for America first, which has their political gain first then I don’t know what is. No amount of polispeak can hide bi-partisan action, and a politician doing the job they were elected to do. But if you disagree, I would love to hear that argument.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Which is right - keep campaigning or fixing the economy?

So the news has now been reported that Senator Obama does not plan to accept Senator McCain’s offer to go back to D.C. and work on the bailout and not the Presidential election.

Senator Obama believes that he can both work out the problems with the bailout and step before the nation for a debate on Friday. He believes that he can focus on both issues equally.

Senator McCain has already stated that he believes that the political debate can wait until the financial future of America is resolved.

I feel that Obama is placing politics above the nation, and his constituents that elected him to office. Both of these men are Senators, as is Joe Biden. They have a responsibility to the voters that put them in office up until they are elected by voters for a different office.

The polispeak will fly today. Some will laud one or the other Presidential candidate. I can clearly see the benefit to the nation of the actions of McCain, I do not see that benefit from Senator Obama. Obama is choosing to hold a speech about how great he will be for the economy once he is elected, while McCain will be speaking with Democrats, Republicans, and the President about keeping the economy going up to and through the election. Which makes more sense.

How well will Senator Obama be able to review documents on the bailout, and shake hands with undecided voters? How well will he be able to speak with Congress, while he is kissing babies and approving attack ads? How well will he be able to confer with economic experts while he is practicing his debate points.

Yes a President must do more than one thing at a time. But if Warren Buffett is correct, and this is the financial equivalent of Pearl Harbor, Senator Obama is saying he would rather go overseas for a meeting than deal directly with the situation.

Was the fear of following McCain’s lead on this potentially devastating financial fiasco so great as to refuse to do his job. Is his desire to be President so great that he would rather lead America in a depression, with millions unemployed and/or homeless than serve as the Senator he has been elected to be in relative economic stability?

Perhaps this, more than the debates themselves, will be the turning point in the election. And I have to wonder what most Americans will prefer. I for one agree that the debates for the election (which can be rescheduled for another day out of the 41 remaining) are not as important as my work, and as a consequence my house.

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News Flash on bailout - McCain going to work, Obama sent email

Wow, this is a big move. Senator John McCain has stepped forward again. He has moved to try to resolve the issue of the bailout back in Congress and Washington D.C. He has asked Senator Obama to join him on this cause.

It’s a big move. Senator Obama, who was told this offer before it became known to the public, has yet to respond. He must say yes, and follow the lead of Senator McCain.

Both of these men needed to be back in D.C. on this issue, as they are Senators first and Presidential nominees second. They owe it to their constituents to do their jobs. And I find it interesting that McCain was the first to recognize this fact.

This is more important than just the political situation.

Wait, now comes news that Senator Obama sent McCain an email at 8am today. But that email asked McCain to join Senator Obama in making a statement that the terms of the bailout must contain items they both agree on. Again that was the response to Senator McCain asking for them both to go to D.C. and get to work, an email released to the media saying this morning he wanted to make a joint statement.

A statement, even made jointly, is weak. It resolves none of the problems. Maybe Obama had the first idea, but it was a half idea. They need to do their jobs.

More on this as it gets more details. And remember that President Bush was going to make a statement on the bailout at 9pm tonight.

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Senator Biden has another problem with Senator Obama

What reason do I have to feel that an Administration of Senator Obama and Senator Biden will be bad? What makes me feel that they can’t work together?

Well besides the thoughts I have stated before in my post Obama - Biden: Where are the positives? I have another item to add.

When Senator Obama okayed political ads attacking Senator john McCain’s ability to work with computers it failed to mention that McCain has problems because of the wounds he received as a Viet Nam POW. Those injuries to his arms make it very difficult for him to properly use a computer. There may be other issues on the use of a computer, something that is more the tool of those 45 and under – as we grew up with these innovations – but I am not aware if that is a factor.

Senator Biden is aware of this limitiation to McCain. And he had this to say on the subject.



If he had known he wouldn’t have done it. That is critical. He wasn’t informed about the ad. So in this simple answer we get that Senator Obama does not confide or discuss his decisions with his number 2. And Biden disputes the decision of Obama.

It may seem like a little thing, but if they differ and disagree on political ads what about significant issues like Pakistan and international policy, healthcare, Iraq, and the other major issues that they debated before and through the Primaries? What kind of Presidential Administration will they provide if they don’t speak and discuss, and oppose the actions of each other?

That is an issue Democrats want to gloss over, and the major media refuses to acknowledge. But that is an important fact to me, and my vote. How about you?

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Senator John McCain at the Republican National Convention

Senator John McCain made the final speech of the Republican National Convention today. Now the speech was not the best oration you may have ever heard. Senator McCain is not known to be a good teleprompter speaker. He cannot compete with Senator Obama on this regard. But what he said was powerful.

A very good friend of mine heard the full speech and mentioned to me that

“It’s all over. Obama cannot compete with that. God, country, he’s done.”


That was the opinion of a Democrat.

Again it’s not because of the style of the way he said the words, but the content. McCain spoke of a respect for the nation, and the willingness to forgo any Party affiliation to enact the greatest good for the nation.

My friend also noted something else I missed in not only McCain’s speech, but those of Senator Obama’s as well.

“He [McCain] says she. When he speaks about the nation he says she. When Obama talks about the country he says ‘our country’ or ‘this country’. But McCain makes it personal, like it’s a being of its own.”


That kind of little difference is the key. It’s the even greater respect of the nation – born from knowing the difference of not having the freedoms and comforts most of us take for granted. It’s in the eyes of those listening as they are brought to tears. It’s in the honesty of his conviction that he believes his plans for the nation are not just politically good, but good for the individual citizens above all politics.

This was not a speech that was great. It didn’t set the room on fire like Gov. Sarah Palin. But it did make you take notice.

Now some will say that McCain did not speak about the economy. That’s polispeak trying to minimize what he did say about it. Some will say that he was just bashing Obama, and he did for 5 paragraphs out of 67. Some will say that he did not connect with the average American, yet he spent some 19 paragraphs speaking directly to that. And no one will take on the one subject that was constant throughout the entire RNC, that Senator John McCain was a Naval pilot that spent 5 ½ years as a P.O.W. and was tortured mercilessly – he had bled for this nation and it made him love America more.

But don’t take my word. Don’t be swayed by my friend the Democrat. Listen with open ears yourself and tell me that Senator McCain is not prepared, qualified, and deserving of being President.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Presidential Tickets: comparing lies, facts, and experience

Let’s really compare the Democratic and Republican Presidential tickets. First I will look at the experience of each ticket. (Part of the information is derived from the information found at Politifact)

    Democrats:

  • Senator Obama has been a teacher (at a college) for 11 years part-time. He was a community organizer for 3 years. He has worked as a lawyer 12 years (8 of them part timer as he also served in the State legislature). And he has been a Senator for 4 years (2 of which have been spent on the campaign trail for President).

  • Senator Biden has been a lawyer for 4 years. He was a county council member for 2 years. He has spent 36 years as a Senator.

  • Republicans:

  • Senator McCain has been a military officer for 22 years (Navy – includes 5 ½ years as a P.O.W. and 4 years as a liason to the Senate). He then went on to be a Senator for 26 years.

  • Governor Palin has been a TV reporter for 2 years. She has owned a business for 9 years (including part-time work with her husband’s businesses).She has been a city council member for 4 years and Mayor for 6 years (re-elected once). She was an appointee to Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for 1 year, before becoming a whistleblower of corruption within her Party. She is the current Governor of Alaska for 2 years.

So what does that really mean?

Well one interpretation is that the Democrats have little connection to the lives of average Americans. While being a teacher is very respectable and common, that would apply to elementary, middle, and high school teachers. College professors are considered elite in the field of teaching by most all I believe.

The Democrats are very familiar with re-interpreting laws for the benefit of their clients, whether that interpretation is accurate or not, which is the job of a lawyer. Lawyers are also considered a non-common elite profession.

Political office is generally accepted to be elite and separate of normal American life. Working with the community is directly involved with the people, but on a limited scale of population and responsibility.

And on the Republican side?

Military service is defined by average Americans volunteering to serve the nation. While television work is not common it is not necessarily extraordinary. Local newscasters are parts of the communities they report on.
Business ownership is a tenant of the American dream. It is a difficult enterprise at best, and requires 3x’s the work of the owner than any employee. But it’s reward is the benefits it provides to family and the lifestyle.

While politicians are generally reviled, as opinion polls often show, their local level counterparts are often far more connected and respected by the communities they serve. And whistleblowing is always difficult in any industry, even moreso when in politics where corrupt money and positions of power are very intimidating.

Now at this point, which Party – more importantly which Presidential ticket - sounds more likely to be connected to the public and their concerns?

Now let’s look at the lies both Presidential tickets and their respective Parties have made. I’ll start with Republicans this time.

  • First I must refute a statement that was made by Fred Thompson. As revealed by Senator McCain’s autobiography he did eventually give up some information to his interrorgators. But we must also keep in mind a serious point on that, interrogation does not end until wanted information is gained, that is the point of it. And thus eventually everyone breaks, and every prisoner that has been interrogated will attest to that. So anyone that holds that against McCain is a f****** idiot in my opinion.

  • But now to a blatant lie of Senator Obama. He stated on national television that abortions have not gone down since President Bush has been in office. According to New York-based Guttmacher Institute stated that

    “the number of abortions also fell, to 1.2-million in 2005, which it said was 25 percent below the record high of 1.6-million abortions in 1990.”


    In fact the number of abortions, as reported by several institutions proves that abortions are down since 2000.

  • Another lie of Senator Obama’s, and the Democratic Party is that oil and gas companies have 68 million acres of leased land they are doing nothing with. That answer is only true if you go by the standard that a non-producing lease is one without an oil or gas rig pumping on it (which is what the Government classifies it as). So in fact oil and gas companies can be, and are, exploring for proven resources and are still considered non-producing. The companies can be in the process of getting clearance for actual drilling, which takes a long time, and the land is considered non-producing.

    So to say they are doing nothing with the land is a blatant lie.

  • But McCain is not without fault either. His claim that he has a perfect voting record with veteran’s groups is false. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Disabled American Veterans rate McCain at 58% and 20% respectively. With all the other major groups like the VFW and American legion he is correct. But it is not perfect.

  • But Obama has no problem quoting ambiguous information. Like how much the U.S. spends on energy research. He claimed that it was less than

    “the pet food industry invests on its own products.”


    But there is no factual data to explain what the pet food industry invests in research. The trade industry for pet food, the Pet Food Institute, does not keep records on this. At the best guess, based on Booz Allen Hamilton study of companies, the industry may spend only 3.8% of revenues on research. Which would be about $500 million a year, which would be 1/6 of the $3 billion the Government spends.

    But since this cannot be determined by any factual evidence, and the best guess is massively incorrect, the lie is outstanding.

  • But math seems to be a weak point for Senator Obama. Back before Hurricane Gustav there were floods in the mid-west (in June of 2008). During those floods Obama stated that the National Guard was stretched to thin to give effective help and that there was a shortage of helicopters. Lie.

    In fact there was no shortage of helicopters (which the campaign did later acknowledge – without public fanfare). As for the troop shortage due to efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan:

      Iowa National Guard – 850 overseas, 9,400 total troops = ~90% available

      Missouri National Guard – 1,800 overseas, 11,000 total troops = ~ 80% available

      Illinois National Guard (Obama’s home state) – 800 current (adding 2,700 later in the year but available during the flooding), 13,000 total troops = ~90% available at the time of flooding and ~70% if you counted the future soldiers out as well.

    In fact no state is overburdened. The statement sounds scarry, but it’s a fabricated lie.

  • Again McCain is not without his math problems as well. McCain mentioned in June that everyone agreed that Iran was pursing nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency and various U.S. intelligence agencies were not as sure, or in agreement at the time. Thus everyone did not agree and he lied.

There are other lies and half or partial truths going back in time, as I noted in other posts, but these are recent.

Let’s look at the flip-flops, an important part of the polispeak used in every political campaign and speech of politicians. Where have the Presidential tickets made a u-turn in favor of votes?

Democrats get to start again.

Senator Obama said in July that he would not tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to resolve short-term energy needs and prices. In August he fully reversed that position.

“The strategic oil reserve, I think, has to be reserved for a genuine emergency.” July

“We should sell 70-million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks.” August


As is readily known Senator McCain was completely against the President Bush tax cuts when first proposed. Today he is for them. It’s well documented and commented on by Democrats, but it is a flip-flop.

Back to Obama. On financing his run for President

“If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”
- Barack Obama, fall 2007

“We’ve made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election.”
- Barack Obama, June 19, 2008


And the Vice Presidential candidate share in the penchant for complete reversals as well.

I will go with age before beauty.

Senator Biden strongly and with emphasis declared that Senator Obama was not experienced enough or prepared to be President during the Democratic Primaries in live debates and interviews. After accepting the nomination for Vice President he declared that Obama was ready to be President.

Governor Palin is noted for her refusal to accept funds for the “bridge to nowhere”. But it seems she was for it when she was running for Governor

“Yes. I would like to see Alaska’s infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now — while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.”


Though once elected she

“After taking office and examining the project closely, she consistently opposed funding the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ and ultimately canceled the wasteful project.”


Was it for the political good will or the public’s is unclear – but it’s a 180 degree turn either way.

Now there is much more that can be found about the candidates. You can just check the site for other items the candidates have done in the past. But you have an overall view.

Generally I would say that Democrats have lied more, and on bigger issues than Republicans in this election cycle. The Democratic Ticket is less in touch with the average American than Republicans.

And neither Presidential candidate seems to be any good at doing math on their own.

Now what is most important to you I cannot say. Some don’t care about blatant lies, or flip-flops, or past experience. Some love the polispeak all politicians spin, and others cannot break with their political party no matter their personal view. I do, but that’s me.

The most important thing is that you know who it is you are voting for. The good and bad that each candidate has. Make your own decision what you can live with and without. And once you are sure, for yourself, vote and campaign, and encourage others to do the same.

The purpose of this post is not to ask you to vote like I will or accept my views on the candidates. You have to do that work. But the purpose is to give you a reason to vote for someone. And as long as you do that, my efforts since 2006 are worth the time.

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Governor Sarah Palin, Republican Vice Presidential candidate at the RNC and my thoughts

Over the last couple of days I was as curious as anyone about Governor Sarah Palin. I knew nothing of her, and I searched the internet and Youtube to find all I could about her. I have presented all that information previously, as accurately and quickly as one man can.

So yesterday I was upset that I would not be able to listen to the speech live, at home where I could take notes or write my comments. Instead I had to honor obligations I had previously made, and make preparations for my home and business. But I also had the chance to speak with several regular people about the Presidential election.

We discussed Senator McCain, and Senator Obama. We discussed the polispeak, promises and problems of each candidate. And we went over at length everything we knew about Gov. Palin, and what the major media was presenting about her.

Before I provide you her speech I want to recall that the main thing everyone, including the media was doing was comparing Gov. Palin to Senator Obama. It was at that moment that I understood something clearly.

If Gov. Palin made a solid speech, and if she can only be able to hold her own against Senator Biden, the Democratic candidates would not only lose but do so by 20 pts or more.

When a Vice Presidential candidate is drawing comparison, serious comparison, to a Presidential candidate the race is over. There has been no comparison of Biden to McCain. There won’t be. But Palin is compared to Obama, and earlier today she was winning. Even as the media was asking questions no male candidate has ever been asked (nor to most female politicians either). Even as the media and some cruel bloggers attacked the minor daughter of the Governor – making comparisons between that child and the grown wife of Obama who spoke on the campaign trail, and comparison to the grown daughter of Hillary Clinton who also was on the campaign trail.

Those were the thoughts I had in mind as I sat up tonight, listening to the replay of the speech by Governor Sarah Palin in full, ending at 3am and then writing this post.

With that said I know present you with the speech, and I ask you this. Can you have any doubt why she was picked for Vice President? Can you believe in a vote for McCain – Palin?

I’ll give my answer below, and invite you to tell me your thoughts as well.



As I’ve said long ago I am a Black Puerto Rican Republican. But more than that I am an American. And I am proud to have been a supporter of Senator John McCain. And having heard this speech I can say that I understand why Governor Sarah Palin was picked for Vice President. I am proud to say that I believe in the McCain – Palin ticket.

I, as President of M V Consulting, Inc and only for myself and my corporation, endorse and will vote for Senator McCain and Governor Sarah Palin as the next President and Vice President of America.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Reviewing Fred Thompson’s speech

Now for my commentary on Fred Thompson’s speech.

I thought it was a great speech. One of the most important things about it was the fact that unlike similar speeches by Democrats he did not really attack Senator Obama. He got in a few jibes, and they were accurate and well placed, but overall he focused on Senator John McCain.

Fred Thompson was focused on the character and experience of Senator John McCain. Without trying to make a comparison one could not help but see it. And with no disrespect to Obama, McCain towers over his Democratic rival.

Fred Thompson said,

“It's pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, "Who is this man?" and "Can we trust this man with the presidency?"


Well even Democrats have stated unequivocably that they trust McCain as President. Senator Obama’s own VP pick stated that clearly and without hesitation. His polispeak since rings hollow and Democrats know it.

Senator McCain is a war hero. We all know that. But Democrats seem to want to forget that McCain is the most bi-partisan candidate in this election. It was noted all night, by Thompson and then later by Lieberman (the Democratic VP pick in 2000 for Al Gore) that the difference is doing versus speaking.

But Thompson was not without strong attacks.

“They say they are not going to take any water out of your side of the bucket, just the "other" side of the bucket! That's their idea of tax reform.”


Colorful and accurate when you consider that it was Senator Obama himself that noted he would ensure tax cuts for

“95% of those who RECEIVE A PAYCHECK” [Emphasis is my own]


Only those willfully wanting to believe that statement cannot see the connection of business owners, the price of their goods, and the hours and employment individuals receive. Tax one side of the equation and the response hits the other. A basic law of nature and physics, unless you are a Democrat.

To be fair Thompson did focus intently on the history of McCain. There is no question that in the past 18 months the voting record of McCain and President Bush have been similar. But most seem to miss the fact that it has mostly been President Bush moving towards Senator McCain’s view than vice versa.

Fred Thompson went on to say

“History-making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for president. Apparently they believe that he would match up well with the history-making, Democrat-controlled Congress. History-making because it's the least accomplished and most unpopular Congress in our nation's history.”


Now to be fair, in the past there may have been Senators that have run for President that have been more liberal in their voting records than Senator Obama. I’m willing to give Obama the benefit of doubt on this. Though he has been easily found to be the most liberal Senator currently.

Thompson also stated that Obama is the most inexperienced. Again I have not checked the entire Democratic past. But the fact that he has had 3 ½ years in the Senate, of which about 2 have been used to run for President, speaks for itself. Still credit should be given to his time in the Illinios Senate. Though in comparison to McCain, or even Vice Presidential candidate Biden he is weak in that argument.

As for the Democrat-led Congress, well I’ve already stated how ineffective they have been. Their quest to look good on news video clips dominated their time, and the historic lowest-approval ratings, and consistent lower (by about 10 points) ratings than the unpopular President Bush says more than any other argument.

John McCain is hardly the perfect Presidential candidate. He is even less perfect a Republican. And neither of these qualities is bad, especially when compared to a candidate that is even less perfect a candidate and more radically aligned with the furthest portion of his Party.

Some have criticized Fred Thompson’s speech at the RNC for not stating clearly that Senator McCain is not President Bush. I have to believe only the most myopic or the most blindly far-left cannot note the difference.

The differences between the 2 men has been noted in Primaries, policy decisions, and support from other politicians. Even just listening to the 2 men speak makes it apparent. But I do not fault the Democrats for their attempt to polispeak an illusory connection to a Senator that mere 2 years ago was the “Democrats Republican” and lauded by their Party.

Fred Thompson spoke at the Republican National Convention about the past, the experience, honor, and character of John McCain. Whether or not anyone likes or agrees with these things there is no dispute that they are facts. I cannot give a more detailed critique of something that is steeped in fact and avoided conjecture.

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Fred Thompson at the Republican National Convention

It’s funny that last week, within minutes of the speeches of the various speakers at the Democratic National Convention Youtube was filled with video. Today after Fred Thompson and Senator Lieberman made their opening speeches at the Republican National Convention you can’t find anything but information about protestors, most trying to sway a viewer to believe they were unjustly treated by police.

So much for a fair and unbiased medium. But I do expect that eventually video will be available, and when it is I will present it.

Until then I will rely on the transcripts of the speeches. (as provided by NPR)

Fred Thompson:

**I finally found the video to this speech, so I am adding it now. So now you can see how he presented the words below.**



Tonight our thoughts are still with our friends and fellow citizens in the Gulf Coast area, and our thanks go to those who have worked so hard to keep them safe. There can be no more important work than this.

But what we are doing at this convention is also important to our country.

We are going to nominate the next president and vice president of the United States of America.

We do so while taking a different view of our country than that of the other party.
Listening to them you'd think that we were in the middle of a great depression; that we are down, disrespected and incapable of prevailing against challenges facing us.
We know that we have challenges ... always have, always will.

But we also know that we live in the freest, strongest, most generous and prosperous nation in the history of the world, and we are thankful.

Speaking of the vice presidential nominee, what a breath of fresh air Gov. Sarah Palin is.

She is from a small town, with small-town values, but that's not good enough for those folks who are attacking her and her family.

Some Washington pundits and media big shots are in a frenzy over the selection of a woman who has actually governed rather than just talked a good game on the Sunday talk shows and hit the Washington cocktail circuit. Well, give me a tough Alaskan governor who has taken on the political establishment in the largest state in the union — and won — over the beltway business-as-usual crowd any day of the week.

Let's be clear ... the selection of Gov. Palin has the other side and their friends in the media in a state of panic. She is a courageous, successful reformer, who is not afraid to take on the establishment.

Sound like anyone else we know?

She has run a municipality and she has run a state.

And I can say without fear of contradiction that she is the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field-dress a moose ... with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt.

She and John McCain are not going to care how much the alligators get irritated when they get to Washington, they're going to drain that swamp.

But tonight, I'd like to talk to you about the remarkable story of John McCain.
It's a story about character. John McCain's character has been tested like no other presidential candidate in the history of this nation. He comes from a military family whose service to our country goes back to the Revolutionary War.

The tradition continues.

As I speak, John and Cindy McCain have one son who's just finished his first tour in Iraq.

Another son is putting "country first" and is attending the Naval Academy. We have a number of McCains in the audience tonight.

Also here tonight is John's 96-year-old mother, Roberta. All I've got to say is that if Roberta McCain had been the McCain captured by the North Vietnamese, they would have surrendered.

Now, John's father was a bit of a rebel, too.

In his first two semesters at the Naval Academy, he managed to earn 333 demerits. Unfortunately, John later saw that as a record to be beaten. A rebellious mother and a rebellious father — I guess you can see where this is going.

In high school and the Naval Academy, he earned a reputation as a troublemaker. But as John points out, he wasn't just a troublemaker. He was the leader of the troublemakers. Although loaded with demerits like his father, John was principled even in rebellion. He never violated the honor code.

However, in flight school in Pensacola, he did drive a Corvette and date a girl who worked in a bar as an exotic dancer under the name of Marie, the Flame of Florida.

And the reason I'm telling you these things, is that, apparently, this mixture of rebellion and honor helped John McCain survive the next chapter of his life:

John McCain was preparing to take off from the USS Forrestal for his sixth mission over Vietnam, when a missile from another plane accidentally fired and hit his plane. The flight deck burst into a fireball of jet fuel. John's flight suit caught fire. He was hit by shrapnel. It was a scene of horrible human devastation.

Men sacrificed their lives to save others that day. One kid, who John couldn't identify because he was burned beyond recognition, called out to John to ask if a certain pilot was OK.

John replied that, yes, he was.

The young sailor said, "Thank God"... and then he died. These are the kind of men John McCain served with. These are the men and women John McCain knows and understands and loves.

If you want to know who John McCain is, if you want to know what John McCain values, look to the men and women who wear America's uniform today. The fire on the Forrestal burned for two days. Twenty planes were destroyed; 134 sailors died.

John himself barely dodged death in the inferno and could've returned to the States with his ship.

Instead, he volunteered for combat on another carrier that was undermanned from losing so many pilots. Stepping up, putting his "country first."

Three months later John McCain was a prisoner of war.

On Oct. 26, 1967, on his 23rd mission over North Vietnam, a surface-to-air missile slammed into John's A-4 Skyhawk jet, blowing it out of the sky.

When John ejected, part of the plane hit him — breaking his right knee, his left arm, his right arm in three places. An angry mob got to him, after he landed. A rifle butt broke his shoulder. A bayonet pierced his ankle and his groin.

They took him to the Hanoi Hilton, where he lapsed in and out of consciousness for days. He was offered medical care for his injuries if he would give up military information in return.

John McCain said "No."

After days of neglect, covered in grime, lying in his own waste in a filthy room, a doctor attempted to set John's right arm without success ... and without anesthesia.
His other broken bones and injuries were not treated. John developed a high fever, dysentery. He weighed barely a hundred pounds.

Expecting him to die, his captors placed him in a cell with two other POWs who also expected him to die.

But with their help, John McCain fought on. He persevered. So then they put him in solitary confinement for over two years. Isolation, incredible heat beating on a tin roof. A light bulb in his cell burning 24 hours a day. Boarded-up cell windows blocking any breath of fresh air. The oppressive heat causing boils the size of baseballs under his arms. The outside world limited to what he could see through a crack in a door.

We hear a lot of talk about hope. John McCain knows about hope. That's all he had to survive on. For propaganda purposes, his captors offered to let him go home.

John McCain refused. He refused to leave ahead of men who'd been there longer. He refused to abandon his conscience and his honor, even for his freedom. He refused, even though his captors warned him, "It will be very bad for you."

They were right. It was.

The guards cracked ribs, broke teeth off at the gums. They cinched a rope around his arms and painfully drew his shoulders back. Over four days, every two to three hours, the beatings resumed. During one especially fierce beating, he fell, again breaking his arm. John was beaten for communicating with other prisoners. He was beaten for not communicating with so-called peace delegations. He was beaten for not giving information during interrogations. When his captors wanted the names of other pilots in his squadron, John gave them the names of the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers.

Whenever John was returned to his cell — walking if he could, dragged if he couldn't — as he passed his fellow POWs, he would call out to them. He'd smile ... and give them a thumbs up. For 5 1/2 years this went on. John McCain's bones may have been broken, but his spirit never was.

Now, being a POW certainly doesn't qualify anyone to be president. But it does reveal character.

This is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders. Strength. Courage. Humility. Wisdom. Duty. Honor.

It's pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, "Who is this man?" and "Can we trust this man with the presidency?"

He has been to Iraq eight times since 2003. He went seeking truth, not publicity. When he travels abroad, he prefers quietly speaking to the troops amidst the heat and hardship of their daily lives. And the same character that marked John McCain's military career has also marked his political career. This man John McCain is not intimidated by what the polls say or by what is politically safe or popular.

At a point when the war in Iraq was going badly and the public lost confidence, John stood up and called for more troops. And now we are winning.

Ronald Reagan was John McCain's hero. And President Reagan admired John tremendously.

But when the president proposed putting U.S. troops in Beirut, John McCain, a freshman congressman, stood up and cast a vote against his hero because he thought the deployment was a mistake.

My friends ... that is character you can believe in.

For years, members of Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, have gouged the taxpayer with secret earmark spending.

Well, he has never sought an earmark.

I've experienced John's character firsthand. In 1993, when I was thinking of running for the Senate, I went to John for advice. He convinced me I could help make a difference for our country. I won that election, and with Republican control of Congress, we reformed welfare. We balanced the budget. And we began rebuilding our military.

What I remember most about those years is sitting next to John on the Senate floor as he led battle after battle to change the acrimonious, pork-barreling, self-serving ways of Washington.

The Senate has always had more than its share of smooth talkers.

And big talkers.

It still has.

But while others were talking reform, John McCain led the effort to make reform happen — always pressing, always moving for what he believed was right and necessary to restore the people's faith in their government.

Confronting when necessary, reaching across the aisle when possible, John personified why we came to Washington in the first place.

It didn't always set too well with some of his colleagues.

Some of those fights were losing efforts.

Some were not.

But a man who never quits is never defeated.

Because John McCain stood up, our country is better off.

The respect he is given around the world is not because of a teleprompter speech designed to appeal to American critics abroad but because of decades of clearly demonstrated character and statesmanship.

There has been no time in our nation's history, since we first pledged allegiance to the American flag, when the character, judgment and leadership of our president was more important.

Terrorists, rogue nations developing nuclear weapons, an increasingly belligerent Russia.

Intensifying competition from China.

Spending at home that threatens to bankrupt future generations. For decades an expanding government ... increasingly wasteful and too often incompetent.

To deal with these challenges the Democrats present a history-making nominee for president.

History-making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for president. Apparently they believe that he would match up well with the history-making, Democrat-controlled Congress. History-making because it's the least accomplished and most unpopular Congress in our nation's history.

Together, they would take on these urgent challenges with protectionism, higher taxes and an even bigger bureaucracy. And a Supreme Court that could be lost to liberalism for a generation. This is not reform. And it's certainly not change.
It is basically the same old stuff they've been peddling for years. America needs a president who understands the nature of the world we live in. A president who feels no need to apologize for the United States of America.

We need a president who understands that you don't make citizens prosperous by making Washington richer, and you don't lift an economic downturn by imposing one of the largest tax increases in American history.

Now our opponents tell you not to worry about their tax increases. They tell you they are not going to tax your family.

No, they're just going to tax "businesses"! So unless you buy something from a "business," like groceries or clothes or gasoline ... or unless you get a paycheck from a big or a small "business," don't worry ... it's not going to affect you.

They say they are not going to take any water out of your side of the bucket, just the "other" side of the bucket! That's their idea of tax reform.

My friends, we need a leader who stands on principle. We need a president, and vice president, who will take the federal bureaucracy by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shaking. And we need a president who doesn't think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade. The man who will be that president is John McCain.

In the days ahead at this convention, you will hear much more about what John will do as president — what he will do on the economy, on energy, on health care, the environment. It is not my role tonight to explain that vision. My role is to help remind you of the man behind the vision. Because tonight our country is calling to all of us to step up, stand up, and put "country first" with John McCain.

Tonight we are being called upon to do what is right for our country. Tonight we are being called upon to stand up for a strong military ... a mature foreign policy ... a free and growing economy and for the values that bind us together and keep our nation free. Tonight, we are being called upon to step up and stand up with John just as he has stood up for our country.

Our country is calling. John McCain cannot raise his arms above his shoulders. He cannot salute the flag of the country for which he sacrificed so much. Tonight, as we begin this convention week, yes, we stand with him.

And we salute him. We salute his character and his courage. His spirit of independence, and his drive for reform. His vision to bring security and peace in our time, and continued prosperity for America and all her citizens.

For our own good and our children's, let us celebrate that vision, that belief, that faith so we can keep America the greatest country the world has ever seen.

God bless John McCain and God bless America.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain - Palin: Sarah Palin is the Republican Vice Presidential candidate

Well now we have a race. Senator McCain has just announced his Vice President and it has caught everyone off guard. His choice – Sarah Palin the Governor of Alaska.

You may not be familiar with this Governor, I wasn’t either. So I watched her speak and looked up some information on her.

Photo of Sarah Palin and husband of 20 years Todd - found at http://www.newsday.com/news/local/politics/ny-usmcca0830,0,3136641.story

She is 44, married for 20 years. She has 5 children, with her oldest son in the Army and going to Iraq in September. Her youngest son was born this year in April and has Down’s Syndrome – which was known before he was born. She has been Governor of Alaska for 2 years, and previously has been on the Wasilla City Council for 2 terms. She is a lifetime member of the NRA, a hunter, commercial fisher, a former Miss Alaska, and graduated from University of Idaho with a degree in Journalism.

She is also a bit of a maverick. Politically she took on the Republican Party in Alaska for ethics violations, refused to fund the Gravina Island Bridge – also known as the bridge to nowhere. She also opposed Senator Ted Stevens, known for being independent of oil companies, and opposed 35 last-minute appointments of former-Governor Murkowski including Jim Clark who later plead guilty for illegal campaign finance funding of Murkowski. She opposes same sex marriage, but has enabled laws that support same-sex couples benefits.

So overall this is an interesting choice by McCain.

As I have stated before I had thought he would go with Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. I was half right in that he took on a woman for VP. This effectively will pry many women away from the Democratic base, and add many from the independent voters. I cannot see how the supporters of Hillary Clinton cannot vote for McCain now, especially since many were obsessed with a woman being in the Oval Office.

Comparing the Vice Presidential picks we can see that only Gov. Palin has executive office experience. In fact she holds an 80% approval rating. That severely beats the approval rating of Congress which is below the rating of President Bush.

She is pro-life from what I can tell, Biden is pro-choice. Palin is pro-guns, Biden is anti-guns. Palin is younger than Obama, Biden is older. She is pro-drilling, Biden (and McCain) is against drilling in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). Palin has created a sub-committee to investigate ‘global warming’ and greenhouse gas emmissions in Alaska – so I’m not sure if she believe in global warming or not, Biden is down the Democratic Party-line on global warming. Palin has cut taxes and stimulated the economy in Alaska, Biden has voted to increase taxes but claims to be for tax cuts for the middle class.

It is unclear where Sarah Palin stands on unions, free trade, homeland security, immigration, education and foreign policy (though she has visited Iraq before). Biden is for unions, voted for NAFTA, voted for the Patriot Act (with limits on wiretaps), voted for a path to citizenship for illegal aliens and voted to give illegal aliens social security benefits [though SS is failing], is pro-teachers unions and voted against school vouchers, and his views on Iraq are famopusly opposed to his Party’s Presidential candidate.

And I know this is purely superficial but Sarah Palin looks far better than Joe Biden, especially for a mom of 5.

The Obama-Biden ticket is decidedly D.C. based and focused. The McCain-Palin ticket is not. Obama-Biden is defined as far-left liberal (first and third most liberal Senators currently), McCain-Palin would best be described as centrist/right.

Obama – Biden has a Black man, thus making history. McCain – Palin has a woman, thus making history (though honestly a bit less because Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman picked as a VP).

It is an interesting comparison. Obviously more must be learned about Sarah Palin to be sure where she stands. And her abilities in the debates will be quite interesting.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Senator Hillary Clinton at the DNC: what will she say?

Looking forward to Senator Hillary Clinton’s speech tonight I am wondering what will be said, just like every other pundit out there. My interest is based on a simple set of facts. Senator Clinton went a long way to damage the chances of Senator Obama winning, from his inexperience to his race. And these attacks are now the fuel of political ads from the Republicans and the Mc Cain campaign.



Senator Clinton set up this attack. In fact it is almost verbatim what she said in the Primaries. The McCain campaign can’t be blamed for using the words of the Democrats to benefit himself, whether it was Hillary or Joe Biden’s words.

So what Senator Clinton says tonight will be very interesting.

Either Senator Clinton will come out with a major flip flop, essentially saying that the Clinton campaign was willing to say and do anything to win – including making comments she felt were untrue – or she will use the well known Clinton polispeak spin to obfuscate and ignore everything she has said in the past.

The speech tonight must address the comments she has made about the lack of experience of Senator Obama, and why that is now not important as opposed to just a couple of months ago. Her speech must refute if not denounce the words of her husband, former-President Bill Clinton – and explain why he has refused to say that Senator Obama is ready for the Presidency, which he has claimed for every other Democrat that ran in the Primaries. Senator Clinton must also find a way to gap the chasm created in dividing the Democratic Party along lines of race and gender. The Clinton campaign was very effective at using race and gender, and caused a lasting question of stereotypical and racist fear in the minds of many in the nation; this must be addressed.

If the speech by Senator Clinton fails to address each of these issues, if she fails to close all these doors she opened, she will leave the Democratic Party divided in a manner not seen in decades. And if I were in Las Vegas I’d bet that she won’t do it.

My instincts, and my read on the polispeak of the Clinton’s during the Primaries and after them has given me the belief that neither Clinton is really willing to help Senator Obama. They will stand by him, raise money and say the words that need to be said. But they will also leave just a bit of doubt, leave him just a bit weak on critical issues. Because then it will not be said that they weren’t team players when the next Presidential election comes up.

To this point everything the Clinton campaign has done has been part of a plan to prepare for the 2012 election, in my opinion. We have been watching the beginnings of a new campaign and Primary run since the day Senator Obama took the presumptive nomination and Hillary Clinton refused to acknowledge it.

So my ultimate thought is that Senator Hillary Clinton will leave the door open for her supporters to try to steal the nomination for her. She will leave ajar the thought that her supporters should vote for Senator McCain or just not vote at all. She will keep her option alive to say “I told you I would have won”.

Tonight Senator Hillary Clinton will rally women, and racially sensitive Democrats. That is a given. Now whether she will polispeak and spin them closer to Senator Obama or not is a question that won’t be clear until after her last words are said.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vice President? The choices are limited.

With all the questions floating around about which politician should be the Vice-President for the Presidential candidates, I wanted to take a stab at who I thought made sense. Now to be fair, most of the potentials being bandied about by pundits are not well known names to me. Then again I doubt that most of America is familiar with almost any of them either.

I will delve into the Democrats first. That’s only because I think that Party is the weakest, with the worst political platforms. I also disagree on most issues with them. But not least of all is the fact that I don’t know many that I think would be a good candidate – so I will just mention who I am sure it will not be.

Senator Hillary Clinton. Not even in a pipe dream. Senator Obama and the Clinton machine share no love. Senator Clinton is actively trying to stab Obama in the back right now. Former- President Bill Clinton has insulted every aspect of Obama’s campaign as well as African Americans in politics.

Beyond all that, she is the one person that every Republican would love to see on the ticket. There is so much ammunition ready based on the fiascos, lies, and corruption of the Clintons that it would be the fastest way to ensure a McCain win. Women and Black votes included.

Al Gore. Is anyone that wants this not on drugs? Yes he is popular today with his allegations that the world will end tomorrow in a boiling ball of flame. Of course he thinks he is the smartest man in the room, no matter where the room is. Including the Oval Office.

He is slightly better than Hillary as he is less hated. But he is also seen as being very weak. Internationally he may do well with scientists, but that’s about it. Say what you will but the nation was SO happy that Gore was not in charge after 9/11. And he is directly linked to most of the baggage the Clintons have because he was part of their do-nothing Administration.

John Kerry. Do I really need to say more? You might as well want John Edwards.

Colin Powell. Now this is interesting. He is respected in politics and internationally. He is a war hero. He is unquestionably patriotic. He is Black. He is intelligent. He is personable. But he is also a Republican.

Now if he were to be convinced that would be something. But I do not believe that he would take the position just because Senator Obama has made history. To my knowledge virtually all the positions that Obama has announced are opposed by Powell. Though it would be the biggest move since the Lincoln Administration (took a Republican to go with the best people regardless of political affiliation – that’s bi-partisan), I can’t see it happening. It’s a long-shot at best.

And that’s the Democrats I know and care about. All the others being spoken about I don’t know enough to make an intelligent choice on.

As for Republicans I only think there needs to me a choice of 2 people. Condoleezza Rice and Mitt Romney.

Condoleezza Rice is the first Black woman as United States Secretary of State, and just the second African American, or woman, in the position ever (only took 220 some odd years). She is unquestionably intelligent (unless you think Stanford is a community college), experienced both before this Administration and during on international affairs. Oh, and she speaks 5 languages.

She survived the trials and tribulations of the Jim Crow laws in Birmingham yet she is relatively young, at a politically youthful 53. She is an accomplished pianist. And she was a Democrat until 1982.

Let me focus on the last sentence. Like many African Americans, Secretary Rice was raised to look at Democrats favorably. Unlike many of the youth today that believe the ultra-liberal views of Obama is the only option, Secretary Rice has seen several of the current proposals in action under President Carter. Anyone old enough to have lived through the fiasco that President Carter made of the economy at the time, and the weakness he projected of America (by being incapable of recovering our hostages from Iran) logically would never want to go back to that process.

Secretary Rice helps to pull the Black vote, as well as women. She is young, balancing well against McCain’s age. She is in excellent health. She is a success, it cannot be said enough. She has experience, which in combination to McCain severely outweighs the experience of any combination the Democrats can come up with.

The patriotism us unquestioned, and for those that care she is Presbyterian to my knowledge.

And let me step back. I mentioned 2 people, and thinking about it as I write I have changed my mind. I think she is the only real and solid choice. A McCain – Rice ticket wins in my opinion. Do the math as you wish, but Democrats have nothing to compete with this.

And the only negative I can think of is the pre-existing issue of Iraq. But we already know how Senator McCain feels about that, so it’s moot.

Well in a mere few days we will see, and then the real decisions will start to be made.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ken Jackson asks about Senator McCain and votes for veterans

This is written in response to comments of Ken Jackson, questioning my views of Senator McCain due to his voting record, found in the post Senator Obama overseas - polispeak and votes

Ken,

Thank you for you response. I must say that I enjoy well-informed thought out comments.

While I must admit that it was a failure on my part for not mentioning the nature of Senator John McCain’s voting record there is a notable difference between the candidates. First off there is the question of Senator John McCain’s voting record. While you may be focusing on the last 4 years he has been in elected office for 25 years. Thus to evaluate his voting record effectively, and in full comparison, requires looking at 25 years of votes.

The next point to keep in mind is that I would not say that McCain has voted 95% along the Republican party line. While it is well documented that Senator Obama has voted the most liberal of all Senators in office, a review of McCain does not find that same fact. Note that just 1 ½ - 2 years ago McCain was lauded as the Democrats’ Republican. The liberal media hailed him as a progressive Republican willing to deviate from the pack. Such descriptions argue that 95% seems far too inaccurate.

Also of note is the fact that while there are several notable votes where McCain has voted Republican, as in his votes to maintain the Bush tax cuts (thus preventing a de facto tax increase), he has also voted bi-partisan as well as introducing legislation that was far from Republican party line. A great example is the immigration reform bill that was voted upon not more than 2 years ago, and was favored by many Democrats and some Republicans.

Senator Obama cannot say the same on any of these points. If I am incorrect please provide me sites or records that I might review.

To your points on the Surge, you are correct that the terms of the surge are vague. Depending on which political party you look at the Surge has had varying amounts of success. But the key in my mind is that the Surge has been an (at least limited) success and not the complete failure promised by Harry Reid and others (before it ever started, in fact from the moment it was proposed).

As you yourself admit, 15 out of 18 benchmarks have been achieved to some degree. That’s roughly 83%, give or take the various levels of success of each benchmark. By any standard that is a success, except to Harry Reid and other far-left groups.

I do not claim that the success is enough, or that it is finished. There will not be a finish to any plan in Iraq until the last U.S. combat troop leaves that nation. That is not to say that a military base will not be created in Iraq, but that is no different than the bases that exist in Korea, Germany, Japan and other nations over the past multiple decades.

Now I submit this thought as well. It is not possible to have any long-lasting or final result if Iraq is not at relative peace. If active fighting is occurring in the streets, and the people of Iraq are unable to even go to market for goods without being shot at or have IED’s go off, then nothing can be resolved. Thus the military action of the Surge is practically the most important portion of the entire plan.

Now I fully agree with your point on taking care of the veteran’s. My father was a veteran of Viet Nam, I served in the Marines, and several members of my family have served in the Army. So please do not doubt my commitment to servicemen and their families.

I do not believe there is any former service member that would not prefer to see this conflict ended quickly with as few American lives lost as possible. I also believe that each of us at one time or another vowed to give our lives for our nation, as determined by our President and the Congress, in all their wisdom (or lack thereof). While we may not agree with how the orders originate, we have to believe that ultimately they are for the greatest good of our nation.

While Iraq may have started under bad terms, at best, at this point to not win means that those orphans and any that are in difficulty will be convinced that America is the root of all their ills (which could well be false). As we all know quite well such disaffected individuals have a penchant for becoming fanatics and suicide killers. Thus in 5 to 10 years after a loss and retreat the potential for another massive attack on American soil increases exponentially.

But there is no excuse for the manner in which our veterans are being treated upon coming home. We are obligated to provide them better medical and mental care than they are receiving currently. At the same time there is an undercurrent in this nation that would look upon or military brethren in the same manner as those soldiers that returned to a hostile home after Viet Nam. Groups like Moveon.org (which are major Obama supporters) are little different than Hanoi Jane Fonda in my mind; and they need only slight provocation to go from their current ‘support’ of troops to outright dismissal of them.

As for McCain not supporting out troops, Factcheck.org argues your point. They state directly that he has in fact voted to increase funds for veteran care, consistently

“Specifically, in 2004 McCain voted against an increase of $1.8 billion, but an increase of $1.2 billion passed by unanimous consent. In 2005 he voted against an increase of $2.8 billion, but voted for a $410 million increase. And in 2006, he voted against a $1.5 billion increase, but voted for an $823 million increase.

There was no dissent for the 2004 amendment, and the 2006 amendment passed unanimously. In 2005, the alternative spending increase passed with a healthy 96-to-4 bipartisan stamp of approval. Also, it's worth mentioning that the president does not express an opinion on every amendment offered in the Senate. So it is not accurate to say McCain "took Bush's side" on these votes.

The union group also cites a fourth vote, a March 2007 vote by McCain against a war spending supplemental that passed the Senate but was vetoed by the president. The bill did include $1.77 billion in additional funding for veterans' health care benefits. However, McCain voted for an alternative version of the supplemental that was quickly introduced, passed and signed into law. And it actually included slightly more money for veterans' health benefits, $1.79 billion.”



Now you may want to question why McCain has not voted in favor of more funding for our veterans, but that is different than

“a man who turns his back on fellow soldiers”


as you stated.

As for any other point on his care about our soldiers I refer to this other item from Factcheck.org. McCain has received awards from

  • 1995 Congressional Award from the VFW
  • 1992 VFW's Americanism Award
  • three or four Legislator of the Year Awards from American Legion
  • The VFW PAC has endorsed McCain in every congressional election since 1984

I have to believe that these organizations would not present awards to Senator McCain if he was not doing something (or a lot) in favor of military personnel and families.

And Senator Obama, who has never served a day in his life, and therefore cannot appreciate fully the sacrifices families and service members make daily, cannot make the same claims. Thus while I understand and appreciate your concern, I believe that on these issues Senator Obama is inferior to McCain.

But if you have proof to correct my positions, or cause for me to reconsider my position I am open to hear them.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Saddleback Civil Forum: My impressions

Now I’ve discussed my thoughts on how Senator Obama and Senator McCain answered questions about taxes and Darfur, but there were other observations from the Saddleback Civil Forum.

On of the most obvious things I noticed in comparing the 2 Presidential candidates was the amount of expirence they had. While Senator Obama had some ideas and tried to answer all the questions as best he could, Senator McCain had tons of experience. In almost every question asked McCain had a reference of something either he or his wife did. Not idea or proposals but actual facts and actions that related to the question at hand. That spoke volumes.

Another point that was divergent had to be the questions on abortion and gay marriage. The position of Senator McCain was pretty obvious on these questions. He is pro-life (now) and against gay marriage.

Senator Obama made me a bit surprised. He stated he was against gay marriage in a rather emphatic manner. I had not expected him to be so cut and dry on this issue.

“I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not -- that for gay partners to want to visit each other in a hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are.”


As the most liberal Senator sitting currently, and with the huge financial support of far-left groups like Moveon.org, I expected him to have a more soft position. That is sure to cost him votes.

[Let me answer a question I inevitably will be asked. I do not support gay marriage. I do support civil unions. My reasons are different than what you may think.

The fight for gay marriage is a fight for a word. The purpose of marriage is the monogamous union of a man and woman for the purpose of procreation. Everything else associated with that is a societal/cultural addition. Since a gay couple is incapable of procreation, they cannot be married.

In fighting for the word marriage, an attempt to force others that disagree with gays in general to be forced to acknowledge them, the real fight is obscured. That fight as I understand it is for the right to be treated with dignity and equal rights under the law. That right can and must be covered by civil unions.

To fight for a word is to thus fight religious beliefs of some, which is a never ending fight as we can see in Iraq and with Muslim fanatics, and distracts from the real issue. It in fact prevents some from reaching a middle ground and supporting civil unions.

That simply put is my position. Let the hate mail begin.
]

Senator Obama was incredibly ambivalent on his answer about abortion. He never answered where he believes life begins. I realize that he was opposed to angering some voters with his answer, but I think his response angers everyone since he did not give an answer.

“So for me, the goal right now should be -- and this is where I think we can find common ground; and by the way, I've now inserted this into the Democratic Party platform -- is, how do we reduce the number of abortions?”


Thus he fails groups on both sides of the argument. I dislike answers like this as I find it polispeak of the worst form. It’s an attempt to hold or gather votes without providing the public with a basis to form an opinion and make an educated vote. I dislike when any candidate pulls this kind of stunt.

A similar thing happened with the first question that Senator Obama was given. When asked to name 3 people that were the wisest he has known in his life, he gives 2 names. His wife Michelle and his grandmother. I have no problem with the women he chose, I just wonder who was the 3rd person?

He bypasses the 3rd person on the list to then discuss the people he would rely on in his potential administration. Why did he skip the 3rd person? Who was it? Was it Rev. Wright and he was afraid of the controversy? Was it another figure that politically was derisive?

Mind you I don’t like the way McCain answered the first question either.

“First one, I think, would be General David Petraeus, one of the great military leaders in American history, who took us from defeat to victory in Iraq -- one of the great leaders… John Lewis was at the Edmund Pettis Bridge… Meg Whitman; Meg Whitman, the CEO of eBay.”


His answers were equally filled with polispeak. That does not mean they aren’t true, just that the obvious political benefit is too much to not notice.

The Iraq war, thus backing his views on how to have handled the conflict from the start and the Surge which was called a failure by Democrats before it ever started. John Lewis who was hurt during the Civil Rights Movement, and a nice pick for the Black vote. Meg Whiman, very positive for business, women, and those concerned about the economy.

Again they might all be true, but the groups the answer plays to is far too obvious.

Especially in the first answer.

Now while I think McCain showed far more experience, and was ready to answer tough questions with direct answers he was a bit to blunt. Some of his answers were too much dead on Republican talking points. They may be his views, but it just seemed that his campaign banged in his best response too well. It was like he was springloaded to respond to certain questions with exact answers. That does not mean they knew the question in advance, just that he was prepared overly-well.

What do I come away from this all? Basically that Senator McCain is far more experienced and ready to lead ther nation. That some of his views are far more defined and closer to the centrist nature of the general American public than Senator Obama.

And sadly for Senator Obama he gave a strong reason not to vote for him. His reason to not accept Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is exactly the reason that you can oppose him as President.

“I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation, setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretations of a lot of the Constitution.”


If inexperience is a disqualifier for Supreme Court, how can it not be a disqualifier for the highest elected office?

What did you think of the Forum?

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Full transcript from Saddleback Civil Forum

So that you can compare the candidates and draw your own conclusion. Don't rely on any one media source or any pundit (including myself); see their full comments for yourself.

Your vote is worth too much not to.




    REV. WARREN: Well, welcome to the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency. I guess you got my invitation. (Laughter.) We're here at Saddleback Church here in Lake Forest, California. And tonight we're going to use the interview format with these two candidates.

    Now, we believe in the separation of church and state, but we do not believe in the separation of faith and politics, because faith is just a world view, and everybody has some kind of world view, and it's important to know what they are.

    Now, what I've decided, to allow for proper comparison, I'm going to ask identical questions to each of these candidates so you can compare apples to apples. Now, Senator Obama's going to go first. We flipped a coin. And we have safely placed Senator McCain in a cone of silence. (Laughter.) Now, each of the interviews will be segmented into four different sections. We're going to look at four different things, and the number of questions answered in each segment will depend on how succinct the senator is.

    I have to tell you up front, both of these guys are my friends. I don't happen to agree with everything either of them teach or believe, but they both care deeply about America. They're both patriots, and they have very different views on how America can be strengthened.

    Now, in America, we've got to learn how to disagree without demonizing each other. And we need to restore civility -- (applause) -- we need to restore civility in our civil discourse, and that's the goal of the Saddleback Civil Forum.

    So let's get started. And will you welcome Senator Barack Obama.

    (Applause and cheers.)

    REV. WARREN: Glad you're here. Thank you for being here.

    SEN. OBAMA: Thank you. Pretty good crowd you got here. (Laughter.)

    REV. WARREN: I got a good crowd.

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, it's a nice looking crowd.

    REV. WARREN: We're going to talk about four different issues tonight, Barack. The first issue is on leadership.

    SEN. OBAMA: Right.

    REV. WARREN: These first set of questions deal with your personal life as a leader. And I'm not going to do this with any other segment, but as a pastor I've got some verses that have to do with leadership. And the first issue is the area of listening. Now, there's a verse in Proverbs that says, "fools think they need no advice, but wise listen to other people." Who are the three wisest people you know in your life? And who are you going to rely on heavily in your administration?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, first of all, let me thank you for having me here, Rick.

    REV. WARREN: You're welcome.

    SEN. OBAMA: And I love the ministries that are taking place here at Saddleback. This is the second time I've been here. The first time, we had a wonderful time.

    Excluding you, of course -- (laughter and applause) -- as one of the --

    REV. WARREN: (Laughs.) And your wife. (Applause.)

    SEN. OBAMA: I was going to say -- you know, there are so many people that are constantly helping to shape my views and my opinions. You mentioned one person I'd be listening to, and that's Michelle, my wife --

    REV. WARREN: Yeah, yeah.

    SEN. OBAMA: -- who is not only wise, but she's honest. And one of the things you need, I think any leader needs, is somebody who can get up in your face and say, boy, you really screwed that one up, you really blew that.

    REV. WARREN: (Laughs.) Your wife's like that, too? (Laughter.)

    SEN. OBAMA: She is. So that's very helpful.

    Another person in that category is my grandmother, who is an extraordinary woman. She never went to college. She worked on a bomber assembly line during World War II when my grandfather was away. Came back, got a job as a secretary and worked her way up to become a bank vice president before she retired. And she's just a very grounded, common-sense, no-fuss, no-frills kind of person. And when I've got big decisions, I often check in with her.

    Now, in terms of the administration or how I would approach the presidency, I don't think I'd restrict myself to three people. There are people like Sam Nunn, a Democrat, or Dick Lugar, a Republican, who I'd listen to on foreign policy. On domestic policy, you know, I've got friends ranging from Ted Kennedy to Tom Coburn, who don't necessarily agree on a lot of things but who both, I think, have a sincere desire to see this country improve.

    REV. WARREN: Yeah.

    SEN. OBAMA: What I've found is very helpful to me is to have a table where a lot of different points of view are represented and where I can sit and poke and prod and ask them questions so that any blind spots I have or predispositions that I have that my assumptions are challenged. And I think that that's extraordinarily important.

    REV. WARREN: All right. Let's talk about personal life. The Bible says that integrity and love are the basis of leadership. This is a tough question. What would be, looking over your life -- everybody's got weaknesses, nobody's perfect -- would be the greatest moral failure in your life? And what would be the greatest moral failure of America?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, in my own life, I'd break it up in stages. I had a difficult youth. My father wasn't in the house. I've written about this. You know, there were times when I experimented with drugs, I drank, you know, in my teenage years. And what I trace this to is a certain selfishness on my part. I was so obsessed with me and, you know, the reasons that I might be dissatisfied that I couldn't focus on other people. And you know, I think the process for me of growing up was to recognize that it's not about me. It's about --

    REV. WARREN: I like that. (Laughter and applause.) I like that.

    SEN. OBAMA: Absolutely. But look, you know, when I find myself taking the wrong step, I think a lot of times it's because I'm trying to protect myself instead of do God's work.

    REV. WARREN: Yeah, fundamental selfishness.

    SEN. OBAMA: And so that, I think, is my own failure.

    REV. WARREN: How about America?

    SEN. OBAMA: I think America's greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don't abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me. (Applause.) And that notion of -- that basic principle applies to poverty. It applies to racism and sexism. It applies to, you know, not thinking about providing ladders of opportunity for people to get into the middle class.

    I mean, there's a pervasive sense, I think, that this country, as wealthy and powerful as we are, still don't spend enough time thinking about "the least of these."

    REV. WARREN: Okay. We've talked about this before, about the common good and the common ground and common good. Can you give me an example of a time -- you know, I've seen that a lot of good legislation gets killed because of party loyalty.

    SEN. OBAMA: Yeah.

    REV. WARREN: Can you give me a good example of where you went against party loyalty and maybe even went against your own best interest for the good of America.

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know, I'll give you an example that in fact I worked with John McCain on, and that was the issue of campaign ethics reform and finance reform. That wasn't probably in my interest or his, for that matter, because the truth was that both Democrats and Republicans sort of like the status quo. And I was new to the Senate, and it didn't necessarily then engender a lot of popularity when I started saying, you know, we're going to eliminate meals and gifts from corporate lobbyists. I remember one of my colleagues, whose name will be unmentioned, who said, well, where do you expect us to eat, McDonald's?

    REV. WARREN: (Laughs.)

    SEN. OBAMA: And I thought, well, actually, a lot of your constituents probably do eat at McDonald's, so that wouldn't be such a bad thing. But I think that we were able to get a bill passed that hasn't made Washington perfect but at least has started moving things forward.

    And you know, I guess the other example where I'm not sure that this was more of a partisan issue but it was something that I felt very deeply was when I posed the initial decision to go into war in Iraq. That was not a popular view at the time. And I was just starting my campaign for the United State Senate. And I think there were a lot of people who advised me, you should be cautious, this is going to be successful, the president has a very high approval rating, and you could end up losing the election as a consequence of this.

    REV. WARREN: Let me ask it this way. A lot of times, candidates are accused of flip-flopping, but actually sometimes flip-flopping is smart because you actually have decided a better position based on knowledge that you didn't have.

    SEN. OBAMA: Right.

    REV. WARREN: What's the most significant position you held 10 years ago that you no longer hold today, that you've flipped on, you've changed on because you actually see it differently?

    SEN. OBAMA: Because I actually changed my mind.

    REV. WARREN: You changed your mind, exactly.

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know, I'm trying to think back 10 years ago. I think that a good example would be the issue of welfare reform where I always believed that welfare had to be changed. I was much more concerned 10 years ago, when President Clinton initially signed the bill, that this could have disastrous results. I worked in the Illinois legislature to make sure that we were providing child care and health care and other support services for the women who were going to be kicked off the rolls at a certain time. It worked better than I think a lot of people anticipated.

    And you know, one of the things that I am absolutely convinced of is that we have to have work as a centerpiece of any social policy -- (applause) -- not only because ultimately people who work are going to get more income, but the intrinsic dignity of work, the sense of purpose --

    REV. WARREN: We were made for work.

    SEN. OBAMA: We were made for work.

    REV. WARREN: Yeah.

    SEN. OBAMA: And the sense that you are part of a community because you are making a contribution, no matter how small, to the well being of the country as a whole, I think that is something that Democrats generally I think have made a significant shift on.

    REV. WARREN: What's the most significant -- let me ask it this way. What's the most gut-wrenching decision you've ever had to make? And how did you process that to come to that decision?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know, I think the opposition to the war in Iraq is as tough a decision as I've had to make, not only because there were political consequences but also because Saddam Hussein was a real bad person. And there was no doubt that he meant America ill. But I was firmly convinced at the time that we did not have strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

    And there were a lot of questions that, as I spoke to experts, kept on coming up. Do we know how the Shi'a and the Sunni and the Kurds are going to get along in a post-Saddam situation? You know, what's our assessment as to how this will affect the battle against terrorists like al Qaeda? Have we finished the job in Afghanistan?

    So I agonized over that. And I think that questions of war and peace generally are so profound. You know, when you meet the troops, they're 19, 20, 21-year-old kids, and you're putting them into harms way. There is a solemn obligation that you do everything you can to get that decision right.

    Now, as the war went forward, there were difficult decisions about, you know, how long do you keep on funding the war if you strongly believe that it's not in America's national interest? At the same time, you don't want to have troops who are out there without the equipment they need. So all those questions surrounding the war have been very difficult for me.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. We'll be back, and we're going to talk about world view in the next section.

    (Announcements.)

    REV. WARREN: Everybody's got a world view. A Buddhist, a Baptist, a secularist, an atheist, everybody's got a world view. I wrote or invited people who get my newsletter to write in their questions. We have about 200,000 questions that came in -- (laughter) -- and I only have 500 in this section. So no matter how you answer these world-view questions, somebody's not going to like it --

    SEN. OBAMA: All right.

    REV. WARREN: -- because we're all different kinds of world views in America, but people want to know what your world view is. So as we go through these minefields, let's just kind of tick them off -- the minefields of America.

    The first one is Christianity. Now, you've made no doubt about your faith in Jesus Christ. What does that mean to you? What does that mean to you to trust in Christ? What does that mean on a daily basis? I mean, what does that really look like?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, as a starting point, it means I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and that I am redeemed through him. That is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis. I know that I don't walk alone. And I know that if I can get myself out of the way that, you know, I can maybe carry out in some small way what he intends. And it means that those sins that I have, on a fairly regular basis, hopefully will be washed away.

    You know, but what it also means, I think, is a sense of obligation to embrace not just words but through deeds, the expectations, I think, that God has for us. And that means thinking about "the least of these." It means acting, well, acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God. And that, I think, trying to apply those lessons on a daily basis, knowing that you're going to fall a little bit short each day, and being able to kind of take note and saying, well, that didn't quite work out the way I think it should have, but maybe I can get a little bit better. It gives me the confidence to try things, including things like running for president where you're going to screw up once in a while.

    REV. WARREN: Yeah.

    SEN. OBAMA: Yeah.

    REV. WARREN: Okay, let's go through the tough ones. Now, the most -- (laughter) --

    SEN. OBAMA: I thought that was pretty tough.

    REV. WARREN: No, that was a freebie. That was a gimme. (Laughter.) That was a gimme.

    Okay, now, let's deal with abortion. Forty million abortions since Roe v Wade. You know, as a pastor, I have to deal with this all the time, all of the pain and all of the conflicts. I know this is a very complex issue.

    Forty million abortions -- at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade. But let me just speak more generally about the issue of abortion because this is something obviously the country wrestles with.

    One thing that I'm absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue. And so I think anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue I think is not paying attention. So that would be point number one.

    But point number two, I am pro-choice. I believe in Roe versus Wade. And I come to that conclusion not because I'm pro-abortion but because ultimately I don't think women make these decisions casually. I think they wrestle with these things in profound ways, in consultation with these pastors or their spouses or their doctors and their family members.

    So for me, the goal right now should be -- and this is where I think we can find common ground; and by the way, I've now inserted this into the Democratic Party platform -- is, how do we reduce the number of abortions? Because the fact is is that although we've had a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down. And that, I think, is something that we have to ask ourselves.

    REV. WARREN: Have you ever voted to limit or reduce abortions?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, I am in favor, for example, of limits on late- term abortions if there is an exception for the mother's health. Now, from the perspective of those who, you know, are pro-life, I think they would consider that inadequate, and I respect their views. I mean, one of the things that I've always said is is that on this particular issue, if you believe that life begins at conception and you are consistent in that belief, then I can't argue with you on that because that is a core issue of faith for you.

    What I can do is say, are there ways that we can work together to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies so that we actually are reducing the sense that women are seeking out abortions? And as an example of that, one of the things that I've talked about is, how do we provide the resources that allow women to make the choice to keep a child? You know, have we given them the health care that they need? Have we given them the support services they need? Have we given them the options of adoption that are necessary? That, I think, can make a genuine difference.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. There's a lot more I'd like to ask on that, but we got 15 other questions here.

    Define marriage.

    SEN. OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. (Applause.) Now, for me as a Christian, it's also a sacred union. You know, God's in the mix. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: Would you support a constitutional amendment with that definition?

    SEN. OBAMA: No, I would not.

    REV. WARREN: Why not?

    SEN. OBAMA: (Applause.) Because historically, we have not defined marriage in our Constitution. It's been a matter of state law that has been our tradition. Now, I mean, let's break it down. The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern about same-sex marriage. I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not -- that for gay partners to want to visit each other in a hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are.

    I think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others, even if I have a different perspective or a different view. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: Okay. How about this? What about stem cells? Now, we've had this scientific breakthrough of creating these pluripotent stem cells in adult cells. Do we still need federal funding for research? Would you still support that for embryo stem cells?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, keep in mind the way the stem cell legislation that was vetoed by the president was structured. What it said was you could only use embryos that were about to be discarded, that had been created as a consequence of attempts at in vitro fertilization. So there were very tightly circumscribed mechanisms that were permitted.

    I think that that is a legitimate, moral approach to take. If we're going to discard those embryos and we know that there's potential research that could lead to curing debilitating diseases -- Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease -- you know, if that possibility presents itself, then I think that we should, in a careful way, go ahead and pursue that research.

    Now, if in fact adult stem cell lines are working just as well, then, of course, we should try to avoid any kind of moral arguments that may be in place.

    But I want to make a broader point, Pastor Rick, on an issue like stem cell research. I mean, it's not like people who are in favor of stem cell research are going around thinking to themselves, you know, boy, let's go destroy some embryos. Right? I mean, that's not the perspective that I think people come to that issue on.

    I think what they say is, we would not tolerate a situation in which, you know, we're encouraging human cloning or in some ways diminishing the sacredness of human life and what it means to be human. But that in narrow circumstances, you know, there is nothing inappropriate with us pursuing scientific research that could lead to cures so long as, you know, we're not designing embryos for that purpose.

    REV. WARREN: Okay, we've got one last -- I've got a bunch more, but let me just ask you one about evil. Does evil exist? And if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it, do we defeat it?

    SEN. OBAMA: Evil does exist. I mean, I think we see evil all the time. We see evil in Darfur. We see evil, sadly, on the streets of our cities. We see evil in parents who viciously abuse their children. And I think it has to be confronted. It has to be confronted squarely.

    And one of the things that I strongly believe is that, you know, we are not going to, as individuals, be able to erase evil from the world. That is God's task. But we can be soldiers in that process, and we can confront it when we see it.

    Now, the one thing that I think is very important is for us to have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil because, you know, a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil.

    REV. WARREN: In the name of good.

    SEN. OBAMA: In the name of good.

    REV. WARREN: Yeah, okay.

    SEN. OBAMA: And I think, you know, one thing that's very important is having some humility in recognizing that, you know, just because we think our intentions are good doesn't always mean that we're going to be doing good.

    REV. WARREN: Okay, all right. Let's move on to some domestic issues. Don't give me your stump speech on these. Let's go through it.

    SEN. OBAMA: All right. This is hard. (Laughter.)

    REV. WARREN: I know it is.

    SEN. OBAMA: I've been on the stump for a long time.

    REV. WARREN: I know it is. The courts -- let me ask it this way. Which existing Supreme Court justice would you not have nominated?

    SEN. OBAMA: That's a good one. That's a good one. (Laughter.)

    I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. (Applause.) I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation, setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretations of a lot of the Constitution. I would not nominate Justice Scalia, although I don't think there's any doubt about his intellectual brilliance, because he and I just disagree. You know, he taught at the University of Chicago, as did I, in the law school.

    REV. WARREN: How about John Roberts?

    SEN. OBAMA: You know, John Roberts I have to say was a tougher question only because I find him to be a very compelling person, you know, in conversation individually. He's clearly smart, very thoughtful.

    I will tell you that how I've seen him operate since he went to the bench confirms the suspicions that I had and the reason that I voted against him.

    And I'll give you one very specific instance, and this is not a stump speech. I think one of the --

    REV. WARREN: (Laughs.) When I pick this up, it means --

    SEN. OBAMA: Right, exactly. I'm getting the cues, I'm getting the cues. (Laughter.

    One of the most important jobs of, I believe, the Supreme Court is to guard against the encroachment of the executive branch on the power of the other branches.

    REV. WARREN: Okay.

    SEN. OBAMA: And I think that he has been a little bit too willing and eager to give an administration, whether it's mine or George Bush's, more power than I think the Constitution originally intended.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. The role of faith-based organizations -- a recent poll says 80 percent of Americans think faith-based organizations do a better job at community services than the government -- helping addictions -- (applause) -- you know, prisoner reentry, you know, all the different homeless, poverty, things like this. And the Civil Rights Act of '64 says that faith-based organizations have a right to hire people who believe like they do. Would you insist that faith-based organizations forfeit that right to access federal funds?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think you're aware, Pastor Rick, that I gave a speech earlier this summer promoting faith-based initiatives. I think that we should have an all-hands-on-deck approach when it comes to issues like poverty and substance abuse. And as somebody who got my start out of college working with churches who were trying to deal with the devastation of steel plants closing on the south side of Chicago, I know the power of faith-based institutions to get stuff done.

    What I have said is that when it comes, first of all, to funding faith-based organizations, they are always free to hire whoever they want when it comes to their own mission, who their pastor is, various ministries that they want to set up. And this has been a long- standing rule.

    REV. WARREN: Like on Christian college, Christian university.

    SEN. OBAMA: Absolutely. When it comes to the programs that are federally funded, then we do have to be careful to make sure that we are not creating a situation where people are being discriminated against using federal money. That's not new. That's a concept that was true under the Clinton administration. That was true under the Bush administration. There are in 95 percent of the circumstances, it's not an issue because people are careful about how they use the funds.

    There are some tough issues, 5 percent of the situations, where people might say, you know, I want to hire somebody of my faith for a program that is fully funded by the federal government and we're offering services to the public. And my --

    REV. WARREN: For instance, like in relief, like in Katrina.

    SEN. OBAMA: Right, right.

    REV. WARREN: If I took people to Katrina and I wanted to hire some people to do relief, if I took federal money to help in that relief, I wouldn't be able to say, well, I only want people who believe like we do.

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know, it's one of those situations where the devil is in the details. I think generally speaking, faith-based organizations should not be advantaged or disadvantaged when it comes to getting federal funds by virtue of the fact that they are faith- based organizations. They just want a level playing field.

    But what we do want to make sure of is that, as a general principle, we're not using federal funding to discriminate. But that is only when it comes to the narrow program that is being funded by the federal government. That does not affect any of the other ministries that are taking place.

    REV. WARREN: Okay, let's go to education. America right now ranks 19th in high school graduations. We're first in incarcerations.

    SEN. OBAMA: Not good.

    REV. WARREN: Not good. Eighty percent of Americans, a recent poll said they believe in merit pay for teachers. Now, I'm not asking do you think all teachers should get a raise. Do you think better teachers should be paid better, they should be paid more than poor teachers?

    SEN. OBAMA: I think that we should, and I've said this publicly, that we should set up a system of performance pay for teachers, negotiated with teachers, worked with the teachers to figure out the assessments so that they feel like they're being judged fairly, that it's not at the whim of the principal, that it's not simply based on a single high-stakes standardized test. But the basic notion that teaching is a profession, that teachers are underpaid so we need to pay them all more and create a higher baseline, but then we should also reward excellence. I think that is a concept that all of us should invest in. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: Okay. Taxes -- this is a real simple question. Define "rich." (Laughter.) I mean, give me a number. Is it 50,000 (dollars)? One hundred thousand (dollars)? Two hundred thousand (dollars)? Everybody keeps talking about who we're going to tax. How do you define that?

    SEN. OBAMA: You know, if you've got book sales of 25 million, then you qualify. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: (Laughs.) I'm not asking about me. (Laughter.)

    SEN. OBAMA: Look, here's how I think about it. Here's how I think about it, and this is reflected in my tax plan. If you are making $150,000 a year or less as a family, then you're middle class, or you may be poor. But 150 (thousand dollars) down, you're basically middle class. Obviously, it depends on region and where you're living.

    REV. WARREN: In this region, you're poor. (Laughter and applause.)

    SEN. OBAMA: I don't know what housing prices are doing lately. (Applause.) I would argue that if you're making more than 250,000 (dollars) then you're in the top 3, 4 percent of this country. You're doing well. Now, these things are all relative, and I'm not suggesting that everybody who is making over 250,000 (dollars) is living on Easy Street.

    But the question that I think we have to ask ourselves is, if we believe in good schools, if we believe in good roads, if we want to make sure that kids can go to college, if we don't want to leave a mountain of debt for the next generation, then we've got to pay for these things. They don't come for free. And it is irresponsible -- (applause) -- I believe it is irresponsible intergenerationally for us to invest or for us to spend $10 billion a month on a war and not have a way of paying for it. (Applause.) That, I think, is unacceptable.

    So nobody likes to pay taxes. I haven't sold 25 million books, but I've been selling some books lately. (Laughter.) So I write a pretty big check to Uncle Sam. Nobody likes it. What I can say is is that under the approach I'm taking, if you make $150,000 or less, you will see a tax cut. If you're making $250,000 a year or more, you're going to see a modest increase.

    What I'm trying to do is create a sense of balance and fairness in our tax code. One thing I think we can all agree on is that it should be simpler so that you don't have all these loopholes and big stacks of stuff that you've got to comb through, which wastes a huge amount of money and allows special interests to take advantage of things that ordinary people cannot take advantage of.

    REV. WARREN: Great.

    Okay, we'll be right back. (Applause.)

    (Announcements.)

    REV. WARREN: (In progress) -- on the presidency.

    In this last section, I want us to talk about America's responsibility to the rest of the world. We are the most blessed nation in the world, and we're blessed to be a blessing. To whom much is given, much is required. So let's just go down some of those international issues.

    First thing, let's just talk about war. As an American, what's worth dying for? What's worth having sacrifice of American lives for?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, obviously, American freedom, American lives, America's national interests. You know, I was just with my family on vacation in Hawaii and visited the place where my grandfather is laid to rest, the Punchbowl National Cemetery, and then went out to the Arizona out in Pearl Harbor. And you know, you're reminded of the sacrifices that have been made on behalf of our freedom. And I think that is a solemn obligation that we all have.

    I think we also have forged alliances with countries, NATO being a prime example, where we have pledged to act militarily for the common defense.

    That is in our national interest, and that is something that I think that we have to abide by.

    REV. WARREN: What would be the criteria that you would commit troops to end the genocide, for instance like what's going on in Darfur or could happen in Georgia or anywhere else? A mass killing.

    SEN. OBAMA: You know, I don't think that there is a hard-and- fast line at which you say, okay, we are going in. I think it is always a judgment call. I think that the basic principle has to be that if we have it within our power to prevent mass killing and genocide and we can work in concert with the international community to prevent it, then we should act. (Applause.) Now, we have to do so -- I think that international component is very critical. We may not get 100 percent agreement, but let's --

    REV. WARREN: Would you ever go to war without U.N. Approval?

    SEN. OBAMA: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. But you know, I think you take an example like Bosnia when we went in and undoubtedly saved lives, we did not have U.N. Approval, but there was a strong international case that had been made that ethnic cleansing was taking place. And under those circumstances, when we have it within our power, you know, we should take action.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. This one is dear to my heart. Most people don't know that there are 148 million orphans in the world. One hundred forty-eight million kids growing up without mommies and dads. They don't need to be in an orphanage, they need to be in families, but a lot of families can't afford to take these kids in. Would you be willing to consider and even commit to doing some kind of an emergency plan for orphans like President Bush did with AIDS, almost a president's emergency plan for orphans to deal with this issue?

    SEN. OBAMA: I cheated a little bit. I actually looked at this idea ahead of time, and I think it is a great idea. I think it's something that we should sit down and figure out working between non- governmental organizations, international institutions, the U.S. government and try to figure out what can we do.

    I think that part of our plan, though, has to be, how do we prevent more orphans in the first place? And that means that we're helping to build a public health infrastructure around the world. That we are, you know, building on the great work that you and, by the way, this president has done when it comes to AIDS funding around the world. I think, you know, I'm often a critic of President Bush. But I think the PEPFAR program has saved lives and has done very good work. (Applause.) And he deserves enormous credit for that.

    REV. WARREN: Religious persecution -- what do you think the U.S. should do to end religious persecution, for instance, in China, in Iraq and in many of our supposed allies? I'm not just talking about persecution of Christianity, but there's religious persecution around the world that persecutes millions of people.

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, I think the first thing we have to do is to bear witness and to speak out and not pretend that it's not taking place. You know, our relationship with China, for example, is a very complicated one. You know, we're trading partners. Unfortunately, they are now lenders to us because we haven't been taking care of our economy the way we need to be. I don't think any of us want to see military conflict with China.

    So we want to manage this relationship and move them into the world community as a full partner. But we can't purchase that by ignoring the very real persecutions that are taking place. And so having an administration that's speaking out, joining in international forums where we can point out human rights abuses and the absence of religious freedom, that, I think, is absolutely critical.

    Over time, what we are doing is setting up new norms and creating a universal principle that people's faith and people's beliefs have to be protected. And as you said, it's not just Christians. And we've got to make sure -- you know, one thing that I think is very important for us to do on all these issues is to lead by example. That's why I think it's so important for us to have religious tolerance here in the United States. That's why it's so important for us, when we are criticizing other countries about rule of law, to make sure that we're abiding by rule of law and habeas corpus and we're not engaging in torture -- (applause) -- because that gives us a moral standing to talk about these other issues.

    REV. WARREN: Okay, another issue. The third-largest and the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world is human trafficking, $32 billion a year. A lot of people don't know that there are about 27 million people living in slavery right now, many of them in sex trafficking but in the others. How do we speak out? And how do you plan to do something about that?

    SEN. OBAMA: This has to be a top priority. And this is an area where we've already seen bipartisan agreement on this issue. What we have to do is to create better, more effective tools for prosecuting those who are engaging in human trafficking. And we have to do that within our country. Sadly, there are thousands who are trapped in various forms of enslavement here in our country, oftentimes young women who are caught up in prostitution.

    So we've got to give prosecutors the tools to crack down on these human-trafficking networks. Internationally, we've got to speak out, and we've got to forge alliances with other countries to share intelligence, to roll up the financing networks that are involved in them. It is a debasement of our common humanity whenever we see something like that taking place. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: Okay. In a minute -- in one minute because I know you could take the entire hour on this -- tell me in a minute why you want to be president.

    SEN. OBAMA: You know, I remember what my mother used to tell me. I was talking to somebody a while back, and I said, the one time that she'd get really angry with me is if she ever thought that I was being mean to somebody or unfair to somebody. She said, imagine standing in their shoes, imagine looking through their eyes. That basic idea of empathy.

    And that, I think, is what's made America special is that notion that everybody's got a shot. If we see somebody down and out, if we see a kid who can't afford college, that we care for them, too. And I want to be president because that's the America I believe in. And I feel like that American dream is slipping away.

    I think we are at a critical juncture economically. I think we are at a critical juncture internationally. We've got to make some big decisions, not just for us but for the next generation. And we keep on putting it off. And unfortunately, our politics is so broken and Washington is so broken that we can't seem to bring together people of good will to solve these common problems. I think I have the ability to build bridges across partisan lines, racial, regional lines to get people to work on some common-sense solutions to critical issues. (Applause.) And I hope that I have the opportunity to do that.

    REV. WARREN: Great, thank you. (Applause.)

    I'm going to skip over a couple of these other important ones, and I'll just ask you, what do you say to people who oppose me asking you these questions? (Laughter.) That will the last one.

    SEN. OBAMA: These are the kinds of forums we need where we have a conversation. (Applause.) And I think based on these conversations, the American people can make a good judgment. I mean, one of the things if you're a person of faith like me, I believe that things will work out, and we will get the president that we need. What you want, though, is just to make sure that people have good information, that they're not just consuming negative ads or the kind of nasty tit for tat that has become so common in politics.

    You know, I want people to know me well. And I want people -- I'm sure John McCain feels the same way in that if we are both known and people know where we stand on issues, you know, I trust in the American people. They're going to make a good decision, and we're going to be able to solve the big problems that we face.

    REV. WARREN: Okay, I've got 30 seconds. What would you tell the American public if you knew there wouldn't be any repercussions? (Laughter.)

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know what I would tell them is that solving big problems, like for example energy, is not going to be easy. And everybody is going to have to get involved. And we are going to have to all think about how are we using energy more efficiently. And there's going to be a price to pay in transitioning to a more energy efficient economy and dealing with issues like climate change.

    And if we pretend like everything is free and there's no sacrifice involved, then we are betraying the tradition of America. I think about my grandparent's generation coming out of the Depression, fighting World War II. You know, they confronted some challenges we can't even imagine. If they were willing to make sacrifices on our behalf, we should be able to make some sacrifices on behalf of the next generation. (Applause and cheers.)

    REV. WARREN: Senator, thank you.

    SEN. OBAMA: Thank you.

    REV. WARREN: Now, would you stand and thank Senator Barack Obama.

    (Applause and cheers.)

    SEN. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.

    REV. WARREN: Thank you so much. Thank you.

    And while you're still standing, would you welcome at the same time Senator John McCain. Would you welcome him as he comes out here.

    (Applause and cheers.)

    SEN. OBAMA: Hi, John. Good to see you.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Good to see you. Thank you guys.

    REV. WARREN: Thank you so much.


    END.


    SADDLEBACK CIVIL FORUM ON THE PRESIDENCY INTERVIEW WITH SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ) INTERVIEWER: REVEREND RICK WARREN, SENIOR PASTOR, SADDLEBACK CHURCH

    SADDLEBACK CHURCH, LAKE FOREST, CALIFORNIA
    9:00 P.M. EDT, SATURDAY
    ===============================================================

    REV. WARREN: Welcome back to the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency.

    And welcome, Senator John McCain. Thank you for being here. (Cheers, applause.)

    SEN. MCCAIN: I'm very glad to be here.

    REV. WARREN: Thank you for coming.

    Now, my first question: Was the cone of silence comfortable that you were in just now? (Laughs.)

    SEN. MCCAIN: (Laughs.) I was trying to hear through the wall.

    REV. WARREN: (Laughs.) Okay, this first set of questions deals with leadership and the personal life of leadership. First question is, who are the three wisest people that you know that you would rely on heavily in an administration?

    SEN. MCCAIN: First one, I think, would be General David Petraeus, one of the great military leaders in American history, who took us from defeat to victory in Iraq -- one of the great leaders -- (applause) -- (inaudible).

    Fourth of July a year ago, Senator Lindsey Graham and I were in Baghdad. Six hundred and eighty-eight brave young Americans whose enlistment had expired swore an oath of re-enlistment to stay and fight for freedom. Only someone like General David Petraeus could motivate someone like that.

    I think John Lewis. John Lewis was at the Edmund Pettis Bridge, had his skull fractured, continued to serve, continues to have the most optimistic outlook about America. He can teach us all a lot about the meaning of courage and commitment to causes greater than our self-interest.

    Meg Whitman; Meg Whitman, the CEO of eBay. Meg Whitman -- 12 years ago, there were five employees. Today there are one and a half million people that make a living off eBay in America and the world. It's one of these great American success stories. And in these economic challenging times, we need to call on the wisdom and knowledge and background of people like Meg Whitman, who have been able to make such a great American success story part of the world's folklore.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. Let me ask you this. This is a character question.

    SEN. MCCAIN: I hope they get easier. (Laughter.)

    REV. WARREN: Well, this one isn't easier. We've had a lot of leaders, because of their weaknesses, character flaws, stumble, become ineffective, are not even serving anymore, serving our country. What's been your greatest moral failure? And what has been the -- what do you think is the greatest moral failure of America?

    SEN. MCCAIN: They don't get any easier. (Laughter.)

    REV. WARREN: No, they don't get any easier.

    SEN. MCCAIN: My greatest moral failing -- and I have been -- (audio break) -- is the failure of my first marriage. It's my greatest moral failure.

    I think America's greatest moral failure has been throughout our existence perhaps we have not devoted ourselves to causes greater than our self-interest, although we've been the best at it of anybody in the world.

    I think after 9/11, my friends, instead of telling people to go shopping or take a trip, we should have told Americans to join the Peace Corps, Americorps, the military, expand our volunteer -- expand what you're doing -- (applause) -- expand the great missions that you are doing, that you're carrying out not only here in America but throughout the world, especially in Rwanda. And I hope we have a chance to talk a little bit about that later on.

    And, you know, a little pandering here -- the first words of your very successful book is "This is not about you." You know what that really also means? Serve a cause greater than your self-interest. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: John, you know that a lot of good legislation dies because of partisan politics. And party loyalty keeps people from really getting forward on putting America's best first. Can you give me an example of where you led against your party's interest -- oh, this is hard -- (laughter) -- and really maybe against your own best interest for the good of America?

    SEN. MCCAIN: You know, by a strange coincidence -- (laughter) -- I was not elected Miss Congeniality again in the United States Senate this year. (Laughter.) I don't know why. I don't know why. I don't know why.

    Climate change, out-of-control spending, torture; the list goes on on a large number of issues that I have put my country first and I've reached across the aisle. But I'd probably have to say that one of the times that probably was one of the most trying was when I was first a member of Congress and a new freshman in the House of Representatives and very loyal and dedicated to President Reagan, who I still think is one of the great, great presidents in American history -- (applause) -- who won the Cold War without firing a shot, in the words of Margaret Thatcher.

    He wanted to send troops to Beirut for a peacekeeping mission. My knowledge and my background told me that a few hundred Marines in a situation like that could not successfully carry out any kind of peacekeeping mission, and I thought they were going into harm's way. Tragically, as many of you recall, there was a bombing of the Marine barracks and well over 100 brave Marines gave their lives.

    But it was tough, that vote, because I went against the president I believed in and the party that believed that maybe I was disloyal very early in my political career.

    REV. WARREN: There's a verse in the Bible that says intelligent people look for ideas. In fact, they search for them. What's the most significant position that you've held 10 years ago that you no longer hold today?

    I think the point I'm trying to make is that leaders are not stubborn; they do change their mind with additional information. So give me a good example of something that 10 years ago you said, "That's the way I feel about it," and now, 10 years later, it's different. That's not flip-flopping; it's just sometimes growing in wisdom.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Offshore drilling. We've got to drill now and we've got to drill here, and we've got to become independent of foreign oil. (Cheers, applause.) I know that there are some here in California that disagree -- (laughter) -- that disagree with that position. (Laughs.)

    Could I also mention very seriously about this issue -- my friends, you know that this is a national security issue. We're sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much, that some of that money is ending up in the hands of terrorist organizations. We cannot allow this greatest transfer of wealth in our history when our national security will continue to be threatened. (Applause.)

    And Rick, I know we've got a lot of issues to cover, but let me just say, at the town hall meetings that I have every day, that's the issue on people's mind is energy. So I think if I could just take one -- 30 seconds. One, we've got to do everything. We've got to do wind, tide, solar, natural gas, hydrogen cars, hybrid cars, electric cars. And we have to have nuclear power in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- (applause) -- and save on our energy costs.

    And by the way, in case you hadn't noticed it, the French -- 80 percent -- we love to imitate the French -- 80 percent of their electricity is generated by nuclear power. If they can do it and reprocess, we can too, my friends. And by the way, if you hadn't noticed, we now have a pro-American president of France, which shows if you live long enough, anything can happen in America. (Laughter, applause.)

    REV. WARREN: (Audio break.) What's the most gut-wrenching decision you've ever had to make? And what was the process that you used to make it?

    SEN. MCCAIN: It was long ago and far away in a prison camp in North Vietnam. My father was a high-ranking admiral. The Vietnamese came and said that I could leave prison early. And we had a code of conduct that said you only leave by order of capture. I also had a dear and beloved friend who was from California named Ev Alvarez, who had been shot down and captured a couple of years before me. But I wasn't in good physical shape. In fact, I was in rather bad physical shape. And so I said no.

    Now, in interest of full disclosure, I'm very happy I didn't know the war was going to last for another three years or so. But I said no, and I'll never forget sitting in my last answer, and the high- ranking officer who offered it slammed the door and the interrogator said, "Go back to your cell. It's going to be very tough on you now." And it was; but not only the toughest decision I ever made, but I'm most happy about that decision than any decision I ever made in my life. (Applause.)

    Could I finally say, it look a lot of prayer. It took a lot of prayer.

    REV. WARREN: Great. We'll be right back with John McCain. (Applause.)

    (Announcements.)

    REV. WARREN: Welcome back. And we're here with Senator John McCain.

    Now, John, in this next section we're going to talk about world view. And I actually invited a couple of hundred thousand people, my personal friends, to send me their questions. And these are heartland questions that came in from all over America. No matter how you answer them, somebody's not going to like it, because we have many world views, obviously, in America. But let's walk through these mine fields together.

    First, you've made no doubt about the fact that you are a Christian. You publicly say you're a follower of Christ. What does that mean to you? And how does faith work out in your life on a daily basis? What does it mean to you?

    SEN. MCCAIN: It means I'm saved and forgiven. And we're talking about the world. Our faith encompasses not just the United States of America, but the world.

    Can I tell you another story real quick?

    REV. WARREN: Sure. (Laughter.)

    SEN. MCCAIN: The Vietnamese kept us imprisoned in conditions of solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. They did that because they knew they could break down our resistance. One of the techniques that they used to get information was to take ropes and tie them around your biceps, pull your biceps behind you, loop the rope around your head, pull your head down between your knees, and leave you in that position. You can imagine, it was very uncomfortable.

    One night I was being punished in that fashion. All of a sudden the door of the cell opened and the guard came in; a guy who was just what we called a gun guard. He just walked around the camp with a gun on his shoulder. He went like this and then he loosened the ropes. He came back about four hours later; he tightened them up again and left.

    The following Christmas, because it was Christmas Day, we were allowed to stand outside of our cell for a few minutes. In those days, we were not allowed to see or communicate with each other, although we certainly did. And I was standing outside for my few minutes outside of my cell. He came walking up. He stood there for a minute. And with his sandal on the dirt in the courtyard, he drew a cross. And he stood there, and a minute later he rubbed it out and walked away. For a minute there, there was just two Christians worshiping together. I'll never forget that moment. (Applause.)

    (Off mike) -- so every day.

    REV. WARREN: All right, let's go into the tough ones. That was just (opening ?). Let's deal with abortion. I, as a pastor, have to deal with this all the time -- every different angle, every different pain, all the decisions and all of that. Forty million abortions since Roe v. Wade. Some people -- people who believe that life begins at conception would say that's a holocaust for many people.

    What point is a baby entitled to human rights?

    SEN. MCCAIN: At the moment of conception. (Cheers, applause.) I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate. And as president of the United States, I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies. (Cheers, applause.) That's my commitment. That's my commitment to you.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. We don't have to go longer on that one. (Laughter.)

    Define marriage.

    SEN. MCCAIN: A union -- a union between man and woman, between one man and one woman. That's my definition of marriage. (Applause.)

    Are we going to get back to the importance of Supreme Court justices, or should I mention it?

    REV. WARREN: We will get to that.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Okay. All right. (Laughter.) Okay.

    REV. WARREN: Man, you're jumping ahead. You know all my questions.

    SEN. MCCAIN: No, no, that's -- when we speak of the issue of the rights of the unborn, we need to talk about judges. But anyway, go ahead.

    REV. WARREN: Well, let me just ask you a question related to that. We've got a bill right here in California, Proposition 8, that's going on because the court overturned --

    SEN. MCCAIN: Yes.

    REV. WARREN: -- this definition of marriage. Was the Supreme Court of California wrong?

    SEN. MCCAIN: I believe they were wrong. And I strongly support -- (applause) -- preserving the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And I'm a federalist. I believe that states should make those decisions.

    In my state, I hope we will make that decision -- in other states they have -- to recognize the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And that means -- that doesn't mean that people can't enter into legal agreements. That doesn't mean that they don't have the rights of all citizens. I'm not saying that. I am saying that we should preserve the unique status of marriage between one man and one woman.

    And if a federal court, if a federal court decided that my state of Arizona had to observe what the state of Massachusetts decided, then I would favor a constitutional amendment. Until then, I believe the states should make the decisions within their own states.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. (Applause.) All right. Another issue is stem cells. Now, we've had this scientific breakthrough of creating pluripotent stem cells through adult stem cells.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Yes.

    REV. WARREN: So would you favor or oppose the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research since we have this other breakthrough?

    SEN. MCCAIN: For those of us in the pro-life community, this has been a great struggle and a terrible dilemma, because we're also taught other obligations that we have as well. I've come down on the side of stem cell research, but I am wildly optimistic that skin cell research, which is coming more and more into focus and practicability, will make this debate an academic one.

    REV. WARREN: All right. How about the issue of evil? I asked this of your rival in the previous thing. Does evil exist? And, if so, should we ignore it, negotiate with it, contain it, or defeat it?

    SEN. MCCAIN: Defeat it. (Applause.) A couple of points. One, if I'm president of the United States, my friends, if I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I will get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. (Applause.) I will do that, and I know how to do it. I will get that guy. (Applause.) No one, no one should be allowed to take thousands of American -- innocent American lives.

    Of course evil must be defeated. My friends, we are facing the transcendent challenge of the 21st century -- radical Islamic extremism. Not long ago in Baghdad, al Qaeda took two young women who were mentally disabled and put suicide vests on them, sent them into a marketplace, and, by remote control, detonated those suicide vests. If that isn't evil, you have to tell me what is. (Applause.)

    And we're going to defeat this evil. And the central battleground, according to David Petraeus and Osama bin Laden, is the battle -- is Baghdad, Mosul, Basra and Iraq. And we are winning and we are succeeding, and our troops will come home with honor and with victory, and not in defeat. And that's what's happening. (Applause.) And we have -- and we face this threat throughout the world. It's not just in Iraq. It's not just in Afghanistan. Our intelligence people tell us al Qaeda continues to try to establish cells here in the United States of America.

    My friends, we must face this challenge. We can face this challenge, and we must totally defeat it. And we're in a long struggle. But when I'm around the young men and women who are serving us in uniform, I have no doubt -- none. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: All right. These next questions have to do with domestic issues. I believe that leadership is stewardship, not ownership. And for a few years, you're asking us to place the stewardship of our freedom and our security and our economy and the environment, everything, into your hands. So I have about 500 questions in this category.

    The first one is on the courts. Which existing Supreme Court justices would you not have nominated?

    SEN. MCCAIN: With all due respect, Justice Ginsberg, Justice Breyer, Justice Souter, and Justice Stevens.

    REV. WARREN: Why? Tell me why.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Well, I think that the president of the United States has incredible responsibility in nominating people to the United States Supreme Court. They are lifetime positions -- as well as the federal bench. There will be two or maybe three vacancies.

    This nomination should be based on the criteria of proven record, of strictly adhering to the Constitution of the United States of America and not legislating from the bench. (Applause.) Some of the worst damage has been done by legislating from the bench. (Applause.) And, by the way, Justices Alito and Roberts are two of my most recent favorites, by the way. They really are. They're very fine. (Applause.) And I'm proud of President Bush for nominating them.

    REV. WARREN: All right, let's talk about the role of faith-based organizations. There was a recent poll that came out that said over 70 percent of Americans believe that faith-based organizations do a better job at community services --

    SEN. MCCAIN: Because Americans are right. (Laughs.)

    REV. WARREN: -- than the government. (Laughter.) You know, addictions, homelessness, poverty, all of these -- prisoner rehab, things like that. Now, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows religious organizations, not just churches but faith-based organizations, to keep and hire the people that they believe share common beliefs with.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Yes.

    REV. WARREN: Would you insist that faith-based organizations forfeit that right to access federal funds?

    SEN. MCCAIN: Absolutely not. And if you did, it would mean a severe crippling of faith-based organizations and their abilities to do the things that they have done so successfully.

    Life is full of anecdotes, and I'm sorry to tell you so many anecdotes, but I went to New Orleans after Katrina. The Resurrection Baptist Church was doing tremendous work with thousands of volunteers, I'm sure probably from here at Saddleback, coordinating the efforts of thousands of volunteers, including my own church, the North Phoenix Baptist Church, who came from all over America.

    And various authorities, off the record, told me off the record that they were doing so much more good than the government organizations; said it was incredible. And New Orleans could not have been on the path -- they've got a long way to go -- on the path to recovery if it hadn't been for the faith-based organizations, who are still operating in New Orleans, much to their great credit, thank God.

    REV. WARREN: First in, last out.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Yes. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: All right, let's talk about education. America ranks 19th in high school graduations, but we're first in incarcerations. Everybody says they want more accountability in schools. About 80 percent of America says they support merit pay for the best teachers. Now, I don't want to hear your stump speech on education.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Yes, yes, and find bad -- (laughter) -- find bad teachers another line of work. (Laughter, applause.)

    REV. WARREN: You know, we're going to end this -- you're answering so quickly.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Can I --

    REV. WARREN: Do you want to play a game of poker? (Laughter.)

    SEN. MCCAIN: Choice and competition, choice and competition, home schooling, charter schools, vouchers, all the choice and competition. (Applause.) I want -- look, I want every American family to have the same choice that Cindy and I made and Senator Obama and Mrs. Obama made as well, and that was, we wanted to send our children to the school of our choice. And charter schools work, my friends. Home schooling works. Vouchers in our nation's capital works. We've got thousands of people in Washington, D.C. that are applying for a voucher system. New York City is reforming.

    I go back to New Orleans. They were -- as we know, the tragedy devastated them. They now have over 30 charter schools in the city of New Orleans, and guess what -- it's all coming up. It's all coming up. It's a simple principle, but it's going to take dedicated men and women, particularly in the teaching profession, to make it happen.

    And by the way, here in -- I won't go any further. But the point is, it's all based and it's being proven that choice and competition for every American family. And it is the civil rights issue of the 21st century, because every citizen's child now has an opportunity go to school. But what kind of opportunity is it if you send them to a failing school? That's why we've got to give everybody the same opportunity and choice.

    REV. WARREN: Okay. All right, let's move on to --

    SEN. MCCAIN: You're sorry you mentioned that my answers were short, aren't you? (Laughter.)

    REV. WARREN: No, no, no. Actually, this is great, because I may actually get to ask you a couple of extra questions, which are good. They're the lightning bonus round, actually. (Laughter.)

    SEN. MCCAIN: (Makes buzzing sound.)

    REV. WARREN: Okay, on taxes, define "rich." Everybody talks about, you know, taxing the rich but not the poor, the middle class. At what point -- give me a number. Give me a specific number. Where do you move from middle class to rich? Is it $100,000? Is it $50,000? Is it $200,000? How does anybody know if we don't know what the standards are?

    SEN. MCCAIN: Some of the richest people I've ever known in my life are the most unhappy. I think that rich should be defined by a home, a good job, an education, and the ability to hand to our children a more prosperous and safer world than the one that we inherited.

    I don't want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. (Laughter.) I don't believe in class warfare or redistribution of wealth. But I can tell you, for example, there are small businessmen and women who are working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, that some people would classify as, quote, "rich," my friends, and want to raise their taxes and want to raise their payroll taxes.

    Let's have -- keep taxes low. Let's give every family in America a $7,000 tax credit for every child they have. Let's give them a $5,000 refundable tax credit to go out and get the health insurance of their choice. Let's not have the government take over the health care system in America. (Applause.)

    So I think if you're just talking about income, how about $5 million? (Laughter.) So, no, but seriously, I don't think you can -- I don't think, seriously, that -- the point is that I'm trying to make here, seriously -- and I'm sure that comment will be distorted -- (laughter) -- but the point is, the point is, the point is that we want to keep people's taxes low and increase revenues.

    And my friend, it was not taxes that mattered in America in the last several years. It was spending. Spending got completely out of control. We spent money -- (applause) -- in a way that mortgaged our kids' future.

    My friend, we spent $3 million of your money to study the DNA of bears in Montana. (Laughter.) Now, I don't know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue. (Laughter.) But the point is, but the point is, it was $3 million of your money. It was your money.

    And, you know, we laugh about it, but we cry. And we should cry, because the Congress is supposed to be careful stewards of your tax dollars. So what did they just do in the middle of an energy crisis, when in California we're paying $4 a gallon for gas? Went on vacation for five weeks. I guarantee you, two things they never miss -- a pay raise and a vacation. And we should stop that and call them back -- (applause) -- and not raise your taxes. We should not and cannot raise taxes in tough economic times.

    So it doesn't matter, really, what my definition of "rich" is, because I don't want to raise anybody's taxes. I really don't. In fact, I want to give working Americans a better shot at having a better life. And we all know the challenges, my friends, if I could be serious.

    Americans tonight in California and all over America are sitting at the kitchen table, recently and suddenly lost a job, can't afford to stay in their home, education for their kids, affordable health care. These are tough problems. These are tough problems. You talk to them every day --

    REV. WARREN: All the time.

    SEN. MCCAIN: -- every day. My friends, we've got to give them hope and confidence in the future. That's what we need to give them. And I can inspire them. I can lead. And I know that our best days are ahead of us. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: All right, great. All right, thank you. Now, we've got a couple of minutes left in this section. Here's a security question. I didn't get to it with Senator Obama; we didn't have enough time. When is our right to privacy -- when our right to privacy and our right to national security collide, how do you decide what takes precedence?

    SEN. MCCAIN: It does collide. And there are always competing priorities. We must preserve the privacy of all of our citizens as much as possible because that's one of the fundamental and basic rights we have; and, by the way, including a secret ballot for union organizers, a secret ballot, not a ballot that someone comes around and signs you up. That's a different subject.

    But the point is that we have now had technological advances over the last 20 or 30 years in communications that are remarkable. It's remarkable the ability that our enemies have to communicate. So we have to keep up with that capability. I mean, there's too many ways, through cyberspace and through other ways, that people are able to communicate with one another.

    So we're going to have to step up our capabilities to monitor those. Sometimes there are calls from outside the United States, inside the United States. There's all kinds of communications of every different kind. So you need Congress to work together. You need a judiciary that will review these laws that we pass.

    And at the same time, it's just an example of our failure to sit down, Republican and Democrat, and work these things out together for the good of the nation's security instead of this constant fighting which, according to our Director of National Intelligence, until we finally reached an agreement not long ago, was compromising our ability to keep America from attack. And so there's a constant tension. It is changing with changes in technology, and we have to stay up with it.

    REV. WARREN: We'll be right back with Senator John McCain.

    (Announcements.)

    REV. WARREN: Welcome back to Saddleback's Civil Forum on the Presidency, and we're here with Senator John McCain.

    John, these last questions are about America's responsibility to the world. We are, without a doubt, the most blessed nation in the world. We are blessed to be a blessing. And the Bible says to whom much is given, much has been required. So I want to talk about what is our stewardship to everybody else? And let's first talk about freedom and war.

    As an American, what is worth dying for and what's worth committing American lives for?

    SEN. MCCAIN: Freedom, our national security, our security as a nation. Wars have started in obscure places that have enveloped us. We also must temper that with the ability to effectively and beneficially cause the outcome that we want. In other words, there's tyranny and there's tragedy throughout the world. And we can't right every wrong, but we can do what America has done throughout our history, and that is be a beacon of hope and liberty and freedom for everyone in the world; as Ronald Reagan used to quote, a shining city on a hill.

    And so there are conflicts that we can't settle. The most precious asset we have is American blood. And throughout our history, Americans have gone to all four corners of the world and shed that blood in defense of someone else's freedom. No other nation on earth has ever done that. But we've also succeeded in other ways. We won the Cold War, as I mentioned earlier, without firing a shot, because of our ideology and that communism was wrong and evil. And we can defeat it, just as we can defeat radical Islamic extremism.

    Can we talk just a second about the latest in Georgia before --

    REV. WARREN: Let me ask you this. What would be the criteria for which you would commit troops to --

    SEN. MCCAIN: American national security interests are threatened.

    REV. WARREN: Okay, I understand that one. What about, like genocide in Darfur or if mass killings took place in Georgia?

    SEN. MCCAIN: Our obligation is to stop genocide wherever we can. We all know about Rwanda. No one knows that better than you and the Saddleback church, who have been so active. By the way, Cindy was just there with Mike Huckabee and Dr. Bill Frist and have seen what the women of Rwanda are doing. The women are taking charge of the future of Rwanda, because they're saying, "Never again." (Applause.) And they're doing an incredible job.

    Darfur, our most respected former secretary of State, Colin Powell, called genocide some years ago. The question is, how can we effectively stop it? And obviously we've got to do more and we've got to try to marshal the forces all over the world to join us.

    I think one of the things we ought to explore more carefully is us supplying the logistics and equipment and the aid, and the African countries step forward with the personnel to enforce a genuine cease- fire. It's a very complicated situation, as you know, but we've got to be committed to never saying "Never again" again.

    REV. WARREN: What about -- you know, you're seeing Russia reassert itself in Georgia, and maybe now Poland. What's happening?

    SEN. MCCAIN: I'm very saddened here to be with you and talk about a Russian re-emergence in the centuries-old ambition of the Russian empire to dominate that part of the world -- killings, murder. Villages are being burned. People are being wantonly ejected from their homes. The latest figures from a human rights organization is 118,000 people in that small country. It was one of the earliest Christian nations. The king of then-Georgia in the third century converted to Christianity. You go to Georgia and you see these old churches that go back to the 4th and 5th century.

    My friends, the president, the president, Saakashvili, is a man who was educated in the United States of America on a scholarship. He went back to Georgia, and with other young people who had also received an education, they achieved a revolution. They had democracy, prosperity and a great little nation.

    And now the Russians are coming in there in an act of aggression. And we have to not only bring about cease-fire, but we have to have honored one of the most fundamental rights of any nation, and that is territorial integrity. We must respect the entire territory of Russia -- excuse me -- the Russians must respect the entire territorial integrity of Georgia. And there's only 4 million people in Georgia, my friends. I've been there. It's a beautiful little country. They're wonderful people. They're suffering terribly now.

    And there's two other aspects of this, very quickly. One of them: Don't think it was an accident that the presidents of Lithuania -- the presidents (of) Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Ukraine flew to Tbilisi to show their solidarity with the president of Georgia, because they all have something in common with Georgia. They lived under Russian domination for a long period of time.

    Second of all, of course, it's about energy. There's an oil pipeline that goes across Georgia that, up till now, had not been controlled by the Russians; and my friend, energy the Russians are using as a tremendous lever against the Europeans.

    So keep them in your prayers. Let's get the humanitarian aid as quickly as possible to them and send the message to the Russians that this behavior is not acceptable in the 21st century. (Applause.

    )

    REV. WARREN: Related to that, America's responsibility in the world -- religious persecution. What would you do in your administration to end -- to put pressure on the Chinese, in Iraq and all the other places, so-called allies of ours, that will allow -- will not allow religious freedom, whether it's Christian or any other faith?

    SEN. MCCAIN: The president of the United States, his greatest asset is the bully pulpit. The president of the United States -- and I go back again to Ronald Reagan; he went to the Berlin Wall and said, "Take down this wall," called them an evil empire. Many said, "Don't antagonize the Russians. Don't cause a confrontation with the Soviet Union." He stood for what he believed and he said what he believed, and he said to those people who were then captive nations, "The day will come when you will know freedom and democracy and the fundamental rights of man."

    Our Judeo-Christian principles dictate that we do what we can to help people who are oppressed throughout the world. And I'd like to tell you that I still think that even in the worst places in the world today, in the darkest corners, little countries like Belarus, they still harbor this hope and dream someday to be like us and have freedom and democracy.

    And we have our flaws and we have our failings, and we talk about them all the time, and we should. But we remain, my friends, the most unusual experiment in history. And I'm privileged to spend every day of my life in it. I know what it's like to be without it. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: John, most people don't know that there are 148 million orphans in the world growing up without parents. What should we do about this? And would you be willing to consider or even commit to something similar to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS, which he said AIDS is an emergency, a PEPFAR. Could we do a PEPFAR for the emergency plan for 148 million orphans? Most of these -- they don't need to grow up in orphanages. They need to be in families. And many of those families could take them if they had some kind of assistance.

    SEN. MCCAIN: Well, I think we have to make adoption a lot easier in this country. That's why so many people go to other countries -- (applause) -- to get to be able to adopt children. My great hero and role model, Teddy Roosevelt, was the first modern American president to talk about adoption and how important it was.

    And I promise you, this is my last story. (Laughter.) Seventeen years ago, Cindy was in Dacca, Bangladesh. She went to Mother Teresa's orphanage. The nuns brought her two little babies who were not going to live. Cindy came home. I met her at the airplane. She showed me this five-week-old baby and said, "Meet your new daughter." She's 17, and my life is blessed. And that's what adoption is all about. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: All right, you've got one minute to answer this one, and that is, why do you want to be president?

    SEN. MCCAIN: I want to inspire a generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest. I believe that America's best days are ahead of us. But I also believe that we face enormous challenges, both national security and domestic, as we have found out in the last few days in the case of Georgia.

    And I want to be -- make sure that everybody understands that this is a time for us to come together. Throughout my life, from the time I was 17 and raised my hand and was sworn in as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, I've always put my country first. I put my country first when I had the honor of serving in the military, and I had the honor of putting my country first as a member of the House of Representatives and then the United States Senate.

    America wants hope. America wants optimism. America wants us to sit down together. I have a record of reaching across the aisle and working with the other party. And I want to do that. And I believe, as I said, that Americans feel it's time for us to put our country first. And we may disagree on a specific issue, and I won't (review ?) them now -- (laughter) -- but I want every American to know that when I go to Gee's Bend, Alabama and meet the African-American women there who are so wonderful and lovely, in an experience I'll never forget, and when I go to places where I know they probably won't vote for me, I know that my job is to tell them that I'll be the president of every American and I'll always put my country first. (Applause.)

    REV. WARREN: Thank you.

    All right, 20 seconds left. What would you say to people who opposed me asking you these questions in a church?

    SEN. MCCAIN: I say to them that I'd like to be in every venue in America. This is an important -- this is a very important election. Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian values and principles. I'm happy to be here in a church. (Applause.) I'm happy to be here in a place that, with your program, such as peace, such as your help throughout the world, such as your outreach to so many thousands of Americans, I'm honored to be here. And I thank you.

    REV. WARREN: Would you stand and welcome -- thank Senator John McCain. (Cheers, applause.)

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Senator McCain - Saddleback Civil Forum, 2 points

There is a lot of review and commentary on the Saddleback Civil Forum today. And I don’t doubt that we will see even more about it in commercials in the near future. But I have some further thoughts about the event as well.

I already mentioned that my first 2 questions from the event were about Senator Obama; and dealt specifically with his answers on Darfur, America’s aid to foreign nations, and taxes. I felt that he failed to provide serious answers to either question, and in fact raised more questions by the manner of his answer.

Before I continue to make other comments I will address how Senator McCain responded to those same questions.

In listening, and then reviewing the answer by Senator McCain on taxes I note that he too failed to give a proper response. While Senator Obama was very vague about how his policies might affect single Americans, and/or any business owner – whether the business is small or large – McCain was no less vague. He too avoided giving a significant defined number to qualify ‘rich’.

The way he avoided the answer makes it seem like neither candidate knows what is a rich person. McCain did emphasize his desire to not redistribute wealth, and to further ensure that the income that all Americans make will tend to stay in their pockets rather than go to the Government.

Still this was not a satisfactory answer.

As for his comments about Darfur, McCain stood head and shoulders above Obama. Where Senator Obama ignored the troubled region in the Sudan, John McCain directly addressed it. He noted the acknowledgement of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, that Darfur is a genocide and has been for years. He noted that we need to do more.

McCain could have made far more significant answers on this issue. He could have noted that Congress has failed to act, and that because of this inaction America is still funding the murder of children in Darfur – right now. He did not go nearly as far in addressing this as I would have preferred. But he went further than Senator Obama by miles.

I was very displeased with the responses by Senator Obama and McCain on these 2 issues. Neither was very direct or informative about their future plans. And these are questions I want to see addressed more fully in debates and as they clarify their full policy plans in the near future.

But overall, I have to give the edge to Senator McCain on these 2 issues. While neither was clear about taxes, the general issue seems more favorable from the McCain view than Senator Obama’s. And considering Obama’s complete dismissal of Darfur when asked about it, McCain shone brightly by comparison.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

John Rich song for Senator John McCain

Music is integral to life. Whether you are young and rebellious, stressed from a hard day of work, or out with friends on Friday music is something that is ingrained as part of our lives. And in this current Presidential election cycle music has taken an unprecedented importance.

Senator Obama has had several songs and music videos made about his historic nomination as the Democratic Presidential candidate (even though Bill and Hillary Clinton might dispute that). The most recent came from an unexpected source, ensconced in wording that insulted everyone that heard it – including Senator Obama. Such is a song by rapper Nas (real name Nasir Jones).

But lest you believe that the only music in the nation or appropriate for a Presidential candidate is gansta rap or hip hop, John Rich would like to prove there is alternatives.

For those unfamiliar John Rich is part of the multi-platnium country music duo Big & Rich. He can also be seen on the popular Nashville Star television program. He’s sold over 5 million albums, and was part of People magazine’s music industry ‘power’ list. In other words he’s no slouch.

John Rich is also a conservative and Republican. And after observing all the hoopla surrounding the Obama videos and the insults made by Nas, he decided to even the playing field a bit.

“If I can make them understand about where John McCain has come from and the journey he's been on, there's no way they cannot respect him for that. The more you get to know John McCain, the more you respect the fact that he's both a patriot and an independent thinker, a rebel when it means staying true to what he believes in. Hopefully my song will help those people out there who are starting to pay attention to him to realise what kind of guy he is."


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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Presidential candidate poll reflects disconnect to American public

Senator Obama better be careful, his campaign is forgetting a basic rule of modern pop culture – too much is as bad as too little. I’m speaking about the non-stop media blitz that has been Senator Obama in the media since February. It’s starting to have a negative effect.

According to the Pew Research Center a poll taken between Aug 1st – 4th of 1000 adults showed the following

    Democrats:

  • 34% of Democrats feel they’ve heard too much about Obama
  • 26% say they have not hear enough about Senator McCain

    Republicans:

  • 67% of Democrats feel they’ve heard too much about Obama
  • 52% say they have not hear enough about Senator McCain

    Independants:

  • 51% of Democrats feel they’ve heard too much about Obama
  • 41% say they have not hear enough about Senator McCain

  • Overall 48% feel that they heard too much about Obama vs. 26% who feel they heard too much about McCain.


Well that says a lot. It means that Senator Obama has not imparted the American public with enough substantive information on his political policies, if the poll numbers are correct. He had been all over the news for reasons that really aren’t translating into a reason to vote for him as President. But he’d win the political rockstar Hall of Fame in a heartbeat.

Perhaps the problem is that it’s difficult to explain to America how he won’t raise taxes on the average citizen while increasing spending for programs like national healthcare, and raising costs for energy. I still don’t understand how that will be done and I follow politics more than even some pundits.

Perhaps the problem is the racial factor. It is a fact that America is still uncomfortable with the issue of race, and the past of the nation. That was made obvious when the House of Representatives released an apology for slavery, that was quickly buried by the major news media, yet the Senate would not even vote on the resolution.

Add to that the delicate line of what is abusing the race issue, or using it as a weapon. I tend to think the line is a bit more defined than what the pundits proclaim – then again I’m not fighting for ratings. Senator Clinton, and former-President Bill Clinton, made it pretty obvious during the Democratic Primaries. Polls from states like West Virginia were very definitive as well.

Either way one thing is clear. Polispeak is a tool every politician wields, but the Obama campaign better start using an even more effective tool, declarative statements about policy that will improve the nation – if he has any.

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The Presidential candidates are getting myopic

Energy, crude oil, and more energy. The Presidential race has taken yet another turn of late, ignoring the issues of last month and rolling on the bandwagon of the latest issue pushed by pundits and the news media in their quest for ratings. The 24-hour news cycle continuing to seek the latest item to get viewers to keep the channels glued on their programming.

Too bad for the American public though.

It’s so bad that I have spoken to several people across the country that are just starting to pay attention to the candidates, only now starting to compare them. And most have little to no idea what the candidates have promised or said before. Even worse are those that think the candidates have this or that position because they saw a 15 second bit of polispeak on a news show, or a 30 second commercial of pure spin.

Thus most Americans are not asking why Senator Barack Obama has yet to attend a townhall meeting with rival Senator John McCain, an opportunity that he initially said “sounds good” and was looking forward to. To date he has not attended a single event.

Most Americans are not wondering what Senator McCain will actually do about the economy. Not just the energy issue but the whole economy. Everyone seems to have forgotten the fact that McCain has admitted his weakness on this subject and therefore deserves great scrutiny on his plans.

Everyone has put the nationalized healthcare issue on a back burner. When was the last time you heard either candidate explain how children will be sure to be covered during their tenure. Senator Obama has failed to explain how he will fund his program, or how he will ensure that it becomes the first Government agency to actually maintain its budget or be efficient.

And both candidate are really glad that the aging nation is no longer asking what is going to be done about Social Security. It’s still going to fail, and very soon. But with a growing population of retiring Americans, this critical issue has been tiptoed around and dance far away from. But our next President will HAVE to enact something to deal with the pressing issue during their 4 years in office.

Perhaps this is why both candidates are solidly in the mid-forties, statistically even, in all the polls tracking them day by day. Neither can get a majority of Americans yet, but then again the majority of Americans have only heard of one issue or another, and a commercial or 2. There really isn’t a reason to have a strong opinion yet, unless you have followed the candidates for a couple of years (like I and a few bloggers have), followed all the primaries and primary debates, are blindly Democrat or Republican, or a racist.

So since most people have no real reason to lean either way, and while the candidates are racing each other to get more centrist politically – with polispeak defending each turn in policy – I have to say that I think the first candidate to pick a Vice-President and to give a clear view of all their policies will win the election.

And I must add that this would be vitally important for Senator Obama. With the swooning support of the major news media and the ultra-liberal far-left wing of the Democratic Party he won the primary race. But that group of Americans is vastly far from what the average American believes on all the important issues. All the talk of momentum, young voters, and groundswells of support still can’t allow him to gain 51% in the polls (with the exception of a quick burst right after his ‘use the soldiers for political gain’ rockstar tour of the Middle East and Europe – was over 51% for 3 days).

And if you think I’m wrong, where is there a quote in the last 2 weeks, no let’s look at a month, actually go 2 months to find quotes on what the candidates will do about education.

The big point is this, energy and crude oil are important. In the last 40 years neither political party has made any moves to help the nation. Based on the current and potential cost of oil, either candidate Must make changes in our policies if elected. So note who said what they will do, but also ask what else they are willing to do. And perhaps you might want to ask them about the issues that the pundits and news media got bored with months ago. Or you can just search my blog.

Vote because it counts. Vote because it’s your right. Vote because after the election you can’t change the President.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Senator McCain targets Obama weakenesses

The recent ads by Senator John McCain’s campaign really are interesting. If you haven’t seen them I present 2 that I believe are intelligent, humorous, and raise real questions about Senator Barack Obama.



In this video we are presented with the obvious nature of Senator Obama’s rockstar celebrity status. That status has been decried by the major news media in no uncertain terms. And there is no question that Senator Obama has a presence that politicians dream of having. His ability to speak to crowds in America, or overseas, is unmatched – most obviously in comparison to Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator John McCain.

But it also asks a very serious question. What is the major news media not finding out about this potential Presidential candidate?

Objectivity is the hallmark of the news media, or at least it used to be. The impartiality of the news meant that the truth would be presented, no matter what the populace was hoped to be lead to believe in a veil of polispeak. Pundits were supposed to be the informed watchdogs for the citizenry, deciphering the polispeak and ignoring the election geared parade of kissing babies and shaking hands.

If the news media is capable of being beguiled, then how is the average American with an hour of time in their busy day supposed to work through whom deserves the Presidency? What issue that may be of importance to you and I are the major news media ignoring, or worse deciding we should not know so it cannot influence out vote?



And here the question of celebrity status is again questioned. Is Senator Obama as vapid on political issues as Paris Hilton is on driving? Is Senator Obama more concerned about entertaining crowds worldwide than addressing issues domestically, like Britney Spears is apparently more concerned about a good party than her children?

While Senator Obama took a whirlwind tour of Iraq, Iran, and Europe he has avoided the problem at home of domestic oil drilling. The Democratic Party has worked hard to maintain his stance that increased domestic drilling is bad and will not be allowed. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gone so far as to block any kind of vote on the matter, preventing Representatives across the nation to vote as their constituents have contacted them and instructed them to do. Why? Because a celebrity Obama has enough clout and likeability to talk Iran and the Middle East into lower crude oil prices?

And recall that Senator Obama himself acknowledged that all Iran needs to do is block the Straight of Humus and oil will go to $300. Yet he also believes that he can talk to Iran, a nation that seeks the utter destruction of America for over 30 years, and prevent that. Even though the world knows that a higher oil price will harm America and benefit the Middle East. And Senator Obama does not want a back-up plan?

Actually his back-up plan is to raise taxes, which means higher prices as well. Because he believes that forcing the price higher will force Americans to use less energy. He is right but that also means that more people will lose homes, jobs, businesses because of the higher cost. You can’t use more energy is your small business is shut-down, along with all your employees. Is that a good plan?

I’m not saying that the ads of Senator McCain are correct. But I am saying that they bring up real and important questions. Do you have the answers? Are you sure?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Slavery: House of Representatives apologizes, Senate silent, Presidential candidates without comment

**This may be long, but it's important, please read it all**

Chalk up another victory for Senator Obama and African Americans, and America in general. It’s taken some time but another historical event has taken place, and again it has received about as much fanfare as Janet Jackson’s latest album.

When I started to first write my blogs I wrote about an issue that has plagued every aspect of American life and politics since before the creation of America. That issue is Slavery. I have long been a proponent of an apology from the Government and I am a staunch supporter of Reparations.

“Many still do not wish to discuss slavery in America. I feel it is the one national taboo that though while addressed on a cursory level many times it has never been dealt with. It is so ingrained in people of this nation that neither Blacks, Whites or anyone else wishes to discuss it on a national level, and even in smaller more personal groups the subject is shunned and dismissed rather than spoken about. This amounts to mass denial on a national, and due to the interconnected manner in which the world operates even global, level in my opinion. Obviously to me this means that something must be wrong, since it is so deeply entrenched in the American psyche not to discuss it.”


“If the average slave worked only 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 360 days a year for 4 decades of life that’s 158,880 hours of work per slave. If we assume that there were 3 million slaves from 1619 to 1865 (which is a low-ball estimate) then that is 476,640,000,000 hours of work done. Those are BILLIONS of hours. This does not even touch the Jim Crow era. Assuming a pay of just .05 cents an hour in 1865 money (no adjustment for actual worth in money today) that means $23,832,000,000. If I adjust by taking an increase of just 10% for each year for 55 years that’s a 9150% increase to $2,180,628,000,000. That’s TRILLIONS of dollars, adjusted just 55 years at 10%. There’s still another 87 years to go and we are adjusting from .05 cents. If anyone feels that more than TRILLIONS of dollars of work did not change America, they are stupid in my opinion.”


Of course there are those that disagreed with my views like

“Let me address the stupidity of the statements made by Speaker Richardson, and others including Mr. Frank Hargrove of Virginia. The argument goes that Americans today did nothing, and have no connection, involved with Slavery. This is the most obvious and persistent fallicy since perhaps “the world is flat” or “the universe circles the earth.””


“I feel insulted, and Michael Medved is the reason for it. I would like to blow this off as a rant by a guilt-ridden ignorant man, but given the prominence and success of Medved in general that does not apply. Thus I will just have to accept that he is stupid. [Stupid is defined as wanting in understanding or as I like to say ignorance does not know, stupid is knowing and not caring.] Given that, I think it’s time that a better answer to his Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery is addressed with some logic.”


Yet even institutions that exist today have been more aware and honest than the U.S. Government when it comes to the issue of slavery, apologies and reparations.

“A memo on this was released by then-Chairman William Harrison and then-President James Dimon,
“We apologize to the American public, and particularly to African-Americans, for the role that Citizens Bank and Canal Bank played during that period," said the company on its website. "Although we cannot change the past, we are committed to learning from and emerging stronger because of it.”


In addition to the apology, JP Morgan created a $5 million scholarship for African Americans in Louisiana.”


But finally yesterday House Resolution 194 was passed, a mere 5 months after it was introduced to the House of Representatives. House Resolution 194 is

“Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans.
Whereas millions of Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and the 13 American colonies from 1619 through 1865;

Whereas slavery in America resembled no other form of involuntary servitude known in history, as Africans were captured and sold at auction like inanimate objects or animals;

…Whereas after emancipation from 246 years of slavery , African-Americans soon saw the fleeting political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction eviscerated by virulent racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws that imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually all areas of life;

Whereas the system of de jure racial segregation known as `Jim Crow,' which arose in certain parts of the Nation following the Civil War to create separate and unequal societies for whites and African-Americans, was a direct result of the racism against persons of African descent engendered by slavery ;

… Whereas on July 8, 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush acknowledged slavery's continuing legacy in American life and the need to confront that legacy when he stated that slavery `was . . . one of the greatest crimes of history . . . The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times. But however long the journey, our destiny is set: liberty and justice for all.';

Whereas President Bill Clinton also acknowledged the deep-seated problems caused by the continuing legacy of racism against African-Americans that began with slavery when he initiated a national dialogue about race;

… Whereas it is important for this country, which legally recognized slavery through its Constitution and its laws, to make a formal apology for slavery and for its successor, Jim Crow, so that it can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all of its citizens…”


Only at least 389 years late.

Still it’s not a law, or an official Act. The Senate did not join in this Resolution. And the vote was by voice, so no official record exists of who voted what.

But it is a step in the right direction. It is an admission by part of the Government. It is a realization that wounds don’t heal by ignoring them. It is part of the recognition of wrong that started in 1988

“It [Congress] apologized to Japanese-Americans in 1988 for holding them in camps during World War II and gave each survivor $20,000. In 1993, Congress apologized to native Hawaiians for the overthrow of their kingdom a century earlier. In 2005, the Senate apologized for not enacting anti-lynching legislation.”


Yet a question has to be asked. Why has the Senate not acted on this resolution? Why did the Representatives not stand up and have their votes recorded for history? Why have both current Presidential candidates shunned and avoided the subject actively?

“…Senator John McCain said last October that he would support a federal apology for slavery, although some critics note that he failed to support the bill when it was discussed in February of this year.

For his part, Senator Barack Obama has said he has little interest in an official government apology for slavery or reparations for descendants of slaves, according to the Associated Press.”


Yet the Senate did pass a Resolution that apologized to Native American Indians this year. This also got little fanfare from the major media.

The fact is this is a victory for every Black American, and the ancestors that literally built the foundations of this nation on their backs and with their blood. So where is the media? CNN recently felt the need to talk about Black In America, the nation was stunned/rejoicing at the presumptive nomination of the first Black Presidential nominee, and yet a full open sincere apology from the Government still eludes a nation that refuses to speak about our past honestly. Unless you believe the highly romanticized and historically inaccurate depiction of President Abraham Lincoln and the causes of the Civil War – hint: it had nothing to do with slavery.

Perhaps the delusions and excuses of people like Medved and Roger Clegg are the reason

“The success of the Obama candidacy underscores the irrelevance of an apology" because it shows "enormous progress" in race relations, says Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative group that describes itself as opposed to racial preferences. "Haven't we already moved beyond it?"


The answer is, in my opinion at least, NO we haven’t. If we had there would not be cases in courts like Rodney King or Megan Williams, there would be no deaths like Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo, there would be no outrages like the one enacted by the police in Philadelphia. There would be no way that Michael Richards would have acted in the manner that he did, nor that the media would have railroaded Wesley Snipes as they did. There would be no need for comedians like Stephen Colbert to point out the obvious. And there would be no way that politicians like Frank Hargrove or Tancredo could could say what they have said.

Some things have changed, and that is great. But if we fall into the fallacy that the success of a handful of people is the same as equality for all people, the nation will never fully prosper. In fact the nation will continue to rot, as I believe it has since before I was born.

And again I ask where is the major media in discussing all of this? If this is not groundbreaking and important enough, the media has gone far beyond ‘yellow journalism’ in my mind. Perhaps they need to watch Bid Em In and get a clue.

The House of Representatives has taken a step, the Senate must follow that step, and the President must acknowledge and reiterate these actions. And in proving the sincerity and completing the rite of acknowledgement America must make amends. When a crime is committed and the criminal admits their guilt we accept it and give them leniency - but they are still punished – that is the law. America committed a crime against humanity, and is now just starting to admit its guilt. It cannot be repentant without its penance, and that is reparations. It may not be a law, but it is acting humanely and lives up to the highest standards we expect from each other as human beings and our Government.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Senator Obama overseas - polispeak and votes

So Senator Obama has gone overseas to visit Iraq for the first time in years. His first trip to that nation was done with little fanfare and lasted less than 48 hours. This time he will spend another 48 hours in the company of 3 broadcast news agencies, dozens of reporters, and supplied with help by reportedly 300 foreign policy advisors.

Now tell me this isn’t a farce.

It’s a whirlwind tour of the Middle East with enough press corps to equate to several fire teams, not counting the hordes of military soldiers that will be flanking the whole group. But the question is can Senator Obama learn anything new? Can he find out any first-hand information about where Iraq stands and what America should do in the near future?

Well in truth neither candidate has a great position on Iraq. And as noted by a recent USAToday editorial

“It's difficult, for example, to imagine a President McCain insisting on keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely if Iraq's government demands that they leave. Al-Maliki is acknowledging the reality that most Iraqis and most Iraqi politicians want U.S. forces out, at least as soon as they are confident that their own government can protect them.

At the same time, it's equally difficult to imagine a President Obama insisting on an inflexible withdrawal timetable if that means squandering security gains won with great American sacrifice. Though Obama has repeatedly insisted on a timetable, he has pointedly not said that every U.S. troop will be gone when the timetable ends. In fact, he has promised to leave a "residual force" of undefined size in Iraq, and carefully left himself an escape hatch in case the situation worsens. "You've got to make sure the country doesn't collapse," he says.”


So what are the realities of the situation then?

Well for Senator Obama I would think they include the following:

Senator Obama is the Democratic Party line. His votes are not only partisan, they are the extreme left of his party. Thus he was a strong backer of the comments by Harry Reid



Of course Harry Reid was wrong. The surge has worked as anyone with eyes can see. And now Senator Obama has to find a way to tactfully state the Reid and Pelosi were off their rockers. But he can’t say this in a way that agrees with General Petreaus (an enemy of strong Obama supporter MoveOn.org – which would make them enemies of the U.S. government no?) or the Republican Party, or Senator McCain who has visited Iraq 6 times and actually has a frame of reference on the events there.

Senator Obama must avoid making it seem like his trip is a polispeak ploy. It’s obvious to everyone that this trip is not a Congressional fact finding trip but a means to allay the fact that he has no international presence or experience. Senator Obama is spending 1 week to create the impression that he is knowledgeable of international facts, and Presidential in the manner that he acquires them.

His whole goal is to gain votes on the backs of soldiers that are following the orders of the Commander-n-Chief. Thus by standing near a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan he looks Presidential.

Of course if the trip looks like the blatant posturing it is, then he will get a negative backlash. You can’t look Presidential standing on the bodies of American soldiers. You are obviously spinning polispeak when insurgents act up as you proclaim them defeated and our job done.

Thirdly Obama wants to impress Europe. Both because of the fact that so many Americans have roots in Europe and that our economy is directly tied with the fate of those nations.

“It will not be a speech about campaign issues,” an adviser said. “He’s not going to address campaign issues in terms of other candidates, it is not a speech about American politics, and so it’s not a campaign event. We’re not trying to recruit support from the crowds that are coming. It’s not a campaign event.

The point of the outdoor rally is that the senator wants to speak directly to our allies and to the people of Europe and the people of the world and it would be inconsistent to do that and try to limit the attendance for that event. There’s a great deal of interest in his visit. We want to accommodate that interest.”


In fact this is a campaign speech. He is campaigning for the support of world leaders and corporations – who would then lend support to him and hopefully impress centrist Americans that would otherwise avoid his liberal policies.

If this is not a speech about American politics, what the hell is he going to say? He may not frame the speech in terms of McCain, but he will in terms of America and so it’s just another stump speech. Take out the polispeak and that’s all it is, but if his campaign makes it any more obvious it will backfire.

Will this all work? Well it depends. If you are of the mind of say Pete Hegseth maybe not

“Obama frequently decries the danger of “dogmatists” and “ideologues” in public policy, yet he himself has proved consistently uninterested in putting himself in situations where he might be confronted with the hard complexities of this war.”


If you are of a mind as say Peter Beinart then maybe

“This is not to say the security improvements in Iraq are illusory. It’s just that the war’s realities are too elusive to grasp on a brief trip led by people with a vested interest.”


Overall I have one overriding thought, this is political candy meant to do one thing – elect Senator Obama. There is almost nothing Senator Obama can learn with the media following him like puppies and the speed at which he is traveling. He isn’t there to learn anything substantive (lest he have an opinion that does not fall in line with Democratic Party lines, or worse contradict his far-left campaign speeches – more than he already has), he is there to look good. In the words of Fernando

“It's better to look good than to feel good."


And damn if Senator Obama isn’t being made to look good. But I wonder if all the bluster will lead to an Obama Presidency, and if it does will we be able to say this quote afterwards

“I hope when you are my age, you'll be able to say - as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom. Our lives were a statement, not an apology." Ronald Reagan

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The political center - where are our answers?

So before I go further let me mention some up-coming news. I am currently in talks with a New York State elected official about holding an interview. I cannot say more at this time, but if there are further developments I will be happy to inform you all.

But looking forward to the Presidential race, there is just so much going on, or so some might feel. In fact very little has gone on since the field of potential candidates finally dwindled to 2.

For the most part all that has been going on is more of the same. Each candidate is in the process of moving towards the center on the political spectrum in an attempt to garner more potential votes. This move is old news for Senator John McCain who has already shifted on positions like religion and the Bush tax cuts. For senator Obama there is more recent and immediate moves.

As I mentioned to a friend of mine recently

“America is generally in the middle of the political spectrum. The average person is conservative on some views and liberal on others, but the balance of issues are neutral. Because of this we have both candidates running to the center.

Senator McCain has long been known as the Democrat’s Republican. He’s made deals that infuriated the Republican Party over decades, because he felt it was the way to get needed laws passed. As such the media, that formerly loved him only 2 years ago, has made a lot of bluster about any further moves to the center. But he hasn’t far to go.

Senator Obama is different though. As the most liberal Senator currently in office, and a voting record that is absolutely the liberal ideals of the Democratic Party he has much further to go. This should be caught by the media as major position changes. But it is severely played down.”


Senator Obama has changed his position on the number of troops to be in Iraq during his first year in office. He has jumped around on his view of Iran. And he has back off solid pledges of townhall meetings and public finance. This does not make him a horrible candidate, but it does make him a politician.

So much so that I found this political cartoon to be an accurate example

Photo found at http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/OPINION/807140309/1048

But the real questions for both candidates are the ones that really are not being answered. Is raising taxes in an economic downturn an effective plan, will bailing out troubled mortgages resolve the crisis, how will Social Security get paid for as the number of retirees grows to levels never before seen.

Those are just a few questions. And no matter the side of the political spectrum you reside on, these are the questions that need answers. My only thought is when will we get these answers – before or after the election?

Mark my words, the candidate that comes closest to giving this answer – without fear of offending some in their political parties – will ultimately be the next President of the nation.

But what issue is most pressing for you? What issue is the one that will decide the vote for you? Tell me, and let’s see where we are as a nation. Let’s define what the center is and remind the politicians that their ultimate responsibility is to address those concerns.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Professor Tremblay supports Senator Obama with polispeak

I love polispeak. It’s my own descriptor for the inventive and nuanced manner in which pundits, candidates, and often bloggers discuss politics. It’s worse than spin, and almost always is based in facts - usually after it’s been spun through a blender and strained.

I cannot say that I am immune from this. Like every single pundit, blogger, and politician I hold an opinion, thus I am biased for or against various issues, policies, and/or proposals. I try to be honest and clear in my view. But not all are.

Here is a case in point. Professor Rodrigue Tremblay on globalresearch.ca has an impressive title. One would assume he has his facts in order and is presenting them clearly. But bias seeps in apparently, or the Professor is using faulty information. So sadly, those that rely on his opinion are being misguided. Of course they may not care, since we all tend to go to the source we prefer for answers we generally want.

Still some things are facts and they should be stated correctly.

First, in the quotes he uses of Senator McCain and Senator Obama, the bias becomes clear. He quotes McCain speaking on Iran alone. He then quotes Obama speaking about retreating from Iraq, and then the issue of Iran. It may not seem like a big deal, except in doing this he creates the impression that McCain has nothing to say on Iraq. That only Obama has a solution, which is false even if you don’t like McCain’s solution.

Considering he is using his title, as he is due, I have to believe he is aware of the effect of his selective quoting. Thus he is purposefully guiding the reader to a conclusion that he endorses, rather than allowing them to make the choice based on fact. I presume that either means he does not believe his readers can make the choice based on facts themselves, or he believes they will make a conclusion that he does not support based on the facts. But I could be wrong.

He then goes on to correctly point out that race is a major issue in this election. That the racial past of America provides perhaps the biggest hurdle, and makes any presumptions of polls useless.

Having set the stage to enforce the idea that race should not hinder this candidate (which I agree with) he then jabs at the current administration. While true that the President has remarkably low approval ratings, he skipped over the fact that the Congress – led by Democrats for 2 years now – has even lower approval ratings. What may be most revealing is that neither the President, nor the Congress is leading the nation in the right direction – meaning that both political parties have failed the general public substantively at the same time. But to say that detracts from his theme, though it is more grounded in fact.

He goes on to note that both Presidential candidates are moving along their party lines. That both are swaying towards their centers to gain more of the general populace. The impression is that in Senator Obama moving from the hard-core liberals of the far-left he is moving directly towards the center of the nation. The main complaint is that he is being a politician, which is what he is. Of course this ignores the fact that studies done over decades find that the majority of Americans are neither to the extreme right or left politically. Americans generally are centrist, perhaps leaning overall to the right (conservative) with exceptions on some issues. But that isn’t important to understand the moves each politician is making is it?

[by the way, Senator Obama has been rated, multiple times, as the most liberal Senator. So a shift towards the center keeps him firmly liberal and off the national center. Senator McCain has consistently been viewed as left of his Party’s center, and thus his move places him generally at the national average.]

Of course this all leads to the Iraq war. As already set up, Professor Tremblay has a skewed view on this issue. To further that view he then directly misquotes Senator McCain, with a quote that has been misused and explained for over a month now. But why let good rhetoric go unused even if it is false?

“Indeed, McCain voted for the Iraq war in October 2002, and he would be very happy to continue Bush's policy in Iraq, even to the point of extending the military occupation of that country “one hundred years” into the future.”


Yes McCain did vote for the war, as did almost every politician serving at the time – Republican or Democrat. He did not make a separate choice, nor was he the only voice. In fact I recall many video clips of Senator Clinton making an impassioned plea for the war, based on her extensive review of the facts. Thus the Democratic Party was no less involved than Senator McCain on this issue, and to isolate him is just a means of guiding the reader to a conclusion.

And as I stated there is the misquote. McCain did not imply or state there would be a military occupation (interesting choice of words there) of Iraq. He did state that America could have a presence in Iraq for 100 years, just as we have in Germany and Japan for 55 years and counting, Korea for 50 years and counting, Viet Nam for 30 years and counting. Note that not one of these countries is occupied yet we have had a presence (which McCain stated) there for longer than some voters have been alive, and thus it would be no surprise to have a military base (ie presence) in Iraq either.

But Professor Tremblay then goes on to point out what he wants his readers to accept as differences, each guiding them to his own desired conclusion.

He uses Social Security. He implies privatization is a bad idea and that Government support of SS is preferred. But isn’t the Government regulation of SS the reason it is going bankrupt and has no solution. Has it not been the political foot dragging of both political party’s that has kept the impasse going for at least 30 years while the problem got worse? And aren’t IRA’s privatized yet working well for millions of Americans for decades? So how bad is privatization.

On health care we are presented an idea filled with holes. Yes Senator Obama promoted Government lead universal healthcare. But name one department of the Government that has run efficiently or on budget in the past 40 years. If the Government has yet to run anything as simple as the Post Office or the VA in the past 2 generations, why do some suppose it will run our medical care better?

And this implies that our healthcare is bad, which is a lie. We are leaders in the world with thousands coming to America for our treatments as opposed to waiting for Government run medical care in their own nations. So if other nations can’t get this right, why should we try it? Is cheap and/or free bad care better than proper care that costs more? And if the Government is willing to provide $5,000 in credits (which is the correct amount I am aware of) to help pay to get that better care why is it bad?

As for abortion (which is not the sum of all women’s rights issues) I am conflicted. While I respect a woman’s choice, she is not the only voice in the matter. Responsible men, something downplayed severely by the general media but yet still existing, should have a voice as well. My opinion has nothing to do with religion or government. So I will leave that alone.

As for Supreme Court Justices, individuals that should have no party affiliation and can make decisions as they chose for life, I believe that it is not a major issue. It may be a secondary, or tertiary consideration for President – but there are far more pressing questions that need to be asked. And keep in mind that Congress can block any potential Justice, as they have in the past and will in the future. Professor Tremblay seems to forget to remind his reader that the President’s choice is still under the sway of Congress.

On taxes we again get a myopic view of the candidates. Senator McCain is proposing to cut taxes, Obama will raise them. That much is clear fact. The question is who is affected and how.

According to the Professor, cutting taxes is bad. Yet that is the only plan that has been theoretically and in the real world effective in helping the economy and the Average American. Raising taxes, especially in a economic downturn has never worked and is theoretically dumb. Those old enough to have live through President Carter know that this can lead to 13% unemployment and similar inflation.

But let’s take this to the real world. More money in people’s pockets is good. We all agree on that. Raising taxes prevents that. And Senator Obama has already voted to increase the taxes on those making as little as $31,850 or more. I would never call that rich. So in comparison we have one candidate willing to do what has worked for decades in various Presidencies and another that has proposed one idea, yet voted the opposite in the same election year he is running in. Or perhaps the Professor and I have different ideas of rich, as Senator Obama seems to.

Lastly is the big question experience. The Professor would praise Senator Obama, who lacks experience, for surrounding himself with politicians that have the experience. But at the same time he denounces Senator McCain for that same experience. Don’t be fooled by the use of terms like lobbyist, both politicians have them.

How can you say that McCain is bad for having experience, working with Democrats and Republicans to pass laws, and the relationships he has built over decades: and then praise Senator Obama for the lack of all these things – but the wisdom to have people with those same qualifications advise him. Is it not more logical to believe that an experienced leader would better be able to interpret and solicit advise from peers than an inexperienced politician from those that are his superiors (in age, experience, and political clout only – for those wondering the racial aspect of that statement).

He then throws all his preconceived ideas out the window and suggests that Al Gore is the best Democratic Presidential candidate. I am unconvinced.

Polispeak, it’s wonderful when a title and careful wording can be used to misquote, misinterpret and misguide the general public. But it should not provide you with the answer for whom to vote.

And for the record, I have yet to decide whom I wish to be President, though I do lean to Senator McCain. I just dislike blatant polispeak and engineered writing designed to use the reader.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Reader comments on the 2008 election

I write for a lot of blogs. Currently the number is up to about 45 blogs, besides those owned by my M V Consulting, Inc., where my posts can be found at. That says nothing of the blogs where others comment on my posts or quote some portion of what I have said. As such it’s sometimes very difficult to respond to each comment someone makes, though I do try.

It is also difficult for all my readers to see comments made at various blogs on some of the posts I have written. To that end I want to take the time to not only post some of the comments made but to also try to respond to them. And I invite everyone to comment as well, either here or on the blog the comment corresponds to.

Your thoughts are important to me and if you write a comment, I think it deserves to be seen in the least.

The following comments come from Presidential Race Blog, and African American Political Opinion though more comments can be found throughout the web.

Democratic Nomination - Path to where?

with Obama as president candidate for the democrates, i have no confidence. Interestingly, I remember most of obama’s speech as rhetorical and superficial, taken from other speeches which he studied, and repititious of other people’s ideas. The first two instances I looked and listened to him via the television, I got goosebumps from inspiration; in retrospect, i can liken most of his speeches and line of arguments to those i heard in the past. his fever, i think he got from his hypocritic church which he attended the last 20 years. his racism, he also got from there, and the fact that he is half-black and has to depend heavily on the black american community for most of his votes. his elitism, is a reflection of where he came from and where he now is. These are the bumps i get when i listen to him now. i agree with hilary with her claim that she won the majority votes. she has indeed won almost the same amount of votes as obama, and a variety in her combination of voters, some blacks, white, hispanic, etc., etc., I only disappointed that the media did not cover obama with the same amount of scrutiny that they did to hilary, i think the results would have been different if they has done so. I do hope that the general elections will be covered fairly, and obama will not be given the easy path, sheltered for all slips, so that the outcome of the general elections be fair game.
thank you for your space

janet Felix

Janet,

While Senator Obama has used lines from other speeches of politicians (with permission and thus not plagiarism) it’s not a unique action. Most politicians have done this to some degree over the last 20 years or so.

You mention that his former church is hypocritical. How so? You also call them racist, where is the proof?
I’ve spoken a lot about Rev. Wright and the polispeak soundbites used against him. I think it’s an unfair portrayal. But most of his comments and sermons that I have been made aware of are not racist. They are racial, which is not the same, and they do point out issues that exist in America. While some will feel offended or embarrassed by truth it does not change the truth.

As for the church, which was in the forefront of trying to abolish Apartheid, has helped the homeless, has gay and White parishioners, what is wrong about them?

You also make a misstatement. While Senator Obama received a huge vote from Black Democrats, he also had huge numbers of college educated, young, male, and other Democratic voters. If he only received the African American vote, then he would not be the Democratic nominee. Nor would he have won the multiple states where the Black population was barely 10%. You do a disservice in making that claim.

Ultimately Senator Clinton did get a huge number of votes. Much of this came as Senator Obama reeled from the Rev. Wright media blitz. But I still find that Senator Clinton was a deceptive and horrible choice for Democrats (and I made that clear in multiple posts).

The coverage of the Presidential candidates by the media has been overwhelmingly for Democrats. Along with that it has been for Senator Obama. That may lie in the fact that the media is overwhelmingly liberal and he is the most liberal Senator in the Senate. So to hope for even handed coverage seems a waste of time to me.

But there has been enough coverage that your misperceptions should not exist as well. I invite you to read through my blogs and to see what I mean.


Leading Democratic candidates Pros and Cons

The VP choices are the most important ingrediant in this Election. Everyone knows that Obama has a Bulls Eye Target on his Back, and McCain is on Death’s Door. I cannot figure out why none of our TV, Radio, Newsprint, or Magazine Newsies have picked up on this Point?

Steve ONeill

Steve,

I have to say that I disagree with your conclusions. While Senator Obama is no favorite of the KKK or other narrow-minded racist groups, I believe that the Secret Service is far to aware to allow him to be killed. And while Senator McCain is older, he is more fit than most men half his age.

I doubt that either man would die in office, though it is possible. But that is the purpose of the VP and is no different than any other election cycle. The emphasis is not on who they pick but the overall policies they and their VP believe is best for America going forward.

To vote for or against a candidate based on imagined health issues or potential nutcase attacks does not help the nation gain the best President or future. Rather than obsess on the VP pick the best choice for President and the nation will go from there, I think.


What Senator Ted Kennedy endorsing Senator Obama means

THE CLASSIFICATION OF AMERICANS BY RACE AND ETHNICITY MUST END
The Racial and Ethnic classification of Americans is nothing more than institutionalized racism and must be ended. The United States of America has been known as a country of rugged individualism based on individual freedom and liberty. Why has America become a country obsessed with classifying its citizens into different racial and ethnic sub-groups?

The only groups that actively support the continued collection of racial and ethnic data are big government bureaucrats and “racial and ethnic special interest groups” that also happen to receive significant funding from the federal government. These organizations argue that identifying people by race and ethnicity is necessary in order to redress some past injustice and that the federal government must continue to collect and use this information in order to set up special racial and ethnic programs, affirmative action quotas and other set-asides for these groups, some of whom consist of new immigrants, illegal aliens and non-citizens. Nothing can be further from the truth. In a country where we can no longer ask people what religion they are, what their party affiliation is or what their sexual orientation is, why are we still asking them about their racial and ethnic background?

Americans are beginning to realize that racial and ethnic identification is more a matter of personal choice than anything else. In the 2000 Census, seven million American citizens refused to place themselves into a single category by refusing to describe themselves as only white, black, Asian, Latino or any one of the other specific categories listed, because they were of mixed race. Attempts by the government to create a “mixed race” box for the 2000 Census was met with resistance by racial and ethnic special interest groups like the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza, because they feared that a mixed-race box could pose a danger to the justification for their existence. The fuzzier such racial and ethnic categories become, the harder it will be for these racial and ethnic special interest groups and the government to traffic in them. If a mixed-race category were to be added, every brown-skinned person of mixed race registered in this category would shrink the government’s official count of Blacks, Latinos, Asians or American Indians, eventually reducing their political influence and ultimately the amount of money these groups receive from the federal government, which amounts to approximately $185 billion a year.

Through the mandated collection and use of racial and ethnic specific information, more and more of American taxpayers’ hard earned money is being routinely distributed to these racial and ethnic special interest groups at the expense of all other Americans who may or may not be members of these groups. Through executive orders, congressional legislation, affirmative action programs, racial set-asides, quotas and other programs based solely on race and ethnicity, our federal government is playing the key role that pits one racial and ethnic group against another, which could eventually lead to our destruction as a country.

Rather than helping a diverse population become assimilated and united as one nation, the Federal government is doing what the Nazi government of Germany did in the 1930’s and 40’s; creating government supported institutionalized racism by the intentional classification of it’s citizens by race and ethnicity.

With the support of racial and ethnic special interest groups, our federal government seems to view our citizens not just as Americans, but rather as “pawns” in some social science experiment to be classified and separated into different racial or ethnic sub-groups for some unknown purpose. By mandating the classification of Americans into specific racial and ethnic sub-groups, the federal government and the advocates of “diversity” are actually perpetuating institutionalized racism and keeping Americans divided. Maybe the real purpose of collecting this data is to justify the continuing flow of government money to these racial and ethnic special interest groups.

If we want to help poor Americans escape poverty, get better health care, find a job or get a good education, why should it matter what their race or ethnic background is? The answer is: It should not! Americans need to come together as members of one country and remember that we are all individual Americans, regardless of race or ethnic background. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired a nation when he voiced his dream for a color-blind nation, a nation in which people would be judged by the content of their characters, “not the color of their skin.” The answer to this government encouraged racism is the concept of Liberty with a limited, constitutional government that is devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than the claims of different racial and ethnic special interest groups. Where Liberty is present, individual achievement and competence are rewarded, not people’s skin color or ethnicity.

I will support legislation barring the federal government from the collection of racial and ethnic information about the American people and/or the classification of American citizens by race and ethnicity, including the collection of census information. Exceptions should be made for law enforcement, hospitals and medical research purposes.
I will also support legislation that bans affirmative action programs, racial set-asides, quotas and any other programs that give special preferences based on race and ethnicity.

By:
JOHN W. WALLACE
Candidate for Congress
New York’s 20th Congressional District
http://www.FreedomCandidate.com

John,

I will have to address this in a post of its own. Expect that shortly.


The real power of Senator Obama and Oprah Winfrey

I hope Oprah is prepared to deal with the false adoration she engendered by supporting Barack Obama. He has an agenda that has not yet surfaced,but I predict, if president, she will sorely regret what she put into action by supporting this man, who is all show and no integrity, political experience or skill. We can all canvas and do community organizing. or is she hoping that like most black women, Michelle will run Obama, not the people?

deb hart

DEB
False adoration? All show and no integrity? Black women run their men? You seem to have some major issues and they are poping out all over your comment.

First of all Oprah Winfrey is the major daytime celebrity, and has been for decades now. The adoration she has received is earned by the effort she has put forth. To assume less is to insult what she has accomplished.

While I agree that Senator is not very experienced the rest of your comment rings false. Please point out where he lacks integrity or skill? As a lawyer and community leader I have to believe skill and integrity come to the fore. Yet you dismiss this, why?

Are you sure you know as much as you believe you do about what either Senator Obama or Oprah Winfrey have done?

And as for the last part of your comment, I am offended. You don’t seem to have any clue or perspective there, but you do have what seems to be a racial agenda. You’re right on the edge of stereotyping. I would help you pull your foot out of your mouth except I’m fearful of what else you might say.

Simply put your comments make me believe you have an issue with any successful African American, and I have to wonder how you didn’t notice that I am a Black Puerto Rican. Do you think I am run by a woman, or without skill and integrity, or seeking false adoration? You really need to look at yourself and what you are saying, because it’s real close to bile.


Presidential Candidates Lies: Update

Some of your statements are just looking for technicalities.
I am not supporting any candidate, but am just giving one example to not take up time.

One example:
McCain said that Hillary wants to waive a white flag. You say this is a lie because there is no official army to surrender to. Are you seriously saying that because we aren’t fighting a government recognized army that we can’t “technically” surrender? And that makes one of our candidates a liar?

Some of the facts you pointed out are obviously correct, but looking for every technicality is a waste of time. You will find thousands more if you want. We should be look at flat out lies. Like when a candidate says that he/she is against free trade agreements yet vote for those same agreements and write about the value of free trade in his/her own books.

I hope I don’t sound like I’m going for a specific candidate, because I’m not, but just making a few examples.

Noway

Noway,
Nitpick all you want but the facts are what they are. And I did not claim these are lies, Polifact did (which I noted in the post). And yes a lie is still a lie even if the details are minor.

In fact you cannot surrender to someone that does not have someone to surrender to. If there is no army who do you declare a war against or lose to? And that does make McCain a bit of a liar, or if you prefer misguided in his statements.

I have posted blatant lies, and minor ones as well. This was not the first post I address the issue on. And Polifact has a huge list discussing the degree of truth or lies the candidates have made.

But the issue is this. If there are candidates that continuously lie, big or little, to the American public do you want them in office? Especially if they are making multiple lies that sound really close to the truth so no one notices?

But if you look through my blogs I do point out major lies candidates make in multiple posts. But I was just adding a few that Polifact had which I had not covered.


Senator Hillary Clinton: Ireland and Sinbad tell the truth

It is easy for those unconnected with Northern Ireland to decry those who even played a small part in the peace process here but every building block played a part and Hillary Clinton’s input was just as key as any other vititors to these shores.David Trimble himself probably played less of a role than the Clintons if truth were known. One didn’t have to sit amongst the peacemakers in negotion in order to bring about the climate that led to peace. Hillary Clinton, through her good offices, played a major role in bringing vadidation to the various womens groups in Northern Ireland and it was pressure from Women that led to the first talks. More importantly the role Hillary played back home, although not mentioned much, was in making it much more difficult for Americans to contribute to the supply of guns to the IRA whether through pressure on the crime elements or on the funds collections. There is a lot more to Hillary Clintons involvement in the peace process than most Americans know about. Just because the first lady didn’t make a big deal of it does not mean that she was not instumental in her role in the process.

Jim

Jim,
I am unconnected to the actual events in Northern Ireland, as are the majority of Americans. But according to the reports I have read, Senator Clinton did nothing but have tea. That does not qualify for bragging rights in my book.

You state she was working with women’s groups in Ireland at the time, which ones? What did she do to help and/or motivate them? I’ve seen nothing documented stating this.

And as for the NRA, it was not Hillary but Bill Clinton, the President, that was taking action. To my knowledge and information the then-First Lady had only one political action during Bill Clinton’s presidency – national healthcare – and it failed miserably. If you can point to anything that helps validate her claims, and refutes the claims of someone that is internationally recognized as having influence, I would be happy to read it.

Until then I will again state that she was using the actions of others to fabricate experience and political clout she does not have.


Rev. Wright, Senator Obama, and the media

I do wish that there were other people who view things the way that you do. There seems to be a rush to find anything on anyone that is degreading. I do hope that Americans have grown to a level that is above the spind-doctors. Thanks for a refreshing thought provoking statment.

George O’Neal

Hannity and Colmes are replaying a March 1, 2007 interview with Rev. Wright. He was incredibly hostile. They have been a topic on talk radio for months while there has been a de facto MSM blackout of Barack’s church. It is interesting that Wright’s views were little discussed while Mitt’s church received intense scrutiny. To borrow a phrase, it has taken a while for the chickens to come home to roost.

John Austin TX


George,
Thank you. I do try.

John,
I will say it again, the religion of a candidate has nothing to do with their ability to be a President.

It was not Mitt Romney’s church that was questioned but the Mormon religion. That was unfair and wrong. It had no reflection on his ability to govern – which his time as Governor proved.

As for Senator Obama’s church, what is wrong with standing up against Apartheid, feeding the homeless and welcoming parishioners of all races and sexual orientation?

What you mean is the questions of his pastor. And I have fully covered my thoughts on that. I invite you to check them out.


Remember those before us

Eddie G. Griffin said...
Written history is always subject to re-write (revision), plus the fact it was never acurate to begin with, written from a bias perspective.

chocolate_matters said...
Hello, just blog hopping and wanted to just have some input into the discourse here. Nice blog by the way.
Exactly what the brother above stated. History is always written from the perspective of the victory and any and everything we read should be scrutinized for its accuracy. As a student of history I have learn to question, question, and question some more everything I read.

Eddie and Chocolate

I agree that history is written from the winners view. And that is why I wanted to remind my readers that there is more to our past as Americans than what is selectively taught. Our nation is a wonderful nation and I would prefer no other even with the problems we obviously have. Yet we must be honest about where we come from and have done.

I think we all agree that more needs to be learned and spoken about to ensure that EVERYONE in the nation benefits from a better future.


Senator Obama to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan

Francis L. Holland Blog said...
He can go anywhere he wants, as long as he doesn't fall for the okey-doke of going with John McCain.

I can't see why John McCain's people and the Republicans are so desperate to get Obama to go with McCain to Iraq, except to create the impression that they are both reasonable people trying to solve a problem together. When the premise of Obama's candidacy is that he is reasonable and McCain is not on Iraq.

I say to Obama, 'Go wherever you want, but leave McCain home.' Birds of a feather flock together.

Francis,

Perhaps Senator John McCain wants Senator Obama to see the places that he has been, and to hear first-hand the chances that have happened. I doubt that Obama had much of a chance to notice anything in the less than 48 hours he spent in Iraq.

The point is that the Democratic Party has consistently promoted the view that Iraq is a lost cause after they voted to go their. They have taken every opportunity to promote a doom and gloom view without paying any attention to changes or improvements. That narrow-visioned view of international events is unwise for a President.

To simply assume that Republicans want to point out that Senator Obama has no international experience belittles his need to be in Iraq. He has no international experience, and he took no time to learn about what is happening in Iraq. Wisdom is knowing your own failures and gaining knowledge from those with more experience than yourself. Then you can make a more educated decision.

Isn’t that what you want from a President? So doesn’t it make sense to go with Senator John McCain who has been to Iraq at least 6 times in as many years?


Senator Clinton Wins – Sorry I Misspoke

The Indypendent said...
Obama’s Race Against Race
By Nicolas Powers
From the April 25, 2008 issue
A black man runs from a howling crowd. If he’s caught he’ll be torn apart. If he reaches sanctuary he’ll be loved. This ritual is the Sacred Lynching. It’s a scene from Olaf Stapledon’s science fiction book, The First and Last Men. Set in the future, humanity has mixed and few people are “white” or “black,” and the ritual is a nostalgic celebration of racism in a post-racial world. It resembles our own supposed post-racial politics, and I see Senator Barack Obama as that last black man on earth trying to outrun our media mob.

TO READ FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.indypendent.org/2008/04/25/obama%e2%80%99s-race-against-race/

Indypendent,
And what does this have to do with Senator Clinton lying about her experience, failure to make a big primary win, and attempting to by votes (again) with a silly promise of giving the public a paltry sum of money that cannot possibly pass Congress?


Is Rev. Wright a reason not to vote for Senator Obama?

Ghost said...
I would have to agree with the writer of this blog in most part since I have heard these types of prophetic sermons throughout my upbringing in a town 90 miles north of Chicago. Yet, I think the bigger issue here should not be about Rev. Wright. Since Obama announced his candidacy for the Presidency I have wondered how and when he would attempt to traverse the chasm that is race in this country. What concerns me is that he would be so careless as to allow himself to be forced to have this discussion under duress. Now he has allowed yet another distraction to pull attention away from his message of unity by not addressing the genesis of the symptoms that we manifest today, namely de-facto racism and reverse racism. As far as I am concerned he should have distanced himself from this man long ago, not because he didn't like him but simply because it did not fit with his plan. You cannot expect the general American public to fully support Obama, while he emits such an aura of irresponsibility. He is smarter that this and we all know it. He needs to be concerned about votes and it's time he learned that you cannot pick and choose what you want to be transparent about. I bet in the next 48hrs the Clinton camp will give up their taxes and the history of her time as 1st Lady while the nation is caught up in the racial fervor since it is a more interesting topic. C-ya next time.

RJM said...
No. But I know a many who would find at fault with the statements that were made. Seriously, one thing that gets me was when he talked about our terrorism caused 9/11. It is very true. It was our actions that caused it. The HiJackers didn't just get into a plane and said hey lets blow this up. They were angry. They'll never forget the removal of their land for Israel or the removal of a democratically elected government in Iran for one of Tyranny. How many people know that though? The Clinton's Campaign is riding on the famous American action of inaction. Of thoughtlessness instead of thought. To the Clinton Campaign,her best shot at winning is this for all the voters:
Ignorance is Bliss.

msladydeborah said...
Pastor Wright is not a major factor in whether or not I will continue to support Obama.

I happen to feel very strongly about this whole issue because it is not reflective of his leadership as a minister.

I have been encouraging people to check out his background and to see what his leadership at Trinity UCC has produced.

He did not say anything that cannot be justified. We only need to look at the past to see why he and other people feel this way.

What bothers me the most is the attempt to make it seem as if something wrong is going on because he is the head of a black populated congregation.

This whole action is walking a fine line in terms of rights.

Pastor Wright can say whatever he wants to inside of his church. That is his right and if the members do not like what is being said, then they are the ones who needed to handle the business of that issue.

I also feel that Barack is going to have to deal with race up front now. There is no way around it.

But so are we. And I feel that we are going to have to be a lot more tough on the subject. We are going to have to learn how to deal with what is major and don't sweat what is not.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

President Obama: Andy Ostroy at Huffington Post must give a reason

I was looking through the net today, trying to get back on pace with the Presidential election, and I ran across an interesting post by Andy Ostroy on the Huffington Post. Its title is Why Obama Must Become President.

The post is filled with problems. Problems about America’s racial past, our economic current, and our unsure future. It highlights the failures of the President Bush Administration, and several points that I’ve heard ultra-liberals spout since Democrats started announcing their intention to run in 2007. And not once does it give a reason to vote for Senator Obama.

Mr. Ostroy correctly points out the many hurdles that were in the way of a Senator Obama nomination. He hints at the racial bias and emphasis used against Senator Obama throughout the primaries. He even quickly glanced over the fact Senator Obama has virtually no experience. But none of those are reasons to pick a President.

His main reasons why Senator Obama should win can be summed up in these 3 things:
He is Black
He is not President Bush
It’s a good thing for the Democratic powerbase

That’s it.

Now I would love to see a Black President in my lifetime. I agree that

“America needs to get over itself and finally break down these walls of racism. It's time that its citizens stop viewing each other through the prism of color, and focus instead on the person beneath the skin.”


But a President is more than just a color barrier. Racism is a major issue in America, I know because I have lived with its influence in my life. But it is not the only nor main issue in America.

“Whites would finally be presented with a black president and be forced to confront their inherent fears, while hopefully accepting the cultural reality that success or failure in the Oval Office has nothing to do with race. And for some blacks, they would no longer be able to hide behind the contention that the "system" is keeping them down, and instead assume a greater responsibility for their own successes and/or failures.”


This is all true. A Black President would be a great force in defeating stereotypes and excuses all too readily used and portrayed in the media and many people’s lives.

But how would Senator Obama’s color change the economy? How would his eternal tan prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons? How would the breakdown of stereotypes end the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, or disuade groups like Al Quida from attacking Americans?

Race is a central theme in America, but it has little power over national economics, international policy, or national defense – to name a few issues.

So I have to reject the premise made by Mr. Ostroy that

“But if Obama loses to McCain in November, that will be an even greater statement of where America is with regard to race. That a candidate from a severely weakened party, who votes in virtual lockstep with Bush, could beat Obama while voters voice that they so desperately want and need change, would signal that having a black president is, in 2008, perhaps too much change.”


The election in November is not about what race the majority of Americans want to lead the nation, but who is the best person. The best person with the best plan – that can realistically be implemented – is the person who should win. That may or may not be Senator Obama, but you would never be able to know from Mr. Ostroy’s post.

Is President Bush’s apporval rating low? Yep, and those of the 2 year Democrat-led Congress are even lower. Government as a whole has failed the American people on many levels. Each party has failed to live up to promises and expectations. President Bush has failed to recognize and react to his mistakes in a timely manner, and the Democratic Congress can’t stop trying to blame the Administration for every ill known to man and actually pass a few of the laws they polispoke their way into office for.

Yet neither potential Presidential candidates has a last name that remotely sounds like Bush or Pelosi. Thus change from the abysmal political leaders of this nation, whether Democrat or Republican, is assured. The question that remains is which is best.

The energy problem in America is the result of 30 years of both political parties failing to act. The only actual answer is to say that America will investigate all energy avenues – including domestic drilling, nuclear, new refineries, switching to sugar and grass based ethanol as well as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and so on. But neiter political party is willing to say that, and the candidates both seem unwilling to annoy some of their political followers in favor of a real solution for the nation.

Similar statements can be made about real fixes to Social Security, Education, and the Economy. But when it comes down to it, one of the biggest issues facing this election is experience, not color.

Does America want a President that has decades of experience, or a candidate that will be learning on the job. Both have their good and bad points. Neither involves race. To say that it does is to overstate an issue and bully some into acting in a manner they don’t believe in. That’s wrong.

Mr. Ostroy makes a great emotional post. It sets up a wonderful argument over the importance of how the media and politics still use race to make the playing fields uneven. If this were an election for Govenor, or Mayor, then it might make more sense; but this is about the President and in all honesty it is not a priority.

I have long said that all fanatics are wrong no matter what the cause or reason, and that any decision made based on a fanatical view is misguided in the least. I feel that is true of suicide bombers, bailouts for dumb economic decisions, and elections.

If you want to vote for Senator Obama, or McCain, have a reason. Race is not a reason but a cause if it is the only basis for the decision. It’s fanatical reasoning, and in my eyes therefore inherently wrong. There are reasons to vote for either, and your vote does count. Don’t waste it on just one issue that does not resolve any other issue America will face in the next 4 years or decades. If you do I guarantee that you won’t like the result.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taxes: the real Presidential candidate issue

With all the attention being place on oil and energy in the past few days I thought I’d take another look at taxes. One of the least popular issues that every Presidential race focuses on. And consistently the public has the same request, lower taxes.

For 2008, the ‘election of change’ [a dumb concept considering that is a fact], we have 2 very explicit views. I say explicit, but if you don’t listen carefully or check any other details you may be distracted of confused by the polispeak that each candidate employs. So I want to take a moment, before the rhetoric switches back after the energy issue stops catching headlines, to look at their stances clearly (as found at The Tax Foundation).

Deferring to experience I will start with Senator McCain.

Originally opposed to the President Bush tax cuts, Senator McCain now is in support of this tax plan. He also favors cutting corporate taxes by 10%. For those that suffer from estate taxes he plans to implement a move to only 15% tax on estates over $10 million. He wants to remove the alternative minimum tax, which affects many middle-class families which it was not intended to tax, and he is strongly against any increase in taxes related to Social Security.

Now for Senator Obama.

While he has already voted to increase taxes for anyone making $31,850 he has publicly stated that he will only repeal the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% of the nation. How such a law could be enacted is unknown, and considering that proposals and campaign promises of a similar nature have never occurred his repeals may include more people. He has also promised to eliminate taxes for all seniors that make less than $50,000. When it comes to corporations Senator Obama has stated he will “close loopholes”, which means whatever you wish it to. He has no expressed plan for estate taxes or the Minimum Alternative Tax, presumably leaving them both in place. But he does have a defined plan for the Social Security tax, which he plans to increase – directly coming from wages. There may be an exemption for those above $102,000 but it isn’t clear.

Senator Obama also has several other plans related to taxes that Senator McCain has no comparable for. Senator Obama will create several ‘credits’ for various Americans. One credit will apply to those that work and make over $8,100 – the credit will be for $500 or $1,000 for families. He would also create a 10% credit for all homeowners with a mortgage. This mortgage owner credit would amount to about $500. There would also be an earned income credit for those making minimum wage and working full-time for $555, if children are being supported “responsibly” [how and who determines that?] then another $1,110 is available. For those in college up to $4,000 can be forgiven. Lastly Senator Obama wants the IRS to issue tax forms that are partially pre-filled to reduce the time in filling out the forms.

Now I’m sure both plans have their appeal points, and many with children like the comments by Senator Obama. But let’s look at this in total.

Senator Obama has already voted to increase taxes of most Americans 3%, which he publicly stated he would not do. Because of that I feel every other statement about taxes he has made is in question. In addition every attempt to isolate any singular group of Americans to pay higher taxes has failed. Inevitably Americans not expected to be paying higher taxes do so.

I agree with the concept of excluding taxes for senior citizens that are making enough money to survive on their own. I do not agree on the fixed price or the cap. While $50,000 may sound comfortable today, not long ago $30,000 sounded the same. Any provision that does not take into account the increase of cost of living, nor the cost of medications (which older Americans have higher budgets on disproportionately) fails those it is meant to help.

While spouting polispeak about corporations and their earnings is a winning strategy with unions and newspaper headlines, it is not an effective tax plan. There are some loopholes in the corporate tax code that should be removed, but the real boost to the economy is decreasing tax rates. This allows businesses to increase the number of people employed, or raise their pay, or fund research, or expand to increase scales of economy. Whichever is done the economy for the nation receives more revenues in multiple areas that were stagnant prior. Raising corporate taxes has the opposite effect.

Estate taxes are a special situation that most Americans don’t fall under. Even so, for those that do have to deal with these taxes, they are huge. While most like to point out the multi-million dollar estates, those with far less pay the same tax now. Again this limits gaining revenues on these funds from other sources that could stimulate the economy. But I don’t have a strong opinion on this point.

Social Security is commonly called the “third rail of politics” and it is aptly named. Older voters are sensitive to anything that might affect their money. Considering that most voters are older, and this number is about to swell as baby-boomers age, this is an issue that none want to be on the wrong side of. Then again, younger voters have little interest in funding a program that they in all likelihood will never receive a dime from. SSI is a flawed program that has never worked exactly as planned. Increasing money by raising taxes on those that can’t afford it does little to help anyone beyond actually pushing its problems onto either another administration or generation. Senator Obama’s plan sounds exactly like that.

Senator Obama’s plan for college students sounds eerily like the short-lived plan proposed from then-potential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton. This plan forgives money instead of providing it though. A major question is this though, who will pay the $28.8 billion that this plan would absolve each year. [That assumes that only 7.2 million Americans go to college - and would this include those who take college courses online?] The money from this would have to come from somewhere, which means higher taxes.

I like a 10% credit for mortgages, as I will soon own a home. But in reality I don’t need it. My home purchase is based on the fact that I can well afford the mortgage, and that it is a fixed rate. Those that prepare properly for a home purchase have no need of a credit. Those that do not will not be saved by what would amount to maybe 2 months payment on their obligation. If this plan were less polispeak, it would be designed to help stimulate the economy – especially since 96% of all mortgage holders are paying on-time.

I can’t think of anything more to ask about a credit for those that have children [specifically it seems targeted to fathers paying child support] than who and what criteria equate to responsible. How would this be enforced. Under it’s current wording this implies that the Government would be involved actively in raising every child in America, under arbitrary and politically motivated rules. And what happens if the Government claims you are not being responsible? Do they take the children from the parents, or incarcerate them, publicly ostracize them or penalize them in some other way? Considering that the Government can’t balance a checkbook or check out foods for potentially deadly diseases I don’t trust their opinion on what is “responsible” in child rearing.

And lastly the IRS tax forms. It’s a nice polispeak rabble rouser. It gets headlines. It sounds great, until you think about it. How long do you think it will take to mail out tens of millions of printed tax forms? How will those who have never filed a tax form prior file? How much will this cost to be made? Especially since each and every form will be individual so scale of economies will never take place (never mind the fact that it would likely cost more each and every year – like stamps).

And perhaps most importantly, how will the Government ensure that every document is sent out to the proper person. Because if even one were to be mishandled, or one employee were paid off, identity theft would be rampant. Some would counter that the government send out documents now though no numbers exist on how many are improperly delivered. But the counter would accurately be that the Government is inefficient in every department, what would cause the IRS to suddenly become so?

So in honestly reviewing the tax positions of Senator Obama and Senator McCain, on balance I see McCain with better plans and more effective for the nation. You may not agree, and if so I’d love to hear where I got it wrong. And if I got it right let me know. [please remember I’m not an economist so don’t get too technical on me.]

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Senator Obama to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan

Senator Obama has finally declared he will be going to Iraq and Afghanistan prior to November. Finally. It took long enough.

Senator Obama is known for his opposition to the Iraq war. It’s been one of the most critical points in his candidacy. The war is unpopular (now) and many seek an end at all costs. But most of those that are making such a call have never been in Iraq or Afghanistan and thus have no idea beyond those already in polls and party polispeak.

Considering that Democrats have voted overwhelmingly for the war, then jumped boat when the polls turned against the war I’m not surprised that so few have taken the time to get first-hand experience. It’s far easier to say



or even more recently to not only ignore that the surge has worked, some political stability has been established, and we have move closer to the goals we have been fighting for – but to say



But a future Commander-and-Chief must be able to go beyond petty political polispeak and posturing. Iraq is one of the key thoughts in America. How we resolve this issue will determine the safety of Americans worldwide for a decade or more.

I do not believe that as a senator opposed to fighting in Iraq, opposed to the surge, in favor of a timeline (which I think is stupid – it’s telegraphing your strategy which has never worked historically), and critical of anything that differs from this view that 2 days in Iraq back in January 2006 is enough. And if he only takes a trip of similar length it should be noted that it’s pandering to the public for votes.

But I look forward to Senator Obama going to Iraq and Afghanistan and getting more first-hand information. I really look forward to hear his comments on the obviously massive changes since his last short visit, especially when he speaks in a debate with Senator McCain on the subject.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

The challenges to a Senator McCain Presidency

Politics is an amazing arena. It’s the only business in America where lies, misperceptions, misspoken statements, and polispeak are valued assets and critical winning strategies. And that’s true of every political party and elected official from local government to the highest office.

I mention this because of a conversation I had with a woman today. She is interested in getting her voice out to the masses for this election. She believes it to be very important, and thus she is also interested in creating a blog. To that end she contacted me and eventually we discussed the Presidential candidates.

Now in this discussion it came out that she prefers Senator Obama over Senator McCain. There’s nothing wrong with that. When I asked her why, the reasons she gave were very telling. The only reason involving Senator Obama was the fact that he would provide change, every other reason in our 2 hour discussion focused on a belief she had on Senator McCain. I feel that much of what she believed is similar to what others believe as well.

While there is nothing wrong with being for any one candidate, the reasons should be well defined. Let me clarify.

These are the reasons she felt McCain was a bad choice. He is too old, he had cancer, he must suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), he is another President Bush, he is a warmonger (my paraphrase), he is non-partisan, he won’t change anything, and he has a temper. This is the summarized version of her reasons why Obama should be President.

Now while Senator McCain is old, it is well known that he is very physically fit. Many pundits and politicians admit that he is in excellent shape for his age, more than many that are decades his junior. And his genetics – as viewed by looking at his mother who is in her 90’s – show a propensity to remain active and mentally intact for another 20 years. Add to that the fact that Presidents have served at his age before.

And by the way, is Senator McCain is senile for calling Sunnis Shiites, then what is Senator Hillary Clinton when she repeatedly comments on barrel rolling planes and sniper fire that never existed? If that is not senility, or a lie what do you call that? As opposed to mixing up the names of 2 groups of people that most Americans can’t tell you the difference between or even spell.

In looking at his cancer, he had a skin cancer that was non-lethal. It was removed. He is currently free of any cancer and has been for years. There is no reason to believe that he would get cancer again, but there are many politicians that have fought cancer and continued to serve in office. There has been Presidents that have suffered ailments during their Presidency and still governed effectively.

But to combine the 2 questions of age and cancer into one solution, that is why there are Vice-Presidents.

As for being a warmonger, that is a harsh inaccurate and politically driven perception (though again I note that she did not call him that - others I've spoken with have). Groups like Moveon.org and Code Pink may feel that such a title may applie to McCain, but then again they felt the same about Senator Clinton and EVERY other politician that has not advocated the immediate retreat from Iraq. It would be far more accurate to say that as a former military officer, a decorated veteran, and a former POW Senator McCain has a far greater appreciation of what it means to fight for our country than most politicians or civilians. Considering that he has a son that has actively served in Iraq recently, he appreciates as much as any parent the fears of an active war. Thus I am left to conclude that if he believes that it is important for America to win if possible, and/or to exit in a manageable manner – and is willing to risk his own son – that he believes such steps are in the nations best interest long-term.

It’s well known that Senator John McCain has a temper. He has had words with many Senators and politicians over his 25 years of political service. Then again so have many Presidents. In fact it is now more publicly acknowledged that President Clinton had a horrible temper. According to Dick Morris, who used to work for President Clinton, he was struck in anger by the President. Since Mr. Morris said this on national cable television and has not been sued or asked to retract his statement I am led to believe it was true. So we have evidence that recent Presidents have tempers, which did not prevent them from their duties.

To go back to the military past of Senator McCain, which Senator Obama has never had a day of, I was told he had to have PTSD. This was a point that was brought up multiple times. The woman I spoke with could not see how anyone that went through what McCain has could not be so afflicted. Yet in 25 years in the Senate there has been no incidence ever reported. Not one politician, of either party, or an aide has ever noted anything that would be likened to PTSD. I wouldn’t say that McCain never has a bad memory, but like many veterans he has lived a productive life without incident. So why is that a fear? PTSD is not like LSD. It doesn’t suddenly crop up one morning with a cup of coffee. There are symptoms and signs. This is what my father dealt with, and as a man that did have PTSD, suffered from Agent Orange, and lost an arm and leg most would never have been able to tell as he worked on his small farm and daily interactions. But when things were bad, there were always signs.

Suffice to say that I feel this is an unwarranted and probably politically motivated issue.

I’ll combine the question of whether McCain is another President Bush and whether he is non-partisan. Don’t take my word on this but look back a year and a half. Look back 2 years. Read how the liberal media lauded Senator McCain, and Republican were angry with him, for breaking party lines on various issues. Look at how the media positively covered McCain as the most bi-partisan Republican and as the kind of Republican Democrats could work with. Look at the multiple laws he has passed and tried to pass. Count the number of times McCain was called a moderate, and conservative groups that backed President Bush whole-heartedly were angry with McCain.

The fact is that the main thing that has changed is the media and pundit perception of Senator McCain. What he did has not changed, but the perception has been molded by the media, just in time for people who don’t follow politics daily to just notice.

Last is change. Everyone is speaking about change. Which is just dumb. No matter who is elected change is guaranteed. Neither man is President Bush so change is a fact.

But on one hand we have a candidate without experience (relatively) as compared to one with over 3 decades of service to the nation. Of course I was told that Senator Obama can surround himself with people that have experience and he can make decisions based on their knowledge.

So why is McCain faulted for his experience, and that of those he would have around him, since Senator Obama would be drawing from a pool of politician that are just as embedded in “old” politics as McCain? The only real difference is that McCain has his own experience to balance against the opinions of those around him, and Obama does not.

Now I don’t fault anyone for picking any candidate. I am happy that many are getting involved because I agree that this is an important election. But I want to emphasize something. Picking a candidate based on current soundbites and a set of rules that apply only one way is not picking a candidate that is in the best interest of America.

Check the facts, learn about the candidates for yourself. Look at the vote where Senator Obama voted to raise the taxes of everyone making $31,850 or more (and Senator McCain voted against) and ask if that is rich. Ask why every multi-millionaire and billionaire that advocates higher taxes have never given a single extra dollar to the government than they were required to – in fact a few have preferred to give their money to charities instead. Ask how Senator Obama will pass bi-partisan laws with a record of voting highly partisan and liberal. Ask if you prefer a President that is historically moderate or liberal – with a populace that in all honesty is middle of the road depending on the issue.

If you look for those facts, and ignore the pundits and polispeak; if you ask those questions and come to an answer for yourself, then that is who you should vote for. And it’s when you vote on that basis that America will truly get the best choice for America’s future.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The questions of the party lines

Lately my conversations with ultra-liberals have began to take a repetative tone. I’m hearing complete paragraphs of conversations that are verbatim. I’ve begun to wonder if it’s some kind of Ipod track that they have hooked up to their mouths. It’s as if their brains have shutdown to any original thought or the concequences of the party line.

Ok so some of the conversations have not been quite that bad. Some. But there have been massive misconceptions, faulty facts, and a complete disregard for consequences.

So let’s look at a couple of common quotes.

Oil companies are bad for making big profits.

Since when is making a profit a bad thing? Is that not part of the American dream? Isn’t that why every small business in America was created?

But go deeper. Beyond the jealousy of the profits they make, look at the impact they have. Oil companies do not make more money with higher oil costs – OPEC does. Gasolines price is ~60% based on the cost of oil. In the past year oil has more than doubled in price; yet gasoline has only risen ~40% in the same time. That means the oil companies are doing a good job of keeping the cost down.

The profits that oil companies make is not isolated to 2 people as ultra-liberals would like you to think. Millions of mutual funds and IRA’s hold large positions in these oil companies. When they make a profit (which is their job) their stock goes up and investors and retirees have more money. Capping their profit in fact will take money away from retirees and investors, thus hurting the average American.

Capping profits will not stop the need of an oil company from making a profit. To get that profit they will need to cut jobs and stop research into efficiancies, exploration, and alternatives. That means the unemployed in the nation will go up. That will hurt the economy. And if they cut jobs, hundreds of other companies that work directly with this industry will have to cut back too. And by the way, the price of oil will not be forced down a penny while this happens.

We need to leave Iraq now.

As I have said many times that’s not only impossible, it’s stupid. You cannot end a fight just by walking away, not after people have died. Walk away and the orphans (possibly created by the people we are fighting and having nothing to do with our troops) will turn to the only people with power in the area. A great many of those people want to kill every American because we exist. They are the same people that created 9/11 and several other terrorist acts that have failed in the over 2300 days since 9/11. Those orphans will be fed hate against America, and I will guarantee will be committing terrorist acts against us in 5 years from an immediate pullout.

Add to that the fact that if Al Quida and Iran get to boast about making the ‘cowardly Americans run away’ they will gain respect and recruits to their causes.

We will have troops in Iraq for 100 years.

Pay attention to what you are hearing and being told. Troops in Iraq is not fighting a war in Iraq. We have had troops in Germany for 50 years, Japan for 50 years, Korea for 40 years, and Vietnam for 30 years (ronding off the years). Last I checked we are not at war with any of these countries. Nor are we removing those troops and bases in any decade in the near future.

President Bush has ruined America.

How? As far as I have lived and am aware there is nothing I do today that I have not been able to do in the past. There is no restriction to travel, doing business, paying bills, dating, or any other aspect of life that did not exist 30 years ago. So how has America been ruined?

We still elect officials and create laws. We still drive cars and build homes. We still criticize the government and elected officials when they do or porpose something stupid. We are till the most free nation in the world, with tens of thousands entering the nation every year for that reason (illegally or not).

What I think is really meant by that is someone saying that does not like President Bush. I agree that President Bush may be the least articulate, least intelligent Presidents ever. I agree that he has failed the nation in several aspects. But he is not the horrendous life-threatening force that some want to see him as.

So many want to live in the past. They can’t get past the decision, made by Senators and Cogress – of both political parties – to go to war in Iraq. But that was the past, as is who to blame. The 2008 election is about the future and answers to issues happening now, not in 2002.

I want change. Real change.

This is a really stupid statement. Unless the definition has been altered since I was in 3rd grade, the 2008 elecetion guarantees change. No matter who wins, change is a fact. The comment makes about as much sense as saying that a person is “keeping it real”.

The statement should be ‘I want to change X’ or ‘I want a positive change in Y’. Better yet is the statement ‘I will change Z like this and it will be positive’. But if a politician were to say that then you might actually form an opinion on what they think and intend to do. Some would agree others not. You could lose an election (or gain a landslide) for such comments. Having a plan and a clearly stated objective is a boon and a bane.

But just ambigously wanting to change things, since that is the only predictable outcome of the 2008 presidential election, is safe and allows voters to inject their emotions. That definitely will win an election. To bad that it makes no impact or potential steps torwards improving anything. It can’t since it doesn’t even attempt to define what it will change or how.

In the 2006 mid-term elections Democrats were elected under the rally call of change. What change happened is that millions of taxpayer dollars were used to hold a multitude of Congerssional meetings on issues that never involved a single law being broken, the health of professional athletes, pointing the finger of blame at one political party or another. Please tell me how any of that prevented the mortgage crisis, put food on a table, or money in anyones pocket? But you can’t call them liars, because it was a change.

Is Senator John McCain President Bush? No. So a 3rd term of Bush is a stupid and feeble statement based on capturing an emotional response and not the benefit of the nation. Is global warming real? Probably not, but there is nothing wrong with having a cleaner world. Can you fix an economy (ie giving people more money in their pockets) by increasing the taxes they pay? It’s never worked before.

So when you think of the Presidential election think of this – How do you want to change the issues you think are important to America? How will those changes happen without hurting other Americans? Who has a plan to attain those changes? What plan is based in the reality (and not emotion) of the world today?

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Would McCain or Obama win the Presidency today?

With the imminent nomination of Senator Obama as the Democratic nominee the question facing the nation is who will become our next President. It's a question that only has 159 days left to be decided. It's a question that we all will be discussing and debating with more frequency and intensity as the days count down.

To that end I have provided a unique look at the current tenative shape of the electoral votes, as shown via Hannity & Colmes. I think this gives an interesting insight to how the nation might vote, and what the nation is looking at for the future.

Of course your vote can change this map dramatically. Neither presidential candidate can win at this time. But there is an obvious pattern, and sveral states could easily sway the probabilities to either candidate.

Take a look at this, and if you don't agree get involved. If you do agree get involved because those that don't will. No matter what, vote because you can make a difference.



(sorry for the technical difficulty with the video)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Iran: What should America do?

So in the 4th day of the start of the unofficial race between Senator McCain and Senator Obama the barbs are continuing to hit their marks. Of course the start of the race lies with President Bush.

It must be said that President Bush was wrong as he spoke overseas. A U.S. President should NEVER discuss the internal political matters in a foreign state. It weakens any potential President in terms of foreign policy and is little different than when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to affect policy when she visited the Middle East.

Going beyond that, I do have to wonder about what Senator McCain first stated

‘What does Senator Obama expect to gain…’


Seriously, what does he expect? If an American President speaks to any nation that promotes terror, they elevate that nation. Without a clear ability to gain something of equal importance, direct talks hurt America.

I gave a friend this example,

“No one is concerned about the threat of Papua New Guinea today. But if the President of the free world went there and spoke to their leader about their military and goals, it would instantly be news. New Guinea would instantly have more political power than other nations in their region and be more involved with every world power. Now imagine if you just change the country to Iran.

Imagine Iran saying that America was so afraid they had to talk, tail between their legs, to the powerful Iran. And so on.”


The fact is that Senator Obama is wrong on this. He is wrong to make the comparison about President Kennedy. While it is true that there were talks to remove all future nuclear weapons from Cuba, and to discuss the cold war, it wasn’t because President Kennedy was a talkative guy. President Kennedy threatened and near took America to war, over the missiles and Cuba. It was the Cuban Missile Crisis that created the talks. So it was the threat of force, and only that imminent threat that got talks going.

When you compare President Kennedy’s motivation to talk to the USSR to the plans of today’s Presidential candidates, he doesn’t match up to Senator Obama. Maybe those to young to recall the incident will not realize this, maybe those older have romanticized the event, but President Kennedy did not just start talking, and the threat of the post-nuclear USSR was far more tangible than Iran at this moment.

So think about it. How does elevating Iran, a nation that denies the Holocaust and desires the death of Israel and advocate the overthrow of the American political system, make America safer? What argument could Senator Obama provide that would suddenly convince Amenajad (President of Iran) top change his mind or tactics? Especially since he claims these beliefs are part of how he views his faith?

I’m sorry for Senator Obama’s fans, but such a plan or even the idea is idealistic and based in a fantasy world that has nothing to do with the here and now. It may sound nice, and is preferable to the current status or violence, but it’s about as attainable as buying a gallon of Ethanol in New York City or a snowstorm at the equator.

I’ll compare Senator Obama and Senator McCain in depth shortly.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Senator McCain's view of his potential Presidency

As we turn our attention to the eventual Presidential race between Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama it's time that we start to mark what they promise and state to the American people. Rather than focusing on polispeak soundbites that can be, and often are, misquoted or taken out of context by major media; I prefer to provide the actrual words of the candidates.

The following is the full speech by Senator John McCain. I take this to be his core promises of what his Presidency can provide. It's comments we can hold any future discussion, debate, or speech to.

I hope this will help those still deciding (like myself) between McCain and Obama a bit more facts and input to make a decision on.









You only have one vote, use it!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

West Virginia and the Presidential election

So the primary race is now in West Virginia. And while it’s very early, indications are that Senator Clinton will win her 3rd state with a margin of over 20 points. That compares to Senator Obama in that he has won over a dozen states with that same margin. Thus a question comes to mind of why Senator Clinton winning with such a margin, especially when she has rarely been able to muster such a rally and of late has barely been able to accomplish a win at all.

One answer stands up among many others, and it’s an answer few have been willing to comment on though it has been a factor in this Democratic nomination process since Senator Obama announced he would run in 2007. Race. The other factor, to a far lesser degree is gender.

Let’s be honest. That is the motivating factor today, and in several of the states so far. Several commentators have mentioned that voters in West Virginia are noting that Senator Obama’s perceived religion is a factor. Perceived because they claim he is a Muslim. And Senator Clinton’s recent remarks, which can be boiled down to ‘elect the White woman not the Black man’, is also showing influence. So we see bias based on religion, gender, lies and racism hold sway with more than just a few voters in America.

And the pundits act as if they are shocked. Like the Clinton campaign never promoted images of Senator Obama as a drug dealer, or emails claiming he is a fanatical Muslim spy, or just directly insulting him because he is African American and running for the Presidency. Obviously they seem to have forgotten all the news events I have been writing about since 2006 here.

What does it take to look at the factual evidence and see what has been done for what it is? Or is the prospect of dealing with the reality of racial prejudice, even in the most liberal party, too unsavory for White Americans to deal with?

The fact is that both Senator Clinton and Obama are virtually the same on their political views. Their proposed platforms are near mirror images of each other. Differences are slightly more than cosmetic, more points of contention for pundits and news junkies like myself than actual preferences for most Americans. Thus the 2 things that are different have been emphasized and manipulated.

The Clinton campaign has not been shy in trying to use race and gender to their advantage. Calls seeking to minimize the damage to the Democratic Party have been unheeded since back in February. And in West Virginia, a state not known for its tolerance of religion or race, the lines cannot be crossed.

Remember, this is the same state where Megan Williams was kidnapped, raped, tortured and abused for over a week. It’s the same state that avoided national attention on this case. It’s a state that has virtually eliminated coverage of protests over the handling of the case – where the 6 White criminals still have not been charged with hate crimes though race has been seen as a big factor in this case.

Am I angry over this case? Hell yes! And I have made that clear in at least a dozen posts on multiple blogs. But when a Presidential candidate that has overtly used her race as a campaign tool is winning in a landslide in West Virginia, I can’t say I am shocked or even remotely surprised.

This leads me to another question. What factor will race play in the general election?

Senator John McCain seems to be above such petty actions as using race as a tool. I believe that as a soldier that has seen combat alongside soldiers of every race in America he is not so blind. I could be wrong. But I don’t feel he will use race. And Senator Obama has clearly tried to avoid this issue as much as possible, notwithstanding the attacks and comments of former-President Bill Clinton, Senator Clinton, and her campaign (and the media driven insanity over the five 10 second polispeak clips of Rev. Wright from over an unknown number of years).

But race is going to be as big a factor in this election as what America will do in Iraq. It may not be spoken directly, but it will be there. And I have no doubt that many of those less bold than some in West Virginia will bring it to the fore, even if the media tried to turn a blind eye to the racial storm they have helped to build.

So can America look at 2 men for the same position and not see their race but just their qualifications? If we take our cue form the business world, the answer is no. Just count on one hand the CEO’s of major corporations in the stock market. If we go by law enforcement the answer is no. Just listen to the changes in testimony of the Sean Bell case, or the actions of the police in Philadelphia. If we look at the media in general we get an adamant no. With barely 2% of the population shown in media being non-White, and the propensity of news organizations to demonize African Americans (see my comments on the full coverage of Wesley Snipes, or Bobbie Cutts, or OJ Simpson, or Sean Taylor, or the Jena 6, or Megan Williams, or the ‘Barbie’ bank robbers of Atlanta, or Sean Bell, and I can keep going on), the position is undeniably clear.

Given all that, this election will be a landmark for many reasons. The degree and manner in which race is used. The vocalizations of citizens over race. The perceptions promoted about race in various formats. The number of people that will vote based on color, and the number that will vote based on color to make a point of one extreme or another. And of course there is the question of the issues facing America.

Now I do notice and comment on how race affects me and the nation as I see it. Of course that comes to fore in covering the Presidential election. But I am not motivated by, nor condone or agree with the use of race as a factor on who should win. I believe that America needs the best person possible to lead this nation on a path that we will not be able to alter for at least a decade or more.

While I will not shy away from race being used in the race for the Presidency, I will not advance it as a reason. As I have noted at the beginning of covering this election, my goal is getting the best President elected. That is still my focus. With Senator Clinton all but out of the election my focus is now on the 2 remaining candidates. Both have been individuals that I favor. I will soon make my own decision on which I feel is best. I will make that decision known. But I will not let that color my coverage, as best as I am able.

Remember, we as citizens have an obligation to our nation. That obligation is to vote and pick the best person possible for our future. We only get one vote, so make it count. Because one it’s done we can’t go back.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Full interview of Senator McCain with Bill O'Reilly

Since I know some have not see this interview, and to give a comparison to the interview of Senator Hillary Clinton, here is all 3 parts.

I've already commented a bit on the 1st part of this interview previously. And I have commented often on all the various potential Presidential candidates. I would suggest you take a search for whichever candidate you have a question about.

I admit that I agree with a lot that McCain has to say, and in comparison to Senator Clinton it's obvious who has the greater experience and better plan for America. At least to me. But now you have an opportunity to make a decision for yourself.








Now we just have to wait for Senator Obama to get on the program as he promised some time ago.

Remember your vote counts, use it.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Thoughts on Senator McCain at the O'Reilly Factor

So here are some of the thoughts I’ve had about the first part of Senator McCain’s interview with Bill O’Reilly on the O’Reilly Factor. I plan to provide the full set of videos as soon as I can have them downloaded. Currently I’m having an issue with the sound mixer. Please be patient.



To start with it’s obvious that Senator McCain has a far superior level of experience when it comes to the military and military actions. Neither Democratic candidate has served a single day in defense of this nation or ever in the military during peace time. That lack of understanding may be fine for a President during peace times, but whether you like it or not we are currently engaged in 2 military actions – thus experience matters. Ultra-liberals may enjoy the concept of peace, from cozy houses without fear of death from anything, but that freedom is only possible by the cost soldiers pay every day since the creation of America.

The conversation goes on to discuss taxes. Now as I have previously posted - $31,850 is the new definition of rich - both Democratic candidates have voted to increase the taxes of everyone making $31,850 and up. A far cry from their claims of only the rich being taxed don’t you think. Senator McCain voted against that increase.

But consider something else. If you own any stocks, mutual funds, or bonds the Democratic candidates want to increase the tax you pay if your investment makes money. So all that money you are trying to save for retirement – kiss a good part of it away if the Democrats have their way. That money will go to Government programs to decipher why April 2008 was the coldest on record, but Global Warming is creating a hot house in the world.

But don’t forget that all these taxes are coming out of pockets that have to pay more money for food because the glut of ethanol production is using up corn that would otherwise go for food. And gasoline costs more because of OPEC, and the fact that we are pushing for more ethanol plants instead of oil refineries. Don’t even mention nuclear power to the eco-ultra-liberals. Their fear of hurting an owl or some such supersedes the fact that without an alternative source of energy millions will eventually die.

Moving on to Senator Obama’s preference to speak with nations that are dedicated to the eradication of America. Senator Obama wants to speak with North Korea, Iran and other nations that hate our existence. Why? What can you offer or discuss with a country that has spent 50 years on one thought only, finishing the war they had with us (that’s North Korea for the younger readers). They have gone nearly bankrupt and many are starving as they divert all funds and food to their military.

How about Iran. A nation that would kill millions solely because of their religion. Do you believe that leaders with such intolerance would be any friendlier to a nation of multiple religions they disagree with, and lifestyles they abhor? They are extremists, given, but how do you compromise with someone that believes that God wants them to obliterate the existence of those that do not believe and act exactly as they do?

I need only say one thing about the media driven Rev. Wright issue, which I thing Senator McCain nailed.

“This campaign is not going to be about, in all due respect about, Rev. Wright or Mr. Ayers. It’s going to be about vision; it’s going to be about a plan of action for the American people that are hurting right now.”


As for the government running healthcare, I stand by Senator McCain. Name one agency that the Government runs that is fiscally sound. Name one Agency that is not mired in red tape and inefficiency. Name one that provides all the services it is supposed to do, and in a timely manner. I know of none. And the Democratic candidates want to create another of these agencies because they believe that YOU are not smart enough to be given money and chose the healthcare program you think is best for you and your family. How kind of them.

But there is also the media to consider with Senator John McCain. Where were the months long outrage and media investigations of his connection to Pastor John Heagy. Aren’t that pastors comments against gays and Catholics unacceptable? But if Senator McCain’s refutation of his unsolicited remarks, and endorsement, are enough to keep the media off his back – shouldn’t Senator Obama’s be the same?

But the media is far from even-handed, or focused on the issues. The New York Times has made that very clear as their attack on Senator McCain was backed by nothing. It was a blatant attempt to discredit a Presidential candidate whose political views they don’t agree with. Another reason I say that you need to check the candidate’s positions as the media wants to decide that choice for you and get a President that may not be in your best interest.

It should be noted though that Senator McCain has weathered this and other smears throughout his career. At no time has he fallen back and whined about it. He has refuted the positions and waited as other media groups proved these smears false. This is highly unlike at least one Democratic Presidential candidate that runs behind their gender anytime they are questioned strongly or find their campaign in a weak position.

Lastly, I know of no one that questions the honor and dedication of Senator McCain. Anyone that would call him a traitor, in the face of direct first-person comments contrary by fellow Prisoners of War, is simply a fool. There are few in the nation that have given so much to this nation, and to besmirch that is to be ungrateful and deceptive in the most cruel and vile way. There is no reason unsubstantiated smears should be allowed for any candidate, regardless of political party, because such claims against Senator McCain are no better than calling Senator Obama a fanatical Muslim or attacking his race.

Well that’s what I got out of the first part of Senator McCain’s interview. I admit that I agree with many of his opinions. The issue of immigration is not one of them obviously. But that will be discussed in a later video on the issue.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Is your vote worth 18 cents? Indiana, North Carolina speak up.

The title of this post is not a joke, it’s a serious question. It’s a question that I’m not asking, Senators McCain and Clinton are asking it. It’s a cheap polispeak bid to buy your vote for as little as possible.

Now it’s being packaged really nicely. Lots of bluster, with claims of a summer long holiday or an attack on big business. It’s a cute claim that if you vote for X Congress will suddenly get shocked from their slumber and force the price of gasoline down. And I have a bridge to sell you too.

I will give Senator John McCain a bit of credit here. He came up with the idea and started to sell it before Clinton even noticed it was an issue. But there is no doubt that Senator Clinton noticed the positive polling McCain received and jumped on the bandwagon. I will give Senator Obama credit as well for not going along for the ride.

Now lets assume for a moment that this ‘gas holiday’ actually happened. Yeah! You get to save about .30 cents a day, or $27 over the summer. If you went to see Iron Man, plan to see The Incredible Hulk, WANTED, Indian Jones or any other summer movie you spent all the savings. That’s just seeing one of those films. Short holiday huh?

Of course when you add up all the people ‘saving’ money you can quickly get into the tens of millions of dollars or more. And every dime of that money will be sucked out of the roads in your particular state. Hope you like potholes and closed roads. How much more gas do you use to go through a detour? Still think McCain and Clinton are doing you a favor?

Now let’s get back to reality. This will never pass. I say that because this is not the first time this has been suggested. It never passed before, and it won’t now. Because the roads have to be driveable and open. And if the taxes are lost from the pump, you are guaranteed to pay for it elsewhere. So the real question is what do you want to be taxed on.

As for the idea of taking the profit from Oil companies, hurrah America is now a socialist nation. Because only socialists, and their economic cousins communists, believe that the government knows how much money you should make. And if you think that Democrats and Congress voting to increase the taxes of everyone making $31,850 or more is 2-faced, wait till they say that your business exceeded the profit for your industry and takes away all your money. You made a better mousetrap, made millions and employed thousands – but you went over the cap and so you made $100,000 while the government took your $10 million to spend on a study on whether or not the spotted owl is surviving. Doesn’t that feel good?

Of course we have left out the other part of stealing the money of companies, the economy. As the government takes money from all corporations, yes even your small business – just like they promised to raise the taxes of just the ‘rich’ – they have less money to invest into research (they fired half the R&D departments since the cash wasn’t there and they need reserves for a bad economy, loans from banks to buy new equipment, and bonds that are out), to put into retirement funds (kiss that 1-for-1 contribution to your 401K goodbye), mergers are too expensive (so much for your mutual funds and stocks). Since growth is low as are interest rates foreign investments pull out of the nation the dollar drops and things get really expensive.

And that’s just what I can foresee. Imagine what a real economist can tell you. And if you think I’m wrong just sit and think of all the things connected to corporate profits and/or the federal gas tax. It won’t take long to get numbers in the billions falling away, being spent by a government that hasn’t balanced it’s checkbook in my lifetime and runs every aspect of it’s operations about as well as your local DMV on a really good day.

And the Senators know all this. They know the arguments and have seen the projections. They know the Congressmen and women. They already counted the votes. So they know it will never happen, but it sounds great and makes people think they care, as long as no one stops to think it through.

Of course I don’t expect better from Senator Clinton. She tends to think the public is either dumb or forgetful. Because it was only early this year she promised to use the money from big oil to pay for healthcare. And she is used to making empty promises, like telling upstate New York she will create 200,000 jobs (after 7 years there still hasn’t been one made on her watch, but 30,000 have been lost – great management there). Or there is the wonderful campaign promise she made that would give every child in America $5,000 for college the day they were born. Amazing that she stopped talking about that once people (including me) asked where the money for that would come from, what happens to the money for those that don’t go to college, or does that include children that are illegal aliens. But that kind of polispeak got her headlines and votes, which was the real reason for the offer to buy your vote.

So considering this I ask voters in Indiana and North Carolina, is your vote worth 18 cents?

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Presidential candidates and the media - lost focus hurts America's future

With less than a week to go before the next set of Democratic Primaries, the media driven effect of Rev. Wright continues to weigh upon Senator Obama. Even as I write this, he is denouncing the comments made yesterday by Rev. Wright to the National Press Club. Amazing how things change.

A year ago Senator Obama was considered a joke. Pundits and the media basically ignored him as the believed there was no real candidate for the Democratic Party beyond Senator Clinton. At the same time emails were circulating the internet (some at the promotion of members of the Clinton campaign) declaring that Senator Obama was a Muslim and/or secret terrorist.

Today there is a new fervor about Senator Obama being a Christian. The fact that his pastor has several unconventional views is now the focus. And the media and pundits are wondering if he can gain the Democratic nomination as they place the views of a religious leader not running for any political office on Senator Obama.

Today the major news media is upset that Senator Obama has not been fully vetted as has Senator Clinton and McCain. Of course Clinton and McCain have been in the ublic eye for decades, so obviously more is known about them. And the major news media completely fails to notice that it was their job to investigate Senator Obama when he announced his election hopes rather than to laugh him off. Thus we have the pot calling the kettle black.

Of course there are a few things that are being missed today as they were a year ago.

There has been no real discussion about the decades long anti-war proponent Hillary Clinton’s ascertion that she tried to join the military (either the Army or Marines depending on the version of the story being told).

There has been no real focus on the lies that have been told to the American public. Some may have felt that the Clinton’s were accomplished liars, but over the last month Hillary Clinton has been proven to be a liar. From invisible snipers and unseen terror in video tapes of Bosnia, and peace talk treaties during tea parties in Ireland Senator Clinton is a proven liar. How does that make her any more trustworthy or beneficial to the American public than what opponents decry about President Bush?

There has been no real discussion of the involvement of a known criminal in the Clinton campaign. Lest some forget, the Clinton campaign took and tried to hold onto $1 million stolen and donated to them from Norman Hsu. He was a criminal fugitive that was a high ranking donation bundler for Senator Clinton. Or is that not important? And if it isn’t why is Rezco?

Senator McCain, since winning the Republican nomination, has gone silent. He is amassing funds and peppering the middle of the nation with reminders of his military career and years of experience. But he is not being challenged on his plans about exiting the war in Iraq (minus the military bases like those we have left in other former warzones like South Viet Nam, Germany, Japan, and so on). Little is being said of his self-professed ignorance on the economy, at a time when oil prices are creating a new plateau at levels never before seen and more people fear for their jobs than in the past 25 years.

As the Presidential race devolves into a question of race and to a lesser extent gender the real issues that most Americans actually care about are being ignored by the media. What about national security, illegal immigrants, the legal system and such?

I doubt that so many Americans suddenly forgot about these issues. I doubt that the most important issue in America is the vetting of Rev. Wright – a figure that has been shown to have no influence on the political decisions of any of the candidates. And if this association is so important, why have we not heard of the investigation into Senator McCain’s pastor? (We can’t do this for Senator Clinton as she is not a member of any church since her husband left the Oval Office)

The issues following Senator Obama’s run has been consistently everything but politics. His appearing in native garb while on a trip overseas (which is a common political practice), his full name, the degree of Blackness he maintains (as if there is an official level or list to check off), his religious belief, people he has known in his life (with some searching back to his kindergarten days), the fact he has interracial parents.

Can anyone name another President that has had the same questions asked of them? Or even a candidate?

Seriously, the media has focused on the least important issues in this Presidential race so far. Questions that no White male candidate has ever been asked are important today. Name 3 President’s middle names, if you can or even 3 candidates from this year. Name 3 pastors of anyone who was running for the Presidency this year. Name the heritage of 3 of the candidates racial heritages form this year. Name any friends that any of the candidates had that were questionable or have been in trouble with the law – from over a decade ago.

I doubt anyone can answer those things. So if they aren’t important for any other candidate, why are they important for Senator Obama. And for those that would say they aren’t important because they haven’t been reported on – how do you know? No one has checked so are you sure?

So given all this what am I left with? That America is being disserved. We are not dealing with the issues that are important for the nation. Therefore we will not have the best choices for President and may get a President that will not benefit the nation.

Think about it. If we focus on the least important facts about a potential President, we will possibly elect a President that we have no idea will do in office. That means the critical choices facing America in this next Presidency, issues that will affect the nation and world for decades to come, issues that will affect your children, student loans, job, and ability to own a home will be in the hands of someone you never asked important questions of.

The major media may not care, but I do. Thus I have followed and written about all the candidates since 2005. Search and learn, because once you vote you can’t take it back.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Senator Obama "bitter", and the other Presidential candidates

So now we have the major news media jumping all over the words of Senator Obama. This time it’s in reference to his elitist comments about how small town voters across America seem to feel and are acting. While the comments are harsh, there is some truth in them.

“They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” Barack Obama


Having lived some 5 years no in a small town (that residents of the area consider a city for some reason) I have noticed that many are clinging and bitter. There is no question that in this town with approximately 6% non-whites and a large community of college students, there are bitter feelings. The average income is about $28,000 and jobs are scarce. Most jobs pay minimum wage, the downtown district is littered with empty buildings, and more than just a few homes are in disrepair even in the best neighborhoods.

There is a huge hunting community though, and there are an abundance of churches and church groups. The main activity outside of these events is drinking. In a recent article in the local paper there was a story (during Black History month) describing that one of the local major companies recruited new workers and when asked what the recreational activities were in the area they stated ‘there are a lot of bars’. Such is this small town in central New York, and that is better than the surrounding smaller towns and villages.

That says nothing of the rampant racism and prejudice. I have heard numerous stories from non-whites over the years, and experienced several myself. From failure to be served for over 15 minutes only to be skipped over to serve a White patron that walked up, to being called the N-word for speaking to a White person of the opposite sex, to having a drunk guy picking a fight – using the N-word to provoke the situation – and being told at the end that it was due to dressing better than those around [which happened to me]. Binghamton is a city dying for lack of good jobs, lack of foresight from the city council, and the failure of Senator Clinton to live up to her promise to generate 200,000 new jobs for upstate New York [in fact upstate New York has lost 30,000 jobs since she has been elected].

So is Senator Obama wrong in what he said? From what I have seen here and in the area, no. The citizenry is quite bitter and angry. They want to see less jobs going overseas, fewer immigrants keeping job wages down, and virtually hate anyone – especially of color – that is living here and doing better. Mind you that is not everyone here, but it is more than enough to make things uncomfortable is you walk into the wrong place on the wrong day.

But let’s consider this. If Senator Obama is out of touch or as Senator Clinton states

“I do not think he really gets it that people are looking for a president who stands up for you, and not looks down on you," said Hillary Clinton. "And after seven years of Americans feeling invisible to this president, President Bush, it is time that we leveled the playing field.”


Is Senator Clinton better?

Well we know as fact that she lied about being under sniper fire in Bosnia. Sinbad and videotaped footage of the event have proven that – thus it’s not a misspoken statement as the polispeak would have you believe. We know that she had no impact or input to the Ireland peace talks, those who did have told us about that lie as well.

We know that in the 7+ years that Senator Clinton has been representing New York State she has lied about new jobs, and her voting record reflects changing polls consistently. We know Senator Clinton is against guns, in speeches and votes. We know that the Clinton campaign has consistently and directly, in the form of Bill Clinton, used race as a factor in generating votes. The Clinton campaign has directly pandered gender as a solitary reason for votes. Is this “standing up” or “antipathy to people who aren’t like them”?

But perhaps most important is her connection to the people. Senator Clinton, along with former President Bill Clinton, made $109 million. They paid only $34 million in taxes. That may be a lot, but it is far less than the highest tax bracket so they took tax breaks available to them. They also donated $10 million to charity – the Clinton Library – in effect giving them a tax break and keeping the money. All from those that claim that the rich (which she obviously qualifies as) don’t pay enough in taxes and voted to increase the taxes paid of everyone making $31,850 or more (which I know none that would qualify this as rich).

Now both of the Democratic candidates have gone to good colleges and have law degrees. Senator Clinton spent her time after graduating on the board of Wal-Mart (which has fought unions – a big issue for Democrats) and being the wife of a rising political husband. Senator Obama spent his time working for the Chicago community and entering politics at the state level. Which sounds like it benefits the average guy more? Which sounds closer, since neither is similar, to the life average Joe lives?

Of course if we were to really be fair about this Senator McCain really stands out. While his wife does have wealth, he was a soldier. While he was an officer and a pilot, he did serve his nation at a time of war, and stood by his fellow soldiers while having years of torture. He has served the public for 25 years, longer than some of my readers have been alive. He has never lied about being shot at, nor has he made a donation to a charity he runs. He has not voted to raise taxes of those that are obviously in the middle class (though he did balk initially at giving them a tax cut). He is not known for looking down at anyone, though he is known for his temper. But he is also known for breaking party lines to make deals he feels benefit the American public – which the Democratic candidates have not done, ever.

So really, who sounds like they are looking down on the average American? Who is the least connected? Who has lied the least – or as the spin likes to say “misspoke”. Who has stood their ground and served the public the most, or in other word has experience?

Obviously for the Republicans that is Senator McCain. For the Democrats I leave the choice to you, based on the facts. And as for the election, well that is your choice. No matter what you believe, your vote makes a difference. If we all are involved, since we all will live with the results, then I believe we will get the best choice for America. But if not, there will be no way to explain the next 4 years in some polispeak spin of “misspoke” or “mistake”.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Approaching the Pennsylvania Primary

**Just a quick hello to all those visiting this site from TV One. I hope you enjoy the various posts and visit/comment often.**


So as we approach the next vote in the Democratic Primary process, little new events or information has been passed on to the public. With the Republican race over, Senator John McCain has begun to collect monies and release television commercials emphasizing his experience both as a Senator and military commander. On the Democratic side, substance has been replaced in part by hype obfuscating points that I find far more interesting.

Even today this malaise can be seen in the questions being posed to General Petraeus by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Democrats are pushing that the events in Iraq are not working, that there is no end in sight ever, that the war is unwinnable, and that the only solution is to run. Republicans are thanking the service and sacrifice given, acknowledgement of the benchmarks reached, understanding of the progress and stability that has been attained, and the outlook for a measured end of the conflict. Politics are clouding every fact, effectively using our soldiers as political tools in all the polispeak.

But the bigger issues that are not being discussed as much as they should include Senator McCain’s potential choice of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as Vice-President. Back in February I noted that she was at 10-1 odds for gaining the coveted position.

“I expect that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the real favorite. She brings in some of the Black and women vote. And she is easily qualified for the position. I see the Democrats seriously troubled in trying to attack her on anything. My dream pick would be Colin Powell though.”


The implications of Secretary of State Rice as V-P are far reaching especially in terms of Iraq, Afghanistan, foreign relations, and the economy. Considering the emphasis on race relations lately, there is also the potential of improving the laws affecting African Americans. Women’s issues are also potentially on the forefront of change.

Glancing at the Democrats, Senator Hillary Clinton dominates the landscape. Not that this is a good thing.

Besides the fact that Senator Clinton is trying to duck the fact that 3 senior campaign members are connected to pro-Columbia efforts (of which only Mark Penn has been fired for) which she publicly denounces, there are less emphasized issues as well. One big fact I have a problem with is the Clinton taxes.

The Clintons made $109 million, paid $34 million in taxes, and $10 million to charity.

Sounds nice until you pay attention to the details. The first is the fact that 34% is not the top tax bracket, meaning that the Clinton’s took many deductions. That is not important, except it is a major campaign point for the Democrats. That is that the “rich” – which I think $109 million qualifies as – do not pay enough in taxes. Yet rather than paying the full taxes, or giving the I.R.S. extra money as a gift, the Clinton’s paid less. So either the Clinton campaign is lying about wanting to take more money from the rich – but since she voted to increase taxes of everyone from $31,850 and above I doubt that, her money is excluded, or she only thinks that the money should be taken by certain people for certain needs of the government. That last reason is hardly Democratic, fair, or in the benefit of the public.

Add to this the fact that former-President Bill Clinton collected $191,000 a year as part of his retirement package as President. That’s tax-payer money being given (wasted) to a millionaire. And rather than denying the money, of not cashing the check, they kept it (and that money is not taxable as I recall). How many people that money might help is unknown, but even if it were to help just one family who do you think needs the money more.

Oh and by the way, the 10% given to charity (which is a write-off) is important too. Because according to at least Dick Morris – a former top political aide of the Clinton’s – every dime of that was given to the Clinton Library. Which is controlled by guess who, and thus usable in any manner they desire.

Like Bosnia, Ireland, and many other issues, it’s a lie and slap in the face of the American citizenry.

And now I come to Senator Obama. There really isn’t much new with him, except his friends. One is Rev. Wright, who continues to be attacked unfairly by the major media. Weeks later the questions and opinions of the polispeak compilation of 10 second clips from less than a handful of the over 1000 sermons made by Rev. Wright are cascading forth having ebbed only slightly. Thus the single most difficult obstacle to the nomination is visibly what it was invisibly a year ago, skin color. And this will be re-visited at some point and some degree if Senator Obama is nominated.

The other friend of note is a real concern in my opinion. That is the former Weatherman and ultra liberal. A self-admitted bomber of American citizens and soil. A declared friend of Senator Obama. That troubles me.

But the real question for him is only the one issue that he can do nothing about. His race. He is not Black enough for small minds like Rev. Manning and other racist bigots – in my opinion. He is too Black for the Clinton campaign and those with ears too gentle to hear honest commentary about race relations in America.

Sadly the real question should be is a Presidential candidate without experience what America needs during a time of war.

But not to worry. CNN, Fox News and the rest have spent the day covering General Petreaus being questioned in a manner to benefit the polispeak political aspirations of the various parties, ultimately at a cost to our soldiers. No matter what view you may have, this PT Barnum extravaganza fails them first and everyone second.

Just remember in the remaining primaries and the general election in November 2008, that the questions being avoided are perhaps the best reasons to vote and whom for.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Focus on the issues of the 2008 Presidential election - 3.27.2008.1

So I’ve been quite busy in the past week creating 40 blogs and a few search engines for a client of mine. It would seem the timing was perfect as there has really been nothing new in the political news. Every candidate seems to be stuck in the mire of the problems from a week or 2 ago.

There is the problem of Senator Obama with Rev. Wright. This is not going to go away, and you can bet on it being an issue in the general election. I’ve already said that this is really not something I think that should be such an issue. In reviewing some of the video that Rev. Wright had used against him, much of what he said was not untrue or offensive. It was just not nice to White Americans or the Government.

Now I know that there is now news that Rev. Wright has written pro-Hamas comments. I have yet to read this. But, sight unseen, I would guess that like the highly selective 10 second clips used to attack the reverend there is a high probability that these comments may be few in number, and contain a high percentage of truth. That is not to say I agree with all of what he says, just that the 30 seconds of coverage the news media is giving to Rev. Wright is highly biased. As many who have read my Black Entertainment USA blog know, I believe that a medium that purposefully minimized the existence and representation of all non-whites to roughly 2% of their population – mostly in a negative exposure – is biased.

But again I ask the real question that the news media seems to avoid as they inject race into this Presidential election. Does the voting record of Senator Obama reflect the negatives that the news media is focusing on? In my research the answer is no. In fact, Senator Obama’s voting record is nearly identical to Senator Clinton’s. So there seems to be no reason to be any more or less for Senator Obama than before this publicly reviewed relation to a former Marine, clergyman, and activist for the poor, lesbian/gay, and African Americans.

As for Senator Clinton, well she is still a liar. And she is still caught in the fact that her trip to Bosnia was a direct lie. A person can misspeak about a date or time, a name or place, even how well someone reacts in a situation. But saying you are being shot at and that you and your child were essentially racing for your life is a life-altering event that no one would forget. Like being in the Northridge earthquake.

Here is an example. I liked in California and was in the Northridge quake. My home was roughly 5 miles away from the epicenter. I may be misspeaking the distance to the center. But when I tell you that the quake started like a jackhammer going off at your feet, and then grew to feel and sound like a freight train inches away from your face – that is a description of a life-altering event. I may misspeak how long the initial quake lasted, which felt like 5 minutes at the time, but I and describing a life-altering event that every 3 minutes on the minute the quake had an aftershock. And the fact that I and 2 other friends were so afraid that slamming a door shut caused us to jump for about 2 days after the fact is confirmable by at least 6 people, and in no way is exclusive. That is a life-altering event. Senator Clinton lied.

But I am not surprised. And it is important. Unlike the separation of Senator Obama and Rev. Wright – as seen in his actual voting record – Senator Clinton lied to the nation repeatedly (at least 3 xs). She has sought sympathy and endearment. She is trying to create courage and importance. And it is all just a false façade to gain votes.

Just as her lie about affecting the Ireland Peace Talks was proven false, so has video about Bosnia proven her a liar. And Sinbad broke the story, not the news media that would have let the story stand if he did not publicly challenge her.

Now there are many reasons to vote for or against any candidate. I’ve detailed many over the past 2 years on all the candidates. But there are a few things that I think everyone can agree are not qualities wanted in a potential President.

We do not want a President that is a criminal nor aids and abets a criminal. So far as has been proven only one candidate has done this. Senator Clinton. The criminal was Norman Hsu, whom she took $1 million from to aid her campaign and struggled to avoid giving back to his victim (the money was stolen – which were separate new charges for Hsu).

We do not want a President that lies to the American public. Senator McCain may make momentary mistakes between the name of Iran and Iraq – which every person discussing the 2 has done in conversation, Senator Obama may not have been at every one of the sermons that Rev. Wright made (3x a week for 20 years). Maybe hearing a rant against the nation (like the ones made by Jerry Falwell after 9/11) or against a group of people (like the claims about AIDS made by Pat Robertson) is not something someone would want to admit – like being caught cheating on a wife. But to stand in front of the American people and to repeatedly and directly lie is wrong.

When President Bush stated America needed to remove the weapons of mass destruction he lied (to some degree) and that has created huge resentment in America and at least some of the Democrats. When former-President Bill Clinton stated under oath and on television broadcasts to the nation that he did not have sexual relations with Monika Lewinsky he lied. And when Senator Hillary Clinton made up events in Ireland and Bosnia she has lied about her ability, courage, and experience. If a Republican, Democrat or Independent was upset and livid about the first 2 events and wished they could take back their vote from those 2 Presidents – why would any voter elect a potential candidate that has proven a willingness to repeatedly and unabashedly lie to America??

We do not want a President that will take our money and/or waste it. No one likes to pay taxes. Nor does anyone I know enjoy watching their money go to individuals that do nothing deserving of those tax dollars being spent on them. Yet in an economy that is obviously troubled (at the least) Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have voted to increase taxes for those making $31,850 or more. This increase does not account for creating a universal socialized healthcare system (which will cost taxpayers and individuals more), the wars in Iraq or Iran, or the mortgage crisis. So imagine that as jobs become harder to get, in an economic slowdown where fewer new jobs will be created, more taxes will be imposed on taxpayers and small businesses.

Imagine what will happen if all the social programs that Democrats wish to put in place become fact, and wages go up, while there is less income available to pay bills and smaller businesses that cannot afford the taxes or employee wages go out of business – firing even more people.

These are the issues that face the next President. And there are more issues, like education for our kids, the number of illegal aliens in the nation, and security of our homes. That is where the focus should be for this election. Instead we are hearing about the comments of a non-elected official, momentary misquotes in a live conversation, and ignoring the breadth and depth of lies.

Well I have at least another 40 blogs to create. So I will be a bit slow on posts, by no means am I forgetting to write. Maybe by my birthday, in a week and a half, the news media will focus on the important facts.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Is Rev. Wright a reason not to vote for Senator Obama?

So there has been a large amount of controversy of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. There has been criticism of his comments, his travels and those he has associated with. And that has transferred itself to Senator Obama.

Not a lot is known about Rev. Wright. I’ve only recently heard of the man, and even more recently about the comments he has made in his sermons. For me that is because I don’t equate religion with politics. They have nothing to do with each other, though many confuse that and believe one must equate to the other.

Of course I have yet to hear any of the sermons of the religious leaders of the churches of Senator McCain, Senator Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, President Bush, or anyone else. In fact the only other religions and sermons that were questioned so far in this Presidential election race have been Mike Huckabee, who is a Minister and too religious (with a firm stance on only Christianity as the backbone of his political views) for the majority of America, and Mitt Romney was attacked for his Mormon beliefs. Thus one would conclude that any non-Protestant religious belief in American politics is considered bad, unless it’s taken to a fanatical level.

But moving that observation aside, what has Rev. Wright actually said? What is so racist and Anti-American? I really wanted to know.

Now the following is not the most in-depth coverage of Rev. Wright. I do not claim it covers all of his comments or beliefs. I have never spoken to the Reverend, so I have no way of evaluating these comments. But I will tell you what I think after you see the video clip.



Now when I as a Black Puerto Rican Republican business owner listen to this clip I have several thoughts. I am reminded of growing up in the Bronx, a place I love. I am reminded of growing up the oldest of 4 children (with another younger brother and sister via my father’s second marriage). I thought back to my time as an alter boy and upbringing as a Catholic. I considered my prior 4 businesses that failed and my time living homeless in California – sleeping on the steps of the church on Orange in Hollywood. And lastly I see this video clip via 40 year old eyes that have also successfully guided hundreds through the stock market as a broker.

So when I take all that into consideration, I have trouble finding fault with most of what the Rev. Wright says.

In the first 13 seconds there is no question of the truth. None. With 2% of all major characters on television and movies being non-White, with all the major music executives being White, with the emphasis of the media on promotion of negative stereotypes of African Americans (especially if we are Men) I cannot fault his assertion.

From seconds 21 – 42 there again is no question. Jesus was Black (hair of wool and skin of bronze are not White or European traits). The Romans were White and did rule the land.

From seconds 53 – 1:35 again there is no question. Politics in America have been exclusively run by rich, White men. Only one President has been Catholic. None have been different from the mold, and few politicians are exceptions of that. And every exception has only occurred in the past 40 years, most in the last 15.

Senator Hillary Clinton has never been poor to my knowledge of her life. I know she would get a cab in New York City, one of the most integrated cities in America, at least an hour before I could. I’ve had cabs pass me to pick up a shabbily dressed White person 15 feet past me. I’ve had police stop the car I was in because the driver was Asian, and 2 White men were sitting in the back; I’ve had police stop the car I was in because 2 Black men were in suits in a nice car as drivers passed us at 80 miles an hour. I’ve had police draw guns on me as I walked down a lit college town street in New Brunswick NJ while they were looking for a White male with blonde hair of my height and similar clothing (the description was being repeated over the police radio and I could hear it as the officers were asking for my I.D. with guns drawn).

Seconds 1:37 – 2:12 are true. Hillary never had to deal with that kind of life. She has never been called the N-word, and no other word in the English language is as offensive or powerful. There is no equivalent in its meaning or its insult. None.

There is no question that Blacks in America have had to be better than the average person in America to get to the same results. There is no question bias and prejudices have existed and continue to exist. The mere fact that laws have been created (and poorly enforced) to address this is proof enough of that.

There is proof that students of color get graded lower than Whites. There have been studies proving that students with non-traditional names (especially those associated to African Americans) receive lower grades for exactly the same work.

Seconds 2:36 – 2:41 are possibly troubling. Just because a person is White, rich and American does not make them the enemy of an African American. There were rich and poor Whites standing up in the Civil Rights Movement. There are Whites voting for Obama right now. I’ve encountered many Whites that have helped and befriended me throughout my life. I’ve had mentors since before I was in high school that have been White. Race and economic status are not reason enough to consider anyone positive or negative. That is racist and untrue.

Seconds 2:48 – 2:51 are true. Senator Clinton has never had to endure criticism because of how White she may be. There is no question of preference or envy or bias from Whites against Whites because they are White. It’s a hurdle that no White ever has to jump, at least in America or in my experience.

Now that is one full video clip of Reverend Wright. There is little I would disagree with. Yet I know that a portion of this clip, all of 10 seconds, has been used to question the views of Reverend Wright. I know that a portion of this video you have seen in full, 3 minutes of a sermon of unknown length and content, is not that reflective of the whole. In fact I would have to say that 90% of it is true and without question.

So to say that this is reason to question the views of Rev. Wright and thus to question whether Senator Obama is worthy and can be trusted with the Presidency, is really a question by some White Americans on how comfortable they are about race and the past of America. It’s not comfortable speech, it is not favorable of the way some want to envision America’s past and present. But, at least this video is honest and true.

I have heard that Rev. Wright has claimed that the Government lied about why America needed to be in Iraq. That is true. There was neither connection to 9/11 nor weapons of mass destruction.

I have heard that he claims that the Government introduced HIV/AIDS into the gay and minority community. I disagree with that. While the Government has experimented on Blacks in the past (i.e. the Tuskegee experiments) that was massively and rightly criticized and ruled illegal. We learned never to do such things again, and I have yet to be shown reason to believe otherwise.

At the same time, the Government made no rush to learn about AIDS or its prevention or cure until after it affected straight White Americans. The same can be said of drugs. Until the children of politicians wound up on drugs, it was ignored and not a national problem. Such are the failures of our Government, and the opportunity of current and future politicians to correct and prevent from happening.

So in total I have to say this. While there are things that Rev. Wright has said or done that may make some question him, there are also many things he is blatantly honest about. From what I have seen, which is not much admittedly, he is predominantly correct, honest and without cause for alarm. Many religious figures involved with politics today are far more troubling in comparison. Thus attacks on him appear to be an excuse to not vote for Senator Obama.

But what do you think?

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

After sweeping the Potomac Primaries, what's next for the Presidential candidates

Voters have spoken. Mike Huckabee and Senator Hillary Clinton sadly weren’t the voices being called out by the najorities. In sweeping victories Senators Barack Obama and John McCain continued their momentum towards the nomination for their various political parties.

Most decisive was the victory by Senator Obama. In victories that were between 60% to 75%, there was no question that voters of every race in the Democratic Party are being drawn by the message of hope and change over the message of experience touted by Senator Clinton. So definitive was the victory that long before the outcome was reported, Senator Clinton had already left the area to travel to Texas. There she is making what may be a last line in the sand stand to claim the Democratic nomination.

On March 4th Texas and Ohio will have huge Primaries that could likely seal the delegate battle, potentially removing the need of Super Delegates to decide the Presidential nominee. Potentially because there is still the question of the Michigan and Florida Primaries.

Both Michigan and Florida were penalized for moving up their primary dates by the Democratic Party. Michigan had it’s delegates decreased and Florida received none. But now that the battle is so close the Clinton campaign is making a huge push to get those delegates validated. And a major debate is ensuing. There is a more than probable chance that legal action will wind up being involved.

There are 2 opinions on these penalized delegates. The first, which I agree with, is that both states were warned and fully aware of the cost if they chose to hold their primaries when they did. Decisions were made and the consequences were metted out. Such is the essence of life. A choice is made and we live with the results.

On the other side is the Clinton campaign, and it’s proponents, that believe the voice of the people in the respective states must be heard. They want to ignore the known consequences and take advantage of the results. It should be remembered that while all the other Presidential candidates respected the rules in place, the Clinton campaign pushed forward to try to seek an advantage.

While Democrats in Mifchigan and Florida may be upset, they were fully aware of what would happen. To claim sour grapes now is without merit and does not warrant reward.

Looking at the Republican results, Senator John McCain has finally received tallies that place him above 50%. He has also further pressured Mike Huckabee towards what is most probably a withdrawl. Given the math, it is virtually impossible, and would be unpresidented, if Huckabee were to garner enough support to overturn Senator McCain’s lead. Unless there were to be a major gaffe by McCain, and Huckabee were to win the Texas and Ohio primaries in massive landslides, there is no chance for huckabee to win the nomination.

But I do believe that his continued efforts are more politically motivated. While his chance of gaining the Vice-Presidential nod is impractical, his ability to gain other political office and generate favor is large. It has been said that Washington, DC is a zero-sum game. Meaning that all political power and influence is a finite and the only way one politician moves up is at the cost of another moving down.

By continuing his unlikely quest for the Presidential nomination Huckabee more likely seeks to improve his political standing, thus enabling him to influence and enact some of the goals his candidacy has heralded. I would strongly believe that if he is able to stay in the race, with support, long enough to gain more delegates than Mitt Romney he may well succeed in this attempt.

A similar case may be made for the continued campaigning of Ron Paul. Though in his case I believe it is the more fringe elements of the Republican and independants that are supporting him.

So as the March 4th Primaries approach the 2 sides of the objectives become clear. Democrats seek to establish dominance and a clear claim to the nomination. Whether that claim is justified by the votes of the public and existing delegate counts, or via legal machinations is yet to be see. And in the Republican side, the question is not so much who is the nominee, but what political favor can be gained.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Barbershop conversations on the Presidential Race - 2.8.2008.1

**to learn more about the voter registration and why your vote counts see I Love America That's Why I Vote!**

Wednesday I was out getting a haircut. And as often happens I was discussing some of my political writing while there. And I noticed a few very interesting things. Troubling and interesting to be exact.

While I was there, I came to realize that there is a huge portion of the Black community that still have not paid attention to any aspect of this Presidential race beyond the occasional 30 soundbites of polispeak that get reported on the local news broadcast. I say that because several people I spoke with knew nothing of the candidates.

Beyond the initial shock that I am considering Senator McCain or Senator Obama as the choice for President there was more. The initial thought was how could I pick a Republican? And I know many think that. My answer is why am I limited to one political party for my choice of whom I think is best for the nation?

Better is this question that a friend of mine asked. Why are so many African Americans Democrats? For my friend the reason is because their family was Democratic, and so they were raised with that thought. Not for any reason, just that this is what they were told they should do and it’s what “everyone” expects. I have to counter, if “everyone” said you can never make more than $15,000 or that you will always work 80 hours a week, or that you are not equal to a human being – would you accept it? Back in 1619 “everyone” thought Blacks were less important than cattle, and that thought continued until the 1960’s in one form or another. Perhaps it’s a bit “uppity” but I rather make my own decisions, because if I did not I could not have the life and experiences I have today.

But I do not mean to attack those in the barbershop, or anywhere, that are Democrats because that’s “how it is.” I just challenge them to learn what Democrats have ACTUALLY done, and determine if that was the best choice for their lives. For me, in this Presidential race, both Senators McCain and Obama have pro’s and con’s that make them most attractive. I am continuing to evaluate my choice.

Beyond this was the next question, why not pick Hillary? This was far more involved. As I have detailed before and in posts since 2005 I feel she has done nothing. When I asked everyone what she had done to deserve a vote, the only answer I received was that she tried to fix healthcare. That was back when her husband was President and it failed miserably. What has she done since?

They could not name a single item. But they still felt she was “good for Blacks” because she comes with former-President Bill Clinton. The point that the Presidency is a single person position and that sharing certain aspects of that power is both illegal and potentially dangerous for the nation had not been considered. And I had to ask,

“Wasn’t it Bill that was in South Carolina essentially stating that Americans shouldn’t vote for a Black man as the nominee and President? Didn’t he use race as the major reason to not pick Obama? Didn’t he and Hillary insult Dr. Martin Luther King days before turning around and honoring him on his birthday? Didn’t Bill make a comparison of Senator Obama to Jesse Jackson in winning South Carolina inferring that a win there was just a Black thing and had no importance for the nomination?”


Amazingly, not one in the barbershop had thought of these events in this manner. I was not twisting the facts, just asking the questions, and they had no counter answer. Mostly they had not paid enough attention to the facts to be sure. I requested they check the facts themselves, and not rely just on my word.

But the big thing is that they were prepared to elect Senator Clinton on the basis that she was a positive candidate and was doing things, as many newspapers and pundits allege. That she would help African Americans, and she was a Democrat. Yet they hadn’t put the pieces of what she has said, directly and via surrogates, and what is impossible to be done together with what actually may be best. Mind you my opinion does not mean they should change their position, but that they should make the decision themselves and not let 30 seconds on television do it.

How many Americans can say that right now they are familiar with the actual voting records of any of the candidates? How many can say they have listened to more than 1 entire debate that has occurred since 2007? How many will say that they have looked into the positions and policies of the opposing political party? And how many have a choice that has been made simply because of a television commercial they saw?

How bad the situation is can be summed up in this, when I was asked when some in the barbershop could vote they had no idea that the Primary was the day before. I’ve spoken to people that believe that if you don’t vote in a Primary you can’t vote in the election – which is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. I’ve spoken to people that don’t know where to go to vote. Many of these people are in their mid-30, and they are of every race and gender.

Politicians count on people not knowing facts. They count on people not paying attention, or doing the same thing that their parents and grand-parents did, without thought. They count on people not asking questions, or listening to more than 30 seconds of political conversation. And they take advantage of the American public in this manner – White, Black, Hispanic/Latino, man or woman, and so on.

We have a Constitutional Right to vote. People of every creed, race, and gender and so on have died to ensure this Right. We have the obligation that if we are going to vote, and we should, to at least have more of an idea about why and who we are voting for than 30 seconds of polispeak that caught our attention and the answer ‘that’s how my parent’s voted’.

When I left the barbershop, I feel, there was a sense that their votes mattered, and they do. That they can make a difference, and they can. That just because a television personality said this person is good, they might not be. No one had ever posed the facts and opinions of the 2008 election to some of those in the barbershop as I had, I was told. That is a sad fact, because there are many that take advantage of this fact. They want to buy your vote as cheaply as possible, with as little as possible. But they can only get it that way if you give it to them.

Don’t believe me at my word, check the facts. Ask questions. None were embarrassed to ask any and every question about politics Wednesday, nor should you be on any day. You deserve to know, you have a Right to know. And if every American finds out the facts, and voices their opinion via their vote I believe that the entire nation will be better. But you have to vote!

Oh, and just for those that may wonder, you can vote for Primaries and the election in November usually at any school, library and many other public buildings in your local area. You don’t need to vote in a Primary to vote for the President in November. You must register to vote before that time. You don’t have to pick a political party when you register, nor must you only vote for that party.

Check out I Love America That’s Why I Vote! for more about your Constitutional Right, and making your voice heard.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Is your vote part of Super Tuesday results? - 2.6.2008.1

**The I Love America That's Why I vote! campaign is not partisan. No matter who you choose, the important thing is to have your voice heard with your vote. Register today.**

The number of people that have come out to vote today has been remarkable among the Democrats. Not nearly so for Republicans, but the voice of America is being heard. And that voice is matching what my polls have long said, in one manner.

In my poll which has run from 2007 until today, there has been an overwhelming outcry for Senator Barack Obama [seen on Black Entertainment USA]. 51% of all votes have chosen Senator Obama, and the next closest choice lags far behind. Senator Clinton is the 2nd choice in my poll, but trails Senator Obama 2:1. In terms of the Republican candidates, Senator John McCain dominates all other challengers by more than 3:1. In comparing the top 3 no Presidential is more favored than Senator Obama.

And in Super Tuesday voting we saw that this is a trend in the nation. Out of the 21 states that voted today clear statements were made, though the issue of delegates is less so. 61% of the states voted in favor of Senator Obama, on the Democratic race. Looking at the voting percentages, 52% of the Democrats picked Senator Obama. If this were the actual Presidential Race, the news would now be that the popular vote was won by Obama. But that news would be singed by the fact that the delegate voting has gone to Clinton.

I think nothing would be more devastating to the nation than to have the public pick one candidate, and the electoral college deciding that someone else won. After the highly debated and problematic 2000 and 2004 elections clarity in the voice of America is needed. The only way I know that this can not be a factor is to have the voice of America, your voice, clearly stated. That means voting.

Register for the vote. Not because I am important, or you like my writing. Vote, not because I am successful or that I am asking you to. Vote because your life, and those of your loved ones will be directly affected by the outcome. Your vote could be the difference between how the war in Iraq is resolved, which direction taxes go, whether illegal aliens will gain or lose their position in America, and the quality of life of your children and grand-children. These are all things that only you will be able to affect, and you would do so via your Constitutional Right.

That Right is something that many in the world envy and die for. That Right is coveted by the candidates. And you hold that power. But it’s an impotent power if you don’t register and vote.

Here are the results, as of 2 am. If there is any result you disagree with, there is only one answer. Vote for someone and change the answers you see.

    Alabama Democratic Vote Republican Vote
    56% - Obama 41% - Huckabee
    42% - Clinton 37% - McCain

    Alaska 74% - Obama
    26% - Clinton

    Arizona 50 % - Clinton 47% - McCain
    41% - Obama 34% - Romney

    Arkansas 69% - Clinton 61% - Huckabee
    27% - Obama 20% - McCain

    California 54% - Clinton 44% - McCain
    34% - Obama 26% - Romney

    Colorado 67% - Obama 59% - Romney
    32% - Clinton 19% - McCain

    Connecticut 51% - Obama 52% - McCain
    47% - Clinton 33% - Romney

    Delaware 53% - Obama 45% - McCain
    42% - Clinton 33% - Romney

    Georgia 66% - Obama 34% - Huckabee
    31% - Clinton 32% - McCain

    Idaho 80% - Obama
    17% - Clinton

    Illinois 64% - Obama 47% - McCain
    33% - Clinton 25% - Romney

    Kansas 74% - Obama
    26% - Clinton

    Massachusetts 56% - Clinton 51% - Romney
    41% - Obama 41% - McCain

    Minnesota 67% - Obama 42% - Romney
    32% - Clinton 22% - McCain

    Missouri 49% - Obama
    48% - Clinton

    Montana 38% - Romney
    25% - Paul

    New Jersey 54% - Clinton 55% - McCain
    44% - Obama 28% - Romney


    New York 57% - Clinton 51% - McCain
    40% - Obama 26% - Romney

    North Dakota 61% - Obama 36% - Romeny
    37% - Clinton 23% - McCain

    Oklahoma 55% - Clinton
    31% - Obama

    Tennessee 54% - Clinton 34% - Huckabee
    41% - Obama 31% - McCain

    Utah 57% - Obama 90% - Romney
    39% - Clinton 5% - McCain

    West Virginia 52% - Huckabee
    47% - Romney

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Can Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger help Obama and endorse McCain?

Recently I was speaking about the endorsement of Senator Barack Obama by Senator Ted Kennedy.



I stated that

“The power of the Kennedy family is without question in American politics. They stretch from New England to California. They include Congressmen, Senators, and the Guvernator. Their supporters range in age from the pre-baby boomers to the first time voters that are a force in this election. The name of the family alone has more political clout than most candidates have had.”


A friend of mine brought up the fact that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to endorse Senator John McCain. The question to me was how I could justify saying that the Kennedy family endorsement could apply to Senator Obama in California.

It’s a good question. And I love the fact that my friend pays attention to what I’m writing and brings up what they see as conflicts. I do have an answer and it’s the reason I made the statement in the first place.

While it is a fact that the Guvernator is a Republican, his wife Maria Shriver is a Kennedy. I have no doubt, though I have no fact to base it on, that prior and since the endorsement of Senator Obama there has been conversations among all the Kennedy clan. Included to some degree of that would be the Governor. While I would never have expected him to endorse Senator Obama, there are other things that he can do to help him.

Prior to his involvement in politics, the Governor was an actor of some acclaim. During his time in Hollywood he worked with and I imagine became friends with many that are liberal, Libertarian, and Democratic. Considering that much of Hollywood is dominated with vocal non-Republicans, his 20 year career would demand that he at least know those of such a political affiliation. It is those contacts, from his acting days if not his current position, that is the greatest benefit he can provide to Senator Obama. He could introduce him to many people that could provide him with endorsements and money that he might need to ensure a win over Hillary Clinton in California and possibly other states.

Another question is raised by this supposition that I again state is based solely on my own reasoning. That question is - Why would he do this?

Because as a de facto member of the Kennedy’s, and for all the support that was provided to him, he needs to do it. I say the help he received, and again I base this on my supposition. I believe that it was the influence, via subtly introductions and quiet introductions to like minded Republicans, which helped Governor Schwarzenegger to win California. As much stardom as he might have had, the fact is that he had no political experience or exposure. The polispeak of American politics generally prevents unknowns from attaining high political positions, unless they receive significant backing. Few politicians would risk their political capital on an unknown without a strong belief in an individual. That belief, I think, was gained in some cases by the introduction and nudge from the Kennedy family stating in effect ‘I think you should speak with Arnold. He’s got great ideas, in line with your Party.’

Is that what happened? I have no idea in fact, but I believe it did. And on that basis, which seems logical and probable, he owed the family. Providing Senator Obama with the same type of quiet introductions was his quid pro quo. Not illegal, nor damaging to the Republican Party. In fact I’m sure it happens far more often than the polispeak we hear would indicate.

Thus, Governor Schwarzenegger is free to endorse Senator John McCain publicly and still help the Kennedy family who helped him.

That is my reasoning, I think it is sound. Do you agree?

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Senator John McCain wins Florida, Super Tuesday sweep is possible

The Republican Florida results are final, and Senator John McCain has won. This was not an overwhelming win. It was not a landslide by any means. But it does confirm several indications, and may well be a precursor to the events of Super Tuesday.

As I had expected, Rudy Giuliani is done. His support will be going to Senator McCain after his unsurprising 3rd place finish with just 15% of the vote. His emphasis on 9/11 and his targeting of New Yorkers has proven to fail to ignite the hearts of Republican primary voters. Personally, considering his at best mixed social issues policies during his time as New York City Mayor, I’m glad.

Mike Huckabee seems to be completely out of steam now. While he may stay on until after Super Tuesday on Feb 5th when the polls close, his chance of winning the nomination only exceeds that of Ron Paul. His lack of strength and highly religious stance may be a factor among the super religious, but for an America of multiple faiths he fails to gain ground. I’m surprised he is still in this race after his 4th place ‘win’ in Florida, but in a week I predict he will be out as well. I expect his supporters to go to Senator John McCain as well.

Senator John McCain, I expect, will have a battler on his hands and will ultimately gain the Republican nomination. His long record of service for the nation, his commitment to our troops in the face of a lack of popularity and a wave of those willing to turn and run are keys to his appeal. He is well respected, and as much as Republicans may be considering the economy at this moment – due to recent events – there are other issues that are primary in this election.

Thus I expect Mitt Romney to get close but ultimately lose. I do not expect him to get the Vice-Presidential nod, nor will Huckabee and Giuliani. There are too many reasons not to pick Mitt Romney, and sadly his religion is among them. That is not my opinion, but what I gather from the exit polls and comments across the net. There are some things in America we are not yet ready for, it would appear.

Ron Paul will get the attention he deserves in my mind, this sentence.

If I am correct, and senator McCain moves on to gain the Republican nomination the question that comes next is who will the Democrats pick? Then comes who will be his Vice-President?

In terms of the Democratic race, I expect a bitter fight. Slurs based on race are not done yet I expect, and with each win for Senator Obama I expect more. The Clinton campaign will fight tooth and nail for the win. They have already bent several pledges and rules, and provoked legal action when things have not gone their way. I expect more to come.

Who will ultimately win? It’s too hard to say. But if Senator Clinton does win, I expect a landslide victory. I will say that now, but I won’t go further at this time.

The Republican race is all but done. The Democrats are in trench warfare. The chances of an Obama-Clinton ticket (or vice versa) is non-existent. The Republican VP is anyone’s guess.

After a year of preparation, the real battle for the Presidency of 2008 is about to start. In the spirit of the Olympic Games, Let the games begin!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Senator Hillary Clinton wins Michigan with a racial split, Republicans still unclear

So we have another primary over and the results of Michigan are upon us. The Republican race is obviously split in multiple directions with no clear advantage to any one candidate.So far we have Mike Huckabee, Senatoir John McCain and now Mitt Romney each with a win (actually Wyoming was the equivalent of Michigan for the Democrats and Mitt Romney won that as well). In fact there are still 2 more candidates (not Ron Paul) that are looking to gain a win before the Super Tuesday finale. Potentially it could be a 5 way race, and that would be unprecidented as far as I know.

On the Democratic side there is less and more in the results. While Senator Clinton did win, the race was hardly in existance. 2 of the major candidates were not available as a choice, half the number of delagates are possible and everyone knew it. Making the win even less worthwhile is the fact of how big a win Senator Clinton received.

In a race against virtually no one and Dennis Kucinich, the number are roughly 56%, 39% and 4% respectively. That’s a big deal. 39% of democratic voters came out just so they could vote against Senator Clinton and no other reason. That says nothing about how many democrats just didn’t bother to vote in a one-sided pointless race.

Perhaps it’s me but I have to believe that when people come out just to be against you knowing they have no benefit in the action, there is a huge amount of distrust anger and dislike out there. The Clinton camp will spin this as they will, but they can’t avoid the facts of the numbers that with no challenge she still can’t get a sweep.

That says nothing of African Americans. With the recent racial attacks directed from the Clinton camp, and even more personal attacks, the results from Michigan show that nearly 70% are against Senator Hillary Clinton. But that polarization goes the other way too, giving Senator Clinton 43% of Whites vs 22% for Senator Obama.

In fact all the racial tensions have done one thing,

“We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will," he said. "We have never believed him to be equal to the white man…” - Sen. Benjamin Tillman in South Carolina, 1900.


That quote was in reference to justifying lynching, but I see it applying. Race is being brought to the forefront and the question being stated, somewhat subtly, is if America is willing to have a Black President. The reason why not is contained in the last part of the quote from Sen. Tillman, and a lingering belief that is held against African American men even today in my opinion.

“and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him."


Gender has long been an issue in the race for the Democratic nomination, used to the advantage of Senator Clinton. Now the fact of race has been put out there, and in every instance it has been used as a weapon to attack Senator Obama.

What happens in Nevada is yet another question. The fact that where the primary is going to be held is an issue. It seems because Senator Obama got the largest union there, decisions made months ago are now at issue. Again it seems a Clinton attack on Senator Obama.

But what will happen in the Republican race? No idea. There is no consensus and no consensus on why. But there are a couple of probable outcomes. Ron Paul has no chance, no matter what his die hard legions on the internet believe. Rudy Giuliani has made a very risky gamble targeting Florida, the retirement haven of many New Yorkers, because he may well be flying in the face of a massive stampede of support for candidates other than himself. Add to that the fact that many natives of New York City did not like his tenure as Mayor, and now being in Florida has not improved their opinion.

Fred Thompson is equally in danger. While slightly better situated in South Carolina, and having made a few strong showings in recent debates, his chances are better than Rudy Giuliani and that has been proven in ever vote to date.

Ultimately, the vicious and brutal nature of the Democratic race is where I am really interested. I have stated I was fearful of the negative use of race against Senator Obama. I have noted that the attacks of Senator Clinton late in 2007 show a desire to inflict whatever damage necessary to win.

I just have to ask the Democrats out there, do you truly want a candidate and potential President that is willing to use whatever manipulation, gender bias, and smears necessary to win?

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

South Carolina primary debates on Fox News and the potential winner Part 2 - 1.10.2008.2

Continued from South Carolina primary debates on Fox News and the potential winner Part 1...

A bit later in the evening the discussion went to the issue of change. It’s a popular polispeak term, which is used now by both parties without signifying anything of importance. That was highlighted best by Rudy Giuliani when he stated

I paraphrase – “Change is not enough. We must go 1 step further and ask what kind of change. When we speak about change on education, taxes, socialized medicine we need to ask is that change good or bad?”


Of course throughout the debate Giuliani reflected on his 9/11 experience and how it gave him an edge the others did not possess. To which McCain responded once that he has been involved in every security issue that has occurred in the past 20 years, in addition to having served and fought in wars for this notion. His time as a P.O.W. in the Hanoi Hilton was unmentioned but obvious.

At the end of the debate the issue was illegal immigration. While every Republican candidate believes in throwing out the 2 million criminal (beyond being in the nation illegally) immigrants, and strong borders (actually just the southern border – to my annoyance no one speaks about the troubled and dangerous northern border with Canada) McCain had no answer on what to do about the 10 million illegal immigrants in the nation now.

Mitt Romney believes we should look at each case though all 10 million must return to their home nations before being allowed back in the nation.

Thompson stated that we need to ensure that employers are responsible in their hiring and that they are penalized for getting illegals. He also advocates the end of sanctuary cities, threatening to end their discretionary federal funding if they maintain their status. This he believes will not only force illegal immigrants out of the nation and prevent future generations from coming.

Paul felt we should enforce the law and stop subsidizing the illegals with free healthcare and education for their kids. He also wants to get the troops back from Iraq and watch our borders.

Huckabee can best be summed up in that he believes the immigrants will go home on their own. He also mentioned his 9 point plan which involves a 120 day period, which he did not elaborate on further.

And when Giuliani was asked if he would allow mayors and governors to act in the same manner with respect to illegal immigrants as he did in New York (specifically the police not asking about immigration status). He refused to answer the question and instead defended his reasoning that the illegals helped to lower crime by reporting it. He also mentioned (which I agree with) that it was better to have the 70,000 kids in school rather than in the streets.

Overall I will say that Fred Thompson won the debate. He was strong and the only person with plans for each issue consistently. He really stood out from the group, and had solid challenges to the other candidates, many of which that went without response.

Ron Paul was ineffective. He had a couple of interesting points, and one or 2 quotable thoughts. But overall he really came off weak and less of an oddball compared to many debates I have heard him in previously.

Keep an eye on John McCain though. I really think he was solid and consistent even though he did not win tonight.

If I had to guess I would expect the South Carolina Republican primary to go in this manner:

    John McCain wins
    Fred Thompson a strong second
    Mitt Romney third
    Mike Huckabee fourth
    Ron Paul might get a couple of percentage point but definitely dead last

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South Carolina primary debates on Fox News and the potential winner - 1.10.2008.1

I’m watching the Republican Presidential debate, in South Carolina on Fox News tonight, and a few very important issues are coming up.

Of course the debate started with the question of the economy. Is there going to be a recession (or as Ron Paul stated it’s an ongoing recession with real estate in a depression) and how long will it last? Will cutting taxes help the average American? Do we need to cut government spending?

All of these are important issues. And I would say that yes a recession is probable. No it’s not a bad thing, though it won’t feel good in the short term. Housing is not in a depression (with all due respect to Ron Paul), rate cuts by themselves are not enough, and keeping the Bush tax cuts prevents a de facto tax increase to the American public. Those are my thoughts, though some of the candidates agree.

One of the bigger moments I think that will be talked about a lot is the challenge made by Fred Thompson to Mike Huckabee on his record. The points made, including Huckabee being pro-immigration, and anti-school vouchers among other things, went unchallenged by Huckabee. He deflected the answers and mentioned his 94 tax cuts and work on education. Honestly Fred Thompson won that point and the crowd knew it.

Another big point was the question by the moderator, Tim Russert, to Ron Paul. Paul was asked if he would ask the 9/11 truthers that support Paul to stop their claims. Ron Paul stated he does not endorse the truthers, or their ideas. He refused to ask them to stop advocating it on his behalf though.

When the question of Pakistan came up Fred Thompson had a great reason why we need to be involved. Because Pakistan is a nation with nuclear weapons, and is Islamic. We need to know who has control of those weapons in our own national interest.

On a similar response, asked to Ron Paul later in the evening about electability,

I paraphrase – “Let me see if I can get this straight. We borrow 10 Billion from China, to give it to Musharef (who overthrew a democratic government) who is hiding terrorists, and then get into a war to bring democracy to Iraq? How aren’t Republicans interested? Why couldn’t asking about that make me unelectable?”


John McCain made a good point, when challenged by Ron Paul as I recall, that having a presence in Iraq is

“A question of presence, not casualties.”


He correctly mentioned that we have troops in Germany since WWII, and in South Korea, and even Kuwait. That is not the same as having fighting troops, so a long term plan with troops in Iraq is not a bad thing or a plan without end.

Continued in Part 2...

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New Hampshire primary last minute surprise

Well the announcements are out. With the vote counted Senator McCain has been declared the winner having garnered 37% of the New Hampshire vote vs. the 32% for second place Mitt Romney. It’s a solid win and recovery for Senator McCain, who was considered all but lifeless back in the summer of 2007.

On the other side of the political map I must mention my disappointment that Senator Obama took second place with 36% of the votes in New Hampshire. It was not the crushing win that was expected by the polls and pundits. And it was my own fault to have paid attention to them.

The earliest indications seemed to reflect the votes made at midnight. And for the Republican race it did indeed stay accurate. Not nearly so much for the Democrats.

What made the difference? That is a question that every baffled pundit and talking head is asking. It’s a question that the Clinton campaign is trying to figure out as I write this. Earlier in the day they had all but given up New Hampshire, and were preparing for a complete loss. They even had planned to pull out the big guns, the campaign staff of President Bill Clinton, and let the former President attack Senator Obama at will. And they even threw in a bit of sour grapes whining inbetween.

But the most common answer has been that when Senator Clinton nearly broke down in tears she motivated the public. In other words, a woman crying won the vote. Wow. That is really impressive for a candidate. A real reason to believe that as a President we can feel secure with this individual.

I might have a different opinion if there was substance behind this win in the Clinton camp. But there wasn’t. There was no change in positions. No change in policy. No sudden declaration. Just emotions.

Not that the win was impressive at 3%. But it does bring back the calls of inevitability that pundits had claimed since 2007. Now comes the real Clinton machine, full throttle.

If you think you have heard the last on questions of being Black and President, the references of ties to radical Islam, that he was some kind of drug pusher, then you have never witnessed a Clinton campaign in action. And I expect there to be leaks of even more, especially the question of whether an African American can win an election vs a White man.

Such is the nature of politics these days. Such is the nature of the Clinton campaign. Not because I’m making this up, but because that is what they did all 2007. And that’s when Senator Clinton though she had the election locked up.

But Michigan is another day. Romney may finally get his first place win. Mike Huckabee may get another boost. Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson may appear from the ether. Or Senator McCain will extend his comeback win.

For Democrats, the question is will Senator Hillary Clinton gain favor? Will actual tears turn the tide? Will she be able to explain when she actually did spend 35 years in public office? I mean she stated she found her voice now, after her own self-proclaimed aforementioned experience. I just would like to see when that was since she was working in a law firm when President Bill Clinton was Governor. And she was First Lady for 8 years.

Perhaps I will be more interested in her ability in Michigan and South Carolina if between now and then she can answer those tiny little details, among a few others.

But John Edwards seems to have done his swan song. And the only real competition appears to be Senator Obama. Only time will tell.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What happens after the New Hampshire primary?

So we continue to hear that Senator Obama is leading the Democratic candidates as the nomination for the Presidential election draws near. The further the day goes, the more we are hearing that the initial results from the midnight voting are proving more accurate.

Record turnouts, bolstered by unseasonably warm weather, are trending in favor of the candidate that 1 year ago was considered a joke, and a minor distraction to the inevitable nomination of Senator Clinton. Well the pundits were wrong, and 1 year later reports are surfacing that the Clinton campaign is grasping for the political advisors that were critical for the elections of President Bill Clinton.

On the Republican side, there is a less clear view. Senator John McCain entered New Hampshire with a strong lead, but Mitt Romney and his huge television ad spending are whitling away at that lead. Independants, the majority of New Hampshire voters, are the most critical factor. The beliefs are that independents will trend towards Obama, though many will also favor McCain.

Even with a solid win by Senator McCain, the final result is not nearly as clear as with the Democratic race. This is an odd election year indeed. Normally the fractioning seen in the Republican race has been something more akin to Democrats. It is very possible that the Republican candidate will be unknown well into, and possibly after the Super Tuesday vote in February. Effectively Mitt Romney, Senator McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Fred Thompson all have the ability to pull off first place wins, with 2nd or 3rd place finishes in multiple states before February.

All of this is causing turmoil in campaigns dubbed inevitable by media pundits in 2007. Senator Clinton has had a very public emotional breakdown, which many felt was a critical blow against her. In the campaign for Senator Clinton it is rumored that key individuals responsible for President Clinton are going to get involved, as I mentioned above. This is currently being denied, and if true seems to kill the concept of change promoted by the campaign. The addition of these figures indicates a return to the era of the 90’s, which in many ways has no place in the 21st century.

One thing that is beginning to creep into the pundits conversation is one thing that gives me pause though. Since the win by Senator Obama in Iowa, I have heard more about the racial breakdown of the various races than I have in all my life. Not just the racial make-up of South Carolina, where the African American vote is critical, but about New Hampshire where Blacks are easily outnumbered.

This is a negative, and it’s a subtle and backhanded way of bringing race forefront in the election. The real question being asked is will White Americans vote for a Black President? Had Senator Clinton been in the lead, I’m sure the question of women voters would be investigated, but the degree to which it would be questioned is unknown. But the big question after a solid and dramatic win by Senator Barack Obama will undoubtedly be the one I have asked.

Few will come out and say it. Most will hide the question in words like electability, or likeability. Polispeak for Black. Polispeak for is America still so racist as to refuse a popular, educated, qualified, and enigmatic candidate solely on the basis of the color of his skin? Polispeak for the question, Can America give up the stereotypes that have been built and relied upon for centuries?

If America can do that, and I believe that regardless of the eventual outcome we are moving to that day anyway, then what will happen? Because this would be more than just a Presidential candidate. It would signify a cultural change in America that has never occurred before. It would imply and justify an equality that any candidate, bereft of polispeak, would admit does not exist today.

No matter what, New Hampshire will have a demonstrative effect on the candidates of both parties. The implications are far reaching and only now being addressed by pundits across the media. Only now are some Americans realizing the implications. What will that result be?

However this continues to go, I must restate, your vote counts. Do not give it away cheaply. Don’t base it solely on the gender, religion, or color of the candidates. That is the least of all reasons to pick a candidate. Pick whomever you feel is best for America. Because that vote, and only that, will benefit the entire nation.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Hampshire makes it's early votes heard

And the hits just keep rolling on. At midnight on the 8th the first New Hampshire votes have been cast. And the results have come in some 10 minutes later.

17 citizens in New Hampshire gathered among huge crowds of reporters to vote for their choice of candidates for the Presidency of the United States. That’s 100% of all those available to vote. And the overwhelming winners were Senator Obama with 7 votes and Senator McCain with 4. Also notably is the fact that Senator Clinton received no votes and Rudy Giuliani received 1.

Now does this mean that the race is between Senators Obama and McCain? No. Not necessarily. But it does indicate that the pundits are well off the mark.

1 year ago, Senator Obama was considered a joke by the various talking heads heralded by the major news media. They thought it was cute and wrote him off in the early days of 2007. In the middle of the summer of 2007 as Senator McCain failed to generate donations at a rate that the pundits thought was necessary, he too was written off. This says nothing of the lack of attention given to Mike Huckabee up until the very end of 07.

Yet we are seeing that the American citizens have opinions of their own. They are voicing their opinion without the benefit of major media, campaign contributions or outside influences. Were Americans merely the mindless puppets that some would indicate, Riudy Giuliani and Senator Hillary Clinton would be sweeping past all others on their way to national campaigns.

But it’s the fact that every vote counts. And that media and corporate interests don’t get to decide the next official in the highest office serving the people in the nation. For this I am proud.

Does this mean either winner tonight will win? No, there is no guarantee. But it means we are paying attention and making choices. There is no higher statement.

Will the rest of New Hampshire follow the lead of these early votes? I can’t say. But if 17 Americans in the relatively remote region of New Hampshire can gather at midnight in the middle of the week, I can only imagine the crowds that will gather in major cities in the middle of the day. This is a celebration of our freedom in action. It’s the very thing that other governments around the world fear and envy.

No matter what else happens, Americans are voicing their opinion. That opinion is powerful and honest. It is unpredictable by pundits and talking heads. It refutes polispeak that has dominated news coverage of the Presidential candidates. It refutes the polispeak that has been used in many debates and public speaking platforms that occurred in 2007.

Take this as your impetus America. Your voice matters, and every vote counts. You make a change with every vote cast, and all the political players pay attention.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Pros and Cons of Republican Presidential candidates Part 2

Continued from Pros and Cons of Republican Presidential candidates Part 1...


    Photo found at http://news.siu.edu/news/October04/102504pr4145.jsp
    Mike Huckabee

    Pros

  • Governor
  • Anti-abortion
  • For the Death Penalty
  • Finish Iraq war
  • Anti-gay marriage
  • For Privatizing SSI
  • Anti-Gun Control
  • Very Religious
  • Fair Tax
  • Pro Education
  • Decent Minority Rights
  • Against 3 strikes laws

    Cons

  • Virtually unknown to the general public
  • Very Religious
  • Anti-Torture
  • Ok with Pathway to Citizenship
  • Fuzzy on Immigration in general

    Photo found at http://www.northwestern.edu/univ-relations/media_relations/releases/2005/02/mccain.html
    Senator John McCain

    Pros

  • For the Death Penalty
  • Anti-Torture (he has huge conviction and reasons)
  • Current Senator – Long term position
  • Military Hero
  • Anti-gay marriage
  • Anti-Gun Control
  • Strongly Finish Iraq war
  • For Privatizing SSI
  • Anti-Flag Burning
  • Pro-Minority Bills
  • Limit Judges Legislating

    Cons

  • Flipped on Abortion
  • Mixed on Education
  • Anti-Torture
  • Pro-Pathway to Citizenship
  • Pro-Immigration Reform

Continued in part 3...

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Place your bets - 9.24.2007.1

Here is something that is a nice diversion from the constant bickering otherwise known as the Presidential primary debates. As the nation is coming closer to the actual primaries, and the 2008 election, odds are being placed on who could potentially be the next President.

Some of the bets placed are obscure, others are downright stupid. A few just have to be a joke. You can see all the odds at Superbook.com. [I must give credit for finding this to Mialka Bonadonna] There are a couple of good ones on the Presidential race.

One of my favorites is Arnold Schwarzenegger at 250-1 as opposed to Rev. Al Sharpton at 500-1. Remarkably Rev. Jesse Jackson is at 200-1. Mind you none of them are actually in the race, so it makes their odds even more ridiculous. Could you imagine how messed up the nation would be with any of them?

On a more interesting, and slightly more realistic, realm are the odds for Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Respectively they are 50 and 30-1. Not too bad considering they aren’t running either, they are both Black, and one being a woman. That makes them pretty popular, more than I had imagined.

Thankfully the odds for the actual frontrunners of each party are rather decent. Even Sen. McCain, John Edwards, and Mitt Romney show signs of being pretty decent.

Of course, the current favorites found at my informal poll [it does not include Fred Thompson who was not running at the beginning of the year] shows Sen. Barack Obama with a huge lead on everyone, including Sen. Clinton. Judge that as you will.

Still time to get your bets in if you are so inclined. Don’t forget to share your bet with us here. Nothing like being able to point out your predictive skills in black and white after the election.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Iraq report and politics Part 2 - 9.10.2007.2

Continued from The Iraq report and politics Part 1...

When Generals state, as many have said from day one, that this will be a long term battle (some even stating it could take up to a decade) all politicians ignored the statements and left the troops ill-equipped for the challenges that have faced them. I believe all the politicians were afraid of telling such a truth to their constituents. To make such a statement would easily open them up to challengers and cost them elections. Rather they all stated, initially, that this could be resolved quickly and with little loss of American life. Obviously they were wrong and the Generals were correct.

This is an interesting question facing the next President and the nation as a whole. This may well be the single most important issue facing America in the next 10 years, definitely the next 5. If we run, we will lose respect as a nation among other nations and fanatical groups across the world. Without a strong resolution, enemies of our nation will simply conclude that the will of America is weak and if they can out-wait the initial onslaught against them the commitment against them will crumble and fade. That is a troubling image to present to the world.

On the other side is the fact that if we stand and fight until we succeed, we will suffer internally as political groups drive a wedge between various factions within the nation. As families lose loved ones, which is an inevitable outcome of warfare, the divisions will grow as will the anger of nations around the world.

The answer is a difficult one. Like most answers, the middle ground is best, but hard to maintain. Since we have not decided to make Iraq a commonwealth, which I feel is the only winning strategy, we must seek the most reasonable outcome. Emphasizing the political aspects may allow elections to go in one direction or another, but such posturing will cause greater damage, in my opinion. I see that right now, all the candidates are posturing for votes as opposed to having their own convictions. The only 2 frontrunners that are perhaps convincingly maintaining their positions without regard to politics are Senator McCain and Obama. Both are somewhat blindsided though, I believe.

So the questions we must ask ourselves, are the presidential candidates taking positions that are the best for the nation, or the best to gain politically? Do we want a President, or any political leader, that cannot adjust their position based on the facts as they are presented? Can we have political leaders that can tell us the truth, and act in the best manner for the nation regardless of the backlash that short-term emotions ultimately evoke?

If we fail in this matter, if we act impulsively and without long-term foresight, we will suffer for perhaps decades. There are many issues involved in the current war, Iran, terrorist groups (not the concept of terrorism) like Al Quida, Israel, America’s prominence in the world, and yes oil too. If we just focus on one item at the exclusion of the others, we will fail to do the best thing. Again I mention best, not right. While I wish we could follow a path that is ideal, the reality is that there is no such path to take in regard to the current situation.

But this is what I think, what do you think?

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hypocrisy in discussing Presidential candidates - 7.19.2007.1

In discussing the Presidential candidates and the election in 2008 I have read large volumes on both sides of key issues. I have read the comments of pundits, bloggers opinions and facts they have dug up, and the comments and information on the candidates’ websites. Often there is conflicting information on the same issue, or the writer injects their viewpoint on the subject.

I have tried to be neutral in this matter. I want to present both sides fairly. That is not always easy. But there is a difference between what I do and what others claim is a fair comment. I’ll give you an example, because it just annoys me to no end to read something that claims to be an even discussion and in fact is a one-sided slam.

“I'm upset with both parties and particularly the brainless media that's obsessed with catering to the right. There's no striving to set the crooked straight. It seems nobody cares about what people care about.”


In just one sentence we get the disconnect. I like most are upset with both parties. Neither is really doing anything except getting donations and trying to look more Presidential than the other. The major media is only promoting this aspect, unless you believe that an issue like the retreat from Iraq or what to do about the impending shortfalls in Social Security are issues that can be answered in 30 second soundbites. But to say that the media caters to the right tells me several things.

One is that the above quoted writer does not understand what the left and right represent. To say the media leans right is absurd. Pick up virtually any newspaper or watch virtually any news program, listen for a discussion or case about immigration. When the media speaks about immigrants that have entered the nation without following the law see how they phrase it. Undocumented workers and immigrants are a common reference, not illegal immigrants. That’s one example, but recent polls show most of America recognizes that the media leans LEFT. So you know the above quoted writer is about to bash the Republican candidates.

And bash is what happens. The Republican Party is cited as doing nothing but committing errors, Senator McCain is called out by name as a leading bovine. The President of the United States is insulted and ridiculed.

Then we get to hear about the ‘savior’, the left.

“…liberals who seem to be doing a good job of focusing on the dishonesty of our politics…”


Get real. There isn’t a Party in this nation that doesn’t include dishonest politicians. I believe that being arrested for accepting bribes, and having $90,000 in a refrigerator qualifies as dishonest and that was a Louisiana Democrat. The writer continues to mention the great healthcare program that the top 3 Democratic candidates have. Hogwash. Not one candidate in either party has a plan yet. None of them. They have ideas, and good soundbites. A plan would mean they could answer where the money for the program will come from, what incentives will be made available to motivate further medical innovations, and how to avoid the pitfalls of national healthcare that every other nation has currently.

I severely dislike the hypocrisy disguised as concern some present. If you pick a side, then discuss it. If you think one Party is better than another say that. But to say there is equal problems that need to be addressed do not hide an agenda inside the message.

I’m not picking a side, I’m highlighting hypocrisy. The writer is no better than the Presidential candidates and political Parties. We cannot have an improved nation or a good President if partisan arguments are used to promote one side or another. Social Security, immigration, terrorism, the wars, education and more are serious issues facing the nation. The next President will be crucial in defining the direction America takes for the next 10 years. Bias and emotional preferences will not help get the best choice elected.

Both sides have problems. None have given a good answer on the issues. None have given plans to resolve the issues. We deserve more. But to negate one side or another as the writer above has doesn’t help. We need to be aware of that.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Can you find Presidential candidate's answers on issues? - 7.2.2007.1

With half the over, and pundits as well as candidates crowing about how much money they raised, I have prepared to release the current results of my poll on who might win the 2008 Presidential election. Before I mention who is leading my informal poll I want to bring up something far more important. It’s not the question of how much money is coming to each of the candidates from the healthcare lobby (which is substantial – Senator Clinton leads on that) or other corporate donations. It’s not how the candidates have used the internet to gain funds from the general public (which even with the record breaking numbers raised by Senator Obama pale to the lobbyist and corporate donation). I’m not even looking at how pundits are so focused on the issue of money raised they discount anyone who has not raised enough money (like Mr. John Edwards and Senator McCain). No, the issue is that while every candidate has a website, roughly 42% of the public can’t find answers about the issues.

According to a iCrossing study, 42% is the number of people searching for information on issues and candidates only to find nothing is there. This includes websites for the candidates themselves. You might say well if those Americans that are say 45+ are looking they are not as familiar with the internet and computers, so it might be a mistake on their part. If you did say that yoou are wrong. The emphasis of those looking online for information are between thwe ages of 18 – 35.

Forty-seven percent of those who go online for information about candidates and issues use search engines to conduct their research, equal to the 46 percent who do not.

Of potential voters who are looking for election information online, 61 percent of 18 to 24 year olds and 55 percent of 25 to 34 year olds seek answers on user-driven content sites such as blogs, YouTube and Wikipedia.

Issue- oriented searches dominate over explorations of candidates' voting and personal histories by a margin of nearly two to one; yet nearly all candidates rank poorly for issue-based search visibility.


I want to emphasize that last part, nearly all candidates rank poorly for issue-based search visibility. Why is it so difficult to find answers about issues on a Presidential candidate’s website? They want to tell you how friendly, joe-average, just like you, they are, but they won’t speak clearly and definitively about say national healthcare. Or what is their exist strategy for Iraq, or what happens after we are gone. Information gets fuzzy about social security, or providing an education to ALL the children of the nation. Not even a straight answer on what they want to do about illegal immigration.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying that they have a soundbite; I’m talking about a plan. A beginning, middle and end. A structured outline that anyone who can read can understand or at least follow. You can easily learn why Mr. John Edwards paid $400 for a haircut, or that Senator Obama quit smoking, or how many times Mr. Rudy Giuliani has appeared in drag. But do you care? Is any of that more important to making sure that when you go to sleep at night, or your loved ones go to work, that you won’t have to fear a terrorist attack? How does the information they give compare to whether they can ensure that the American dream of your children living a better life than yours will be a reality?

Continued in Part 2...

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Presidential Candidates and national healthcare Part 2 - 6.26.2007.2

Continued from Presidential Candidates and national healthcare Part 1...

I found a portion of a report on how much money ALL the Presidential candidates have received from healthcare industry contributions. While I’m glad I found the report via a blog post by Sister Joyous Whip of Enlightenment, I must also mention that this post does not contain the full news release. Shane on you for not getting the whole story out there. The full news release can be seen on Yahoo News. What both sites show is the following,

“…candidates have accepted more than $3.7 million in campaign contributions this year from healthcare industry sources, with more than 45% of it going to just two candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney…”


That might or might not sound like a lot of money, until you look back over time. Adding all 18 Presidential candidates together we find that

“Presidential candidates total an aggregate $12.8 million since 1989 -- with 29% of that total donated just in the first quarter of 2007 alone.”


So far this year alone

“Clinton topped the recipient list with $868,722, 23% of all the healthcare money donated to candidates this year. Romney was a close second at $833,385, 22% of the total dollars. The other frontrunners followed. Sen. Barack Obama, with $574,268, 15%; Sen. John McCain, $423,751, 11%; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, $408,822, also 11%; and former Sen. John Edwards, $222,950, 6%.”


So the question must be asked, how impartial are the candidates when it comes to the question of national healthcare. It’s not a question of one party or another being more inclined to work on this issue. It’s not a question of if this is a good idea. Virtually anyone will concede that the likelihood is that some form of national healthcare will happen. But having an effective plan that is run better than the usual manner government agencies are run, is critical for it to work.

Do you think this is why so few sent representatives to the Accountability Coalition event? Is this why no Presidential candidate of either party will respond to my letters? Is this why we get soundbites and partial answers to a question that many in the nation want, and will affect everyone in the nation at some point?

The issues that are involved with the 2008 election are far too great and long-term in reach to be taken lightly. From terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy, and many other issues we deserve answers that go into depth. Then we can make a decision that is the best for the nation as a whole.

Copy the questions at M V Consulting, add your own, and send them to your favorite Presidential candidate. Let’s get the answers and get what the nation needs.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

So what have the Presidential candidates said? - 4.25.2007.2

I noticed something recently while writing the previous post. We all know that the race of the Presidency in 2008 has already begun. We have heard candidates speak on how great they are, thus being deserving of our votes. Respective of their political parties they have all claimed to be exemplifying the core values that voters want. But they haven’t told us anything really.

Yes, as the previous post proves there are some subjects that the potential candidates cannot avoid, but beyond that one subject what have they really said? If you have taken a look at my various questions posed to several of the main Presidential candidates, I have asked question on a spectrum of subjects. Taking out specific questions concerning health, age, and religion they all have been asked essentially the same thoughts. These thoughts have not been addressed by any of the candidates (nor have any of them been bold enough to respond).

In terms of healthcare, what has been said? Who is for national healthcare, and how do they expect to pay for it? How do they plan to keep taxes affordable? Who will help small business creation or growth? What initiatives will they champion for better race relations in the nation, or how about providing better educations to our children?

Can you honestly say that the WHOLE nation has been told these thoughts? Or have there been a lot of selective comments targeted to specific areas and groups that may contradict comments made to other areas and groups? Has anything said to raise money been specific or has it just been superficially all encompassing and popular enough to get free advertising?

Before you send out $1 to any candidate, check out the questions I have sent and have not been responded to. Ask yourself if you know the answers to the questions I posed, and if the nation knows that answer as well. I mean a detailed answer, not a cursory redirection of the answer. Ask them why they won’t answer, or respond, to the questions I have sent out since December 2006. Ask why they believe that questions from individuals, especially those that interact with tens of thousands of voting citizens, are unimportant while they ask for your money. Even asking while contacting you via the same medium that you and I are using now.

These are important questions. You should know the answers. Because once they are running, or are elected to office, it’s too late to say ‘this isn’t the guy I wanted’ or ‘I didn’t know you were for that’.

By the way, in polls on my various sites, Senator Obama is leading with 31% of votes, and Senators Clinton and McCain are tied for second with 21%. This includes the votes of visitors 18-65+. Just so you know.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Letter to Senator McCain - 2.24.2007.1

February 23, 2007
Senator John McCain,

I am writing your today due to your announced intention to seek the Presidency of the United States in the 2008 election. I have made similar inquiries to Senators Clinton and Obama, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Romney. I intend to also contact other individuals that seek the Presidency in the future.

Senator McCain, it is my firm belief that it is never too soon to ask questions of those that wish to hold the highest office of the nation. I believe that the right of American citizens to vote for our representatives in government must be tempered with a reasonable understanding of the positions and opinions of the candidates we must chose from. I equally feel strongly that those candidates, especially those seeking the Presidency, have an obligation to provide a full and clear explanation so that the public may make the best choice for the nation.

I also wish to make you aware that I am not just asking questions of you positions for my own benefit, but that of thousands of individuals most of which are Americans. By this I mean that each letter I have sent out has, and will be, reproduced word for word on several websites and blogs that I own or write for. These postings reach a cross-section of America in cities and towns of all sizes found in every state, and citizens of every political party, race, sex and age group.

While I cannot say that I can motivate these readers to vote as a group to or for any one individual, which is not my intention but rather providing information, I can say that there are far more than enough reading to have changed the outcome of the last 2 Presidential races.

I will further add that any responses to the following questions will be reproduced on the same sites this letter will be found on. I will NOT edit or change a single word of any response. I believe that your unalter comments are far too important.

If you wish to review some of the proposed websites they will include, but are not limited to, the following: www.mvass.com, www.blackentertainmentblog.com, www.vassconsult.com/politics/election2008.html .

As for my questions, one of the most prominent is that of your age. If you were to win the Presidential election you would be 72 years of age. Do you feel that your age is, or could become during your term, a matter of concern? If it is not, why do you believe this?

In reference to the current war in Iraq, and more generally on the issue of terrorism, you have stated clearly that you believe that America must act with decisive strength without pause until the mission is attained. You further have clearly stated that actions to limit troop strength or resources for troops is tantamount to emboldening the enemy. In the face of growing opposition to the war, why do you feel such a stance is required? What do you foresee as a consequence if we do not continue to fight? What exit plan do you have for Iraq, and how would you implement such a plan? What do you believe to be the steps in the near future that will be needed to ensure the safety of Americans at home and abroad?

I respect and understand the experiences you had during the Viet Nam war. My father also served in Viet Nam, in the Marine Corps, and I too volunteered for service. Given the tribulations of your decorated time in service, how would you lead the nation in dealing with the question of terrorist captives (which I believe do not fall under the Geneva Code) and gaining information to prevent future terrorist activities?

It has been noted that your positions on several issues have changed since the 2000 Presidential campaign or even before that. One of the questions has been your stance with regard to conservative Christians, specifically Rev. Jerry Falwell, where you seem to have backtracked. What was the motivation for your change of opinion from 2000 to 2006?

In regard to your stance on Roe v. Wade, you have said in 1999 that you would not repeal the law, though you wished there was no need for it. Recently you have changed your opinion to be actively against the law. What has caused your more aggressive stance?

Considering that you are in favor of teaching abstinence, against other forms of sex education and birth control, what do you believe will happen to those women that become pregnant if Roe v. Wade is repealed? Also what responsibility does the government have to mothers that find themselves with children but without enough means to support those children, and where does that funding come from, again if Roe v. Wade is repealed?

You have mentioned in the past, as I understand, that you would like to give a means for the illegal immigrants in the nation today to become citizens. What process would you follow to do this and do you feel that even the consideration of such a law would encourage further illegal immigration? Also by making a potentially 10-20 million individuals citizens in an extremely short period of time, how would the government handle the surge in social programs and government agencies (such as local DMV, Social Security, Welfare, Unemployment and so forth)?

I have certain fears in regard to embryonic stem cell research, which you have changed your opinion on. What swayed your opinion, and how would you as President help to restrict abuses from this research (such as genetic based diseases, targeted to specific genotypes such as Native Indians or Negroids or Pacific Islanders)?

What legislation have you enacted that directly improved the lives of African Americans and Hispanic or Latino Americans in your home state and the nation? In regard to education, what specific actions would you take to stem the growing numbers of African Americans that are dropping out of high school and/or finding the cost of higher education impossible to overcome?

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I look forward to your response. I again mention that this letter, and any response will be posted without an alteration.

Sincerely,

Michael Vass
President – M V Consulting, Inc.
Author – Black Entertainment USA and Vass
vass@vassconsult.com

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain

Recently there was something that I ran across that may be of interest. Well for Democrats anyway. Senator Barack Obama was recently joking on the Conan O’BRIEN show about running for president. I don’t see this as such a joke as it is testing the waters out there to see how people feel about him. And the thought of a potentially Black African American president. I must say that there a few things that appeal to me about Senator Obama. I like that he has worked hard to get where he is. That he is educated. That he has strong values and sticks by them. And he is a Black African American. In that order.

I’m sure many of the democratic pollsters and politicos are valuing his appeal with minority voters more than I do. I can only hope that I don’t start hearing people refer to how well Senator Obama speaks. It’s insulting and ignorant. And for those that have forgotten, it’s what was often said when Mr. Colin Powell was rumored to be considering a run at the presidency. It was so prevalent that comedians (notably Mr. Chris Rock) made many jokes about it.

But ignorant statements or not, I’d rather see the relatively inexperienced Senator Obama run for president as opposed to Senator Clinton. My reasons to oppose her are numerous and can be found throughout my posts here.

Actually my thoughts can be seen right here. In another example of backpedaling on a statement she has made, Senator Clinton tried to retract her rebuke of the youth of today. She was directly apologizing to her daughter though, and not the students at Long Island University. It’s not that I disagree that many of the youth today are grasped by either an attitude of entitlement, or apathy. All too often it can be seen in the Black African American and Hispanic youth of today in the inner city, and in the White youth at many colleges (ie. Duke lacrosse team - though I admit its not entirely accurate). But rather than stand by the statement, even to say that perhaps her child might be able to work harder - because there are others who are - Senator Clinton instead let’s it be know that her intent was just to raise the bar. I see fear of offending some young voters. Why can’t she seem to make a stand rather than bouncing around trying to get the best option for votes by saying anything and then backing away from it. At least that’s how I see her actions.

On the other end is Senator John McCain, who I respect and like. While Senator McCain hurt his position with the religious right, calling then “agents of intolerance,” he did stand by his statements. That means a lot with me. I would suspect that it means a lot with most voters, that is a politician that stands by his words. Of course politics being what they are, even those that make a stand do bend. And Senator McCain did bend when he was at Liberty University with Rev. Jerry Falwell. But Senator McCain is correct that, “Americans deserve more than tolerance from one another.” It’s not to much to ask for I think. And I think it should be expected. And it should be expected that America does something about the loss of life in Dafur. I agree in that, if for no other reason beyond the large loss of life in a non-eastern european nation, is the fact that Osama bin Laden drew a line in the sand and told us not to. Liberals may not like Senator McCain’s views, but I think everyone has to respect that he stands by them. Even if sometimes he may lean a bit, it’s still better than flipping the position entirely.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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