I was against the war before I was for it!

Sen Obama’s pulpit was damaged yesterday in the first wave of attacks launched by Sen McCain.  The attack came fast and strong on the heels of  statements made by Sen Obama himself and if his response was any indication, he will have a long hard road to the Presidency. 

In the debate on Tuesday night, Sen Obama reiterated that he would pull our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible once he was President.  He also said that he would redeploy them to Iraq if terrorists established a base of operations in Iraq.  In a speech later, Sen McCain responded by saying that terrorism already has a base in Iraq.  Obama, not having a sermon ready for this attack, responded with “Oh Yeah!, Well they wouldn’t be there if you hadn’t been there first!” Based on this response, I can only guess that John  Kerry has been given an advisory position on the Obama campaign. 

The failed Democratic strategy of 2004 will not work in 2008 either.  Running against the start of the war dismisses the reality of the situation today.  Sen Obama clearly does not understand that pulling out only to redeploy later will only give the terrorists he already acknowledges are there, more time to rearm and launch even more deadly attacks. 

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Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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NY Times

The NY Times has launched the first warning shot at Sen John McCain today.  In it’s article titled For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk,  the NY Times attacks McCain’s integrity using two stories from the past.  The first was is the 20 year old story regarding the Keating Five and the second a 9 year old story about a lobbyist he had dealings with through Senate Committee meetings.   After reading the article, I can’t see anything but innuendo designed by liberals who fear McCain in the general election. 

As McCain gets closer to the nomination and the Democrats are still attacking each other,  it will be up to organizations such as MoveOn and the liberal leaning newspapers to derail McCain’s momentum.  Publishing this article with anonymous sources simply plants the seeds of doubt for other organizations to cultivate and grow over the next few months.  The theory behind all of this is that if McCain has to defend himself on questions of ethics and integrity, he has less time to speak about issues and policies.  This theory benefits one particular candidate, Barrack Obama, who is now the front-runner in the Democratic party and has little to offer beyond eloquent rhetoric.  The proof of this is in the fact that cable and network TV has now been talking about this article and its impact for over 12 hours. 

John McCain is often brought up as one of the few honest politicians in Washington.  This title does not fit into the attacks of the Democrats,  especially Sen Obama, who is a self stylized honest politician.  By printing this article today, the Times seeks to knock McCain down a few pegs to the level of his Democratic rivals.  Not even many Democrats believe McCain can be knocked down that far. 

Published in: on February 21, 2008 at 10:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pride

Perhaps the borders in America really do need to be fixed.  Michelle Obama stated that she has not felt pride in America in the past 30 years.  Yet when she tries to leave the country to go to a nation that she is proud of , the open door that we have to America does not hit her hard enough as she leaves. 

The fact is the events of the past 30 years have propelled her husband and his rival to positions where they can speak to a  national audience.  If Barbara Jordan did not deliver the first keynote from a black person at the Democratic National Convention in 1976, Sen Obama may still be struggling to capture any audience.  If Jesse Jackson had not run for President multiple times in the past 30 years and become the outspoken leader he is today, Sen Obama, may still be struggling to find a way through the glass ceiling that was the Presidency.  If Mondale had not picked a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, as a running mate in 1984,  Sen Clinton may still be struggling to be accepted as a serious candidate  for the Presidency.  If voters had not elected more blacks, women and minorities to various positions on the local, state and national level over the past 30 years, Obama and Clinton may still be struggling just to overcome their respective minority status. 

Also lets not forget Condi Rice, Madeline Albright, Alberto Gonzalez Bill Richardson and Colin Powell.  All of these people, and many others, have held Federal office because of their ability and not their gender or skin color. 

History, over the past 30 years,  has not been an impediment to Obama and Clinton’s run for the Presidency.  The only thing history has provided Obama and Clinton is a precedent to be the President.  Michelle Obama’s comments negate the fact that America has come a long way in 30 years in the areas of race and gender in politics.

Americans,over the past 30 years, have also had numerous moments in time to celebrate.  In international affairs, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of Democracy throughout former Iron Curtain nations.  In science, the return to space exploration with the launching of the space shuttle program, was another achievement for America in the past 30 years.  In sports, the miracle on ice that was the 1980 US men’s Hockey team.  And even in disaster, Americans came together for their own sake after 9/11 and for a regions sake after the Tsunami. 

Thirty years is a long time to not feel any pride in the achievements of America or its people.  Sen Obama is running a campaign of change and hope.  His campaign message implies that if we believe in ourselves we can change the way America operates at home and around the world.   Do we really need Sen Obama’s kind of change? If history is correct America and its people are doing just fine and remain as  strong and proud as it did 200 years ago. 

The double standard

I saw an interesting segment on the news this morning, I believe it was on Fox, about the double standard Obama has when it comes to “the rich”.  They showed him blasting corporate CEOs in his stump speech saying it was unfair for them to make more in 10 minutes than the average American worker makes in 1 year.  In another frame they had the Hollywood actors showing their support for Obama, actors that make $25 million a year or more.  I don’t know why, but I never really thought about this double standard of the Democrats until this report on the news. 

CEOs, or the devil as the Democrats call them, make a ton of money because of the presumptive skill to create jobs, raise productivity, be a good leader and make money to reinvest in the company which in turn will create more jobs, raise productivity again, create more leaders, make more money,  you get the picture.  Celebrities, or those wonderful people who give us money as the Democrats call them,  make a ton of money because they can emote well and make us feel empathy towards something or someone.  That’s it, no creating jobs, no increased productivity, no leadership development and little to no reinvestment in the workforce.  Perhaps this is why Obama and Clinton identify with celebrities so much. 

The double standard they promote, evil money vs good donor money will continue, I’m sure.  Actors who make millions will be courted and wooed to endorse specific candidates because of their drawing power.  Their opinion doesn’t really matter and are often relegated to the looking pretty seat on the stage.  The crowds will cheer and then line up to get a picture with the celebrity, not the candidate.  The unfortunate part is that the $25 million dollar celebrity will be considered worth it by many of us but a CEO who makes critical decisions that truly do affect the economy will be considered greedy if  they get a performance bonus of several million dollars.

Published in: on February 16, 2008 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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McCain-Romney?

As often happens when you have kids at home, I saw more Curious George yesterday than news.  So it was quite a surprise when I saw Romney endorse McCain on the nightly news.  The surprise was turned to reason quickly when I remembered the volume of calls to talk radio from Romney supporters saying they would now vote for anyone else besides McCain.  Romney simply made a tactical move to not only unify the party but also set himself up as a party favorite for the VP or other nomination. 

I have said before that Romney reminds me of a boss, he is only interested in results.  When he left the primary, the party became fractured with conservatives looking for an alternative, even asking for a third party.  Now, by endorsing John McCain, Romney sets himself up as a unifying force in the Republican party.  McCain can still unify Independents and Republicans behind the America before the party sentiment but now Romney can unify the party for America.   Results that no McCain supporter can truly ignore. 

As far as the VP nod, Romney may have become a consideration yesterday and set up an alliance of convenience.  McCain and Romney do not see eye to eye and there may be better candidates for VP to sway more conservatives,  but McCain will have to consider how much Romney helps his nomination going forward.  If Huckabee starts getting fewer votes and less delegates as a result of Romney’s intervention,  can a VP consideration be tossed aside by McCain?   Romney may not accept even if he is offered the post, deciding instead to prepare for 2012 or 2016, but his influence will not be forgotten by the party.  If Romney does accept,  McCain gains another point with voters afraid of his age (despite his vitality) because there will be a strong a “youthful” VP at his side. 

 Romney’s business is taking risks and producing results.  The risks are few in supporting McCain but the results are huge for Romney.  McCain is already the front-runner so Romney’s support is just another endorsement toward the inevitable nomination.  The result of the support however, gives Romney an edge in all future political considerations. 

Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 1:05 pm  Comments (3)  
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Buying Votes

It was reported today that Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama are “buying” super-delegates or whatever euphemism Hilary prefers today.  Between the two candidates, somewhere in the neighborhood of $900,000 has been spent on theses special voters.  While all perfectly legal, isn’t this a dramatic shift in tone from 2000 when GWB “stole” the election from Al Gore?

After the 2000 election there were articles, pundits and politicians calling for the electoral process to change.  “The Voters” were not being heard, “The Voters” didn’t matter if delegates could decide an election and the popular vote was what truly mattered to”The Voters”.  Fast forward 8 years and the two Democratic Presidential candidates are buying their way to the nomination.  What happened to “the Voters”?  They got in the way and didn’t make the right choice apparently. 

Sen Obama has outspent Clinton in this practice almost 3to 1.  His almost $700,000 has apparently persuaded a few super-delegates to swing away from Hilary and pledge to his side.  They say its not the money but a true belief in change.  The flaw in this argument is that Obama has run his campaign for “The Voters”, he is simply the vessel of change, the embodiment of what “The Voters” want in this election.  His use of “we” and never “I” in his speeches are a testament to this idea.  Every dime either candidate spends, and especially Obama, on super-delegates is money spent for a vote, pure and simple.  It is also a sign that neither candidate truly believes their own various slogans about change in Washington.  “The Voters” will simply not matter if super-delegates decide the nominee. 

Especially hard hit will be “the Voters” in the 18-25 crowd in this instance.  While I still believe they will lose interest by November, what if word gets out that Obama is wooing delegates with money?  What will the youth of America, his core supporters,  think?  They are his mice to his pied piper.  “Believe that we can change America together”,  Obama plays from his stump and the youth line up to follow.  The spell may be broken when Obama is seen to be buying votes,  a practice only the most entrenched (i.e. Republicans)in Washington do! Again “The Voters” in this demographic will feel they don’t matter and sleep in on election day if super-delegates can decide their future.  Then again if their candidate is the beneficiary of hypocritical practices, they may feel the establishment got theirs!

After 2008 there will be no articles, politicians or pundits who call for a change in the electorate.  The Democratic candidates are the ones benefiting this time around and that is precisely why the tone is different.  If the party of GWB was engaging in the same practices at this level,  the party of Gore would be crying foul and bringing up hanging chads, illegal voting practices and stolen elections.  “What about the popular vote?” they would cry. ” You can’t nominate based on super-delegates!” they would yell to the country. 

 We are a long way from November, but if “The Voters” decide to elect Hilary or Obama all of this talk about super-delegates and money will be nothing more than they way the electorate works.  “The Voters” will have made the right choice in the eyes of the Democrats and the electoral college will be praised again for its simplicity and the founding fathers will again be praised for their forethought. 

McCain is too liberal?

I don’t understand the comment ” If Obama is running against McCain, I’m voting for Obama!”.  I like to look at the issues, especially when voting for a President or Congressman.  I can’t stand feel good rhetoric or visions of bridges that lead to the 21st century and beyond.  Anyone voting against McCain based on his “liberal” views needs to seriously look at Sen Obama’s views on the issues. 

On poverty, Obama is willing to establish 20 “Promise Neighborhoods” that will offer all kinds of social welfare services in areas that have a  high concentration of poor and neglected families.  He will sign a Fatherhood act that will basically establish Fatherhood as a right, not a privilege, as long as you pay for that right.  He will increase the minimum wage every year, destroying an untold amount of small businesses.  In raising the minimum wage every year, he will also destroy the idea that education is the road to success.  The minimum wage was established as an incentive to move beyond your current status, not maintain it.  It will also allow employers to forego merit raises knowing that their employees will receive a raise every year anyway. 

On Diplomacy, Sen Obama will be out of Iraq in 16 months, believing we can not win despite significant progress in that country. He will maintain a presence somewhere in the region, however, and be ready to make strategic strikes in the Middle East if necessary.  (Presumably with the military he just told they were not good enough in Iraq) He would offer Iran the chance to be involved in world affairs through the WTO and give them economic investments.  The same Iran currently waving signs that state”Death to America” while they burn our flag. The same Iran that has a leader who believes the Holocaust was not necessarily a bad thing. He will also go to the table with other leaders in the world with no preconditions,  a tactic that puts America in a weaker position to negotiate in its best interest.

On the economy, more tax breaks will be offered than ever before but not for anyone who seeks to better themselves by making more money.  Tax breaks for the wealthy, defined as those making from $50,000-$75,000 or more, would be ended and only those people who make less or have more kids would be eligible for any tax relief.  Sen Obama has also developed a multitude of programs that give money to anyone who wants it.  College would be partially funded by the government,  educational debts would be forgiven if you pledge yourself to national service in some form and any time you want a new job your health-care benefits and retraining will be protected and paid for by the government. 

On Immigration, Sen Obama will support sweeping amnesty to promote “family” over “country”.  Sen Obama seeks to fix the illegal immigration problem simply by offering more help to Mexico economically and increasing the number of border agents but not closing the borders.  And while closing the borders entirely is not possible or will not solve the problem or preserve America as the melting pot it once was, supporting legal immigration with more simply more bureaucracy is not the solution.  This is an issue that must preserve America and its values, not impose the values of other cultures on America. Admittedly, both parties need to do a better job of protecting American values on this issue. 

Can someone please explain why Obama over McCain?  Sen Clinton is even less liberal than Sen Obama!  If the worst offense made by McCain is Mccain-Feingold, or McCain-Kennedy or even McCain-Lieberman,  which seem to be the big 3 issues, why not get past these instead of voting for a complete polar opposite?  I understand conservative values and the need to those values in the voting booth, but Obama over McCain?  Hopefully, this is all just talk.

Look beyond the Rhetoric

Obama has started to attack some of the comments Sen McCain has made while campaigning and in congress.  Obama’s attacks are misleading and often neglect the realities of the issues.

Senator Obama criticizes McCain’s support of the war in Iraq quite often.  He quickly points out the “100 years” McCain said we could be in Iraq as evidence of failed Washington thinking.  Sen Obama likes to point out he was against the war and never authorized going to war.  If Sen Obama knew current affairs he would realize that his attacks lack any real substance.  The US has been in Germany and Japan for 60+ years since WW2 ended,  Korea, for 50+ years.  When McCain talks about 100 years he is not fighting a war for 100 years but simply maintaining a presence that is needed in the region, no different than Germany or Korea.  US presence around the world has been sought by hundreds of nations for decades now.  

Remember the 8 years President Clinton was in office?  More troop deployments happened in those 8 years than in the previous 12 years.  A quick check of his website will tell you that Obama will maintain a presence in Iraq or the region(without military bases?) and strike al Qaeda if they are in Iraq.  Bill Clinton tried this and we missed Osama bin Laden how many times?  Also, as stated on his website,  Obama wants to use the UN as a peace keeping force in Iraq.  Who provides the most troops for the UN? The US! The big difference is the under the UN Americans can be shot and killed and our hands are tied.  Terrorists don’t care about blue hats with UN on them or camouflage hats with US on them, they are equal opportunity killers. 

And Obama is right, he never authorized the war in Iraq.  He was not in a position to do so.  As a state congressman, he would not have had a vote in going to war. As a candidate he spoke out against the war, a move that at the time was the thing to believe.  After elected, he opposed every move to help our troops in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but has now offered $2 billion dollars to feed and clothe the Iraqi people.  His votes and proposals clearly show that Obama will weaken the military and impose global social welfare. 

 Obama also criticizes tax cuts for “the wealthy” as he calls them, those making $50,000-$75,000 or more.  He often cites how the straight talk express got derailed after McCain voted  against the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 because now Sen McCain wants to make them permanent.  Factually speaking,  Sen McCain voted against them in part because of the spending attached to them, spending Obama has added to current bills in 2008 at least 87 times so far.  Obama wishes to make earmarks transparent and supports legislation that posts what earmarks were asked for and by whom.  Sen McCain has consistently voted and not asked for earmarks, a true sign of actions speaking louder than words. By the way, in 2008 Sen McCain has asked for 0 earmarks. 

Sen Obama also states that he can work with both sides of the aisle to enact real reform.  A quick check of his voting record indicates that, again, actions speak louder than words.  Sen Obama has voted with his party 96.5% of the time to enact reform.  By contrast, Sen McCain has voted with his party only 88.3% of the time.  Party loyalty is important but apparently Sen Obama believes in the party more than the people.

Americans are being asked to change government and believe in themselves by Sen Obama.  Taken by itself,  this sentiment makes every one of us feel empowered and starry eyed for a bright future.  It is Sen Obama’s hope that this sentiment and not the issues will carry him to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  In a war of platitudes and rhetoric, Sen Obama has a real edge in the political arena.  But in a war of  issues and action, Sen McCain is the clearly the winner. 

Published in: on February 13, 2008 at 11:02 am  Comments (1)  

Super Tuesday

Conservative or Liberal?  Democrat or Republican? It only matters if you vote.  If you stay at home today and don’t cast a ballot–SHUT UP!  Your opinion does not matter when national issues are discussed. 

Published in: on February 5, 2008 at 8:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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