Some Final Thoughts on Election 2008

November 5, 2008

America spoke. Obama was elected as President of the United States. I personally think it was a poor choice and I hope and pray that with the election out of the way Obama will abandon his far left rhetoric and shift to a more centrist stance during his time as President.

I wish Mike Huckabee had run against Obama. Huckabee had the personality and public speaking skills to counter Obama blow for blow. Huckabee also had some truly good ideas for America.

John McCain was extremely graceful in defeat and I wish his concession speech would get played as often as Obama’s victory speech.

The Democrats, while they gained in the House and Senate, did not get a super majority. That would have been a disaster. I hope that after dramatic losses in two straight elections that Republicans will realize that the abandonment of conservative principles (especially fiscal ones) is what has been their downfall. Hopefully, this election will force Republicans to return to small government, fiscal, and social conservatism.

Obama is now Commander in Chief and I hope, since he has no military experience, that he surrounds himself with unbiased advisors who understand the military.

Finally, George W. Bush can breathe a sigh of relief. I am one of a seemingly small number of Americans who think Bush has been a good president overall. I vehenmently disagree with the amount of spending and government expansion that he approved with his pen, but he played a huge role in helping to keep America from being attacked by terrorists again. We seem to have lost sight of that, but I remember and I am grateful. I hope that as the years pass and people have time to reflect on his Presidency that people will remember his leadership during the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

President Bush has caught a lot of flack and taken a lot of blame for things that were not directly his fault. This opinion piece from The Wall Street journal offers a good perspective on the Bush presidency and why our treatment of him has been a disgrace and why he ultimately deserves our respect.

Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ piece Jeffrey Scott Shapiro:

Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country’s current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty — a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.


Joe the Plumber, Obama’s Socialistic Tax Plan, and Mike Huckabee

October 16, 2008

First, Joe the plumber. He’s become and overnight political celebrity and here is some video and commentary about the statement that brought him his five minutes of fame:

Also, note the discussion about Obama’s tax plan. The idea that 95% of American’s will get a tax cut sounds good until you consider how many American’s don’t pay taxes. You know those American’s that don’t pay taxes? Yes? You know whose money will be giving them those checks? Yours and mine. Obama wants to take my hard earned money and give it to other people as he sees fit. Sorry, but I think I’m a much better manager of my money than the government and I can support the needy by giving to my local church and to other charities. The government does not need to become a charity. My wife and I work hard for the money we have. We don’t live outside of our means and are nearly debt free (just a small amount on some of my student loans). Why should the government punish my wife and I and many other Americans for being responsible? The only thing that will come out of this is you will have more people not wanting to earn as much because of the higher taxes. Good job, government, tax our productivity even more and then give it to those who aren’t productive. That gives me great motivation to go out and work my tail off. Fair Tax anyone?

Mike Huckabee will have Joe the plumber on his show this Saturday. If you haven’t watched the show yet, be sure and check it out. It’s laid back gives Huckabee a good forum to talk about conservative issues.


Negative Ads: McCain or Obama, who has aired more?

October 16, 2008

Here is an interesting article from the Weekly Standard blog about which candidate has aired more negative ads. The last two paragraphs are the most interesting. Here in the link to the article.

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The Media Narrative on McCain’s Negativity

During last night’s debate, Obama claimed that all of John McCain’s ads have been negative:

Obama: And 100 percent, John, of your ads — 100 percent of them have been negative.

McCain: It’s not true.

Obama: It absolutely is true. And, now, I think the American people are less interested in our hurt feelings during the course of the campaign than addressing the issues that matter to them so deeply.

But professor Ken Goldstein of the Wisconsin Advertising Project issues a statement that the candidates have aired about the same amount of negative ads:

from June 4 to October 4, we found that 47 percent of the McCain spots were negative (completely focused on Obama), 26 percent were positive (completely focusing on his own personal story or on his issues or proposals) and 27 percent were contrast ads (a mix of positive and negative messages).

But what about Obama? Our analysis reveals that 39 percent of all general election Obama TV ads have been positive (solely about his record, positions or personal story), 35 percent have been negative (solely focused on McCain) and 25 percent have been contrast ads – mixing a bit of both. So, on a proportional basis, the McCain campaign is and has been more negative than Obama.

But, Obama has aired over 50,000 more ads than McCain. So, hasn’t he simply aired more of everything – including negative ads – than McCain has this year, or than anyone in history, as McCain may have alleged?

If one just looks at pure airings of negative ads, McCain has aired more than Obama. If one allocates contrast ads as half positive and half negative or considers contrast ads as negative – as the Advertising Project does – the tone of the McCain and Obama campaigns has been absolutely identical.


A Solution to America’s Health Insurance Woes

October 10, 2008

I confess that there is a part of me that is libertarian. I generally don’t like government interference and I think many parts of American society are over-regulated. Politics in America is all about telling people what they want to hear and then delivering on it marginally enough to continue to get elected. Politicians simply repeat this over and over and end up spending entire lifetimes in the Washington political system.

Health care is one of the areas where we are being told what we want to hear. I absolutely abhor Obama’s plan and I think McCain’s is a much more workable plan by offering tax breaks and opening up the market so that people can shop for insurance across state lines. I think that increasing competition will bring prices down dramatically.

Now, one of the things you hear in political stump speeches is how people can’t afford health care so the government should give it to them. Well, the fact is that many of those people just don’t want to cut some of the pork out of their lifestyle so that they can afford it. Watch this video and tell me if you think the tax payer should foot the insurance bill so that people who spend hundreds of dollars a month on beer and clothes can have health insurance?


Obama = Alpha and Omega? What next…

October 6, 2008

Some people are losing their minds with this election. First we have elementary kids singing songs for Obama that sound eerily similar to a song you might here a children’s choir sing in a church musical. Now we have a group of middle schoolers calling Obama the “alpha and omega” another Christian term used to refer to God that means “beginning and end.”

I’m sure the McCain campaign has to be sitting around a conference table scratching their heads and wondering how you compete with a man who some people seem intent on making into some sort of savior-pseudo Christ-like figure.

Here is the text of a Fox News article on the issue:

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FOXNews.com

Monday, October 06, 2008

A middle school teacher in Missouri was suspended  Monday for putting a video on YouTube of his students chanting lines from Barack Obama speeches and wearing military fatigues.

The video, called “Obama Youth — Junior Fraternity Regiment,” was posted by a YouTube user named “keepitwildtv” on Oct. 2. The school learned the video was on the Internet and took action against the teacher Monday morning.

Joyce McGautha, superintendent of the Urban Community Leadership Academy, a charter school for students in fifth through ninth grades in Kansas City, Mo., said that the video was probably taken last May during the Junior Fraternity’s morning meeting at the school.

She would not disclose the teacher’s name. “At this time because of the legal action that we’ll probably have to take against the teacher, I’m not going to give his name,” McGautha said.

Students at the school have 30-minute group sessions four times a week during which they are supposed to work on reading and writing. Once a week they are allowed to have “activities,” McGautha said. There are 12 groups at the public charter school.

The Junior Fraternity students studied Obama’s economic plan with the teacher, and the superintendent did not know whether the teacher or the students scripted the routine. The group should have also studied John McCain’s economic plan, the superintendent said.

In the video, eighth- and ninth-graders wearing military camouflage pants and navy t-shirts chant and perform a routine in the style of a step show, a dance popular among African-American fraternities at universities.

Click here to see photos of the group in action.

The students enter the room chanting “Alpha. Omega. Alpha. Omega.” Then, one at a time, they state things they were “inspired” to do by Barack Obama, including becoming an architect and a sheriff. At the end of the video, the students make statements about Obama’s healthcare plan. “Obama’s healthcare plan will be able to provide participants the ability to move from job to job without taking their healthcare coverage,” one says.

“People are upset that possibly taxpayer money is being used to support one particular candidate,” McGautha said, “and now I can understand that. And I didn’t condone them. I try very, very hard to remain within the limits of the law. I think this is unfortunate.”

She said she was aware of the video, and that many of the school’s activities are recorded, but that the teacher had been warned in a letter not to put it on the Internet. If he did, she said, he should seek legal counsel.

The teacher’s fate will be taken up by the charter school’s board, she said.

“Certain things don’t happen in public schools anyway, but there area lot of other ramifications when you take it public,” McGautha said.

“As far as [the teacher is] concerned, I think he gets what was supposed to come to him. But I don’t think the children should be the victims of his stupidity.”

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Now, for your viewing pleasure…here’s the video


Sarah Palin’s Debate Performance: “She Killed”

October 3, 2008

Overall, I am very pleased with Sarah Palin’s debate performance. Granted, it was obvious that she does not have the depth of knowledge of some issues as Joe Biden, but that is part of her appeal. She spoke directly to every day Americans last night and proved that she had the grasp of the issues and the ability to think, react, and maintain her cool that a VP needs.

Palin has been beat up in the media these last few weeks and I’m sure as I browse through the news stories today there will be criticism of her debate performance. Already this morning I have seen numerous liberal media outlets that claim a Biden win in the debate, but I believe if you asked anyone who has been following the elections since the RNC, they would say it was Palin’s to lose and she won. She renewed the confidence of Republican voters and reminded America why they liked her so much after her RNC speech.

For Sarah Palin and the VP debate last night she can hold her head high against her critics.


Live Blog of VP Debate

October 2, 2008

I will blogging about the VP debate live this evening! Hit f5 regularly to see what a person from Main Street America thinks about the VP debate.

Palin vs. Biden

Question 1-Bail-out, worst or best of Washington?

Biden-last 8 years of economic policies are a failure. Obama’s four criteria for rescue: oversight, focus on homeowners, no CEO benefits. Fundamentally change focus of economic policy by focusing on middle class.

Palin- Ask everyday American’s how they feel about the economy; fear, the economy is hurting. Government has not provided good enough oversight. John McCain has a history of providing oversight. McCain’s suspension of campaign was a good thing.

Question 2- How shrink gap of polarization?

Biden- Lists accomplishments, has as many Rep. friends and Dems. Goes after McCain for fundamentals of economy statement.

Palin- McCain was referring to the American workforce. They are the best in the world. Stresses track record of reform known for putting politics aside to get the job done. Obama has mostly voted along party line. Send Maverick of the Senate to the Whitehouse.

Question 3- Subprime lending melt-down, who’s at fault?

Palin- The fault of predator lenders who mislead Americans. Need to stop the greed and corruption on Wall Street. Every day Americans need to band together and say they will never be taken advantage of again and demand strict oversight. Americans need to avoid getting themselves in debt.

Biden- Obama warned about this 2 years ago, and McCain said he was for cutting regulations. McCain supports traditional Republican stance of deregulation. Middle class needs relief.

Palin- Tax relief needed for Americans. Obama and Biden voted for largest tax increases in US history. They voted for tax increases 94 times. Government needs to learn to be more efficient and make do with less. Obama supported tax increases for families making as little as $42,000/year.

Biden- Obama did not vote to raise taxes, McCain voted 477 times to raise taxes. Says Palin did not answer the question on dereg.

Palin- Stresses record on cutting taxes as Mayor and Governor.

Question 4- Obama proposed raising taxes on people making over $250,000

Biden- Fairness. Middle class is struggling. No one making less than $250,000 will see their taxes raised. 95% of people will get a tax break. Economic engine of America is the middle class. McCain wants 300 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy.

Palin- Says small business owners fall into the $250,000/ year category. Goes after him for suggesting paying higher taxes is patriotic. Government is not the solution, often it is the problem. Let the private sector have more freedom.

Question 5- Defend McCain’s healthcare plan

Palin- $5000 credit for families to purchase their own coverage rather than government run the program. McCain wants to allow competition between state.

Biden- It is not a redistribution of wealth, it is fairness. 95% of small businesses make less than $250,000/year and would not see tax increase. McCain taxes as income the healthcare plans of employers. 20 million people will be dropped from insurance.

Question 6- What promises will the campaign not have to keep in light of the economy?

Biden- No more double foreign assistance. No going forward with McCain’s tax cuts. Can’t slow up on education. Can’t slow up on providing healthcare for Americans. They will eliminate wasteful spending in the budget.

Palin- Energy plan: Obama voted for one the gave big oil tax breaks. Palin had to take them on in Alaska. CEO’s of oil are not her biggest fans. She put the people of Alaska first. Says she personally hasn’t promised anything to take off the table.

Biden- Obama voted for bill because it had support for alternative energy. He voted against big oil in other bills. They want to give Americans back $1000 like Palin has done in Alaska.

Question 7- Congress passes bill for making it harder for mortgage holders to declare bankruptcy, support?

Palin- Yes, again points out McCain’s calls for reform. Put politics aside to fix the problem. Need to make sure that credit markets don’t seize up.

Biden- Mortgage holders did not pay the price. Obama pointed out 2 years ago that there is a subprime crises. McCain said he was surprised by the crisis. Banks should be able to adjust the principle that you owe, not just the interest.

Palin- Talks about enery again. Says it is nuts not to allow Alaska to tap into its energy reserves. It would created tens of thousands of jobs. Energy independence is the key to this nations future. It’s not about tax breaks.

Question- Climate change?

Palin- Climate change is real, but it is not all caused by man. Cyclical changes of the planet. Encourage other nations to come along on climate change. Reduce emissions. Relying on other countries pollutes more than America would ever stand for.

Biden- It is man made. He knows what the cause is. McCain has voted against funding alternative energy. Obama believes in clean energy (coal, nuclear). Export clean coal tech.

Palin- McCain supports cap on carbon emissions. Obama/Biden say no to finding domestic solution to energy crisis. McCain also supports clean coal and nukes.

Biden- The answer is not oil for everything.

Question- Do you support same-sex benefits?

Biden- Absolutely. There will be no distinction between same-sex and heterosexual marriages. It’s only fair. The Constitution calls for it.

Palin- Does not want to redefine traditional definition of marriage. Says she would be tolerant of Americans choices. Defines as marriage as between one man and one woman.

Biden- Does not support gay marriage.

Question- Exit strategy from Iraq?

Palin- We have good plan. The surge has worked and was pushed for by McCain. Obama did not support the surge. Obama voted against funding troops in Iraq. We do not need early withdrawal in Iraq. We can continue draw down in Iraq and send more to Afganistan.

Biden- Obama’s plan is to shfit responsibility to Iraqi’s and draw down troops. McCain voted the same way on not funding troops because it had a timeline. Obama says there has to be a timeline. Time for Iraq to spend its own money. There is not end to war for McCain.

Palin- Obama plan is a white flag of surrender. They opposed the surge. We will be finished in Iraq when the government can govern and military and handle security. Biden said Obama not ready to Commander  and Chief.

Biden- McCain voted to cut off funding because of timeline. McCain has been wrong on the issues of war, Obama has been right.

Question- Nuclear Iran or unstable Pakistan, which is greater threat?

Biden- Pakistan already has nukes. Iran getting one would bad. McCain says central front of terror war is in Iraq, but it is in Pakistan. We will get Bin Laden.

Palin- Gen. Petraeus said Iraq was the central front in the war on terror. Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nukes. Israel would be in jeopardy. Obama would sit down with dangerous dictators without precondition.

Question- sec. of states say we should be engaged in diplomacy? Do you agree?

Palin- Yes, but we can’t engage at a presidential level. We will engage in diplomacy and have a plan in place.

Biden- Theocracy controls Iran. We need to go the extra mile in diplomacy to get our allies to sit with us. Goes after McCain for saying he would not sit down with Spain.

Question- Two state solution on Israel?

Palin- Yes, and would at the top of a McCain agenda. Need to assure Israel that there will be no 2nd holocaust. They will build and embassy in Jerusalem. Israel has track record of achieving peace agreements.

Biden- Biggest friend of Israel. Obama shares his passion. Bush policy on Israel is a failure. Iran has a stake in Lebanon and in Gaza.

Palin- No administration’s policy has been a failure. The administration has made mistakes. Obama and Biden keep looking back and not to the future.

Biden- The past is a prologue. McCain’s policy will not be different than Bush’s poicy. We will change policy.

Question- Use of nukes?

Palin- Ours are deterrents. Do not allow rogue leaders to get or proliferate nukes. McCain would have different strategy on Afghanistan. Institute an Iraq-like surge.

Biden- Gen. said surge will not work in Afghanistan. Spend more money in three weeks in Iraq than seven years in afghanistan. McCain voted against nuclear test ban treaty.

Palin- Gen. did not say surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Afghan leaders have not said the surge would not work.

Biden- Gen. did say that.

Question- Intervention with military? Will Americna public go for it?

Biden- yes, troops in Bosnia saved lives. It is now relatively stable. Said going in Iraq would be a mistake. Voted for giving pres. power, but not to invade. Lead NATO into Darfur and impose no-fly zone.

Palin- Biden voted for the war before not supporting it. Biden supported McCain’s strategies before joining Obama ticket. Palin agrees with Biden on Darfur. As Gov. she divested money in Sudan.

Biden- We have to have the capacity before we go in. Never supported McCain’s strategy.

Palin- Again, Biden did support McCain before joining the ticket. McCain knows how to win a war because he has been there. He knows to learn from mistakes and listen to commanders on the ground.

Question- How would VP admin be different than top of ticket?

Biden- carry out Obama’s policy of supporting the middle class, energy policy, foreign policy, reject Bush doctrine of regime change. This is most important election since 1932.

Palin- A team of mavericks does not agree 100% on everything (ANWR drilling). She would put government back on the side of the people. Bring main street reality back to Washington.

Biden- People say they are worse off under Bush. People see McCain as another Bush. The middle class has gotten the short end.

Palin- Need to increase education funding. Can no longer accept poor schools. Put more emphasis on profession of teaching.

Question- What does VP do?

Palin- Preside over senate. Supportive of president’s policies. She would lead on energy independence and overall reform of government according to McCain.

Biden- Point person for legislation. Will advise Obama on decisions. Was chosen for independent judgment.

Palin- Will do what is best for the American people in ushering in the President’s agenda, appropriately.

Biden- Cheney has been the most dangerous VP in American history. The primary role of VP is to support the POTUS. VP only steps in during tie votes in senate.

Question- Achilee’s heal?

Palin- She has the experience in her past to lead. Shares her worldview with John McCain.

Biden- Lack of discipline, excessive passion. He will not change. Will put his and Obama’s record up against his competitors. Understands the plight of Americans from his experiences (ie single parent).

Palin- People are not looking for more of the same. Willing to put partisanship aside. McCain’s supporters illustrate his appeal across the aisle.

Biden- McCain has not been a maverick on the things that matter (budget, healthcare, education)

Final question- Single policy issue where forced to change a long held view?

Biden- Ideology of judges does make a difference

Palin- There were budgets that she maybe should have vetoed and wanted to cut taxes. She has not had to compromise on any major positions because they have able to work together in Alaska.

Question- How do you change the tone?

Biden- I have been able to work across the aisle. Does not question motives of fellow senators.

Palin- Appoint people regardless of party affiliation as she did during her tenure. People will have a choice come Nov. 4th.

Closing statements-

Palin- Wants to speak without the filter of mainstream media, likes the debate format because she can address America directly. We have to fight for freedom.

Biden- Most important election in your entire life. There is a need for fundamental change. It’s time for America to get up from being knocked down.

Personal note-

Thanks to everyone for reading this evening. I will try to post my thoughts on the debate tomorrow. Thanks again!


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