Sunday, November 30, 2008

President-elect Ego

It's the same old change we are about to get in the new Obama administration. As usual, the marketing of Barack Obama the candidate masked the empty suit those not voting for him knew he was all along.

From, a transcript appears with a bit of the Barbara Walters interview with President-Elect and Mrs. Obama. You may remember Walters enjoyed telling Obama how very sexy he is on her regular daytime henfest. And, continuing on with that hard-hitting journalistic style, she didn't bat a false eyelash as Obama once again showed that he will be ego-in-chief come January.

Walters asked: "Do you have a Thanksgiving message that you would like to give to the people?" As NewsBusters' contributor, Mark Finkelstein, pointed out, using the words 'the people' was odd. How about Americans?

In typical Messiah fashion, Obama makes it all about him and brings his wife into the mix, too. And, he used poor grammar while doing it. For a Harvard guy, he sure must have struggled with English class. "I want to remind people that, as tough as times are right now, and they're a lot tougher for millions of people around the country than they are for Michelle and I that, we have been through tough times before, and the extraordinary blessings of being an American, of having a nation that has a tradition of communities pulling together. A country where somebody like myself, or somebody like Michelle, has a shot, no matter what the circumstances."

So, never fear, Barack Obama is your inspiration and message of Thanksgiving. And, the little woman, too.

How about telling us his family will be together for the holiday and counting their blessings as Americans - living in freedom and grace? How about just skipping the all-about-me life story for just one interview? How about thanking the troops overseas protecting our freedom? How about being thankful he is living in a country that sees one administration out and the next one in all in a peaceful transition? How about thanking the current President and his administration for their unusually open and supportive briefings and support in the transition? Or even acknowledging that President Bush continues to show Barack Obama far more respect than Obama has ever shown President Bush. No, an egoist mind doesn't work like that.

Friday, when asked by reporters how his administration is shaping up in light of his promise of the "change" theme as he continues to announce one after another nominees pulled from the Clinton days - including Hillary Clinton - Barack Obama said that change is coming from him, not his administration. The change is his 'vision', his ideas.

Why, he must be the first incoming President with that whole new vision idea.

And, soon enough, Obama and his administration will have to begin to admit that while the economy is stumbling, all is not lost. Holiday shopping on Black Friday was up 3% from last year. That bodes well for retail sales receipts this season.

I'm guessing after continued Bush bashing for the first months of the Obama administration, how all those failed Bush policies brought us the worst economy since the Great Depression, suddenly Obama will want Americans to think the economy is recovering nicely under his guidance. Those who do serious analysis of the economy, though, point to the fact that the Great Depression brought about changes that are in place to avoid such a slide of our economy now. And, that the disaster that was the Jimmy Carter administration brought about a worse economy than we have now. Talking up economic doom and gloom was useful for Obama the candidate. He was elected on economic tension. So, if he doesn't pull the economy back into less stressful times, he'll not be a two term President.

Real estate foreclosures came about thanks to the Democrats in control of policy for decades. The tipping point came about from folks in homes that they couldn't afford. Most people, despite what the incoming administration wants you to continue to believe, are still in their homes and paying the mortgage. And, we don't have interest rates upwards of 20% as we did under a President Carter.

And now, the likes of Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd and Barack Obama will be setting and legislating policy - the very people who most benefited from the old ways.

President Bush had nothing to do with that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Be Thankful
(author unknown)
Be thankful that you don't already have
everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
because it will guild your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Senator Cornyn Commited to Federal Spending Cuts

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is a member of the Senate Budget Committee and released the following statement yesterday:

"I welcome the President-elect's commitment to reform the federal budget process and rein in wasteful spending. For my part, I look forward to working with President-elect Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress on quickly identifying and eliminating inefficient, ineffective and outdated federal programs."

"Families across Texas, and across the country, are forced to make tough decisions with their own budgets every day, particularly in the current economic climate. It should be no different for the federal government."

"Yet, year after year, too many government programs are funded because there are small - but vocal - special interest groups backing them with little Congressional oversight to determine when ideas have run their course. Already, in an initial analysis of 1,000 federal programs the Office of Management and Budget recently concluded that nearly 25 percent of them were either inefficient, or their efficiency could not be determined."

"That is why I have been a strong advocate for the creation of a Federal Sunset Commission to review federal spending programs. Modeled after Texas' own Sunset Commission, this bipartisan group would be tasked with reviewing federal programs, determining their efficiency, and making recommendations on whether they need reform or should be eliminated all together."

"While I have repeatedly pushed my colleagues in the Senate for this commission, it has never garnered the support it needs from the Democratic leadership. As the new session of Congress begins and President-elect Obama takes office, I will once again introduce my bill for a Federal Sunset Commission."

If President-elect Obama is sincere in his pledge to work in a bipartisan manner and reform Washington spending habits, he will find a willing partner. I look forward to working with the President-elect, his economic team, and my colleagues in Congress to start tackling wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars."

First introduced by Senator Cornyn, the United States Authorization and Sunset Commission Act dates back to June, 2007. There are four parts to the legislation:

* Create an eight member bipartisan Commission, made up of four Senators and four Representatives, that will look at the effectiveness and efficiency of federal programs and agencies.

* Establish 10 criteria for the Commission to use in developing its schedule and review proposal and its recommendations to Congress on whether agencies and programs should be abolished, streamlined, consolidated or reauthorized with recommendations for improvements.

* Require the Commission to submit a legislative proposal to Congress at least once every 10 years that includes a review schedule of at least 25 percent of ineffective federal programs or where effectiveness cannot be shown by the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART).

* Call on the Commission to review each of the federal programs and agencies identified in the Schedule and Review proposal. The Commission will provide its findings and submit a legislative proposal necessary to implement their recommendations to Congress and the President every other year. Congress will have two years to consider and pass the Commission's recommendations or to reauthorize the program or agency before it is abolished."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Governor Sarah Palin Appreciation Day

The Texas Federation of Republican Women

Offered by the Resolutions Committee
Approved by the Board of Directors the 14th day of November, 2008

A Resolution declaring November 24, 2008, Governor Sarah Palin Day and making her an honorary member of TFRW

WHEREAS, Governor Sarah Palin has made history as the first female Republican Vice Presidential candidate; and

WHEREAS, she is a rising star in the Republican Party; and

WHEREAS, with her direct approach and dynamic personality she was a powerful force on the campaign trail; and

WHEREAS, she is an energetic, intelligent, courageous and strong leader; and

WHEREAS, while she has endured many attacks from the media and the public, she has handled her attackers with dignity and grace; and

WHEREAS, she and her family have sacrificed dearly in service of their country; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Governor Sarah Palin is hereby made an honorary member of the Texas Federation of Republican Women and that November 24, 2008, be observed as Governor Sarah Palin Appreciation Day.

RESOLVED, that all members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women are encouraged to send Governor Palin a letter thanking her for her leadership and dedication to our principles at: Governor Sarah Palin, P.O. Box 110001, Juneau, AK 99811.

I'm a member and thought I'd share this resolution.

Now He Tells Us

Recently, in an article written on, Mark Halperin of Time Magazine admitted that the media bias was at an unprecedented level in favor of Barack Obama. This conclusion is not exactly breaking news but it is interesting that Halperin is admitting the bias.

Time Magazine was one of the most flagrant in the fawning coverage of their chosen candidate. Obama received halo styled photos on the magazine's front cover more than the current president or any other presidential candidates. Only the most out of touch would have not noticed.

Halperin manages "The Page", Time's political Web site. He points to The New York Times portrayal of the two potential First Ladies in profile stories. "The story about Cindy McCain was vicious. It looked for every negative thing they could find about her and it cast her in an extraordinarily negative light. It didn't talk about her work, for instance, as a mother for her children, and they cherry-picked every negative thing that's ever been written about her."

"The story about Michelle Obama, by contrast, was "like a front-page endorsement of what a great person Michelle Obama is, " according to Halperin."

Interesting. Though there is nothing in her biography that makes Michelle Obama a "great person" by any stretch of the imagination, she is called a great person. Cindy McCain, in contrast, has spent her life doing good works and living what she preaches while overcoming her own personal demons and she is not worthy. Michelle Obama is raised in the church of black liberation, brings Barack Obama into this form of Christianity - who was raised by two Muslim men previously before converting to Christianity - wrote a college thesis on black versus white in society and then had the thesis untouchable from interested press, has only worked for big business or the city of Chicago in her professional capacity while demanding others pursue careers in low paying public service and non-profits, and raises her children with benefits of private schools, dance lessons, piano lessons, summer camps and a million dollar home in Hyde Park thanks to sweet publishing deals of her husband while claiming how hard it is to make ends meet.


And, don't forget she is only just now "really" proud of her country.

John Heilemann of New York Magazine, co-writing a book with Halperin about the 2008 race, said, "The biggest bias in the press is towards effectiveness." "We love things that are smart." "We'll scold you for being negative but if it seems to be working, the tone of your coverage becomes more positive." Oh. If you campaign negatively, and are successful in that approach, then the press approves. You are smart. Effective.

Unless you are a Republican candidate. Then your tactics aren't just negative. It is politics of personal destruction. These tactics were fine-tuned under the guidance of Hillary Clinton during Bill Clinton's runs, but never mind. Throw it on the Republicans.

Halperin concluded with this: "I think it is incumbent upon people in our business to make sure that we're being fair," he said. "The daily output was the most disparate of any campaign I've ever covered, by far."

Too little, too late. The media lived in an atmosphere that made the decision not to pursue anything of substance about Barack Obama. The slick marketing campaign produced by David Axelrod was very successful for them. Obama will save America. The seas will part and the skies will clear. And the followers lapped it all up.

Zogby International verified just how ignorant the Obama voter was this past election day. 83% failed to be aware that Obama won his first election by getting his opponents removed from the ballot. 88% didn't know Obama said his energy policies would bankrupt the coal industry. 56% didn't know Obama started his political career at the home of two co-founders of the Weather Underground.

72% did not know Joe Biden dropped out of a previous run for President due to plagiarism of a speech. 47% didn't know Biden stated Obama will be tested by an international crisis manufactured specifically to test him in his first six months in office.

57% didn't know Democrats control both the House and the Senate.

What did the voters know in the Zogby poll? They knew it was John McCain who owned mulitiple homes - though it is his wife who owns them - and that it was Sarah Palin who was said to have a new expensive wardrobe.

If asked, do you think any of these voters would know it is Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary for the Clinton administration and top financial adviser for Barack Obama, who has been making the handsome sum of $17 million a year for advise, though he is credited with writing rules that have led to the collapse of our financial institutions? His loosening of regulations in place since the Depression is directly responsible.

Yeah. Probably not.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Congress Will Have The First Unwed Mother

First Lady, Laura Bush, made a stop in Panama Thursday on her two day visit in the region to promote breast cancer research. She helped launch a program to aid and encourage local doctors to share information with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2007. Did you read about that? No. I'm here for you.

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is a world renowned medical facility for cutting edge cancer research and treatment. Houston is very honored to host such a facility.

Laura Bush is going down in history as an activist First Lady in the fields of women's health care and education. She should receive recognition for this yet we'll not hold our breath.

Laura Bush is a wonderful example for young women.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, D-CA? Not so much. Rep. Sanchez, divorced woman and childless, is now announcing that she is pregnant with her first child. OK. Normally, not a big deal. However, in her case, Sanchez is the first woman congressperson to be an unwed parent. This is not a good role model for young women.

Before you claim I am a narrow minded person, please know that I have friends who are single mothers, by choice. One of my bridesmaids, back 25 years ago, was a single mom by her own choice. I don't judge.

However, in public service, as far as moral decisions go, I think judgement is justified. Sanchez, dating a man who is referred to as her 'unofficial' fiance, apparently felt the ticking of her biological clock and decided to go for it. Peachy. However, as a person in the public spotlight, she is a role model for young women, whether she likes that or not.

Remember the firestorm in the media about Sarah Palin's pregnant unwed daughter? Does the fact that Congresswoman Sanchez is 39 years old make a difference? She is a divorced woman without children. Does that warrant turning a blind eye to morality? Is morality dead? I ponder.

Sanchez allowed a public announcement. That is more than the Palin young woman was allowed. As a proud Latina woman, is this the best example to set for young women? She claims this is a "teachable moment". What is she teaching, exactly?

Her "unofficial fiance" told the press, "We have the rest of our lives to get engaged and married -- we don't have the rest of our lives' for Sanchez to become pregnant." Wow. Selfishness on display?

I am a pro-choice Republican woman. I don't have a problem with ordinary women having children without the benefit of marriage, if that is their choice. However, once the woman is in the public arena, and holds herself up as a role model for young women coming up, then judgement is warranted. This is just wrong - Representative Sanchez will become the first unmarried woman to give birth while in federal office. I do not think that is a good thing.

Some ceilings are not meant to be broken.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wake Up - ACT for America

Last night we attended a private screening of a film released within the last week or so. This film is a compelling statement of the dangers of the continued threat of domestic terrorism. The name of the film is "The Third Jihad" and the sponsor of the screening was a local chapter of ACT for America.

No. Do not roll your eyes and say well, there she goes off the cliff. This was not some anti-Muslim, burn them at the stake kind of event. The film is in documentary form and consists of many interviews with various experts in the knowledge of terrorism from radical Islamists.

The film was made by, and narrated by, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser - a devout Muslim. Remember all the cries from Americans after the attacks of 9/11/01 for voices from moderate Muslims to condemn the radical Islamists? Dr. Jasser was one of those angry that none came forward. So, he became active through an organization he formed - American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) in his city in the Phoenix valley. He is a practicing physician and after forming his group of Muslim professionals in the area, AIFD formally launched in March, 2003. The mission of the group is to "articulate the fact that in commentary and scholarship that many Muslims believe that they are able to practice their faith more freely and more Islamically (in practice and secular fashion which is most suited to preserve one's faith) in America than in any other place in the world." That from the Web site.

Continuing, "AIFD seeks to make a small contribution to the body of thought which articulates an understanding of Islam which separates religion and state and is in complete harmony with the U.S. Constitution and our citizenship pledge."

Remember the film banned by PBS, Islam v Islamists? Dr. Jasser was one of the moderate, anti-Islamist Muslims spotlighted. Some PBS affiliates did eventually pick it up for limited distribution.

Dr. Jasser founded the Children of Abraham with a leading local Rabbi in 2000 to promote Muslim-Jewish dialogue.

The Third Jihad can be found here. It is billed as "radical Islam's vision for America." It is an eye-opener, that cannot be disputed. Ray Kelly, NYC Police Commissioner; Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Tom Ridge; Senator Joe Lieberman; former CIA director Jim Woolsey; Rudy Giuliani; Mark Steyn; Bernard Lewis are some of the voices in the film.

Bernard Lewis is a widely respected scholar and academic. At the end of the film he is asked for a couple of words of advice for the American people. "Wake up", he said.

The film uses Arab television footage. The film speaks to all aspects of the threat growing from within.

The sponsor of the film screening, ACT for America, was founded by Brigitte Gabriel. Ms. Gabriel is a frequent guest on radical Islam for television interviews. She is the author of "Because They Hate", a New York Times bestseller and her new book is "They Must Be Stopped". She doesn't pull any politically correct punches. That is understandable, given her own personal story.

Ms. Gabriel came to live in America in 1989. She is a Lebanese immigrant. She witnessed the country's fall to Muslim fundamentalism during the Lebanese Civil War. She is "a former news anchor for "World News", an Arabic evening news broadcast for Middle East Television seen throughout Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon". That from the Web site. When she immigrated to America in 1989, she "founded a television production, marketing and advertising agency. Her clients include Good Morning America, 20/20, The Today Show, Oprah, Dr. Phil, CNN and Fox News, just to name a few."

Brigitte Gabriel founded ACT for America, a non-profit dealing with the issues advocating education of millions about the threat of radical Islam to world peace and national security. She has been named one of the top 50 most prominent speakers in America.

The film is distributed online for now. This screening was private - by invitation only - due to security concerns. There were armed security guards wearing bullet proof vests at the room's entrance. Id's were checked and matched against the guest list. My inner Nancy Drew was intrigued as to what all the hubbub was about. I did, however, feel completely safe there.

This all did, though, tie in with an article I read yesterday morning. On The Times Online, Michael Theodoulou wrote about an Iranian blogger, Hossein Derakhshan, arrested on charges of spying for Israel. He was nicknamed the "Blogfather" among Iran's blogging revolution. He was arrested in Tehran. He moved back to Iran just a few weeks ago from his last base of London. Before London, he lived in Canada for several years. He had a personal mission fulfilled by going to Israel in 2006, on a Canadian passport, "to show his 20,000 daily Iranian readers what Israel really looks like and how people live there." The trip was 'highly publicised' and he wanted to 'humanise' Iranians for Israelis', according to the piece.

He is 33 years old. "Until his recent move home, Mr. Derakhshan had returned only once to Iran since emigrating. Visiting to cover presidential elections in 2005, he was prevented from leaving the country for a week and interrogated by police. They told him that his blog was addressing too many taboo subjects and chided him for helping Iranians to skirt Internet censorship. He was allowed to leave after being forced to sign an apology."

It was an interesting evening. The film is good. Allow yourself the opportunity to watch it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Names Surface for the Next Administration

Is the Obama administration shaping up to be the third term of Clinton? Just as candidate Barack Obama claimed a McCain administration would be the third term of George W. Bush, president-elect Obama seems to be following suit.

Granted, Bill Clinton is the only Democrat in recent years to have the title of former President, but if bringing in experienced Republicans would have been redundant for John McCain, isn't the same true for Barack Obama in bringing on board so many former Clintonites? Seems to Democrats, experience means expertise. The charge against Republicans, however, is that experience would be more of the same.

A few more names are trickling out as upcoming cabinet appointees. The most recognizable name is Tom Daschle, former Senator from South Dakota and also former Majority Leader as well as Minority Leader. He is thought to be top dog in the running for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Since his re-election defeat in 2004, Daschle has served as a board member of the Mayo Clinic and is "a highly paid adviser to health care clients at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird", according to The New York Times. According to the article, a sticking point is with Obama's pledge "that no political appointees in an Obama administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years."

This means Daschle would have to recuse himself should matters concerning the Mayo Clinic or former clients arise as he carries out his duties as Secretary of Health and Human Services. No one would begrudge Daschle pursuing his ability to earn as much money as his abilities allow since leaving public service. But, to go back into public service with the new administration as head of an agency with far-reaching responsibilities, could prove awkward.

Daschle's wife, Linda, is a successful lobbyist for aerospace and military entities.

Valerie Jarrett, an old friend of both Obamas, will be senior White House adviser. She is credited with introducing her long time friend, Michelle, to Barack Obama. Michelle Obama was hired by Jarrett to work for former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Jarrett was city planning commissioner. She worked for Habitat Company, a real estate development and apartment-management company. What the press release didn't say was that her dealings as President and CEO of Habitat lead to unanswered questions in Chicago as her friend, Obama, ran for President.

Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Al Gore, oversaw the Gore effort during the legal battles of the election of 2000. He will be chief of staff for Joe Biden. He has a history of involvement in Supreme Court nominations for the past 20 years. He was charged with vetting David Souter and Clarence Thomas for the Senate Judicial Committee under Democrat leadership. He brought forward the nominations of Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Phil Schiliro is a California Democrat with long service to Rep. Henry Waxman as a congressional investigator. He will be head of the White House legislative affairs office. As a hyper partisan by reputation, Schiliro will lay to rest claims of bi-partisan reaching across the aisle by the incoming administration. Waxman is known for using investigations as chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Schiliro was a key member of Waxman's witch hunts. Waxman's sneering investigations have produced very little in the two years of the Bush administration that he has been re-installed as chair of the committee.

Schiliro will be useful in protecting Democrats from any investigative inquiries by Republicans as the next four years progress.

Didn't Barack Obama, as candidate Obama, promise to name a Treasury Secretary and get working on our financial difficulties as his first order of business? Where is that nominee? Wall Street hasn't shown any confidence so far in the names out there now for these other positions.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State

The Democrats want to push legislation that will abandon the concept of a secret ballot for union members but have a secret ballot process for themselves in the Senate. The Democrats used a secret ballot vote to decide if Senator Joe Lieberman will remain in the good graces of the party and retain his committee chairmanship. Interesting.

Senator Hillary Clinton is an excellent choice for Secretary of State. Let's think about the possibilities.

Hillary Clinton has the experience under her belt of traveling the world, as she did at every possible opportunity as First Lady. She and Bill Clinton used their office and positions as a dream personal travel club. And they took plane loads of friends and family along on the taxpayer's dime, too.

Hillary Clinton will be able to stop padding her foreign policy experience. She'll really be going to places where shots are fired and she won't be stuck having tea with other leaders' wives.

Hillary Clinton knows how to keep secrets. She won't be blabbing State secrets to The New York Times to embarrass those not supporting her in top policy decisions and actions.

The best part? She'll be an excellent wet blanket to Joe Biden's elbowing into the job. Biden will be stopped in his tracks from traveling around the globe speaking in his usual gaffe mode. Plus, Joe Biden has a long record of being on the wrong side of history in his voting positions. The fact that Barack Obama chose Biden to provide meat to the bare foreign policy bones of his presidency indicates that Obama is still in rookie mode.

The question is: Will Hillary be able to pass the questionnaire? Potential appointees are being subjected to a questionnaire that is personally intrusive at a whole new level in the incoming administration of change. Who knew 'change' meant the return of McCarthy?

Can you imagine if a Republican president-elect required potential appointees to tell about any potential embarrassing e-mails; associations; detailed lists of earnings over the course of the last 10 years including every speaking engagement, written pieces, royalties, honoraria, etc; every consulting commitments; and the best one - any controversial matters.

What's a controversial matter? I thought liberals believed the evil Republicans were eliminating all personal freedom in the name of national security. I thought we were not to judge on the basis of association and personal history. Or, is it just Barack Obama himself that gets a free pass?

Who hasn't sent an e-mail only to later regret the wording? Who hasn't taken a meeting only later to think, why did I waste my time with that person? And...who doesn't have family members in the wings representing ticking time bombs?

How about people living with a significant other without the benefit of formal marriage? What about same sex couples? Are we not told what happens behind closed doors is the business of no one? Certainly not the government?

Liberals claim to hold the right to privacy as sacred and believe that Republicans do not hold the same belief. It's nonsense but Liberals love to hold on to a self-proclaimed superiority in all things civil rights. They do not remember history.

Certainly an incoming president has to have people around him or her that will pass the smell test. We remember the problems the past Clinton administration had with social security tax issues for household staff, etc., of potential appointees. Since the questionnaire even specifically asks about involvement with entities like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and Washington Mutual, the president-elect himself would have to fess up to that. Would he pass his own test?

The answer is no. He would not pass his own test. No one would. And, that is the point. The reason we have a continuous loop of political appointees that flow from one administration to the next within their own party is that the scrutiny is too intense, too minute, to encourage new blood. The country is in desperate need of fresh ideas; creative minds with lesser egos; talented thinkers willing to go out on a limb with new solutions. If the process from the start is so intrusive and complicated from an expanded intrusion of personal privacy, the number of applicants will continue to diminish. There must be a better balance.

Looks as though the candidate of change has received the cold bucket of water in the face that is the reality of the office. Reports are that the presidential decisions that have been made since the creation of the office of homeland security and many executive decisions since the attacks of 9/11/01 that brought about cries of the vanishing civil rights of our fellow citizens are being reconsidered. Suddenly the intrusive and evil Bush administration looks a whole lot more logical now that the new team is being fully briefed of the threats coming our way. Barack Obama just may realize that he needs all the tools in the toolbox provided to him in continuing the record of safety on our own soil that President Bush has produced. There is a reason we have not been attacked here at home since that terrible Tuesday seven years ago.

Hillary Clinton will have the benefit of a former First Lady. So will her husband benefit from his former office. They will not have to be scrutinized as others will so she'll breeze into the position.

Madame Secretary Clinton. Has a ring to it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bookworm Tagged Me Today

One of my favorite blogs is Bookworm Room. I check in at least once a day. She always has something interesting to ponder. Today brings a meme and I was tagged. Honored, I carry on.

The meme is one that contains picking up a book and having a mad addiction to reading, that is one meme that must be followed through by moi. I am instructed to pick up the book closest to me and write out the fifth sentence on page 56, and also the next two to five sentences. As usual, it is a weirdly random spot in a rather offbeat chapter, but no complaints here.

From A Conservative History of the American Left, by Daniel J. Flynn:

That they shared wives struck others as criminal. "The fashion of the world forbids a man and woman who are otherwise appropriated, to love one another burningly," Noyes reported. "But if they obey Christ they must do this." So Noyes's followers obeyed.

The name of the chapter? Bible Communists. What can I say?

I will leave this open to anyone who would like to participate. It's easy and quick if you are like me and are never without a book within arm's length. Come on. Do it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Media Continues to Market Obama

Obama is Lincoln, according to Newsweek. Obama is FDR, according to Time. The New York Times claims a "Generation O", led by Obama. The New York Post ushers in the age of "BAM-A-LOT." US Weekly proclaims Obama thinks he's a cool dad. The Chicago Tribune says Michelle is "Poised to be the new Oprah and the next Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis --combined!" for the fashion world". All of this nicely put together in an article by Howard Kurtz for the Washington Post. Kurtz is awakening to the fact that the people responsible for media coverage of Barack Obama are marketing him and his family.

Really? Shocker.

From David Axelrod to the press on the plane, it's been non-stop love for Barack Obama for two years now. Very professionally done. Slick. It's creepy. And the worst part? So many Americans buy right into it all. No questions asked. No higher expectations from the press in our country.

Yes, he is the first bi-racial man elected to the presidency. That is a good thing. For those of us born and raised in what is called the Deep South, at a time when signs labeling water fountains according to one skin color or the other's use, it is a fine accomplishment to celebrate. Along with that certain age, though, comes maturity. It is not helpful for our country to continue on with the president as celebrity mode.

Barack Obama is a man with little professional political experience. A thinner resume has never been produced for the highest office in the land. He resigned from his office as a U.S. Senator from Illinois without finishing one term. Only one year into this office, he felt worthy to run for President of the United States. He has much to prove, to his supporters and to 46% of the voting population who didn't vote for him.

Soon enough all of the verbal gaffes will not be laughed off. Whether it is Barack Obama saying he's been to 57 states so far, with one more to go; or Michelle saying she is only now really proud of her country with her husband successful in his campaigning; or even explaining why they'll put their two young daughters into expensive private schools instead of public school in Washington, D.C; eventually the glow will fade.

It will be interesting to watch the swoon spin sputter and be still.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Send Some Holiday Cheer to Our Heroes

I have a suggestion for any leftover holiday greeting cards you may have after going over your list this year: How about signing them and sending them off to our recovering soldiers, as well as veterans and their families?

The American Red Cross has partnered up with Pitney Bowes to collect holiday cards. They'll distribute them to American service members, veterans and their families here in the U.S. and around the world.

The goal is one million cards collected and distributed.

Send the cards to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

On the Web site, there are some guidelines. Most important: all cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008.

Sign all the cards.

No letters, no personal home addresses or email information - this is not a pen pal opportunity.

Limit the cards to 25 from one person or 50 from a group or class. If larger quantities, bundle the cards and put them in a large mailing envelope. Each card doesn't need its own envelope.

Seems like very little effort to provide some much needed and well deserved thanks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shattering the Brass Ceiling

Before a packed auditorium Friday, General Ann Dunwoody was awarded her fourth star - becoming our country's first four-star General. The ceremony precluded General Dunwoody's swearing in as commander of the Army Materiel Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, her birthplace. She was installed as the first female deputy commander there just five months ago.

President George W. Bush nominated General Dunwoody for her promotion in June and her nomination was confirmed by the Senate in July. Her career has spanned 33 years from her Army commission in 1975 after graduating from the State University of New York in 1975, through assignments in Germany and Saudi Arabia. She is married to a 26 year veteran of the Air Force, Craig Brotchie.

"There is no one more surprised than I - except, of course my husband. You know what they say, 'Behind every successful woman there is an astonished man.' "

Her family has a long history of service - military men dating back to the 1800's. 89 year old Hal Dunwoody, her father, is a decorated veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was in the audience, along with service chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, was also in attendance.

Not bad for a woman who thought she'd serve in the Army for a couple of years then fulfill her career goal as a physical education teacher.

General Ann Dunwoody shatters the brass ceiling at age 55. Well done.

This post is featured on under blog section for the article.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Politics As Usual Despite Campaign Promises

It didn't take very long for the interpretation of previous criticisms lobbed by the Obama campaign to switch around. A person could get whiplash around here.

Let's start with the policy of banning lobbyists from the transition team. According to John Podesta, Transition co-Chair and former Clinton administration mouthpiece, "Top fundraisers and other well-connected supporters will serve in an advisory capacity before the Democrat takes office on Jan.20." That from Podesta calls the policy, "the strictest, the most far-reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history." That's what was said of the Clinton administration, if memory serves. And, what Nancy Pelosi promised of the new Congress, too. We know how all that's worked out so far.

The bundlers, however, are exempt. Bundlers are the top fundraisers of a campaign, gathering up hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual donors and delivering them to a campaign. For example, Valerie Jarrett, "A transition co-chairwoman, raised between $100,000 and $200,000 for Obama, according to his campaign Web site. Two advisory board members, Julius Genachowski, managing director of Rock Creek Ventures, a Washington firm that invests in online companies, and Donald Gips, a vice president of Broomfield, Colorado-based Level 3 Communications Inc., each raised at least $500,000 for Obama."

Valerie Jarrett is credited with introducing Barack Obama to Michelle Obama, a work colleague back in the day. Old pals from Chicago.

"A third, Michael Froman, brought in between $200,000 and $500,000 for the campaign. Froman is managing director at New York - based Citigroup, Inc. The financial institution's employees and their families contributed $581,216, Obama's seventh-biggest source of campaign cash, according to the Center of Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group."

The article goes on and on. "Obama may be learning quickly that what sounds good on the campaign trail may not always be best for governing, said Costas Panagopoulos, director of Fordham University's Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy in New York." Duh. It was all about the righteous speeches and marketing for the Obama campaign. Just a matter of time before it starting coming back to bite Team Obama.

On Politico recently, Carol E. Lee wrote of "Rahmbonics", the term coined for Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's way of mangling common sayings and phrases in conversation. He received the naming of his way of speaking during his days in the Clinton White House. "The jumbling began during a discussion of how Washington leaders have put off dealing with energy issues since the oil crisis in 1974 and health care for nearly just as long." "We had a crisis, we kicked it down the can," Emanuel explained to "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer."

And, these were the people to laugh at President Bush the loudest?

And in keeping with the campaign policy of just simply shutting down the critics - Robert Gibbs is said to be the new Obama administration's Press Secretary. From an article by Howard Kurtz at, "When a CBS correspondent reported last month that Barack Obama's campaign had a malodorous airplane and a dismissive attitude toward the media, Robert Gibbs, the candidate's top spokesman, was not pleased." "Robert wrote a rather tendentious note to me," Dean Reynolds says. "He would get in your face, not in a very heated way, but he would question your stories."

Ah, get in your face. Just as the candidate himself had instructed his rally goers, a la Saul Alinsky. I see the staff got the training, too.

"Gibbs, who transition officials say is in line to become White House press secretary, can be funny, gossipy and an invaluable source of information about his boss, journalists say. He also monitors coverage intensively, pushing back against the smallest blog post he considers inaccurate." Is 'gossipy' a good adjective for a press secretary? How'd that work out for Richard Armitage, chief of staff for Colin Powell at State Department? He spilled the beans on Valerie Plame's identity and Armitage, with cooperation from Powell, let Scooter Libby and others take the heat for it. Libby went to jail.

"He's the last person Barack talks to when he's thinking about how to handle reporters' questions," says Linda Douglass, a campaign spokeswoman. "We call him the Barack Whisperer. He completely understands his thinking and knows how Barack wants to come across." So, he puts the 'smooth' into Obama's answers. Interesting. Image is everything.

So, where's all this change we've been told we'll have with an Obama presidency?

"Several reporters say Gibbs shared extra tidbits with favored correspondents and froze out others who criticized Obama, refusing to return calls or e-mails for weeks. Shouting matches were not uncommon, say these reporters, who did not want to be quoted criticizing an official they have to deal with, and Gibbs sometimes went over their heads and complained to their bosses."

Sounds like politics as usual to me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Media Confesses Crush on Obama

Did you see the continued campaign marketing engine of Barack Obama chugging down the track? Barack Obama's Madison Avenue minions, via the south side of Chicago, made up a designated plaque just for him. No, not the bogus Presidential Seal used previously by the campaign until folks said, hey, wait a minute. That is certainly not an act of dignified gravitas. Now, maybe someone should remind Obama's people that there is no office of "President-Elect." Sure, it's his designation until the big day for him in January. However, just because you are the first one with an ego large enough to stand behind a podium declaring the office, doesn't mean there is any such office.

Time to get a grip.

It almost looked like something right out of tv land, didn't it? Obama and all his solemn looking white guy and gal advisers on stage. Flanked by Joe Biden on one side and diminutive Rahm Emanuel on the other, trying to keep up the brainwashing of America. Tacky, tacky.

It's interesting that the Washington Post decided to come clean on the non-professional reporting bias on the candidate of choice, Senator Obama. Deborah Howell and her assistant, Jean Hwang, examined coverage from Nov. 11, 2007 through the election. Surprise, surprise. The Post coverage ran far more favorable stories and photos of Obama and his family. And, of course, the newspaper endorsed the candidate, too.

From an article by Howell on Sunday, November 9, 2008 on

Howell said, "But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager."

"One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama's running mate. When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right: it was a serious omission." You think?

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, at Pajamas Media, wrote of the interview of Newsweek editors "worrying about Obama's contortions". "For months most assured us that worries about the plastic Obama were illiberal, then they got what they wanted and now confess to us what they themselves knew all along, that there could be no there there." Again, you think?

"Like many, I wrote some pre-election essays with titles like 'The Obama Enigma' and 'The Blank Slate' and got the usual tons of hate mail that most now get from the organized Obama electronic minutemen, but is the media party line really now to be "We also knew all that the, but can only say it now"?

Michael S. Malone, writer at edgelings, a tech business on-line newsletter, wrote recently of a conversation he had with his two fellow writers in the newsletter venture: "Needless to say, it being election season, the conversation often turned to politics - a touchy subject, as one of my partners was an Obama supporter, the other was for McCain. For my part, I try not to talk about politics. But one morning I found myself interjecting, "Well, one thing we can agree on is that the mainstream media is more one-sided and biased than we've ever seen it. I'm ashamed of my profession right now."

"I had never really verbalized that before, but it had certainly been on my mind, especially after perusing the most recent issue of Newsweek, a magazine I'd read since childhood, but which was now so obviously in the tank for Sen. Obama that I swore, on ethical reasons alone, to never read it again." Join the club. None of the weekly "news magazines" are trustworthy.

Malone wrote of his experience after writing his column on on the subject and how "all hell broke loose." His article at Pajamas Media is of his first hand experience at the power of the blogosphere and the "enduring cultural strength of the traditional media." Though he had media interview requests galore, he only did two radio interviews. One was for a Denver station and the other with Lou Dobbs, who was even more incensed than Malone over the coverage of Obama. Malone was surprised to note that interview requests from traditional media came through the ABC News venue and even from his last book's publisher but not from traditional media reading the blogosphere.

Then his story took on a life of its own after exposure on Drudge. He was grateful that the column, in the end, encouraged a national debate. "And I noted, with great satisfaction, that in the last twenty four hours of the campaign, the media - embarrassed at last - seemed to try a little harder to balance its reporting ... only to backslide (as noted even by Tom Shales) on election night."

"So, what did I learn from this experience? That it is possible in this new cyber-world to be a lone writer sitting at this laptop in suburbia and write something that actually changes the course of events and, momentary at least, sets the national debate. I also learned that the raw power - and the ability to mobilize people - of the Web and the blogosphere is both immense and growing fast. But legitimacy is still conferred by the traditional media - which makes their duty to be fair and unbiased even greater."

Too bad the reading public has lost faith in media's self-corrective abilities. Maybe the dwindling readerships of newspapers and magazines will speak to the decision makers. Eventually.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

Happy Veterans Day.

Today, at a re-dedication ceremony for the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on the Hudson River, the west side of Manhattan, President Bush received the Intrepid Freedom Award. In his speech he said the part of his job as President that he will miss most is having the honor of being Commander-in-Chief of the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Laura Bush received a standing ovation when the President mentioned her and she received the loudest of applause. In contrast, Hillary Clinton barely received a smattering of applause from those in attendance. The audience remained sitting. Interesting.

The Bush administration has more than doubled the money going to veterans programs and care, as well as implementing advanced programs for mental health.

It is a disgrace that some of the nation's largest newspapers don't even acknowledge the day on the front page of their publications. The New York Times was all about leaking military secrets yesterday on the front page but no acknowledgement of Veterans Day today, much less any thanks to the brave men and women who have lost their lives in pursuit of freedom of speech, even the hate filled speech of The New York Times.

The Houston Chronicle, the newspaper in my city, put a story about a group preserving and recording stories from battlefields on the front page. Below the fold. The heading above the headline of the story did say "Veterans Day". Better than nothing, I suppose. The large photo of the President and Barack Obama in the Oval Office took the front page above the fold spot.

Some in the Bush administration are expressing displeasure that the staff of Barack Obama leaked some of the details of the discussions held yesterday. Rookie mistakes. Hopefully they will mature and receive better job training.

The incoming administration is receiving top coordination with the outgoing staff. They will benefit from a well organized transition, one not given to the Bush administration when they came into office in 2000. The tone is set at the top. This President, with dignity and grace, has paved the way. There will be intact keyboards, no letters missing. No furniture taken. No offices vandalized.

Leading by example.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Team Sarah

Trying to make a joke to cover up his misstatement that he has spoken to all living former Presidents, Barack Obama inserted the name of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. He threw Nancy Reagan under the bus so that he wouldn't be a part of a sound bite on a late night tv show. Actually it wasn't Nancy Reagan having the seances at the White House. She consulted an astrologer. It was Hillary Clinton who spoke of channeling the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt for advice. Obama proves, once again, he has no sense of humor. And, he frequently gets his facts wrong.

Nancy Reagan is a frail, older woman who served her country well. She is currently recovering from a fall she took in her home. Barry, that simply wasn't a nice thing to do. Try to keep it classy, m'kay? When you call to apologize, do you even know which of the 57 states she's in?

I have grown quite tired of the treatment of women in this election season.

Before the votes were even counted Tuesday night, the attacks on Sarah Palin were rampant. The attacks have been from anonymous sources which are suspect from the beginning. This is not only unseemly, it is cowardly. If you have a problem with someone, just say it and be honest. It is time for Senator McCain to come forward and say it is time to stop.

Sarah Palin was asked to be on the McCain ticket, she didn't ask for the job. She was the asked, not the asker. As the 44 year old governor of Alaska, she wasn't savvy about the national stage. The petty charges of diva behavior, compulsive shopper, throwing temper tantrums, refusing to be briefed before interviews, etc. make no sense.

Sarah Palin brought much needed energy and enthusiasm to the McCain ticket. Frankly, most of the Republican party was none too fired up about the candidate and looking to either stay home or write in another name as a protest vote. Sarah Palin is a classic conservative and the far right loves her. She is them.

Sarah Palin did a magnificent job for the McCain ticket. She drew massive crowds to all of her events. She is still very much in demand. I'm not talking about the nasty Obama supporting journalists, I'm talking about Republican groups who want her as a future leader in the party. She'll do an interview, her first since the election night results, with Greta van Sustern on Fox News and it will air Monday night. Greta is to be congratulated for her more than fair coverage of Sarah Palin. As a professional woman, Greta has been disgusted with the treatment of Governor Palin and she has been vocal about that. Greta traveled to Alaska to interview her and Todd Palin after being placed on the McCain ticket. Greta's no conservative. That is more than others like Oprah, Barbara and Larry can say - those who drooled over Obama and now would like to interview Sarah Palin. I so hope she tells them all to drop dead.

Especially Oprah.

Sarah Palin was mishandled from the start. That is the fault of the campaign staff. For them to now turn on the candidate and try to salvage their own self interests in the political world is disgusting. These anonymous sources should be booted out of politics and get a real job.

Sarah Palin may not have turned out to be the strongest of candidates, but so what? She was the VP candidate, not the top of the ticket. She has time to grow. The top of the ticket for the other party? He was elected with less experience and no more distinguishable intelligence on the fly. His gaffes are overlooked, that is the difference. He's cool.

Sarah Palin has a spot on the national stage in the future, if she wants it. She has shown leadership and sheer guts in the political arena. Unlike the top of the other ticket - with whom the press seemed to compare her - she has a record of fighting corruption within her own party. She took on the political machine in her state. And, her employers - her fellow Alaskans - liked the job she was doing. Her approval ratings were over 80%.

Sarah Palin is an expert on energy policy. Neither on the opposite ticket could make that claim.

The media had a field day with Sarah Palin because she was unknown. She wasn't an insider and she was to be punished for that. Congrats to them. The enjoyment of trashing this woman and her family is a new low in national politics.

The GOP is in a re-building process. This is not the time to banish a person with the talents of Sarah Palin. The election was not a landslide for the other ticket, though there was every reason for that to happen. That speaks to the strength of the Palin addition to the ticket. The Republican ticket received 46% of the vote. More than 53 million voters are not to be ignored.

Sarah Palin deserves thanks, not nasty anonymous accusations.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Laura Bush, Feminist- In- Chief

First Lady Laura Bush will have her own mark in history as part of President Bush's legacy. She has made inroads into the betterment of the lives of women all around the world, as well as in our own country, and yet she has done so with very little fanfare. That is her way.

As the media and the nasty people on the other side of the aisle have enjoyed not writing about the good that has come from Bush administration policies, Laura Bush has freely pursued her own agenda. Her focus is on women, on health and education issues for women and for children.

Laura Bush, unlike the incoming first lady who doesn't understand the goodness of our country as she has told us repeatedly, loves the freedoms in America and shares with joy. Laura Bush believes that women will lead the world into better conditions for families everywhere.

Recently, Mrs. Bush met with a small group of historians, biographers, historians, and journalists in the Yellow Oval Room at the White House. Perhaps one day some of those in attendance will write of Mrs. Bush's story.

Mrs. Bush is a feminist in the truest sense of the word. She displays a quiet confidence and dignity that the old washed up leaders of the feminist movement lost touch with. Mrs. Bush is mocked as a stepford wife, as a mindless robot smiling and nodding at her husband's side. Ignorance is rampant on the left side of the aisle.

Laura Bush reaches out across the political aisle. She was the catalyst for education reform, the first major legislative activity of the first Bush term. She was meeting with Ted Kennedy on Capitol Hill on the day of 9/11/01.

Kathleen Parker wrote in National Review online, "As Mrs. Bush noted Monday, health is a freedom issue. To be free, one must first be alive. Then, one must be educated."

"The U.N. reports that 774 million people worldwide cannot read or write. Of those, two-thirds are women. Seventy-five million children don't attend school. The First Lady, who is an honorary ambassador for the U.N. Literacy Decade, spoke earlier this month at the U.N. about the importance of closing the gender gap in literacy."

Mrs. Bush said, "If women are educated, everything across the board improves for their families." As usual, there was no press coverage noting that the First Lady spoke before the U.N. Mrs. Bush has been to Afghanistan three times since moving to the White House. She is largely responsible for the education opportunities for women and girls in that country today.

Mrs. Bush made a ground breaking tour of the Middle East last year, opening clinics for women to promote health care, in particular as it relates to breast cancer awareness. You may remember it was another quiet but strong Republican first lady who brought breast cancer awareness to the forefront several decades ago - Betty Ford.

Laura Bush has been instrumental in the progress in Africa for better health and living conditions. The campaign to eradicate malaria and her distribution of nets to hang over beds at night, her push to bring more HIV/AIDS drugs onto the continent, supervising clean water projects, and so on. Bono, a rarity in the entertainment world as a common sense kind of guy, has consistently praised her and President Bush for their promotion of projects around the globe.

The likes of slimy novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, author of "American Wife" loosely based on Laura Bush and not in a flattering way, begrudging gave the Bush administration a back handed compliment for Mrs. Bush's work. "I will miss Mrs. Bush not only for keeping me guessing but also for seeming like an intelligent and compassionate presence in a White House not widely recognized for its intelligence or compassion - for being the one person in there whom I'm pretty sure a lot of us would like even more if only we knew her better." Foolish haters like her are the ones Mrs. Bush's legacy will embarrass the most.

Mrs. Bush led the way for our nation's renewed awareness of the human rights conditions in Burma and she refused to ever call it Myanmar.

The American people will feel the loss of this First Lady. She will be replaced by an undeserving one, from all past statements and actions we have seen so far. Even at Fishbowl L.A., where an article ran about the making of celebrities out of the Obamas : "We took it as a joke (and a bad one at that) when John McCain tried to compare Obama to Paris Hilton, et al. But it turns out Barack Obama's presidential win is not only historic for breaking racial barriers and exciting a whole generation fo new voters. It's historic for how -- and whom -- covered it. Us Weekly treats the Obamas like the Jolie-Pitts, complete with baby photos and sartorial critiques. Could you imagine an Us Weekly cover featuring John Kerry and Teresa Heinz?"

"We're glad to see the tabs as excited as the rest of the country about this historic day, but we hope this new trend in celeb reporting doesn't last. It's one thing to hear what Obama's family had to say on election night, it'll be another if they stat asking the First Family to weigh in on the latest exploits of Britney Spears."

Well, there's always Oprah. She finally got her moment on her television show to make an ass out of herself, all smug and happy as the other Obama robots. She did the fake outreach to those not voting for her man and looked even worse. Quite a feat. She doesn't get it - the arrogance and smug attitude of the Obama worshipers is what turns off others not so inclined to fall for the marketing of the man.

Keep it classy, Democrats.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Legitimacy in the White House

"Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust." That from the 2004 victory speech of George W. Bush. His reward for continually trying to find ways to work with both sides of the aisle since his first term in 2000 began? Approval ratings in league with Harry S. Truman.

I think just like Truman, President Bush will be vindicated with the passage of time. Future generations will learn of a strong, ethical, moral, generous leader.

In an interesting piece yesterday written by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, an investigative reporter and lawyer, that aforementioned quote appeared. Shapiro was an intern on the legal team of John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election. Yes, John Kerry. It was printed online for The Wall Street Journal.

"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." He speaks to the fact that the current problems in the country - the economy in particular, were brewing long before Bush took office and he had very little control over any of it as it played out.

"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."

President Bush said in that speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America." This will come as a shock to most Obama voters, but others before him have actually spoken of the one country theme. It's just that others have actually meant it. Actions speak louder than words.

Continuing on, another article appeared on Real Clear Politics by Michael Gerson, an original member of the Bush team as he was beginning his first term. Gerson was a speech writer. His thoughts were on "...a presidential election is more than a political choice; it is a moral dividing line. It involves not just the triumph of a majority but a transfer of legitimacy that binds the minority as well. This is a largely undiscussed topic in modern political debate: legitimacy. It is a kind of democratic magic that turns votes into authority. It does not require political agreement. It does imply a patriotic respect for the processes of government and a determination to honor the president for the sake of the office he holds."

His piece speaks to the fade of legitimacy over the last decades. It was particularly obvious during the Clinton administration. Republicans went after him with a vengeance over impeachment. That may have been justified, in a legal sense, but it was harmful for the country. Once the reverence of the office of the leader of the most powerful country in the world faded, it is almost impossible to envision it coming back. Clinton wanted to be one of the guys, a regular kind of man. That theme continues on.

The problem with that kind of familiarity is that the criticism of the president move from the legitimate policy discussions into the personal realm. Our friends and enemies around the globe watch and listen. It is not helpful.

President Bush, since the circumstances of the election results in 2000, came in under a cloud as far as the opposition party was concerned. Think back to the spectacle of the Congressional Black Caucus standing in the House of Representatives and refusing to vote to verify the election results, as the House is charged to do. Disgusting.

From there on, though reaching out from the beginning, as was his way of governing the state of Texas, he worked with the likes of Ted Kennedy on education reform. His reward? Kennedy was the very first to go to the well of the Senate floor and disgracefully blame the president and his administration for the attacks of 9/11/2001. Hillary Clinton followed right along, though it was her husband's administration that put all the pieces in place for the attack on our country.

President Bush has been slandered, his family has been slandered and the hateful left rejoices. It would seem the nastiness can not be strong enough for them. Whether it is 'art' films using the assassination of President Bush, or the vicious name calling, or the conspiracy theories, it has been far from uniting for our citizens.

Now, the pundits are musing on how smoothly the Bush administration is bringing about the transition for the president-elect and his team. They point to the fact that the press never understood or reported on the basic decency of George W. Bush. They do not seem to understand the importance of character in a president. It explains the election of Barack Obama.

President Bush ushered in new laws and provisions through the Department of Homeland Security. The very provisions the hateful left likes to reject as going too far into civil rights will now serve the new president as they should. The first example to surface is the speed and efficiency of national security clearances for the Obama transition team. The members of the team have in place their clearances today and can move forward.

The transition team will be welcomed and well prepared to begin work in January. Too bad that wasn't the case for the team representing the newly elected George W. Bush. The election of 2000 was stretched out due to the recounts in Florida and the time was shortened to an unhealthy length. Then, there was the vandalism of the offices done by the Clinton people. Class. Not a word in their vocabulary.

President Bush gave gracious remarks yesterday to the president-elect. He and Laura Bush have extended an invitation for the Obama family to come to the White House and check it all out before moving in.

A lesson in character and grace that the Obamas would do well to remember.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Country First

Today we awake with a new President-elect. For the sake of our country, I wish him well.

I do not foresee supporting much of what his agenda will be. I do foresee the same problems in Washington, D.C. that exist now. The liberal white guilt that propelled him into office will not be rewarded with a new tone in Washington or around the country. Maybe now the left will begin to understand that the government cannot legislate human nature. The water will not part and the earth will not heal, as Obama himself has uttered, simply because he was elected.

The transition team is headed by John Podesta. That does not bode well for a tone of goodwill from the incoming Obama administration. You may remember him from the Clinton days. He is hyper partisan and an attack dog. He formed, with financial support from George Soros, the Center for American Progress. In contrast, for example, the Bush administration's transition was headed by Andy Card. Card is a Republican well respected by both parties and a veteran of Massachusetts politics. He is a humble man and works will everyone while keeping good spirits.

The first to be mentioned in a new Obama administration is Rahm Emmanuel, to fill the position of Chief of Staff. This does not bode well for a tone of goodwill from the incoming Obama administration. Emmanuel, a veteran of Chicago politics, is not even tempered or one to work with anyone other than those towing his line. He is famous from the Clinton administration and his frequent remark, "F--- the Republicans." Nice. And, so professional.

John McCain gave a concession speech in Arizona last night that underscored his character. The man is a class act. He was beaten up in the nastiest of ways by the other campaign and yet he forged on with a smile. He has personally been betrayed by Obama more than once in political agreements yet he remained above it all.

President Bush gave a graceful speech this morning in the Rose Garden to reporters. He congratulated the President elect and extended an invitation for his family to visit the White House soon. He, too, has been betrayed by Obama in a personal way yet remains a class act. Obama was given some friendly advice by the President during a White House visit not long after he arrived in the Senate. The President was offering his hand in friendship. In the second of his autobiographies, Obama spoke hatefully of the President.

Character matters. This will once again be evident soon enough.

Country First.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why I Voted for John McCain

I early voted about two weeks ago. I voted for John McCain.

I voted for John McCain because I think he is the candidate who will be up to the job of running the most important office in the world. Yes, I am a proud American and I believe in our country's exceptionalism. If we do not lead the world, who does?

I voted for John McCain because I am a lifelong Republican. John McCain and I hold similar views on the two most important issues - national security and fiscal responsibility. I am not a single issue voter on moral issues. I am a moderate to liberal Republican. John McCain is a conservative Republican. It is a popular cry from the far right of my party to label John McCain other than conservative but it is not factual. He is fiscally conservative - fighting earmarks and demanding spending cuts - and he is socially conservative. He is pro-life and always has been. He is a strong voice for national security through a strong Defense Department. Our enemies know this and that is why the other candidate has received glowing support from them.

I voted for John McCain because he is a strong and honorable man. He is a man of his word.

I voted for John McCain because he walks the walk. He has been all over the world observing the conditions and day to day struggles of the people across the globe. He usually does this without a travelling entourage of reporters and photographers. He considers it his job, his duty.

I voted for John McCain because he is long time friends with many of the world's leaders. The president of France recently commented that his opponent is not up to the job. He is not the lone doubter. The countries in Eastern Europe are conservative and the Western European countries are following with more and more election results. Even Canada has kept a conservative prime minister. Electing a far left liberal will go against the tide of international leadership. John McCain doesn't expect America to fit into the visions of the rest of the world, but his opponent does. John McCain expects to lead the rest of the world in our vision.

I voted for John McCain because he has skin in the game. He was a POW during the Vietnam war for 5 1/2 years. He has two sons in active duty now. One son will be re-deployed to Iraq on Christmas Day. John McCain demands victory in Iraq. John McCain knows how to accomplish that. The military, according to polling, is voting overwhelmingly for John McCain. Who better to know about leadership?

John McCain does not campaign in the gutter. Though his opponent and his opponent's supporters cry foul when ads are run speaking to the record and speeches of the candidate, that is not negative campaigning. That is telling the facts of a record. That is defining your opponent. When a candidate runs with the least amount of experience in recent history for the highest office in the land, while claiming to have all the judgement necessary for the job, it is imperative that voters understand the candidate's associations. This tells us who the candidate is and what judgement he will use in choosing those surrounding him while in office.

I voted for John McCain because he doesn't have a hateful spiritual adviser spewing anti-American speeches or racial hate. John McCain could have made that an issue but didn't. Even the candidate himself said in an interview that the spiritual adviser was a legitimate issue. That was after he threw him under the bus.

John McCain doesn't throw loved ones or associates under the bus. In his case, it is not necessary.

John McCain is not a racist. His opponent is, however. His opponent has, at every opportunity, claimed the Republicans and the McCain campaign would make race an issue. It was the other way around. John and Cindy McCain have an adopted daughter - a young woman of color - and prove again to walk the walk.

John McCain supports women. He pays his women staffers at a more equal level than his opponent does. He has mostly women staffers. His opponent hires more men. And, John McCain loves his wife. His wealthy, successful business woman wife who travels the world to make it a better place. Whether it is adopting a baby girl in Bangladesh or distributing medical supplies in Africa or the Far East. Or, observing land mine removal in war torn countries.

John McCain adopted his first wife's two sons when they married. Those sons are still a part of his family today and campaign with him. One son works as Comptroller for Cindy McCain's business. The daughter from his first marriage is active on the campaign, too, though she lives in Canada with a successful career in the music industry. His ex-wife supports his bid for president and still considers him a friend.

John McCain works in a bi-partisan way. His opponent claims to do the same but there is no such evidence in his short career. John McCain maddens his own party as he does the opposition party. He does what he thinks is in the best interest of his country. And, when he brokers deals bringing both sides together, he keeps his word. His opponent does not keep his word.

The McCain family has many pets. They have a habit of adopting stray dogs and cats and even ferrets. This speaks of the nature of a family. This speaks to a family with a good heart. This speaks of a family with a generous heart.

John McCain will not overturn Roe v Wade. John McCain will appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as the Founding Fathers wrote it. He will not appoint judges who legislate from the bench. Want a living Constitution? That is what the Constitutional amendment process is for. Those Founding Fathers were some smart guys.

John McCain will not stifle free speech. He will not bring back the Freedom Doctrine. He appreciates the discourse of public speech and listens to more than one side of an issue.

John McCain understands the economy. He knows that a soft economy will not mend with higher taxes. He knows higher taxes bring unemployment and lower productivity. Higher taxes close markets and shutter small business. Higher taxes punish success. Higher taxes will not pay for all the campaign promises made by his opponent.

John McCain says that Americans don't hide from history, we make history.

Country First.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Who is Barack Obama?

It is interesting listening to the likes of Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose going back and forth with each other, conversing about how very little they actually know about Barack Obama and his policies. After two years of following him, with bated breath, the candidate they have proclaimed the new Messiah - he will part the seas and heal the earth - they admit they know almost nothing about him and what he is thinking.

They admit they have no idea how he plans to deal with China, North Korea or other up and coming international dilemmas. On the domestic front, how will he really pay for all his campaign promises, because simply raising taxes on everyone earning over $42,000 per year won't be enough? This astounds me. Why do they support him? Is it truly as most of the common sense voters think? It is simply because he is the first viable socialist leaning liberal in modern history? Is it simply because he is bi-racial and liberal white guilt voters think by electing Obama as President that the races will bond together and live in harmony?

The candidate himself if the one inserting race into this contest. He mocks Republicans claiming they'll be racist towards him in thought and deed. I guess he conveniently forgets the McCains adopted a daughter of color. More than Obama has done in his life. And, he labeled Bill Clinton as a racist in the primaries. Incredible. The idea was to come out early that if a Democrat wasn't supporting him, that person is racist. There's your post-racial candidate in action.

At such a crucial time in our history, a nation involved in more than one war overseas and a soft economy trying to get back on its feet, why would anyone trust a man with no experience outside of Chicago politics and two years in the U.S. Senate to guide our path forward? Why would anyone trust a man with a lifetime of proven poor judgement in choosing mentors, spiritual advisers and associates? Why would anyone trust a candidate so driven by opportunistic narcissism that he throws any and everyone under the bus as soon as the truth is known? Even his own white grandmother who played a big part in raising him. No loyalty to anyone. He only seems to be driven by his own ambition.

And, he chose Joe Biden as a running mate. This choice was to booster some foreign policy experience on the ticket, but we see Biden in action. The man is a buffoon. And, he has dangerously loose lips.

On his policy positions, he has shown the same will of self-preservation. He ran in the primaries as a far left candidate - as all candidates do - then lurched sharply to the center for the general election. Again, nothing unusual for most candidates. But, this time around, Obama sold himself as the candidate of change, the bi-partisan, post racial candidate. He has no record of being either, but with the help of his slick Chicago bred staff he has successfully marketed himself to a willing electorate.

And, yes, this is why his past associations and friendships are important. The voter has nothing else to go on. There is no record to go on - unless you look at the extraordinary amount of 'present' votes in the Illinois State legislature. The same record Obama supported infanticide by refusing to vote to demand medical personnel to care for infants born alive after a botched abortion. As a pro-choice Republican woman, that vote alone truly sickens me so greatly I am in disbelief that any moral person would vote for the man. The same man who said if his young daughter became pregnant, the baby would be a 'punishment'.

Pretty speeches, read from a teleprompter, are fine. It will be interesting to watch as a nation wakes after an Obama victory, if that happens, and voters supporting him realize it was all a facade. He'll not be able to fulfill his promises. He'll cut checks to people who do not pay federal income tax. He'll push through tax increases on small business; on Big Oil and other energy producers; he'll be happy to go along with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid on their agenda.

The stock market is not reacting well to a perceived Obama victory. This will not aid any economic recovery. And, there are certainly plenty of Democrats working on Wall Street. Also remember that more than 50% of working people now are invested in the Stock Market through retirement plans. Not just those mean Republicans fighting wealth re-distribution theory.

Barney Frank has already announced his plans to push for a 25% reduction in defense spending. He says we don't need all "those fancy weapons". We are a nation at war. Let's remember that. The war in Iraq is, thankfully, winding down and troops are already coming home. The war in Afghanistan, however, will have to be ramped up to finish the task there.

Barack Obama is not up to the task of leading this country.

Obama Truthiness in San Francisco

Do you want to know the honest thoughts of Barack Obama? We have another example of a bit of candor from the candidate from where? San Francisco. The same spot Obama made his insulting remarks about rural residents of western Pennsylvania. This time the remarks were of his plan to destroy the coal industry.

Do you live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, or Kentucky? Is your family supported by the coal industry? You may want to know that Obama plans to bankrupt the industry. It has to do with his cap and trade system. "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted." That from NewsBusters.

"That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches."

"The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it."

"So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them."

This interview with the San Francisco Chronicle was published on January 18, after the interview on January 17. However, the printed interview didn't contain any of the plan of Obama to bankrupt the coal industry. Another California newspaper covering up for Obama.

Senator Clare McCaskill is a prominent television surrogate for the Obama team. She blatantly misrepresents the job situation in this country. Today she again said that millions of jobs have been lost during the Bush campaign. By misrepresented I mean lied. She was trying to bolster Obama's economic plans at the expense of the truth. George W. Bush came into office at the bottom of the Clinton-Gore induced recession. The Bush administration, by lowering taxes, brought the country out of recession and out of the dire straits of the economy after the attacks of 9/11/01. Over 9 million jobs have been created by this administration.

Lower taxes create jobs and financial security at home, Senator McCaskill, not raising taxes, especially in a very soft economy. It is not a measure of patriotism as to how much you pay in taxes. And it is not selfish to want your own hard earned money to grow your own business, thereby employing others and growing the local tax base. The Democrats have a very skewed view of patriotism and selfishness when it comes to taxes, led by their candidate.

So, in the world of Barack Obama, he will decide which industry will succeed and which will not and make his tax policy accordingly. He will label Americans selfish and unpatriotic if any disagree with his increasing taxes in a soft economy. Remember when the Democrats squealed if anyone questioned their patriotism? Oh yeah, that was over war so that doesn't count.

Energy independence is important to our national security. It is important to pursue all means of producing energy, as the McCain campaign has stated over and over.

Destroying one energy industry resource will markedly increase electricity and natural gas prices. Obama admitted it in his talk there in San Francisco. Whom is it among us that will suffer the most from that? Yes, the poor and lower income folks. The retired on a set monthly income. This is where Obama is shown to be the most ignorant concerning national policy. He doesn't think a subject through enough. And, he isn't very sympathetic towards less fortunate people. Whether it is increased fuel prices or business practices.

President Bush was the first president to begin funding alternative energy programs and innovation research. Yeah, the one Obama so easily vilifies. Wait until the average rube who voted for Obama discovers the cost of alternative energy and infrastructure. Why do you think it is all not already up and running? Not everyone has the resources of T. Boone Pickens.

And, not everyone is invested in 'green' stocks in hedge funds and the stock market, like the head snake oil salesman, Al Gore. He's made a fortune off the gullible followers out there, succumbing to a power point presentation.

Buyer beware.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Two Smart Writers. One Republican. One Democrat.

My blog post on Campbell Brown's honest opinion about Barack Obama breaking his promise on public financing was featured on Cool. So there ya go.

Do the same people who think of Campbell as their new hero for blasting the McCain campaign for keeping Sarah Palin under wraps still have the same opinion of her now?

Victor Davis Hanson has an insightful post about the death of journalism in this country. He highlights four topics: Campaign Financing, the VP Candidates, The Past as Present, and Socialism.

Of Campaign Financing: "...Barack Obama, remember, promised that he would accept both public funding and the limitations that went along with it, and would "aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." Then in June 2008, Obama abruptly reneged, bowing out entirely from government financing, the first presidential nominee in the general election to do that since the system was created in 1976."

How's that for change? You'll reflect back that it is the Democrat party that has always been the advocate for public financing of elections - and the Republicans who roasted John McCain for trying to reform campaign funding on a bi-partisan basis with Russ Feingold.

"The story that the media chose to ignore was not merely that Obama about-face on public financing, or even the enormous amounts of money that he has raised - some of it under dubious circumstances involving foreign donors, prepaid credit cards, and false names. Instead, they were absolutely quiet about a historic end to liberal support for public financing."

We'll not see any pretext of accepting public financing ever again. Period.

Comparing the coverage of VP candidates, "By accepted standards of behavior, Biden has sadly proven wanting. He has committed almost every classical sin of character - plagiarism, false biography, racial insensitivity, and serial fabrication." Amen.

Biden possesses some sort of just-under-the-surface resentment towards Obama, I've noticed. He is on record more than once saying that Hillary Clinton would have been the better candidate. He's off point on the messages of the campaign. And, just says incredibly unexplainable statements. 'Warning' supporters at a fundraiser that Obama will be tested, after both campaigns were briefed on national security issues? Not only is that not helpful to the top of his ticket, it doesn't bode well for the security of our country, either. Loose lips sink ships. Oh, wait. What am I thinking? These two smart guys are part of the broadcasting a timeline of withdrawal in Iraq crowd. Never mind.

"The media has succeeded in shielding Barack Obama from journalistic scrutiny. It thereby irrevocably destroyed its own reputation and forfeited the trust that generations of others had so carefully acquired. And it will never again be trusted to offer candid and nonpartisan coverage of presidential candidates." Right as usual, Dr. Hanson.

I learned today of a speechwriter named Wendy Button. A speechwriter for Obama, Edwards and Clinton (Hillary), she has come out in support of John McCain. Wonder why she didn't receive a 30 minute commercial opportunity on Meet the Press? You know, like Colin Powell did? Oh yeah.

A lifelong Democrat, Ms. Button is fed up with the treatment of working class folks and women from the Obama campaign. She helped with Obama's announcement speech along with others. She helped with Edwards' concession speech. She helped Michelle Obama with stump speeches when the primary ended. She's been a speechwriter for more than 10 years.

She says the Democrat Party was family to her. "Now, it doesn't even feel like a distant cousin."

She uses the term, "hooker lines" - "a sure thing to get applause and the press to scribble as if they're reporting meaningful news."

"Not only has this party belittled working people in this campaign from Joe the Plumber to the bitter comments, it has also been part of tearing down two female candidates." Sums it up for me.

"Governor Palin and I don't agree on a lot of things, mostly social issues. But I have grown to appreciate the Governor. I was one of those initial skeptics and would laugh at the pictures. Not anymore. When someone takes on a corrupt political machine and a sitting governor, that is not done by someone with a low I.Q. or a moral core made of tissue paper. When someone fights her way to get scholarships and work her way through college even in a jagged line, that shows determination and humility you can't learn from reading Reinhold Niebuhr. When a mother brings her son with special needs onto the national state with love, honesty, and pride, that gives hope to families like mine as my older brother lives with a mental disability. And when someone can sit on a stage during the Sarah Palin rap on Saturday night Live, put her hands in the air and watch someone in a moose costume get shot - that's a sign of both humor and humanity."

Button gets it. If Barack Obama was truly a man of change, truly a person who worked in a bi-partisan fashion, had a 'backbone of steel', then he would have taken on the corrupt political machine on the south side of Chicago. We would be talking about his political courage and his ethical honesty. But, he didn't. Instead he chose to join the system and use it to his own advantage. That is cowardly and opportunistic. And, it is certainly not leadership.

Do I make myself clear?

"I can no longer justify what this party has done and can't dismiss the treatment of women and working people as just part of the new kind of politics. It's wrong and someone has to say that. And also say that the Democratic Party's talking points - that Senator John McCain is just four more years of the same and that he's President Bush - are now just hooker lines that fit a very effective and perhaps wave-winning political argument...doesn't mean they are true. After all, he is the only one who's worked in a bipartisan way on big challenges."

Yea, Wendy Button. Look how smart you are after all.

Use your brain. Vote McCain.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Obama's Control of Free Speech and Tax Questions

I watched Wayne Slater, political columnist with the Dallas Morning News, interviewed after he was kicked off the Obama campaign plane, along with The Washington Times and the New York Post. Slater is one of the journalists I saw in action, up close and personal, during the Texas Republican Convention last summer. He's as liberal as the rest so it was interesting listening to him excuse whatever reason it is that the Obama campaign gives for kicking off three reporters who just happen to report for newspapers who have endorsed John McCain.

All three newspapers just happened to be ones endorsing McCain for president.

It is interesting that the Obama campaign kicks off reporters and those restricted from McCain's plane have been opinion writers with weekly columns. Two that come to mind are Maureen Dowd and Joe Klein. Plus, most folks understand that the editorial page, producing opinion, is separate from reporters. Or, at least that is the professional ethics of it all.

The creepiness of the Obama campaign to suppress free speech - the speech of those not marching in lockstep with them - is a continuing factor in this race.

Candidate Obama likes to blame Fox News, too. He said numerous times that if it were not for Fox News, he'd be several points higher up in the polls. This has been completely discredited by a Pew Research Poll but no retractions come from the candidate of change. The poll found an equal number of stories that were negative on that cable news channel for each candidate.

It's telling that the next guest spoke of the excellent handlers that Obama employs on his campaign trail. The Obama campaign has certainly reached new lows of tolerance for differing views, that is the truth. We now learn that Joe the plumber has been much further investigated than what was originally said by the Ohio state government officials. It's gotten quite creepy out there lately. Helen Jones-Kelley, Director of the Ohio Dept of Job and Family Services, delved into the information available on Joe. She was looking into possible child support issues, back taxes owed, etc. Nothing sprang forth for her to use, though. She is a Democrat and is in an appointed office. She was appointed by the Governor of Ohio, a Democrat. She should be fired immediately.

Speaking of taxes, how about that ever fluctuating magic number defining who is and isn't 'middle class' in the world of Barack Obama? First Obama said only those earning $250,000 and above would be taxed at a higher rate. Then it was $200,000. Then Joe Biden said it would be $150,000 and then today the story is $120, 000, according to campaign surrogate Bill Richardson. Whatever the story is, it'll not be true. Obama has voted in the Senate to raise taxes on those making $42,000. The term, middle class, is relative and fluid anyway. It is ludicrous to think that the term is the same in a large city as it is in a smaller, rural community. And, for the majority of small business owners who pay at the rate of personal income tax, raising taxes will be devastating in this slower economy.

Even Bill Clinton backed out of his middle class tax break promises on which he campaigned. Once in office, he went right into tax raising mode. And Hillary didn't even bother to make any such promises.

Obama today said don't listen to John McCain about taxes. Remember, he thinks you're stupid. By the way, according to economists and other money experts who have weighed in, Obama is no more knowledgeable about the economy than McCain. Hmm. Goes back to the beginning debate, for me, when Obama couldn't even define the capital gains tax. Um, um, ah.

Two words not ordinarily used in Obama campaign speeches - victory and success. Unless he is speaking about his own campaign. His own self interests.