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Monthly Archives: March 2008

Conservatives have good reason to be concerned about John McCain. At the top of my list:

He’s a globalist.

He’s an unconscious incompetent.

Most of the time, competence encourages a person’s preferences. If one is good at something, one enjoys doing it. Not the case for John McCain. Not only doesn’t he know something, but he remains ignorant of the fact by choice. And he insists on ignoring those who do know something about it.

Note to McCain: Choosing one side of a controversy doesn’t make it uncontroversial.

I’m not alone in my dismay:

Dear John McCain,

Every relationship requires effort. I want to do my part. But there needs to be common ground to start with and you’re making it harder and harder for me to find where it is.

I’m an optimist and a woman of faith. I believe we are strong because our nation is meant to be, as President Reagan often reminded us, a “shining city upon a hill.”

You spoke in Los Angeles the other day about our country and its place in the world. You talked about political, economic and military strength, and international citizenship.

I strained to hear you mention our moral uniqueness — our being that “city on a hill.” But I heard not a hint.

President Nixon once observed that Americans often make the mistake of thinking that conflict in the world is the result of misunderstanding rather than difference of belief.

Because you seem not to appreciate that our beliefs make us different, you suggest more talk. You propose more international compacts and organizations, as if we don’t have enough.

What exactly are the values we would share with others in your concept for a League of Democracies? The European Union countries can’t even agree on a common constitution.

Read the whole thing.

I don’t know if he got somebody to host it or not. If he hasn’t, I’ll still do it. A few days ago, I blogged about this video at HRP here.

 This video is very graphic at points but there’s nothing in it that would break our Acceptable Use Policy. There is no nudity but there is a lot of carnage. I’ve seen worse on some horror flicks. The difference between this video and them, however, is: This Is Real. I’ve seen many parts of this video already as parts of other videos. What Mr. Wilders has done is put the video with the corresponding words direct from the Koran.

So, without further ado, here it is.

Barack Obama has done an admirable job presenting himself as a non-divisive candidate. Facing off against Hillary Clinton virtually anyone would look non-divisive in contrast, but Obama has gone beyond that. Conciliating the attacks made against his kindergarten years, and the comparisons of his candidacy in SC to that of Jesse Jackson, he’d risen above the divisive racial divide. He’d won Iowa, proof he could win a predominantly white electorate.

 Then along came the Rev. Wright with language many of us would find shocking on the street, but coming from the pulpit of a Christian church, apostatizing. With all the doubts of the depths of Obama’s Christian conviction, doubtless Rev. Wright’s ideas of paranoia and American self-loathing will do little to assuage those concerns. Recent polling indicates a five point downward shift in favorability ratings for Mr. Obama coming on the heels of the Wright controversy. Additionally, in previous head to head match ups with McCain, they were tied.

Rev. Wright’s remarks linger in the minds of almost ten percent of voters, and the shift results in an eight point advantage for Mr. McCain.

 There is time for Mr. Obama to recover from his association with his former pastor, and the racial divide seems to be one divide both parties are eager to heal. But the latest controversy isn’t just about race. It’s about a prominent and wealthy, highly educated man complaining about disadvantages he evidently has not experienced:

We’ve had a situation where it’s politically unacceptable to attribute Obama’s success to race, but a minister may say that the government created AIDS to kill people of color and remain a candidate’s spiritual adviser. Suppose Clinton’s minister had awarded a lifetime achievement award to David Duke, as Wright had to Louis Farrakhan.

But for Obama, the most lasting damage of this affair may not be tied to race or religion but to class. Working stiffs will struggle to square Obama’s close bond to a purveyor of racial grievance with his own golden existence. With four Ivy League degrees between them, half a million in income and children in private schools, the Obamas seem to be doing more than OK.

The clashing images of resentment and privilege are a divide that is hard to bridge.

When I was a kid, we played a game called Poor Little Kitty. The object of the game was to pretend to be the most pathetic, meowing, ridiculous looking kitty in an effort to make someone laugh. The person who laughs first becomes the next ‘Kitty’. I would never want to play that game with Obama. His pretense at being pathetic and aggrieved would be too hard to stomach.

Crossposted at Hang Right Politics.

The purpose of this holiday above all others is Hope. A lot of conversation this political season has tossed out that word. But perhaps nobody symbolizes Hope more than Jesus did.  Even faiths that don’t consider themselves Christian see the historical Jesus as a great teacher, a rabbi, or  prophet.

Easter is a season of Hope. But unlike the political usage of the word, the Christian usage means hope for the conquest of man over his own failings through the power of faith and the belief in the triumph of life over death. Easter is proof that winter is not the final season.

 Happy Easter and may God fill you with hope wherever you need it most in your life!

As Energy Secretary and Ambassador in the Clinton administration, Bill Richardson had ample opportunity to judge the ‘readiness and experience’ of the inevitable Mrs. Clinton.

 And today he announced that he will be throwing his support, including his super-delegate support behind Mr. Obama.

 Governor Richardson said Obama’s speech on race was a turning point for him. 

Greetings Hillbilly Politickers, our dear friend Hillbilly has to tend to family matters for a few days. In her absence, I’ll try to keep things going, maybe not with her flair for words, and talent for common sense analysis, but I am the bench not the first string, so I’ll do my best.

First things first, if you are the praying kind, please remember Hillbilly in your prayers. Her absence from us is for the purpose of securing the health and wellbeing of loved ones, and she has a long journey with an uncertain ending. Those are the hardest kind.

Secondly, Hillbilly and I agree on a lot of things, but what I write here is MY opinion not a reflection of how she feels, so if I say the wrong thing, please don’t hold it against her. I’m prepared to take my lumps as I so often do writing at Hang Right Politics.

And finally, being a hillbilly myself is a great source of pride to me. Born in the North Carolina mountains, I was raised on vegetables grown in rich red clay (the only time I was ever “reared” was when I was on horseback). Common sense was prized higher than a bank account, and a good attitude was a prerequisite for even the worst of situations. Daddy’s strong hands bore the callouses of years of hard work, but there were no callouses on his heart, and he raised me to have faith in myself, to be honest, and to work hard. Moma was a strong Southern lady, very gentle and sweet, who knew how to make everyone comfortable, but she had the toughness to chop off the head of a chicken and serve it for supper. That’s always been a contradiction in my mind, as the only thing I could kill would be a spider and that’s only if he died from the sound of my screaming!

We are all the products of our upbringing even if some of it fades over time. My parents are long gone, but the truth of their words and the stricture of their guidance governs my thinking and actions. I’ll be scrambling eggs and hear my Daddy’s deep growling laugh as he teased “Everything you cook sticks to your ribs because once it gets in there it can’t find it’s way back out.” But just as often I feel his disappointment as I fail to keep my mouth shut when I can’t keep my feet out of it. Years ago I pointed out to him that he didn’t seem to have a lot to say, not a big talker. He responded that he hadn’t learned much listening to himself talk. I pointed out that he and I had a totally opposite experience then, because I always learned something listening to him.

 What is a hillbilly? It’s more than where you were born. Maybe it’s being raised like corn, not reared like horses. Maybe it’s the wisdom of generations freely given on Grandpa’s porch on a Sunday after church. Maybe it’s the hymn Moma sang as she cooked supper. Maybe it’s feeling close to the earth and small beside it. Hills have a way of teaching lessons in life.

What does that have to do with politics? Lots.

Take hillbilly farming, for example, Daddy always said to keep your eyes on the horizon when you plow. Looking over your shoulder you’ll plow a crooked row, and if one row is crooked, then the whole field is crooked. Lot’s of politicians have plowed a crooked row. Hillary has a crooked field, and try as she might, that whole looking over her shoulder thing can’t straighten it out, and no matter how she promises it will all be okay, we know there will be puddles, the water won’t drain right, and the yield won’t be good.

How about some hillbilly wisdom for Obama? Well lately what comes to mind is one of Moma’s favorite sayin’s: “You can’t get above your raising”. Try as he might to be everyman’s candidate, generalizations and pleasant speak, at the bottom of it all is a record of governance that says government is the answer. Well that makes the American citizen the ‘little guy’ not the big guy. In protecting him from the oppression of ‘big business’ or ‘his own folly’, government becomes the oppressor. The question arises, “If Obama wants to protect us from ourselves, who’s going to protect us from Obama?”

Lest you think McCain can escape hillbilly scrutiny, think again. McCain makes me more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers. He’s that cloud on the horizon that might bring much needed rain, but he also carries the potential of lightening that might take out your tallest tree.  Daddy always said “Don’t buy a pig in a poke”. Even though we’ve had years to figure out what McCain might do based on his public record, we have no way of knowing what he’ll really do. He’s that pig in a sack we know so much about that we don’t know anything at all. He’s that horse that might kick you, and the cow that waits til you fill the bucket before she kicks it over. He’s the hen that won’t roost in the hen house, but sometimes gives you a double yolk.

There’s been a heap of ridicule from Hollywood about hillbillies, but along with everything else they mimic, they’d be wrong. Our roots go deep and that lets us stand tall in storms. Sometimes it brings the lightening, but most often it brings good shade.

 Thanks for reading – and don’t forget to pray for Hillbilly – that’s one of the best things about being a hillbilly, folks know how to pray for you.

It’s fairly clear and well documented that conservatives are in a crisis state this election. Since we’re generally in a crisis state every election, this is nothing new. This is one blogger who is tired; tired of the neverending repetitive news articles about this, that, or the other thing they wrote about last month or the month before and dusted off and reworded to present to us this month as NEWS, all of which are designed to distract us from the real problems, the problems that are going to affect our daily lives for generations to come.

I ramble so let’s get back to the title of this article: conservative concerns. The Republican nominee is John McCain. His supporters and the Republican leadership are spending an inordinate amount of time with talking points designed to “sell” this candidate to a large segment who would rather the nominee was anybody but McCain. The reaction to his “apparent nominee” status was imediately visceral and dismaying; not just mine but across the segment of the Republican party that is filled by conservatives.

While McCain’s voting record has a lifetime rating of 83.2 with the American Conservative Union, there’s still something wrong with the picture of McCain as President of the United States and it is has not been easy to put into words.

You see, McCain has an inability to see the bigger picture. He supports legislation that is “supposed” to do this or that thing without thinking about the long term effects of any part of that legislation. Long term effects is a conservative concern of the highest priority. This is beyond personal or traditional values that many like to center upon. Those are as individual as the individuals themselves. None of us are ever going to agree 100% with any other on any number of issues; not even husbands and wives.

It is his faults combined with this inability that make him an undesirable candidate because they become all the more crucial and concerning to staunch conservatives. It is this situation that none seem able to address in any way to calm those concerned. Given the inability to address the concerns, one has turned pessimistic.

Given our choices for November, I may well have to vote for McCain as the better alternative but I’m not happy about it and I doubt that will change between now and then. It might but not without some real “straight talk” from those who have chosen to ignore the big issues in favor of talking points that say little to nothing but allow one to infer whatever floats their boat in lieu of profound disappointment when they later find that no such thing was meant.

I prefer the big picture view. I take what information is given and try to extrapolate to all possible outcomes before making a decision. In this world of immediate results versus long term effects, I suppose I’m an anachronism, when it seems the world turns on immediate gratification regardless of future consequences.

Let’s look at some talking points via a memo reported upon at The Politico. (Note: the article used addresses an issue that might be of interest to you but we’ll stick to the talking points for this article.):

NATIONAL SECURITY: John McCain will stay on offense to defeat the threat of radical Islamic extremism. The Democrats have demonstrated no resolve to defeat this threat.

· McCain had the judgment and courage to call for a change in strategy in the war in Iraq — a strategy that is now succeeding. He has vigorously supported Gen. Petraeus’ successful strategy, while the Democratic candidates continue to call for retreat.

While radical Islamic extremism is an vitally important issue and enormous threat, it’s not the only threat this nation faces nor is it faced only within the Middle East where the war is being conducted. It’s here in this nation and flowing over our insecure borders; a threat that McCain consistently ignores as he chooses to fight against enforcement of our immigration laws.

TAXES AND SPENDING: John McCain will get our economy back on track by cutting taxes, spurring investment and innovation and ending wasteful spending in Washington.

· McCain will cut taxes and stop the outrageous wasteful spending in Washington. McCain will make the Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminate the AMT, and cut taxes on American businesses to help our companies remain competitive. McCain will stop the wasteful and pork barrel spending and enforce the conservative vision of smaller government by vetoing any pork-barrel bill that comes across his desk.

He really doesn’t have the power to do this. He can influence or try to influence taxes and wasteful spending but if legislation is deemed needful and enjoys majority support he will be overridden on vetoes or be forced to sign it with earmarks intact. Oh, he may manage to reduce spending by some measure on legislation that can’t be overriden by Congress but a Congress addicted to earmarks,taxes, and spending for pet projects is likely to hold the upper hand on this issue. This is where “the people” should be working, not looking to government to do it for them. The people prevent this by using their votes wisely.

HEALTH CARE: John McCain will reform our health care system using free market solutions to reduce the skyrocketing costs that threaten to implode the system. McCain will provide all individuals with a refundable $2,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families) as incentive to buy health insurance.

This is not necessarily a bad thing but his chances of pulling it off with the other factors (like taxes and spending) affecting issues  are slim to none. It’s a carrot tied to the stick in front of the donkey. One also must wonder how McCain’s “war against drug companies” will tie into this.

TRADITIONAL VALUES: John McCain will protect our traditional values. McCain has a consistent 24-year pro-life record, and believes that Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that should be overturned. McCain believes that the institution of marriage should be protected and defined as a union between one man and one woman. John McCain will nominate strict constructionist judges to the bench.

Traditional values are more than Roe v Wade and the Marriage amendment. Both of these issues are tied to religious principles as are many other issues that define traditional values. Roe v Wade hasn’t been overturned in the 35 years since it became a defining moment in the right to life. There have been several Republican/Conservative presidents during that time. This is another carrot (or perhaps an apple). Instead of following the apple, I would rather we worked on making it irrelevant (making Roe v Wade irrelevant).

We can do that by educating our young and fighting the sexualization of minors in the educational system and through our communities by empowering people to expect more from their personal conduct than the expectations of a government always looking for the next victim class.

As for the other, I adhere to the biblical teaching of “judge not, lest ye be judged.” I cannot condone homosexual relations because of my beliefs nor will I engage in such because the bible expressly forbids such behavior. However, judgment upon those who do is in the hands of God, not me. This is one thing I believe should remain in God’s hands not those of the government. Men, being imperfect beings, are likely to mangle it and make the solution worse than the problem.

***********

History is a double-edged sword at times. Every time we criticize McCain for his position on a particular issue, someone somewhere points to a time in our history where another president had a similar position and was allowed to fail. This is concerning that we nor our leaders seem to learn from history anymore. If another at another time failed with a similar position, should we give a free pass to someone else to make the same mistake? We learn from examples, both the successes and failures, as well as making and acknowledging our own mistakes. John McCain and his supporters show an unwillingness to learn from past mistakes and expect a clean slate to enable him to repeat the mistakes of the past.

If we treat our country and government in such a manner where is the continuity of government, for the people by the people, that most of us seek? If we do not learn from past mistakes and even past successes, history is doomed to repeat itself until the truth is told, used, and guides our footsteps into the future. Even our past successes can fail if we do not account for the adaptation of those who would see us fail in our endeavors. We cannot hold up the good and ignore the bad. Both must be acknowledged to inform our decisions and better ourselves as individuals and as a nation.

Where is the candidate who will “stand athwart history yelling, stop”? Where is the candidate who can see the bigger picture and can extrapolate from immediate gratifications to long term effects before making momentous decisions that affect every person in the nation? Where is the candidate who will learn from others’ mistakes and work to avoid making those same mistakes?

Pelosi points finger at McCain on Boeing

The controversy over the Pentagon decision to award a $35bn refuelling tanker contract to EADS spilled into the presidential race yesterday, when a senior Democrat suggested that John McCain, the Republican nominee, was responsible for the deal being “outsourced” to a European company.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, said Boeing had been on course to supply the US Air Force with tankers until Mr McCain “intervened”.

“My understanding is that it was on course for Boeing before. I mean, the thought was that it would be a domestic supplier for it,” Ms Pelosi told reporters.

“Senator McCain intervened, and now we have a situation where the contract may be – this work may be outsourced.”

The air force originally chose Boeing to supply it with 100 tankers. But Congress cancelled the deal after it emerged that Darleen Druyun, a former top air force acquisitions official, had held illegal job discussions with Boeing while still negotiating the deal. Ms Druyun admitted boosting the value of the deal to help Boeing.

Mr McCain has pointed to his aggressive investigation into the Boeing deal as evidence that he is willing to stand up to powerful corporate interests.

The tanker scandal claimed the career of former Boeing chief executive Phil Condit. Ms Druyun and Mike Sears, Boeing’s former chief financial officer, were sent to jail.

The suggestion by Ms Pelosi came as Boeing supporters on Capitol Hill opened a new line of attack against the deal, which ultimately could be worth more than $100bn as the air force replaces its entire fleet of about 600 in-flight refuelling tankers. […]

Okay, so McCain went after some corruption, people lost jobs and liberty because of that corruption, but Congress’ only solution to the problem is to award the contract to foreigners?

Pat Roberts, a Republican senator from Kansas, where Boeing has a strong presence, claimed the decision to award the deal to EADS and Northrop Grumman, its US partner, ran counter to US trade policy.

Mr Roberts said the decision “defies common sense” because the US was pursuing a subsidies case against Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS, at the World Trade Organisation.

“This is an outrage. It truly makes me question our trade agenda,” the Kansas senator told the Senate finance committee.

Mr Roberts’ attack follows a spate of criticism in Congress. The decision stunned most analysts, who expected Boeing, which has supplied the US military with in-flight refuelling tankers for five decades, to win.

Boeing will have 10 days to lodge a protest with the Government Accountability Office, the oversight arm of Congress, after it receives an air force briefing.

Who knows? Perhaps Boeing cleaned its act up too much considering Congress is bound and determined to reward corruption.

It also makes one wonder if the Democrats are hell-bent on engineering economic crises to fulfill their prophesies of recession, not to mention awarding such a contract to a foreign entity while they claim America has lost respect in the world. Given the amount of anti-American sentiment coming from France… well… why not reward them for confirming our own Congress’ American Derangement Syndrome?

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