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Elections & Media


The Dragon in Wolf Clothing

Her Highness, Senator Clinton, began shedding her centrist ways at the recent Democratic Winter Meetings.  In example, her comment regarding the profits made by Exxon last quarter “I want to take those profits and put them into an alternative energy fund that will begin to fund alternative smart energy alternatives that will actually begin to move us toward the direction of independence.”

First, whoever is responsible for writing this comment for her should find a substitute for the word alternative!  More importantly, every person who thinks they understand the profit motive and the word socialism needs to rethink the definitions in “Hillaryspeak.”  Like it or not the profits made by Exxon are due to the American public and their non quenchable thirst for gasoline and petroleum products.  Who bought the products that allow Exxon to be so profitable?  A better question may be do we really care if they are profitable as long as the flow of gasoline continues?  I think the latter comment may be closer to the truth.  Senator Clinton is utilizing the age old practice of Demagoguery to increase her polling numbers and possibly because she feels the hot breath of Obama breathing on her neck.  She will have to unleash her true persona if she is to beat back the onslaught of “Mr. Clean”.  Pardon my paraphrase of Senator Biden’s verbal misdemeanor.

So now we have the wolf’s clothing being removed to make room for the fire breathing dragon lady known as Senator Clinton.  I cannot wait to see what outlandish comments she may let escape her oral cavity during the next few months.  I suspect the true socialist’s agenda may raise its ugly little head regarding not only the stealing of private enterprise funds (Exxon) but also the heavy yoke of additional taxes required to fund the plethora of social programs desired by the Democratic Party.  Does socialized medicine come to mind?  It should because the likes of Senator Clinton, Senator Kennedy and the current most powerful woman in America, Nancy Pelosi, would all like to force so-called medical care for everyone down our throats. 

Look at the current budget approved by the Bush administration!  2.9 Trillion dollars for a budget with which to run our country.  Our friends in Congress do not believe this is enough and would like to increase the budget to accommodate additional social programs (vote buying).  So now we know that with a population of 300,000,000 (not including illegal aliens) and a budget of 3 Trillion every man woman and child in the United States owes $10,000 apiece in order to fund the budget.  For argument sake let us say that there are only 200 million working people in our country paying taxes.  The bill now becomes $15,000 per working person.  How much tax did you pay last year?  More importantly, how much tax will you pay next year and in the future?  How in the name of common sense will our children and grandchildren live in such a suppressed society?  Regardless of your political, religious or societal affiliations you have to ask yourself the questions above and then put the pressure on our elected royalty in this country to actually do something. 

I suspect a lot of working individuals believe that the rich are not paying enough and that the good old boys currently in charge in Congress will see to it that this changes.  Poppycock! Do the research and you will see that roughly 5% of the American public pays 57% of the taxes in this country.  All we need is to tax those making more and the free enterprise system will fall about like a house of cards.  Where is the incentive to work and make more when the dragon lady is planning on appropriating any excess profits for redistribution to her favorite governmental charity?  I certainly cannot speak for anyone but myself but I would never want to see any branch of government be able to “steal” profits for redistributions from private enterprise.

My firm belief remains constant that Barack Obama and Hillary will eventually become running mates.  Our electorate is uninformed regarding factual information surrounding candidates and so brainwashed into the celebrity mentality that Obama is almost guaranteed a position should the Democrats win in 2008.  Barack Hussein Obama is indeed quick on his feet and gives a great impression during a grin and grab session.  His charisma and charm have generation X and Y all but swooning like giddy schoolgirls, but it remains to be seen if Gen X and Y will get out and vote.  Meanwhile the Republican Party remains on course to run another aging European American male.  The number of individuals remaining in America who will vote for the traditional candidate is shrinking every month and heaven knows who will be less polarizing to the Republican faithful. 

The countdown has begun and we only have 11 months until the first Presidential caucus.  How much money and how much ink are wasted determining the next candidate remains to be seen but I personally cannot wait to witness the verbal assault from Hillary once she receives the oral colonoscopy from the media.  Then we will see the wolf shed her fur and assume the true persona of a fire breathing scale covered dragon lady.

Remember picking a Presidential candidate is not brain surgery.

Terry

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hillary_obamaOk, I must admit that I feel much safer now that Barack Obama has decided to take the first legal steps toward running for the Presidency of The United States.  NOT!!!  Are there any human beings with a body temperature of 98.6 who actually believe that Mr. Obama will run against Hillary?  Give me a small break!  Were I a betting man I would bet that the Democratic ticket for 2008 will be Clinton for President and Obama for President of Vice.

Barack Obama is indeed a fine looking young man and evidently has a lot of charm. I hardly think he has the same charisma of JFK although the media has already decided he is the second coming of John Kennedy.  He has a myriad of experience having been elected to the U.S. Senate exactly one time after serving for 2 terms in a state office in Illinois. (notice my tongue is sticking through my cheek.)  I hope his main qualification among those of voting age is not the fact that he is the only black member of the U.S. Senate.  One must admit however that a Presidential ticket that includes a white woman and the wife of an ex-President and a running mate who is young, smart, good looking and oh, by the way, is also African American would present an almost unbeatable ticket. The first woman President might serve for 2 terms and then the first Black Vice President could become the first Black President for 2 terms.  The Democrats would have the White House locked up for 16 years.  It is almost too perfect.  The only thing that could make it better would be for Mr. Obama to choose a Muslim for his VP running mate sometime after 2012.

One major problem would be Teddy Kennedy trying to pronounce Obama’s first name.  Usually, depending on how awake the Senator from Massachusetts may be, the name is slurred something like Osama Obama or Barack Osama.  That Teddy Kennedy, he is certainly a source of pride for The Bay State!

Clinton and Obama might make for an interesting ticket because it would be considered un-American and politically incorrect to vote against either of them.  I suspect Hillary would quickly find a way to avoid public scrutiny due to her disdain for answering questions that are not rehearsed or previously submitted to her staff for her approval.  Mr. Obama might have to take up the slack resulting from Hillary’s refusal or inability to give answers to any meaningful questions.  This would make for some very interesting behind the scenes jockeying as Hillary Rodham loves the spotlight but refuses to answer any serious questions and I suspect Obama will grab any microphone that is not glued down in order to get a few sound bites on the evening news.

Hang on boys and girls … the election of 2008 will indeed be a great awakening for those of you who still believe elections are won on integrity and principle.  Sound bites, good looks and little in the area of substance will certainly play well with the great unwashed voting public in 2008.  I cannot imagine who the Republican Party will run against Obama and Clinton. Perhaps Newt Gingrich, John McCain or whoever else decides to run on the Republican ticket should grow a beard and begin wearing black suits and a stovepipe hat and hope they are confused with a reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln.  The Republican Presidential candidate will also have to choose a good looking black woman to run as VP.  Condi Rice certainly has the intelligence but gets absolutely no respect from the press.  Perhaps Paula Abdul should be chosen and share her inside secrets from the American Idol Kool-Aid drinkers.  As a matter of fact, perhaps the Republicans should run an American Idol type of presidential race, the candidate could sing, dance and promise everything to everybody and then the public could vote on who they wanted to be the Republican candidate.  Wait a minute … the Democratic Party has already begun using that idea.  Oh well, I suppose we will have to become accustomed to ivory and ebony in the White House.

Terry


The mid-term elections were held over two weeks ago and still, in some parts of the country, a winner has not been declared. Once again, expensive electronic voting machines (with no paper trail) are being called into question as to their accuracy. All the while, the fine people of Oregon are probably sitting around laughing at the rest fo the country and saying to themselves, “This voting process thing isn’t that complicated – in ain’t brain surgery.”

Why would they being saying this? Because since 1998, the entire state has been conducting their elections via a Vote by Mail system. The citizens of this great state (obviously very smart people) voted to do away with polling places and conduct all elections by mail. Brillant … and cost effective.  This system ends up costing taxpayers about 30 percent less than polling-place elections.

Every registered voter receives a paper ballot in the mail weeks before Election Day. The ballot can be either mailed back or dropped off at one of a number of secure sites statewide.

The system has proved to be fraud-free. Oregon is one of only two states in the nation to verify every single voter signature against the signature on that voter’s registration card. Their process is transparent and open to observation. Finally, the returned paper ballots, which are the official record of the election, can be recounted by hand.

A University of Oregon study conducted five years after the adoption of voting by mail statewide showed that 80 percent of voters across the political spectrum prefer it to voting at polling places. It’s a system that answers the needs of Americans who lead increasingly busy, complex lives, balancing many work and family responsibilities.

When will the rest of the states catch the clue bus and ask their citizens whether they would like to have a Vote by Mail system? I believe that most Americans would go for it. Why don’t more state legislators put this initiative up for a vote by their citizens? It ain’t brain surgery. Just do it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and be safe out there. And don’t forget to remember all of the men and women in our Armed Services who will not be home for Thanksgiving … especially the ones who have paid the ultimate price with the giving of their life … Remember the Fallen Heros. Thank all of them for serving our country and for protecting our freedoms and way of life.

Richard


As I’ve mentioned before, I live in Atlanta, GA, a one-paper town. I know, cry me a river. But really, a one-paper town these days doesn’t mean what it used to – you know, with the Internet and all. I can pretty damn much read any paper I want to over the Internet. Besides, this post ain’t about a one-paper town. It’s about whiners.

A letter writer in today’s edition of the AJC was responding to a guest editorial about voting – how hard it is, how incovenient it is, blahblahblahblah. Here’s what he (I guess it is a he) said – no names, to protect the ignorant (you read that right).

Ease unfair burden of time constraints

Why can’t the United States place enough value on elections to designate one day each year – or if we need to be parsimonious, one day every two years – as Election Day and mandate the shutdown of everything but emergency services, and shortened shifts for those?

Today’s working class, with fixed hours and inflexible schedules, is severely burdened by time constraints on Election Day, not to mention the machinations involving disparate placement of voting machines. Is a timeout for Election Day asking too much?

Now I don’t know this person but I can tell you he/she is a whiner. Notice the “key” words used in the letter … “severely burdened”, “time constraints”, “working class”, “fixed hours”,  and “inflexible schedules” because we all know “THE MAN” is in charge and it is all FIXED! And he/she uses BIG words like “machionations” and “parsimonious” …. ooooooooooh, I’m impressed. You think this person leans left or right?

Is a timeout for Election Day asking too much? Give me a break!!!!! This person would have the greatest nation on Earth shut down to vote. Damn people. I voted a week and a half ago. I never left my house. It cost me a little time to order the absentee ballot and two stamps – $.78 for gosh sake. How much easier can it get people?

This letter writer would have us shut down the entire U.S. ecomony so it is more convenient and easy for them to vote. How much easier can we make it people? Go online, download the absentee ballot request form, get it, fill it out, and mail it in. Or … go vote early … as you can do in GA and many other states. Or, do as Oregon does and have everyone do a mailed in ballot.  This ain’t brain surgery!

Folks, seriously …. this ain’t brain surgery. Voting ain’t hard. It ain’t unfair. If you want to vote, you’ll figure out a way. Vote, you get to complain about the outcome. Don’t vote, don’t complain. But shutdown the U.S. economy for a day so whiners can be accomodated? Give me a freaking break. Catch the clue bus. Use technology. Let your fingers do the walking. But for goodness sake, stop your damn complaining!

Have a great day … and by the way, don’t forget to vote!

Richard

PS – it will be raining in Atlanta on Tuesday, Election Day – I guess we better figure out how to get umbrellas to a few 100K people 😉


The mid-term elections are coming up next week and as recent trends suggest, voter turnout will be pathetic. Here in Georgia, the SOS office today predicted about a 40% turnout (why do they predict turnout? Does everyone think they are Jean Dixon?). I suspect the turnout in my state will be below that prediction. Seems people just don’t seem to care anymore. Too much trouble to vote, I reckon. Never has been to me, though. I like to complain about politicians and the state of government affairs so I figure if I vote, I get to complain whenever I wish – like this blog and this post.

One group of Americans that are voting less these days is young people. Voter turnout and interest in politics has declined among America’s youth since the early 1970s.  In presidential election years, for example, 18- to 20-year-old voter turnout has decreased from a high of 48 percent in 1972 to just 28 percent in 2000. In midterm congressional elections, turnout among the young is even worse, with only 20 percent of those younger than 25 bothering to show up at the polls. Compare these results with those for seniors, 65 percent of whom voted in 2000.

In 1960 almost 80 percent of Americans younger than 30 watched the Kennedy-Nixon debates, by 2000 less than 40 percent of this demographic tuned in to the first Bush-Gore debate. It seems the “political knowledge gap” between the young and old has been widening for almost two generations; indeed more and more of our youngest citizens are unaware of important political events and lack general political knowledge. And such knowledge is important for nurturing civic values and encouraging an active participation in politics. We need to teach our youth the important value of being politically engaged. Otherwise, we’re in trouble … and you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure this out.

We also need to make it more convenient to vote. Weekend voting would help. There are places that already do this and the turnout is better. Oregon only does voting by mail – seems like a great idea to me. Here in Gerogia (and I believe other states are doing this, too), any person can request an absentee ballot – no reason has to be given (I voted last week – cost me 2 stamps and saved me a lot of time). Plus, you can do early voting a week ahead of time – but you still have to go to the election office to do it – not such a great idea (IMHO). Why don’t politicians and legislators make it easier to vote? This ain’t brain surgery. Getting creative and coming up with new ways and means to improve systems is something the business community has been doing for centuries. Why don’t the decision makers at a national level get it? I think I know the answer. The less people who vote, the easier it is to manipulate the masses.

As Thomas Jefferson once stated:

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

 Go vote … it ain’t brain surgery.

Richard