Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
IT WILL BE HARD TO CREATE JOBS
Unemployment is likely to rise during the first year of Obama's term, no matter what steps he takes.
"Here's the challenge facing President-elect Barack Obama as he weighs how to create more jobs: Another half-million jobs likely will be lost between now and Inauguration Day in January...
"...Economists generally believe there's little Obama can do to stop more job losses in the short-term, even if he's able to get a new economic stimulus package passed by the lame-duck Congress and signed into law by President Bush.
"'Superman couldn't change what's in store for the U.S. economy. It's going to be ugly,' said Rich Yamarone, director of economic research at Argus Research."
I'm sure that would have been the exact same story run about McCain, had he been elected. The one that really made me laugh, though, was on MSNBC's website under the story entitled:
OBAMA FACES GREAT EXPECTATIONS
"Even after nearly two years in the spotlight, little is understood about the 47-year-old first-term senator's approach to leadership. His resume: community organizer, eight years as state legislator, and less than four as U.S. senator.
"As a lawmaker, he has displayed a knack for working with Republicans on a handful of favorite issues. But he has devoted most of his time in the Senate to running for president. Unlike the past seven presidents, he was never a governor or vice president. And unlike John F. Kennedy, the last senator to move directly to the presidency, Obama has not commanded troops in wartime."
I'm sure MSNBC was saying the same thing about Obama's inexperience prior to the election and we simply didn't notice.
President-elect Obama set the media's agenda for the next few weeks in his victory speech:
"The road ahead will be long. We may not get there in one year or even one term.
"There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem."
I'm sure he was saying that along the campaign trail and we just missed it.
After promising the world throughout the campaign, it appears it is now time to lower expectations.
"Wednesday the sun came up and I was happy. It is still morning in America. The candidate I voted for did not win, but I got to vote in a free and fair election. Power will be passed peacefully and the Constitution is intact.
We should never take that for granted.The United States of America is still a marvelous place to live."
It is worth your time to read.
(I also recommend checking out his essay on Discrimination and Prop 8.)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
By Orson Scott Card
Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.
An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:
I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.
This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.
It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.
What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.
The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.
They end up worse off than before.
This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.
Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)
Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?
I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."
Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.
As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" ( http://snipurl.com/
These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.
Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!
What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?
Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.
And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.
If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.
But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign — because that campaign had sought his advice — you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.
You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.
If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.
If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.
There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension — so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)
If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.
Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.
But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie — that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad — even bad weather — on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.
If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.
Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.
Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.
Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.
So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?
Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?
You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.
That's where you are right now.
It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.
If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.
Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.
You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.
This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.
If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe — and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.
If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats — including Barack Obama — and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans — then you are not journalists by any standard.
You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.This article first appeared in The Rhinoceros Times of Greensboro, North Carolina, and is used here by permission.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I spent some time in the world of journalism as a Public Relations major. Each PR student was required to write 2 semesters for the school newspaper. After I fulfilled my 2 semesters, I was asked to join the school newspaper staff as a paid journalist, which I then did for an additional year.
I also took a number of classes dealing with journalism, where I learned all the basics. I know, for example, that in the previous paragraph, I ought to have spelled out "two" instead of using "2", unless the number I was using was ten or higher, in which case I ought to have used "10 or higher". I know that the period on the last sentence used to go on the inside of the quotation, but more recently has changed to being used on the outside, and that either way is proper, and it simply depends on the style guide of your individual newspaper.
But the number one cardinal rule I learned as a journalist was Objectivity. In every class that I took on the subject, I was told that, at the end of the story, the reader should not be able to detect your opinion on the subject.
Take, for example, a situation where a 10 year-old boy is hit by a car while riding his bike. The headline could be written any of these different ways, among countless others:
1) Boy Hit by Car While Riding Bike
2) 10 Year-Old Boy Hit by Car While Riding New Bike
3) 90 Year-Old Driver Hits Young Boy on Bike
4) Reckless 10 Year-Old Boy Gets in Way of Car
5) White 90 Year-Old Man Hits 10 Year-Old African-American Orphan on Bike
The tone of the story (and the opinion of the reader) changes based on which headline is used, although all may be true. I was taught in Journalism 101 to use #1. But #1 doesn't sell newspapers.
I freely admit that I am not a fan of journalists. True journalists are natural skeptics who aren't afraid to invade private lives and space in order to bring the truth to the people. While I am not a fan of journalists, I do believe that a free press is critical to freedom. At least, it has been in the past...
I have argued for some time now that the media is not consciously biased. Rather, it is the nature of the story combined with the increased need to sell newspapers. A Democratic senator having an affair is not newsworthy, but a Republican senator having an affair is newsworthy. Why? Because the Republican senator has claimed to have the moral high ground, so the draw of the story is the hypocrisy, not the affair.
That was my argument... The current election and comparing headlines has changed my opinion on the matter. As an example, here are the results from a few of the larger Presidential Election polls from one week ago and yesterday:
Zogby - 10/23       Zogby - 10/29
McCain: 40.3%     McCain: 44.4%
Obama: 52.2%     Obama: 49.1%
Rasmussen - 10/23       Rasmussen - 10/29
McCain: 45.0%             McCain: 47.0%
Obama: 52.0%              Obama: 50.0%
TIPP - 10/23       TIPP - 10/29  (This pollster was most accurate in the last election)
McCain: 43.7%     McCain: 43.9%
Obama: 44.8%     Obama: 46.9%
Undecided: 11.6%   Undecided: 9.2%
The race tightening up from a double-digit lead in some polls last week to only a few points in the last week of the Presidential Election ought to be the most newsworthy story today, yet the only place you'll find it is on Fox News and The Drudge Report. I've checked.
The same media outlets that were flashing the double-digit lead all over their websites last week are supressing the story this week in order to discourage would-be voters into thinking that the election is already over so that they will either A) Not bother voting or B) Feel the desire to join the "winning" team.
Despite what the media says, it's not over. 44.4% + 49.1% does not equal 100.0%, and neither does 47.0% + 50.0%. There are still a lot of undecided voters out there, and the trends are more accurate than the polls themselves. Should be an interesting 5 days.
Without core beliefs, one could easily be swayed to one side or the other by the power of the word. I recently listened to an archived speech from 1968 called "The Proper Role of Government". When I finished listening, I thought, That is exactly how I feel! It was almost like the speaker was putting the feelings of my heart into words.
As this is my first post, I thought I ought to post a couple quotes from that speech that really define my core beliefs in relation to the proper role of government:
"Leaving aside, for a moment, the question of the divine origin of rights, it is obvious that a government is nothing more or less than a relatively small group of citizens who have been hired, in a sense, by the rest of us to perform certain functions and discharge certain responsibilities which have been authorized. It stands to reason that the government itself has no innate power or privilege to do anything. Its only source of authority and power is from the people who have created it. This is made clear in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, which reads: 'WE THE PEOPLE... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.'"
Later in the speech, the speaker uses an example which I believe fits well in the current election:
"Indeed, the early pioneers found that a great deal of their time and energy was being spent doing all three - defending themselves, their property and their liberty - in what properly was called the 'Lawless West.' In order for man to prosper, he cannot afford to spend his time constantly guarding his family, his fields, and his property against attach and theft, so he joins together with his neighbors and hires a sheriff. At this precise moment, government is born. The individual citizens delegate to the sheriff their unquestionable right to protect themselves. The sheriff now does for them only what they had a right to do for themselves - nothing more. Quoting again from Bastiat:
"'If every person has the right to defend - even by force - his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right --its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right.' (The Law, p. 6)
"So far so good. But now we come to the moment of truth. Suppose pioneer 'A' wants another horse for his wagon, He doesn't have the money to buy one, but since pioneer 'B' has an extra horse, he decides that he is entitled to share in his neighbor's good fortune, Is he entitled to take his neighbor's horse? Obviously not! If his neighbor wishes to give it or lend it, that is another question. But so long as pioneer 'B' wishes to keep his property, pioneer 'A' has no just claim to it.
"If 'A' has no proper power to take 'B's' property, can he delegate any such power to the sheriff? No. Even if everyone in the community desires that 'B' give his extra horse to 'A', they have no right individually or collectively to force him to do it. They cannot delegate a power they themselves do not have. This important principle was clearly understood and explained by John Locke nearly 300 years ago:
"'For nobody can transfer to another more power than he has in himself, and nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life of property of another.' (Two Treatises of Civil Government, II, 135; P.P.N.S. p. 93)"
-- Ezra Taft Benson (Former Secretary of Agriculture to President Eisenhower)
We ought to be a generous people. We ought to be a Christian people who lift the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. We ought to be our brother's keeper. But it is not proper for government, which itself has no innate power or privilege to do anything, to force us to do so. The power belongs to we the people.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I find that his voting record indicates that he does not support, and it many cases opposes those values that he says he is in favor of.
The complete voting records of both of the candidates can be found in various places, but a consolidated source is:
At that site there is also a section that lists the ratings given to the candidates by various special interest groups. These ratings are a good indicator of where the candidate stands on issues that are important to each of us as voters.
I find that a number of them are very troubling in that they are in opposition to what he says he's going to do if he becomes president and to the values that I feel are important.
Here are a few of the ratings. The reader can check out each special interest group to see what the organization stands for.
This is just a small sample of the listings at votesmart.org. Remember, these ratings are given by the organization itself, usually based on past voting record.
* NARAL Pro-Choice America (2007)
* Planned Parenthood (2006)
* National Right To Life (2005-2006)
* Family Research Council (2007)
* National Organization for Women (2005-2006)
* Secular Coalition (2006)
* ACLU (2007)
* Americans for Tax Reform (2007)
* Citizens Against Government Waste (2007)
* Conservative Index - John Birch Society (2007)
* Eagle Forum (2007)
* AFL-CIO (2007)
I'll admit, I don't know a whole lot of people in the military, but the few I do, I trust. And until I find the time (*and some really good resources) to learn more about our presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that's good enough for me. I'll trust those who have been there.
Now I realize that just because what my military friends say is good enough for me, doesn't mean it will cut it for others, but maybe this poll from the Military Times will. The majority of the troops polled in this survey said they'd vote for McCain if the election was held today (68% for McCain vs. 23% for Obama). It also breaks it down into ranks, service, gender, race, duty status, and age. Those results are very interesting to look at, particularly the results of who blacks/African Americans would vote for in contrast to the other races (can someone explain to me why those not voting for Obama are being called racist when in reality, it seems to be the other way around?). There were also other questions asked and McCain won for all of them.
I have a deep respect for those willing to fight for our country. I can't even begin to imagine the horrors they have seen and the pain that will always be with them as a result of their service, but I do believe that what they are doing is important.
*If anyone has some great, unbiased, easy to understand resources on the wars please leave the links in the comments. Also, I invite anyone who would like to post about the wars in Iraq and/or Afghanistan to email me (thefightforconservatism @ gmail.com) for access to write for The Fight for Conservatism (be sure to read the rules for posting first).
Further viewing for anyone who is interested (and has the time):
These first two are soldiers talking about why we need to be in Iraq:
This is kind of a weird video, not nearly as professional as the others, but I'm including it because it's different from the others and gives a different way to look at things:
Iraq is not a mistake:
This is for all those who blame the war on republicans alone. Obviously democrats thought something needed to be done as well. Why can't they now realize we need to finish what we started?:
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you - not financially to help him - we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”
Not only will the next administration have to deal with foreign affairs issues, Biden warned, but also with the current economic crisis.
“Gird your loins,” Biden told the crowd. “We’re gonna win with your help, God willing, we’re gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It’s like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy.”
“I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I’m not being falsely humble with you. I think I can be value added, but this guy has it,” the Senate Foreign Relations chairman said of Obama. “This guy has it. But he’s gonna need your help. Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, ‘Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?’ We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us.”
“There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision’,” Biden continued. “Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made, which I believe you will when they’re made, they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.”
Biden emphasized that the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border is of particular concern, with Osama bin Laden “alive and well” and Pakistan “bristling with nuclear weapons.”
“You literally can see what these kids are up against, our kids in that region,” Biden said in recalling when his helicopter was forced down due to a snowstorm there. “The place is crawling with al Qaeda. And it’s real.”
“We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes,” he cautioned. “It’s so much more important than that. It’s so much more complicated than that. And Barack gets it.”
All of his words said are here.While I think it was a really bad time for him to say something like that(or good depending on who you are), every nation,that can, has probably heard and seen everything going on in this election. What are the thoughts of those that might be wanting to start something? Are terrorists thinking that it may be easier to get away with something because we might be more vulnerable with the change in the Presidency? Wouldn't you want to avoid any such worries in a champaign?It has been said that with every new President something has always happened in the first year, so I guess we'll see.There are a lot of questions out there on the internet and in many other places about this. There is confusion, separation and a lot of anger in our country right now. Other countries see this, as do our own people. It was a speech that people have been and will be thinking about in the next few weeks.
Again with all this being said I really do agree that with McCain's leadership of this Country(if he wins) that he is perfectly capable of not only being able to handle the threats that are out there, but also be able to deal with them head on if any does happen against our Country!
This is a great video as to why I too think that McCain will be great under any sort of attack. It's an oldie but goodie.
A rally with Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is being moved to a larger site in Springfield. Friday morning’s event was initially scheduled for an arena at Missouri State University.
But the party says all 4,000 tickets were snapped up within 90 minutes Wednesday morning at Republican headquarters in Greene and Christian counties. Hundreds more Palin fans were left empty-handed.
Palin’s “Road to Victory” rally will now take place instead in the parking lot of Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. The outdoor outfitter is one of Missouri’s biggest attractions. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday. No tickets are needed.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday. No tickets are needed!
Go Palin!! I love that she is so down to earth and she has such great energy about her! It's no wonder why she had to move it to a bigger area!! I can't wait to see how many people actually showed up!
Monday, October 20, 2008
This I really do believe. I don't want any opinion of mine to get in the way of what I want people to know and understand.Sso here it is straight from the source.
To get to this original page and to use the other links on this page please use this link.
FactCheck.org is an excellent project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. It a non-partisan organization which provides factual evaluations of the claims of and about political figures. I have cited it in my own writing, and will continue to do so. However, that FactCheck has a well-deserved reputation for accuracy and good judgment does not mean that its work is infallible, as the VC has pointed out previously. The Encyclopedia Britannica also has a well-deserved reputation for accuracy and impartiality, but the Britannica sometimes contains errors or overstatements.
FactCheck’s September 22, 2008, report on the National Rifle Association’s advertising critical claims that the NRA “distorts Obama's position on gun control beyond recognition.” FactCheck itself, though, has overstated its claims, and made several errors.
The NRA’s advertising points to various positions which Obama has taken over the years. Not one of these positions (with a single very dubious exception, discussed below) has been subsequently repudiated by Obama.
Much of FactCheck’s critique of the NRA is the mere recitation of vague platitudes by Obama claiming that he supports of the Second Amendment.
FactCheck fails to recognize that Obama's platitudes and the NRA's charges could be simultaneously true. For example, John McCain might sincerely say, “I strongly support First Amendment rights.” A group critical of McCain might take out advertising which says “McCain sponsored the most comprehensive restriction of political speech in American history, and he is an opponent of your First Amendment rights.” All the statement are true: McCain sponsored the McCain-Feingold act, which outlaws a great deal of speech related to federal elections; people who are strong First Amendment advocates can therefore conclude that McCain is a very serious threat to First Amendment rights. McCain, however, is doubtless sincere in his belief that the political speech restrictions are consistent with his support for First Amendment rights. His First Amendment is simply much smaller than the First Amendment which free speech groups like the ACLU support. FactCheck would be incorrect if it declared that the free speech group was making "false" charges which "distorted" McCain's views.
Likewise, the NRA is not distorting Obama’s record when they accurately point out his advocacy for draconian gun controls, even if Obama offers generic platitudes about Second Amendment rights. Obama may sincerely believe that the various measures he has promoted are consistent with the Second Amendment; the NRA disagrees, and it is not factually inaccurate for the NRA to say so.
On some of the charges, FactCheck appears not to have studied Obama’s words carefully. For example, one NRA claim is that Obama wants to “Ban the Manufacture, Sale and Possession of Handguns.” FactCheck accurately reports that Obama did endorse such a position in his 1996 Illinois State Senate race. (FactCheck also supplies the details of Obama’s 2008 claim that the questionnaire was filled out by an aide without Obama’s knowledge, even though Obama’s handwriting is on the cover of the questionnaire.) But FactCheck asserts that the NRA is lying because of Obama’s response to the same question in 2003: “While a complete ban on handguns is not politically practicable, I believe reasonable restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns are necessary to protect the public safety.”
The 2003 response hardly means that Obama does not favor a handgun ban. He simply said he recognized it as politically impracticable. A candidate can simultaneously support something, and consider it “politically impracticable.” For example, in a 1997 Connecticut Law Review article, Glenn Reynolds and I wrote in favor the historic and textual interpretation of the Congressional power over interstate commerce: that it applies to commercial activities conducted across state lines, and to the regulation of activities which are “necessary and proper” for regulating interstate commerce. Thus, I think that laws about who can possess guns (e.g., persons convicted of particular crimes, children, alcoholics, etc.) should be matters of state law, not federal law. (With the caveats that state laws cannot violate the Second Amendment, and that other federal powers might be legitimately used in certain situations; for example, congressional power over immigration might be an appropriate basis for a federal restriction on gun possession by illegal aliens.)
If I were running for Congress in 2008, and somebody asked “Do you favor repealing federal laws about the mere intrastate possession of guns?” I would probably explain that a complete repeal is “not politically practicable,” and would say that I would work instead for marginal improvements in the laws.
Now suppose my opponent puts out a brochure which says “Kopel favors repeal of federal laws on gun possession.” Is the opponent distorting my position beyond recognition? Well, probably not.
A good FactCheck article would point out the difference between my 1997 position and my current statement on what is “politically practicable.” But my very choice of the words “politically practicable” indicates that if political circumstances changed, so that a broad repeal were politically practicable, then I would support it.
Conversely, if I (or, Obama or McCain) were asked "Do you think that the federal government should require journalists to get a government license?" the response would not be "Licensing journalists is not politically practicable, but there are other steps the government could take to improve media quality."
So Obama’s 2003 acknowledgement that handgun prohibition was not “politically practicable” (at least for a U.S. Senate term that would begin in 2005) is consistent with support for handgun prohibition.
FactCheck concludes the section by citing Obama’s claim at an April 2008 debate “I have never favored an all-out ban on handguns." The claim is, to say the least, highly dubious in light of the evidence about his 1996 questionnaire, and FactCheck should not have treated this dubious claim as the final word on the subject. FactCheck failed to report that during the Potomac Primaries a few weeks earlier, Obama had said that he supported the D.C. handgun ban, and considered it consistent with the Second Amendment
FactCheck also overlooked the Obama campaign’s statement when the Supreme Court granted cert. in the D.C. handgun case: “Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional” and that “local communities” should have the ability “to enact common sense laws.” (Chicago Tribune, Nov. 20, 2007.)
On the day the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, Obama campaign announced that he agreed with the Court’s decision because it affirmed an individual right. (The full quote is reproduced in another section of the FactCheck report.) Notably, Obama did not say that he agreed with the Court’s interpretation that the handgun ban was a violation of the individual right. Asked about the November 2007 statement supporting the D.C. ban, the campaign called the statement “inartful.” Not an inaccurate expression of Obama’s views—just “inartful.”
In sum, FactCheck's label of “False” for the NRA’s statement that Obama supports laws to “Ban the Manufacture, Sale and Possession of Handguns" was based on sloppy reading of some of Obama's statements, and failure to report other statements explicitly in favor of handgun prohibition.
A similar error is repeated for "Mandate a Government-Issued License to Purchase a Firearm", which FactCheck calls "Misleading." FactCheck quotes a Jan. 15, 2008, interview with the late Tim Russert:
NBC's Tim Russert, Jan. 15: Senator Obama, when you were in the state senate, you talked about licensing and registering gun owners. Would you do that as president?Obama then went on to list some things which thought could be done. The phrase "I don't think we can get that done" has the same import as "not politically practicable." It does not convey opposition to the idea.
Obama: I don’t think that we can get that done.
The NRA claims that Obama’s position includes: "Ban use of Firearms for Home Self-Defense." FactCheck says this is “False.” FactCheck discusses Obama’s opposition to an Illinois bill to prevent localities with handgun bans from punishing a person who used a handgun in lawful self-defense on his or her own property. Obama’s statements in opposition to the bill (which are not quoted by FactCheck) explained that he was worried that the bill would erode local handgun bans. (At the time, Chicago and five of its suburbs banned handguns.)
FactCheck writes: “Letting the owner of an unregistered firearm escape the penalty for failing to register is one thing, but it's another thing entirely to make it a crime to use any firearm – registered or not – in self-defense.” Well, if you ban a person from having a handgun at all, you are certainly banning them from using it for self-defense in the home.
Moreover, the Washington, D.C., gun law--which Obama supported--forbade the use of any firearm in the home for self-defense. (Including a registered rifle, a registered shotgun, or a pre-1976 registered handgun legally possessed under the grandfather clause). The Supreme Court later declared the self-defense ban to be unconstitutional.
Another NRA claim which FactCheck says is "False" is: "Ban Rifle Ammunition Commonly Used for Hunting and Sport Shooting.” As FactCheck reports, the issue involves Obama’s support for legislation to expand the federal definition of armor-piercing ammunition. Almost all rifle ammunition used for hunting deer or larger animals will penetrate a bullet-resistant vest; such vests are designed to stop handgun ammunition, not rifle ammunition. (In part because rifles have longer barrels, their bullets generally have greater velocity, and hence greater kinetic energy, than handgun bullets.)
Obama supported a bill to give the Attorney General the administrative authority to ban any rifle ammunition which can penetrate the type of vests commonly used by police.
FactCheck accurately quoted a limitation in the bill: it would apply only to ammunition which is “designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability." The “marketed” prong is easy, since rifle ammunition makers do not tout such capability in their advertising.
However, the “designed” language is broad enough to allow bans on anything. Almost every automobile in the United States is “designed” to drive over 100 miles per hour. The speedometers show this capability, and even if they did not, every automobile manufacturer is fully aware that its autos can be driven at very fast, unsafe speeds. The auto engines are “designed” to have a certain amount of power, and this “design” is based on the full knowledge that that auto can be driven over 100 mph. Among the definitions of "design" in Black's Law Dictionary is "The pattern or configuration of elements in something, such as a work of art."
Just as the deliberate configuration of the elements of every automobile can be accurately said to be “designed” to drive over 100 mph, so every deer-hunting round can be said to be “designed” to penetrate body armor. Notably, the ammunition ban language did not say "designed and intended."
FactCheck does quote Senator Kennedy, the sponsor of the bill, saying that he did not want to ban hunting ammunition. Nevertheless, the plain language of the bill, and not Senator Kennedy’s floor statements, were what would be enacted into law. If there were ever a judicial challenge to ban on particular rifle ammunition ban, a court might well find that the language of the statute, along with judicial deference to agency interpretation of the statute, meant that there was no need to look to legislative history.
FactCheck give NRA a "Partly True" for: "Expand the Clinton Semi-Auto Weapons Ban to Include Millions More Firearms." FactCheck agrees that Obama has declared his support for "assault weapon" bans, because he think that "assault weapons" are guns which belong only on "foreign battlefields." But FactCheck adds: "We're not sure where the NRA gets its claim that 'millions' of additional weapons would be covered." The answer is straightforward, in the Illinois legislature, Obama for SB 1195, which defines "assault weapons" much more broadly than the 1994 federal law. It included double-barrel and break-open shotguns in 28 gauge caliber and larger; and also banned .50 caliber rifles.
The FactCheck gives the NRA a rating of "Uncertain" to "Increase Federal Taxes on Guns and Ammunition by 500 Percent" and "Close Down 90 Percent of Gun Shops in America." Both these statements, FactCheck correctly reports, come from a newspaper report of Obama's 1999 description his gun control plan. (Chicago Defender, Dec. 13, 1999.) (At the time, he was running for the U.S. House of Representatives.) FactCheck notes that Obama has not pushed for these proposals since his election to the Senate, and adds, "We asked the Obama campaign about his position on an ammunition tax but have received no response."
“Uncertain” is an awfully generous label, Obama-wise. Obama clearly announced he supported the particular policies. He has never said that he has changed his mind on those policies. His campaign was specifically offered a chance by FactCheck to say whether Obama had changed his mind, and the campaign refused.
Just because Obama is not pushing for something in Congress does not make the NRA's claim uncertain. FactCheck gives NRA a "True" for "Pass Federal Laws Eliminating Your Right-to-Carry." Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states which do not have procedures for issuing concealed handgun carry permits. (40 states issue under mostly objective standards, while 8 states give nearly limitless discretion to the issuing authority.) In the 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, Obama said he favored a national ban on concealed carry permits. Like the carry ban, the bans on gun stores and the 500% firearm and ammunition tax proposals do not become less true simply because Obama is not pushing them at present.
The NRA gets a "Mostly True" for "Restore Voting Rights for Five Million Criminals Including Those Who Have been Convicted of Using a Gun to Commit a Violent Crime." FactCheck points to the relevant bill co-sponsored by Obama, and cites the Sentencing Project for the fact that 5.3 million felons who have served their sentences cannot vote. The Sentencing Project pointed out that most felony convictions are not for violent or gun crimes. So the NRA claim is “Entirely True.” The NRA never asserted that most felony convictions are for violent gun crimes.
"Unsupported" is how FactCheck describes: "Appoint Judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary Who Share His Views on the Second Amendment." FactCheck's reasoning is that "the NRA can point to no statement by Obama calling for a Second-Amendment test for his judicial appointees, and we could find none."
That Obama has not announced a litmus test does not mean that it is unrealistic to expect him to appoint Justices who share his views on Second Amendment and on other matters of constitutional law. It would be reasonably expected that Obama appointees would take a similar approach of nominal support for the individual right, but finding that hardly any gun controls short of complete prohibition violate that right.
One final NRA claim does not get a FactCheck rating, but it does get a response that might as well as come from the Obama press office. That is: "Obama would be the most anti-gun president in American history."
FactCheck supplies Obama's quote from Heller decision day, beginning with "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms..", and promising, "As President, I will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen. I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne."
Well, that Obama has "always believed" in the individual Second Amendment right did not prevent him from proposing a national ban on concealed carry, a ban on 90% of gun stores, a 500% tax increase on firearms and ammunition--as the FactCheck article itself reports. If a candidate proposed banning 90% of bookstores and a huge tax increase on books, it might be justifiable to predict that he would be "the most anti-book president in American history"--notwithstanding his proclaimed belief in the individual First Amendment right.
FactCheck calls the NRA prediction, "a pretty tall statement. We don't know how George Washington, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson might have felt about armor-piercing ammunition or assault weapons."
Fortunately, there haven't been many anti-gun Presidents, in U.S. history; and only the Clinton administration invested a large portion of its politcal capital in gun control. So President Obama would not have much competition in the "most anti-gun" contest.
We know that Washington and Jefferson were avid gun collectors, and that Jefferson recommended daily hunting as the best form of exercise. We also know that Jefferson instituted a government program to supply guns, at federal expense, to people who couldn’t own one. We know that neither Washington, nor Adams, nor Jefferson ever proposed banning a type of gun simply because it was useful on “battlefields.”
As far as we know, Obama has never fired a gun, or even held a gun in his hands. We do know that no President in American history has, in his pre-presidential career, endorsed so many sweeping prohibitions and other severe controls on American gun ownership.
The September 22, 2008, FactCheck on the NRA criticism of Obama is marred by the omission of crucial facts, one-sided and misleading presentations of issues, and thinly-concealed political advocacy. According to FactCheck, the NRA refused to answer FactCheck's request for explanations of its claims. If so, the refusal provides a partial explanation of why so many crucial facts were missing. Whatever the reasons behind the problems in the September 22 report, FactCheck should publish a substantially revised edition.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
(There are a lot of links to great articles in this post. Don't feel like you need to read all or any of them. I linked them in case you're interested in more info on this subject.)
As a conservative, big government is something I worry about and Obama is for big government. I realize some argue that he's not as hard-core big government as many conservatives believe, but he's still too much for me. The government should be in charge of such things as building roads, running the courts, and defending our nation. Let the American people and free enterprise govern.
Friday, October 17, 2008
This is a video link for it!
This is another one that continues this Yellow Journalism Fox being the worst!!
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
I want to know what everyone thinks! Just curious!!
This is by no means directed to one party or the other! In the beginning of this election, it was hard to figure out what was truths and what was lies, thankfully we don't have a TV for any cable, Dish or even local channels and for this I am thankful, but to get outright facts I had to learn to use the internet and the fact sites because like I said I am new with politics and there are new things learned everyday(like how things truly run in the government). I will continue to learn on how this works and, why after learning and becoming informed with the facts, who I will vote for and especially on a local level. Through all of this Presidential Election, I hope everyone is also taking the time to read up and learn about local leaders as they are the ones who will represent us on a state and county level, which I think is just as important!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
For those of you who don't know why Obama's tax plan is bad, Joe explains it in terms we can all understand.
Now you see who Barack Obama's tax plan will hurt? This isn't some hoity toity driving a beamer this is a run of the mill plumber that works hard to earn his money.
Redistribution of wealth is wrong ask my 7 year old daughter, even she said it's not fair. She get's it why can't Barack Obama get it.
PS I know I told Bethany I wasn't going to post here anymore cause I decided who I am voting for & it is not McCain, but I really wanted to post this here & she so graciously didn't revoke my author privileges.
(Vote for One)
|BALDWIN, CHARLES O. "CHUCK",|
ROOT, WAYNE A.
|LA RIVA, GLORIA,|
I'm sure you were all aware of this before, but there are more candidates than just Barack Obama and John McCain on the ballot. My problem is that I would like to vote for Bob Barr of the Libertarian party (FYI- he won his party's nomination instead of Ron Paul) because I agree with most of what he says. But I'll most likely end up voting for John McCain. Why? Because whether we like it or not this is basically a 2 party election. I feel as though voting for any party besides Republican or Democrat would be throwing away my vote. And I hate it!
I'm thinking Bob Barr might be to Republicans what Ralph Nader was to Democrats in the 2000 Presidential election. So what do you think? Is a vote for Bob Barr (who may very well be the best candidate) esentially a vote for Barack Obama? I'm really struggling with this one.
Monday, October 13, 2008
First, I noticed that there sure are a lot of promises being made on both sides. Big promises too about all the big issues like Health Care, Tax Breaks, Economic Plans, The War in Iraq.... and the list goes on. That makes for a lot of nice campaign talk, but it's a little reminiscent of when we had elections for the Jr. High class officers. You know, where those running said that if they were elected they would put vending machines in every class room and do away with math classes completely...stuff that was impossible to accomplish with out the principal and school boards approval.
The solutions that Obama and McCain are proposing are nice, and they sure sound like they will solve all of our problems. Correct me if I'm wrong though, but doesn't any plan or action like that have to be approved by the House and the Senate before it becomes a law? And do you remember how hard it was just 2 weeks ago to get something passed that everybody agreed was needed immediately to help the economy?
So no matter who becomes President, they have to get most of congress behind them to get anything done. With the petty, partisan way congress has of doing things now (no matter which party is the majority) that will not be easy.
I decided I hate negative campaigning. Instead of making me like one candidate over the other, it makes me hate both. If there were ever someone who ran for President that never used a single negative campaign, but only focused on his own strong traits and ideas, I think I'd vote for him no matter what party he belonged to. A good leader is not someone who spends his time pointing out everyone else's faults, but who uses every one's strengths to do something great.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
If only it were that easy right.
Friday, September 26, 2008
This website has a sample copy of what your local voters ballot will look like on November 4th, 2008. Fill in your information and it will bring up info on where to vote and a button to view your sample ballot. (You must already be registered to do this. If you aren't registered or aren't sure if you are, go here.)
Not only can you make sure you know what's on the ballot, you can click on links on the ballot to learn more about each issue. How nice to go in and know how you're going to vote on everything (not just the presidential candidates).
Here are more helpful links:
Utah Voter Information Pamphlet
2008 Election Dates (including early voting information)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.
Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in
a We Deserve It Dividend.
To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000
bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.
Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman
and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..
So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.
My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a
We Deserve It Dividend.
Of course, it would NOT be tax free.
So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.
Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.
That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.
But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife has $595,000.00.
What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college - it'll be there
Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car - create jobs
Invest in the market - capital drives growth
Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else
Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks
who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company
that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.
If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of
trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is
being proposed by one of our candidates for President.
If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S
As for AIG - liquidate it. Sell off its parts.
Let American General go back to being American General.
Sell off the real estate.
Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.
Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.
Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work."
But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!
How do you spell Economic Boom?
I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion
We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington
And remember, The plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5
Billion is returned
instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.
Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.
Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it's either good for a
laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!
All joking aside though the economic crisis out country currently finds itself in really makes me nervous. When I get back after this weekend I may ponder a post on the economy.
Edited to add: This plan doesn't actually work. If you do the math it only equals out to $425 a person. -Bethany
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Guns have never been a hot issue for me, so it was interesting to read Jay’s views and to figure out for myself what I believe. I have studied it (though I still don’t understand every aspect of each candidate’s views) and if gun control was the only issue I was voting on, I would definitely be voting for McCain (I found more of the candidate's views here). I do not agree with most of Obama's policies (the ones I do agree with, McCain has the same views, so it basically cancels them out). It worries me that he thinks gun bans work. I appreciated the article link in ck rock’s comment about Biden not allowing Obama to mess with his guns. It’s good to know there’s one person on the democratic ticket who realizes a ban would be ridiculous. Too bad the person running for president isn’t smart enough to figure that one out.
Here are some more things that worry me about Obama’s gun control policies
- Does he really think it would work for cities to determine local gun laws? Jay’s comment about that sums up why that’s pretty stupid.
- The fact that he endorsed an
handgun ban. Illinois
- I’m interested to learn how Obama thinks we can feasibly “keep guns out of inner cities.” This sounds like his normal “feel good” talk to me. The criminals would be the only ones with guns if something like this was ever put into place.
- He voted no on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. I completely agree with Jay’s opinion, “Frivolous lawsuits in general are part of the downfall of our society.” It’s so true. I’m sick and tired of all the frivolous lawsuits out there. Obama’s saying gun manufacturers can be sued for someone using one of their guns to kill someone else and that’s just stupid. Does that mean knife manufacturers can be sued if someone is killed with their knife? It makes no sense.
I also went through McCain’s views on gun control. I don’t understand everything, but on the ones I do understand and care about I agree with him. Not only is he practical, he’s not going to try to take away anyone’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms. That's the kind of person I want as my president.
My limited experience with Universal Health Care is this. I served an LDS mission in Brasil for 2 years, I saw sick people there that didn't get the best care some that got no care at all, I have a very personal story about an awesome woman that we knew that had an awful experience w/the healthcare system I will not share it here as it too personal to post on a public blog such as this, if you would like to hear/read it drop me an email & I will consider sharing it with you, I also have this story: I had a Brasilian Companion have a panic attack one time, he thought he was having a heart attack & insisted we take him to the Dr. We took him to a place that was like an instacare. They started giving him shots of who knows what that didn't do anything for him. We finally had a member of the local church (who worked for the military) take us to a (Brasilian)military hospital where the service/care was awesome. Turned out he was fine & just having a panic attack, but it opened my eyes a bit on the subject at hand. Yes it was all free, but not everyone there had access to the military hospital.
Having said that here are some pros & cons to Universal Health Care:
Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?
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This info taken from balanced politics If you check out the link they go into more depth on each topic.
Now Glenn Beck does a segment each day on his show called "Arguments Against Idiots" I find it hilarious & wanted to share his view on the topic with you as well.
What the liberal whiners say:
'Just as the Liberal Lion, Ted Kennedy so eloquently said this week, health care is a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT for all Americans, not just an expensive privilege for the few'
'But health care can be a matter of life and death...just like the story Hillary told during the campaign about the uninsured pregnant woman who was sick and went to the hospital but was turned away because she didn't have $100, and both she and her baby died...over a measly 100 bucks in the greatest, richest nation on earth!'
'Well I just believe that something has to be done by this government to cover everyone...it's inexcusable in America not to have insurance!'
'It's just sad and pathetic, that in this country, we have such a terrible health care crisis...even Cuba is ranked ahead of us!'
Your winning, logical, reasoned arguments
1. First of all, I'd like you to point out where that "right" is spelled out in the Constitution? But while you're looking that up, lets just address your "expensive privilege for the few", statement. The fact is, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 84% of Americans HAVE health insurance. Now my math may be fuzzy, but that seems like-not "the few", but "the many". In fact, the OVERWHELMING majority. In many cases, it may be expensive, but so are a LOT of things in this country that aren't "rights"...like auto insurance or homeowners insurance...which are things we are forced by law to have, but the government doesn't provide.
2. Well unfortunately, that woman and her baby did die, that's true. However, she was NEVER turned away, she did receive treatment (she just couldn't be saved), and she DID have health care insurance. In fact, it is against FEDERAL LAW to deny health care to someone who needs it. It is illegal in this country. In addition, there are in nearly every city in America, hospitals who treat patients every day who have no way of paying. There are also thousands of clinics and programs to help those who can't pay catastrophic medical bills.
3. It's inexcusable that some people don't own their own homes. Is a permanent place to live ALSO a fundamental right? Some people don't own a car. If they cannot afford one, should one be provided for them by the government? Where does it end? Flat screen TV's? The right to keep and bear a washer/dryer set? If you do not have a lawnmower, one will be provided for you by an illegal alien? How much can or SHOULD the government do?
4. Is that why when Cuba's leader Fidel Castro, was on his death bed he was flown halfway around the world to get medical care? I'm just sayin.
Here is the link to that
I guess you better get used to my long posts, it seems they are here to stay. I don't think we have any international readers, but I would love to hear from you on this topic. Especially those with Universal Health Care.