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Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Today in the Washington Post, staff writer, Eli Saslow, relates the story of a patriotic but confused senior citizen torn between the optimistic belief that America can change for the better and the scurrilous rumors that suggest Barack Obama might be an African-born, gay Muslim intent on smuggling his illegal alien relatives into America.

Oh, what will he do? Who can this voter believe?

Will he give in to the small-minded ignorance and malicious rumor mongering of small-town life?

Or will he listen to his better angels exhorting him to rise above prejudice and misinformation and vote for a man of hope and vision?


The mainstream media and Team Obama (is an "and" really appropriate in that context?) would have you believe that only racists and fools object to Barack Obama.

Enough of this straw man.

This is a carefully devised strategy to confuse and conflate ridiculous rumors with truly incriminating facts in order to cast doubt on the actually problematic revelations surrounding this unlikely candidate. Obama has a tremendous amount of real baggage (Reverend Wright, ill-considered comments that belie his elitism, etc.)--but, ironically, those tempting time bombs are unnecessary diversions.

Even as Obama defenders disingenuously bring up straw-men distractions while simultaneously shrieking that we should only concern ourselves with real issues, we should call that bluff.

Barack Obama is the most verifiably liberal Democratic Party nominee since Adlai Stevenson. He is much too far left of mainstream to get elected president under ordinary circumstances--and possibly too offensively liberal to win even during these times so conducive for a Democratic candidate.

Forget about his middle name. Forget about his whacked-out pastor. Forget about the radicalized wife. Give me Obama and the issues, all the issues, nothing but the issues, and, so help me, the GOP has a shot at snatching a victory against all odds.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Some facts in brief:

If you do not vote for John McCain in the upcoming fall election, you are voting for Barack Obama.

Principled conservatives who are too pure to vote for John McCain--and prefer to cast a protest vote for some other irrelevant blowhard--are voting for Barack Obama.

Frustrated and alienated conservatives who too distraught over the lack of a "conservative" choice--and choose to stay home--are voting for Barack Obama.

Just as every citizen who did not vote for George H.W. Bush in 1992 (and I know so many of you had reasons that struck you as fully justified at the time) voted for Bill Clinton, any person who does not vote for John McCain in 2008 is actively voting for Barack Obama.

Bottom line: any American who offers less than full support for the Republican ticket owns every single policy and decision of the Obama administration.

Get over yourself and get in the game. There is too much at stake to act out of narrow self-interested principle.
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
David Carlin, writing in Commonweal, makes a most persuasive case for McCain against Obama (or Hillary), and does so as a life-long Democrat.

McCain is not the perfect presidential candidate, but I think he is miles ahead of Obama. When it comes time to vote we vote for who we have on the ballot, not an abstract perfect candidate.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
A couple of months ago, I offered comments contemporaneous to the Petraeus/Crocker Senate hearings in April.

This follow-up piece has been in my queue as a draft ever since. While it is no longer current, and I make no claims as to worthiness, I am pushing it off the plank, nevertheless.

For what it is worth:

A Pet Peeve with the United States Senate: they impose upon themselves time-limited opportunities to question important witnesses (this in itself is a good thing; the Senate is, of course, legendary for its tendency to talk endlessly).

The rub comes when august members of the Upper Chamber spend most of their allotted time bloviating and posturing, aiming for something sound-bite worthy, hoping to curry favor with some vital special interest, and leaving no time for witnesses to respond to their fatuous interrogatories. This is all too often followed by exasperation with the witnesses, whose thoughtful answers take away critical time from the Senator's seven minutes of fame.

Without naming any names (Joe Biden), so often senators tend to weave the most esoteric tapestry of bromides, false choices, and hypotheticals--and, then, at the conclusion of an interminable rhetorical odyssey, demand that some poor witness give a "straight answer."

"JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION, Judge (General, Secretary, etc.)!"

This will be followed by a good faith attempt to make sense out of utter gibberish--without making Senator Blusterbuss look like a complete fool (that would be uncivil and bad politics).

Senator again: "Okay, you're not going to answer; that's fine; just say you're not going to answer my question," as he hams it up for the cameras and his partisan viewing audience.

At which point, I am sure the poor witness must really want to say: "What in the Hell is your question; if I only had some remote idea as to what you are talking about, I think I could throw you some small bone for your feeble mind to chew on."

Or maybe this:

"I was listening and I thought I almost understood your question--and then you kept talking and I lost it again."

But, of course, they never say that. They merely sit there politely, apologize, genuflect before the 100 smartest people on the face of the earth, and take their lumps.

God Bless David Petraeus, Ryan Crocker, and the countless other Americans who have suffered this humiliation over the years as a sacrifice at the altar of democratic governance.
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
As I was pondering my next post on why I could not vote for Obama, I found this at Wizbang that pretty well says what I was going to say.

Barack Obama, though... he really doesn't bring much "change" to the party.
. . .
Well, one of the key figures in getting Rich his pardon was Eric Holder, who was the #2 man in the Justice Department under Attorney General Janet Reno. It was Holder who directed that the normal pardon process (including consulting with -- or, at least, notifying the officials who were directly involved with the case against the pardon-seeker, or that the subject of the pardon make the request themselves, or that the proposed pardon not mess up any current cases) be bypassed and Rich get his pardon.
. . .
Well, Mr. Holder is now one of the troika that is advising Barack Obama on who should be his vice-presidential candidate.
. . .
Several of Obama's top foreign policy advisors is Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as National Security Advisor for Jimmy Carter -- where he helped shape the foreign policy that we're still paying the price for, in many ways, today.


What he said. Obama is the candidate of no real change.

Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Up until now, the Democrats have had all the hot-button, no-brainer, red-meat, purely emotional issues on their side. We have Iraq on our side, but that has always been a tough and incredibly complicated sell that may cut against us more than for us. And, worth noting, our opponents are betting on the latter, convinced of our inability to present a cogent and convincing case in re Iraq.

However, there may be a brand new opening for the GOP. Four-dollar-per-gallon gasoline presents John McCain with an enormous opportunity.

Read Fred Barnes for a good summary of the issues, openings, and challenges.

But, in a nutshell, for the last few decades we have been very indulgent concerning energy policy. Why? Oil has been cheap and plentiful. Which means we could drive SUVs and run our AC on 66-degrees all summer and not think too much about the future. It also meant that we could allow the environmentalists to control our energy policy, making drilling, refining, and politically incorrect alternate fuels more trouble than they were worth.

However, we cannot afford that brand of indulgence any more. The good news for green-necks? SUVs and mindless energy consumption are on the way out. The good news for roughnecks: the good ole USA is probably about to get back into the business of oil production.

Back to the horse-race aspect of this question. The Democrats are completely beholden to the "environmentalists wackos," and a major pivot before the Fall Election is completely impossible. The Republicans, on the other hand, are in perfect position to propose a pragmatic policy of increased exploration, drilling, and refining that will strike so many of those swing voters as a perfectly reasonable response to a vital question.

Barnes notes that McCain has some potential problems in this area, but this perfect storm presents the king of pragmatism with a golden opportunity to go on offense.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
The always insightful, often absolutely brilliant, Charlie Cook on the end of this race:

1. The "calls [since mid February] for Sen. Hillary Rodham drop her bid for the sake of the party were," says Cook, "wrong and unfair...until now." But now she has no choice; she must go now.

More Cook: "At this point, the Clintons should begin thinking about their future and standing in the party. What they do over the next five months will determine what their standing will be. Will they be seen as party unifiers and team players, or party wreckers and sore losers?"

2. "On at least one level, Clinton has really helped herself this year," observes Cook. "She has shown a fight, a perseverance and a tenacity that has proven that she has heart. Nobody can deny that she's the real deal."


3. "She needs to spend the rest of the summer and fall campaigning for...Obama and paying off her multi-million-dollar campaign debt," writes Cook.

[She very much needs to be in the position in which] "no one would be able to say that Hillary and Bill Clinton didn't do all they could to help Obama win the general election. And in all honesty, she could also be praying every night that he loses, so she could give folks the 'I told you so' look and have another shot in 2012."
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
The headline in the Chicago Sun-Times calls this an apology:

"The last few days have been the most painful days of my life, even more so than the murder of Jarvis, my foster son," Pfleger said.

"When the world is meeting you for the first time from a dramatization in a sermon that I felt was in the sacredness of a sanctuary, among people who know me, and then find a YouTube that in no way defines the sermon or the message that I preached, nor the person or pastor that I am, it is painful.

"It is also grieving to me when a 1.5-minute YouTube video becomes the headlines across the world of papers and news stations, while the tragedy and death of earthquakes, cyclones and tornadoes that have taken the lives of people around this world, while the killing of our children across this country and here in Chicago and the easy access to guns have become stories on page 18 and 19, and while people are at my front door, looking for food to eat or gas to get to work, indeed that grieves me," he said.

Perhaps, if by apology they meant this definition: "a defense, excuse, or justification in speech or writing, as for a cause or doctrine."

Actually, it was more "victimology" than apology by any definition. Poor Father Pfleger.

UPDATE: One last thought. Enough with the "woe is me; I received umpteen death threats and scores of hate-emails" routine.

If you make it into the public eye, inevitably, there is going to be some loon someplace sitting at his computer feeling brave and anonymous writing some kind of "I'm gonna get you, sucker" note.

Stop crying, Father Pfleger, and take your medicine.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Obama resignation letter from Trinity via the Moderate Voice:

May 30, 2008
Dear. Rev. Moss:

We are writing to make official our decision to end our membership at Trinity.

We make this decision with sadness. Trinity was where I found Christ, where we were married and where our children were baptized. We have many friends among the 8,000 congregants who attend there and we are proud of the extraordinary good works the church continues to perform throughout the community to help the hungry, the homeless and people in need of medical care.

We also have come to appreciate your ministry and both think you have been, and will be, a wonderful pastor for years to come.

But as you know, our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Rev. Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views.

Our larger concern is that because of my candidacy and membership at Trinity, these controversies have served as an unfortunate distraction for other Trinity members who seek to worship in peace, and have placed you in an untenable position as you establish your own ministry under very difficult circumstances.

Our faith remains strong and we will find another church home for our family. But we also know that faith and prayer are not merely exercises to be discharged for two hours on Sunday. They are and always will be a bulwark for us in our daily lives.

We are grateful for our years as part of the Trinity community, and wish you all the best as you lead the congregation into the future. You, your family and the entire Trinity family will be in thoughts and prayers.

Michelle Obama
Barack Obama