Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The NYT's Pretense

The NYT presumes to lecture Catholics about the Ave Maria fund.

Ave Maria hews to a far narrower, unmistakably conservative Catholic outlook. A prime objective, explicitly promised, is not to subsidize sexual indecency. Scan its investor materials and you will not find companies like Playboy Enterprises or firms that donate to Planned Parenthood or bestow health benefits on same-sex couples.

But you will find United Technologies, which makes Blackhawk helicopters; General Dynamics, builder of Abrams battle tanks and the Stryker combat vehicle; the junk-food giant ConAgra; Exxon Mobil; Halliburton; and Smith & Wesson, one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the world. (Here is a helpful Q. from Smith & Wesson’s “Investor FAQ” Web page: “Does Smith & Wesson still make the 44 Magnum used in the ‘Dirty Harry’ films? Yes, that gun is the Model 29.”)

Pray tell us, Editorial Board of the NYT, what is wrong with building Blackhawks or Abrams tanks? Junk food? Is there some Catholic dietary restriction on Fiddle Faddle of which I am not aware? How does Exxon Mobile's exploring for, drilling of, refining, and sale of oil violate Catholic principles? And DO tell us about Haliburton. I believe Jesus was upset with money changers in the temple, not government contractors. Perhaps its because they are not union. I do love the digression about the S&W 44 magnum. Guns are scary, no need to explain why they are bad, I suppose.

It seems to me that the NYT is projecting their own - imo, rather dubious - moral construct onto Catholics and expecting them to live up to it. Good luck with that. I expect Catholics understand their own moral code.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

I will be out of town for a few days, but I am leaving this blog in the capable hands of BigDog.

I'll be checking in and maybe posting, since I have my new little laptop that Santa brought me.

If not, please behave!

Have a blessed New Year everyone!

Texas boots Planned Parenthood

In the midst of feeling like we pro-lifers are always fighting a losing battle, we get some good news now and again.

Planned Parenthood has been shut down in the Texas panhandle.

American Life League's (ALL) Stop Planned Parenthood, or Stopp International, says it took a long time, but their campaign against Planned Parenthood finally got some results. "For 12 years in the Texas panhandle, there has been a fight against Planned Parenthood," he notes. "Planned Parenthood, in 1997, operated 19 clinics in the Texas panhandle."

Then the state reduced funding for the organization, and pro-life workers also continued in their efforts to shut Planned Parenthood's doors. "And as of December 31, there will no longer be any Planned Parenthood offices in the Texas panhandle," Sedlak explains. "They will all be gone."

Planned Parenthood has always tried to wear a mask of "taking care of birth control needs of women," but it has always been first and foremost the owner and operator of the largest number of abortion clinics in the country, running a billion dollar industry that profits off the agony of women and the destruction of unborn children.

Good riddance. Good on Texas.

Isn't 650 million Dollars Enough?

I guess not. Obama is still asking for money.

Here is part of the e-mail David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager is sending out today:

Between now and January 8th, 10 supporters and their guests will be selected to join the Inaugural activities.

If you make a donation -- in any amount -- to make the Inauguration a success, you and a guest could be flown to Washington, D.C., put up in a hotel, and be there as Barack is sworn in as the 44th President.Make a donation of $5 or more right now. You and a guest could receive your ticket to history.

A lottery type of thing. Perfectly normal. Only....seriously, do they really need any more of American's money?

Blagojevich and Clinton

It looks like Blagojevich is going to name former Illinois Atty Roland Burris to Obama's senate seat. This despite the fact that Democratic Senate leaders have said they would not seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich.

Blagojevich reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton. The things that would make most of us crawl into a hole out of embarrassment and humiliation, just don't bother men like Clinton and Blagojevich. It's surreal really. They both acted as if they had done nothing wrong. Even after Clinton could no longer deny the affair with Monica because of the blue dress, you could tell that he was much more angry at Republicans than he ever thought of being at himself.

Both men are so full of themselves, so egocentric, they cannot understand why people are against them or how they could possibly be wrong.

So they continue on, as if nothing extraordinary has happened, as if they shouldn't be completely mortified, like a normal person would be.

Clinton lied under oath to a grand jury, obstructed justice during the grand jury investigation, and lied straight face to the American people on, TV, and never even considered stepping down, even after being impeached.

The same will happen with Blagojevich. He will not step down, he will not admit he was wrong, and he will continue on as if nothing happened. Appointing someone to Obama's seat is part of his job and he is just going to keep doing his job. The difference is that the Democrats aren't sticking by him, but that doesn't matter to egocentric people. They don't need validation of others, only themselves.

Update: I think this news conference of Blagojevich proves my point from above. Blogojevich just actually said, "Although I've enjoyed the limelight for the last several weeks, this is the Senator's day."

That's right. He said he has enjoyed the limelight. He has enjoyed being called corrupt, being accused of lacking any integrity, and having his words from his filthy mouth played over and over. He's enjoyed it. Good grief.

Hey! I got some carbon offsets I wanna sell ya, oh and a bridge in brooklyn too

I apologize to Grouchy Old Cripple for stealing most of his post. But I knew I couldn't improve upon his commentary.

I was perusing the web yesterday and I came across this which has allowed San Francisco to rush past Seattle to reclaim the title of Moonbat Capital of the world.

"Environmentally conscious travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport will soon be able to assuage their guilt and minimize the impact of their air travel by buying certified carbon offsets at airport kiosks."

As P.T. Barnum once said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

"The experimental program, scheduled to start this spring, would make SFO the first airport in the nation - possibly the world - to offer fliers the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets."

I'm sure that as soon as Seattle and Portland hear about this they'll follow suit.

"We'd like people to stop and consider the impacts of flying," said Steve McDougal, executive vice president for 3Degrees, a San Francisco firm that sells renewable-energy and carbon-reduction investments and is teaming up with the airport and the city on the project. "Obviously, people need to fly sometimes. No one expects them to stop, but they should consider taking steps to reduce their impacts."

I'm wondering if Steve was able to say that with a straight face? Even worse, I wonder if Steve believes his own bullsh*t.

"San Francisco's Airport Commission has authorized the program, which will involve a $163,000 investment from SFO, but is still working out the details with 3Degrees. Because of that, McDougal said, he can't yet discuss specifics, such as the cost to purchase carbon offsets and what programs would benefit from travelers' purchases."

The scam has not been totally finalized yet. They still haven't made up all the bullsh*t.

"But the general idea, officials said, is that a traveler would approach a kiosk resembling the self-service check-in stations used by airlines, then punch in his or her destination. The computer would calculate the carbon footprint and the cost of an investment to offset the damage. The traveler could then swipe a credit card to help save the planet. Travelers would receive a printed receipt listing the projects benefiting from their environmental largesse."

Ain't that sweet? Stealing money from idiots. I thought they kicked out the religious dudes soliciting money at airports.

"The carbon offsets are not tax deductible, said Krista Canellakis, a 3Degrees spokeswoman."

Why not? I thought the Dimocrats wanted to save the planet.

"While the carbon offsets purchased at kiosks can't be seen or touched, they are an actual product with a specific environmental claim whose ownership is transferred at the time of purchase," she said.

Psssst. Wanna buy some Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock?

But wait! There's more!


"The cost of offsets for SFO travelers is still being negotiated, McDougal said,"

We gotta figger out how much the suckers are willing to pay.

"but figures on the company's Web-based "carbon calculator" suggest that a two-hour trip uses about 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person, and the cost to offset that would be about $4. Offsetting a trip to Europe would cost $36."

A "carbon calculator". How scientific.

I think they should call it the "stupid calculator." I mean, that is what it is really measuring after all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gawker Rocks

I admit it. I have become a Gawker fan. I love it because they are equal opportunity bashers. It's doesn't matter if you are conservative or liberal, Hollywood, or regular folk, they will find something to hit you with and do it in a hilarious way.

Take for example this. The left is going ga ga over the film 'Milk' (a movie about California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk) because it's all teh gay, and Gawker tells us about a text message a Hollywood exec got from Micky Rourke saying that Sean Penn (the lead in Milk) is one of the most homophobic people he knows. Why does this not surprise me?

Then they have a piece on Christopher Hitchen's article slamming Rick Warren, but they deliciously describe Hitchen's perfectly as a "drunk crank," which is exactly what he is!

Then it gets even better! They list the top ten people who should be unemployed in 2009. #5 is "Wolf Blitzer and everyone else at CNN," which opines:

Wolf basically represents everything wrong with CNN. He just makes noises. Meaningless syllables. He fills up time, so much time, with these nonsense syllables, saying nothing, at all, ever. And CNN this year sucked. Anderson Cooper's show is ratings-grabbing fluff nonsense. The Magic Wall iPhone election map thing is stupid. The f**king holograms! Campbell Brown accepts no bullsh*t, stop bullsh*tting Campbell Brown. Oh, and they still let Lou Dobbs fear-monger every day for what seems like three hours of hate. Ugh. Go away, CNN.

Really. Go away.

No. Wait. It gets even better! This one is titled "Oprah Winfrey's Liar's Club," which hilariously chronicles the authors Oprah has had on her show who completely made up their non-fictional books. Gawker remarks, "But after awhile, we're forced to wonder if she's the victim or part of the problem." Well, duh. Part of the problem sweetie.

Ok, I was wrong. It. Gets. Even. Better. Than. That. They have been all over Caroline Kennedy for the rich elitest snob that she is. But "Caroline, No" puts it perfectly:

No more Senator Kennedys! (Or Senators Kennedy?) Ever again! Boo to dynasties and entitlement!

Yes, they bash Palin. But at least they bash Caroline just as much! Isn't that all we ask? Fairness in bashing?

Caroline's argument for receiving a free Senate seat is, you know, not much different from Michael Bloomberg's argument for remaining mayor of New York (or for running for mayor of New York in the first place): not a typical politician, beholden to nobody, allowed independence of thought and will through wealth and inexperience.
But dynasties suck, they are un-American and antidemocratic....

And if that couldn't have been written by Sean Hannity himself, there is this:

The gross entitlement is the absolute worst part of her bizarre and mismanaged campaign. Of course her competition for the title is a similarly dynastic Cuomo, but he has at least been elected to something, publicly. We understand and are sympathetic to the arguments against career political hacks, but encouraging the Senate to resemble the House of Lords even more is just about the worst impulse possible.

Now you see why I love Gawker.

Will Hollywood become pro-war?

There is nothing more I enjoy than seeing Hollywood trying to jam propaganda down down our throats, and then lose their shirts on anti-Iraq war movies.

Andrew Breitbart says it perfectly:

This was the year Hollywood finally realized that it couldn't sell an anti-Iraq war film. It also was the year the mainstream media discovered it couldn't report that the war on terror had failed.

Countless prime-time hours and untold acres of celluloid and newsprint were wasted demeaning the American mission. Yet, in the end, the heroic warriors destroyed their media adversaries by defeating our true enemies on the battlefield.

Except for the election of an antiwar candidate, 2008 was a great year for the pro-war side and only an economic meltdown could divert attention from this fact.

And even President-elect Barack Obama seems poised to disappoint the zealous anti-warriors who flamed his candidacy. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates could not have been the "change" believed in, just as soon-to-be Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton - who voted to authorize the Iraq war - isn't likely what filmmaker Michael Moore had in mind.

Obama has said that we will re-focus our commitment to Afghanistan, bolstering our troops to defeat the Taliban there.

Will this be a war the Democrats can get behind? Will Hollywood make pro-Afghanistan movies?

Don't count on it. But I do have a feeling they will be very very quiet about the whole thing.

The Hypocrisy of the Media

So what else is new? But sometimes you just have to point out the obvious.

Christmas day the Washington Post slobbered (metaphorically speaking) all over it's front page about Obama's workout:

"The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games."

Now, if that doesn't make you wanna puke in your cornflakes, I don't know what would.

The subtitle of the piece is "Gym Workouts Help Obama Carry the Weight of His Position." The WaPo just gushes about how wonderful it is that Obama stays in shape.

Flashback to Pres. Bush's workouts and how the WaPo described them.

Former Post writer Jonathan Chait famously attacked Bush three years ago in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times headlined "The (over)exercise of power."

Recounting how President Bush ran 3.5 miles a day and preached more cross-training to a federal judge, Chait fumed: "Am I the only person who finds this disturbing? . . . What I mean is the fact that Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy."

Chait argued that Bush's passionate devotion to exercise was a dereliction of duty. "Does the leader of the free world need to attain that level of physical achievement?" he jeered. "It's nice for Bush that he can take an hour or two out of every day to run, bike or pump iron. Unfortunately, most of us have more demanding jobs than he does."

Can you imagine any member of the Obamedia mocking the incoming gym-rat-in-chief this way?

The IBD editoral gives more examples of the press knocking Pres. Bush and his workouts but it comes down to this:

Fit Republican president = Selfish, indulgent, creepy fascist.

Fit Democratic president = Disciplined, health-conscious Adonis role model.

Media, thy name is hypocrisy. Which is why you are dying.

h/t BigDog

Christianity in Africa

In this article, an atheist from Africa concludes that Christianity is what is needed most in Africa:

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

The author reminds us how academia in this country emphasizes that our Christian culture is equal to any other culture's beliefs. I know I was taught that in sociology class in college:

There's long been a fashion among Western academic sociologists for placing tribal value systems within a ring fence, beyond critiques founded in our own culture: “theirs” and therefore best for “them”; authentic and of intrinsically equal worth to ours.

The author doesn't buy it. He says the tribal belief in Africa suppresses individuality and "feeds into the "big man" and gangster politics...."

What the author is saying is basically that Christianity can transform a people into happier, better adjusted individuals, and therefore create a better society.

The incredible work of Christian missionaries all over the world is pretty much ignored by the mainstream media. But the work they do is transforming the world for the better.

h/t BigDog

"Human rights or national sovereignty?"

Here is an interesting article on the U.N.'s inner battle of what is more important, defending basic human rights or letting Governments have sovereignty over their own decisions in this matter.

As the author puts it:

a nation's right to non-meddling in its internal affairs by other countries, its sovereignty, versus the international community's responsibility to ensure human rights for all

It's obvious from the article that the author and most at the U.N. did not approve of the intervention in Iraq:

snarked the Russian permanent representative Vitaly Churkin in a security council meeting on Georgia. "And I would like to ask the distinguished representative of the United States: weapons of mass destruction – have you found them yet in Iraq or are you still looking for them?"

No, we haven't found them, but we did find mass graves of women and children killed by them. Guess that doesn't matter much to them. I'm thinking that if a dictator gassing, shooting, and torturing innocent people doesn't count as a "human rights" violation, I don't know what does.

But now that evil warmonger, George Bush is gone, I suppose the U.N. (who were very happy about Obama's win) can rest easy that the U.S. will not intervene again in a country's sovereignty.

Actually, not really.

The new US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, is on record saying she'd rather "go down in flames" than fail to do something about Darfur, so it seems clear that the Americans are still interventionists. So in the end, the question turns out to be whether Rice can convince the rest of the world that after Iraq, there is a difference between a neocon interventionist and a humanitarian one.

Yeah. Right. What's the difference exactly? Stopping the brutal killing of innocent people seems to be the same in Darfur as it was in Iraq. But the complaint has always been that we went into Iraq, a Muslim country, for it's oil. Ending the brutal dictatorship was just secondary. Yeah. Hmmmm..... Guess what? Going into Darfur would be the same thing. It's Muslim and Sudan has lots of the good black stuff too.

Doesn't look like the "change" the U.N. was hoping for, will come to pass.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

CNN's Weatherman having some fun

It's really disturbing in so many ways that even if you are a mere weatherman for CNN, the gossip websites see you as enough of a celebrity to publish any juicy pics.

Rob Marciano had these pics published over at Dirt. But there isn't anything particularly salacious or even dirty about the pics at all. But Rob's friend made the mistake of trying to reason with dirtbags who make a living, or enjoy as a hobby, being the perpetual "mean girl" their entire life. Rob's friend's note is much more embarrassing than the pics.

Lesson learned. Don't wrestle in mud with a pig. You get all dirty and the pig likes it.

The New York Times is Pathetic

You may have seen posts regarding Caroline Kennedy's interview where she used "Ya know" about a dozen times in the course of a minute.

Gawker Magazine noticed:

Aspiring senator Caroline Kennedy might want to hire a vocal coach in addition to her PR help. Today's NYT headline reads "As a Candidate, Kennedy Is Eloquent but Elusive," but the accompanying audio clip says:

As in, Kennedy says "you know" a dozen times in the 49-second "I'm a traditional Democrat" clip. We can't listen to two years of this! Caroline: every pause need not be filled with wordage, you know?

Only thing? It seems the NYT has changed it's headline since Gawker posted that. The headline no longer reads, "As a Candidate, Kennedy Is Eloquent but Elusive." It now reads, "As a Candidate, Kennedy Is Forceful but Elusive" I wonder if this post had anything to do with that? Heh.

Now that is a correction. I guess they couldn't say with a straight face that she is "eloquent." But they could have noted the correction.

I'm sure SNL will be all over it, right? Right.

*I wanted to add this. We are all aware of the modern Kennedy exploits, but did you know this about Caroline's grandfather? Good grief.

Say Goodbye to The Princess

I think Caroline Kennedy always held an "above the fray" type of persona. We all grew up seeing the pictures of her and her little brother, John, playing under Pres. Kennedy's desk. Her mother was the epitome of grace and lived a quiet life of class.

The tragedies of the family made all of us feel such sympathy for Caroline. First, the horror of her father's death will forever be etched in America's memory. Then the sad death of her mother. During all of this America was fascinated with her incredibly good looking brother John, who chose to start a magazine (which I subscribed to and really enjoyed) instead of seek public office. With neither Caroline or John involved in politics for themselves, they made it much easier for even us on the Republican side to like them. John was more like a movie star than anything else. The tabloids followed his every muscled move, and then there was his fairy tale wedding to his beautiful blond bride.

Caroline may have been in the background of her magnetic brother, but she was respected. Then that final tragedy of her brother's plane crash. It very well could have been written as a movie. Beautiful, rich, and privileged, the couple we had all loved to watch, was gone.

Caroline was the last survivor of her famous family, and she seemed to handle it with the grace that her mother taught her. She had devoted her life to being a wife, mother, and raising funds for the New York City public schools. No controversy. No real politics involved. She was still the princess of Camelot.

It's a shame that she had throw off that crown to publicly express a desire for the Senate seat left by Hillary Clinton. Now she is subject to what all politicians are subject to. It's that icky, mud slinging, power hungry politics that make us all sick. Caroline can no longer be "above the fray." She is now a part of the fray. I read at Gawker that Caroline had used her influence to make sure some exploits of her children as teenagers were not published. That will no longer be possible. Now we know her material wealth, how she hasn't always been a consistent voter, and some tabloids are hinting at an affair.

I'm thinking she will regret giving up her crown to lower herself into the dirty business of politics. Grace and class are not often seen in that business.

The princess we knew, is gone.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Republicans are not supposed to use satire??

Anderson Cooper of CNN titles his post "RNC chair candidate sends out controversial Obama song."

Why is is controversial to make fun of a liberal black columnist calling Obama "The magic negro?" It absolutely begs to be made fun of.

It all started with Time's columnist David Ehrenstein wrote a piece titled "Obama the 'Magic Negro" back in March of '07. (You will notice that Anderson doesn't bother to link that column, which would have taken all of 10 seconds to find, to make it clear where the song came from). Paul Shanklin (known of his parody songs) then recorded a parody song as satire directed at the Times that played on Rush Limbaugh's show.

To this day there are still leftwing bloggers who use that as example of Rush being a racist, thinking that Rush himself made up or approved of a song calling Obama "the magic negro" himself. Apparently never listening to the song which mentions the LA Times in the chorus several times.

I would think that the column itself would be what is controversial, not the song making fun of it.

But, that's liberals for ya.

The LA Times column reads in part:

The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. "He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist," reads the description on Wikipedia.

He's there to assuage white "guilt" (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest.

Ehrenstein ends with this:

Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.

So, basically saying that Obama is non threatening, unlike most black men, without a past to be afraid of, he appears to help the white man say to himself that he can live with a black such as this.

Now that isn't controversial enough for Anderson to even link or mention that a liberal black wrote it, but the RNC chair sending out the song as the funny parody it is, is controversial.


Twas the day after Christmas

It was the day after Christmas and all was quiet in the house.

The kids were all spoiled with toys and videos lying by their beds

The mother was exhausted with wrapping and cooking

But being the dweeb that she is, she is still up blogging.

How was your Christmas? I am about to go run 4 miles to make up for the ridiculous amount eating I did. From hot chocolate stirred with chocolate/peppermint spoons to cakes, cookies, and even the vegetables are covered with things like bacon and cream.

I had a party Tues. night and I got party trays from Jason's Deli. I am telling you if you have one in your town, use them for parties. They make delicious food and even the fruit is fresh and yummy.

The funniest/weirdest thing to happen yesterday is that my son got a remote controlled VAMP. Here is what one looks like. It sorta looks like a bat, right? Anyway, so my son is flying it outside and out of nowhere swoops a hawk and grabs the VAMP right out of the sky and flies off with it!!! Can you believe it??! My son starts yelling and then runs in the house and everyone goes off in the neighborhood to find this stupid thieving hawk. No luck, but we had a good laugh.

I got an acer laptop. Tiny little thing. It's like 7 by 10 inces. I love it. I can carry it in my purse while traveling through airports.

But my favorite gifts are always those given by my kids when they are still young and they buy stuff themselves like at Walgreens. One year when my daughter was eight she gave me a little plastic angel. I just loved it and I Keep on my vanity. This year my youngest got me this little fishbowl with plastic fish that swim around somehow (magnetic or battery..something) I have it right here beside the computer. I've named them Reagan and Palin after my two favorite conservatives. Heh.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Although I focus on politics on this blog, I think it is clear from my writing what my faith means to me, which is everything. I remember a friend in college thought the whole idea of Christianity was silly. A son of God born to a Virgin? To save us? To forgive our sins? Ridiculous. She told me to think about the "sense" of it. But I told her, it's about experience and love. It isn't just a belief, I explained, It's what I have known, experienced, and know to be true. It comes from a relationship based on the most profound love. Once you have felt the hand of God in yours, then faith is easy. And it literally changes everything.
My Christmas wish for everyone reading this is that you find that hand. It never lets go, it never disappoints, it never wavers. Even in your darkest moments, He brings us light. Life is hard. God's love is easy.
Merry Christmas my friends. Thanks for visiting this blog.

Home For Christmas

Sgt. Chris Burleson and his son Hunter enjoy a moment of joy during a welcome home ceremony at Camp Shelby, Miss., for returning troops of the Arkansas National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

3,200 of our bravest and brightest warriors came home from a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I love it.

h/t BrickandClick

A Christmas Story

Because you know you love to read them. Just admit it. Tis the season.

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his backyard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway, he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift.

He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend."

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity.

Bobby had two older and one younger sister who ran the household in their mother's absence. All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already and he had nothing. Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were.

It wasn't easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked from shop to shop looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach. It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the curb.

He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment. As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when salesperson after salesperson told him that he could not buy anything with only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift.

The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then, he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you." Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers.

The sound of the door closing as the last customer left jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly, the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long-stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow.

Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box. "That will be ten cents young man," the shop owner said, reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!

Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?" This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true.

Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."

As he returned inside, the shop keepers wife walked out. "Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then, just a few minutes ago a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime. When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses."

The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not Surprising

The Hill blog:

Last week, the website — the official website of the Obama Transition Team — asked the public to provide them with a list of the top public policy questions facing America. Visitors to the site were then asked to vote on which questions should take priority for the incoming administration.

What was the number one priority for these Obama supporters? What was the top question about? Healthcare? The genocide in Darfur? The war?


They would like to get high legally.

You gotta laugh (or you might cry).

Palin, Enlightened Redneck of The Year Award

Here. Good stuff.

A Family Legacy?

Looking at the two highly visible Senate appointments of New York (Hillary's seat) and Chicago (Obama's seat), illustrates how the Democrat machine works. If Democrats could pick and choose their winning candidate without benefit of the people's vote, this is what we would get. Caroline Kennedy or Andrew Cuomo for New York. Do the names sound familiar? Of course they do. They are Democratic royalty and the princess and the prince are fighting it out to get the Governor's attention.

The Caroline Kennedy scenario (which is almost sure to happen) is laughable because of the hysterical left insisting that Sarah Palin was not qualified to be Vice President. Now that one of their own is truly hardly qualified to be a Senator, they have nothing but praise for her. It's all about the star power bequeathed to Caroline and Andrew from their families.

As Victor Hanson perfectly points out:

Ms. Kennedy is about as undiverse as one could imagine. She was educated at exclusively private schools among those of her like race and class. Her financial security is due to either inheritance or marriage; there is no evidence of a self-employed stellar legal or business career. But there is plenty of evidence that Ms. Kennedy reflects the current Democratic Party’s obsession with celebrity and Hollywood-like imagery.

Yet someone like Palin, who came from a family much like you or I, completely middle class, is not considered good enough for the Democrats. Palin put herself through college because her family simply could not afford it. She proved her mettle and leadership qualities completely on her own all the way to being Governor of Alaska, and she is ridiculed by the Democrats. But someone like Caroline is held up as a standard of someone who can "fight" for the people. People whose lives she has never known or understood in her elite Democrat bubble.

The same can be said for the Chicago Senate seat (which is in limbo now obviously). But it easily could have gone to Jesse Jackson Jr. Another one who was bequeathed his star power. Hillary took her star power from her husband and we all can't wait for Chelsea's first run for office.

To be fair the same can be said of the Bush's. Bush got the star power from his Dad, as did Jeb.

But enough is enough. We aren't a Monarchy here. We don't have dynasties (or at least we shouldn't). These kind of leaders/politicians illustrate an incestuous political game that benefits only the families involved.

Enough with the Kennedy family, the Bush family, the Jackson family, the Clinton family, and the Cuomo Family.

There is nothing we can do about the New York appointment. But elections are about the voice of the people. Dynasties are not what America is about. It is about "we the people." It would do us well to remember that.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in Baghdad

The reporter says:
Even before I can ask Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul Karim Khalaf a question, he greets me with a big smile. "All Iraqis are Christian today!" he says.
Wow. Ok. That kinda rocks.
Father Saad Sirop Hanna, a Chaldean Christian priest, is here too. He was kidnapped by militants in 2006 and held for 28 days. He knows firsthand how difficult the lot of Christians in Iraq is but, he tells me, "We are just attesting that things are changing in Baghdad, slowly, but we hope that this change actually is real. We will wait for the future to tell us the truth about this."

He just returned from Rome. "I came back to Iraq because I believe that we can live here," he says. "I have so many [Muslim] friends and we are so happy they started to think about things from another point of view and we want to help them."
This is what it's all about to me. Living together in peace on this earth. Muslim and Christian.
We can do this. I just know we can.

Dying With Dignity?

I knew years ago, after fighting in the pro-life movement for unborn children, that one day we would legalize euthanasia. It was only a matter of time. Once a society has decided that certain life has value and certain life does not, then we slide down that slippery slope of determining who should die and rid us of the burden of their presence, and who shall be allowed to live.

From The Weekly Standard:

On December 5, Montana District judge Dorothy McCarter ruled in Baxter v. Montana that the state law banning assisted suicide violates not only the right to privacy guaranteed in the Montana constitution but also the constitutional clause that reads, "The dignity of the human being is inviolable." McCarter found here a "fundamental right" for the terminally ill to "die with dignity"--meaning in the case at hand, to commit suicide by drug overdose.

McCarter also ruled that doctors have a concomitant right to be free from "liability under the State's homicide statutes" if they help a patient commit death with dignity: "If the patient were to have no assistance from his doctor," she explained, "he may be forced to kill himself sooner .  .  . in a manner that violates his dignity and peace of mind, such as by gunshot or by otherwise unpleasant method, causing undue suffering to the patient and his family." That suicide is not a necessity apparently never entered the judge's mind.

Once again, as in Roe v. Wade, the courts are making these decisions and the people have no debate, no vote, and no say. I the same reaction has and will occur that occurred in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. The people uncomfortably ignore it. They shrug their shoulders and say to themselves, "The courts have spoken. There is nothing I can do."

Isn't assisted suicide really just a way to get rid of the unwanted and justify it by assuring ourselves that it was they, the suicide victim, who wanted it themselves?

Oregon already passed an euthanasia law 10 years ago with over 200 patients overdosing themselves with the supervision of a Doctor. Their law provided a 15 day waiting period. But the legal director for the assisted-suicide advocacy organization Compassion & Choice says the waiting period is "unduly burdensome." Does that sound familiar? It should. Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups have long fought the 24 hour waiting period for a woman considering abortion. What is it about these people that they don't even wish for a short time period that the patient think about the life ending/altering decision he or she is about to make?

How many times in my personal experience have I seen a woman coerced into abortion by the boyfriend, husband, or father? How many times will we see the same with the family of the elderly? Especially if an inheritance is involved or the care for the patient is costing too much money. Is there any way to truly monitor that? Of course not. It's a moral nightmare and we, as a society, just allow it.

People on the euthanasia side say that we must be allowed to die with dignity. A pro-longed death is not dignified. But can one honestly say that a suicide death has dignity? Many people have chosen that path without benefit of court approval. They overdose on drugs. Same path. Was that dignified? I don't think so. Does an Doctor administering or authorizing the final dose suddenly make it more dignified? No. It does not.

Because in reality, it's not really about dignity. It's about giving up. It's about fear. It's about being a burden. What does it say about us that allow people we love to feel that way? I've had close ones die of prolonged illnesses of cancer and Alzheimer's. Dying is hard, but then again, so is living. It's what do about it and how we love that makes the difference.

Dignity comes from loved ones comfort and help at the end. Dignity comes from a society that says we still care for you and you still matter in your illness. Would anyone want to die earlier than their natural death if the ones they loved were with them and wanted them here as long as possible?

It's not about the way we die. It's about the people we love that love us as we die. That is what gives us dignity.

Liberals are Stingy

What a shocker!

Years ago I was President of the PTA of the Catholic school my children attended. I had the power to decide what programs to implement and what to cut. It gave me a bit of an insight into Congress, but a really good insight into liberals. When you are the one deciding where money goes, suddenly you feel like the benevolent one. It's not your money, so giving generously is easy and feels quite good.

I have found that liberals see themselves as "compassionate" as long as they are fighting for the greater good with other people's money. I remember when they published what Al Gore gave to charity when he was Vice President and I just couldn't believe how much more my family gave. I'm sure he justified it to himself by thinking, "look at how much I do for environmental causes!"

As the NYT points out:

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

This doesn't surprise me. Liberals tend to think that the mere act of voting for someone who claims to help the poor is the equivalent of giving. Where conservatives actually see helping the poor themselves as the way to go.

It's not just in financial ways that conservatives are more generous:

Conservatives also appear to be more generous than liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.

Isn't it interesting is the truth is so far from the perception?

h/t BigDog

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rewriting the Narrative of Detainee Abuse

The Corner reports:

Republicans on the Senate Armed Service Committee, hitting back at Levin over the supposedly bipartisan Committee report on detainee treatment and the impression it has created.

The impression created by Sen. Carl Levin and the media by the 'Executive Summary of the Senate Armed Services Committee inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody' is that the administration's policy intentionally approved of illegal treatment of detainees. This has been the left and the media's narrative all along and it's nice to see Republicans step up to the plate and correct that narrative.

The statement from U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, James Inhofe, R-OK, Jeff Sessions, R-AL, John Cornyn, R-TX, John Thune, R-SD, and Mel Martinez, R-FL, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee says in part: (emphasis mine)

Throughout our history, even in the gravest of circumstances, the United States has embodied the ideals of individual freedom and liberty. This nation adheres to the principle that all detainees in U.S. custody must be treated humanely and in accordance with applicable law. The fallacious assertion, made in recent newspaper editorials and other media outlets, that illegal treatment of detainees was an intentional or necessary result of administration policy is irresponsible and only serves to aid the propaganda and recruitment efforts of extremists dedicated to the murder of innocents and the destruction of our way of life.

I would hope that at least a few Democrats would also see the harm to America by promoting a false impression that our government intentionally approved of illegal treatment of detainees. But no, it is more important to them to denigrate this Republican President than to care about lies that promote American hate around the world.

This is not to deny that there were isolated incidents of illegal treatment. There were. But those committing those offenses were caught and punished. (emphasis mine)

The latest inquiry into detainee treatment by the Senate Armed Services Committee breaks little new ground – merely reiterating the findings of at least 12 previous independent investigations, which reported that certain isolated and limited incidents of detainee abuse occurred in the handling of detainees in U.S. custody. The implication, however, that this abuse was the direct, necessary, or foreseeable result of policy decisions made by senior administration officials is false and without merit. It is counter-productive and potentially dangerous to our men and women in uniform to insinuate that illegal treatment of detainees resulted from official U.S. government policies.

Read the entire statement here.

As The Wall Street Journal reports:

Not one of the 12 nonpartisan investigations in recent years concluded that the Administration condoned or tolerated detainee abuse, while multiple courts martial have punished real offenders. None of the dozen or so Abu Ghraib trials and investigations have implicated higher ups...

Did you get that? Not one of the investigations concluded that Bush or higher ups approved or tolerated detainee abuse. The left loves to blather on and on about how Pres.Bush has hurt America's reputation in the world, when it is they themselves that promote false narratives that fuel the hate for America and it's President. The ridicule and hate that the left has fosted upon Pres. Bush these last eight years has given those around the world an excuse to hate us. The left has always promoted any movie, news story, or false impression that humilated or denigrated our President, not to mention our military. And when those tatics worked, and many in the world did come to hate us, they think they can just blame Bush and ignore the fact that it was they themselves that brought this hate upon all of America.


I'm sure you have seen Blagojevich's press conference by now. What an actor. Seriously. He should have gone for the stage. I wonder how many hours he practiced that speech. Just the right tone. Just the right inflection.
It was a brilliant performance.

It reminded me of when Clinton shook his finger at the American people and declared, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." So emphatic. So sincere.

Are they good actors or just amoral sociopaths with no conscience? Both men seemed to have no sense of shame.

When he quoted the Rudyard Kipling poem, I seriously thought I might throw up.

We have got to stop electing these shiny, articulate, robopoliticians. It just has to stop.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Holiday Buzz Tree

This my daughter's best friend. I think it perfectly illustrates the Holidays at College. Heh.

Brief and to the point.

That's how I like it.

The President of Americans For Tax Reform sent this letter to Pres. Bush regarding the Bailout.

I would say, "LOVE IT," but that would be too wordy.

Facebook Jihadists

That's right. They want to invade facebook. I figure we can "poke" them until they run screaming from the computer.

Online jihadists have already used YouTube, blogs and other social media to spread their propaganda. Now, a group of internet Islamic extremists is putting together a plan for "invading Facebook."

"We can use Facebook to fight the media," notes a recent posting on the extremist al-Faloja forum, translated by "We can post media on Facebook that shows the Crusader losses."

"We have already had great success in raiding YouTube," the poster adds. "American politicians have used Facebook to get votes, like the house slave Obama."

I just laugh they are now calling Obama a "house slave." Yeah, being the leader of the free world, with all the power that includes, and hundreds at your beck and call and yet you are still a "house slave." Could these people be any more moronic?

The al-Faloja poster suggests seven "brigades" work together within Facebook. One will distribute videos and writing of so-called "martyrs." Another will spread military training material. Most of them will work in Arabic, presumably. But one of the units will focus just on spread English-language propaganda through Facebook.


He Will Be Our President Too

Paul at Powerline reminds all of us on the right side to remember not to treat Obama the way the left treated Bush. Unlike many on the left, we will see Obama as OUR President too, because although we don't agree with him, he will be the leader of the free world. That means some stupid band can't go overseas and bash him on foreign soil. That's right, I'll get mad about that too, even it is about Obama. That means we won't want a moronic movie made distorting his words and denigrating him while he is in office. We won't give terrorists talking points to repeat on tapes given to news agencies.

Here are some excerpts:

Pray that President Obama achieves greatness in office. Our overriding concern must always be the country we love, not the success of a party or an ideology.

Be loyal in your opposition. As my blog partner Scott Johnson puts it, paraphrasing Steven Decatur: "May he always be in the right; but our president, right or wrong."

Don't hate.

Don't obsess.

Read the rest. Good advice. Because we don't want to fall into the same pit of hell the left did with Bush, always being critical and crude, never giving credit where credit is due, and spreading lies just to create a negative narrative.

Naturally Obama will do things we don't like. Our criticisms should be on issue and never personal. If he does things we like (like some of his appointments so far) then we need to give credit there.

It reminds me of what my 11 yr old said to me after Obama was elected. Every night we include Pres. Bush in our prayers. He asked me if we were going to include Obama when he became President. I said, of course! I told him we need to pray that Obama will do the right things. Keep in mind that my son thinks that Obama's stance on abortion is so unacceptable he can't comprehend how we could elected someone that doesn't understand the gift of life. How we could have elected someone who thinks it's ok to destroy unborn children. My son sees it in the most simple terms. Other issues can't really be explained to him. He also wouldn't care about them much. But babies he can relate to.

Anyway, I could see him wrestle with this thought of praying for Obama. I told him that Christ asked us to love even those who hate us, even our enemies. He said, "you are right. We will pray for him. Do you think we could just say, 'God bless our President?' and leave off his actual name? God will know who we are talking about after all. I just feel good when we pray and his name might depress me."

I had to laugh.

But it's true. An Obama Presidency might depress us, but we still need to stand strong on our principles, and we can do that without over the top rhetoric and mean ugly criticisms. We can pray for the best for our country.

h/t dave bones

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good Stuff From Pres. Bush

Bush drives the left insane and he makes conservatives angry. We think he isn't conservative enough and the left thinks he is way too far right. But it's nice sometimes to remember why we voted for him. He is a man of principle. From The American Enterprise Institute, first on the culture of life and stem cell research:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I told the American people I believe in a culture of life. I believe a healthy society is one that protects the most vulnerable among us. And clearly, the most vulnerable among us are those who aren't born yet. Obviously, abortion is a very controversial subject, and it's one that creates a lot of emotions.

I try to diffuse the emotions by saying, look, good people disagree on the issue, I understand that. But throughout my presidency, I have tried to help advance the culture of life. And one of the really classic tensions between the culture of life is that with science. And it's -- Leon Kass instructed me throughout this process that tensions existed for a long time, and will continue to exist.

And the fundamental question with stem cells is, do you destroy life to save life? And it's a difficult issue for a lot of people. I came down on the side that there are other opportunities available to save lives other than the destruction of life. And secondly, I was concerned about using taxpayers' money that would end up destroying life. There's a lot of people in our country that don't want their money spent for that purpose.

I developed a policy which I thought sounded rational. And that is there have been some stem cells lines already developed, embryonic stem cell lines developed prior to this decision, therefore we should go forward with research on them -- but from that point forward, no destruction of life with federal money. Since then, adult skin cells have been used to develop the equivalent of embryonic stem cells. And so science has advanced, and at the same time, we were able to stake a claim for the culture of life. It was a very emotional issue. And that's what happens when you confront controversial topics.

And I believe the President should have a core set of beliefs and stand on those beliefs.

And you may not agree with his immigration stance, but he is right on the money on this, and we Republicans would do well to pay attention:

I'm a little concerned about the tone of the immigration debate, labeling our party as "anti"-people. It's one thing to say they want the border enforced, and I understand that. But if a group of people think that a political party is against them, it doesn't matter what else you stand for. And the tone, in my judgment, at times got to be "anti." At one point in our history we had too many Jewish people and too many Italians. I don't know if you remember that. And it was -- I'm just confident people were saying, I can't believe this is the America that I came to live in where I'm "anti" -- people are "anti"-me.

And so we're going to have to work, like, with the Latino vote to say, we care about you, we hear you, and we share your values -- faith and family, small businesses, military vets or, you know, disproportionate -- more Latinos serve as a percentage of their -- of population in the military than any other group, if I'm not mistaken.

A Good Afternoon in Baghdad

We returned to the Baghdad Ballet School to deliver some gifts that were generously donated by a similar school in Mobile, Alabama. It was a great afternoon and I got a chance to interact with a lot of the kids. I laughed because the only English that they could speak was to sing the "ABC song" and count to ten, which they did relentlessly. I taught the boys how to do an "Obama-style fist-bump", as well as thumb wrestle. American culture is good for a lot of things. I walked away smiling. It was a good afternoon in Baghdad.
One more little personal insight from over there. From The Gun Line:
A few days ago, I escorted a working party of young Iraqis who were day laborers… They were all young, and they reminded me so much of any typical American teenager, trying to get through life, chatting away about girls, and sports, and the latest fashions… I felt very encouraged that these young fellows would be the ones to wake up and realize how full of potential their futures are. They will be the ones to take charge of their communities, and decide that they would not allow themselves to be manipulated by religion, by politics, by other countries… “We Won’t Get Fooled Again…” by The Who seems appropriate right now… Perhaps it will happen. I hope it does…

We’ll see if I’m as optimistic at the end of the tour as I am now, but, right now, I am where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing…

I’m happy to be here.
He's right, you know. It is that young generation that will decide. A future that is different from the past.

Shoe drama continues...

Yeah, the guy who threw the shoes at Bush is having a bit of an attack of conscience:

Majid confirmed to Fox News that Muntadhar al-Zeidi has asked the Iraqi president for a pardon, and expressed "regret and sorrow" for his behavior.
"It is too late to now to regret the big and ugly act that I perpetrated," al-Zeidi wrote, according to Majid.

Hey, at least he is admitting it was a big and ugly act.

A Christmas Wish

One of the founders of Smart Girl Politics has a sad and tender request:

Many of you may remember my dear friend, Chris Garman, who lost her battle with breast cancer 2 years ago. When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she was pregnant with her third child. Her doctors didn't think Chris would live through her pregnancy without treatment, so they took a chance & gave her chemo while shewas pregnant. Chris survived her pregnancy & had a beautiful, healthy little girl named Hannah Faith.

Chris died when Hannah was three.

Hannah is now five, and this breaks my heart all over again, but In October, Hannah has been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and incurable brain tumor. She was given about 12 weeks to live. She was going to be the flower girl in a wedding in May, but was diagnosed a week after she was asked.

Right now she has lost most of her motor skills. She is confined to bed and cannot really do anything or play with the gifts she is getting from
people, but she LOVES getting cards - she has gotten so many from people she does not know and jus t loves to have grandma read about the people who send them and see their pictures and is so proud of all her cards. Her room is just filled with cards.

When asked what she wants for Christmas she said she wants to see how many Christmas cards she can get. Many people have passed this wish along to their churches, prayer groups, friends and family. There are school groupswhere children are making her cards. People are including pictures so she can see who it is that is sending her the card.

If you would like to help with her wish, please send her a card at:

Hannah Garman
704 Orchard Rd
Lititz, PA 17543

Sometimes in the rush and materialism of the season, we forget how blessed we are. So send an extra card, go hug your children and tell them you love them. Life is but a whisper. Listen closely to it and relish it.

Not the Change They Were Expecting

*See update at bottom of post.

Why is the gay community so upset that Pastor Rick Warren set to speak at Obama's inauguration? It might have something to do with this letter he sent out in support of Prop 8:

"For 5,000 years, EVERY culture and EVERY religion -- not just Christianity -- has defined marriage as a contract between men and women. There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2% of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called 'gay marriage.' Even some gay leaders, like Al Rantel of KABC oppose watering down the definition of marriage...Of course, my longtime opposition is well known. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about. There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue...This will be a close contest, maybe even decided by a few thousand votes. I urge you to VOTE YES on Proposition 8 -- to preserve the biblical definition of marriage. Don't forget to vote!"

Now, one might point out that Obama has always said he was against gay marriage, so what's the surprise?

The surprise is that the liberal and gay community thought he was just saying that to get elected. The Democrats have always had a "wink, wink" thing with their Presidential candidates. They may denounce the "religious right," but have no problem with the Clintons, Pelosi, and Obama talking about God and faith. Why? Because they know they don't mean it. It's that simple. Their attitude always has been, "Say what you need to to get elected and be perceived as moderate, but we know you are on our side."

It seems Obama is disappointing the liberals over and over and he hasn't even taken office yet:

Millions of us stood up and shouted, handed out fliers, talked to our neighbors, donated hard-earned money, and drove people to the polls for Change. We screamed, hugged, kissed, and cried when we learned Change had come to America. We knew Change wouldn't come overnight, that it would take time, but we were excited that we had elected a man who was open to Change, who said he wanted to consider real people's needs while in the Oval Office. We eagerly awaited the first hints of Change, as the president-elect's transition developed.

And now, we have reason to worry that Change is not coming to America after all.

A politician being a politician. Did they really expect unicorns and rainbows? Seriously?

What has Obama done so far that has them riled? His appointments:

...there's Hillary Clinton herself, our soon-to-be secretary of state, who voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, who has been called "a hawk among hawks," who pointed approvingly at humanitarian interventionist actions like the one her husband initiated in Kosovo in 1999. Obama's team of advisors includes several other returnees from the Clinton administration, such as Michele Flournoy, Susan Rice (recently named US ambassador to the UN), Richard Holbrooke, Anthony Lake, and Madeleine Albright, all of whom have been neoliberal hawks to one degree or other.

While a return to Clinton-era foreign relations is a certainly a change from destructive Bush-era policies, it is not Change writ large. Not to mention the fact that another segment of Obama's national-security squad is rounded out by center-righties with firm Bush-era roots, such as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who will stay on as a holdover from the Bush administration, and national-security advisor-designate Jim Jones, a former advisor to John McCain.


On the economy, as well, Obama has made some critical missteps. It's not just that Lawrence Summers, Obama's pick for head of the incoming White House National Economic Council, is a Clinton-era economist who oversaw the same policies that got us into the financial mess we're in today (or that his record on gender equality is iffy-at-best). Two of Obama's largest policy backpedals have been economic.

First, he adopted a more cautious stance on rolling back tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year — rather than taking the bold step of repealing those, he now says he'll just let them expire as scheduled at the end of 2010. Then, citing the sharp decrease in oil prices from this summer's record levels, he shelved his plan to tax oil-company windfall profits.

While anything that slows the "progression" of the "the progressives," we should not get our hopes up. Obama's past (such as we know) is very far left, which is why the far left loved him so much. From abortion rights to gun control he has voted to the extreme. But what Obama always understood is that we live in a time of perception. Obama desperately wants to be perceived as someone who brings us together.

I think that Obama will soon discover that being President in this day and time requires more than the image of being a leader. It will take actual leading. Leading does not mean that decisions will be popular.

As I see Obama now, my biggest worry isn't about appointments or even promoting and implementing leftist ideas. My biggest worry is that he will discover that he is in way over his head and bad decisions will come from that.

While Obama making leftists mad may make conservatives feel a bit better, it doesn't overcome his inexperience and his basic belief that government can solve our problems.

Obama has been showered with love and affection from his supporters and from the press for over 2 years now. It will be interesting to see how he handles the criticisms that comes with simply being a leader.

*Update: Whoa, RWN has the reaction to Pastor Warren from the netroots. I think they are a bit upset. I love how anyone who disagrees with them is "a preacher of hate." It's such a joke. You can like or dislike Rick Warren (I'm not particularly fond of him) and you can agree or disagree with him, but no reasonable person could call anything he says or does hateful. It's absurd. Being against gay marriage doesn't make you a hater. It makes you one who disagrees. That's it. Over the top rhetoric diminishs any point one is trying to make. The netroots should keep that in mind.

Who's running for RNC Chair?

Politico has the guide:

Mike Duncan– As the current committee chair, Duncan knows the party’s insiders better than anyone else in the running. And while his present term in office has left Republicans with mixed feelings – his prolific fundraising doesn’t quite make up, in some leaders’ minds, for the GOP’s devastating November losses – he’s ended on a strong note thanks to Saxby Chambliss’s victory in the Georgia Senate runoff and the GOP’s two House wins in Louisiana.
Most of all, Duncan is benefiting from a divided field of opponents who haven’t developed a consistent critique of his leadership and against whom he could quickly become an unobjectionable consensus candidate.
“If there was a movement that could push Duncan out, I think it would be identifiable at this point,” said one Republican strategist who expects Duncan to be reelected. “I just do not get the feeling that there is going to be some great change.”
Saul Anuzis— Among the field of candidates seeking to become the anti-Duncan, Anuzis stands out for his energetic campaigning and his emphasis on technology. The Michigan GOP chair announced his bid on Twitter and has been hammering away at the theme of tactical innovation. Multiple Republicans noted Anuzis’s big, colorful personality – he rides a Harley-Davidson and sports a goatee as an asset in a race where candidates are struggling to distinguish themselves from an ideologically homogenous field.
Anuzis has also rolled out more public endorsements than any other candidate, drawing heavily on support from blue states like New Jersey and Connecticut and shaping a perception that his candidacy is picking up steam.
“If I had to assign momentum in what has been a very, very sleepy race, I’d assign it to Anuzis,” said another Republican strategist.
Anuzis’s weakness? Michigan has been very tough ground for the GOP in recent cycles, and the support he’s receiving from Republicans back home may not be quite enough to kick voters’ suspicion that he just hasn’t delivered the wins an RNC chair needs.

Michael Steele—Steele, a former state party chair who served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor before losing a Senate race in 2006 to then-Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), is essentially tied in second place with Anuzis. Steele announced his candidacy on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity and Colmes” to great fanfare, touting his skills as a political communicator at a time when Republicans lack a high-profile leaders on the national stage.
Steele’s campaign hasn’t gone quite the way he expected it to, according to some Republicans, who believe Steele expected his star power to carry him farther than it has in a race in which many RNC members would prefer to elect one of their own.
And though he’s consistently reaffirmed his commitment to conservative social positions, his association with the moderate Republican Leadership Council has some RNC members uneasy.
“I don’t think there’s any question that he is personally pro-life. I think the only question is how he views the role of social conservatives within the party,” said James Bopp Jr., the influential social conservative who serves as national committeeman for Indiana.
But despite these hiccups, Steele seems destined to make it to the finish line with the clout to make it through multiple ballots. And if he can edge out Anuzis on the first vote he could give Duncan a run for his money.
Katon Dawson– Running a little behind his fellow challengers, but still mounting an energetic and serious campaign, is South Carolina Republican Party Chair Katon Dawson. With a better win-loss record than Anuzis and a closer rapport with RNC members than Steele or Blackwell, Dawson could ride a wave of conservative and Southern support into the late stages of balloting – particularly if the Blackwell-Benkiser gambit falls flat.
The Palmetto State Republican is billing his campaign as a vehicle for outside-the-Beltway competence and emphasizing the need to return control over the RNC to successful state-level leaders – a message that’s certainly in tune with the mood on the committee.
Dawson’s major obstacle is, in a word, Southernness. At a moment when some are labeling the GOP a regional party, Dawson may not look (and sound) like the change the GOP needs. And his critics are only too eager to hype up a damaging story that Dawson belonged to an all-white country club as recently as last summer.
Ken Blackwell– The former Cincinnati mayor and Ohio secretary of state entered the RNC campaign late – on December 5 – and has lagged behind the other contenders. While his candidacy hasn’t exactly caught fire, it got a potentially significant boost this week in the shape of his partnership with Benkiser, who could help Blackwell appeal to the significant social conservative bloc on the committee.
Blackwell has also moved forward with a series of moves that appear designed to capture the RNC’s fiscal conservative vote, receiving the endorsements of publisher Steve Forbes and Club for Growth head Pat Toomey. Endorsements don’t necessarily pack much of a punch in an internal election like this one, but every little bit helps.
Like Steele, however, Blackwell’s not a member of the RNC and he still faces skepticism about both his qualifications and his viability. The Ohioan still has some catching up to do in this race and a running mate alone won’t do the trick.
“He’s a very plausible candidate,” said one member of the RNC, who cautioned: “He’s neither fish nor fowl. He’s not a figure with national prominence and he’s not a figure with experience keeping the trains running on time.”
Chip Saltsman– A former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and campaign manager to Mike Huckabee, Saltsman has more to gain than any other candidate from a protracted, multi-ballot knife fight for the chairmanship. The 40-year-old has been running a vigorous race against more established candidates, though he’s had to distance himself from the Huckabee campaign in a race where no one wants to support a stalking horse for 2012.
Saltsman knows he’s an underdog, but as a student of GOP politics he also knows that once an RNC race gets past the first or second ballot, all bets are off. If Saltsman can become a second- or third-choice candidate for a significant number of RNC members, and survive the first ballot, he could try and follow the Jim Nicholson path to victory. Yet even if he is unsuccessful, he’s established himself as a name to be taken very seriously in years to come.
I lean toward Michael Steele, but really only because I heard him speak at the Americans for Prosperity conference in Austin and I was very impressed.