I am trying to get a theme going across blogs, facebook and twitter. Post your own "dear Obama" message warning him that the Muslim Brotherhood is doing some trivial thing democrats waste time accusing Republicans or the Tea Party of doing. Here are some I've already thought up:
Dear President Obama: the Muslim Brotherhood does not provide women with free contraception. Please send Sandra Fluke to negotiate.
Dear President Obama: the Muslim Brotherhood has over a billion dollars of taxpayer money, and some of it might be invested in a Swiss bank. You should check that out while you are investigating Mitt Romney's tax returns.
Dear President Obama: I heard the Muslim Brotherhood might require members to have a photo ID. You should look into that.
Dear President Obama: children of the Muslim Brotherhood are eating more and more high fructose corn syrup. Please, think of the children!
Dear President Obama: I hear the Muslim Brotherhood is bitterly clinging to guns and religion. You may want Eric Holder to look into that.
Dear President Obama: I hear the Muslim Brotherhood may be supporting a War on Women. How about cutting their funding and donating it to breast cancer research instead?
Dear President Obama: I think the Muslim Brotherhood may not have all their tires properly inflated. They may be contributing to global warming. Please look into this!
Dear President Obama: I don't think the Muslim Brotherhood has enough Latino members. Maybe you should ask your Diversity Czar to check into that?
Dear President Obama, I think that some members of the Muslim Brotherhood actually believe in "legitimate rape." Please check into that.
Dear President Obama: I saw your allies, if that's what you think they are today, in the Muslim Brotherhood driving large, gas guzzling SUVs. Maybe you should buy them Chevy Volts instead!
That's enough to get you started. Share these, post your own to blogs, facebook and twitter, make them go viral!
There is a lot of talk today about Condi Rice for VP. I like Condi and all. But it won't be her. She is perceived as a moderate - probably unjustly so, but the fact is, on some social issues, she is distrusted by the conservative base. This conservative base is already skeptical of Romney, so Romney needs a reassuring pick, not a controversial one in this regard. She is also closely associated with the Bush administration. Now remember, for the most part, I liked Bush. This is not a bad thing for me. But Obama wants to run against the last two years of the Bush administration - two years that went south, largely because Pelosi and Reid were running Congress... but I digress. Romney needs to be able to say that he would not be just another Bush Republican. Condi on the ticket negates that. Finally, unlike most other politicians who say it, when she says she never wants to run for office, she convinces me. So who should Romney choose? I say, Bobby Jindal:
1) Let's get the obvious out of the way - Jindal is an Indian-American, and Romney is a boring white guy. Jindal on the ticket would be abother historic first, and would forever change the race debates in this nation. The GOP would no longer be the white people party. And it would highlight the racial double-standard of the left: to liberals, if you are black or Mexican, you are a special minority. But if you are Asian, you are nothing to them. However, Asians have just surpassed hispanics as the fastest growing immigrant group. They are an important voting bloc, and have been largely ignored by politicians across the country. This would be big. Real big.
2) Jindal is both the second coming of, and at the same time, the polar opposite of, Sarah Palin. Palin and Jindal agree on most issues, excite the tea party and conservative base, and break ground as historic minority figures. Jindal would add needed fire to the Romney campaign as Palin did for McCain. But elites hated Palin, unfairly, because she is a "low brow" figure who took more than four years to graduate from a podunk state college and went on to do things like work on fishing boats instead of working at law firms, universities, or major corporations like "respectable" people. Jindal is at home with blue collar working class folks, but has elite cred up the wazoo (see below).
3) Jindal would be one of the most intelligent, best educated candidates on a ticket - just like Romney. Obama fans brag about his Harvard Law degree and tenure as a professor. Well... Romney graduated with honors from Harvard Law AND Harvard Business. He needs a running mate with similar achievement, to avoid diminishing his own. Jindal graduated from Brown with honors (double majoring, in just three years), then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, graduating with a Master's degree in Political Science, and was a consultant for McKinsey and Company and president of University of Louisiana - that's real brains, with the paper to back it up. It would be impossible for anyone to say with any credibility that the Republican Party is the "stupid" party with Jindal on the ticket alongside Romney.
4) Jindal has government experience and executive experience that defies belief for someone so young. Jindal was the head of Louisiana Health and Human Services, president of University of Louisiana, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Congressman, and Governor of Louisiana - all before age 40. He is younger than I am by a year. I feel so pathetic in comparison! Romney's big advantage - his private sector experience - is also a weakness in that people expect a President (especially after the Obama nightmare) to have extensive experience running GOVERNMENT. Romney has only his one term as a governor; adding Jindal to the ticket would add incredible balance in that regard.
5) Jindal excites the tea party. Romney doesn't. A Romney-Jindal ticket unites the big tent of establishment GOP, moderates, conservatives, and the tea party. Romney needs that.
6) Jindal is right on the issues. He favors limited federal government, states' rights, low taxes, less regulation, secure borders, life, liberty, guns, babies, God and country. Jindal is top rated by Right to Life, the NRA, and Club for Growth. He has the right vision for America, and will help reassure those on our side who fear Romney lacks a conservative vision or core conservative principles.
7) Jindal has experience that Romney lacks. Jindal served on the Homeland Security Committee in Congress and has national security expertise. This helps make up for a significant Romney weakness while the U.S. is still engaged in the Global War on Terror and faces new threats from the likes of Iran.
8) Jindal is a turn-around specialist, like Romney, but with government instead of private business. As head of Louisiana HHS, Jindal wiped out a $400 million deficit and created a $200 million surplus. As governor, he rescued his state's credit rating. He has the same vision for rescuing failing organizations with sweeping changes for improved efficiency as Romney - but has experience doing it with failing governments.
9) Jindal's greatest area of expertise is healthcare policy. The GOP is running on repealing Obamacare. The left keeps saying the GOP has no vision for replacing it. Romney's greatest weakness is that he implemented Romneycare as governor. Having Jindal on the ticket demonstrates a commitment to making actual healthcare REFORM, and not just Obamacare repeal, a top priority.
10) Jindal is Catholic. Romney is Mormon. Many voters will not support a Mormon. The Catholic Church has been, historically, one of the most critical anti-Mormon organizations. A Mormon-Catholic ticket would be an incredible thing, more so (in my opinion) than a Mormon-Protestant ticket. While there are many Protestant evangelicals who will not support Romney, I believe their biggest problem with him isn't religion so much as perceived weakness on social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control. Jindal would do more to help with this than probably any Protestant other than Mike Huckabee - and Huckabee would do more harm with tea party conservatives than he would help with social conservative evangelicals.
11) JIndal has been vetted. He has been elected and re-elected congressman and governor. Louisiana is a tough state for politics. If there was dirt on Jindal, it would have already derailed him.
12) Jindal has handled crisis. He succeeded in leading during the Gulf oil spill and Hurricane Gustav when other states failed, and in stark contrast to Katrina before he became governor. When the 3 a.m. call comes, Jindal will have a cool head and get right to work solving the crisis.
13) Unlike some other potential candidates, Jindal was not in Congress during the end of the Bush years, and therefore does not have a TARP vote to rationalize! He has congressional experience (important, as VP is also President of the Senate), but without a long history of bad votes to drag him down.
14) Jindal has a strong family story. He is the child of immigrants. His parents came to America to make use of their education in a free country. His siblings are all successes. His wife is a chemical engineer with an MBA working on her PhD. Everyone in the family has strong personal values. There won't be any embarassing uncles showing up drunk or children being born out of wedlock.
And that brings up something that needs discussed: there is a lunatic fringe of the birther crowd who will claim Jindal is not eligible under the Constitution. Let's just clear this up. HE IS. Jindal was born in the United States. His parents came to America legally, under a visa, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Anyone saying otherwise is a fool, allowing a non-issue to distract us from the REAL issue at hand: Obama, whether born in Hawaii or not, is a FAILURE as President who must be replaced because of his bad policies.
So that's my take. Jindal would be best. You can agree or disagree. But regardless of who Romney chooses as his running mate, my vote is with Romney to defeat Obama. I hope you and I can agree on that!
SERIOUS QUESTION: The morning after Halloween, you find the heaviest piece of furniture in the house about 8 inches from where it usually is, with no explanation. Everything else is perfectly normal. Thoughts?
Obama will win an Emmy Award when He reads His Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from the teleprompter on live TV.
Obama will win a Grammy Award for His connection to the now famous video of singing school children going "mmm mmm mmm."
Obama will the Academy Award for best special effects for appearing to deserve more awards.
Obama will win a Tony Award when He gives the next State of the Union address live from Broadway's Majestic Theater.
Obama will win the Pulitzer Prize after announcing a deal to write His "next" (as opposed to "first") book, documenting how awesome He is.
Obama will be named class valedictorian from Oxford University on the great potential He shows as a possible future student.
Finally, next year, Obama will win a second Nobel prize, but this time for Physics, for His role in the groundbreaking new research into the "nothing equalling everything" grand unification theory.
So... all this fuss over sending Air Force One to NYC for a photo op...
Doesn't the President ever, like, fly to New York?
Why not just, like, take some photos of it, you know, next time he does?
You know, rather than spend half a million dollars on jet fuel, keep all those military personnel from other duties, cause panic in the streets, etc.?
Man confirmed as survivor of BOTH atomic bombs.
Keep away from him during thunderstorms.
Sadly, this IS a REAL politician, responding to an oil tanker accident off the coast of Australia.
Now, be honest, by the middle of this, you were picturing in your mind Michael Palin interviewing Eric Idle, weren't you?
I will be honest and blunt. For months now, I have been encouraging conservatives and Republicans to rally around John McCain, not because I believed he was the right man for the job, but because I believe Barack Obama would be far, far worse. But after last night's performance at the Saddleback Forum, I now see McCain as the RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB.
There is a lot of information and commentary posted already elsewhere. You can get some good run-downs here and here. Both these links contain many other links, so invest some time and read as much as you can. And note: both these bloggers have been unenthusiastic about McCain and at least willing to see good sides of Obama. They aren't right wing partisans. So it is telling how their focus is directed.
Let me share with you some thoughts.
First, this was the best "debate" format ever. Candidates had plenty of time to not only give canned sound bites, but long responses with detailed information. Furthermore, there was no time or energy wasted on "gotcha" comebacks. I wish all candidate forums could proceed more like this, and less like what Fred Thompson called "hand shows." And I like that we got to see one long period of one candidate, then one long period of the other. That's a great way to show the real contrast.
Second, I don't give a hoot that this forum came in a church before a largely evangelical crowd. As McCain said, the candidates should appear in every venue, to reach as many people as possible. No one should seriously believe the choice of forum violates any "separation of church and state" doctrines just because candidates share information there. Would it be a violation of the so-called separation for churches to have televisions in them, running CNN coverage of a debate? Ever heard of that whole "free speech" thing that goes along with that "religious stuff" in the First Amendment? How about "freedom of association"? Does that ring a bell?
Anyway, on to the candidates themselves.
Right off the bat, McCain demonstrated presidential qualities in his description of close advisors. General Petraeus - the military genius leading us to success in Iraq. John Lewis - he may be a political "enemy," but he still commands respect and is the sort of leader a man like McCain can turn to for bi-partisan support or alternative viewpoint. Meg Whitman - the maverick business executive who turned eBay from a garage operation to a multi-billion dollar international industry, a person who can bring much-needed economic and business sense to Washington. Obama? Well, he went with his America-hating wife, his typical white grandmother, and a non-descriptive jumble of generic Washington insider advisors. Who is the real candidate of hope and change here? And who is the status quo political insider?
Obama really stepped into it with abortion. Asked at what point a child is entitled to human rights, he waffled and wobbled. He basically blew off any personal responsibility and said that sort of decision is "above his pay grade." Seriously?
Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is, you know, above my pay grade.
Yes, seriously! One of the hot-button issues people of all viewpoints expect their leaders to actually LEAD on, and Obama says he can't lead. He then went on to LIE about the increasing number of abortions in America. OK, to be fair, maybe he was just wrong. Either way, a candidate for PRESIDENT shouldn't go onto a nationally televised forum for VALUES VOTERS without the real facts on THE VALUES ISSUE.
McCain? Well, agree with him or not, you have to credit his personal moral clarity when he was able to answer the same question clearly and instantly with life begins at conception.
Another one that blew me away was the question asked of both men about evil, and what to do about it.
Obama rambled, talked about how you can see evil in the streets of America, talked of vague "confrontation," and then again punted by saying it was up to God to fight evil. McCain leapt right into his answer with a definitive "defeat it!"
I am particularly troubled by Obama's answer in light of his continually claiming he is a devout Christian. Now, this isn't about whether Christianity is right or wrong. It is about Obama's response in light of his declared Christian faith. Obama made a critical mistake about one of the fundamental tenets of Christian dogma: it is not up to God to defeat evil, it is up to man!
God gave man Free Will. With Free Will, man has the choice between a life of sin or a life of virtue. God could, as an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Being, wipe out all evil in creation with a Thought. But God does not do this, because it would take away His great gift to man of Free Will. If there were no evil, then there would be no value to choosing good.
This has been a central theme of Christian faith for almost 2,000 years. St. Augustine's treatise on Free Will is probably second only to the Holy Bible itself as a fundamental document of Christian teaching. And Obama, who continues to claim he is a devout man of Christian faith, blew this question!
Again, this is not to say Obama is right or wrong in his answer to the question (although I personally clearly believe he is wrong). The truly important point here is that Obama's answer shows he is not true to his professed faith. If you are an evangelical Christian looking for a candidate who can relate to you and your beliefs, Obama is not your man.
Both men were asked about Supreme Court justices, in a reverse of the usual "who do you like" format. Instead, they were asked what current justices they would NOT have chosen. Obama went directly to Clarence Thomas, ironically calling him inexperienced. Then he attacked Scalia. He railed them both for writing opinions he supposedly doesn't agree with. Funny thing is, some of the biggest decisions of the year found Scalia and Thomas writing the opinions Obama supported publicly. After all, Obama now claims he believes in the individual right to bear arms. He claims he believes Louisiana should be able to use the death penalty for child rapists. And of course, Obama also stated he would not have supported Chief Justice John Roberts - but we already knew that, since Obama voted against him.
McCain instantly answered the question with eight simple words:
With all due respect: Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter, Stevens.
That is about as stark a contrast as you can get. And McCain also went on to champion his personal support of Roberts and Alito, praising Bush for their appointments.
Hey, if judges are a big issue for you, the difference between the two men is crystal clear.
Another telling moment was a question about a difficult decision they had made. Obama went directly into MoveOn.Org mode by defending his difficult decision to oppose the war in Iraq. Funny thing is, Obama wasn't in the Senate at the time, so it really wasn't that difficult for him. McCain, on the other hand, talked about his time in the Hanoi Hilton.
A quick refresher course in history:
When McCain was a P.O.W., his father was an admiral in the U.S. Navy in a position of command in the Pacific. The N.V.A. knew it could make a great propaganda statement if it let McCain go free. They would say the evil American military was willing to work with the enemy to free the sons of their leaders, while soldiers from poor families continued to languish and die in prison camps. So the N.V.A. offered to release McCain.
McCain refused. He would not allow himself to be released while his brothers in arms remained captive. He made this decision knowing he would be subject to continued torture. He made it knowing his own physical condition was already so frail he might not survive. And, to this day, he believes it was one of the most correct and most important decisions he ever made.
McCain mentioned there was a lot of prayer involved. Anyone who doubts McCain is a man of faith should think about this. He spent over five years in a hell hole receiving routine torture while deprived of almost all basic necessities. He came back ready to continue to serve his country. Yes, there was prayer involved. I have never met John McCain. I haven't read his books. And I haven't invested a lot of time researching his P.O.W. history beyond what is commonly reported. But I don't need to do any of that to know in my heart that McCain prayed to God, and God answered his prayers. God kept McCain alive and sane during those five years. God helped McCain continue to serve his country and his fellow man after his release. Anyone who doesn't think McCain is a man of faith should try living McCain's life some day.
But enough about spiritual matters. We are electing a Commander in Chief, not a pastor in chief. I only write what I have about faith because I know that, for some, it is the only real issue in this election. I am not one of them, so let's move on.
Both men were asked about a change of opinion they have had. Pastor Warren skillfully built up the question to show that changing an opinion isn't the same as a "flip-flop." Rather, changing times and new information can cause a real leader to recognize that it makes sense to go in a new direction.
Obama rambled about welfare reform, and how he was upset with Bill Clinton over it, but now he sees it was a good thing. Of course, remember it was Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution of 1994 that brought us welfare reform, not Bill Clitnon - so Obama just said he agrees with Newt.
McCain, without hesitation, moved loudly and enthusiastically to announce his change of opinion is DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW. That probably received the biggest applause of the entire night.
And on a related note, in a different question, Obama talked about how we need to sacrifice in order to solve the energy problem. That's a start contrast from McCain, who believes we can maintain our economic position and our quality of life while implementing a broad energy plan including not just drilling, but wind, solar, nuclear, and more efficient technologies. And that is the key contrast between left and right: the left wants to solve problems by bringing us all down a notch. The right wants to solve issues while keeping us strong and vibrant.
The two also shared radically different ideas on taxation and the rich. Obama says if a couple makes more than $150,000 a year, well, they must be middle class. That's interesting, considering the mediam household income is more like $40,000. You would have thought a Republican was giving that answer, based on how the GOP is portrayed in the media. But Obama quickly recovered his socialist composure and went on to talk about how the rich have to pay more. He didn't mention that the richest one percent of taxpayers are already paying more than one-third of all income taxes. He didn't mention that the top 50% of wage earners are already paying nearly ALL income taxes. He didn't mention that even under a flat tax, the more you make, the more you pay. And he certainly didn't mention that under our current plan we are far from flat, with workers paying a higher percentage of income as a reward for earning more. No, he just blathered on about the rich needing to pay more money. And why? So we can spend more money.
McCain took a different route. He said we should SPEND less money. He said we should be taxed LESS. He said he doesn't want to tax the rich, because he wants everyone to BE rich. Again, Obama wants to solve problems by knocking down the rich. McCain would rather elevate the poor.
Fiscal conservatives should rejoice in our nominee!
All in all, McCain dominated the night. He presented ideas that are so common-sense oriented, they should appeal to moderate independents and the conservative Republican base. But perhaps more importantly, he took away what is supposedly Obama's strength. McCain appeared to be the candidate with energy. He appeared hopeful for America. He presented ideas for positive change. All Obama did was trot out the same failed policies of John Kerry, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter.
After two hours, my mind became clear. While I had already been opposed to Obama, I am now much strongly opposed to him as a potential President of the United States. He is just plain wrong for America. And while I had been ready to support McCain before, now I am ready to actively campaign for his election as the right man for the job.