Meet Cory The Well Driller

As much as the leftist NutRoots have been skewering Joe the Plumber, particularly in the comments to this post in Politico, there's another hard working man out in Northeast Texas the left cannot silenced through intimidation or character assassination. Meet Cory the Well Driller.

Cory is a self-made man, starting his own business on a shoestring 25 years ago and slowly building it up to the success it is today. He took risks, gambling his money and the money of friends and family, and became one of the better known and respected water well drillers his part of Texas. It certainly gives him a better incite about what Barack Obama's plans for taxes and the budget will mean for hom and his fellow East Texans.

Follwing is Cory's letter to Barack Obama in it's entirety.

From: Cory Miller
Mr. Obama,

Given the uproar about the simple question asked you by Joe the plumber, and the persecution that has been heaped on him because he dared to question you, I find myself motivated to say a few things to you myself. While Joe aspires to start a business someday, I already have started not one, but 4 businesses. But first, let me introduce myself. You can call me “Cory the well driller”. I am a 54-year-old high school graduate. I didn’t go to college like you, I was too ready to go “conquer the world” when I finished high school. 25 years ago at age 29, I started my own water well drilling business at a time when the economy here in East Texas was in a tailspin from the crash of the early 80’s oil boom. I didn’t get any help from the government, nor did I look for any. I borrowed what I could from my sister, my uncle, and even the pawnshop and managed to scrape together a homemade drill rig and a few tools to do my first job. My businesses did not start not a result of privilege. It is the result of my personal drive, personal ambition, self-discipline, self reliance, and a determination to treat my customers fairly. From the very start my business provided one other (than myself) East Texan a full time job. I couldn’t afford a backhoe the first few years (something every well drilling business had), so I and my helper had to dig the mud pits that are necessary for each and every job with hand shovels. I had to use my 10-year-old, ½-ton pickup truck for my water tank truck (normally a job for at least a 2 ton truck).

A year and a half after I started the business, I scraped together a 20% down payment to get a modest bank loan and bought a (28 year) old, worn out, slightly bigger drilling rig to allow me to drill the deeper water wells in my area. I spent the next few years drilling wells with the rig while simultaneously rebuilding it between jobs. Through these years I never knew from one month to the next if I would have any work or be able to pay the bills. I got behind on my income taxes one year, and spent the next two years paying that back (with penalty and interest) while keeping up with ongoing taxes. I got behind on my water well supply bill 2 different years (way behind the second time… $80,000.00), and spent over a year paying it back (each time) while continuing to pay for ongoing supplies C.O.D. Of course, the personal stress endured through these experiences and years is hard to measure. I do have a stent in my heart now to memorialize it all.

I spent the next 10 years developing the reputation for being the most competent and most honest water well driller in East Texas. 2 years along the way, I hired another full time employee for the drilling business so that we could provide full time water well pump service as well as the well drilling. Also, 3 years along the path, I bought a water well screen service machine from a friend, starting business # 2. 5 years later I made a business loan for $100,000.00 to build a new, higher production, computer controlled screen service machine. I had designed the machine myself, and it didn’t work out for 3 years so I had to make the loan payments without the benefit of any added income from the new machine. No government program was there to help me with the payments, or to help me sleep at night, as I lay awake wondering how I would solve my machine problems or pay my bills. Finally, after 3 years, I got the screen machine working properly, and that provided another full time job for an East Texan in the screen service business.

2 years after that, I made another business loan, this time for $250,000.00, to buy another used drilling rig and all the support equipment needed to run another, larger, drill rig. This provided another 2 full time jobs for East Texans. Again, I spent a couple of years not knowing if I had made a smart move, or a move that would bankrupt me. For the third time in 13 years, I had placed everything I owned on the line, risking everything, in order to build a business.

A couple of years into this, I came up with a bright idea for a new kind of mud pump, a fundamentally necessary pump used on water well drill rigs. I spent my entire life savings to date (just $30,000.00), building a prototype of the pump and took it to the national water well convention to show it off. Customers immediately started coming out of the woodworks to buy the pumps, but there was a problem. I had depleted my assets making the prototype, and nobody would make me a business loan to start production of the new pumps. With several deposits for pump orders in hand, and nowhere to go, I finally started applying for as many credit card as I could find and took cash withdrawals on these cards to the tune of over $150,000.00 (including modest loans from my dear sister and brother), to get this 3rd business going.

Yes, once again, I had everything hanging over the line in an effort to start another business. I had never manufactured anything, and I had to design and bring into production a complex hydraulic machine from an untested prototype to a reliable production model (in six months). How many nights I lay awake wondering if I had just made the paramount mistake of my life I cannot tell you, but there were plenty. I managed to get the pumps into production, which immediately created another 2 full time jobs in East Texas. Some of the models in the first year suffered from quality issues due to the poor workmanship of one of my key suppliers, so an employee and I (another East Texan employed) had to drive across the country to repair customers’ pumps, practically from coast to coast. I stood behind the product, and made payments to all the credit cards that had financed me (and my brother and sister). I spent the next 5 years improving and refining the product, building a reputation for the pump and the company, working to get the pump into drill rig manufacturers’ product lines, and paying back credit cards. During all this time I continued to manage a growing water well business that was now operating 3 drill rig crews, and 2 well service crews. Also, the screen service business continued to grow. No government programs were there to help me, Mr. Obama, but that’s ok, I didn’t expect any, nor did I want any. I was too busy fighting to make success happen to sit around waiting for the government to help me.

Now, we have been manufacturing the mud pumps for 7 years, my combined businesses employ 32 full time employees, and distribute $5,000,000.00 annually through the local economy. Now, just 4 months ago I borrowed $1,254,000.00, purchasing computer controlled machining equipment to start my 4th business, a production machine shop. The machine shop will serve the mud pump company so that we can better manufacture our pumps that are being shipped worldwide. Of course, the machine shop will also do work for outside companies as well. This has already produced 2 more full time jobs, and 2 more should develop out of it in the next few months. This should work out, but if it doesn’t it will be because you, and the other professional politicians like yourself, will have destroyed our country’s’ (and the world) economy with your meddling with mortgage loan programs through your liberal manipulation and intimidation of loaning institutions to make sure that unqualified borrowers could get mortgages. You see, at the very time when I couldn’t get a business loan to get my mud pumps into production, you were working with Acorn and the Community Reinvestment Act programs to make sure that unqualified borrowers could buy homes with no down payment, and even no credit or worse yet, bad credit. Even the infamous, liberal, Ninja loans (No Income, No Job or Assets). While these unqualified borrowers were enjoying unrealistically low interest rates, I was paying 22% to 24% interest on the credit cards that I had used to provide me the funds for the mud pump business that has created jobs for more East Texans. It’s funny, because after 25 years of turning almost every dime of extra money back into my businesses to grow them, it has been only in the last two years that I have finally made enough money to be able to put a little away for retirement, and now the value of that has dropped 40% because of the policies you and your ilk have perpetrated on our country.

You see, Mr. Obama, I’m the guy you intend to raise taxes on. I’m the guy who has spent 25 years toiling and sweating, fretting and fighting, stressing and risking, to build a business and get ahead. I’m the guy who has been on the very edge of bankruptcy more than a dozen times over the last 25 years, and all the while creating more and more jobs for East Texans who didn’t want to take a risk, and wouldn’t demand from themselves what I have demanded from myself. I’m the guy you characterize as “the Americans who can afford it the most” that you believe should be taxed more to provide income redistribution “to spread the wealth” to those who have never toiled, sweated, fretted, fought, stressed, or risked anything. You want to characterize me as someone who has enjoyed a life of privilege and who needs to pay a higher percentage of my income than those who have bought into your entitlement culture. I resent you, Mr. Obama, as I resent all who want to use class warfare as a tool to advance their political career. What’s worse, each year more Americans buy into your liberal entitlement culture, and turn to the government for their hope of a better life instead of themselves. Liberals are succeeding through more than 40 years of collaborative effort between the predominant liberal media, and liberal indoctrination programs in the public school systems across our land.

What is so terribly sad about this is this. America was made great by people who embraced the one-time American culture of self-reliance, self-motivation, self-determination, self-discipline, personal betterment, and hard work, risk taking. A culture built around the concept that success was in reach on every able bodied American who would strive for it. Each year that less Americans embrace that culture, we all descend together. We descend down the socialist path that has brought country after country ultimately to bitter and unremarkable states. If you and your liberal comrades in the media and school systems would spend half as much effort cultivating a culture of can-do across America as you do cultivating your entitlement culture, we could see Americans at large embracing the conviction that they can elevate themselves through personal betterment, personal achievement, and self reliance. You see, when people embrace such ideals, they act on them. When people act on such ideals, they succeed. All of America could find herself elevating instead of deteriorating. But that would eliminate the need for liberal politicians, wouldn’t it, Mr. Obama? The country would not need you if the country was convinced that problem solving was best left with individuals instead of the government. You and all your liberal comrades have got a vested interested in creating a dependent class in our country. It is the very business of liberals to create an ever-expanding dependence on government. What’s remarkable is that you, who have never produced a job in your life, are going to tax me to take more of my money and give it to people who wouldn’t need my money if they would get off their entitlement mentality asses and apply themselves at work, demand more from themselves, and quit looking to liberal politicians to raise their station in life.

You see, I know because I’ve had them work for me before. Hundreds of them over these 25 years. People who simply will not show up to work on time. People who just will not work 5 days in a week, much less, 6 days. People always looking for a way to put less effort out. People who actually tell me that they would do more if I just would first pay them more. People who take off work to sit in government offices to apply to get free government handouts (gee, I wonder how things would have turned out for them if they had spent that time earning money and pleasing their employer?). You see, all of this comes from your entitlement mentality culture.

Oh, I know you will say I am uncompassionate. Sorry, Mr. Obama, wrong again. You see, I’ve seen what the average percentage of your income has been given to charities over the years of 2000 to 2004 (ignoring the years you started running for office - can you pronounce “politically motivated”); you averaged of less than 1% annually. And your running mate, Joe Biden, averaged less than ¼% of his annual income in charitable contributions over the last 10 years. Like so many liberals, the two of you want to give to the needy, just as long as it is someone else’s money you are giving to them. I won’t say what I have given to charities over the last 25 years, but the percentage is several times more than you or Joe Biden (don’t you just hate goggle?). Tell me again how you feel my pain.

In short, Mr. Obama, your political philosophies represent everything that is wrong with our country. You represent the culture of government dependence instead of self-reliance; Entitlement mentality instead of personal achievement; Penalization of the successful to reward the unmotivated; Political correctness instead of open mindedness and open debate. If you are successful, you may preside over the final transformation of America from being the greatest and most self-reliant culture on earth, to just another country of whiners and wimps, who sit around looking to the government to solve their problems. Like all of western Europe. All countries on the decline. All countries that, because of liberal socialistic mentalities, have a little less to offer mankind every year.

God help us…

Cory Miller

just a ordinary, extraordinary American, the way a lot of Americans used to be.

P.S. Yes, Mr. Obama, I am a real American… C. Miller Drilling

There's nothing more I can add to this as Cory has expressed what so many others feel far better than I ever could. So let me close with this:

I am DCE the Engineer.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Is The True Obama Finally Being Revealed?

It appears some of the sheen is wearing off of the presumptive heir to the Oval Office.

First CBS – yes that CBS – ran the numbers and found too many of Obama's promises don't add up.

Without question, the Barack Obama infomercial served as a very slick and powerful recitation of the biggest promises he's made as a presidential candidate. But the very bigness of his ideas is the problem: he seems blind to the concept his numbers don't add up.

Obama has already proposed a new stimulus package of $188 billion over two years. His tax cuts will cost $85 billion a year. His "army of new teachers": $18 billion; Renewable energy: $15 billion. CBS News and various independent experts estimate Obama's total first year spending could exceed $280 billion.

Still Obama repeated his claim he can find the money to pay for every proposal.

"I've offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost," he has said.

The fact is the savings Obama has identified do not cover his spending. According to a CBS News estimate, he's around $90 billion short. The Obama campaign disputes this, saying everything including the stimulus is paid for over 10 years. But other analysts say - even presuming Obama saves money in Iraq and chops the federal budget as promised - he falls short.

So yet another member of the MSM is willing to admit Obama's promises aren't all they're cracked up to be. Whether this is an 'awakening' of the MSM or a cynical attempt to prove they aren't biased by running a negative story about Obama that isn't likely to hurt his chances is unknown...for now.

Another look at Obama by neo-neocon seeks to remind us of the wisdom of William Shakespeare when Hamlet warned us “...one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”

She certainly sees the public Obama is not the Obama we need to know. Rather it is Obama the Enigma we must know in order to understand his intentions.

This is why so much attention has been paid—at least by the blogosphere; certainly not by the MSM—to Obama’s actions and his record or lack thereof. This is why his thinness of achievement in almost every position he’s held, as well as his dirty dealings in previous elections, have gotten so much study. This is why his old radio interviews are seen as clues to his true intent, why his reinvention as a centrist is suspect when you look at his liberal past, and why his radical associations are even more important than they would be for someone with a more solid and clear history in the national spotlight. That is why his words to Joe the Plumber have been parsed so finely.

It is the few unguarded glimpses we've seen of him that must make us take pause and ponder what it is he really wants, despite his appearances of having moved towards the political center. If we cannot access his past then we must assume his posturing and promises are an attempt to distract us using the old smoke-and-mirrors bit. He's a great salesman, selling the only product he knows so well: himself.

Sometimes pictures do speak louder than words, and in this case I think this one says it all:


"The One's" Infomercial

After watching the half-hour Obama infomercial, I have one question:

Where's Ron Popeil when you need him?

While thoughtful, Obama's infomercial reminded me of a scene from Gilligan's Island where a banana republic dictator said, “I promise you dis, dat, an de odder 'ting!” in an effort to pander to everyone.

Sorry, Barack, I ain't buyin' it.


The Real Obama Shines Through....

It appears some of Barack Obama's own words are coming back to haunt him. I doubt anyone hasn't heard of or listened to an interview he did on WBEZ radio back in 2001 (Transcript available here). But he leaves no doubt about what he believes when it comes to wealth, the Supreme Court, and his disappointment they didn't get involved with redistribution of wealth.

Somehow he equates social justice with discredited theories of redistributing wealth, in other words, taking money from you to give to people he thinks deserve it more than you. Spoken like a true socialist.

He also tries to make the case that the government isn't prevented from doing what he thinks it must by the US Constitution, regardless that it might unconstitutionally violate a number of individual rights.

Of course the Obama campaign says the release of this interview is nothing but a smear tactic. But how can they make that claim when the entire interview is available, unedited? Which is the real Barack Obama: the slick media creation or the fellow we hear on the interview? While his rhetoric now describes his plans in fancier and less specific language, I doubt very much he has changed his plans. All we need to do is remember his answer to Joe the Plumber. It appears he'll work very hard to turn the US into a socialist nation, one with an economy he helped destroy, all in the name of “fairness”.

Obama's promising change. Unfortunately for all of us it will be change none of us can afford.

Practice Versus Theory - A Story

I saw this via a link from Glenn Reynolds and I think it might be a good way to show Obama supporters just what “sharing the wealth” is really like.

In a local restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08″ tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference–just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

I guess it shows the veracity of the one of the many corollaries to Murphy's Law which states:

“In theory, Theory and Practice are the same thing. In practice, they are not.”

Sometimes the only way to teach someone this truism is to demonstrate the differences between theory and practice. I'll bet if enough people were subjected to such an experiment as described by Robert Bluey, Obama wouldn't have a chance.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's official: summer is now over.

BeezleBub and I pulled the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout out of the water this morning.

It was a beautiful morning, warm with no wind. The surface of the lake was like glass and there was only one other boat out on the lake with us. I believe both of us were doing the same thing – pulling our boats out of the water for the year.

BeezleBub and I would have stayed out on the lake all day if we could have, but a friend of mine was meeting us at the boat ramp with our trailer, so our trip was utilitarian, from our slip to the boat ramp.

We still have work to do to prep The Boat for winter, but the two most important chores have already been completes; changing the oil and draining and flushing the cooling system. The cosmetic work – cleaning the hull and interior – will be done over the next week or so. Then the Boat will be sheltered under a home made storage frame and tarp we still need to purchase the pieces/parts to build.


Speaking of it being a nice day, it was warm, sunny, with a slight breeze. In all, a gorgeous New England fall day. Even with the foliage colors having faded from their peak brilliance, the scenery was breathtaking.

Deb and I had to run a couple of errands to run at noon and it was impossible to rush. We rode with the windows down, enjoying some of the last warm weather we expect to any time soon. Winter will get here all too soon. The weather was so nice Beezlebub and I actually listened to the second half of the New England Patriots game against the St. Louis Rams outside while working on the boat and stacking firewood.


A number of newspapers have been cutting costs by trimming staff, shrinking the number of pages in each edition, and trying to expand the number of subscribers with incentives. We've seen that happening at newspapers in a number of cities, the most recent being the Newark, NJ Star-Ledger.

Deb and I saw a number of people from the Concord, NH Concord Monitor outside the one of the local supermarkets trying to entice shoppers to subscribe. They were offering a heavy discount and a $10 gift card from the supermarket.

The folks shilling the subscriptions were not temps or low-level employees, but staffers from the newspaper.

The paper is the most liberal in New Hampshire, derisively called Pravda-on-the-Merrimack by many of the moderate and conservative bloggers in the state. Is it any wonder it may be having problems with its circulation numbers?

Other newspapers in the state, such as the Manchester, NH Union Leader, are still doing well. Then again it, like a number of other newspapers around the state, are conservative publications. Hmm. Could there be a connection?

(H/T Instapundit)


The Barrister of Maggie's Farm reminds us of a few hard learned truths about greed and money, one of them being this:

I'll tell you who is really greedy: Politicians with their endless demands on my money, and the people whose votes they want to buy by making me pay their bills (after passing it through the governmental/political machine which always takes its own generous cut) and to give them the money I have earned through hard work and taking risks. That is real greed, and "Gimme yours" is the Dem agenda.

You'll get no argument from me on that one.


And speaking of such greed, here's an example of just how the Democrats plan to spend our money and raise our taxes, promises of the Obamessiah notwithstanding. This plan is not something coming from the conservative press or blogosphere, but from Barney Frank, Democratic Congressman from the People's Republic of Taxachusetts.

They have lots of experience raising taxes and spending the taxpayers' money in Massachusetts.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)


Here we go again: Speaking of the Obamessiah, David Warren comments about the differences between Obama and McCain and messianic pretensions.

McCain is a man of action and accomplishment, Obama a man of "charisma" and pretty words, whose only real accomplishment has been his remarkable self-advancement. And Obama's policy outlook, so far as it can be discerned from the usual electoral pronouncements, consists of the same snake oil the pre-Clinton Democrats had been selling continuously since they chained the Great Society to America's ankle: that is, a constantly expanding Nanny State. I am hardly reassured by Obama's last-lap rhetorical reassurances: you don't send a man to Washington with a trillion dollars of candy-shop promises on Medicare, education, government job-creation, "spreading the wealth" -- especially when the economy has just tanked.

All this makes me think is that Obama is selling us a bill of goods and will lead us back to the bad old days of the mid to late 60's. I remember those days all too well and I have no desire to relive them. We already know Barney Frank wants us to go there.


The USS New Hampshire was commissioned yesterday. The New Hampshire is the latest of the Virginia Class fast attack nuclear submarines, and with its commissioning becomes the most advanced nuclear sub in the US Navy's arsenal.

One difference between the USS New Hampshire and other submarines is the use of photonic masts rather than periscopes. This gives the crew a much better view of what's on the surface under all lighting conditions.

The submarine is quieter than other fast attack subs, making use of a more advanced nuclear reactor and propulsion systems. It also has better shallow water capabilities, meaning it can get SEAL teams in closer to shore than Los Angeles class subs.

The New Hampshire was completed eight months ahead of schedule and under budget.


I guess I'm not the only one that's noticed Barack Obama is trying to buy the election, outspending John McCain by as much as six to one in some states.

The campaign has a little over a week to go and Obama has already run the most expensive presidential campaign in history.

It shows how willing Barack Obama is to go back on his word as long as it means he'll get what he wants.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the last glimpses of summer are being felt, even more campaign signs have appeared in the most unusual places, and where November 4th can't arrive too soon.


Barack Obama - What You See Isn't What You Get - Part 3

This is another in a series of posts looking at the enigma that is Barack Obama. Part 1 can be found here. Part 2 here.


7 – For an Ivy League educated man, Barack Obama shows in incredible lack of understanding of taxes and how they affect the economy. He has also shown he is no math wiz, making claims about providing 95% of “working families” a tax cut. There's only one problem: a large portion of those working families already pay no income taxes. So how will he cut their taxes? He hasn't really explained that as far as I can recall.

I've also realized how he'll cut the income taxes he can 'cut': let the Bush tax cuts expire or repeal them, then offer some of his own, but far less than those of George Bush. So, with the flair of a stage magician, he'll cut your taxes, but you'll still pay more than you are now.

That's some act.

8 – It's a given that any politician running for office will pander to the voters. Some are good at it. Some are not. And some have convenient cases of selective amnesia. It appears Barack Obama is pretty good at the first and third.

He has claimed our current financial problems were caused by “Republican deregulation”, a canard that has been generally accepted by much of the electorate.

What he hasn't told the electorate is that he did nothing to prevent the problems we now face when he had the opportunity..

If Sen. Obama were truly looking for a kind of deregulation that might be responsible for the current financial crisis, he need only look back to 1998, when the Clinton administration ruled that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could satisfy their affordable housing obligations by purchasing subprime mortgages. This ultimately made it possible for Fannie and Freddie to add a trillion dollars in junk loans to their balance sheets. This led to their own collapse, and to the development of a market in these mortgages that is the source of the financial crisis we are wrestling with today.

In the summer of 2005, a bill emerged from the Senate Banking Committee that considerably tightened regulations on Fannie and Freddie, including controls over their capital and their ability to hold portfolios of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. All the Republicans voted for the bill in committee; all the Democrats voted against it. To get the bill to a vote in the Senate, a few Democratic votes were necessary to limit debate. This was a time for the leadership Sen. Obama says he can offer, but neither he nor any other Democrat stepped forward.

Instead, by his own account, Mr. Obama wrote a letter to the Treasury Secretary, allegedly putting himself on record that subprime loans were dangerous and had to be dealt with. This is revealing; if true, it indicates Sen. Obama knew there was a problem with subprime lending -- but was unwilling to confront his own party by pressing for legislation to control it. As a demonstration of character and leadership capacity, it bears a strong resemblance to something else in Sen. Obama's past: voting present.

This does not show leadership in any way, shape, or form.

Is this the kind of leadership we want for the next 4 years? Do we want an “I told you so” type of president that will point back to things he observed but will fail to do anything about problems he's seen?

9 – This is a slight re-hash of what I covered in point #4: you shall know them by the company they keep.

In Barack Obama's case, his associates and associations could possibly keep him from getting a security clearance.

An e-mail has been making the rounds claiming this is so, and Frank Naif wrote a piece posted at HuffPo debunking the e-mail. However, as one who has had clearances due to work I performed in the past, let me tell you one's associates and acquaintances do count when it comes to clearances above a certain level, and I must assume a president has a pretty high clearance level. Not the the 'top' level, for there are things even a president has no need to know, but still higher than most people working in defense, either military or civilian.

I might assume the clearances I held in the past were probably as high as a number of government officials, and my associations were scrutinized in detail. If I'd had dealings with people of questionable character, much as Obama has, there's no way I would have ever received those clearances. Not a chance in hell.

Is this someone we want in the Oval Office?

10 – Barack Obama promises change in Washington. The question is a change from what to what?

Already the Democrat controlled Congress has managed to change the amount of federal spending. Unfortunately, they managed to be more profligate spenders than the Republicans they replaced after the 2006 elections. Does Obama plan to spend even more money for the programs and plans he's already alluded to in his campaign? I would have to say so. He already has a Congress that will make it possible.

Plans to increase spending on new programs, tax cuts, and yet he hasn't explained how it's all going to be paid for.


Is this someone we want in the White House? Other than the crafted image of Barack Obama we've been spoonfed by his campaign and by the media, what do we really know about him? The answer is not much. He's an unknown quantity, untested, inexperienced, yet with the gift of oratory,a gift that is overrated. There are plenty of politicians out there with the ability to give great speeches. There have been plenty in the past. But I've never seen that as a prerequisite to hold the highest office in the country.

Who is this man Barack Obama? I still don't know.


Is Anyone Paying Attention To The Polls Anymore?

It's been interesting to watch the polls over the past few weeks, seeing the spread between one polling organization and another. If nothing else it makes me question their polling methods, the number, type, and location of people they poll. All I can say for sure is that too many of the polls are getting it wrong. Some pollsters are biased towards one party or another, while others aren't asking the right people or right number of people or a reasonable cross section of people. This seriously skews the results and makes people like me stop paying attention to the polls.

It's not like I'm alone in this. Many across the blogosphere have noticed this, both on the left and the right. Certainly Glenn Reynolds has linked to numerous reports and blog posts asking the same questions I have.

At the moment the number of polls I've looked at have said it's anywhere from 51-41 Obama (Kos) to 44-43 Obama (AP), to 51-49 McCain (Mason-Dixon).

What it all really comes down to is that the only poll that's worth anything is the one that takes place on November 4th (and I'm not talking about exit polls).


Barack Obama - What You See Isn't What You Get - Part 2

This is another post in a series looking at the enigma that is Barack Obama. The first post can be found here.

While Obama has a well crafted media image of an affable guy who made it through tough times with hard work, that may be all it is, an image. The reality may be quite different.


4 -It can be said of anyone that we shall know them by the company they keep. If that's the case then Barack Obama has some explaining to do, because while he talks about being able to bridge the divide that separates us, he has separated himself, at least publicly, from people he calls friends. The closer he's gotten to the White House, the more he'd like people to forget his associations with people like William Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Tony Rezko. I have no doubt there are others within the Chicago political machine he's like to forget as well, though they are unlikely to let him do so.

When it comes to Bill Ayers, I think it's a stretch to say Obama has been hanging around him to get tips on being an effective domestic terrorist. But when it comes to ideology, they showed an affinity for each other, both working in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, giving out over $100 million provided to improve education in the Chicago area to groups with radical agendas, questionable political goals, and plans for political indoctrination rather than education of Chicago youth. Records released by the Annenberg Challenge show Obama hasn't exactly been forthcoming about his relationship with Ayers, nor about the results of the millions of dollars in grants handed out by Obama and Ayers during their tenure at CAC. Education saw very little improvement, but many of the groups receiving CAC funds were in much better financial shape and better able to spread their ideology, even if it wasn't in the schools. Over $100 million gone with little to show for it. So ended Obama's only executive experience

5 – Just about every other candidate that's run for President of the United States in the modern era has been willing to open their lives to the voting public, letting the voters know their history beyond what we see or know of their life, letting us see what they were like before getting involved in politics. While it's not reasonable to expect every minute detail to be made public, it isn't unreasonable to let the public see more than just a bare bones resume. But it appears to be unreasonable to Barack Obama.

Yes, we all know he was brought up by a single mother and by his maternal grandparents. We know his father abandoned them. We know his mom woke him up at 4:30 in the morning to go over his lessons. That shows he didn't have an easy life growing up. But is also anecdotal, not really giving the electorate a feel for who he is.

As Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote in her post linked above, “When a man of so little verifiable background and experience presents himself as a candidate for what is unarguably the most powerful political position in the entire world, every scrap of detail regarding his life, beliefs, associations, and accomplishments is of extreme importance.” Like her, there are a number of unknowns that make me feel uncomfortable about the Man Who Would Be President.

[The details] are all we have, especially in light of Barack Obama’s refusal to release and make public the following:

A certified, authenticated birth certificate

College transcripts from Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard

Senior thesis written at Columbia

Writings from Harvard

Full medical records

In light of these gaping holes in his resume — holes that could be easily filled in by Barack Obama, but have not been — it becomes the duty of every voter to examine the peripheral areas of Obama’s life with utmost care, giving special attention to patterns of association that point to matters of judgment, character, and true intent.

Obama remains an enigma, and an enigma is the last thing we need sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office.

6 – What is known of his history, particularly when it comes to his political activities within the Chicago political machine, shows a shrewd politician using every means at his disposal to ensure his own position, even when it meant destroying his opponents by leaking sealed divorce records or using the courts to remove political rivals from the ballots. Never mind using the court of public opinion by open debate and straightforward campaigning to win an election. Not that other politicians haven't done the same thing, but Obama is good at it and has had no problem using tactics like these against former mentors and supporters in order to get what he wants.

What does it mean? How about “Don't turn your back on him. All it does is give him a better target.” He's shown no apparent remorse over stepping on people who helped him get elected. If history repeats itself, he'll do the same thing should he attain the White House.


Part 3 will be posted either Wednesday or Thursday.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The fall foliage is past peak here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, but you can see a little bit of it in the banner picture at the top of the page. I might even get a few more photos posted here and there over the next week or so.


Another sign winter is approaching is the first delivery of firewood to The Manse. Even with oil prices dropping, heating fuel prices haven't dropped nearly as much as crude prices. One cord was delivered yesterday, with a second expected sometime today.

All we need now is for the chimney sweep to clean the chimney and we can start burning wood to heat The Manse rather than expensive propane. BeezleBub and I also have to remove the air conditioners, put in the glass on the storm doors, and start the annual winterizing to prep The Manse for the upcoming winter.

We still have to pull The Boat out of the water, something we delayed because of our need to deal with stacking cordwood. This will not be the latest we've pulled The Boat from the water, that being the second weekend of November, but it will mean we'll need to bundle up when we do as it's going to be quite chilly.


On Friday night, ABC's John Stossel took a chance and took a politically incorrect look at politics, exposing the silliness of the idea that government – Congress, federal agencies, and so on – are needed to 'make things work', and the roadblocks that are government bureaucracies; the farm subsidies that actually do more damage to small farms and farm towns rather than helping 'the family farm'; and comes down on the disaster that is election finance reform, aka McCain/Feingold. Call it a casualty of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

One scary thing to think about: how many of newly registered voters don't have a clue about the issues they'll be voting on? The answer: far too many.


Did Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) purposely cause the tanking of IndyMac Bank last summer at the behest of some of his contributors?

(H/T Instapundit)


Joe the Plumber strikes back!


At least I don't have to worry about watching the crippled New England Patriots play against the Denver Broncos today...because they're playing tomorrow night. I must admit to being morbidly curious about how the Pats will do considering how many of their first string players are injured.


The Red Sox have managed to stay alive in the ALCS, beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-2 in game 6 last night. The series is tied 3-3, so tonight's game will decide who goes to the World Series against the Phillies.


One more sure sign that summer is truly gone: BeezleBub and I pulled the air conditioners out of the windows at The Manse today. Not that we used them all that much during the summer as we had very few hot, humid days during July and August. More than anything we used to them to drop the humidity during the really rainy and foggy days.

They now reside in the basement, set in one corner to wait out the winter until needed next summer.

Next step for The Manse: sealing some of the windows and wrapping the hot water and heat pipes. I've also checked our electrical outlets and found those on the outside walls have no insulating foam under the outlet covers, something I'll correct over the next week or two.


And speaking of colder temperatures, another sure sign summer is gone: one of our Feline-American family members has taken to crawling under the quilt on our bed during the night to stay warm.

Minnie is a rather petite cat with very fine, thin fur, meaning she doesn't do well when it's chilly in The Manse. So she crawls under the quilt and snuggles up to my stomach to stay warm (Deb says I'm like a furnace at night – nice and warm).


Wondering what an Obama presidency will look like and what he will and won't be able to do? Here's a preview should he win in November.


Has the MSM's atrophied conscience come back to life? Or is it they think Obama has sewn up his ascendancy to the White House so now they can admit their bias and try to throw the moderate/conservative voters a bone by reporting about how the media has cut Obama a break?

I think we know it's the latter. Do they really think the voters and the blogosphere ever forget their betrayal? In their dreams.....


Could the character assassination of Joe the Plumber come back to haunt the Democrats and end up hurting Obama?

It seems like just yesterday that the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy was talking about income equality and civil rights and worker protections and going to bat for the little guy, the blue collar laborer, the everyday Joe the Plumber.

Now, the well-to-do elites who run the Democratic Party — and their surrogates — greet these people with brickbats. They insult them, talk down to them, and even try to destroy them. Isn’t that the sort of war on the working class that Democrats are always accusing those greedy and heartless Republicans of waging?

They want the working man to recognize the elites superiority, to understand the elites know better what the working man needs than they do. Of course it's a stinking pile of manure. No one knows what an individual needs more than the individual in question. The elites have problems with their own lives. What makes them think they're smart enough to run other people's lives?


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the foliage is is slowly fading, the temperatures are falling, and where political campaign signs have replaced all the leaves on the trees.


Barack Obama - What You See Isn't What You Get - Part 1

My questions about Barack Obama, the image he projects, and the real man behind that image have become more important to me, as what we see in the campaign ads and his campaign speeches doesn't match with the reality of who he is. A few cases in point:

1 - Barack Obama points his finger at “greedy Wall Street” and the banks that have failed or are about to fail as the cause of the present financial meltdown. But as he points his finger, three others are pointing back at him. Many of those banks would never have gotten involved in risky mortgages if he and others hadn't sued many of those same banks for lending discrimination, so-called “redlining”, and forcing them to lend to those incapable of paying back those loans.

I find that rather hypocritical, don't you?

2 – In the October 2008 issue of Town Hall magazine in an excerpt of an interview by Michael Medved, Obama biographer David Freddoso paints Barack Obama as anything but a reformer, and repudiates his claims that he will 'reach across the aisle' in bipartisanship once he gets into office. His actions over the years speak louder than words, and he has been neither a reformer or bi-partisan. Says Freddoso:

The carefully crafted media image of Senator Obama is a great lie. There is, in fact, nothing in his career to point to him as someone who bridges partisan divides for the sake of positive change. This is quite clear from his record in how he's dealt with the machine politics of Chicago, how he's essentially served as an enabler of some extremely corrupt politicians in that city, how he has championed the same old systemic corrupt arrangements that have existed in Washington, and existed in Springfield, and in Chicago, including the various forms of corporate welfare, the special advantages that certain lobbyists seek. Senator Obama has been right in the center of that for his entire career. There are so many cases of it. The pattern is completely unmistakable.

And it is that pattern that disturbs me, since it is readily recognizable, yet ignored by the millions of Obama supporters. He is also very good at saying much, but meaning little, a way of being able to appear to promise something to the masses, yet never really coming out and saying exactly what. Such an ability does not fill me confidence. Apparently it is likewise with others as well. Freddoso continues:

...[A]nother of his biographers, David Mendell, refers to Obama's “charming lack of specificity.” So this is something people in Chicago have noticed for quite a while – that he is able to talk about issues as though he's taking everybody's side. And people want to listen to him.

In fact, when you look at Obama's legislative record, he's really not ideologically open-minded. He tends to take a position that is far left and sticks to it, even when the members of his own party, even when other liberals aren't willing to follow him there.

However, there has been one area where he's been quite clear, leaving little ambiguity as to his intentions.

3 - By now everyone has heard of Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher from Ohio and the question he asked Obama during a swing through his neighborhood. The question was nothing Joe had planned and, despite claims from many Obama supporters, he wasn't put up to it by the McCain campaign. (It's unlikely they could have even if they wanted to unless they had some means of forcing Obama to walk past Joe's yard.) Obama's answer to Joe's question about taxes on small businesses shows his socialist beliefs unfiltered. It was a crack in the image Obama has worked so hard to craft, and one that should give anyone a reason to question the rest of Obama's claims and campaign promises.

Pam Meister interviewed Joe the Plumber, one of her first questions being about what Joe asked Senator Obama.

Initially, I started off asking him if he believed in the American Dream and he said yes, he does – and then I proceeded to ask him then why he’s penalizing me for trying to fulfill it. He asked, “what do you mean,” and I explained to him that I’m planning on purchasing this company – it’s not something I’m gonna purchase outright, it’s something I’m going to have to make payments on for years – but essentially I’m going to buy this company, and the profits generated by that could possibly put me in that tax bracket he’s talking about and that bothers me. It’s not like I would be rich; I would still just be a working plumber. I work hard for my money, and the fact that he thinks I make a little too much that he just wants to redistribute it to other people. Some of them might need it, but at the same time, it’s not their discretion to do it – it’s mine.

And as most of you out there know, Obama stated outright that he intended to “share the wealth”, meaning a plan to redistribute the hard earned money of working people and give to those he believes are worthy of the fruits of someone else's labor. It will be the return of LBJ's horrific welfare program, the so-called War on Poverty, the one that trapped far too many people in poverty for over two generations. Unfortunately, poverty won that battle. It wasn't until President Clinton ended “welfare as we know it” and got people off the public dole and into jobs that the Great Society madness ended. Now Obama wants to undo all of that and return us to the days of generational dependence on welfare. How is that progress?

NOTE: I had originally planned this as one very lengthy post. Instead I decided to break it up into a number of smaller posts, each one covering two or three topics. Part 2 will be posted on Monday.


Obama's Plan: Forcing Us To Share?

Every so often I have to be reminded of the biggest difference between the Left and everyone else when it comes to day to day life. It can all be boiled down to two concepts: opportunity and results. I was reminded of that lately when Barack Obama told Joe The Plumber:

"It's not that I want to punish your success," Obama replied. "I want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too.”

"My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

It's one thing when it's done voluntarily, and an entirely different thing when you're given no choice. Obama wants to make sure you have no choice whatsoever. That's the “change” he wants to bring about.

As I wrote at the beginning of this post, there is something that I needed to be reminded of when it comes to the Left, and it's this: The left is always trying to achieve equality of results, while everyone else is trying to make sure everyone has an equality of opportunity.

The biggest difference between the two is that quality of results always panders to the lowest common denominator, pulling everyone down to the same level. The equality of opportunity tends to pull everyone up towards a higher level of achievement. Not everyone will will gain the full benefits of equality of opportunity, but they'll still be better off than the alternative.

We've seen the results of the first again and again throughout history, and they have never been good, ever. At its worst, the equality of results Obama is seeking could end up with all of us living in the dystopian hell that was described in Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron.


Presidential Debate - Final Round

Here it is, the last debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. It's less than three weeks until thye election. This is the last time for either one of them to shine, the last chance for John McCain to make up for lost ground, the last chance for Barack Obama to secure his lead in the polls.

There's been plenty of speculation by the MSM whether the subject of Obama's relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, founder and bomb designer for the 60's radical group, the Weather Underground, will be brought up during this last debate. Many feel it's unavoidable, and McCain's approach to the subject may make or break his chances in November.

This debate is Obama's to lose. Many see him as starting to coast, figuring he's got the election sewn up. That perception would be a mistake.

Let's see how it unfolds.


One thing I will be doing differently during this debate as compared to the previous is giving my impressions about the candidates responses to the questions asked by the moderator, Bob Schieffer, rather than the specific questions and answers themselves.

Let me make something clear right up front: I am not impartial when it comes to this presidential race. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone reading my posts over the years. The more I've learned about Obama, both from posts on conservative, moderate, and liberal blogs and my own research (www.house.gov and www.senate.gov are great resources for learning about candidates voting records, or lack thereof, as well as floor speeches they've made...or haven't made), the more I'm convinced he would be a disaster as President of the United States. I am still working on my post about Senator Obama and why I believe he is unsuited to be the President. But that will wait until later this week.


The topic of tonight's debate is the economy and related issues.

Both have new plans to deal with the economic downturn.

McCain said both long and short term fixes are needed. One short term fix is to help keep people in their homes, to buy up the bad mortgages and refinance them to allow people to stay in their homes.

Obama says not enough is being done to help the middle class. He then went on to restate many of his campaign promises. Sounds great, but nothing new from either candidate.

McCain brought up the plumber who asked Obama about the tax increases he's proposed for businesses, saying the tax increase would make it difficult for him to buy and expand the business where he presently works. How is it helping the economy if he can't afford to expand his business, to hire new employees, to but new equipment.

Obama denied he would do that, but it's matter of record, available on YouTube.

Obama mentioned cutting taxes to 95% of working families. But a large percentage of working families don't pay any taxes. How does he cut taxes on someone not paying them? That's something he hasn't answered yet.


Both candidates addressed the budget deficit, predicted to be up to $1 trillion next year. Both their plans have major holes, may add to the deficit.

Obama brought up health care, energy, and a number of other issues, saying we have to spend now to save later. It's an argument that's been used for years, but has never saved a dime.

McCain wants to freeze spending, using both a hatchet and a scalpel. Cut the subsidies on ethanol, allow Brazilian ethanol, cut wasteful Pentagon spending, cut programs that don't work, get rid of earmarks.

Obama says it won't work, says Bush caused our problems and that McCain will do the same.

McCain shot back that he's not George Bush and that if Obama wanted to run against Bush he should have run against him in 2004, and how Obama voted for budgets he opposed because they were too fat.

Obama says he has a record of reaching across the aisle (but I haven't found any incidents where that's been the case). McCain called him on that, saying it isn't so.


The question of negative campaigning came up. McCain brought up Obama's lack of repudiating vile attacks by Obama supporters while he has repudiated every vile attack made upon Obama. Obama is spending incredible amounts of money of negative ads. Obama is spending three times as much as McCain on ads.

Congressman Lewis equated McCain and Palin to George Wallace, mis-stating the facts. Obama did the usual distancing himself, trying to spin it.


Bill Ayers and ACORN was brought up by both. Obama tried to explain his way out of his associations, sidestepping his involvement with Ayers and others of questionable repute.


The question of why their running mates would make good a good president was asked.

Obama went through Biden's qualifications, saying he's a regular guy, and expert on foreign policy, and so on. (That's not been my take on Biden.)

McCain said everyone now knows Palin, knows she's a reformer, fought corruption in state government going after people in both parties, understands special needs families, and unites people of both parties. He claimed she's more qualified to be president than Obama or Biden.

Obama say Palin would probably be a good president, and McCain said likewise about Biden.


Reducing dependence on foreign oil.

McCain would like to see the US import no oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. Canadian oil is OK...unless Obama repudiates NAFTA. We should use every approach – oil, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, tidal.

Obama says oil companies should drill on the leases they already own. (The only problem is that there's no oil there.) Blames Bush for NAFTA problems (NAFTA was negotiated and implemented by Bill Clinton, not Bush).


Oh, great! Health care. This is one of the third rails of politics. I hate to say it, but neither candidate has the right solution to the problem of health care and the costs of health insurance and neither is likely to be willing to implement the changes truly needed. Their plans sound 'great', but they won't work, haven't worked in other places, so why do it?

Obama wants to force larger businesses to provide health insurance or fine them. (Just what we need, yet another unfunded federal government mandate that forces businesses to do things they shouldn't have to do. Yeah, that'll work. NOT.)


Again, I've been falling behind and I'm not even going to try to catch up.

My impression is that Obama sounded sure of himself and his programs. He made them sound quite reasonable. But thinking back, I realized he said quite a lot but was far too general and non-specific in quite a few responses. But that's what he does and what he's always done.

McCain was feisty, but it appeared Obama frustrated him on more than one occasion, not so much because he gave a better answer, but because he wasn't really answering the questions.

My impression: Obama took this one, but it wasn't a slam-dunk.

Palin Wows New Hampshire Republicans

As mentioned in yesterday's post, Vice Presidential hopeful Governor Sarah Plain was in New Hampshire today. One thing I didn't expect was her interview with the local ABC affiliate, WMUR-TV.

The interview covered a number of topics, including “Troopergate”. That interview can be seen here (click on the video headings to the right of the partial transcript).

Frankly, she appeared far more relaxed and open than during her interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric.

Our friends from GraniteGrok were covering Sarah's appearance in Laconia today, with lots of excellent commentary, interviews with some of the prominent Republicans in attendance, and quite a bit of video (not posted yet as I write this). Swing on by the 'Grok and check out Skip's scribblings.


Those Annoying Campaign Ads - My Take

As the bombardment of negative campaign ads has escalated, I have to admit I'm tired of them, no matter which party or candidate is running them.

One of the most annoying ones are those tying GOP candidates for the House or Senate being inexorably tied to President George W. Bush, blaming them for voting with him “X% of the time!”

My response: So what?

Members of a particular political party will vote along with their fellow members a majority of the time, be they Democrats or Republicans. Those running these ads seem to think it's unusual.

But the thing that gets me about those most annoying “voted with Bush” ads is what they don't say. Most of those ads blame the entire economic debacle on Bush's policies. Here's my rejoinder:

(Ominous Radio Voice):

“George Bush's economic policies brought prosperity to millions of Americans, and created millions of new jobs. But since the Democrats took control of Congress, led by Senator Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, our economic outlook has changed from one of prosperity to one of failing banks, business turndowns, ever rising mortgage foreclosures, record energy prices, and deficit spending not seen since FDR and LBJ were in office.”

“Do we want to continue the Democratic policies that brought this about?”

“Maybe it's time to send the Democrats home....”

Is it accurate? No less so than the anti-GOP ads. Is it any different from the ads constantly bleating on our TVs and radios? Absolutely not. It's just as germane to the campaigns of Democratic candidates as it is to Republican candidates.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's been a beautiful fall weekend here in New Hampshire, with warm weather and an explosion of fall foliage colors reaching their peak in the Lake Winnipesaukee area. I've been out and about with the Official Weekend Pundit Digital Camera, taking pictures of the foliage as the mood and scenery dictates. Hopefully some of them will be good enough to post here as I have in past years.

It's also time to change the banner pic on the header, one reflecting the present season. On the old Weekend Pundit site I went through changes on the pictures 5 or 6 times a year, just to keep things interesting. It's time to do that here.


This weekend will be the last time we take the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout, aka The Boat, out for a cruise. Hopefully we'll be able to get some decent foliage photos while we cruise.

Next weekend The Boat will be coming out of the water and prepped for winter, with oil changes, a cooling system flush, and a final washdown/wipedown prior to constructing the winter storage shelter (a new, more robust design capable of handling the 15 feet of snow we had here last winter).

We didn't make it out on the lake nearly as often as we had planned this past summer. As I've mentioned in previous posts, the weather was not cooperating with us. We usually head out on to the lake after work during the week, avoiding the weekend crowds where possible. But the unusual weather cycle produced thunderstorms every afternoon/early evening, making a trip on to the lake too dangerous. Even with the drop off in weekend lake traffic, we still couldn't make it out as often as we would have liked as two of the three of us were working.

Hopefully we'll more than make up for it next year.


A large majority of CEO's think an Obama presidency would be disastrous for the American economy.

In expressing their rejection of Senator Obama, some CEOs who responded to the survey went as far as to say that “some of his programs would bankrupt the country within three years, if implemented.” In fact, the poll highlights that Obama’s tax policies, which scored the lowest grade in the poll, are particularly unpopular among CEOs.

Tax policy can make or break an economy. We've seen that in our own history, both at a state and national level. High tax states see their industrial and business base shrink as companies move to states with a more business-friendly tax structure. The same holds true at the national level, which is why so many companies have moved their operations out of the US, taking American jobs with them. The US has the highest corporate tax rates in the world, bar none. Is it any wonder companies will look for ways to lower their tax burden? It's simple cause-and-effect.


The New England Patriots play the San Diego Chargers in San Diego this afternoon. It will interesting to see if the Patriots can continue to do well without Tom Brady.


Neo-neocon reports the Anchoress is pissed off at the double standard applied to the GOP when it comes to the freedom of speech, particularly in regards to the presidential election campaigns.

It all boils down to this: The Democrats can get away with the most vile speech and characterizations, while GOP responses are considered “smears” or “racist” speech.

She also questions the actions of ACORN, Ohio Secretary of State Brunner, and court sanctioned voter fraud.


Neo-neocon also exposes the lie of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act and tells us why the Democrats are supporting it: to ensure the backing of Big Labor in the upcoming elections.

The EFCA is so anti-democratic that even former Senator George McGovern (D-SD), once known as the most liberal Senator in Congress and a long time supporter of labor unions, is speaking out against it.


Is the Democrats real message during this presidential race “Hope, Change, and Molotov Cocktails”?


Roger Kimball is optimistic about McCain's chances to win the election next month. He says it all comes down to the basic differences between the two candidates.

Whatever else it is, this election is a referendum on two very different visions of America. Obama’s vision is of country crippled by sin; McCain and Palin’s vision is of a country fired by high ideals and expansive opportunity.

“You’re beautiful, I love you, now change.” That is Team Obama’s message. “You’re beautiful, I love you as you are”: that is the message of McCain and Sarah Palin. It’s the difference between the utopian–who finds himself disgusted with every real-world polity, and who finds himself willing, indeed, eager, to sacrifice real people for the sake of the ideal ones he wishes to create–and the simple patriot who says Yes to the family, community, and country in which he finds himself.

Most Americans, I believe, love their country for what it is–not what it could become if suitably socialized, taxed, neutered, and otherwise recast. If McCain-Palin can effectively articulate that message, they will win.

I agree.


It's not just Ohio having problems with voter fraud.

A former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice says she has no confidence the November elections in her state will be fair due to widespread fraudulent voter registrations.

Justice Sandra Newman, accompanied by Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico and Pennsylvania Republican State Chairman Robert Gleason, expressed her concerns at a Harrisburg press conference this morning. A thick document replete with photo copies of phony registrations and aerial shots of vacant lots used as "addresses" for "voters" was handed out to journalists.

One group mentioned as the most prominent purveyor of the fraudulent registrations was ACORN.

No surprise there.


More questions about the enigma that is Obama have been coming to my attention, so I've started a separate post dealing with those questions that I hope to post on Monday. There's a lot of information to cover, so don't be surprised if it takes a bit longer to bring it all together.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the leaves are showing their glorious fiery colors, the leaf peepers have been staring in awe, and where the heating season will begin all too soon.


It's Become Deafening

As I've been watching the now-global financial meltdown unfold, the bleating from the talking heads and self-promoting 'experts' has reached deafening levels. All kinds of solutions are touted as “The Answer”, when what they really are is guesses, and wild-assed guesses at that. The same loud noise can be heard from Congress and at least one of the presidential candidates (I won't say who, but you can probably guess).

The one effect all this talk has had has been feeding the fires of panic on Wall Street and Main Street. A talking head says this is not a good time to be in stocks and people start selling off their holdings, which makes the whole situation worse. Frankly, everyone should just SHUT UP!! People should turn off the TV news, stop reading the financial sections of their newspapers, and change the radio station on their cars to some easy listening or oldies station. They should give the meltdown news a rest for a week or two, don't do anything in regards to their portfolios, and just keep on keepin' on. We might find that, given those conditions, the stock market will stop its volatile swings and heavily downward trend. Right now, 90% of the problem in the market is people panicking because of the news they see or hear and their reactions to the news. It's a vicious cycle that must be broken.

I for one, am going to sit down in front of the TV, fire up the DVR, and watch Stargate Atlantis, Sanctuary, or Most Daring. I will not watch the new reports about the economy. I will endeavor to ignore posts on the web about the economy. Heck, I might even stop writing about the economy for a day or two...maybe longer. (Then again, maybe not...*sigh*).

A Response To One Of The Anointed

A comment to this post prompted me to write a response to the commenter, someone calling his/herself Berillium. At first I merely replied in the comments, but decided to break it out into its own post. First, Berillium's comments:

Siding with a purveyor of the misery bought upon us recently as a result of erratic policies and cronyism for fear of a man of a different race, though his blood is red like yours, is as morally bankrupt as it can get.

You remind me of so many people in third world countries who will remain loyal to the worst dictators out of a complete self-defeat and utter hopelessness.

But you are far worse, at least you have some ability to make a change.

You say you are not ready to be lead by a black president? I don’t think you are ready to be lead by anyone. And you are running out of time.

Not once has McCain mentioned the middle class in his speeches? Do you think you are above the middle class? Do you think you are even middle class?

It’s tragic to learn that if Obama was white in your eyes you’d be right there with him, but he is better. His father is white, his mother is black. He personifies the American Dream. A dream that every American can live and proper and attain the highest office, should they apply themselves to it.

Individuals like you should grow up (and grow a pair) you are not kids needing to be led by a cowardly gramps and his manufactured nurse. You are adults that need to be shown a better way to help you get where you want to go, and the only one that can do that today, is president Obama.

And my response:

First, you make accusations against me that have no basis in fact. Not once, not once have I ever made reference to his race, and particularly when it come for my reasons for not supporting him. It wouldn't matter if he were white, I still would not vote for him. His pandering to the likes of you may have convinced you he has all the answers to the problems in America, but he hasn't fooled me.

His ideas on how to 'fix' America are nothing new. They've been tried before and failed miserably. All one needs to do is look up LBJ's Great Society to see where most of Obama's ideas came from. The only problem is that he'll make a bigger mess of it than LBJ did. His fixes will only make things worse, trap even more people into poverty, raise taxes to an unsustainable level, drive even more American businesses overseas, and bankrupt the nation.

He is not a savior. He does not have the answers. All he does is mouth platitudes you somehow have come to believe mean something, but are semantically null. He says much, but means nothing.

You say I need to grow a pair? You effin' pissant!! You know nothing about me. You know nothing about what I've accomplished in my life, and you say I need to be led by a "cowardly gramps"? That "cowardly gramps" has far more courage, fortitude, and honor and has faced horrors you will never experience. And I'll put my accomplishments up against Obama's any day because I know I've done far more than he has ever dreamed of doing.

He talks a good game but he rarely follows through. All of the community organizing he did amounted to nothing and accomplished the same, leaving little to show for his efforts...other than bolstering his rather thin resume. He managed to piss away over $100 million of Annenberg Foundation funds and has nothing to show for it. That's not bold leadership. That's incompetence, or worse, fraud.

Your savior is an ambitious empty suit whose only talent is promoting himself. Get back to me when he's actually done something noteworthy.

All I've ever wanted to be is left alone by our ever-so-helpful government. I don't need their guidance. Nor do I need guidance by the aforementioned empty suit. He may be the embodiment of the American Dream to Berillium, but he has too many shady acquaintances, too many connections to the corrupt Chicago Democratic political machine, and too many unanswered questions about his so-called accomplishments that make me question his motives.

I've looked into Barack Obama's voting record in the US Senate and it's dismal, when he's actually bothered to on something other than being 'present'. He's rarely made it on to the Senate floor over the past two years because hes been too busy running for President. At least McCain has made an effort to get there and vote on important legislation.

Unfortunately for Democrats, Berillium's comment has done nothing other than prove to me the Left has become seriously unhinged, having lost touch with reality and the middle class. All I can see Obama doing to the middle class is making them yet another set of 'victims' that will become beholden to Obama and the government. But then, hasn't that been his plan all along? He doesn't want people to be independent, to be able to deal with life's ups and downs by themselves. He wants his vision of the Nanny State to take care of all of that because he believes we are incapable of taking care of ourselves. His kind of help will do nothing for the middle class other than make them disappear.



A Great Idea From Ford

I'm surprised no one thought of this earlier: cars that have different electronically tagged keys that limit the top speed a car will travel when a teen is behind the wheel.


Presidential Debate - Round 2

Tonight's Presidential debate in Nashville will be different from the previous debate as it will be a Town Hall format rather than the usually more controlled style. This is a format McCain owns, as he does much better than Obama with this style of debate. It could be why Obama refused to participate in a series of Town Hall debates as McCain had suggested.

Questions will come from the audience as well as the Internet, meaning the candidates will have to answer off the cuff. Other than making sure they are well versed in the issues of the campaign, they cannot really prepare for this kind of debate. It always makes for an interesting show. It's been a format that has made and broken candidates.

I will endeavor to quote the questions as asked. I'm not even gping to try to do the same with the answers, but will most likely just paraphrase. You know how wordy politicians can be, particularly when they're saying nothing.


Tom Brokaw moderated the debate. Obama got the first question:

What's the fast route to bailing out the retirees and working families from this financial meltdown?

Obama first blamed President Bush, the GOP, and john McCain for the problem. He wants to crack down on financial institutions, particularly those like AIG, referencing the 'retreat' its executives enjoyed. But he didn't go into any detail, just said “I'll fix it.”

McCain said one way you don't fix the problem is raise taxes taxes. Stop sending hundreds of billions to foreign countries for oil and develop our own energy sources.. Use the bailout dollars to buy up bad loans.

When asked who McCain would choose as Secretary of Treasury, he said Meg Whitman, founder and former CEO of eBay.

Obama said he might consider Warren Buffet, but then went off topic to sell his tax plan.


Another question dealt with the meltdown, and what happened.

McCain talked about the rescue package, how the big trigger was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and how the GOP wanted to tighten up control over both, while Democrats blocked efforts to do so.

Obama talked about how the whole thing is McCain's fault, how he pushed so hard to deregulate. Credit is tight for businesses large and small and if it doesn't loosen up, businesses might have to close their doors without credit.

When asked of the economy get worse before it gets better, both said if timely action was taken, then the answer was probably no.


How can we trust either of you if both parties got us into this financial crisis?

Obama said that when Bush came into office there were surpluses. Since then, we've had deficits. (ed – We have to remember we were at war after 9/11/2001, and wars cost money.)

McCain said the system is broken. Talked about his bipartisan work, slammed Obama's lack of it despite his claims otherwise. Has never asked for earmarks, while Obama has. Obama voted for every spending increase that came across the Senate floor.

Highest priorities after taking office?

McCain: Reform entitlement programs. Strengthen our energy policies. Health care is a problem and has been for some time. All three can be done at the same time, no need to only take on one at a time.

Obama: We have to prioritize, meaning energy should be primary. Get us away from dependence on foreign oil. Second, fix the health care system. Third, make sure our education system is strengthened. Claims McCain will cut taxes for corporations.


Damn, I can't keep up!


What kind of sacrifices do Americans need to get us back on track?

McCain: First, cut spending. Freeze it where it is, review every agency and every program and eliminate those that are not working.

Obama: Everyone remembers 9/11. It brought us together, but President blew chances to bring us together across the board. Need to develop better energy technologies. Create a 'volunteer' group to provide service for America.


What about 'easy credit'?

Obama: It's all George Bush's fault.

McCain: Obama will raise taxes, despite his claims to the contrary. The last President to raise taxes was Herbert Hoover, and we know how that worked out.


What about the unfunded or underfunded entitlements? Aren't they a ticking time bomb?

Obama: Can't deal with it unless we handle tax policy. (ed – he went off topic, ranting about McCain's proposed tax policy. Wants to do away with Bush tax cuts.)

McCain: I'll actually answer the question. Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlements need to be fixed, stop borrowing to pay for the entitlements. Cut spending in other areas to make sure they are adequately funded.


At this point my missus made the point that these two are having a tough time staying on topic.


One fundamental difference between the two came up during the discussion about health care.

McCain: Health care is a responsibility.

Obama: Health care is a right.

(ed - Hmm. I don't recall seeing The Right To Health Care anywhere in the Articles or Amendments of the Constitution.)


It appears to me that Obama believes government is the answer to every problem we have. He hasn't exactly explained where all the money to pay for it will come from.

McCain appears to understand there are tradeoffs that will have to be made, understands that sucking money out of the economy is not the way to fix the economy, and that government is more often the problem and not the solution.


Should we cross into Pakistan to go after al Qaeda and the Taliban, or honor their borders?

Obama: If the Pakistanis won't deal with them, then yes, we chase them where ever they go.

McCain: That policy is dangerous. You don't announce that you will do that kind of thing to an ally! It's irresponsible. You do as Teddy Roosevelt said – Talk softly and carry a big stick.


Is Russia the new 'evil empire'?

Obama: Not yet.

McCain: Maybe, depending on their actions.


If Iran attacks Israel would we immediately go to their aid, or would we wait for the UN Security Council?

McCain: We would not wait for the UNSC. Remember Russia and China are members and would likely vote against action. We would go to the aid of our ally.

Obama: We would not take military action off the table. We need to work more effectively with other countries to tighten sanctions. We should have direct talks with Iran. (ed - uh...is that his answer to the question? Such a simple question and such a dissembling answer. If I had to guess, I'd say Obama won't do anything should Iran attack Israel...except talk.)


Remembering that I am anything but non-partisan, I have to give this one to McCain. Obama was a walking, talking campaign ad, speaking in generalities but not providing substance.

Not that McCain was above and beyond Obama, but he seemed to project the idea that while government can help things along, it shouldn't be the end all and be all to all problems.

I wish I could say the Town Hall format worked well, but it appears Obama decided he needed to get around the rules both candidates agreed to abide by, and tried to follow up on statements made by McCain even though he'd already had his allotted time.


A Modest Proposal Revisited

In light of a Ramussen report showing 59% of voters would vote to replace the entire Congress, I thought it would be a good idea to dust off, update, and repost something my brother posted back in 2002. It's just as timely today as it was back then, maybe even more so, given the information from Rasmussen.


In the very early Eighties our youngest sister went to Smith College in Northampton, MA. Back then, as now, Smith was a hot bed of leftist True Think with a frightening mixture of rabid feminism and incipient Political Correctness. For four years she slaved away after her degree in Mathematics, finally returning home with her diploma.

As you might imagine, she also came home with a slightly more left-of-center world view than she had departed with. Our father, a curmudgeonly fiscal conservative, alternated between amusement and despair whenever politics were discussed at dinner. He finally fell back in to the old standby of “when you can’t show ‘em, shock ‘em.” One exchange that comes to mind quite clearly came when our sister and her live-in boyfriend of the time stopped by for dinner. My parents are not prudes so this was not an unusual thing, and they actually liked ‘Geoffrey’ a lot, despite his socialist take on the human condition.

That evening we were digging in to chicken parmigiana while Geoffrey waxed philosophical on the failure of government to effectively deal with poverty. Dad, never one to pass up a good straight line, began taking him to task over the multiple billions of dollars already spent to aid the poor. What did Geoffrey want to do, throw more good money after bad? Then Geoffrey made the mistake: he asked my father what he thought the government should do.

My father looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Just make me Emperor for two years. Give me complete control of society and in two years there won’t be any more poor people.”

Looking for the entire world like a deer in the headlights of an on-rushing Mack truck Geoffrey asked him how that would happen.

“Simple: After two years the malingerers will have jobs and all the others will have starved.”

Our dad is a nice guy. No, really!-- he paid to have Geoffrey’s shirt cleaned after he spit a mouthful of chicken and marinara sauce all over himself.

Eventually my sister was forced back to reality by the Great Equalizer: she got a job, saw all that cash being sucked out of what should have been an impressive paycheck for all her hard work and began to wonder just what she was getting for her money. Welcome back, sis.

The reason that particular episode sticks out is that it was the first time we were clued in to a Basic Truth: where governments are concerned tinkering around the edges rarely fixes problems. Even Thomas Jefferson noted that a healthy government probably needs a good revolution every now and then just to keep it fresh and vital. With everything that is and has been going on in Washington we think this idea deserves a new examination, so here we are to toss out a modest proposal.

First, Presidential Elections are irritating to no end. The heck with this Campaign Finance Reform stuff; let’s just do away with the election all together. Let the Senate elect the President and then he can appoint a Vice President with the approval of the House of Representatives. They’ll serve for six or seven years and then are replaced. We should also ease the rules for removing anyone who turns out to be a bum. This change accomplishes a couple of things: it removes the Presidential Election as a source of corruption, and it restores the proper perspective to the relationship between Congress and the Executive. The Imperial Presidency that most of us have grown up with is a holdover from the end of World War II where the President retained an inordinate amount of power due to the semi-state of war that existed between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. This was never the intent of the Founding Fathers who wanted most of the political power to be in the hands of Congress.

As for the Senate, we believe it actually works pretty well as is in that it was designed to be the stabilizing force in the Legislative branch. The House of Representatives is where the real change needs to come. People seem to think that because Representatives only serve two-year terms they have no real power, but nothing could be further from the truth. Collectively the House outweighs the Senate and the Presidency and as such it needs to be more accountable to the people. We would make it so by simply returning it to the people. Do away with elected Representatives and institute a draft.

One fine day, there is a knock on your door. There stand two Federal Marshals. One of them hands you a letter. “Congratulations!” the letter would read, “You have been chosen by the Selective Service Administration to serve your Congressional District as its Representative to the House for a period not to exceed three years.” They give you five minutes to pack a small overnight bag, kiss the spouse and kids goodbye, and then bundle you off to do your duty.

We could run a draft every year, replacing a third of the House each time so that there would always be a group of Representatives present who were familiar with the way things worked. As far as restrictions go, limit eligibility to any citizen over age 21 who has not been convicted of a crime in the past five years and we would also suggest that no one be allowed to serve consecutive terms. You might be drafted again (unlikely, given the numbers) but never twice in a row. A final restriction that is almost always suggested by anyone with whom we have ever discussed this: no lawyers in the House.

Beyond the very simple restrictions we would add dispensations for extreme medical situations and the like, but still make it very difficult to weasel out of serving. We also would need to take a close look at compensation, job retention and the fulfillment of contracts and other obligations that might have been entered in to before the prospective Representative was drafted. While this might seem a daunting task we must remember that we would only need to deal with about 150 people a year. Somehow we have to think that the government has the resources to deal with this.

Why do we like this idea? As we understand it (and we freely admit that we are not Constitutional scholars) the House of Representatives was supposed to be the voice of the Citizen in our government. It was intended that Representatives be ordinary citizens who served a term or two then returned to their normal lives. As anyone can plainly see this is no longer the case and has not been for some time. A drafted House rectifies this situation in a simple, brute-force fashion. Spare me the smarmy, glad-handing politician seeking our vote - we want our Representatives dragged kicking and screaming in to office. They would be housed in comfortable, but relatively inexpensive dorms or condos in Washington and, when in session, the Representatives would wear identical lime-green or international orange jump suits with their name stenciled on the front and their Congressional District number on the back. A GPS tracking anklet would attached to each draftee as they arrive so should they try to leave Washington before Congress adjourns, alarms would go off and the recalcitrant Representative could be returned to finish out their term.

Assuming we could force this idea through the existing political process, what would the over-all effect be? First, the President would at least have the support of the Senate, and he would be very much aware that he served at the Senate’s pleasure. The President would be merely Commander-In-Chief and leader of the Executive, as the Constitution intended. The House would be about as non-partisan as one could imagine since the selection process would be free of any consideration of party affiliation. The People (that’s all of us) would be spared most of the election year displays of lying and corruption as the only officials actually elected would be the Senators. The country could save a lot of money and angst.

Another very positive effect would be that a lot less would get done in Washington DC. With the House in the hands of citizens unbeholden to any outside forces or special interests, what is the incentive to act on anything but the most critical issues? Remember: it is in the House that all spending and budget bills originate. Who better to assess the costs and predict the benefits of programs than those who struggle day to day to make ends meet and who often find themselves at the mercy of laws passed by a Legislature that felt it just had to ‘Do Something’? It frightens us to think of a Congress that feels it has to make new laws every day to placate its money-laden masters. Furthermore, since we take away the need to keep an eye always turned to the re-election campaign, our Representatives should feel liberated to vote their conscience based on their understanding of the law and the Constitution. We would still have the Supreme Court to correct any egregious mistakes, but since we should see fewer laws being passed in the first place there shouldn’t be too many mistakes to deal with.

A President who is very much aware that he is not king, a House peopled with Representatives from every sector of society, absolutely devoid of the corrupting influences of special interest money and election year grandstanding. Yes, we could enjoy living in that America.

Now, about that pesky 16th Amendment…

A few more updates:

First, our sister has once again leaned towards the dark side, having shifted far more to the left over the years, though she's still nowhere near as bad as she was once she graduated from college. It didn't help that her husband (not “Geoffrey”, but someone we all like even more), is also from the left side of the aisle. But both of them are reasonably well educated, experienced, and haven't fallen in to the trap of letting others think for them. We've had more than a few excellent debates about politics and there have been times when minds on one side or the other of the debate have been changed.

Second, I think if the President were to be elected by the Senate, it should be someone not presently serving in Congress. It could be a former member of the Senate or House, a former Cabinet member, a governor or former governor, but no one presently serving. And to prevent a potential Presidential candidate from resigning from the Senate in order to become eligible, there would have to be a waiting period on the order of four to six years after leaving the Senate before being considered for President.

One other thing for consideration: to shorten the period when Congress will be in session, air conditioning should be banned from the offices of Senators and Representatives, as well as both chambers of the Capitol Building. Washington DC was built on a swamp, hence the nickname 'Foggy Bottom'. If it's too hot and humid for Congress to meet, they'll stay home and have less time to get into trouble with the taxpayers' money and unnecessary laws creating unneeded regulations