Saturday, October 11, 2008

Preaching to the choir...

doesn't actually accomplish anything, does it? And that's pretty much what I've been doing, I think. Sure, there's been one or two readers of my blog who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum. There's also been more than one or two readers who appear to be downright apathetic about the election process, this election in particular. But by and large, the rest seem to be of the same frame of mind as I am. Although saying "the rest" may be a misleading turn of words as it would imply a "multitude"of readers, which is not the case. I fear I've lost many of my blogging buddies due to my political obsession of late. I've been spending most of my free time researching the candidates and writing about my concerns regarding one candidate in particular. Unfortunately for me, most people don't seem to want to engage in political discussion. Or maybe they just don't want to engage in political discussion with me (perhaps I come off as too right wing? I can see how it would seem that way, although I'm much more moderate than most Republicans or Democrats I know). Either way, Blogland is becoming a lonely place and, although I realize it's a situation of my own making, knowing that doesn't make it any more enjoyable to get up in the morning only to see an inbox empty of comments.
I'm torn as to what I should do...continue to post about this or shut the heck up about politics and hope I can rebuild some of the blogging relationships that I've run off and/or neglected. Believe it or not, this really is a tough decision to make. I'm honestly afraid that this country is on the verge of electing someone with questionable and dangerous associations in his current life, as well as his past... a person who, for 20 years, was a member of a church that espouses contempt and hatred for "white America", a person who has shown an alarming habit of associating himself with the leaders of a political machine that often put private issues ahead of the public good, and a person who is closely tied with Washington politicians and even some CEOs who are directly responsible for the American public suffering the consequences of the greed and willful blindness of those politicians and business people in matters relating to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. I hear the supporters of Barack Obama throw around words like "hope" and "change" and "dreams" like so much confetti. I've seen ordinary citizens on TV telling the entire world that they are voting for Obama because "he's different" or "we need a change". I've seen ACORN workers on TV telling reporters how they have encouraged people to vote for Obama during their "voter registration drives", even though that is supposedly not the purpose of those drives. I've seen video of poll workers telling voters as they came in to vote during the primaries that "this is Obama's house", then asking how many people inside the voting precinct building were voting for Obama (something that is blatantly illegal to do). I've seen video of Obama campaign workers actually having tables set up inside a voting precinct building during the primaries, ostensibly to provide "help" to those who were having "difficulties" voting. I've seen all of these things, heard many more and have read even more than that about matters that should outrage each and every one of us who enjoy the freedoms of this democracy. But what do I hear? I hear "yeah, the whole process is corrupt" or "so what?" or "what difference does any of that make?". Or, even worse, I hear silence. Our democracy is being corrupted every day and we, as Americans, are too damn lazy, apathetic or blind to care.
You know, maybe I'm just more aware of the consequences than the average American. Everytime I see my husband in uniform, everytime I talk to my son who is stationed half way across the world, everytime I remember the good-byes to family and friends as they've headed to the Middle East to fight the War on Terror, I'm reminded forcefully that freedom isn't free and it is, in fact, something that must be constantly and ferociously protected and guarded. Having a front seat to the sacrifices of our military doesn't make me a better American. That is not what I'm saying. But maybe it makes me more cognizant than others of the price paid for freedom. Maybe it makes me question our leadership a little more because the lives of my husband, my son, our friends and other family members depend on who's leading us. I'm not looking for hope and change and dreams in my president, as pretty as those words may sound. I'm looking for freedom and integrity and progress. If I could believe that Barack Obama could deliver those things, he'd have my vote. But after having done hours upon hours upon hours of research, I've come to believe that he simply is not qualified for the job, nor is his "vision" of America anywhere near the same as mine. His past, as well as his current, associations and connections are with people and groups who have worked, and are still working, to undermine the very values of America that set us apart from the communists, the fascists, the dictatorships and the socialist governments around the world.
I don't want or expect anyone to take my word for anything I've said in these political posts. I would have a hard time respecting anybody who did. We are (or at least we should be) responsible for our own research, our own conclusions and our own votes. My problem comes in when people declare their support for a candidate without doing that research. What is that about and how can you justify it? Do you honestly believe that using words like hope and change are enough? I guess you do. Okay then, I'm willing to give it a shot goes: I hope you change you mind and do in-depth research yourself, if you haven't already. I hope you get the stars out of your eyes and the cotton out of your ears and start listening and seeing the very real issues in this election. I hope you, along with me and others in this great country of ours, start demanding that our so-called "news" outlets change their policies of being part of the news and go back to simply reporting it. And finally, I hope the change you're hoping for isn't one that signals the end of a democracy and the beginning of a socialist government.
In the meantime, while we're all hoping and changing and dreaming and scheming, I'll be taking a few days off. Got to decide what this blog is for...talking about the things on my mind (of which politics is the main focus these days) or simply reaching out for friendship here in cyberspace. I don't think either purpose is wrong...but I do see where they might be in conflict. Before I sign off, I do feel compelled to throw one more political plea in here...please, please, please research the candidates. As important as voting itself is, it's even more important to cast an informed vote.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Evidence of Voter Fraud Uncovered....but don't worry...those who fuss about this are just being "hysterical"

Yeah, that was actually what a Democratic strategist had to say on the subject of voter fraud. He said people were acting "hysterical" when it came to groups like ACORN not only being accused of voter fraud, but in many instances actually admitting to it. Ummmmm....I'm just spitballing here, but shouldn't the issue of voter fraud be of paramount importance to America? Are we not a democratic society that prides itself on spreading democracy around the world? Do we not monitor free elections all across the planet in an effort to insure that the process is free from corruption? what point did voter fraud in this country become so acceptable that speaking of it would get you labeled "hysterical". Are the inmates now running the asylum or what?? (Never mind. Don't answer that.)
I first heard about this latest round of voter fraud when someone called me and asked if I'd been watching the news day before yesterday. I hadn't been. Boy, was I missing it! Seems like there's been allegations of recent voter fraud all across the country. Being somewhat outraged about this, I asked where this person had gotten their information. They told me Fox News was reporting on it. I tuned into Fox and caught part of the story. Very interesting. However, not wanting to depend on one source only, I scanned the other news networks as well and guess what? I didn't hear a peep about it from any of the other so-called "news" networks. Strange. So I turned to the internet. CBS had a story on it, but it wasn't on their front page. I had to type "voter fraud" into their search engine to find the story. Same with ABC. Why these guys don't have it on their front pages is totally beyond me. Voter fraud is, or at least it should be, a huge issue! I went to and couldn't find a story about it there, either. I clicked on their "MSNBCnews" button, which led me to another page where I could see the word "politics". I clicked on that, which conveniently enough, led me to a list of political stories. The sixth story down was titled "Mo. officials suspect fake voter registration". Two questions...why was it not featured any higher or more prominently than that and why not just come out and say the word "fraud" in the title? Because it was just too painful a word for them or what? But hey, as an added bonus, does still have that wonderful old picture of Sarah Palin wearing her beauty queen crown up on their "politics" page, 'cause that's real news, right?

CNN, however, was the absolute worst offender in this "let's ignore the voter fraud" game. I went to and found nothing on the voter fraud stories. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I clicked on their "politics" page. Instead of voter fraud stories, these were what they considered of the utmost importance for the American public to learn about:
Poll: Half concerned McCain wouldn't finish term
Treasury eyeing stake in banks
Questions candidates should answer
Colin Powell at Stevens corruption trial
Beck: Anti-Obama vote doesn't make you racist
Brown: Race-baiting wrong, so is overreaction
Bloomberg gains support on term-limit law changes
Todd Palin submits answers in trooper probe
Palin on SNL? 'All in good time,' producer says

Nothing, not one word, about the voter fraud currently being investigated all across this country. Did you know that it is being investigated in over 10 states?? Doesn't that seem like a substantial story? All depends on your priorities, I guess. (**Note: CNN did finally have a story titled "Voter registration forms faked, officials say" located on their "politics" page, posted this morning - 2 days after the story first broke.) By the way, most if not all, of these fraud cases involve Barack Obama's old friends, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). I would urge all of you to do your own research on this organization. They are frequently referred to as "extreme left wing" and have a history of committing voter fraud. They have used strong arm tactics in the past to get what they've wanted (things like mortgage loans for people who actually could not afford such loans). And Senator Barack Obama has a rather long and involved relationship with them. In fact, his presidential campaign has paid ACORN more than $800,000 for voter registration drives during this campaign. Read more on that here. There's also a story in The Washington Times on this payment, but I couldn't get the link to work. Google it, though, if you'd like to read more.
There's plenty more out there, too, if you'd just take the time to investigate. I think every American should be aware of this. Don't be lazy, don't be naive and don't be blase' about something that means so much to so many. It is your job to be informed. Do it now before "Vote Early and Vote Often" becomes our national motto.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Here's what I've learned...

In my last post, I asked Obama supporters to tell me why they support him because I wasn't seeing the reasons for myself. I heard that they favored Obama's stance on the economy, health care, drilling for oil and abortion rights. I also heard that he would at least be different than the last 8 years. (I may have to cover that particular view in another post entirely)
But let's break this down.
1) The Economy: The biggest reason why our economy is in the toilet? Sub-prime mortgages. Companies like Countrywide Financial made loans to people using predatory practices. The following is from Wikipedia regarding Countrywide Financial.

Countrywide subprime documents show a policy of lending to families with as little as $1000 of disposal income, often compromising their ability to pay living expenses. This guideline was not established by Countrywide, but rather the investors to whom they sold their loans. However Countrywide had no qualms in following through despite it knowing those families would likely fail to make monthly payments: these loans would be sold to investors shortly after anyway. Employees were given scripts as a sales aid when talking to customers about taking out loans. But get this; Economist Stan Liebowitz writes that the Fannie Mae Foundation singled out Countrywide Financial as a "paragon" of a nondiscriminatory lender who works with community activists, following "the most flexible underwriting criteria permitted." The chief executive of Countrywide is said to have "bragged" that in order to approve minority applications, "lenders have had to stretch the rules a bit." Countrywide's commitment to low-income loans had grown to $600 billion by early 2003. Furthermore, in June 2008 Conde Nast Portfolio reported that numerous Washington, DC politicians over recent years had received mortgage financing at noncompetitive rates because the corporation considered the officeholders "FOA's"--"Friends of Angelo". The politicians extended such favorable financing included the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Democrat Christopher Dodd, and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Democrat Kent Conrad. The article also noted Countrywide's political action committee had made large donations to Dodd's campaign. Democrat Senator Dodd proposed that the federal government buy up to $400 Billion in defaulted mortgages. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington(CREW) has called for House and Senate to investigate Senators Conrad and Dodd. It was reported that James Johnson, former CEO of Fannie Mae and an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, had received loans under the "Friends of Angelo". Johnson announced he would step down from the vice presidential vetting position on June 11, 2008 in order to avoid being a distraction to Obama's campaign. In June 2008 The Wall Street Journal reported that Franklin Raines, a former CEO of Fannie Mae, received below market rates loans at Countrywide Financial because the corporation considered the officeholders "FOA's"--"Friends of Angelo" (Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo). He received loans for over $3 million while CEO of Fannie Mae.

By the way, Obama's buddy, James Johnson of Fannie Mae fame? An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report from September 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998. A 2006 OFHEO report found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million.
What does this have to do with your choice of either Obama or McCain? Well I'll tell you. All of you Obama supporters, Independents, McCain detractors, and/or hard line Democrat voters, when you start talking about wanting a "change" or wanting to have "hope" or trying to get away from the last 8 years of "The Bush Presidency", I would ask that you look towards members of the Democratic leadership in Congress for some clues as to how this economic nightmare came to fruition. And no, I don't hold the Republican party harmless in all this, if for no other reason than they should have been screaming louder about the dangers of letting the sub-prime crisis reach such epic proportions - long before it actually happened. By several accounts, the warnings were there. That president, the one you all love to hate, was trying to sound the warning bell way back in 2001 and again in 2003. Nobody wanted to listen. The Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, tried to warn Washington in 2005. Again, no one wanted to listen. In 2006, John McCain co-sponsored legislation pushing for the regulation and reform of entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That bill made it out of the Senate Banking Committee with a party line vote; all democrats voted against it. Fearing that they, the Republicans, didn't have the votes to pass it, this bill wasn't even brought up on the senate floor. Yeah, I think the Republicans should have fought this much harder than they did. This effort looked more like partisan politics as usual than it did an honest attempt at preventing an economic disaster for America. Nevertheless, despite not actually getting anything done, the Republicans would at least get a "C" for putting out some effort, while the Democrats would get a flat out "F" for displaying such a willful intent to ignore what was, even then, a major issue. These inept political leaders who so blatantly ignored all the warning signs are the very same ones that Barack Obama aligns himself with and who align themselves with him. Think that over, would you? I mean, how will "change" occur when the person you are selecting for that "change" is a supporter of and is supported by many of the very people who allowed this catastrophe to happen?
Now on to Health Care: I'm afraid I haven't been able to find enough information to give an even slightly informed opinion on whose plan would work best. That's not to say I've given up, though. I will continue searching. I'm looking for non-partisan examinations of both candidate's plans. I want a comprehensive breakdown of what each will do, how much it will cost, who will pay for it and the overall benefits to America as a whole. I'll get back to you if and when I manage to get a grasp on this.
Another issue was Drilling: some of you don't want to see much drilling going on which makes absolutely no sense to me. You'd rather be dependent on foreign oil? I know there are ecological and environmental concerns. I get that. But for those of you who are opposing McCain and supporting Obama because Obama is against drilling, think again. Here's what he said during the last debate:

"I believe in the need for increased oil production. We're going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling. It includes telling the oil companies, that currently have 68 million acres that they're not using, that either you use them or you lose them."

Basing your vote on who will drill and who won't has become a nonstarter. Both candidates intend to drill. Granted, if Sarah Palin gets her way, there'll actually be drilling taking place in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), too. If the drilling can be done with minimal effects on the environment (and multiple studies indicate that to be the case), then why not do it? What are we saving all that oil for? A time when we'll have developed alternative fuel and won't need oil anymore? It probably won't do us much good then, now will it? I agree that resources should most certainly be allocated for alternative energy research and development, but in the meantime...we need to do everything in our power to get away from this dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Everything.
Finally, people seem to be concerned with Abortion Rights: As I've stated before, I believe a woman should have the right to choose. But I think that choice should be whether or not to have sex, not whether or not to abort a baby for personal convenience. I think touting abortion as a "right" is ridiculous and an indication of the ultimate "pandering" to women voters. It's marketed as "I believe a woman should have control over her own body and should be able to exercise her own views over whether or not she wants to have a child". Well, thank-you-very-much, Mr. and Ms. Left-Wing, Kumbaya, "I'll empower you with the right to treat a growing entity in your womb as so much tissue to be discarded" Abortion Activist. Really appreciate your condescending and completely misleading method of trying to convince me that I Am Empowered. Personally, I think that kind of attitude short-changes women and presupposes that only by allowing us to negate a consequence of our actions (actions we partook in of our own freewill) will we be able to "control our own lives". You know I, too, believe a woman should have control over her own body, only I think that control should begin long before any man's sperm makes contact with her egg. I think that control should be granted at the onset of any and all sexual encounters, not merely afterwards. I believe a woman has a responsibility to understand the repercussions of sex, as well as the pleasures. I believe men have that responsibility, too, but seeing as how the woman ends up carrying one of those "repercussions" in her belly for approximately 9 months, I'm going to have to say the majority of the responsibility belongs to her. I think abortion as a matter of convenience is the ultimate in irresponsibility and I will never understand how any woman could stand for that as if advocating for it were some "badge of honor". We are women. We should take more pride in our ability to grasp the concept of responsibility, rather than advocate for a way out of responsibility. I swear, I really don't know when giving up the biggest and best thing that separates us from men became necessary for us to feel equal to men. We lessen ourselves when we abdicate our responsibility and I for one, won't do it. And I don't get the almost militant attitude of those who will. Edited to add: I got so carried away with my abortion stance that I forgot to tie this issue into the whole McCain/Obama choice that we've all been talking about. (Who says I can't be totally self-centered on my own blog, eh? lol) Anywho, I believe the issue of abortion is another nonstarter because I don't see Roe v Wade being overturned now or in the future, regardless of who is elected. The country has heard far too many stories of women going to back-alley butchers in the past. I don't think anyone wants to see that again, nor do I believe it will happen. There are many of us who take a stand against abortion itself, but as for me, I believe that making it legal or illegal is not the issue. Making women understand responsibility for their own bodies, and their futures, is. If we ever manage to accomplish that, then the subject of abortion could very well become moot. But again, I don't see it as a reason to vote for one candidate or another at this point in time because, despite the rhetoric, it's simply not on either party's "front burner".

Monday, October 6, 2008

In the famous words of a Batman foe...

riddle me this: why are politics such a touchy subject? Why do so many of us not want to talk about the presidential race? Isn't this subject one of paramount importance to us? Don't you dare say "no". Don't you dare say it doesn't matter who's in office "because it won't affect me". Who we elect does matter and it does affect every single one of us. For those of you who feel that who you vote for is a personal decision, I get that. I know that there's a reason we go into a booth all alone and pull those levers or punch those chads or fill in those circles in total privacy. It's to protect us voters from intimidation and/or attempts to influence our votes. I actually like that aspect of the voting booth. Here's what I don't get, though. Why are so many of us afraid to discuss our political choices with even our own friends? Why are we so afraid to express any political disagreements we may have with one another? Even more importantly, why is it so difficult to explain to one another why we like a certain candidate? I ask because, well...I honestly don't get Barack Obama's appeal. I just don't. As far as I can see, he has very questionable associations in his political past, his main accomplishments in his adult life are that he's written two autobiographies (one of which was inspired by a sermon given by Rev. Jeremiah Wright - a man I do not hesitate to call a racist) and he's campaigned for the office of president the majority of the time he's been a senator. How does that even begin to qualify him for the office of President of the United States of America? I know that some of you out there do support him, though. And I'd like to know why. Not so I can disrespect your choice and certainly not so that I can mock you, but mainly because you may possess information that I do not have and I'd like to know it. I need facts. I need to hear from people like me who have differing views. I need to learn all I can so that I can make an informed decision.
Have you ever been on a debate team? Do you know what the beauty of real debate is? It's getting to hear the position from "the other side". To bring that even closer to home...have you ever disagreed with your spouse on an issue regarding one of your children? Randey and I sure have. He's more "soft" and I'm more "hard line". I tend to speak in absolutes while Randey's full of "second chances". Normally, we manage to work it out without a lot of discussion. However, occasionally, we have some major disagreements about certain issues. We work it out like this: one of us will make an actual list (on paper) that details exactly what we think should happen. Then the other one takes that list and, item by item, either agrees or disagrees and if we disagree, we offer an alternative solution or we state what our position is. The list goes back to the other person and so on until we're able to reach an agreement between us that we both can live with. The amazing thing about this method? I've had to realize on more than one occasion that I had become too hard nosed about something and wasn't considering all the ramifications of an action I was proposing. The same thing has happened with Randey. He's been able to see the "other side" of an issue that he hadn't previously considered. Learning what Randey's stances were and how he came to those stances has helped me understand the "bigger picture". I believe the same could be said of him. That's what debate is for.
I want to hear from you Obama supporters. I want to know why you believe he'll be the better president. I want to hear the "other side". I wish I could depend on the media for this, but I can't. CNN and MSNBC are so far in the tank for Obama that I question everything I see and hear from them. FOX is so far in the tank for McCain that I question them, too. In fact, Steve Doocy from Fox and Friends could be called the "Chris Matthews of the Right". The other networks are no better. Maybe not as obvious, but still pretty much uninformative on the issues I want to hear about. I was watching ABC this morning and they were talking about a hard hitting story on what caused this banking crisis and who was responsible. What did their "investigation" uncover? That the head of Lehman Brothers made $500 million while his company was knowingly making bad loans. Well, duh. Thanks a lot. I wanted to hear more about who in Washington should be held responsible. Why? Because those are the people we elect to look out for us. I didn't elect the head of Lehman Brothers. And after researching for myself and learning about the outrageous bonuses and salaries paid to these CEOs, I kind of figured out for myself that most of them are crooks. I think law enforcement should be investigating those guys. I think the media should be investigating our politicians. And I mean investigating - not digging for dirt, not joining in on the feeding frenzy of the pundits and not trying to sway public opinion one way or the other. Remember when Sarah Palin was first announced as McCain's running mate? Man, the media just ate her and her family alive. Some of it, I agreed with. I do want to know her background, her record, her stances...I want to know what her constituents think of her. The rest of it? Not so much. It wasn't necessary for me to know that she colors her hair, I didn't need to see where she got her hair done, I didn't need to see that picture of her wearing the beauty queen crown every single day, week after week, when I clicked on a story from I also want to hear about Obama's ties to Ayers, his ties to Jeremiah Wright, his ties to Acorn. I want to hear how and why he came to be in Chicago. How he financed his education at both Columbia and Harvard and how he and his wife (who were supposedly saddled with extensive debt from student loans that reportedly paid for their educations) could afford to spend several months in Bali while he wrote his first autobiography. Who can do that? How could they be swimming in debt and yet afford a 3 month trip to Indonesia? Yes, it matters! If his entire political career has been financed by others, I want to know who financed it. What was their stake in this? And if he paid for it himself, how? I'm not sure why the press isn't reporting on this. Heck, Palin made a comment about Obama "palling around with terrorists" and she's being slammed every which way for it. CNN flat out said her claim was false.'s not. Look up the Chicago Annenberg Challenge online. I did. My research on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge certainly tended to indicate a more extensive relationship between Obama and Ayers than Obama has previously indicated. Obama's response, when asked about Ayers during the 2008 Democratic Primary presidential primaries, was this:
"This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis."

Okay. But not only did Obama and Ayers have multiple contacts in connection with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, they also served on the the Woods Fund of Chicago together for years, and Ayers hosted a meet-and-greet at his house to introduce Obama to his neighbors during Obama's first Illinois state Senate campaign in 1995. By the way, for those of you who don't know who Ayers is, think on this: Ayers describes himself this way:
"I am a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist ..."

In 1969 he co-founded the violent radical left organization Weather Underground which was active during the 1960s and 1970s. Does it matter that Obama had this much contact with someone like William Ayers. Yeah, it does. It certainly matters a heck of a lot more than where Sarah Palin gets her hair done. I think it's unfortunate for us that the media has chosen to believe they are, by and large, a part of the political process rather than the reporters of it.

I'm asking all of you Obama supporters to please tell me what I'm missing about him. What do you see in him? I'm open to listen. If you don't feel comfortable doing that in a comment, please e-mail me at grannyskywalker (at) yahoo (dot) com. I want to hear your views. Let me be honest, though, and tell you I might use your comments in a future post. I will not, however, use your name if you expressly request that I do not. I'm not wanting to put anyone on the hot seat, but rather I'm wanting to start a dialogue. I want to listen, I want to understand. I want to learn all I can before I cast my vote this November.