Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What I Am Thankful For

This time of year for me, and probably most of us, definitely causes me to reflect on my life. Good or bad, I have always been a blessed man and walk in the assurance that I have experienced nothing except that which is from God's own hand.

Above all else, I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave me life eternal and the opportunity to glorify and enjoy Him forever. He did this for no other reason than it pleased Him to do so.

The biggest blessing in my life today is my beautiful wife, who is easily the best friend I have ever had and who loves me with an unconditional love. She is also an excellent mother, and I leave for work every morning with peace of mind, knowing our children are in the most capable and caring hands.

The 2 children God has blessed us with are 2 of the most amazing little people, and it is a privilege to know them and have the responsibility to lead them to God through my guidance and example. These 3 people are my heart, and I pray that I will learn to serve them better by covering them with God's word, prayer, and my affection.

The body of Christ, which is the church, has been an amazing source of support, encouragement, and accountability wherever we have found ourselves in life, and I praise God for providing this.

Every circumstance in life is a blessing, whether it is character built through difficulty, or rest sought in times of plenty, and I trust the wisdom of The Most High to get me through all of them!

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Interesting Hypothetical

I couldn't resist linking this article from Patterico's Pontifications.

One of the readers there posed a hypothetical alternative to the abortion question that I think is very thought provoking. When the question was asked of a pro-choice supporting woman and a pro-life woman, the reactions were interesting and unexpected.

Here is the hypothetical:

Suppose the technology existed to safely remove a fetus from a womb at any gestational stage for incubation elsewhere until birth. If such “no-death abortion” was available to any woman who wanted it, would most abortion rights supporters stand down?

In the case of the pro-choice female, she was still very much against this form of "safe-abortion".

I would like to know what you all think, but I would also like to echo some rules of discussion posted by Patterico:

I’d appreciate it if you could keep the usual stuff about murder and evil and so forth to a minimum. Like zero. I’m more interested in a dispassionate discussion.

Let's keep comments limited to specific concerns raised by the hypothetical itself and not let the conversation devolve into emotionally charged vitriol. I also reserve the right to moderate if things get out of hand.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good News! Obama Appears to Be Listening!

It seems as if the reality check that is our economy and the nature of economics itself has caused Obama to go back on his promise to repeal the Bush tax cuts. In all likelihood, he will allow them to expire in 2011 as originally designed by the Bush administration.

From myway via Patterico, here is a quote from a top Obama aid:

Obama's plans, outlined by his transition team on television talk shows, could put aside his campaign pledge to repeal a Bush tax cut for the wealthy. With the downturn in the economy, those tax cuts may remain in place until they are scheduled to die in 2011, said William M. Daley, an economic adviser. "That looks more likely than not," he said.

Okay, so even if they are still pushing the "tax cuts for the rich" angle (and I must be rich, because I remember my tax cut rolling in courtesy of "W"), this still proves that down deep, Obama is a "supply-sider" after all!

Seriously, I am encouraged that Obama isn't blindly keeping keeping all of his rhetorical promises, the reprieve will be nice. This also means, at least for the next couple years, Obama will borrow and spend instead of tax and spend. But we are used to that by now.

Come 2011, I shall batten down the hatches.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Morality and Conscience

We all make decisions every day that impact us in a negative or positive way. These can be financial in the form of how we spend money, social in the form of how we choose to interact with people, or political in the choices we make to be informed about strategic issues and write our representatives, cast our votes, and let our voices be heard. These are just a few of many examples, but all of these decisions have logical consequences that are beneficial or not so beneficial; if I choose to spend my pay check on DVD's, my kids won't have enough to eat, but if I carefully make a budget and stick to it, my family has all we need to get along.

Aside from the obvious and practical consequences, we are also subject to the tyranny of our own conscience. If an atheist chooses to break God's law by murdering another or stealing his goods, even if he is not caught by the authorities and punished, his own conscience will condemn him! That is not to say that over time, one practicing theft will not grow callous and have an easier time committing the crime.

Conversely, the individual and society as a whole benefits from living according to Biblical principles and listening to their conscience, whether they are trying to glorify God or not.

The Bible explains the role of the conscience this way:

(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
Romans 2:14,15

I can't help but think of O.J. Simpson who for all intents and purposes did get away with murder by escaping legal consequence. But his life since then reflects a man who is certainly not content and I am inclined to think he carries a very guilty conscience with him wherever he goes and maybe even wishes he had been convicted and been sent to prison to pay for his crimes. As anyone who has violated their conscience knows, it can be terrible.

The fact is our actions have consequences and these consequences apply universally, and we are aware of right and wrong from a very early age. My toddlers remind me daily of this as they demonstrate an awareness of what is sin. In their childish folly, they choose to do what they know is wrong because they simply enjoy it! It is then my job to introduce a consequence that is proportional to the pleasure of that act so they choose not to go that route next time around. This is done in hope that they will choose to avoid much more serious consequences later in life.

Whether you acknowledge a Creator or not or have any belief in a universal literal moral code such as the Bible, this awareness of sin proves that morality exists. As to where the laws come into the picture, this can be treated as a "chicken and egg" problem, as some believe the laws of our land establish a moral code. I don't believe this moral code was created as much as our laws reflect and reinforce existing social taboos that originate in the conscience. That conscience that is created by a very real and all powerful God.

I believe morality is created by God and designed to preserve our precious liberty and this is absolutely universal. So essentially, you are living by the "rules" whether you believe in them or not.

Is The Honeymoon Over Already?

I expected at some point Obama's most liberal supporters would experience a giant collective hang-over; it seemed inevitable after expectations were set so unrealistically high during Obama's campaign. But I anticipated the buyers remorse to set in maybe a few months into next year, after Obama had taken office and had an opportunity to actually do some stuff.

Not surprisingly, Obama's "Clintonesque" cabinet, including the almost certain appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is not helping him win over his base supporters. Add to that the forgiveness of Joe Lieberman by Democrats for what some considered to be a betrayal of the party, namely his support of John McCain's presidential campaign and attendance at the RNC, and the result is some unhappy folks. Some of Obama's most loyal following who were celebrating a future of new hope and a different kind of government on November 4th are already showing signs of having buyers remorse.

From KOS, courtesy of Daniel Harper over at Pajamas:

Kos, from the radically left DailyKos, called the decision to keep Lieberman as chairman of his committee “idiotic.” And, in another post, the radical Left’s standard bearer derided the Democratic Party as being “spineless capitulators” for allowing Lieberman to keep his post.

As Harper suggests, maybe Obama is showing a more moderate, bipartisan side in his treatment of Lieberman. And that would maybe be a good thing, but I am frankly baffled at the possibility of Hillary as Secretary of State. There is no debating whether or not a Clinton addition to Obama' cabinet aligns with the "Change" mantra, but it would at least be understandable and forgivable if Senator Clinton had the pedigree for the job. Her foreign policy credentials are limited to visits to foreign countries as First Lady, where she acted in a nondiplomatic capacity. She certainly is no Condi, that's for sure.

It is anyone's guess what Obama is up to, but it goes without saying he has created quite a bit of drama, especially for someone who has yet to actually assume the office of President. Time will tell whether this let-down will have any political impact.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A New Approach

I have been doing less blogging lately, although I have been reading yours and commenting when time permits. The political arena has quieted some, and aside from the "What exactly WILL Obama do?" projections, there isn't alot politically to talk about.

This has given me time to be a little introspective and re-evaluate my approach to sharing with those who I come into contact with on the blogosphere. My last post, The Right and Wrong Way to Debate reflects this.

It occurs to me I have been caught up in the political hype that has dominated this election year, and have exhausted myself trying to make political, intellectual, and social arguments for or against this issue or another. The truth is, I have a strong Biblical world view and I have been holding back on making an argument purely from this position because for any issue that is important to me, a good social argument can be made. It has been an interesting exercise, and has actually encouraged me in my faith as I see our society and culture, in good times and bad, reminding me that God is on His throne where he belongs and that He is wise and good (more on this in my next post).

As I have painstakingly made my arguments or rebuttals I have found that, when all is said and done, people believe what suits them and aren't likely to be won over by logic. No matter how intellectually sound your argument may be, there is always someone who will have a rebuttal that amounts to, "Well, that's just not fair!", or "I don't like that." What matters is not that you can out argue a person, but what is the basis of your argument.

The Bible explains it this way:

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
Colossians 2:2-4

What this tells me is I need to stop half-stepping and simply represent the Biblical world view that I am called to.

I feel a bit like Jerry McGuire, writing his memo suggesting, "Fewer clients", because I fear those who turn away because they don't want to risk being "preached to". And indeed I have been rejected before and even endured hostility for sharing what is in the Bible. But I rest in this:

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
Romans 8:15

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."
Matthew 5:11

In that same Spirit, I have started putting to paper (so to speak) my life story in the form of a separate auto-biographical blog, to be announced later. I started doing this a while ago in another post, "Testimony of Jeremiah Robinson". That is the story of how I came to know God in a personal way, and I was inspired to complete the story by adding the details of my life before Christ and what has happened since my conversion. Not that the story of how I got to where I am today is particularly interesting (although I have some good stories to tell) but because I want to share, with those who are interested in reading, who I really am. In this way, the conversations I have with others in the blogosphere take on a new context and meaning, and by being vulnerable in sharing I hope to encourage others to do the same. This is the same approach I take when building a relationship with someone who is in my life, I try to be as transparent as I can.

As I work on it, it has grown to be fairly lengthy so rather than make one huge post or series pf posts, I decided to have a separate blog where the biography will be split into logical parts. As each chapter is finished, I will provide a link so the interested can have a read.

(Photo: Ron Smid)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Right and Wrong Way to Debate

I think I may have posted something similar to this when I first hit the blogosphere. Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday, I somehow ended up at Church Secretaries blog. Anybody familiar with him? Anyway, Church had posted about something I was interested in, and I inadvertently misunderstood the premise of the argument and replied with what was essentially a classic "straw man". This was responded to with a thorough verbal thrashing about what a straw man was, as well as a detailed synopsis of my ineptness in general. Some condescending things were said, and I had a brief period of disillusionment where I wondered if blogging was really for me.

As you may have noticed, I am not that easily discouraged, and overall I really enjoy blogging as it helps me to express my thoughts and it gives me a chance to explore my own views on (mostly) strategic issues in comparison with those of my fellow bloggers.

Obviously, there are no official rules of blogging in terms of etiquette or what can be discussed, aside from those who make their own blog-specific rules. I personally am pretty loose and don't regulate unless it is SPAM or someone gets too personal. The ONE person I was forced to ban since starting this blog can testify to that.

I even welcome discussion on pretty much anything as I find the process of sharing information to be interesting and a good part of the time edifying as well.

The things that are a bit of a turn-off for me, and that I try to avoid, although not always successfully thanks to my penchant for making a point and having the last word (yes, I am aware, and trying to be better):

1. Keep emotion out of it as much as possible.

Yes, emotions are valid, but my experience has shown me that being overly emotional while making a point about say, legislation, doesn't add much to the exchange; except that it inhibits folks ability to think clearly and gives someone a moment to vent. I am not a mindless drone, and can get pretty wrapped up in issues that are close to my heart, but ultimately, how I "feel" about a particular issue is less valuable than how I came to my conclusions logically.

2. Don't be condescending.

For me, this is a "conversation killer" and is a sure-fire way to get rid of me (make a note). It is a mistake to arrive at someone's blog, read the title or their brief "About Me" blurb, and assume you know everything about them. If you want clarification, just ask, I do it all the time and sometimes people oblige me.

3. Be respectful, as if the person you are addressing is across from you.

I think the anonymity provided by the internet is good in that it gives people more courage to be honest who may otherwise be bashful about expression themselves. At the same time, people are also more likely to be vicious or curse someone out because they can do it with little consequence. Keep the venom-filled, hateful vitriol out of it and take a self-defense class or something.

4. The web is virtual, people are not.

The web is a great way to explore, and it is convenient, but the down side is you can forget you are talking to a real person, and full expression is impossible because there is NO body language. Being clear and making no few assumptions outside of what has been stated explicitly is a good rule of thumb.

Other than that, have fun, try to learn and don't let the blogosphere be the extent of your involvement in important issue. Even for the busy, or just lazy person, the web provides alot of tools for you to be actively involved in issues that merit it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Angry Gay, Anti-Prop 8 Mob Attacks Elderly Woman

On election day in my home state of California Proposition 8, which amended the Constitution of California to define marriage as "between a man and a woman", passed overwhelmingly with 52.3% of voters voting "Yes". Ever since then, the gay community and those who sympathize with their assertion that they "deserve" to re-define marriage to include themselves, have taken to the streets in angry, disorganized, aggressive mobs in an attempt to intimidate citizens and our state government.

This is not a peaceful gathering of people who sincerely want to have their voices heard. The video above is an example of selfish rage aimed at anyone who would dare to defy their agenda. The woman in the video had just as much right to be there holding her cross to express her religious views and be a voice of dissent on this important issue. She was calm and polite, even after her sign was aggressively taken from her, thrown to the ground, and trampled by a bunch of guys half her age and twice her size. When she was interviewed by the reporter, she continued to be civil and polite, only asking that she have the freedom to speak her mind.

The icing on the cake was at the end of the video, when the news anchor commented that there was, "Anger and hatred on both sides of this issue". If anyone can show me the mobs taking to the streets after 4 state supreme court justices overturned the will of a majority of California voters back in June when they declared marriage to be a "fundamental right"" and overturning Proposition 22, I will concede that point.

Some advice to the gay mob: don't ask me to peacefully tolerate, or accept, your lifestyle, unless you at least plan to act in similar fashion when I speak out.

69 year old citizen of Palm Springs, CA, Phyllis Burgess, is pressing charges after being encouraged by law enforcement to do so. Good for you, Phyllis.

Hat tip: GreyGhost

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

This blog was inspired by Tao over at A Radical Perspective, who chose to acknowledge the significance of this day and pay homage to those who literally put their lives at risk, partially so we bloggers can have a free exchange of ideas that include critical analysis of our government and it's policies.

I have known and spoken to a few veterans, and am constantly amazed at those who choose to do what they do.

My grandfather served as Chief Damage Control in the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. As the story goes, he traded duty with a friend so he could get shore leave at a more ideal time, only to hear later that his friend died during the attack. Had he kept his assigned post, he may have never met my grandmother and I would not be here. He traveled the globe and had some amazing stories to tell.

My father enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Vietnam. He was fortunate enough to be stationed behind friendly lines and is alive today to tell the story.

When I was 10, I had a stepfather who was in the Navy, stationed aboard the U.S.S. Sterett, a cruiser. He took the family on Westpac, and we lived in the Philippines for 2 years, '84-'86. It was an experience I will never forget. We didn't live on the military base, but chose to live in Olongapo City, so we got the "whole experience". This was just a year or 2 before the military lease on the base at Subic Bay expired and we were effectively booted out of country. At the time I was there, the sentiment towards Americans, especially those in the military, was very bad. It is a truly beautiful country full of good people with old fashioned values. Even as a boy, I realized the people there did not enjoy the same liberties enjoyed by Americans, and I remember being extremely happy after completing the 26 hour trip back to the States. I literally wanted to kiss the ground when I stepped off that plane!

I think any citizen who voices a disdain for the U.S. should spend a mandatory 6 months in a 3rd world country; it will give you a new appreciation for the freedom we enjoy and a renewed respect for those who spend and lose their lives on foreign shores protecting those freedoms.

May God bless the United States of America, and our brave men and women in the U.S. armed forces, past, present, and future.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Some More Obama Appointments...

Courtesy of Dick Morris, I have a few more appointments to add to the list:

Obama-Biden Transition Project

  • John Podesta - Co-chairman of the transition team. Formerly White House Chief of Staff under Clinton (1998-2001).

  • Carol Browner - On the advisory board of the transition team. Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for both Clinton terms and is the longest-serving administrator in the history of the agency.

  • Federico Pena - Another Transition advisory board member. Served as United States Secretary of Energy under Clinton.

  • Bill Daley - Secretary of Commerce under Clinton, named to Obama's transition advisory board.

  • Larry Summers - Named to Obama Transition Economic Advisory Board. Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton and was President of Harvard University.

  • Susan Rice - Also named to the Obama-Biden Transition Project advisory board, after serving as a senior foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. Served under Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs as well as serving on the National Security Council.

  • Michael Froman - Top executive at Citigroup now advising the transition process.

  • Stephanie Cutter - Chief Spokesperson to Obama-Biden Transition Project after serving as senior advisor to the Obama Presidential campaign. She was Deputy Communications Director under Clinton, Associate Administrator for Communications at the E.P.A., Communications Director for Edward M. Kennedy, Communications Director for the DNC, and campaign spokeswoman to the Kerry campaign.

  • Christopher Edley - Dean of U.C. Berkley and former professor to Obama, now serving on the Transition Project advisory board.

  • Maria Echaveste - Wife of Christopher Edley (previous), formerly an advisor to Bill Clinton, and Deputy Chief of Staff. Attended U.C. Berkley and now serves as an advisor to Obama's transition team.

  • Christine Varney - Personnel counsel for Obama-Biden Transition Project. Served as a Federal Trade Commissioner under Clinton as well as Secretary to the Cabinet.

    They all have similar pedigrees: law school, serving under Clinton in some capacity and involved in liberal organizations. Dick Morris noted that this certainly doesn't LOOK like the administration designed for change, it just looks like the Clinton administration "part deux". No matter how you look at it, this team is very partisan and seems to indicate "making nice" with Republicans is not a high priority for Obama. As the Democrats have the power right now in pretty much every regard, an Obama administration certainly isn't obligated to reach out to the GOP, but Obama definitely said he would if he got elected. I suppose time will tell.
  • Thursday, November 06, 2008

    Profiles of Obama's White House: Senior Adviser David Axelrod

    Born: 1955, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York


  • Graduate of University of Chicago 1977, majored in political science. Interned at the Chicago Tribune during his undergraduate studies.


  • Political consultant based in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known as a top adviser to Barack Obama, first in Obama's 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Illinois and later as chief strategist for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Senior partner of AKP&D Message and Media and was a political writer for the Chicago Tribune. Operates ASK Public Strategies.
  • Supporter of Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool, who helped Axelrod found his firm (under the name Axelrod and Associates).
  • Longtime strategist for Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley and styles himself a "specialist in urban politics."


  • 1977: Hired by the Chicago Tribune
  • 1981: Became the youngest political writer for the Chicago Tribune
  • 1984: Communications director for US Senator Paul Simon; within weeks he was promoted to co-campaign manager.
  • 1985: Formed a political consultancy, Axelrod & Associates.
  • 1987: Worked on the successful reelection campaign of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor.
  • 2004: Spokesman for the presidential campaign of John Edwards.
  • 2006: Consulted for several campaigns, including for the successful campaigns of Eliot Spitzer in New York's gubernatorial election and for Deval Patrick in Massachusetts's gubernatorial election. Axelrod also served in 2006 as the chief political adviser for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel for the U.S. House of Representatives elections, in which the Democrats gained 31 seats.
  • 2008: Chief strategist and media adviser for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

    Axelrod has early ties with newly appointed Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel as they both worked for Paul Simon in 1984 and both spent their early careers in Chicago.

    Interestingly, he specializes in campaigning specifically for black politicians. As reported by the New York Times, he was criticized by Reverend Jeremiah Wright for "while he was expert at promoting black candidates with white voters, he did not know much about relating to the black community...They're spiriting him away from people in the African-American community. David doesn't know the African-American church scene."

    He has a reputation for being cool-headed and having a knack for diffusing things.

    Obviously, by his resume, he is a smart guy and a quick read. So far, it appears Obama is surrounding himself with sharp people.
  • Profiles of Obama's White House: Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

    Born: March 29, 1971


  • Political consultant.


  • 1989 graduate of Auburn High School in Auburn, Alabama and graduated cum laude from North Carolina State University with a degree in political science.


  • Served as communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and in general has specialized as a political consultant for Senate campaigns.
  • 2004: Press secretary of Democratic candidate John Kerry. After leaving the campaign in reaction to the firing of Jim Jordan, Gibbs became spokesman for Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values, a Democratic group formed to stop the 2004 presidential campaign of Howard Dean.
  • 2008: Communications director for U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Profiles of Obama's White House: Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel

    As part of my commitment to do what I can as a citizen to keep the upcoming administration accountable, I am doing a little research into the appointments Obama is making to his cabinet. I will do a short profile on each appointment as they are made official, starting with Rahm Emmanuel, who accepted the position of White House Chief of Staff earlier today:

    Born: November 29, 1959. Retained Israeli citizenship up until 1991.


    Before accepting the position of Chief of Staff, Emmanuel served as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives since 2003, representing Illinois's 5th congressional district which covers much of the north side of Chicago and parts of suburban Cook County. He was the 4th ranking Democrat in the House, behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Leader Steny Hoyer and Whip Jim Clyburn.


  • Began his political career with the now defunct public interest and consumer rights organization Illinois Public Action.
  • 1984: Worked for Democrat Paul Simon's election to the U.S. Senate.
  • 1988: National campaign director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • 1989: Senior advisor and chief fundraiser for Richard M. Daley's victorious campaign for Mayor of Chicago.
  • Served then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton's Presidential campaign as finance committee director, and was instrumental in Clinton's win in 1992.
  • 1993 - 1998: Senior advisor to Clinton as Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy. He was a leading strategist in the unsuccessful White House efforts to institute universal healthcare and many other Clinton initiatives.
  • 1999 - 2002: Accepted a high paid position at Dresdner Kleinwort investment bank in Chicago.
  • 2005: Named the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • 2006: Received praise for his stewardship of the DCCC during the highly successful 2006 election cycle.


  • Ways and Means - Chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. This Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including:
    -Social Security
    -Unemployment benefits
    -Enforcement of child support laws
    -Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal welfare program
    -Foster care and adoption programs

    Political Views

  • Indicated his support of President Bush's position on Iraq, but said he believed the president needed to better articulate his position to the American people.
  • Believes in affordable and available healthcare for all Americans.
  • Has maintained a 100% pro-choice voting record.
  • Depending on who you ask, Emmanuel is either pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, but from what I have read, he seems most vocal in support of Israel.


  • An article from 2006 raised speculation regarding a possible connection between Emanuel's Congressional election success and convicted former Chicago water department boss Don Tomczak.
  • USA Today reported in late January 2007 that Emanuel failed to disclose that he was an officer of a family charity, a violation of law requiring members of Congress to report non-profit leadership roles.

    It has been said of Emmanuel that he is far from partisan and that this is a sign that Obama does not intend to act in a bipartisan fashion. My only response to that is: he really is not obligated to do any such thing considering the majority his party has. Rahm also has a reputation for being a "pit bull" and some of his bio (courtesy of Wikipedia) confirms he can be tenacious. Obama has commented that he can, "Get things done", so I suppose that was the appeal; not that Emmanuel makes nice but that he is effective. Whether Obama really will reach across the aisle and include Republicans remains to be seen.

    (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Will Obama Move to the Center?

    I know, it sounds almost rhetorical, but there seems to be 2 schools of thought on the subject of just how liberal the Barack Obama administration will be:

    Some are saying he will be forced by the economic mess to at least delay his multi-billion dollar initiatives because he wouldn't dare raise taxes on businesses (which will be necessary to pay for them) at a critical time such as we find ourselves in. Obviously raising taxes on businesses now would exacerbate our economic crisis, and I would like to think Presient-elect Obama is smart enough to see the writing on the wall; the stock market volatility, retail numbers in the tank, predictions about historically high unemployment, etc, and take a more moderate approach.

    Another argument is that Obama will have no choice but to do the bidding of a Democratic congress with almost filibuster-proof control. Dick Morris compares Obama's situation to the dilemma President Clinton faced while in office.

    When Clinton was elected in 1992, the Democrats in control of Congress gave him a clear message: Either you govern within the four walls of the Democratic caucus or you won’t get our support.

    Clinton, faced with being ineffectual as President, was forced to comply.

    Moderate initiatives like welfare reform were scrapped, the Congress passed tax hikes and legislation became festooned with liberal amendments. Faced with the need to round up every last vote in the Senate and House Democratic caucuses, Clinton had no choice but to load up conservative bills like an anti-crime measure with liberal pork...

    This seems to me to be the more realistic viewpoint. Even if Obama seeks to take a more moderate or centrist appraoch and ride out the economic crisis, that choice may not be his to make.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    Is Gay Marriage a Civil Rights Issue?

    Arizona, Florida, and my home state of California all had marriage amendments that sought to protect traditional marriage by limiting it's definition to a man and a woman. I have spoken at length about the danger of loosening this definition in the name of accommodating those who seek to do so on a purely political or emotional basis, so I won't belabor that point here.

    The votes are in and all 3 states passed their ballot measures (gasp! even Kalee-foor-neea!). So marriage is safe in these states, at least for now...

    In listening to Rush Limbaugh, I picked up some interesting data on the voters who passed these measures broken down by race. Keep in mind when you read these numbers that the homosexual lobby has always sought to paint their community as the "new minority" and are constantly trying to draw comparisons between their struggle for "equal rights" and the civil rights struggle of blacks in the 1960's.

    Voting "Yes" to strictly define marriage:


    Whites: 51%
    Blacks: 70%


    Whites: 60%
    Blacks: 71%


    Whites/Hispanics: 55%
    Blacks: Yet to tally, but somewhat safe to assume similar results as other 2 states

    Effectively, these amendments to protect traditional marriage would not have passed without the black vote. Ironically, if Obama had not been on the ballot, the black vote may not have generated the numbers necessary to pass these amendments. The very community that the homosexual lobby wants so badly to be identified with has spoken loud and clear about whether they feel Gay Marriage is a civil rights issue or not.

    And so it shall be...

    Shock and Awe

    Wow, I was in my living room last night, kiddies freshly bathed and tucked in, ready for a late night of listening to the totals roll in. I was not prepared for the utter lack of suspense and voter mandate that was to usher in our next President elect. The people of America have certainly spoken, and loudly.


    Congratulations to President elect Barack Obama for running an effective campaign and captivating the hearts of millions of Americans with his message of a new kind of administration. The same congratulations goes out to his wife Michelle, who obviously was an outstanding source of encouragement and support. As for the Obama girls, it will be cool to see kids running around on the White House lawn. You said many time during your campaign that you wanted to, "Get to work for the American people", well here is your chance. Serve.


    It has already been said, and will likely be said many times more, that the historic nature of this event cannot and should not be ignored. We have just made a black man President of the United States of America for the 1st time in our history, and the reaction I saw and heard from people of all colors and walks of life last night on the news shows that this significance is certainly felt by all.

    A Class Act

    Senator John McCain made a concession speech that reflected his patriotism and class, and I am certain he has many years left in him working for America in the Senate. His refusal to really go negative was downright frustrating at times, but in the end I think he valued his integrity more than the win, which is admirable.

    What's Next

    For conservatives, my hope is that our representation will take this loss for what it is: a wake up call. The basic fact of the matter is, you cannot continue to call yourselves conservatives while at the same time spend like crazy, leave our borders wide open to terrorists, and in general NOT act conservative. One of my local Republican representatives went on last night with his reaction and said exactly what needed to be said: conservatives need to get back to traditional conservative values as demonstrated by Ronald Reagan. You all have 4 years to make some serious changes; GET TO WORK!

    Marriage Safe in California!

    Proposition 8, which added an amendment to the Constitution of California defining marriage as between one man and one woman, passed with flying colors with basically 54% of the voters voting "Yes". To be honest, I was more concerned about this issue than all other ballot issues, or even who would become President. I was astounded by the number of people in the media that were holding out hope that the proposition would be struck down. The votes for "Yes" lead in the count all night, but news folks kept saying, "It isn't over yet, there are still votes to be counted." This would seem reasonable enough, except they had no problem calling other propositions that were not as close. Even the Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, got on and said he would find it hard to believe Californians would pass such a measure that would "deny rights to people."

    That was the nature of the "No On 8" campaign; generalize and reduce marriage to a pronouncement of love and not a means for society to continue to exist through healthy relationships that naturally result in children. I know that is wrong, and it looks like most California voters agree with me.

    I am sure this is not over, as the homosexual lobby will not give up and are well financed. For now, the people have spoken.

    As for me...

    I will continue to watch the administration closely and keep calling and writing my representatives to make sure my voice is heard. You should do the same. I find comfort in the fact that ultimately it is God who appoints leaders over us, and that His wisdom is far above my own.