Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gingrich cries in response to a question about his Mom...

GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich became emotional during a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa yesterday. The former Speaker's reaction came in response to a question from GOP pollster and strategist Frank Luntz. Watch the segment below:

I've watched this several times and I'm not finding it fully genuine.

First of all, for the question to come from Frank Luntz, makes it impossible to assume least in my eyes. Luntz knows exactly what he's doing and how various questions illicit various responses and how those responses effect audiences/viewers/VOTERS. Luntz is one of the very best in his field and has a supportive relationship with Gingrich. He goes back to the Contract With America days...

Second of all, I lost my own mother several years ago and certainly understand the range of emotions that go with a life changing loss such as that. For me, the tears ceased some time ago. That's not to suggest in anyway that I no longer think of her...I do, daily. Its also not to suggest I don't miss her. Again, I do. Its a function of time  that allows the raw emotions of her passing to evolve into something different. Something, for me less raw and more cerebral. More thoughtful. Perhaps its familiarity with her not being around anymore. I'm also not suggesting that how I cope with her loss is how every man should cope with the loss of his mother. Its an individual thing which short of producing some sort of dysfunctional behavior (can't work, sleep, eat, etc...) there are no real wrong or right ways to address it. We all find the path that best suits us and yields the most comfort.

What I find difficult to swallow is that with the death of his mother, Kit ten years ago, Gingrich had such a visceral response to the question Luntz sent his way. Gingrich is slumping badly in the polls, not really considered a threat to win the upcoming Iowa Caucus next week, and has seen a steady stream of opposition ads taking square aim at him over the same time period. Things aren't going well...again, for the Gingrich who endured troubles at the start of the GOP campaign last Spring.

Was this 100% genuine? Was it an attempt at a five run home run? A mix?

Gingrich knows he needs to do well before he gets to South Carolina and Florida. With the pressure of that, the importance of Iowa and New Hampshire is clear. New Hampshire is a tough one for Newt because its in Romney's back yard, plus Jon Huntsman has apparently made it his mission in life to come in the top two or three which leaves Gingrich realistically hoping for third place. Which leaves Iowa as an almost vital State to come in the top two spots. However, as of today's Des Moines Register latest poll, Gingrich is currently sitting in 4th place, just ahead of Rick Perry. That won't get it done. Also, don't forget, Gingrich doesn't have the ground game that Romney does and he damn sure doesn't have the cash either.

Weighing all of the above leads me to a place where I could see Gingrich needing a game changer. Luntz and Gingrich are experienced old pros at this game. In what might have never been spoken about openly, I think somehow a signal was sent from one camp to another that if a certain door was to be opened, I'll certainly walk through it.

I could be way off base, but my bottom line assessment of this is that while the emotions were likely real and genuine, the moment was manufactured.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best Defense of the Individual Mandate I've heard yet...

The Supreme Court of the United States has set aside time next Spring to hear arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act's Individual Mandate's constitutionality. Some say its an acceptable measure under the Commerce Clause, while others say its wrong to require citizens to purchase anything against their will. Plenty of smart minds on both sides have weighed in and it will be interesting to see how the Court winds up ruling.

Given the partisan, over-heated rhetoric about President Obama's health care reform, there is a segment of our population that feels the whole health care bill is a tremendously big government over-reach. A trampling of our Constitutional rights, if you will. A threat to our liberty and just another sign of the tyrannical leaders currently in power in Washington DC.

Many people have weighed in on the matter, including this gentleman, just three short years ago:

Take it away, Mr. Gingrich:

Maybe he'd say he was wrong them but right now, kind of like he's done with climate change recently, but its pretty damn fishy to me when someone pivots THIS hard in such a short time with no new empirical evidence as to why it would'nt work.

Like it or not, those of you who think Obama's a socialist because he wants the mandate have simply fallen for the joke, delivered so passionately by those on the far right. You've been used and at some point, its got to occur to some of you that it wasn't really done so to save our Country. Was it?

Now, if there are those of you who felt Mr. Gingrich was a Socialist bastard three years ago, then I applaud your position. The lame stream media certainly wasn't decrying the individual mandate as a potent threat to our Constitutional rights back in 08 because of what Gingrich said. It didn't get all scary until our President decided these voices from the Right, who thought of the mandate in the first place were right.

Why would that be?

Monday, December 26, 2011

C-Span's Brian Lamb reads viewer emails...

C-Span's founder, Brian Lamb was on my mind early this morning. I had my XM radio tuned to the radio feed of Cspan's morning show "Washington Journal," and his name came up. Recently, I've enjoyed Mr. Lamb's interviews on the Sunday night broadcast of Q&A. It's honestly hard for me to realize that Cspan has been around for almost 33 years or, since I graduated from high school. While its not for everyone, its broadcasting of our Government at work has been, at times, riveting television. Its also a wonderful archive source for research.

So, I wanted to read a bit more about Mr. Lamb's career and his network and I came across this video of him reading a few viewer emails he'd received after conservative talk show host Micheal Savage had received a "Freedom of Speech" award from Talker magazine back in May of 2007. Cspan did not carry the award presentation or Savages comments, which caused some frustration in the Savage nation. The clip below is just two minutes long but makes for highly entertaining viewing of Lamb reading a few gems on the air.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gingrich fails to qualify for GOP ballot in Virginia...Opportunity lost...

Gingrich fails to qualify for GOP ballot in Virginia...takes no responsibility...Opportunity lost...

"By now you've likely heard that our effort to gain access to the primary ballot in Virginia was not successful. This was not due to a lack of effort by our volunteers, but the cumbersome process in Virginia." - Michael Krull, National Campaign Director, Gingrich for President-2012

"Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action. Throughout the next months there will be ups and downs; there will be successes and failures; there will be easy victories and difficult days - but in the end we will stand victorious."  Statement from the Newt Gingrich Facebook page, 12/24/11) 

"My favorite political governing slogan for the next 20 years is 2+2=4. Simple, basic, honest facts." - Newt Gingrich, February 10th, 2011 CPAC Conference, Washington DC...

I find Newt Gingrich fascinating. 

Not to be confused with his party's halfwits (Palin, Bachmann, Cain, etc...) the former Speaker of the House has serious things to say. He is an idea man. He is smart. He is also terribly flawed, but who among us isn't? The difference is, of course, that most of us aren't running to be the next President of the United States. 

I've heard many liberals dismiss him as a crazy, untrustworthy, ego maniacal extremist who has zero chance of being elected. I also hear repeatedly that Gingrich would be the best debate foe the Republican Party could ask for to go up against Barack Obama. Both statements are somewhat true in my opinion, the former, less so than the latter. 

I don't think you can dismiss Gingrich in any way, shape or form. He's smart and has an impressive command over politics, policy and history which makes for a formidable candidate anyway you slice it. Yes, there are loose ends that may be his undoing, but we don't know how this plays out just yet. I can see dismissing Michelle  Bachmann or Herman Cain. Not Newt Gingrich...

When I read about his failure to successfully be placed on the Virginia GOP ballot I was stunned. We all know his campaign had a shaky start, but in the last six weeks the Gingrich campaign had roared to the top spot in several national polls. Its kind of where I felt he was supposed to be all along. Last Spring, I felt it would be a battle between Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for the party's nomination. T-Paw didn't last long, Romney is running a smart/safe campaign but the start Gingrich had was mind-boggling. Despite the rocky start, he's found his footing and had surged strongly back into contention. He matters again. 

This latest news, involving the State he's called home for the last ten years, is alarming. Almost as much as the statements being released, purportedly with his blessing, are. (I won't get into the nitty gritty on how he, along with fellow GOP hopefuls Perry, Bachmann, Santorum and Huntsman ALL did not qualify for the Virginia primary. Review the basic story here, here and how the Virginia General Assembly could approve emergency legislation to allow all the GOP hopefuls to participate in the primary here .) For the campaign to blame the process in Virginia doesn't speak well for the "personal responsibility" Ginigrich has always championed. Suggesting this event is analogous to the bombing of Pearl Harbor seventy years ago, where over two thousand Americans lost their lives is, well, nuts. Crazy, full goose bozo level nuts kind of talk. 

I think the over/under is about five days before Ron Paul or Mitt Romney folds this into a damning campaign ad. "Newt Gingrich thinks his not being on the Virginia is the same kind of tragedy as Pearl Harbor was. Really? How arrogant. Aren't we trying to get arriogance out of the White House? Elect Ron Paul for President..." Or how about this one? "Newt Gingrich blamed the State of Virginia for his campaign's failure to be on the primary ballot next year. Doesn't President Obama also blame others for his troubles, too? Yes, he does, doesn't he? We need Mitt Romney as our next President..."

It would've been so much more effective to show personal responsibility, admit blame and move on from this organisational failure and fight elsewhere, another day. For a candidate who is so critical of President Obama, it would've added to Gingrich's credibility. Consider his apparent willingness/eagerness to force judges to testify before Congress to explain their decisions should President Gingrich not agree with them, which is a true oddity of this campaign season. Gingrich gets some level of support for that in some quarters (plus a healthy dose of criticism on both sides.) Can you imagine if President Obama announced his intention at the next State of the Union speech in January to do the same thing? The world would simply explode. Tyranny and a New World Order coming right up, please.

Newt Gingrich must step up his discipline and quickly. The Romney machine isn't making these unforced errors and when the rubber hits the road, these kind of things matter in national level politics. Its more often perception than reality, I've been reminded countless times since Obama was sworn into office, that counts. If Gingrich's actions mostly equal what the public perception of him is, well- its a done deal. Say hello to our new President, Mr. Romney....

Opportunity lost. 


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gay community apologizes to Amy Koch for ruining her marriage - Minneapolis News - The Blotter

Gay community apologizes to Amy Koch for ruining her marriage - Minneapolis News - The Blotter:

We all knew sooner or later the gays would begin to destroy the traditional marriage vows of others. How naive we were to think otherwise, I guess...

Friends-Lock your doors, be careful who you and your significant loved one speak to. There are forces that we don't understand fully at work here. Like a tractor beam to Sin, be very, very careful where you go, what you do, who you talk to.

If it could happen to the good Mrs. Koch, it could happen to any of us.

We are powerless...

(Thanks to K. Linden for this...)

Political Ad: Ron Paul on Foreign Policy...

 Ron Paul doubles down on his statements in the last debate about how the United States should be advancing on Foreign Policy. I give him credit, he's faithful to his ideals and seems the most genuine candidate, perhaps including the incumbent President Obama. As I've said before, he's got almost zero chance at winning the Republican nomination next Summer. He'll do well in Iowa, but after that? Who knows?

This is the latest in effective campaign ads from the Ron Paul campaign. Visually riveting, the narrative describes who we as Americans might feel if the Chinese decided troops were necessary in Texas...for the sake of our Democracy...

Whoever is doing Paul's ad's is killing it right now...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ABC News - ABC News

ABC News - ABC News:

The latest unscientific survey on Presidential politics. This one's from ABC News and with a series of questions, aligns you with the candidate you most match up with. Included possibilities are the seven top Republican candidates as well as President Obama.

(Thanks to Adam Gadberry for this...)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The 'Israel Firster' brouhaha - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

The 'Israel Firster' brouhaha - Opinion - Al Jazeera English:

Interesting article that suggests a different foreign policy approach by Israel might produce a safer future for all...

Paul leads in Iowa - Public Policy Polling, 538 Blog...

Paul leads in Iowa - Public Policy Polling:

The latest PPP results reveal a continued slide for Newt Gingrich and good news for Ron Paul...

Ron Paul- 23%
Mitt Romney - 20%
Newt Gingrich - 14%
Rick Santorum - 10%
Michelle Bachmann - 10%
Rick Perry - 10%
Jon Huntsman - 4%

Paul is known for having the best ground game in Iowa of all the candidates. Gingrich, in the last two weeks, has seen his support fall from 27% to 22% to 14%.

The New York Times' Nate Silver's 538 Blog has the following projection:

Ron Paul- 24%
Mitt Romney - 21%
Newt Gingrich - 16%
Michelle Bachmann - 11%
Rick Perry - 11%
Rick Santorum - 10%
Jon Huntsman, misc - 7%

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Gingrich Dive | Talking Points Memo

The Gingrich Dive | Talking Points Memo:

Three different polls suggest that Newt Gingrich has possibly peaked and may fade away over the next few weeks or so...Nice short, punchy write-up from TPM....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thank You, Congressman Paul for having the guts to say what you did...

Ron Paul will not be the GOP nomination come next November. He will, in all likelihood, be long gone from the race.

Even if he was the nomination and running against Barack Obama, I'd probably not vote for him. However, of all the Republicans chasing the brass ring, he stands out as the most principled, most genuine politician in that group.

What I heard him say about our foreign policy last night moved me. If it was purely a choice between Paul and Obama on foreign policy, I would vote for him.

Watch this and realize how rare his kind is, and the guts it takes to say what needed to be said.

We should applaud him, not point and laugh...

Miniature Wunderland Video...

Miniature Wunderland, the worlds largest model train display is located in Hamburg, Germany. Its not like the model railroads we used to play with as kids. Its entirely another level, that almost defies belief.

It has more than thirty-seven thousand feet of track and the display itself takes up more than twelve thousand square feet.

Covering several different Countries, it impressively recreates in phenomenal detail cities, villages, sports stadiums, highways, harbors, airports and of course, railroads. A head shaking 890 trains, over 300,000 lights, 215,000 trees and 200,000 human figurines. The exhibit transitions from day to night to emulate a typical day. Its incredible.

Enjoy this video:

There are more videos on their website that I encourage you to check out.

(Thanks to Dave Elkin for the heads up)


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Light blogging till weekend...

I hope to have something up on tonight's GOP debate by tomorrow morning. Blogging is light until we get closer to Christmas as my performance schedule is at its heaviest of the year at this time.

Lots of idea I want to write about, just precious little time, I'm afraid...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mitt Romney on Gay Marriage/DOMA Video with gay Vietnam Vet...

Below is the video of the exchange between GOP candidate Mitt Romney and Vietnam Vet Bob Garon. The two had a short chat about how Romney feels about the rights of those who are gay and married to their partners.

Some of the buzz about this makes it out to be a pretty damning moment for Romney, I didn't really see that. Did the conversation go in the direction he (Romney) he figured it would? Probably not, but he wasn't overly disrespectful about it. The two men disagree, obviously and Garon says he won't be voting for Romney.

Watch it for yourself and decide how big a deal this is or isn't:

Gingrich Is Inspiring—and Disturbing -

Gingrich Is Inspiring—and Disturbing -

Compelling look at GOP candidate Newt Gingrich. Noonan explores the Yin and Yang of Gingrich. Is he a assertive, smart idea machine? Yes. Is he a political firecracker with the fuse lit? Yes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

President Obama: Wants you to be cool, too...

As the cold season begins to take hold over much of the Country, people are finding it more difficult to stay warm on those long, cold nights. And, its about to get worse.

With trimming wasteful spending out of the gorged Federal Budget, many different programs have seen funding reduced. One of these programs, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), is one such program. LIHEAP was part of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981, under President Reagan. The basic idea was that the Federal Government would supply each of the States with monies every year to help low income residents pay for their heating costs during Winter heating season, which runs from October through March annually. Its means tested, meaning an applicant has to prove through a verification of income. The income threshold to qualify for heating assistance is attached to the Federal Poverty guidelines is that the household income can not exceed 150% of the poverty level. For example, a family of four qualifies if they make less than $29, 025 a year. Before taxes, that's about $2,419 dollars a month or $558 dollars a week. Before taxes.

President Obama has a goal of reducing unnecessary and wasteful spending in the Federal Budget. Further, he has stated many times, that programs he likes have had to be cut back with funding because of the fiscal situation we're currently in. In tough times, you tighten your belt. I understand that. I think most of us do. In these politically charged times, it seems we're now arriving at a point where anything associated with the Federal Government, except for the Military, is a guilty pleasure. While I find that method of thinking to be short-sighted, the underlying idea is sound.

Specifically, the Obama Budget for fiscal 2012 has a reduction of Federal funding levels for LIHEAP that return to funding levels prior to the energy price spikes of late 2008 early 2009. Congress increased the amount of assistance for FY 2009-2011. That helped a lot of people. If we look at this graph from the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, you'll see LIHEAP was under-funded with relation to actual heating costs prior to 2009...

...Looking at the trajectory of the energy prices line, you can see the gap between the proposed 2012 budget allotments. The increased funding was late to the party and it seems, plans on leaving early.

Heating prices, especially heating fuel prices aren't dropping significantly, if at all. Heating fuel, is growing in price as we see in Figure 2:

With a greater need today, as a product of a prolonged high unemployment rate and generally weak economy, it seems to be the wrong time to reduce this program's funding. The pool of people and families that need help with seasonal heating costs is growing larger:

This is the wrong time and wrong program to harvest savings from in the Federal Budget.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Corzine Defends Tenure, Puzzles Over Missing Funds -

Corzine Defends Tenure, Puzzles Over Missing Funds -

Similarly I wonder why I'm not hearing much from my liberal friends about this story. Former Democratic Governor of New Jersey says "I simply do not know where the money is." The "money" is the 1.2 Billion in customer money during his time with MF Global Holdings, of which he was the CEO.

If we hammer Conservatives when they do this stuff, we have to do the same for Liberals as well.

Air Force: Remains of service members went to landfill - Charles Hoskinson -

Air Force: Remains of service members went to landfill - Charles Hoskinson -

Disturbing story that seems to have fallen under the radar of most of my conservative friends. Call me a cynic, but I wonder if they'd be so quite if this had happened under President Obama's watch?

This practice was happening between 2003 and 2008, when George W. Bush was in office.

Its safe to say Bush had no knowledge of this or he would've stopped immediately.

I think if Obama had been POTUS, and this came out, the calls for his head would be deafening.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Obama Daughters' School Features Japanese-Inspired Lunch Menu On Pearl Harbor Day | Fox News

Obama Daughters' School Features Japanese-Inspired Lunch Menu On Pearl Harbor Day | Fox News:

This matters because President Obama instructs his girls private schools on what their lunch menu should be each day or something?

What will this man think of next? How clever!

You can always count on Fox News for their penetrating journalism and analysis. They never let me down...

Nursing Home Margins Could Go Negative If Further Cuts Happen: New Study

Nursing Home Margins Could Go Negative If Further Cuts Happen: New Study:

if true, its a curious place to target for financing (albeit partially) the doc fix...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Health care law changing behavior –

Health care law changing behavior –

"More than 2.65 million Medicare recipients have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions this year, a $569-per-person average, while premiums have remained stable..."

Attributable to the Affordable Care Act's addressing of the donut hole for Seniors. Works out to be about an extra $50 bucks back in their pockets, which certainly comes in handy.

As an aside, do remember that all the GOP front-runners for their party's nomination for President have pledged to repeal the ACA, which means savings like this might disappear.

That Unemployment Drop - Charlie Cook -

That Unemployment Drop - Charlie Cook -

“Is it real or is it an outlier?”

Monday, December 5, 2011

Unemployment rate falls to 8.6 percent in November, raising hopes for growth - The Washington Post

Unemployment rate falls to 8.6 percent in November, raising hopes for growth - The Washington Post:

Yes, the 8.6% number is a nice number on its surface, there are still many reasons to not break out the bubbly.

1) Some 350,000 people left the labor workforce, meaning people who have looked so long in vain, they've stopped looking. Those people just aren't being counted anymore. Hardly a victory...

2) Of the new jobs, 50,000 of them are retail sector jobs, many of which may be seasonal hires for the Holidays. These jobs may not exists come January...

3) As many signs point toward a slow, steady recovery with the economy, if people who have left the workforce decide to resume looking for work again, they'll be added back into the computations, which will likely increase the overall unemployment rate.

Bottom line, yes, it's a nice number that President Obama can gently refer to over the next few weeks as some good news. I'll need to see a pattern of sustained improvement over a period of a few months before I get too excited. I think the chances are higher that the unemployment rates increases in the first quarter of 2012 than it decreases.

Mysterious blasts, slayings suggest covert efforts in Iran -

Mysterious blasts, slayings suggest covert efforts in Iran -

Are Israel and the United States working together to derail the Iranian Nuclear ambitions?

Good read....

Herman Cain to endorse Newt Gingrich today...

Herman Cain likely to endorse Newt Gingrich today... 

(UPDATE: It appears the endorsement isn't being made today. I still believe its coming in the next week or so.)

Various news sources are reporting that Herman Cain will endorse former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination for President later today. Cain suspended his own campaign Saturday afternoon after repeated allegations by a handful of women destroyed his stature in the GOP polls. The latest, an accusation of a 13 year affair with Ginger White, emerged in the media last week. 

Gingrich's own campaign has seem a major course correction over the last few weeks moving from single digits in most polls to front-runner status. Of the upcoming first four primaries (NH, IA, SC and FL) the former Speaker holds leads in the later three. Winning 3 of the first 4 primaries would give Gingrich a strategic advantage heading down the primary path through the Winter and early Spring. 

Various news reports on Cain's upcoming endorsement of Gingrich:

Fox NewsHuffington Post , Washington Post, The Hill, Newsmax...

The announcement is expected mid-day...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Herman Cain suspends campaign. Cites lies and false accusations/family pain as motivation...

Rick Santorum runs full page ad in Iowa newspapers...

GOP hopeful Rick Santorum is running full page ads in various Iowa newspapers as the Iowa Caucus draws closer. Here is the text from his ad: 


Not on my watch!

A number of Republican leaders have suggested that the best way to win back the White House is to call a truce on talking about social issues.  Issues like abortion, marriage, school prayer, and immigration. In my book that’s not a truce…it’s a surrender!  

The day we stop fighting for the unborn child, or fighting to protect the sanctity of marriage, expel God from public, or decide we will no longer enforce the laws of our land, is the day we surrender all our founding fathers created. I believe what makes America exceptional is not just our economic potential or our remarkable innovation, but the fact that we are a moral enterprise.  As President, I will protect America's moral foundation, empower American families and build America's economic freedom.  And I won’t compromise on my values to do it.


Author of the bill that ended partial birth abortions in America.

Named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America.

Washington Post called Rick Santorum a “Tea Party guy before the Tea Party even existed,” for his efforts fighting corruption in Congress, and returning to Constitutional government.

Founded bipartisan House/Senate working group on religious liberty.

Co-authored and fought for the only vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment in the US Senate.

Rick was an author and floor manager of the landmark Welfare Reform Act that moved millions from welfare to work.

Rick was a leader on US - Israel relations, authored legislation to stop the growing nuclear threat from Iran, and has led the fight to protect America from Islamic radicals.

Rick is the best-selling author of It Takes a Family. Rick and his wife Karen have home-schooled each of their children. Has passionately fought for a balanced budget amendment, and to take the immoral debt off the backs of our children.


The Conservative’s Choice for President

Join the Fight at RICKSANTORUM.COM


A history of fighting for our values.



Herman Cain: We should know today if he stays in the race...

"It's been fun, everyone!"

The Herman Cain drama will have another chapter written later today when the embattled candidate for the Republican nomination for President announces whether or not he will continue to stay in the race.

There's been no shortage of coverage on Cain's issues over the last month or so. I wrote that I felt he should quit several days ago. Nothing has happened since then to change my mind.

In terms of predicting what will happen today, I say its 65-35 that he'll suspend his campaign. Remember, he's been exposed as having other weaknesses besides women.

Its stunning to me that Cain didn't vet himself more honestly before he began to spend other people's money to pursue a prize that he'll never possess. I've heard more than one interview with people that have interviewed him from both sides of the political spectrum that suggest this was more of a subsidized book tour and audition for Fox News than it was ever a serious presidential campaign.

Political Ad: Ron Paul attacks Newt Gingrich...

Congressman and GOP hopeful Ron Paul, of Texas, has released an political attack ad on fellow Republican candidate Newt Gingrich. Employing the season's standard editing techniques, quick shots, urgent/stressed musical score underneath, etc., it focuses solely on Mr. Gingrich.

Mr. Paul is not heard in the spot...


I found it to be very powerful.

Perhaps Mr. Gingrich can give Mr. Paul some feedback on this spot a week from tonight, at the next GOP Debate, which is scheduled for 9:00pm, December 10th, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. Co-sponsored by ABC News, ABC-5/WOI-DT, The Des Moines Register and the Republican Party of Iowa.

At Center of Penn State Scandal, Jerry Sandusky Tells His Own Story -

At Center of Penn State Scandal, Jerry Sandusky Tells His Own Story -

This man is accused of some pretty horrific things. This is interesting to hear/read him giving his side of the story.

Worth a read...

Friday, December 2, 2011

President Obama's Christmas Tree remarks...

President Obama's remarks at the annual lighting of the national Christmas Tree last night:

Remarks by the President at Lighting of the National Christmas Tree

The Ellipse

5:31 P.M. EST
        THE PRESIDENT:  It’s nice having your own band.  Please have a seat, everyone.  Merry Christmas!  Merry Christmas!
        Thank you, Secretary Salazar, for that introduction and for your hard work to preserve and protect our land and our water and our wildlife.  I also want to thank Minister Rogers for the beautiful invocation, as well as Neil Mulholland and everyone at the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service who helped put this outstanding event together.  I’d like to thank Carson Daly and Big Time Rush, and all of tonight’s performers for joining us to kick off the holiday season here at the White House.
        For 89 years, Presidents and Americans have come together to light the National Christmas Tree.  And this year is a special one.  This year, we have a brand new tree.  The last one stood here for more than 30 years -- until we lost it in a storm earlier this year.  But we all know that this tradition is much larger than any single tree.  And tonight, once again, we gather here not simply to light some decorations, but to honor a story that lights the world.
        More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among the cattle and the sheep.  But this was not just any child.  Christ’s birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar.  He was a manifestation of God’s love for us.  And He grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful:  that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves.  
        That teaching has come to encircle the globe.  It has endured for generations.  And today, it lies at the heart of my Christian faith and that of millions of Americans.  No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it’s a message that can unite all of us on this holiday season.  
        So long as the gifts and the parties are happening, it’s important for us to keep in mind the central message of this season, and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but also in our deeds.  In this season of hope, let’s help those who need it most –- the homeless, the hungry, the sick and shut in.  In this season of plenty, let’s reach out to those who struggle to find work or provide for their families.  In this season of generosity, let’s give thanks and honor to our troops and our veterans, and their families who've sacrificed so much for us.  And let’s welcome all those who are happily coming home.  (Applause.)  
        And this holiday season, let us reaffirm our commitment
        to each other, as family members, as neighbors, as Americans, regardless of our color or creed or faith.  Let us remember that we are one, and we are a family.
        So on behalf of Malia and Sasha and Michelle and our grandmother-in-chief, Marian -- (laughter) -- I wish you all the happiest holiday season, the merriest of Christmases.  God bless you all, and may God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)
        And with that, I'm going to invite the entire Obama clan up here to light the Christmas tree.  I need some help, and there's a lot of technical aspects to this.  (Laughter.)  Come on, guys.  (Applause.)  All right.  
        Okay, we're going to start counting down here.  We've got the switch right here.
        MRS. OBAMA:  All right, come on.
        THE PRESIDENT:  Everybody ready?  And this is the new tree.  I know it's not quite as big as the old tree, but it's going to take time to grow.  But we're going to fill it up with some  spirit and start a new tradition right now.
        All right, everybody ready?  We're going to start counting down.  Five, four, three, two, one -- (applause.)  There you go.  That's a good-looking tree.  Thank you, everyone.
END 5:35 P.M. EST

School Apologizes for Operation Christmas Child Message | FOX News & Commentary: Todd Starnes

School Apologizes for Operation Christmas Child Message | FOX News & Commentary: Todd Starnes:

An elementary school charitable project of making gift shoe-boxes for under privileged children around the world included giving the kids making the boxes a questionnaire. A question on the form as the kids to complete this sentence:

"I love Jesus because__________."

If this is a private school, I'm not even writing about it. But its not.

Unless its being done as part of an academic presentation, it doesn't belong. It wasn't necessary to the project as far as I can see, so we're left to wonder what the motivation was to include a question like that. The project was sponsored by a group called Samantha's Purse, which is run by Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham. The Graham's might be, in some eyes as the religious first family of this Country. While organised religion isn't my bag, I have some respect for Billy Graham. He's been around forever, met with several Presidents going back dozens of years and has, in general, avoided the scandalous side of his profession.

That said, it shouldn't have been included in the project's paperwork. Not in a public school. 

Reasonable Conversation passes ten thousand hits...

A few days ago, the Reasonable Conversation Blog went past the ten thousand hit mark. This seemed like a good time to pause and thanks the readers who have made RC a stop along their daily internet journeys.

Traffic to the blog appears to be picking up steam. Back in early September, when we marked the 5,000th hit, we averaged about 280 hits a week or 40 hits per day. The trend since then is closer to 430 hits a week / 62 hits a day, which is about a 55% increase in traffic.

I've been told over and over again that building readership takes time. I also pay a price by not advocating for a hard line political position. If I was far right or far left, I could trash the other side on a daily basis and score, what I feel are, cheap points. From a base position of slightly to the left, I'm not bound to a rigid rhetorical base, which leaves me plenty of journalistic room to slide right or left depending on how I feel about an issue.

With almost 350 posts to the blog, I think I've stayed on track with my original goal. Which was to be fair-minded and reasonable as I comment on various issues. A few of you have commented that I'm not reasonable for this position or that, and I'm not surprised. What I consider a reasonable stance may not jive with what another person may feel is reasonable. I think that's to be expected. All in all, I feel good about where I am today opinion wise.

Its also a good time to look back and share with you the most popular posts (by hits) Reasonable Conversation has had so far in its seven months of existence:

The top five:

1) Relax: Asthma Inhalers NOT being banned... (284 views)

2) Honor them by what? Posting on facebook? Nah... (222 views)

3) Is the Department of Veteran's Affair's banning the use of God at Military Funerals? (210 views)

4) Drug testing for Welfare recipients: Good or bad? (200 views)

5) With friends like you, who needs enemies? (Or, how to totally fuck up anti-bullying legislation) (184 views)


Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to read something here at Reasonable Conversation. Looking forward to a great Holiday season and an exciting new year in 2012. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Health Care reform still not popular as a package, but components are...

Results from the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

The Affordable Care Act is still not very popular, yet broken into its component parts, the individual parts are viewed favorably. The article looks at the current public perception of the ACA, with some very interesting findings.

Bottom line is public opinion hasn't changed very much since the Bill was signed into law. Also, the public has several clear misunderstandings on what the law does and does not do.

I've said it before but it bears repeating. The marketing job of this legislation was pathetic. The education of the American public has essentially failed, on a grand level. The blame falls mostly on the Obama Administration, with lesser blame at the feet of conservative media, which has led a very successful campaign of negative and fearful coverage.


Pike church takes stand against interracial couples | Faith & Values |

Pike church takes stand against interracial couples | Faith & Values |

Amazing story...

Michigan Senate Does the Right Thing Re: Anti-Bullying Law...

The good people in the Michigan State Senate have agreed to drop their anti-bullying Bill and adopt the House version. I wrote back on November 11th, 2011 about this. The controversy was the Republican controlled Senate's version which included language that some called a "license to bully." The phrase "sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction" was interpreted by some as problematic, to the point of possibly permitting some harassment by teachers and/or students.

As I said then, I think both Parties played politics with this, which is pitiful. I suspect the American Family Association of Michigan will not be pleased, but overall, a good thing has been done.

"Matt's Safe School Law" will now proceed to the Governor Rick Snyder's desk for signature.

No need to review all the points made in the original post, please go back and review them if you wish.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And Now a Word from Newt Gingrich and a friend...

Just seemed like time to post this:


Cain is Not Able...

Cain is Not Able...

Herman Cain has a problem.

So far, through all the various accusations brought forth by various women, he's denied, denied, denied any wrong-doing. Its a strategy that appears to have mostly worked. His campaign is still operational, but clearly viewed in a  worse light than six weeks ago. He's dipped in most of the national polls, but I think that's more attributable to his 9-9-9 economic policy, which independent evaluations have concluded would be quite tough on the poor. There's also concerns that Congress could too easily increase his 9% National Sales Tax and we'd wind up in a situation like Europe sees with theirs. (Started low, but grew over time...) His decline in the polls has also been exacerbated by his recent interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where his responses to a fairly straightforward question on Libya were perplexing to say the least. He also canceled a scheduled sit-down with New Hampshire's largest newspaper, the New Hampshire Union Leader, earlier this month, after the Sentinel interview was released, which looked terrible. (Newt Gingrich has won the paper's much sought after endorsement.)

Now another woman, Ginger White of Atlanta, has come forward to an Atlanta television station with an allegation that she and Mr. Cain had a 14 year affair. Ms. White, according to WAGA, also provided telephone records that showed calls and texts from Cain's private cell phone number. Several of them. Actually, a lot of them over the last four months. 61 total calls or text messages over a roughly 120 day span, which is an average of 1 every other day. Mr. Cain admits to knowing Ginger White and claims he had been trying to help her with finding a job.

Is he telling the truth? I don't know, but the saying where's there's smoke, there's fire comes to mind. With as busy as you'd expect a guy who's running for President of the United States to be, I would think an issue like finding someone else a job would fall to the back burner.

Cain appeared yesterday afternoon on CNN and in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, claimed to know the accuser, describing her as a acquaintance and a friend. He denied any suggestion of an affair. "I did not have an affair" Cain said.

Cain's attorney, Lin Wood, released a statement from the campaign after the interview:

"This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace -- this is not an accusation of an assault -- which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate," he said. "Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults -- a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public."

"No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life," Wood said. "The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door."

The statement was confusing in that it basically suggests this isn't anyone's business, yet moments before its release, Mr. Cain appeared on national television and was quite willing to discuss it with Blitzer. Clearly they weren't on the same page so yet again the campaign looks disorganized, incompetent and amateurish. As news of the telephone records spreads, this makes things rough for the campaign to move on. He either has to find a way to discredit the telephone company's records quickly or convince us that, perhaps someone else was using his cell phone to communicate with Ms. White.

That will not be easy.

Is it time for Herman Cain to step away from the campaign? Probably. Even without this latest scandal, Cain was going to have an uphill fight. I think the cream is rising to the top of the GOP field and the notion that a lifelong businessman, who has never held office, could bring down both a former Governor of Massachusetts and long-time businessman in Mitt Romney and the current shooting star, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is highly unlikely to me. Romney and Gingrich have been through many, many political races and wars.

Another issue that may suggest Cain should quit is fundraising. In the 3rd quarter reports, Cain came in fifth with  a reported $2.8 Million dollars in contributions. Rick Perry reported a whopping 17 Million in fundraising,  Mitt Romney 14 Million, Ron Paul 3.8M and Michelle Bachmann 4.1M. Cain's figure also includes a personal loan to the campaign from the candidate himself for $175,000.

The Cain campaign reported an increase in campaign donations after the first wave of allegations of sexual misconduct/affairs/etc. How this latest accusation will effect fundraising remains to be seen. I think there's a limit to the generosity of supporters, especially when this latest matter matures in the media. It's less than 24 hours old, so the non-stop news cycles still have a way to go before they tire of it. If the phone records aren't proven wrong quickly, the media pressure will only build.

I wrote a column back in June about New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. The gist of which was that he should resign sooner rather than later to minimize the harm his personal scandal was causing the Democratic Party, especially in New York state. My reasoning was that Weiner was held in high regard by many in the upper circles of Democrat politics. There were suggestions that Weiner could win the mayoral contest in New York City if he so desired. If he played ball and left office. Go dark for a while. Let things settle down, work on his image and potentially return to open arms in a few years. Refuse and he did so at his own professional peril.

I think Herman Cain should seriously consider dropping out of the race for many of the same reasons.

He made a favorable impression in his first foray on the national political stage. There's plenty there to work with and if he's willing to do what former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin wasn't, (educate one's self on the various weak links in their policy arsenals), Cain could emerge again in the future and be a  factor once again. One drawback is his age. Herman Cain will be five weeks short of sixty-six when the next Presidential election is held. Which means he would be 70 if he wanted to run for POTUS once more. That's unlikely, I admit. However, lessor positions, in a new Republican controlled Administration would be possible as soon as early 2013. (Secretary of Commerce, anyone?) His usefullness to his Party is on very shaky ground at this moment.

Its difficult to build a convincing argument where Cain runs the gauntlet and wins the Party nomination next summer. If you can't see a clear path to victory, then stepping away is a legitimate plan. The intensity of scrutiny factor diminishes rapidly should he leave the race. Not entirely, mind you, but if you're not in the race, the interest in you goes way down. Whatever shot he had at the beginning was probably sunk before he even declared his candidacy. Cain had to know there were these figures in his past that people would eventually dig up and report on. The Press is too expert at investigating public figures these days to not find out parts of a life Cain didn't want to deal with. If he thought they wouldn't find them, then he's fatally naive.

Profoundly naive.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Newt Gingrich Inc.: How the GOP hopeful went from political flameout to fortune - The Washington Post

Newt Gingrich Inc.: How the GOP hopeful went from political flameout to fortune - The Washington Post:

Great article on how Newt Gingrich went from Lazarus to the top group of Republican hopefuls. A story of reinvention.

GOP Debate Schedule for December...

GOP Debate Schedule for December...

The month of December has two GOP debates on the schedule. After a busy November which see the Republican hopefuls get together five times over just seventeen days, things slow down as we approach the Christmas Holiday. Consider it a breather before a very busy January which sees a total of six debates over nineteen days.

The first will be held on Saturday, December 10th at 9:00pm at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. It is co-sponsored by ABC News, ABC-5/WOI-DT, The Des Moines Register and the Republican Party of Iowa.

The other debate in December is scheduled for Thursday, December 15th at 9:00pm at the Sioux City Convention Center in Sioux City, Iowa. It is sponsored by Fox News and the Republican Party of Iowa.

Once we hit 2012, we start seeing the various State Caucuses and Primaries taking place. In January, kicking things off, will be the first four:

January 3rd - Iowa Caucus
January 10th - New Hampshire Primary
January 21st - South Carolina
January 31st - Florida

February has six votes planned, with twenty scheduled for March. At that point, 30 of 50 Republican Caucuses/Primaries will have been held and we'll be well on our way to knowing who the GOP nomination for president will be come next November.

What is the difference you ask between a Caucus and a State Primary? Let's ask

"In presidential campaigns, a caucus is a system of local gatherings where voters decide which candidate to support and select delegates for nominating conventions. A primary is a statewide voting process in which voters cast secret ballots for their preferred candidates."

For more detailed info, please click through...


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blogging will be light for another day or so....

Taking some time off with the family and working on quite a bit of Holiday music. RC will be back up and running probably by Tuesday or Wednesday. Not a prolonged absence, just a few days to be with loved ones and prepare for my Holiday performances...


Friday, November 25, 2011


Guess I wasn't the only guy out there that missed President Obama's Thanksgiving Proclamation that included references to God...

While the remarks made for that day did not include God, his official proclamation a few days earlier, did. If you report that Obama left out God from the remarks made on the actual Holiday, it does warrant mentioning that his earlier proclamation did include it.

HUFFPO  did not mention it....

Nor did Gawker....

Calamaties of Nature for November 25, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Week edition:

(Click on image to enlarge)

See more smart humor at Calamities of Nature

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa....

President Obama, sometimes his own worst enemy...

Look harder next time, will you?

UPDATE: Below is a fairly extensive post that cites every President's Thanksgiving Day proclamation since Abraham Lincoln made it official in 1863. Also, at the end, is a fairly short commentary where I take President Obama to task for not referencing God in his remarks. Buzzing around the internet this evening were reports that Obama had offended many by not including God in his weekly address.

I searched the White House website for this year's proclamation and didn't see it in my first sweep. I compared, unfairly I should add, Obama's weekly address with other's proclamations. Turns out that President Obama did include references to God in his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.

 As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives.  Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.

The Original post is still intact below, but my entire premise is shot. I should've looked harder for his proclamation. I just missed it...

Mea Culpa...


Since George Washington, United States Presidents offered remarks of thanksgiving at various points of their tenure in office. President Abraham Lincoln officially began our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration in late November 1863 with a proclamation making it a Federal Holiday.

An excerpt from Lincoln's Proclamation:

"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."

Typically, all Presidents since Lincoln have offered up remarks or a proclamation toward Thanksgiving. Usually, they also include a reference to God within those remarks. Here's a snippet from each POTUS since old Abe's...

Ulysses S Grant, 1869: 

Therefore I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, do recommend that Thursday, the 18th day of November next, be observed as a day of thanksgiving and of praise and of prayer to Almighty God, the creator and the ruler of the universe; and I do further recommend to all the people of the United States to assemble on that day in their accustomed places of public worship and to unite in the homage and praise due to the bountiful Father of All Mercies and in fervent prayer for the continuance of the manifold blessings he has vouchsafed to us as a people...
Rutherford B.Hayes, 1877: 

Under a sense of these infinite obligations to the Great Ruler of Times and Seasons and Events, let us humbly ascribe it to our own faults and frailties if in any degree that perfect concord and happiness, peace and justice, which such great mercies should diffuse through the hearts and lives of our people do not altogether and always and everywhere prevail. Let us with one spirit and with one voice lift up praise and thanksgiving to God for His manifold goodness to our land, His manifest care for our nation.

Chester Arthur, 1881:

I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States, do recommend that all the people observe Thursday, the 24th day of November instant, as a day of national thanksgiving and prayer, by ceasing, so far as may be, from their secular labors and meeting in their several places of worship, there to join in ascribing honor and praise to Almighty God, whose goodness has been so manifest in our history and in our lives, and offering earnest prayers that His bounties may continue to us and to our children.

Grover Cleveland, 1888:

"The American people have always abundant cause to be thankful to Almighty God, whose watchful care and guiding hand have been manifested in every stage of their national life, guarding and protecting them in time of peril and safely leading them in the hour of darkness and of danger...It is fitting and proper that a nation thus favored should on one day in every year, for that purpose especially appointed, publicly acknowledge the goodness of God and return thanks to Him for all His gracious gifts."

Benjamin J. Harrison, 1889:

A highly favored people, mindful of their dependence on the bounty of Divine Providence, should seek fitting occasion to testify gratitude and ascribe praise to Him who is the author of their many blessings. It behooves us, then, to look back with thankful hearts over the past year and bless God for His infinite mercy in vouchsafing to our land enduring peace, to our people freedom from pestilence and famine, to our husbandmen abundant harvests, and to them that labor a recompense of their toil.

William McKinley, 1897: 

In remembrance of God's goodness to us during the past year, which has been so abundant, "let us offer unto Him our thanksgiving and pay our vows unto the Most High." Under His watchful providence industry has prospered, the conditions of labor have been improved, the rewards of the husbandman have been increased, and the comforts of our homes multiplied. His mighty hand has preserved peace and protected the nation. Respect for law and order has been strengthened, love of free institutions cherished, and all sections of our beloved country brought into closer bonds of fraternal regard and generous cooperation.

Theodore Roosevelt, 1901: 

The season is nigh when, according to the time-hallowed custom of our people, the President appoints a day as the especial occasion for praise and thanksgiving to God...Now, Therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt,President of the United States, do hereby designate as a day of general thanksgiving Thursday, the 28th of this present November, and do recommend that throughout the land the people cease from their wonted occupations, and at their several homes and places of worship reverently thank the Giver of all good for the countless blessings of our national life.

William Howard Taft, 1909:

It is altogether fitting that we should humbly and gratefully acknowledge the Divine source of these blessings. Therefore,I hereby appoint Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of November, as a day of general thanksgiving, and I call upon the people on that day, laying aside their usual vocations, to repair to their churches and unite in appropriate services of praise and thanks to Almighty God.

Woodrow Wilson, 1913:

The season is at hand in which it has been our long respected custom as a people to turn in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for his manifold mercies and blessings to us as a nation. The year that has just passed has been marked in a peculiar degree by manifestations of His gracious and beneficent providence.

Warren G. Harding, 1921: 

The season is at hand in which it has been our long respected custom as a people to turn in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for his manifold mercies and blessings to us as a nation. The year that has just passed has been marked in a peculiar degree by manifestations of His gracious and beneficent providence.

Calvin Coolidge, 1923: 

Wherefore, I, Calvin Coolidge,President of the United States, do hereby fix and designate Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of November, as Thanksgiving Day, and recommend its general observance throughout the land. It is urged that the people, gathering in their homes and their usual places of worship, give expression to their gratitude for the benefits and blessings that a gracious Providence has bestowed upon them, and seek the guidance of Almighty God, that they may deserve a continuance of His favor.

Herbert Hoover, 1929:

Now, Therefore, I, Herbert Hoover,President of the United States of America, do appoint and set aside Thursday, the twenty-eighth day of November, as a day of National Thanksgiving, and do recommend that all our people on that day rest from their daily work that they should extend to others less fortunately placed, a share in their abundance, and that they gather at their accustomed places of worship, there to render up thanks to Almighty God for His many blessings upon them, for his forbearance and goodness.

Franklin D. Roosevelt. 1933:

I, Franklin D. Roosevelt,President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November, 1933, to be a Day of Thanksgiving for all our people. May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.

Harry S. Truman, 1945:

Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman,President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, do hereby proclaim Thursday November 22, 1945, as a day of national thanksgiving. May we on that day, in our homes and in our places of worship, individually and as groups, express our humble thanks to Almighty God for the abundance of our blessings and may we on that occasion rededicate ourselves to those high principles of citizenship for which so many splendid Americans have recently given all.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953:

As a nation much blessed, we feel impelled at harvest time to follow the tradition handed down by our Pilgrim Fathers of pausing from our labors for one day to render thanks to Almighty God for His bounties. Now that the year is drawing to a close, once again it is fitting that we incline our thoughts to His mercies and offer to Him our special prayers of gratitude.

John F. Kennedy, 1961:

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord."

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963:

"...let us gather in our homes and in our places of worship and in other suitable places to give thanks to God for His graciousness and His generosity to us-to pledge to Him our everlasting devotion-to beseech His divine guidance and the wisdom and strength to recognize and follow that guidance--and to pray to Him that the forces of evil, violence, indifference, intolerance, and inhumanity may soon vanish from the face of the earth and that peace, reason, understanding, and goodwill may reign supreme throughout the world."

Richard M. Nixon, 1969:

Throughout our history, Americans have celebrated this day in both a spiritual and festive fashion, rejoicing in the blessings bestowed upon them by our Creator.

Gerald Ford, 1974: 

It is a time when the differences of a diverse people are forgotten and all Americans join in giving thanks to God for the blessings we share - the blessings of freedom, opportunity and abundance that make America so unique.

Jimmy Carter, 1979:

Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter,President of the United States of America, do proclaim Thursday, the 22nd of November, 1979 as Thanksgiving Day. I ask all Americans to give thanks on that day for the blessings Almighty God has bestowed upon us, and seek to be good stewards of what we have received.

Ronald Reagan, 1981: 

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in 1981, we should reflect on the full meaning of this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do as individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance.

George H.W. Bush, 1989:

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush,President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 1989, as a National Day of Thanksgiving, and I call upon the American people to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings God has bestowed upon us and our Nation.

Bill Clinton, 1994:

On Thanksgiving Day, we set aside our daily routines to acknowledge the bounty and mercy of Divine Providence.

George W. Bush, 2001: 

As we recover from the terrible tragedies of September 11, Americans of every belief and heritage give thanks to God for the many blessings we enjoy as a free, faithful, and fair-minded land.

Barack Obama, 2010: 

As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation...As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God.


I found just three Thanksgiving Day remarks by all the Presidents since Lincoln that did NOT include a direct reference to God. Richard Nixon in 1969, Jimmy Carter in 1978 and now, Barack Obama in 2011.

Given the tenuous position Mr. Obama currently calls his own in the polls, it would not seem to be prudent to take such a road less traveled, with regard to using a reference to God in your Thanksgiving Day remarks. Adding a short line or two would not have detracted from your main message whatsoever, and would prevented the media frenzy that is beginning to grow.

This is a small thing. I just can't see how you felt this was the wise way to handle this. Its small, yes...but clumsy. Don't give your opponents something so delightfully easy to skew you with.

I've said this before about President Obama and I'll said it again. He must knock off the silly stuff if he hopes to get re-elected in 2012. This was self inflicted and totally unnecessary.