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.