Christina Is My Hero

I have been avoiding discussing politics on my blog intentionally.  I have been avoiding it like the plague.  I have been, metaphorically, biting my tongue until it bleeds.

But then I am reminded of the character, Faber, in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 who spends much of his life regretting the fact that he saw what was happening to his society and sat back and did nothing.  He didn’t speak up because he didn’t want to get involved, he just wanted to stay out of it and go on with his life.  Harrumph.

I don’t want to get involved in all the rudeness and nastiness that comes with politics.  But then I see on Christina’s blog that she is posting videos that I have been sitting on, vacillating back and forth (for weeks on one) on whether or not to post them here.  She is not sitting back and doing nothing.  She is speaking out.  She is my hero.  Not that there aren’t others who have been doing the same, because there are.  Yay others!  It’s just that I relate to Christina’s reluctance to dive into the muddy water, but here I go.

I’ll be honest:  I am not a huge McCain fan.  Once again I feel like the American public is being asked to choose between the lesser of two evils, and I am tired of having to make that choice.  So. Very. Tired.  However, I think it is abundantly clear that McCain is, by far, the lesser of the two evils this time.  By miles and miles and miles.

I don’t understand the liberal mindset that longs for the socialist policies espoused by the democrats.  I just don’t understand it.  You do understand, don’t you, that the more dependent you allow yourself to become on the government (whether it is health care, housing, or teaching your kids about sex), the more power you are giving them over you, the more freedom you are voluntarily handing over?  You do understand, don’t you, that socialist policies are a disincentive to the capable members of society?  Because they are the ones who will have to work the hardest to support the weight of those who will choose to live off the sweat of others.  And they will choose that.  Many already do.  I’ve seen it up close and in person.  Many people who could be capable of supporting themselves turn to the current government programs instead.  If we increase the government programs we increase the incentive to pass the buck of one’s very existence.  Eventually even the most capable, the most driven, will give up in defeat, tired of supporting the weight of the world on their shoulders, and then where will we be?

Ayn Rand didn’t call her novel Atlas Shrugged for nothing.  Atlas will shrug.

I also don’t understand the Obama worship.  Not at all.  And it scares me.  A lot.  No, not my lack of understanding (I’m actually quite glad I can’t understand it, because if I could then I would be a person I wouldn’t want to be).  No, I don’t understand the worship.  He has virtually no experience, he has scary, scary ideas (did you see the videos Chris posted? you must!), he has questionable ties to more than questionable people, he is directly linked to key players in the current financial crisis.  And I’m not talking about key players who are trying to clean it up (whoever the hell they may be – all those chickens running around with no heads . . .), no, I mean key players who caused it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying McCain is our savior.  By no means am I saying that!  But at least a McCain presidency would forestall, for a while, our nation’s descent into socialism, which is just the first bump in the slide on our way to communism.

Yep, there, I said it.  Because that is what will happen.  As we encourage increased dependence on our federal government, individual independence, responsibility and accountability will wane to the point that the bulk of our society won’t know how to take care of themselves even if they decide they want to.  They won’t know how to run businesses.  They won’t know how to govern.  They won’t know how to be leaders.  They won’t know how to be civilized.  And if you think about it, think really, really hard about it, we have seen this in practice in our country, on a somewhat localized scale, in an isolated situation, in the past few years.  People needed to take care of themselves, and they didn’t.  They relied on the government to tell them what to do, but the (local) government acted too late.  Then they waited on the (federal) government to take care of the fallout and acted despicably, irresponsibly in the meantime.

I have nothing against helping those who need help, but I don’t believe that help should engender helplessness.  I don’t believe that help should rob one of responsibility.  I don’t believe that help should relieve one of accountability or freedom to choose.  I don’t believe it should be the government’s job to take even more of my money and use it to “help” people in these ways.  We make a lot of charitable contributions that are used to help people in ways we are comfortable with.  Our contributions subsidize higher education, they provide relief to those affected by natural disasters, they provide food and utilities to those who find themselves unable to pay for those thing.  We do try to help others as much as we can.  I’m not saying we couldn’t do more at times, but I can say there are times when we couldn’t have done more because we were doing all we could.  I do believe we should help those in need, but I don’t believe in turning that responsibility over to the government.  I don’t need anyone administrating my good will, especially when the whole goal of doing so is to foster dependence for the purpose of increasing power.

And make no mistake about it, that is what is happening.

And I’ll be damned before my kids ever sing hymns* about a politician.  And?  If Obama’s idea of a civilian police force doesn’t scare the ever living crap out of you then might I suggest reading The Gulag Archipelago or any first hand account of Stalinism and/or the beginnings of Nazi Germany?  And (how many times can I incorrectly start a sentence with “and”?) could somebody please explain to me how you can have Universal Voluntary Public Service.  If something is voluntary, it sure as heck won’t be universal.  If it is universal, it sure as heck won’t be voluntary.  Sounds to me like they are going to take our kids and teach them new hymns.

Hopefully this will be my one and only political post.  I’m leaving the comments opened, but if you are rude and nasty I will mock you mercilessly in a future post or ten (no one is exempt).  Same goes for if you’re just plain stupid.

And George, Tewt the Newt isn’t even going to involve you in this.

*Edited to add:  The video of the children singing the praises of Obama has apparently now been set to private on You Tube.  I suppose the parent who probably posted it didn’t like people pointing out the creepy resemblance to The Hitler Youth.

*Edited again:  The video is now apparently back, though I havent confirmed that for myself.  Just, you, know good luck.

50 thoughts on “Christina Is My Hero

  1. You and my brother would get along well! I will just say that, for example, the “relationship” b/t Obama and Raines has been grossly exaggerated. However, I totally respect those willing to speak their minds on this issue esp. when you have clearly put so much thought and passion into your conclusions (even if I disagree with them…”especially when the whole goal of doing so is to foster dependence for the purpose of increasing power.”!) I can do without the flag pin/Obama is a Muslim/Obama is the anti-Christ e-mails my mom keeps forwarding though. I am interested to see the comments you get on this!

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  2. Thank you for coming out of the closet, so to speak :)You and Christina are educating me more about this candidate, some of his ideas are downright scary! Some of these things I had not heard before, one of the downsides of no T.V. is no news 😦
    It’s also nice to have someone say what I just can’t express myself.

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  3. Elaine is my hero!

    I could not agree with anyone any more than what you stated in this post. The future Obama promotes is not the future I want for my children. I haven’t been to many of the links you posted, but might have to go check them out.

    I live in welfare central and it is scary. My parents have had a help-wanted sign in their window for months. Months! You would think with unemployment rates what they are they would get more than “hey, uh, I need you to sign this so I can still get my benefits (welfare, food stamps, etc.) but I do not want to fill out an application”

    Do not get me wrong, I know there are people out there genuinely going through hard times…know a few personally. However, I honestly believe that many, MANY, more are just working and living off of the system. But where and when does it stop? We want to increase this system even more? Where will my freedoms end and the socialist policies begin? It’s not something I feel can be risked.

    I, too, believe in taking care of people that need help. My husband and I volunteer time, money/resources, and energy to this end. What I do not want to do, though is to be forced to support more daily assistance of the above nature that enables more and more people to live off your and my dime, raising children who learn to do the same, and losing my freedom to choose (schools, healthcare, retirement plan, etc.) in return for higher taxes.

    I’m sorry if some think it’s the patriotic thing to do: to pay higher taxes for socialist programs. I do not agree. To me the patriotic (and kind) thing to do would be to help the less fortunate without being told to or forced to by programs like this. Half our nation’s problems could be solved if people would just be kind to one another and be truthful. Is that too much to ask?

    Besides, every time our government gets involved in things it tends to screw it up! Why again would I want them to take on more? Look at this whole economic thing…if only the goverment had left it alone to begin with! It’s a free-market so leave it free. Lower taxes on business to boost the economy, take lead from Ireland and raise the FDIC, etc. Or, perhaps back in 2003 and 2004 the same people now trying to bail Wall Street out should have listened to a guy who said this is bogus. Instead, they (mostly democrats) praised the very people who inflated assests and even earlier (Carter Era) passed policies requiring some of these practices. See government just needs to leave it alone!

    The economic issues and the amount of money involved with Obama is frightening in and of itself. Did you know he is number 2 on the list of senators who have benefited from Fannie and Freddie, ahead of Senators who have been there for decades including Kerry and Dodd…and he’s only been there for 4 years. Whose brilliant idea was it anyways to give people mortgages who couldn’t afford them? To me that is helping someone right into bankruptcy not into a home.

    Can you see that I’m for keeping things in the private sector?

    I could go on and on, but it’s your blog and not mine 🙂

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  4. Very well said!!! I agree with sooo much of what you’re saying.

    I’m also not a McCain fan, and would never choose to vote FOR him. But I have no choice but to vote AGAINST Obama- as you said, it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. The blind Obama worship is scary to me. You really hit it on the head with the word worship- that’s exactly what it is. I really, really fear for the future of this country if he gets in.

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  5. metaphase

    Wow, Elaine. You’re right. I’ve been doing the same thing in trying to stay out of any kind of politics on blogs. However, you said what I am thinking all the time, though I doubt I’m thinking it as eloquently!

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  6. I used to be a McCain fan. When he actually followed his “straight talk” ethos, I could see myself voting for him. Now he just seems like Bush with a twist of Lime – a little different, but not enough to make me want to vote for him (or drink beer). The clincher for me was Palin as VP. That pushed me firmly into the Obama camp.

    The big difference that I see between the two candidates is their world view. McCain sees the world as a scary place, full of people waiting to attack us & Obama’s approach is to see the rest of the world as neighbors, people we can find common ground with.

    An excellent resource for seeing what your elected officials actually do is http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/ You can plug in your info & receive weekly updates on the votes done that week. You can even go back & check past bills to see how your candidate voted.

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  7. While I disagree with almost everything you’ve said here (except being SO tired of choosing the lesser of two evils…oh, me too), I certainly respect your right to say it. And you WERE right about Twilight, and that counts for a lot!

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  8. I totally agree, Elaine. The McCain’s not great, but he’s better than the alternative bit. The drinking the Obama koolaid bit. And the socialism/Ayn Rand bit times 1 million. Well done.

    Am now pondering getting out Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead to take as OB waiting room reading today. And am wondering what that might do to my blood pressure…

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  9. You AND Christina are my heros! Thanks for being brave enough to post your beliefs. It seems those who are on the liberal side aren’t afraid to lay it all out there…and bash those who don’t agree. But conservatives have been too scared to speak up.
    I am at the top of that list. I, too, have been leaving politics off the blog, but I am quickly leaning toward taking a cue from you and Christina and saying something. Someone has to. This craziness has to stop.
    If Obama is elected it will take at least two years to elect a conservative majority to stop him. Who knows what he could push through in the meantime.
    Scary, scary stuff.

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  10. Wow. I was hoping you’d step in. Thank you for being so courageous. Unfortunately, I think we’re already starting to emulate Communist methods of controlling the masses. The media is shoving Obama down our throats. In their eyes, he’s perfect, and they have surmised that his election to office is a foregone conclusion. Nothing will get in their way to make sure that happens. They are blatantly campaigning for this man– a man who we know nothing about! What has he done? Ever? What good has he done for this country? Three years in the Senate isn’t a long time, but he should be able to point to something that he’s done that qualifies him to be the President. Writing two memoirs doesn’t count. For the life of me, I cannot understand the passion people have for this man. For those who vote for Obama–don’t fool yourselves if he wins. He will win because the media wanted him to win, not because he is more qualified or better equipped to run this country. I am sick for my country right now. The race has been tainted and there is no going back.

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  11. Christina

    Aw Shucks… you are too nice! And you put it out there very courageously yourself! And didn’t shut down comments like fearful ol’ me. 🙄
    Anyway, you know I totally agree with you and I just hope that this time around (as in times past) the pollsters are wrong and people will choose to vote for the person who has the leadership and experience we need at this very important time.

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  12. Kelly

    I disagree with most of what you’ve said. I think comparing the kid’s video to Naziism was way over the top. For some people and their children, having Obama as a presidential candidate is a positive life changing experience.

    I appreciate your opinions and support your right to have them and share them. I also really appreciate that you left your comments open for people who respectfully disagree. Having a civilized discussion about these issues is important.

    I agree with Kristin about John McCain and wish he had stayed the rebel he was earlier. As far I as I can tell and read, from the documents that have been made public (Cheney has kept most of them private even under subpoena), there have been massive entitlements under this administration, they have just gone to big companies not individuals. Based on who he has running his campaign, I’m afraid that McCain can’t or won’t do enough to change the insular and mean-spirited culture in Washington. Also, I’m insulted by the Sarah Palin choice when there were so many talented, experienced and conservative men and women in the Republican party that were overlooked.

    I want a president who is smarter than me, who is willing to give people a hand up, not a hand out and who is more interested in helping the middle class than the upper class. Someone who will reach out to other countries and governments and negotiate instead of invade. John McCain is a bonafide war hero who deserves and has my respect. He won’t get my vote. I’m not a “cult” member, I have concerns about Obama, he wasn’t my first choice, but at this point he’s my only choice.

    Since I read and really enjoy both your and Christine’s blog especially when it’s about family, I’ll end with one of my most important reasons for voting for the democratic ticket. I will vote for the party that supports the rights of my gay friends to get married and adopt children. There are too many kids out there without families to limit the pool of available parents.

    Finally, if you are still reading ( : and have questions about what is truth or fiction about a candidate said or believes, check out http://www.factcheck.org, a non-partisan site. Whatever you believe, don’t just talk, VOTE. Go to the polls and walk the walk.

    Again, thanks for keeping your comments section open and letting me, hopefully in a respectful way, give my opinion.

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  13. The problem with those videos is that they are filled with totally debunked myths, inaccuracies, flat out lies and distortions all in the name of an “educated electorate”. That’s an irony if I ever did read one! And not much substance on why on earth someone should vote for a McCain/Palin ticket.

    I believe in an educated electorate too but that means that the right has to educate themselves too, before posting ridiculous videos that have long been debunked. It just makes them seem uneducated and sort of brainwashed. Which, in effect, makes them seem less credible and trustworthy.

    I’ve asked several of my right-leaning friends why they are supporting their candidate and all I hear is why they are not supporting Obama. That seems odd to me. I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would support McCain and especially not Palin but I have a long LONG list of reasons why I think Obama is exactly what our nation needs to not only survive but thrive.

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  14. Could not agree more about the lesser-of-two-evils choice we get to make. I get mad regularly (every four years) about it. We live in a place with every advantage, freedom and educational opporunity known to man, and these are the nimrods we get to choose from? It’s embarassing!

    Though it does feel kind of nice living in Ohio where my vote counts a little more than people living elsewhere. Let’s face it, voting in Texas is kind of pointless.

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  15. Christina

    Kelly, just so you know, factcheck isn’t as “unbiased” as they claim to be… in fact it’s been shown that a number of their factchecks have been full of inaccuracies (which skew in favor of Obama, of course).

    Nicki, I know, how ironic, I jump in on a discussion on Elaine’s blog while closing my own… but I’m really curious how a video posted by Obama supporters can be said to be full of inaccuracies? And the other videos I posted are direct quotes and records of Obama’s votes… again, not seeing where there is any distortion? Anyway, glad you feel good about your vote… hope you still feel good about it a year or two from now when all kids in public school are singing Obama’s song.

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  16. If people are concerned with a Presidential candidate who has next to no experience, then they should not consider McCain, since his running mate, Sarah Palin, is about as inexperienced as they come. If this 72 year old man dies in office, Palin becomes our next President. That thought terrifies me.

    However, my main issue with McCain is his handling of foreign policy — using an isolationist, fear-based strategy, and adopting an us vs. them Cold War style view of the world, which effectively perpetuates Bush’s policy. Spending $10 B per month on Iraq while terrorists recoup in Afghanistan is not exactly sensible, either.

    I truly do not see our nation devolving into some socialist state. America is and will continue to be driven on entrepreneurial spirit and the free market — with the caveat that the free market cannot run amok. The latest financial fiasco has shown us that we do need some well-thought-out regulations.

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  17. Thanks for opening comments, Elaine. I really wanted to comment on Christina’s blog but I couldn’t!

    I actually agree with some of what you’ve written, ESPECIALLY the part about having to choose between the lesser of two evils! I find the video of the kids singing a little creepy. I really find the revival-style rallies for Obama creepy, too (although because I am so incredibly nauseated by 8 years of Bush, I can understand people’s exuberance for change). And although I can understand being concerned about the expansion of the welfare state (and you articulated it very well), I do not really agree with your conclusions.

    That being said:
    The creepy video was not posted by Obama’s campaign. We have the freedom to post whatever kind of video we want in this country, and there are going to be some creepy people who post creepy things in efforts to further their own positions.

    Contrast that creepiness to the Palin interview with Couric – this is Palin herself attempting to articulate her own policies – and it is downright terrifying. That woman has clearly never thought about national or international politics in her life. *MOST* candidates for a federal executive office have spent some time preparing their thoughts and opinions; Palin did not have the time to do that, and it shows. It is embarassing.

    And I fundamentally believe that health care is a right, and that it should not be delivered through hospital emergency rooms. I believe that structural and institutional racism lead there to be discrepancies that can only be helped by progressive social policies, not regressive ones (as we have had in the last 8 years and will certainly have in the next 4 with McCain).

    And the last thing…I totally respect that some people will continue to advocate for less government involvement in people’s lives. That’s a totally fair position. But how do we justify, then, government policies that dictate reproductive health decisions? Or wiretapping policies?

    That’s all. I am not an Obama-worshipper, but there is no possible way I’ll vote for anyone else!

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  18. One other point: When it comes to civil liberties, we should take a hard look at Bush’s government. Under his watch, and under the Homeland Security Act, many individual privacies and freedoms were removed in the interest of national security. Sadly, Bush’s Presidency is the closest that America has gotten to a socialist state.

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  19. Having attended an Obama rally, I just have to interject that it in no way resembled a revival. The many, many people I spoke with were not blind followers but thoughtful supporters who understood the issues facing the country and believed that Obama was the best choice to lead the country forward. Nothing remotely revival-like, and certainly no one who seemed to be “worshipping” the candidate.

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  20. Nancy

    I found a parody of the children singing praises to Obama video at http://www.darkskiesblog.com/2008/10/01/the-obama-youth-video/ It has snips of the original spliced together with video of other children singing from around the world.

    Upon fear of being censored, may I respond to a couple of your posters?

    First, I want to say that I do not see anything on your blog (or Christina’s), in the writing or in the videos, that has been debunked. Nothing. There are facts that Obama does not like and his campaign has tried to explain away, but facts are still facts.

    Jenn said: Whose brilliant idea was it anyways to give people mortgages who couldn’t afford them?

    Answer: Originally it was Jimmy Carter’s with the Community Reinvestment Act, which was fairly benign until Bill Clinton put it on steroids. His administration made it a crime, subject to fines and lawfuits, for lenders not to make mortgages available to minority and low income applicants, and required them to count unemployment benefits and welfare payments as income when determining eligibility. That is what lead to so many failed mortgages and brought us to where we are now. Totally insane.

    Kristen said: “McCain sees the world as a scary place, full of people waiting to attack us & Obama’s approach is to see the rest of the world as neighbors, people we can find common ground with.”

    You have to build a bridge from both ends, and guess what, the world IS full of scary people who want to attack us. That won’t change by putting our heads in the sand and singing Kum-By-Yah, no matter how much we wish it were so. Remember 9-11? They’re still out there. Waiting for the right time.

    As for factcheck.org, subtitled “ANNENBERG political fact check,” it is run by a conglomeration of media types. The media are campaigning for Obama, so their “non-partisanship” is laughable. Also, has anyone heard of the Chicago ANNENBERG Challenge that Obama headed with former terrorist William Ayres, where they passed out well over 100 million dollars in grant money with no measurable results for education?

    Finally, this link takes you to an article (yes, on a conservative site) about the Cloward-Pivey strategy. IF this is correct we are in for a much more difficult future than any of us has imagined. http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

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  21. Re: McCain’s foreign policy…last I checked Spain was an ally, and not full of scary people who want to attack us. And the Burning Down the House video has many, many inaccuracies. The blame for the current economic crisis can certainly be shared by both parties.

    p.s. fear of being censored? WTFrap is that about? Censored by who? Are we not adults who can have respectful disagreements?

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  22. Wow. Okay, anyone who thinks McCain and Bush have the same political viewpoints are sadly mistaken. McCain and Bush could not be further apart. It does seem to be the Democractic mantra, however, to connect the two…I guess they think people will be believe it. And many do. Many also believe that 9/11 was an inside job, and that monkey space aliens exist. As far as losing individual privacies and freedoms—examples please? If you mean that members of the Intelligence Community (hi, nice to meet you) have the power to spy on your every day lives, I can assure you that we do not. We have neither the time to do that, nor the interest. If you mean that terrorists are no longer allowed to operate here, and then plan their next attack against us, then, yes, we stand accused. Believe it or not, bad guys are out to get us. Clinton didn’t want to believe it either. The fact that not a single terrorist attack has occurred in the 8 years since 9/11 is no coincidence. But about those examples…?

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  23. FWIW

    McCain/Bush comparison from NYT June 17 2008:
    Where They Mostly Agree
    Abortion and Judges
    Both men oppose use of federal money for abortions, including aid to groups that help women obtain them. Both support the ban on Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 and parental notification for minors. Mr. McCain says Roe v. Wade “should be overturned,” altering his 1999 stand, and says he would appoint Supreme Court justices who “strictly interpret the Constitution.” He voted for both of Mr. Bush’s picks to the court. Mr. Bush has not publicly called for repealing Roe.

    Education
    Mr. McCain generally supports No Child Left Behind, Mr. Bush’s signature education policy. Calling it a “good beginning,” he has said, “there’s a lot of things that need to be fixed” about it. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a McCain adviser, has said “the law needs to start addressing the underlying cultural problems in our education system.”

    Diplomacy With Iran and Syria
    Like the president, Mr. McCain has ruled out direct talks with Iran and Syria for now. Mr. McCain supported Mr. Bush when he likened those who would negotiate with “terrorists and radicals” to appeasers of the Nazis, a remark widely interpreted as a rebuke to Senator Barack Obama.

    Immigration
    Mr. McCain supported a 2007 bill, strongly backed by Mr. Bush, that called for establishing a guest-worker program and setting up a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He sponsored a similar bill in 2006 but this year he said he would not vote for his own proposal now. “Only after we achieved widespread consensus that our borders are secure, would we address other aspects of the problem in a way that defends the rule of law,” he said in February.

    Iraq
    Mr. McCain supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 but strongly criticized the Bush administration’s handling of the war in the first four years. He was a vocal advocate of the troop increase strategy, eventually adopted by the president, and has supported Mr. Bush in resisting calls for a withdrawal timetable. Last month, Mr. McCain said he believed the war could be won by 2013; but this month he said a timetable was “not too important,” in comparison with the level of casualties in Iraq.

    Guantánamo Detainees
    Mr. McCain was a key backer of the 2006 legislation that allowed detainees to be tried in military courts and abolished habeas corpus rights for detainees labeled “enemy combatants” by the administration. He would close the Guantánamo prison and move prisoners to a maximum-security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

    Health Care
    Mr. McCain’s proposal to eliminate tax breaks that encourage employers to provide health insurance for their workers is very similar to one that Mr. Bush pushed last year, to little effect. The Bush plan offered a $15,000 tax deduction for families buying their own insurance, while the McCain plan would give a refundable tax credit of $5,000 to families for insurance whether or not they pay taxes. Both men opposed a 2007 bill to expand a children’s health insurance program for lower- and middle-income families.

    Medicare
    Both support having wealthier Medicare recipients pay higher premiums for prescription drug coverage. In 2003, Mr. McCain voted against the bill that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.

    Social Security
    “I’m totally in favor of personal savings accounts,” he told The Wall Street Journal in March, “along the lines that President Bush proposed.” Mr. Bush did not find enough support in Congress for his proposal to allow workers to divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes into personal investment accounts in exchange for reduced guaranteed benefits.

    Same-Sex Marriage
    Mr. Bush supported a constitutional amendment to ban such marriages, but Mr. McCain voted against it, saying states should enact such bans. He said he would consider a constitutional ban if “a higher court says that my state or another state has to recognize” same-sex marriages.

    Civil Unions Both would leave the matter to the states. Mr. Bush said in 2004 that he would not “deny people rights to a civil union” if a state chose to legalize it. Mr. McCain supported a 2005 initiative in his own state, Arizona, that would have blocked civil unions and domestic partnerships. Last month he said that “people should be able to enter into legal agreements” for things like insurance and power of attorney.

    Taxes
    Mr. McCain would make permanent the large Bush tax cuts he opposed in 2001 and 2003. He has also proposed four new tax cuts of his own: a reduction in the corporate tax rate, immediate tax breaks for corporate investment, a repeal of the alternative minimum tax and doubling the value of exemptions for dependents to $7,000 from $3,500.

    Trade
    Both are proponents of free trade and support opening up markets with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. They also support education programs to help displaced workers.

    Wiretapping and Executive Power
    Mr. Holtz-Eakin, a top adviser to Mr. McCain, said last week that Mr. McCain believes that the Constitution gave Mr. Bush the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor Americans’ international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a federal statute that required court oversight. When Mr. McCain was asked about the same issue in January, he had said: “I don’t think the president has the right to disobey any law.”

    Where They Mostly Disagree
    Climate Change
    Unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain supports a cap-and-trade program that would set a national ceiling on carbon emissions. Although critical of the Bush administration’s lack of initiatives on the climate, Mr. McCain has said that “America did the right thing by not joining the Kyoto Treaty” and that any such global accord should include China and India, an argument used by Mr. Bush.

    Energy and Oil
    Mr. McCain has called for a “great national campaign to put us on a course to energy independence,” adding that the next president must be willing to “break completely” with the energy policies of previous administrations.

    Drilling Mr. McCain opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, once a top goal for Mr. Bush. On Monday, Mr. McCain said the federal ban on offshore drilling should be lifted, allowing states to pursue energy exploration off their coasts. The Bush administration has proposed drilling off the coasts in several states.

    Tax Breaks Mr. Bush opposes a windfall profits tax on oil companies. Mr. McCain has voted against similar taxes in the past, but this month he said he was “angry at the oil companies not only because of the obscene profits they’ve made but at their failure to invest in alternate energy.”

    Renewable Energy Both support development of more nuclear power. Last month, Mr. McCain urged the Bush administration to waive requirements for high ethanol production, blaming the alternative fuel for driving up food prices.

    Federal Spending
    Mr. McCain has sought to emphasize his differences with Mr. Bush by portraying himself as a stronger opponent of pork-barrel projects and other wasteful spending. He says he would not sign any earmarked projects into law and would cut financing for ineffective programs, including Amtrak. Mr. Bush has so far allowed earmarks in spending bills, but signed an executive order this year directing federal agencies to ignore earmarks that Congress did not vote on. Mr. McCain would also put a one-year freeze on discretionary spending, except veterans benefits and the military. Mr. Bush has had a similar freeze in place.

    Interrogation Tactics
    Mr. McCain has battled the Bush administration on a number of bills to end torture by the U.S. But this year he voted against a bill to force the Central Intelligence Agency to abide by the rules set out in the Army field manual on interrogation. He said that a 2005 law he helped pass already prohibits the C.I.A. from “cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.” But the same law gives the president the last word in establishing specific permissible interrogation techniques. The Bush administration has not ruled out waterboarding, considered illegal by Mr. McCain, as impermissible.

    Arms Control
    Mr. McCain, distancing himself from Mr. Bush, said he would pursue a new arms control accord with Russia. His proposal to eliminate tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and his calls for nuclear talks with China set him apart from the president as well. Last month, Mr. McCain urged Mr. Bush to return to his demand for a complete and irreversible disarmament of North Korea’s nuclear programs. The Bush administration recently began relying on diplomacy to persuade North Korea to begin dismantling its nuclear program.

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  24. Nicky,

    The “voting against Obama” mentality isn’t hard to understand at all, if you are a conservative. You are liberal. Obama is liberal. You can think of reasons you are voting for him because you agree with his wacko views (teasing). A lot of us are conservative. McCain has a huge reputation for being a centerist. He doesn’t represent our views as much as we would like.

    But he is loads closer to our views than Obama is.

    If we aren’t excited about voting for McCain because he isn’t conservative enough, why the heck would we vote for the Senator with the most liberal record, instead?

    And, Shannon, Nancy is afraid of being censored by her *daughter*. Some statements, taken without context, seem more odd than they really are.

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  25. The original video is back up at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW9b0xr06qA

    Shannon, I put the fear of being censored thing in there because I am Elaine’s MOTHER, and it was a wry remark between the two of us.

    I just read that Gwen Ifill, the “independent journalist” who is moderating tomorrow’s vice presidential debate, has written a book titled “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” due out the day after Inauguration Day. How much more do you think her book will be worth if he wins the election? Is there any possibility that could affect her purported impartiality?

    It has been confirmed that McCain and Palin knew nothing about this. Gosh, Joe Biden could sit there and look like the sympathetic good guy while Ifill hammered her with questions he couldn’t get away with.

    So, will Ifill be replaced as moderator? Will she be fired from PBS for disgracing them through her duplicity? Whether she is or not, what does this say about our media and the disgraceful depths to which it has sunk to assure Obama’s election?

    This is a SCANDAL, but of course the media won’t report it as such because it is themselves.

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  26. Mom,

    Fox was talking about the Gwen Ifill thing last night. They have already said that no one has any intention of replacing her. Unless there has been enough public outcry to make someone rethink, she will still be moderating tomorrow.

    Truly unbelievable.

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  27. Nancy, that was why I asked–it was confusing for those of us who didn’t know you were Elaine’s mother.

    Re: Ifell–the book was discussed in the national press 2 weeks before the McCain campaign agreed to have her moderate. It is a well known tactic to question the partiality of the moderator immediately prior to a debate–esp. in this case…when Palin speaks in “glittering generalities” and fails to change the perception created by her previous appearances the moderator can be blamed. I doubt that PBS or its supporters feel that Ifell has disgraced the network. Exactly how is this an example of duplicity?

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  28. Christina

    Shannon-
    The democratic candidates flat out refused to debate on Fox… on the grounds that it would be somehow “biased”. (despite the fact that Fox always presents both sides in every story and debate and had very high ratings during the democratic convention)

    Yet now liberals are going to say there’s NO reason to be concerned when a woman who wrote a fawning article about Obama just last month, covered Palin’s convention speech with disdain and revulsion dripping from her every word and who has written a pro-Obama book that is going to be published on Inaugeration day (and will therefore only benefit if he is elected) is the supposed “impartial” moderator? PUH-LEEZE. This is why conservatives are so frustrated with the state of discourse in America – we now live in a world where 2+2=5 … liberals and the MSM just repeat the party line often enough until everyone believes its true.

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  29. Shannon—wow, you are good (at copying and pasting!) But seriously, it’s taken from the NY Times. THE NY TIMES. A sponsor of the Obama campaign. A little original thought would have gone a long way here…

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  30. Oh, and I look forward to the day that Bill O’Reilly gets to moderate….then we’ll see how impartial on the topic we can be. The woman stands to earn money if Obama wins. She stands to lose money if he doesn’t. She cannot possibly be objective. Not that I care anymore. I’m growing accustomed to the increasing audacity of the media’s support of Obama. It’s just another day…

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  31. Some examples of losing freedoms/rights under the Bush administration:

    1. Suspension of habeus corpus for “enemy combatants.” HC is a fundamental tenet of constitutional law and was only suspended one other time before..by Lincoln during the Civil War, when the country was in danger of falling completely apart. Now, if you’re merely accused of terrorist acts, you no longer get the speedy trial that was once considered your inalienable right.

    2. Reforms to FISA, which eliminate the need for the Feds to get a warrant from a court for wiretapping, even though such a warrant could be obtained very quickly. Again, if you’re accused of terrorism, no court can intervene on your behalf to determine whether sufficient cause really exists, and the Feds can arbitrarily snoop on your phone calls.

    But none of this matters, because we all know that we can completely trust the government, right? 🙂

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  32. Ummm…foodymom, what is up with the hostility and sarcasm? My gosh as if I claimed it wasn’t copied and pasted? I obviously know it is from the NYT–I am sure there are a lot of other sources out there that show it is a stretch to say McCain and Bush couldn’t be further apart.

    Re: Ifell–either the McCain campaign is completely incompetent, as the book is mentioned on the PBS website on Ifell’s bio, or, more believably in my opinion, they decided to wait until the last minute to claim there is a problem with it for the most obvious of reasons. Comparing Ifell to O’Reilly is absurd. I am open to the suggestion that there may be an appearance of bias…so why didn’t the McCain campaign bring it up before now?

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  33. Ok, cutting and pasting again, lazy me…from factcheck.org (yes I know about the annenberg connection), citing the Congressional Quarterly:

    June 13, 2008
    Q: Is it true John McCain voted with George Bush 95 percent of the time?
    The Obama campaign keeps claiming McCain has voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time. Is this true? Is this significant?
    A: Yes, it’s true, according to Congressional Quarterly’s assessment of McCain’s voting record.
    Sen. Barack Obama has attempted to use the Arizona senator’s voting record against him in statements like this:

    Barack Obama (June 3): It’s not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.

    The claim is true. According to Congressional Quarterly’s Voting Studies, in 2007 McCain voted in line with the president’s position 95 percent of the time – the highest percentage rate for McCain since Bush took office – and voted in line with his party 90 percent of the time. However, McCain’s support of President Bush’s position has been as low as 77 percent (in 2005), and his support for his party’s position has been as low as 67 percent (2001).

    Democrats are, of course, attempting to make the case that a vote for McCain is a vote to continue the policies of Bush, whose approval ratings are, to put it charitably, not a political asset for McCain.

    Is 95% “Significant”?

    As for whether voting with Bush 95 percent of the time last year is “significant,” that’s a matter of opinion that we leave to readers to determine for themselves.

    When doing so, they may wish to consider that Obama’s votes were in line with the president’s position 40 percent of the time in 2007. That shouldn’t be terribly surprising. Even the Senate’s Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, voted with Bush 39 percent of the time last year, according to the way Congressional Quarterly rates the votes.

    The McCain campaign points out that Obama told a local TV interviewer recently that “the only bills that I voted for, for the most part, since I’ve been in the Senate were introduced by Republicans with George Bush.” Obama was actually wrong about that. In 2006 he voted alongside the president 49 percent of the time, and in 2005, the year before Democrats took control of the Senate, Obama voted with the president only 33 percent of the time.

    Also, Obama voted in line with fellow Senate Democrats 97 percent of the time in 2007 and 2005, and 96 percent of the time in 2006, according to CQ.

    And so . . .

    So to sum up, McCain has indeed voted to support the unpopular Bush 95 percent of the time most recently, but less so in earlier years. And Obama has voted pretty close to 100 percent in line with fellow Democrats during his brief Senate career.

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  34. Nancy

    Shannon,

    Perhaps McCain IS just being cagey by bringing up Ifell’s book now. It does make sense though, since I would guess the percentage of people who did not know she wrote it far exceeds the 97% number when Obama voted with the Democrats. If one does not know of her opportunity to gain financially by his winning, as I did not, it would be easy for her to skew perceptions of what is happening in that debate. It only makes sense to blow it up right now and make it public knowledge, because it definitely does indicate bias.

    “Glittering generalities” is a rather disdainful phrase to use to describe someone’s speech. She may not do well, but let’s make that decision after the debate instead of before.

    I agree with FoodyMom – I would like to see Bill O’Reilly as moderator, and no, I do not think comparing him to Ifell is absurd. The difference is only in presentation, not in partisanship. Why won’t the Democratic candidates ever go on Fox anyway? After all, the Republican candidates have to go on all the other networks with their biased interrogators.

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  35. Pingback: I’m Exhausted. « Metaphase

  36. Nancy,
    After thinking about it, I do agree. Given the circumstances Ifell should step down. I would like to see Palin succeed or fail on her own merit and not have the controversy and the perception of bias. I do believe it is disingenuous for the McCain camp to pretend they didn’t know about the book, though.

    I didn’t make up the phrase glittering generalities, but from what I have seen so far it seems accurate. I have to agree with George Will’s assessment, unless she proves him wrong tomorrow night.

    Elaine…sorry to take up so much room in your comments–I have time to refresh interesting posts frequently while walking by, but not so much time to compose thoughtful comments without fear of the house being destroyed or someone getting hurt.

    As I said earlier, my brother could have written the original post…we manage to strongly disagree and still love each other. I am the exception here in my small, conservative, Southern town–but again, while I will be voting differently than, well 99.9% of the friends I have made here, we can share ideas without getting personal. That is my same hope for the friends I have made through the online world of VN adoption!

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  37. OK, just to reply to a few comments –

    –I agree that Ifell needs to be replaced, if only because it gives someone a good reason to complain (on either side). The mere appearance of impropriety will cheapen whatever dance Palin does, and I don’t want there to be *any* reason for the McCain campaign to excuse her performance tomorrow (which I cannot wait for, and I anticipate will be dismal).

    –On the other side of the spectrum: My husband is an FBI agent. He and I have discussed FISA and the Patriot Act for hours upon hours. He is extremely liberal, and he is also extremely supportive of the measures in the Patriot Act and FISA. If he wants to wiretap someone, he needs to get a warrant (he and everyone else in the Bureau). Enough said. There are FISA judges who hand these out. There must be probable cause, meaning there is a reason to want to wiretap, and a judge needs to sign off on it. He said his job would be a *lot* easier if he could just haul off and check out whoever he wanted – but he can’t. There are a ton of checks and balances to ensure that there is not too much power in the intelligence community.

    The Patriot Act: The chief point of it was to ensure that government agencies DO and MUST share information on terror suspects. Prior to 9/11, agencies (the Agency, the Bureau, etc) could NOT share information by law. That made no sense. Because of the PA, those agencies are forced to work together – and they do share information. However, searches, seizures, etc, must be obtained with a warrant (see above).

    The PA, FISA, and all other things have nothing to do with Gitmo or torture. Both of those things are unconstitutional and illegal, both under U.S. law and the international agreements to which we are signed and ratified parties. We are part of the global community, and we owe it to ourselves, our national pride, and our neighbors to abide by those agreements. That includes not torturing and not holding people without probable cause.

    Sorry this is so long – I have really strong views on a lot of this. And I would *STRONGLY* recommend reading http://www.politifact.com. It is a great (nonpartisan) site.

    Oh, and Bill O’Reilly is like Keith Olberman. That’s a good comparison. I think having him moderate the debate would be like…well, did anyone see Palin’s interview with Fox? Where she was fed the answers? Yeah, like that.

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  38. Shannon. I’m hurt. I wasn’t trying to be hostile or sarcastic. I was trying to be witty. My apologies if you took it the wrong way. It was not intended. I appreciate you providing the list, but the NYT was not being objective when they put the list together. Just because Bush and McCain agreed some of the time, doesn’t mean McCain is just like Bush. They are both Republicans. Both Conservatives (although McCain just slightly. I actually consider him liberal.) There were plenty of occassions where McCain didn’t agree with Bush, and Obama did! If the NYT were being objective, they would have cited those instances. McCain and Bush are very different people with very different governing styles. McCain reached across the aisle plenty of times to his colleagues on the Left to do what was right. I respect that. I dont’t think Bush did. I don’t always agree with McCain, but I like that he’s friends with Hillary and Kennedy (who I don’t care much for, by the way). We need a President who can do that–be partners with politicians on both sides of spectrum. Being as far left as Obama is, I’m not sure he can do that. Maybe I’m wrong. We’ll see. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.

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  39. Jill…you’re funny. Okay, I can understand your fears regarding terrorists and their lack of rights in this country because of GWB. Wait. No. I can’t. Look, we are at war with these people. They use our freedoms against us–they know we can’t target them once they’re in the country. And so they plan here. That hasn’t changed. It is still much easier for terrorists to operate in this country than it is for us to stop them. We all take FISA very seriously in the intel community (IC). VERY seriously. If you’re a terrorist, however, I think you should expect to be monitored. If you’re doing no wrong, you have nothing to worry about. What bothers me most about this particular issue is that the Democrats want to take away the tools of the IC to stop attacks against the country. Then, when we have no way to protect you, an attack occurs, and they blame George Bush and say ‘how did this happen?’. He can’t win for losing.

    Re: Ifill, I wasn’t trying to compare Ifill with O’Reilly in the personality sense, just in the sense that he has books out. However, yes, I did see his interviews. He was very cordial with Obama and let Kerry off the hook completely. And I saw the interview on Fox with Palin. “Fed the answers?” Sorry, but that is how interviews should go (you know, like they go with Obama?) Does Obama know more than one chief justice? We don’t know because they don’t ask him those kinds of questions. They soft ball it to him.

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  40. I’m not going to leap into the fray here, other than to say that I vehemently disagree with you. I also find the Republicans’ urgent desire to deprive people of some of the most private and sensitive freedoms, such as reproductive rights, to be as frightening as what you describe as fearsome in the Democratic position.

    Also, I have to note that I am troubled when anything or anyone is compared to Hitler or the Nazi regime. Those are not terms to be thrown around lightly, and I don’t see how anything in the current election can be likened to one of the darkest and most brutal periods in world history. No one is out to exterminate millions of innocent people or rule by way of a totalitarian regime, so the comparison is false and, in fact, deeply hurtful.

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  41. Foodymom, OK, I am sorry, my intention was not to hurt anyone! After reading your initial comment about Bush and McCain, the first thing I thought was, huh, I wonder what the record would show? The NYT comparison was the first thing that came up on google, I was in a hurry, and thought it might be interesting to see one attempt to compare the positions of the two. I felt hurt by the first line of your response, which struck me as hostile, but I totally get that when we are writing things can be perceived differently than intended. So…I do agree with a lot of what you said in your recnt comment about McCain, which is why I seriously considered voting for him.

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  42. Shannon. Darn! Sorry, I was trying to be witty again. Maybe I should just stop. You didn’t hurt me. I love that we women are talking about this and debating it. We’re very cool moms, I think 🙂

    Lawyerish–I respect your opinion. However, I never compared the Democratic party to the Nazi regime (maybe you were referring to someone else. I don’t know.) I agree with you, that it simply minimizes what happened during the Holocaust. I include the comparisons to the Bush administration in that as well, which I have seen far too often.

    I’m done. You guys are awesome. 🙂

    Like

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