Friday, September 5, 2008

My Answer for Joe Porter of Champaign Illinois (The Change Obama Wants)

Dear Joe,

I read with interest your letter about the upcoming presidential election. (I reprinted it below; and I hope you don’t mind that I brushed up your grammar and punctuation a little.) Like you, I am in my mid-40’s – a born-again Christian, a husband, father, and homeowner. I am not a veteran; I wanted to join the military, but a medical problem kept me out. But I know the military well, since my father is a retired Army officer. And while I don’t actually own a small business, I do contract work in addition to my day job.

I don’t consider myself to be a liberal or a conservative, although for the last few years I have been involved in my county’s local Democratic Party. Party membership involves signing a pledge about how I’ll vote: I don’t have to vote for the Democrat, but I promised not to vote against the Democrat. The Republicans here do the same thing. I signed that pledge knowing that I could always simply quit the party if I needed to vote for the Republican; so far my conscious hasn’t made me do that – so, like you, I’ve been able to simply vote my conscience. I feel like we have a lot in common…

I understand why you don’t believe in two Americas. According to the Census Bureau, the 185,000 people who live in Champaign have a median household income of almost $40,000 a year. I live in Tazewell County, Va. (median household income about $30,500 a year) and I work in neighboring McDowell County, WV (median household income only about $19,500 a year). Where you live, 91% of country residents graduated high school and 38% graduate college. In the county where I work as an elementary school teacher (I work with children with disabilities), only about half the people graduated from high school and just 5% finished college.

Eleven percent of the population where you live in Champaign has some sort of disability, according to the Census Bureau. With coal mining being a leading occupation here, and with the environmental and nutritional issues that come with life in a poor, rural mining community, over 40% of the people in the county where I work have some kind of medical condition that results in disability, according to the Census Bureau. Champaign has such a high income and education level compared to here and such a healthy population, it’s easy to see why you don’t understand the idea that there are two Americas. You’ve lived a sheltered life. When it’s 20 miles to the nearest Wal-mart or McDonalds and your family is too poor to have its own car, it’s harder to believe that you can be whatever you want to be. It’s nice to know that you believe the government should help the legitimately downtrodden.

Like you, I’m concerned about the future of our great nation. Like you, most folks I know choose not to be involved in politics – unless you count attending school board meetings when the county decides to close their school, or going to public hearings about a project to get county water piped in to a new area.

You said that we were in the unique position in this country of electing out leaders. I’m not sure what you mean by that. If we could talk, I could give you a long list of other real democracies on earth where people elect their leaders. Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand come to mind right away. But I think there are at least a one or two dozen more. America is a great country. I got to live a few other places while my father was in the Army. And I spent some time overseas working for a Christian missions organization. So I’ve seen other places and I understand just HOW GREAT America is. But it’s not unique in being a democracy.

Like you, I don’t agree completely with any political candidate (or even with my wife) all the time. Like you, I look at the big picture and think about credentials and about character.

You began to lose me when you started to talk about change. There are two candidates in this election: John McCain and Barack Obama. Both of them say they want Change. I listened to both of their speeches on television when they accepted their party’s nominations, Barack Obama talked about change, and I thought he was pretty clear about what he meant by that. John McCain talked about change, too; but it wasn’t all that clear to me what HE meant by it. (I was especially disappointed that John McCain couldn’t even bring himself to mention the name of our Republican president, George W. Bush, who has brought our country to the point where both candidates today seem to think we need some change.)

You said (and I’m quoting you here) “Quite frankly, I don't believe that vague proclamations of change hold any promise for me.” I agree. And I guess that’s my biggest concern – that John McCain hasn’t told us yet what changes he wants to make. He talks in the broadest possible generalizations about putting America first, about energy, about being a prisoner of war, and about how mean the media is to him. In contrast to that, Barack Obama has put forth some pretty specific policy ideas that I guess you’ve missed.

Before we go much further, I wanted to thank you for your willingness in your letter to overlook Senator Obama’s genealogy, upbringing, and religious background. Even though his mother is white, I know there are lots of people who can’t get past the fact that he looks Black; I’m glad you're not one of them. He’s denied being a Muslim (would that be so horrible?) and I have pictures of him eating a hotdog and drinking a beer (real Muslims don’t do either of those things); but I know there are a few ignorant people out there who still think he’s a Muslim because his father was. My father was a Mason, but I don’t even really know what that means. I’m glad you’re willing to set that aside and not remind us of it. Between having a Black father from another country, growing up with a single Mom, and being exposed as a child to Islam, the bigots out there will have a field day with America’s more stupid voters. I appreciate you not bringing any of that up.

Let me tell you about the change that, as I understand it, Senator Obama wants.

1. He wants people to have health insurance that they can afford (even if they are only 23 and haven’t graduated college yet – like my oldest daughter) and can take with them if they change jobs. These days many people don’t have that.

2. Senator Obama wants to cut taxes for people who make less than $250,000 a year. Under the Republicans we have moved back to having a huge difference between what the richest Americans make and what the average American makes. President Bush cut taxes for the richest Americas in the hopes that those people would be nice to you and me and create jobs for us. After eight years I think it’s safe to say that THAT hasn’t worked. Senator Obama wants the rich to pay more of their fair share in taxes. John McCain thinks that idea sounds reckless and that it will be bad for America, but the Wall Street Journal disagreed in an editorial on August 14. The WSJ said “The Obama plan would dramatically simplify taxes by consolidating existing credits, eliminating the need for millions of senior citizens to file tax forms, and enabling as many as 40 million middle-class filers to do their own taxes in less than five minutes and not have to hire an accountant.” What did they think of McCain’s plan? This is what they said: “The McCain plan would lead to deficits the like of which we have never seen in this country. It would take money from the middle class and from future generations so that the wealthy can live better today.” Remember, this is the Wall Street Journal, not some group of liberal hacks at the NY Times.

3. Senator Obama wants to get us out of the expensive political mess in Iraq. American soldiers are dying and it’s not clear why anymore. The Iraqis don’t seem to want to solve their own problems. They have a budget surplus while we’re paying their security bills. But John McCain doesn’t seem to want to change the way we deal with Iraq.

4. Barack Obama wants to make a bigger commitment to education – especially when it comes to our youngest children – and to fix the problems of No Child Left Behind. John McCain doesn’t.

5. Barack Obama wants to work to stop global warming. John McCain picked a vice-presidential candidate who doesn’t believe in global warming.

Of course, there are other issues. But those are some of the major ones. They are areas were we need change, areas where Obama has detailed policy statements about how we should bring about change and where McCain doesn’t.

But the real issue for you seems to be more simple. You seem to think that John McCain is more qualified to be president because he is, well, older (for starters) and he’s had a harder life. I know McCain is a war hero and I respect that. But I don’t think being beaten by people who speak a different language than yours somehow gives you the qualifications to be president. We’ve had lots of presidents who were Commander-in-Chief even though they’d never been in the military before being elected. That’s what makes us different from places like Thailand and Venezuela, where the military gets involved in government on a pretty regular basis.

I don’t think anyone (including McCain) is ever really qualified to be president. The job is too important and our country too great. It’s not like there’s a course you can take – Presidential Readiness 101. Barack Obama has been serving people through his involvement in politics for a couple of decades now. John McCain has been at it a little longer because, well, he’s older. Both want change. I’ve heard them both say it. McCain hasn’t really told us what that change would look like and how our country would be different from the mess that eight years of government by his political party has left us with. Obama has told us what that difference would be like.

While I’ve sent this out as an email in the hopes that it will reach you, you can also find it on my web page at http://gregcruey.blogspot.com. If you still really don’t understand the change that Barack Obama wants, go to my web page and leave me your phone number. I’ll call you (if you really exist) and try to explain it more clearly.

Your friend,

Greg Cruey

PS Thanks again for not bringing up the stuff about race and religion and just looking honestly at the issues involved. I really appreciated that.



Joe Porter's Letter:

Dear Friends:

My name is Joe Porter. I live in Champaign, Illinois. I'm 46 years old, a born-again Christian, a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a homeowner. I don't consider myself to be either conservative or liberal, and I vote for the person, not Republican or Democrat.

I don't believe there are "two” Americas but that every person in this country can be whomever and whatever they want to be if they'll just work to get there - and nowhere else on earth can they find such opportunities. I believe our government should help those who are legitimately downtrodden, and should always put the interests of America first.

The purpose of this message is that I'm concerned about the future of this great nation. I'm worried that the silent majority of honest, hard-working, tax-paying people in this country have been passive for too long. Most folks I know choose not to involve themselves in politics. They go about their daily lives, paying their bills, raising their kids, and doing what they can to maintain the good life. They
vote and consider doing so to be a sacred trust. They shake their heads at the political pundits and so-called "news", thinking that what they hear is always spun by whoever is reporting it. They can't understand how elected officials can regularly violate the public trust with pork barrel spending. They don't want government handouts. They want the government to protect them, not raise their taxes for more government programs.

We are in the unique position in this country of electing our leaders. It's a privilege to do so. I've never found a candidate in any election with whom I agreed on everything. I'll wager that most of us don't even agree with our families or spouses 100% of the time. So when I step into that voting booth, I always try to look at the big picture and cast my vote for the man or woman who is best qualified for the job. I've hired a lot of people in my lifetime, and essentially that's what an election is - a hiring process. Who has the credentials? Whom do I want working for me? Whom can I trust to do the job right?

I'm concerned that a growing number of voters in this country simply don't get it. They are caught up in a fervor they can't explain, and are calling it "change".

”Change what?,” I ask.

”Well, we're going to change America,” they say.

”In what way?,” I query.

”We want someone new and fresh in the White House,” they exclaim.

”So, someone who's not a politician?,” I press.

”Uh, well, no, we just want a lot of stuff changed, so we're voting for Obama,” they state.

”So the current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has enabled a man to grow up in this great country, get a fine education, raise incredible amounts of money and dominate the news and win his party's nomination for the White House – that system's all wrong?”

”No, no, that 20 part of the system's okay - we just need a lot of change.”

And so it goes. "Change we can believe in." Quite frankly, I don't believe that vague proclamations of change hold any promise for me. In recent months, I've been asking virtually everyone I encounter how they're voting. I live in Illinois, so
most folks tell me they're voting for Barack Obama. But no one can really tell me why - only that he's going to change a lot of stuff. Change, change, change. I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and convincingly why this man is qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth other than the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change.

We've all seen the emails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim background, and his church affiliations. Let's ignore this for a moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, what qualifies this man to be my president? That he's a
brilliant orator and talks about change? CHANGE WHAT?

Friends, I'll be forthright with you - I believe the American voters who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing, as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've spoken to can spell out his
qualifications. Not even the most liberal media can explain why he should be elected. Political experience? Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements? Name one. Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's thesis from Princeton, look it up on the web. This is who's lining up to be our next First Lady?

The only thing I can glean from Obama's constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes. For me, the choice is clear. I've looked carefully
at the two leading applicants for the job, and I've made my choice.

Here's a question - where were you five and a half years ago? Around Christmas, 2002. You've had five or six birthdays in that time. My son has grown from a sixth grade child to a high school graduate. Five and a half years is a good chunk of time. About 2,000 days. 2,000 nights of sleep. 6, 000 meals, give or take. John McCain spent that amount of time, from 1967 to 1973,in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. When offered early release, he refused it. He considered this offer to be a public relations stunt by his captors, and insisted that those held longer than he should be released first. Did you get that part? He was offered his freedom, and he turned it down. A regimen of beatings and torture began.
Do you possess such strength of character? Locked in a filthy cell in a foreign country, would you turn down your own freedom in favor of your fellow man? I submit that's a quality of character that is rarely found, and for me, this singular act defines John McCain.

Unlike several presidential candidates in recent years whose military service is questionable or non-existent, you will not find anyone to denigrate the integrity and moral courage of this man. A graduate of Annapolis , during his Naval service he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished
Flying Cross. His own son is now serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq. Barack Obama is fond of saying "We honor John McCain's service...BUT...", which to me is condescending and offensive - because what I hear is, "Let's forget this man's sacrifice for his country and his proven leadership abilities, and talk some more about change."

I don't agree with John McCain on everything - but I am utterly convinced that he is qualified to be our next President, and I trust him to do what's right. I know in my heart that he has the best interests of our country in mind. He doesn't simply
want to be President - he wants to lead America , and there's a huge difference.

Factually, there is simply no comparison between the two candidates. A man of questionable background and motives who prattles on about change can't hold a candle to a man who has devoted his life in public service to this nation, retiring from the Navy in 1981 and elected to the Senate in 1982.

Perhaps Obama's supporters are taking a stance between old and new. Maybe they don't care about McCain's service or his strength of character, or his unblemished qualifications to be President. Maybe "likeability" is a higher priority for them than trust". Being a prisoner of war is not what qualifies John McCain to be President of the United States of America - but his demonstrated
leadership certainly DOES.

Dear friends, it is time for us to stand . It is time for thinking Americans to say, "Enough." It is time for people of all parties to stop following the party line. It is time for anyone who wants to keep America first, who wants the right man leading their nation, to start a dialogue with all their friends and neighbors and ask who they're voting for, and why. There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. I want a man who puts my family's interests before any foreign country.

I want a President who's qualified to lead.

38 comments:

MissouriMom said...

Greg, thank you for your calm, careful response to this email. Honestly, I suspect the email is just one of many sent out by McCain operatives pretending to be real voters/ real people.

What truly galls me is that McCain and the Republicans would have you think that this latest bailout is a way to "save" America.... from WHAT?

The corporate greed McCain speaks of is the credo of corporatist libertarians like Phil Gramm, John McCain, George Bush (1 & 2), and RONALD REAGAN. Their "trickle-down, rich get richer, the rest of you go suck an egg" voodoo economics have been the impetus for the current economic meltdown.

Why IS it that they LOVE to SOCIALIZE RISK, but always want to PRIVATIZE WEALTH? They call that capitalism... the "free" market.

I call it THEFT. There's NOTHING free about what Republicans have done and are now trying to do to the American taxpayer.

But if they have their way with this bailout -- this final coup of the United States government -- it will be "free" for them...

It's the American public -- those of us making WAY less than $200K-$250K a year -- who will pay.

Change starts from the bottom up. Congress should take that same $700B-$800B and use it to rebuild the economy starting from the ground up. Put half into an IMMEDIATE grant to begin new Energy Technologies, building jobs that employ Americans right here IN America. Getting rid of our addictin to oil serves many purposes -- it eliminates our dependency to foreign nations, it builds a better America through green jobs and a cleaner environment, and, not least, it builds a more SECURE America by eliminating the stranglehold of Middle Eastern countries on America.

Then, take the other half and immediately fund keeping home OWNERS in their houses - not investors, not speculators, but OWNERS. Put part in more funding for extended unemployment benefits and aid to families who are suffering each and every day.

Anonymous said...

who brought up the race issue? if we vote democrat are we sexist? there are pros and cons to both parties. yes, both candidates will bring about change. the questions are what kind of change do we want and how much are we willing to pay?

Greg_Cruey said...

Good questions. The Wall Street Journal thinks that we will poor more with mcCain than Obama. I'd like to see the kind of change that means more Americans have health insurance - and, again, that's Obama. So that seems simple to me...

Anonymous said...

Greg is evidently uneducated in economics. Obama's "everything for free" campaign is going to have to pe paid for by someone. There are not enough "rich" people and it is quite evident that all the poor people who live in Virginia and the remainder of America will not be paying the tab. That puts the burden on the backs of average, working middle class Americans. We are already taxed to the limit. Obama's "change" means to me that he will change my reasonably comfortable life to one where I begin to support everyone else.

Obama is a bad choice for America for mor reasons than I have time to list but it stretches from his unknown background and questionabble accomplishments to his sitting in a church where the preacher preached hatred for all those years. Obama has gotten a free pass on so many points that it is past ridiculous.

Elect Obama and America is one step closer to socialism!

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Anon (9/26),

Actually, the research project for my master's degree was focused on the validity of the Human Capital Theory in a depressed economy. University of Chicago economist Gary Becker won a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1992 for his work on that theory. I'm not completely uneducated in economics…

You, however, seem to believe the lies that McCain is telling about taxes.

http://gregcruey.blogspot.com/2008/09/taxes-mccain-or-obama.html

If you're making less than $111,000 a year, McCain wants to lower your taxes by a few bucks and Obama wants to lower your taxes considerably MORE. If you're making $111-$227K, both candidates want to lower your taxes, but McCain plans to lower your taxes a little more than Obama. Obama is talking about raising taxes on the top 1% of Americans - people who make $20,000 or more A MONTH. Are you THAT comfortable?

You talk about "average" working class Americans and then you use the world "we" - like you're one of them. Average is about $42,000 a year. McCain wants to cut your taxes by $300 a year; Obama wants to cut them by $1000 a year. Then McCain wants to take the $700 he DIDN'T give you and give it to those people in the top economic levels of society. But he doesn't figure that will be enough for them; the Wall Street Journal says McCain’s plan would "lead to deficits the like of which we have never seen in this country. It would take money from the middle class and from future generations so that the wealthy can live better today." (I think they have an education in economics that's even better than mine.)

The WORST tax hike that's been proposed in the campaign has been McCain's proposed tax on employer-based healthcare.

http://gregcruey.blogspot.com/2008/07/mccain-has-succeeded-in-making-health.html

If they are lucky enough to have health insurance through their employer, McCain wants Americans to PAY TAXES on the COST of being treated for a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, and on the COST of being in the hospital after a car wreck. THAT will be a horrible thing for the middle class and will make it difficult to predict what you will owe in taxes each year...

DALE said...

Obama SAID he wants to cut taxes.
We've heard that twice before in the last 32 years. 1976 and 1992.
Notice a trend there? Our national defense has been gutted under two administrations in the past 32 years. Notice another trend? No thank you.

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Dale,

You understand that McCain's tax proposals cut revenue MORE than Obama's? He just wants to give the tax break to someone else (unless you're making a quarter million a year or more) and leave you with the bill (in the form of deficits) for running government. That's the Wall Street Journal's take, not mine...

Worried American said...

For someone who claims to be educated in economics, Mr. Cruey apparently had poor teachers or forgot the lessons of Econ 101. I also have a degree in economics, but make no claims toward understanding the whole of the national economy, let alone the situation the country finds itself in today, nor the measures now being debated. However, I do know that should Mr. Obama become President, the programs he espouses, along with those supported by Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid in Congress, will result in an economy that would make the Carter years look like heaven. It took the country almost a decade to recover from the Carter Democrat economy. Who knows how long it would take to recover from an Obama-Pelosi-Reid economic disaster? I note that neither Mr. Cruey nor anyone else have mentioned the problems that are likely to result from Mr. Obama's lack of foreign policy understanding or experience. JFK was the last President to be perceived by America's enemies as being weak on foreign policy issues. Do we want another crisis such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, or, heaven forbid, another 9-11 style of attack? These are just some of the issues that genuinely scare me about Mr. Obama's candidacy. For the person who doubted the existence of Mr. Porter, all you need to do is Google his name and you can confirm his identity and address.

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Worried American,

You claim to have an economics background, mentioned Econ 101, and then failed to mention a single economic principle. Then you go on to tell us all the things that you DON’T understand (after supposedly being educated in economics), like somehow that will make people think I’m the stupid one. It’s a very entertaining approach!

Your version of history is almost as entertaining. You make it sound like a fact (you say you “know”) that the Obama economy would make the Carter economy look like “heaven.” I teach fifth graders how to differentiate between fact and opinion; you, sir, are expressing an opinion – and doing it with hyperbole. But let’s talk about the Carter economy…

There was inflation in the 1970’s. It is often referred to as America’s only peace time inflation. But it inflation crisis started in 1969 – during war time, under a Republican President (Nixon). It was made worse by the OPEC crisis of 1973 (still a GOP President). The man who is widely credited with eventually ending the inflation at the heart of America’s economic problems in the Carter years is Paul Volcker - appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve by Jimmy Carter and reappointed by Ronald Reagan. Carter was ineffective on many issues because he had a bad relationship with Congress. But Carter inherited his economic problems from a GOP President and Carter appointed the guy who eventually solved those problems – and Ronald Reagan agreed with the choice. Your reference to the Carter economy seems to imply that you’ve forgotten a lot of economic history and you really only know a little politics.

I don’t think you know much economics (heck, you’ve admitted it). So how do you access what I understand about it? I also think you’re mostly fear mongering on my web site – like a President with John McCain’s temper and medical history along with a vice president whose knowledge of world affairs ranks right up there with that of the most recent Miss Arkansas isn’t something to be afraid of.

Sure, I know there’s a Joe Porter in Champaign. There’s at least 18 in Illinois and 185 in the US. If you search for Joseph Porter, there are 41 in Illinois. I don’t know that any of them actually wrote the letter. Viral email isn’t evidence.

By the way, Paul Volcker, the Fed Chairman that Carter appointed and the Reagan liked enough to keep, the fed chairman who is usually credited with figuring out how to solve the inflation problem of the 70’s – today he’s an advisor for the Obama campaign…

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter if any of the 17 Joe Porters in Illinois wrote this, the points made are ones I would espouse and will shamelessly e.mail to my correspondents whatever their political affiliations are.

I expect to lose a few Democrat friends but I believe it's worth the sacrifice. I cannot afford to lose our country and what it stands for by having a president who would not truthfully join with me and the majority of the nation in the Pledge of Allegiance.

g.wright said...

In regards to "An Impassioned Letter from a nobody". (The version I received)The phone number at the bottom is: 760.434.1395

I guess after wasting 10 minutes of my life on this drivel, it's why we keep our Republican hayseeds in Champaign, the heart of tax and spend IL. He speaks like being a 46 year old Christian he's knowledgeable by age, like vintage wine, and endowed from God?

He doesn't get the same House and Senate has been running this country into the ground for 30 years!

He doesn't get they run Presidents to divert attention, and jettison "newbie's" like Palin through manipulation and blame transfer.

He doesn't get writing and sharing his blatant ignorance on the internet (without even his phone number yet) before mastering major technology NOT invented by McCain ...GOOGLE, would cool his obviously overworked brain by clicking on a single link...

He doesn't get that no matter how many twisted fact-LESS emails they send will change the American People's VOTE for CHANGE? Besides being 12 points ahead as I type this the DEMS ARE changing the control of the Senate and House radically too!

I called that number personally and he said he didn't write it his friend JOE PORTER did and put HIS phone number on it.
I soothed him a bit by letting him know that as far as the internet goes, I and anyone else reading the version I got, only know him as "NOBODY" as in ..."a letter from NOBODY',"

THERE YA GO JOE" by golly these politicians will stoop at nothing including diverting there pathetic spin-misconceptions to others who trust THEM?

The "GOTCHA" media is gonna love this!
You Tube and the internet (thank you Al Gore, LOL) is McCain's biggest nightmare because everything he has said in the past (sometimes the same day) is easily verifiable and refuted. I am sorry "NOBODY" doesn't have a computer or email address when John could have at least given him his latest invention (A BLACKBERRY) to see what he is supposedly saying.

A war hero? YOU BETCHA!
Mc Maverick it turns out bailed from the scene when the bomb that CAUSED the fire at Sea ignited the deck fire he constantly boasts about; then
ran like HELL, but rewrote history and uses it in his never-ending self aggrandizements!There is even a question now in the link below if he wasn't the one who dropped a bomb while bailing from his plane to save himself while his Buddies stayed behind like REAL HEROS fighting the conflagration HE COMPOUNDED (a personal military tactic he later perfected in deregulation):

http://www.truthdig.com:80/report/item/20081007_investigating_john_mccains_
tragedy_at_sea/

In the REAL World where REAL Hero's talk to one another and don't re-write history, they are furious enough to create their own website:

http://www.usvetdsp.com/

After hearing/reading the truth from people who WERE there not in McCanoniteland, do you still feel and I quote "There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all
of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who
knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. I want a man who
puts my family's interests before any foreign country.
I want a President who's qualified to lead.
I want my country back, and I'm voting for John McCain..."

OR don't you believe them because Military records are obviously wrong because John the Mc "Legend in his own mind" says so?
Signed
g.wright a REPUBLICAN since 1968, now affirmed DEMOCRAT: I learned the hard way that "Bovine Scatte'" no matter how much icing you put on it is still reduced ultimately to "B.S." and when they aren't even smart enough to use different spin masters and Old Dirt Slinging Policies, there are a lot more people my age who saw it go down and are just plain sick of it.

No one with an education above Palin's Wasilla 6th Graders, could possibly believe a self proclaimed "maverick" who voted for Bush 90% of the time over the past 8 years, touted being a deregulator his entire political career,(Until last month when all his direct deregulating CAUSED the 700 BILLION DOLLAR FIASCO), who after "pallin around" with known criminals, previously cost the tax payers 175 BILLION with the Savings & Loan Debacle known as the Keating FIVE:

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com:80/1989-11-29/news/mccain-the-most-reprehensible-of-the-keating-five/1

Who as early as last night is ready to throw another 300 BILLION at foreclosures which he already used as his excuse for voting for the last bail-out, is going to give EVERYONE a TAX CUT? Then I have a Bridge to NOWHERE to sell you.

As I sit here and watch all 100% of McCains Mudslinging ads I remember respecting him as early as 2000 when he said:

"Sooner or later, people are going to figure out if all you run is negative attack ads you don't have much of a vision for the future or you're not ready to articulate it." [John McCain - The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer - 2/21/2000]



Thanks for the great Blogsite Greg
--------------
and giving ME the opportunity to vent myself like John McCain to his staff members, and anyone else that disagrees with him!

Greg_Cruey said...

In response to Mr Anon at 7:41am today:

I appreciate your candor in using the word "shamelessly" in your post. The pledge issue has been long resolved. Someone took a picture while the national anthem was being sung; Obama didn't cover his heart. But then, watch a NASCAR race and you'll see that Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn't cover his heart during the anthem either. No one calls him unpatriotic. Yes there is an obscure law suggesting that we do it. Few people do. And the shamelessness is in the fact that people want to LIE about the picture and say it is the pledge when it wasn't. My guess is that you know all of that already. After all, you're shameless...

http://gregcruey.blogspot.com/2008/02/obama-and-pledge.html

Iver Johnson said...

I like your response. Here was mine to the person (nice guy) who sent me Joe's letter and his distribution list:
I think the first paragraph tells us very clearly who Joe is, and that he is a almost certainly a conservative whether he chooses to so describe himself or not, is certainly not a liberal, and I would suspect has a largely Republican voting record. This letter is a propaganda piece, plain and simple – a partisan letter to the Editor, internet plant, or whatever Do you notice the use of the words “Friends” and “Dear Friends”? Where and from whom have we heard those phrases ad nauseum?? Hmmm, let me think.



We all cross party lines from time to time – well most of us do; I have, and not infrequently. I used to register as a Republican until the neocon whackos took the party over and delivered the whirlwind which now batters us all. Whether Joe really does or not, who knows, but he has to say he does. And I don’t think the phone number and email are Joe’s by the way, not that it makes any difference.



The change issue? What the hell does he think McCain is running on now? It’s just when McCain runs on change you know it’s nonsense when he has voted with Dubya 90 - 95% of the time and plans to continue all of the significant Bush domestic and foreign policies, which have clearly been abject failures. Yet McCain has no new plans of any substance whatsoever. And I am sick and tired of people (including McCain) using his POW days as the answer to everything. His answer to any question is that he was a POW for 6 years, a fate which I would wish on nobody, and for which I have great empathy, sympathy, and sorrow, but it is not a qualification for the Presidency, nor an appropriate response to every question which he does not want to answer. Similarly although I totally understand why, he, unlike others who were tortured every bit as aggressively, like the information on the one I sent you, is the one who signed the confession. I don’t blame him for that, but let’s not get too effusive about his doing that which could have subjected him to a Courts Martial had he not been the scion of a line of Admirals



This is a well crafted, partisan political letter to the editor type of letter plain and simple; both sides write them. I see Joe as someone who is misrepresenting from where he is coming. The notion that Obama has no qualifications is pure poppycock and reveals Joe’s ignorance, level of denial, and partisanship. The notion that none of Joe’s acquaintance have any idea what kind of change they want means that they are either sadly stupid or perhaps that Joe really isn’t asking those questions of anybody except fantasy characters he meets during daily reveries.



The more I see of McCain the more I KNOW he is UNFIT for the Presidency. He is an angry, bitter, hostile saber rattler who throws mud in the faces of foreign leaders that we need to persuade, not alienate, and makes it very clear that he plans to continue the failed foreign and domestic policies of Bush, who the very many historians who have spoken to the issue agree will be in the bottom 5 if not the worst President in the history of the Republic. Frankly, I see McCain as increasingly unstable and driven solely by an egomaniacal compulsion to be the President, as distinguished from the party line of “Country First”. As in the information piece I sent you earlier, McCain is driven by “McCain First,” and always has been. Given that, and then looking at who would be one 72 year old’s heartbeat away from the Presidency, there is only one rational vote to be cast and that is for Obama. An “always” Republican voter from Crystal Lake that a family member knows stated with regret the other day that he was done with McCain; he explained that in the most important decision McCain had to make to date, he chose Sarah Palin, who is obviously not fit to be the Vice President let alone succeed to the Presidency (a point of view shared by David Brooks, hardly a leftist). Therefore, he is not voting for McCain. Joe is right that none are perfect. Some, like Obama, are simply far, far better for the country than the alternative choice.



Joe’s letter makes no sense at all, and it ignores reality and the real issues. It is totally teleological and states conclusions and beliefs and assumptions as facts, which of course forces the end conclusion, which, unfortunately, is incorrect and misguided, as are most conclusions based on false assumptions and blind belief totally unsupported by reality or facts. Joe needs to wake and smell the coffee and look where we are under the policies that McCain wants to continue. No we don’t need Change – everything is going great. Wake up, Joe, and get a clue.



PS Joe may be a fictional character.

Anonymous said...

Truth be told, neither candidate is really interested in change. They are two sides of the same coin. If their lips are moving, they're lying. Deception is an artfrom to both parties.

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Anon,

I guess everyone is entitled to be a cynic. But I think it's pretty clear that the two candidates (and the two parties) have entirely different agendas. Maybe the atmosphere of Washington won't change; but whichever party gains power will shape the future of America...

Jim in Texas said...

Wow, where to begin? I'll start with G. Wright - did he actually write that himself or was it provided by the DNC? Just curious as he hit on every single talking point.

As for Missourimom and change starting from the bottom up...explain too me how somebody on the lower end of the economic scale (and I truly do empathize with said folks) how they can implement change economically to provide you with the dollars necessary to "fund keeping Home owners in their houses" and "extending unemployment benefits?" And, "put half into an immediate 'grant' to begin......"

This money will come from the gas station attendant, 7-Eleven employee, Steak & Shake employee, bank teller, secretary, garbage collector, factory line worker, car wash employee, liquor store clerk, corn detasseler, you get my point? All jobs needing to be done, all great folks doing them, all walks of life. However, they can't pay the price tag for your "toys!"

The bailout/rescue plan, for those uninformed, was bipartisan - however, more Dems signed on than Repubs. If you'd be so kind as to read magazines or websites that provide data - in lieu of Newsweek, Time, US News & World Report and People, you might find some interesting points of view that will dispel your "rumors."

Greg, your dishonesty as to the tax plan and you throwing out Gary Becker's name does not do your calm and enlightened approach any favors.

Obama's tax plan is a blatant lie at the start. He'll cut taxes for 95% of all working families? 40% already pay NOTHING! How do you cut theirs? Oh, that's right, with a refundable tax credit. According to the Tax Policy Center, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal (10-13-2008) "the total annual expenditures on "refundable tax credits" would rise over the next ten years by $647 Billion (that's a B) to $1.054 Trillion (that's a T)."

The Tax Foundation estimates the Obama plan will relieve 63 Million Americans or 44% of all filers would have no tax liability whatsoever (WSJ 10-13-2008).

Where does the gravy train stop? Who can afford these programs Obama wants to implement? Where does his concept of "fairness" start and stop? Why does he get to decide what's fair? What happened to the meaning of Article 1 Section 9?

When you examine the "charitable contributions" of your Obama and Biden ticket, what allows them to decide what tax payment is "fair" and "patriotic?" They have both proven they aren't willing to "spend" their own money on the "less fortunate." Might I suggest to Missourimom and to you Greg, that you read Arthur C.Brooks' book, "Who Really Cares; The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." That's who pays Missourimom! If elected, Obama will raise taxes and you can be assured, the best charitable people in the US will reduce their giving - you want to talk about social issues if that happens? You want to see issues that "we" take care of through charitable giving that you never see? If we all contribute like the Democrats - Obama and Biden are the norm, due to increased taxes, you'll get a better picture of whom actually does what!

As for Gary S. Becker, the WSJ had a column written by him titled "We're Not Headed For A Depression" on 10-7-2008. Having read it, I didn't get the sense from him that "socialism" is the wave of the future. Quite the contrary, he seems to be an avid capitalist (allowing for its "warts"). Democrats, as a whole, are socialists and are leaning more and more that way. Republicans, the recent bunch at least (excepting the Republican Study Committee of 125 House members), have lost sight of their Conservative, small government roots.

McCain can "reform" government if allowed to do so. He has bucked both parties and quite often. I've disliked him on many occasions (I'm a Reagan Conservative). I ask, when, just name one time, when Obama crossed the aisle on any issue other than that weak attempt at adding an amendment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation bill that everybody was going to sign with or without his panzy little amendment. I'm looking for one time?

If he can't buck his own party or cross the aisle and work with the other side, exactly what kind of change do you think he can bring about?

Lastly Greg, you do an immensely commendable job as a school teacher in a less than affluent community. However, with that said, your union sir, IS the educational problem in America. Your union has lost sight of the children! Your union has become the "clog" in the drain. Your union no longer focuses on the importance of education, they focus on politics and politics only. Your union is so fearful of vouchers for one reason and one reason only - they will make your union obsolete when you see the progress they will bring about. It's evident in the religious schools, the Montessori schools, and the charter schools.

No Child Left Behind was a failure for two reasons: 1. Ted Kennedy and 2. Unions. That simple, no ifs, ands, or buts!

How many hours a week does a union teacher in inner city Chicago work? How much is their annual income, on average? Now tell me, why is that fair?

As I look over your blog, you Greg appear to be an amiable person. Why is it that most (not all) on the left are so hateful and disgusted with America? Sure, I can agree there are those on the right with the same demeanor, but the negative intensity of the left overwhelms me. Just a brief read of Iver Johnson's letter seethes with hatred and venom. Why is he so angry? Why is he so mean? Why would he quote David Brooks as to Sarah Palin and fail to remind us all of what Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton said of Obama?

Why does the left talk in terms of "feelings" and never in terms of facts? Why does the left yearn for the ways of socialism, entitlements, giveaways, handouts, not doing their fair share? Communism, marxism, fascism, socialism all failed - why does Obama think it will work in America?

I'm hoping that American's can come together better than we did for President Bush. I'm hoping the negativity from the left doesn't wear off on those of us on the right if Obama is elected - that will not benefit anyone!

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Jim in Texas,

Gosh you throw a wide net. I had to reread your comment a couple of times to be sure I understood all of it. Still not sure I know for certain what’s directed at me and what’s directed at other people…

I mentioned Becker. MENTIONED him. My point was that I am familiar with economics – at least in some limited manner. I didn’t say I agreed with him or endorsed his ideas. The research project I mentioned actually raised questions about the adequacy of Becker’s theory in a depressed economic situation (like Central Appalachia). But my only point in mentioning him was to say that I have at least a passing familiarity with some economic ideas. So I’m not sure how that indicts my character the way you suggest.

As for my dishonesty about Obama’s tax plan… I usually don’t approve comments that question my character in quite that blatant of a manner; but I decided to be gracious this time. We’re discussing plans. Obama has a plan. McCain has a plan. A good cynic would say their both lying. My crystal ball isn’t quite as well polished as yours seems to be. But I can read the plans and comment on them. And I think the general public agrees at this point that Obama’s demeanor and behavior so far provides more reason to believe him than McCain.

The Tax Foundation report you mention is here: http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/23631.html

It says this: “Tax Foundation estimates show that if all of the Obama tax provisions were enacted in 2009, the number of these "nonpayers" would rise by about 16 million, to 63 million overall. If all of the McCain tax proposals were enacted in 2009, the number of nonpayers would rise by about 15 million, to a total of 62 million overall.”

In other words, in this particular area there’s not much difference between what the candidates are proposing.

You asked: He'll cut taxes for 95% of all working families? 40% already pay NOTHING! How do you cut theirs? Answer: I believe the idea, the meaning, is that tax rates for people in their brackets will be lowered. Semantic, I know. 95% of Americans are in tax brackets that will benefit from the Obama Tax proposal.

Since you just want one time Obama crossed the isle on a vote I’ll start with the first time. On February 10, 2005 Obama voted FOR S5, a Senate Bill that sought “to curtail the ability of plaintiffs to file class-action lawsuits against corporations by making cases that were filed in multiple states the responsibility of federal courts.” The bill passed, with most Democrats voting AGAINST it. More recently (July 9, 2008) he was among a group of Dems who voted with the GOP on H.R. 6304 (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) when it came before the Senate. Most Democrats voted against the bill. It passed.

So the “just once” hyperbole doesn’t really work for you…

As for my union, it provides me with the liability insurance I (unfortunately) need in order to work. Maybe my union is part of the problem. It’s a BIG problem and I doubt my union is as much a part of the problem as you suggest. (We’ve already decided you’re prone to hyperbole…) NCLB was a failure because the goals were unachievable, because it promotes the McNamara Fallacy ( http://gregcruey.edublogs.org/2008/08/11/the-mcnamara-fallacy-what-good-is-data ) and because most states back loaded meeting laws requirements (http://blog.k12.wv.us/gcruey/2008/05/21/no-child-left-behind-half-way-there ).

You said I “appear to be an amiable person.” I wondered if that was a typo. If someone is “amiable” it is their goal to please people. While I’d like to be considered “amicable” (characterized by friendship and good will), I don’t really care if what I say pleases people. As for other people’s anger, you’d have to ask them about it…

Try and make any future rants briefer, and make your questions more concise and specific instead of using the exaggerated rhetorical questions you did in this comment.

To Bee or Not to Bee said...

Very nicely said indeed!

lisa said...

Thanks for a great response! I'm a fellow Virginian living in Richmond...I proudly still own my great grandparents farm in Washington County---just over the mountian from you...can't believe we might change this beautiful state blue!

Keep up the good work. It does matter. I'll continue to believe that the truth will set us all free.

Anonymous said...

Without entering the debate about which candidate will do less damage to the country, I find it ironic that you first attack the original poster's grammar and then proceed to write about your "conscious" where I think you meant conscience, and inexplicably pluralized a word with an apostrophe within 2 paragraphs of denigrating the other writer's grammar and punctuation abilities. No matter what your political views, Greg, I think you have to admit that your grammar and punctuation attack fell perfectly flat. Otherwise it's an enjoyable and refreshingly civil debate.

Katherine said...

Thanks for sharing your response to the Joe Porter email. I too received the email from someone I knew and spent quite a lot of time responding to the points with serious consideration. "Joe" asked for an open dialogue, so I'm glad he's getting one!

And I truly applaud you for responding to the negative comments on your blog with determination, poise and honesty. Too much negativity has been running wild, so kudos to you for keeping your cool and treating other opinions with respect, even when you disagree with them.

Joanna said...

Thanks for the response to Joe Porter's letter. I just received my letter from Joe today, and found your answer for Joe in my Google search. I was able to "reply to all" with my thoughts, suggesting some nonpartisan political websites to visit for anyone wanting to get some clear answers, and I added your well crafted and respectful letter to the bottom.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What change Joe?
How about changing these:

pre-emptive war
slaughter of civilians
torture
fascism
spying on Americans
shredding the constitution
economy in ruins
rich getting richer
middle class vanishing
healthcare out of reach
criminal behavior in government
the dollar worth nothing
foreign countries hating the USA
government that lies
cronyism
deficit spending

That's just for starters

Marc Miller marc@farfuture.net said...

Greg, thanks for this well-reasoned response to this Joe Porter's letter (which is apparently crafted by the RNC; we can't find him here).

Dear Friends,

My name is Marc Miller and I live in Bloomington, Illinois. I am 65 years old, a born-again Christian, a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a homeowner. I think of myself as a caring citizen, and I’ll vote for any candidate who will work for the good of this country and its citizens. I don’t believe there are “two America’s,” but that every person in this country has a right to try to be whoever and whatever he or she wants to be if they'll just work to get there. Like most Americans, I believe there is nowhere else on earth can they find such opportunities. I believe our government should help those who are legitimately downtrodden, and should always put the interests of America first.

My purpose in writing is simple: I'm concerned about America’s future. I'm worried that the silent majority of honest, hard-working, tax-paying people in this country have been passive for too long. Most folks I know choose not to involve themselves in politics. They go about their daily lives, paying their bills, raising their kids, and doing what they can to maintain the good life. They vote and consider doing so to be a sacred trust. They shake their heads at the political pundits and so-called "news", thinking that what they hear is always spun by whoever is reporting it. They can't understand how elected officials can regularly violate the public trust with pork barrel spending. They don't want government handouts. They want the government to protect them, not raise their taxes for more government programs.

We are in the unique position in this country of electing our leaders. It's a not a privilege; its our right, and I’ll go farther and say its our God-given right; that no man or men can take away from usI've never found a candidate in any election with whom I agreed on everything. I'll wager that most of us don't even agree with our families or spouses 100% of the time. So when I step into that voting booth, I always try to look at the big picture and cast my vote for the man or woman who is best qualified for the job. I've hired a lot of people in my lifetime, and essentially that's what an election is - a hiring process. Who has the credentials? Whom do I want working for me? Whom can I trust to do the job right?

I'm concerned that a growing number of voters in this country simply don't get it. They are caught up in a fervor they can't explain, and calling it "change".

"Change what?", I ask.

"Well, we're going to change America", they say.

"In what way?", I query.

"We want someone new and fresh in the White House", they exclaim.

"So, someone who's not a politician?", I say.

"Uh, well, no, we just want a lot of stuff changed, so we're voting for McCain", they state.

"So the current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has enabled a man to grow up in this great country, get a fine education, raise incredible amounts of money and dominate the news, and win his party's nomination for the White House that system's all wrong?"

"No, no, that part of the system's okay we just need a lot of change."

And so it goes. "Change we can believe in."

Quite frankly, I don't believe that McCain’s proclamations of change and reform hold any promise for me. In recent months, I've been asking virtually everyone I encounter how they're voting. I live in downstate Illinois, so most folks tell me they're voting for John McCain. But no one can really tell me why only that he's going to change a lot of stuff "Change, change, change." I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and convincingly why this man is qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth other than the fact that he claims he's a maverick and he’s ready to challenge his own party (after twenty-some years as a Senator).

We've all seen the emails about McCain’s temper, his hot-headedness, his responsibility for the carrier fire that killed 134 sailors, his abysmal scholastic record in the US Naval Academy, his lack of faithfulness to his first wife, his multiple houses, and multiple cars, even that fact that he claims to be a Christian (a Baptist no less) but refuses to be baptized. And don’t get me started on how often he uses foul and filthy language).. Let's ignore this for a moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, "What qualifies this man to be my president? That he's a veteran and he’s was in a prison camp. That he says he’ll shake up Washington. That he’ll change things.

CHANGE WHAT?

Friends, I'll be forthright with you I believe the American voters who are supporting John McCain don't have a clue what they're doing, as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the most conservative media can explain why he should be elected. Management experience? Negligible. Foreign relations? A few junkets to visit foreign lands. Achievements? Name one. Someone who wants to unite the country? He can’t even unite the Republican Party. The only thing I can glean from McCain’s constant harping about change (well, constant only since he was nominated; in the two years before his nomination, his platform was things like “Let’s deregulate health care; you all can see how well Wall Street is doing since it was deregulated.” Since his nomination, he’s saying things “I’m for change too!” in order to appeal to the independent voters.

For me, the choice is clear. I've looked carefully at the two leading applicants for the job, and I've made my choice.

Let’s just talk about John McCain for a minute.

Now, it’s sad that he was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, and there seems to be an idea that it isn’t nice (maybe its even unpatriotic) to criticize his war record. But the opponents of John Kerry thought is was important to criticize his war record, so he goes. John McCain was a bad pilot (three pilot error crashes; I would think one would be enough). When he was shot down in Vietnam, he was flying too low; everyone knew that was inviting disaster.

Now I know he spent five and a half years, in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. In fact, he reached his breaking point and made an anti-American confession. We can forgive him for that: he was tortured.

And some people think that being a veteran is what qualifies a candidate for the Presidency (unless there is something to criticize about that veteran status, like they did with John Kerry). So let’s put that aside.

There are deeper questions about John McCain’s character. He has a violent temper and a short fuse. I can imagine how that discourages his advisors from telling him the truth when they need to. No one spoke up to him when he made recent erratic decisions: to suspend his campaign so he could rescue the bailout bill; to lie to David Letterman when the truth would have been enough; to run negative ads after he promised not to.

There’s his lack of character in general. He came home from Vietnam and promptly divorced the wife who had waited faithfully for him; the mother of his children. He slept around a lot before he settled down with a beer heiress and a cushy job with her father’s liquor distributorship.

He also has a foul mouth. He called his wife foul names in front of a group of reporters; the reason we don’t hear about it is mostly because the news doesn’t dare run those words in prime.

There is also his lukewarm Christianity. He was born an Episcopalian, but in 2007 (just in time for the primary campaign, he revealed that he attends a Baptist church in Phoenix. I say attends because he hasn’t actually joined the family of believers and has not be baptized in the church. I recently say a pastor refer to Obama’s “professed Christianity,” which seems unfair: Obama has actually be baptized (total immersion, I might add) while McCain was probably sprinkled as a baby and has never made a decision to be baptized.

Perhaps McCain’s supporters think they are taking a stand between the old and the new: Maybe they don't really care about McCain's service, or his lack of character, or his blemished qualifications to be President. Maybe "likeability" is a higher priority for them than "trust". Being a prisoner of war is not what qualifies John McCain to be President of the United States of America - but his flawed character and erratic leadership certainly DOES NOT..

Dear friends, it is time for us to stand. It is time for thinking Americans to say, "Enough." It is time for people of all parties to stop following the party line. It is time for anyone who wants to keep America first, who wants the right man leading their nation, to start a dialogue with all their friends and neighbors and ask who they're voting for, and why.

There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who cares about his fellow Americans; who has looked at this Iraq War and now this Afghan War, and knows its cost on all of us. I want a man who puts my family's interests before any foreign country.

I want a President who's qualified to lead.

I want my country back, and I'm voting for Barack Obama.

Whichway said...

God help us all

Anonymous said...

The original EMail had Joe Porter's phone number. If he didn't exist would that be there? I have sat through so many Obama-supporting LIES and anti-McCain attacks from idiots claiming that Obama is running a high-road, honest campaign when the fact is that Obama has spent more on attack ads than McCain has even raised that it makes my blood boil. I have been called racist because I refuse to vote for someone who supports a platform that is the planks and platform of Satan himself, and who might not even be a legal citizen in the first place. Oh! But none of those legitimate questions really matter to me. It's all because he's black (if you believe the brainless blogging bigots of the left). I have seen so many slanted "polls" from our wonderfully unbiased mainstream media that it makes me want to throw up. Before I really do, I'll just leave you with three words: Barack Hussein Dewey.

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Anonymous,

If the original email had Joe Porter’s phone number, why don’t you share than number with us and I may give him a call. But even if he is real and the original email was even sent by him from his own personal email account, that doesn’t mean he composed it himself. I know you think your question is rhetorical (If he didn't exist would that be there?), but having seven numerals in an email doesn’t mean someone is real. Send me his number…

Obama has had plenty of negative ads or attack ads. But let’s make a distinction about negative and/or attack ads. There are ads that “attack” a candidate’s position. Take healthcare: Obama has attacked the McCain healthcare proposal for its numerous weaknesses – chief among them being the idea that I could pay income taxes on the benefits my employer-based health coverage pays out for me. I see no problem with those sorts of ads, but analysts often group them in as attack ads or negative ads. Saying “That a bad idea” or “You’re just wrong about that” – that’s part of the conversation as I see it.

McCain’s attack ads have been more personal. They’re not about Obama’s policies or ideas, they’re about Obama himself. Obama has run some of those ads – but McCain ran them first and McCain has run considerably more of those types of personal attacks.

Grammatically, you seem to be saying that Satan is not a US citizen. You’re probably right. But just in case your meaning is that the platform of the Democratic Party is Hell’s agenda, I personally take offense at that. The GOP has long reminded me of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and of the money changers at the Temple in Jesus’ day. My suspicion is that God is not a Republican or a Democrat.

You can read the Snopes article on Obama’s citizenship. The fact that his father was not a US citizen would only be relevant if Obama himself had been born outside the US. Obama was born to an American mother in Hawaii and is clearly a natural born US citizen.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/citizen.asp

For John McCain the "natural born" citizen issue is not so clear. McCain was born in Panama – in the Canal Zone. John McCain was born there in 1936. A law enacted in 1937 made children born in the Canal Zone natural born US citizens. It would take a court to decide if McCain is grandfathered in, or is NOT a natural born US citizen because he was born BEFORE the law was enacted.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/mccain/citizen.asp

As for polls and polling, I think we’ve made some progress in that science since the Truman-Dewey election. Not that polls are perfect. Ironic that you mention an election that the democrat won…

Bias? This is my personal blog (not a media outlet); I'm an Obama supporter.

Greg_Cruey said...

Just got a comment from someone who had no real arguments to make - but called me names and threated to "stomp on my head." LOL. Fair warning - not all comments get published...

Anonymous said...

Snopes articles are irrelevant arguments as the author is very pro-Obama. They are highly flawed diatribes against common sense and the blatantly obvious. McCain was born on a military base. Obama was born and raised a Muslim and chose to, as an adult, be called by his Muslim name. If Obama wins, we are all screwed, even the ones who voted for him. And I'll at least be able to say, "I told you so".

Greg_Cruey said...

You might consider Fox News a less biased source. I don’t; I think they’re biased in favor of the GOP. But in any event, Fox News says that Obama is a natural born US Citizen, and points out that the US Senate has passed a resolution declaring McCain a natural born US citizen. That motion, presumably, was passed because McCain’s status was more realistically questionable.

FactCheck.Org has verified the authenticity of Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate. In their own words, their staffers have “seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate.” They “conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship.”

If you still doubt Obama’s status as a natural born citizen, I'd say this: The fact that you think citizenship has something to do with being Muslim tells me that you are most likely a confused bigot who probably thinks that all sources are biased. So what's the use in arguing about it...?

Life, liberty, and welfare... said...

Socialism.
It works in theory. But the problem is that not everyone is as nice of a person as you are, Greg, nor do they have such good intentions.
Wouldn't it be ideal if a government supported people who couldn't get along on their own? That would indeed be quite fantastic. But the problem is that there are too many people willing to not pull their own weight if they do not have to. The human flesh is built for survival, not to
benefit his fellow man.
Many religious people believe that God will eventually establish a working socialist government at some point. And that is a wonderful thing, which I believe would work, because a supreme being can actually create the environment in peoples' hearts for it to work. The problem with taxing everyone 100%, and then providing them everything they need is that they will have no incentive to work, meaning America's dollar becomes worthless, and we will end up returning to very basic farming just to get the amount of food we need to eat. Do some research on India and Hong Kong, and you can see the two opposite extremes of socialism and capitalism. Hong Kong has very few poor people, and the government stays out of the economy, whereas people die of starvation everyday in India, and the government debates over whether things like KFC chicken are healthy enough for their people. If I may quote a renowned economist, Milton Friedman: "There's nothing that does so much harm as good intentions."
I'm not saying I oppose the values that socialism stands for, but I do oppose attempting to apply it to government. For example, I believe that tax breaks for generous people and charities are wonderful, and can encourage the good in people's hearts.
Another incredible economist that I highly recommend, John Stossel, has wonderful viewpoints on this subject, and you may watch some of his videos here:
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/stossel
I am by no means a Republican, and I can tell that John McCain's plan for giving medical handouts is foolish as well, but it seems that not only is Obama less experienced, he also favors giving handouts more than McCain. Wonderful and heartfelt intentions, but unfortunate consequences for the American people.

Greg_Cruey said...

It works in theory? What does that mean? Nothing works in theory. Theory is abstract. Work happens in real life. So until it has been applied in real life, a theory is just an idea about what we think might work if we tried it…

You’re doing something that most conservative pundits try to do. You're muddying the definition of Socialism. Socialism, according to Rius (Marx for Beginners), is "an economic, social and political doctrine which expresses the struggle for the equal distribution of wealth by eliminating private property and the exploitative ruling class. In practice, such a distribution of wealth is achieved by social ownership of the means of production, exchange and diffusion."

Real socialists are ticked off about being compared to Obama.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/20/socialists-upset-by-obama_n_136284.html

The Right likes to label anyone who doesn’t believe particularly in laissez-faire capitalism a leftist, socialist, or some similar term. Laissez-faire capitalism is the idea that we should just leave the marketplace alone. And yet we just had Greenspan on the news saying that, hey, maybe he was wrong and the marketplace won’t really regulate itself.

Obama expressed an idea much different from socialism. He expressed the idea of a commonwealth – a place where we all work toward common good. It’s a progressive idea common in US politics and far removed from socialism, per se. In a commonwealth, Joe the Plummer gets to keep his business (assuming he ever actually owns one and he starts paying his taxes); under socialism, the government doesn’t take some of his profits, it takes his business.

Whether you oppose them or not, I oppose the ideas that socialism stands for. I believe in private ownership. But it was a Republican named Oliver Wendell Holmes who said that taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. All taxation is a tool for redistributing wealth (financial resources) in some sense. People who really don’t believe in any redistribution of wealth at all aren’t called Republicans, they're called Anarchists.

You mentioned Hong Kong... It actually has a fairly high poverty rate – 17.3% in 2005 – and one of the highest gini-coefficients (a measure of the disparity between rich and poor) of any place in Asia. In 1991 the percentage of people living in poverty in HK was only 11.6%. So that’s probably a bad example you’re using.

http://www.hkcss.org.hk/cb4/ecp/pov_rate_91-05.pdf

The idea that the government stays out of the economy in China is laughable. HK's government is in Beijing since 1997 (I'm not saying there isn't a local government). You obviously aren’t familiar with the larger Chinese economic situation or how artificial Hong Kong’s situation is within China.

The religious view you’re referring to is an eschatology called post-millennialism. I tend more toward amillennialism myself…

No one is recommending socialism. Republicans use the word because of its emotional content, and because libel is all they have left.

Deane - Texan said...

Please give grace for spelling and grammar.

If you can believe Katie C and her network. I don't trust them any longer, but I decided to watch last night because they compared taxes for several catagories up to $250,000 annual income for a married couple. Bottom line is that there really isn't much difference at all between Mr. Obama's and Mr. McCain's plan as it affects our taxes. THey did say at the end that there is about 2 trillion dollars difference in the ever increasing defficit. McCain being more in arears. I guess we can surmise from this that Mr. Obama will tax those earning over 250,000 in agregate the 2 trillion more, or it could mean that Mr. McCain will spend 2 trillion dollars more. We-the-people really don't need career poliburo, sorry, politicians trying to be economists.

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Deane,

I did a piece a short time back on the tax comparison:

http://gregcruey.blogspot.com/2008/09/taxes-mccain-or-obama.html

Bush cut taxes for rich people. Obama plans to change WHO we're giving tax cuts to (by letting the Bush tax cuts expire and by cut middle class taxes) AND to STOP spending money in Iraq. McCain plans to just plain cut taxes more (KEEP the Bush tax cuts, cut reich people's taxes MORE AND cut middle class taxes a VERY little) - but KEEP spending money in Iraq.

There's your $2 trillion...

The Wall Street Journal says the new deficits McCain will cause with his plan will be something we've never seen before, and that McCain "would take money from the middle class and from future generations so that the wealthy can live better today..."

Herb said...

Yes: thanks Greg for your rational response to Joe's letter. I just want to say that, having knocked on doors canvassing voters during this election, and having talked for hours to friends and family members about the reasons people are voting one way or the other, at this point, I feel like's it's OK to just break this decision down to this plain, simple fact: the national Republican party lies. Because of that, I don't trust them. The national Democratic party exaggerates things, and tries to downplay things at times. But, the Republicans just plain lie...they make things up. And, their hardcore supporters are willing to overlook that fact or, even worse, think the lies are truths. So, if you want to believe the lies that have gotten our wonderful Republic into this huge mess we're in, then you're just contributing to the mess. If you're undecided in this election, consider the fact that the McCain/Palin campaign and the RNC will do everything possible just to WIN...not to make things better...just to WIN...to stay in power, and advance their own ambitions. And that includes just plain lying.

Greg_Cruey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi there,

This is a message for the webmaster/admin here at gregcruey.blogspot.com.

May I use part of the information from your post above if I give a backlink back to this site?

Thanks,
Harry

Greg_Cruey said...

Hi Harry,

Sure...

greg