February 2008


My grandfather passed away this week. While we are all, of course, sad and are going to miss papaw very much, it was so nice for me to be able to get together with my entire family. We, for various reasons, have, shall we say, disagreements, and generally don’t even spend holidays together. There are a few of us – those of us that still get along – that hang out on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the “black sheep” are generally excluded.

So, over the last couple of days I’ve enjoyed, despite the circumstances, spending time with my family – “black sheep” and all.

The reason I tell you all of this is because, as you know from some of my previous posts, that I have particular family members with whom I enjoy discussing politics.

Today we discussed how utterly absurd it is that Congress actually spent time and tax dollars having hearings on Major League Baseball players using steroids. I remember the day that I turned on CNN to get a valid news update and was quite disappointed to discover that they were airing the “MLB Hearings.” My thought at the time was “Isn’t this something better suited for ESPN?”

On a day when the top news stories were the tanking dollar, sky-high gas prices, a declining economy, and the war in Iraq, our illustrious Congressmen were listening to a bunch of big, dumb jocks talk about whether or not they were using steroids. Absurd doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The quote of the day comes from my brother-in-law:

“I don’t care if baseball players want to shoot diesel fuel up their rear ends and light it on fire. It doesn’t effect me one bit.”

Amen and amen.

The Northeast Tennessee Republican Club will be meeting tonight at the House of Ribs in Johnson City at 6:00pm. Guest speaker will be former Tennessee State Senator Jim Holcombe, present leader of the Tennessee Conservative PAC.

I wondered why in the world the media was making such a big deal about conservative talk-show host, Bill Cunningham, attacking Barack Obama prior to a McCain event in Cincinnati. But then I thought, “It’s the media,” and moved on.

When McCain came out, however, wringing his wimpy little hands over the incident, apologizing like he had something to apologize for…now then I saw a story.

Now Bill Cunningham is saying that McCain “threw me under a bus – under the ‘Straight Talk Express’.” Well, you’re darn straight he did.

This is an election, and while I know as well as anyone that people don’t like it when candidates get negative, the fact that McCain came out, hat in hands, begging for Obama’s forgiveness…well, he just looked like a big, old weenie. McCain isn’t the one who said anything about Obama (God forbid! The media would surely swoon if someone dared impugn the character of their precious Obama!!). Why in the name of all things sacred would he need to apologize? It’s an election – a competition, for crying out loud! – the candidates are going to talk smack about each other. That’s how this works. But, apparently, weenie McCain feels the need to say only nice things about the guy who would without doubt burn Republicans in effigy if it was politically expedient. Is this how he’s going to deal with rogue nations, as well? (“I’m so sorry, Mr. Kim Jong Il…I would never, ever say anything bad about you. Surely you misunderstood me!”).

On second thought, maybe that would be better than how we deal with rogue nations now…but I digress.

Cunningham is claiming that he will now join the likes of Ann Coulter and support Hillary Clinton. While I can’t agree with him on this decision, I would certainly favor him joining the ranks of us that will not be supporting McCain. Add his wimpy apology to my list of reasons for not voting for him…

I had the distinct, ahem, pleasure of reading the blog of an acquaintance of mine this morning. This gal and I were in the same sorority in college, although I a couple of years before her, and I had run across her blog some time back. I remember reading a bit of it, and being rather appalled by the standard, university liberal crap. For some reason I ended up reading a few entries this morning, and my head nearly exploded.

A liberal, for sure, this gal’s posts tend toward the run-of-the-mill lefty arguments that we’ve heard a million times before. I was struck, however, with several ironies.

First, one post dealt with how upset she was over girls wearing too much perfume on campus. What I gathered from this post and others is that it’s ok for young, silly sorority girls to be told that they are idiots for wearing too much perfume, but God forbid that Christians tell anyone that it’s a sin to be a homosexual. We can clearly base our morality on some arbitrary, hippy-dippy belief system, but base it on the Bible and you’re some kind of jerk. What if those sorority girls love their perfume? Who am I to tell them they can’t carry on a long-lasting relationship with their bottle of Clinique Happy?

There were also several comments from said blogger about the evils of corporate America, CEOs making “too much” money, and how terribly unfair it is that not everyone in America can afford health care.

Let’s start with corporate America. The recipient of most corporate hate in America is Walmart, what with their talking Elmo dolls and scores of Doritos. The interesting thing about a place like Walmart is that not only can I buy several talking Elmos (which I may or may not need), I can also get a bottle of antibiotics for $4. My guess is that there are millions of Africans who would be quite happy to take the overabundance of Elmo dolls if they also get the affordable antibiotics.

Then those nasty CEOs who make millions of dollars a year! How dare they! How terribly unfair that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their education, gave up time with their families, and sacrificed their health in order to get to the top and now they make a lot of money! Well, clearly they should give it all up and raise the wages of those who only stay at the office from 9am-5pm, don’t have the same amount and/or quality of education…how silly that people actually earn what they’re worth.

Then there’s the health care issue. I will admit, for sure, that the American health care system has its flaws, but we, comparatively, have the best health care in the world. Health care, much like poverty, is misrepresented by those who would have us under some socialist universal health care system. We keep changing the parameters – redefining “uninsured” and “poverty.” The vast majority of people can go to the doctor, even if it’s the health department. Most people can go to the local Walmart (God forbid!) and get some Theraflu or Tylenol. When it comes to poverty, we have the fattest poor people in the world! So, apparently, being poor and uninsured means you can only afford Walmart medicine and Cheetos. Not the best, mind you, but a heck of a lot better than what the vast majority of the world’s population can afford.

I’ve been uninsured, and on the government’s health care rolls (oh, blessed TennCare). I’ll tell you, I plan to make for darn sure, come hell or high water, that I never end up in either predicament ever again. Fighting for care through a government health insurance plan was worse than just trying to pay for it myself. And you want me to get stuck with Federal health care? No flippin’ thank you!

I’m a complainer, too – anyone who reads this blog knows that the vast majority of my posts involve whining about some political injustice – but the fact is, that we live in the greatest, most prosperous nation in the world. Fussing about Walmart, redefining “poverty,” and talking about how great Paris is isn’t going to convince me that we need the government to have more control over our lives. You know what collectivism gets you? Russia. And the last time I checked, there aren’t many people spending days in row boats trying get their feet on Russian soil.

Finally, there were several comments about gay marriage and the mean old Christians who are just being “intolerant.” Nowhere in the bible is there instruction to tolerate sin. Shall I overlook the brutal rape of a child in the name of “tolerance?” Of course not. And the notion that “Christians get divorced, so who are they to say that gays shouldn’t get married?” is absurd. That’s like saying that Christians sometimes lie so they have no right to tell someone not to steal. Hogwash.

When Tennesseans overwhelmingly voted against allowing gay marriage in our state, the blogger in question was furious that we would do such a thing. I guess we only like democracy when it goes our way, huh?

I typically don’t comment on Hollywood blather, but I find it relevant that last night’s Oscars was the lowest rated ever.

Everyone wants to offer up some reason why Americans decided to do something other than watch the Oscars. Some say it’s because, without new episodes to air, ABC didn’t have ample opportunity to advertise (as if every boob on TV hasn’t been talking about the Oscars for the last month). Others say it’s because the nominees for best picture didn’t have widespread appeal.

Why do I think people didn’t watch the Oscars? Because we don’t care.

I tuned in for a bit, I’ll admit it. I turned to ABC because I was hoping to catch “Extreme Makeover Home Edition,” and ended up watching an hour or so of the Oscars instead. It was actually pretty good. I was entertained, if not impressed with the winners.

I was, however, faced with how terrible the movies were. The only movie that won an award that I even care to see was “The Bourne Ultimatum.” I wouldn’t mind seeing Juno, but I didn’t catch a win for that one. Hollywood is so out of touch with what we want to watch, why would I care who they give their awards to?

Take “The Golden Compass,” for example. I saw, just in my hour watching the Oscars, that it was up for several awards. “Compass” is an adaptation of an atheist, blatantly anti-Christian book that was marketed in its film version – interestingly – as an answer to “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” Why in the name of all things sacred would I want to see such a film win an award?

“There Will Be Blood” and “No Country For Old Men” were the two big nominees of the night, and I had heard of neither movie until folks started talking about the Oscars. Neither film looked like something a married mommy from the South would care anything about seeing.

My husband’s a bit of a movie buff (claims he missed his calling and should have been a film director…), so I’ve learned an appreciation for movies. What I’ve not learned is how to appreciate films that so utterly disrespect my way of life. I am hard-pressed to find a movie that doesn’t make a mockery of my world view. And there are a lot more people out there like me than Hollywood would care to believe.

The fact that the Oscars were so pathetically viewed last night just reiterates the fact that Hollywood is utterly out of touch with reality. Plus, when people are worried about how they’re going to pay their heating bills, doesn’t it seem a bit silly to watch a bunch of overpaid, overdressed celebutantes strut down a red carpet?

I’m back! And hopefully for good…

I know it’s been a few days since I’ve posted, due entirely to the worst sinus infection I’ve ever had in my life – and I’ve had plenty of sinus infections. After 3 days of antibiotics, however, I’m feeling as though I might be on the mend. I even felt like scanning the headlines this evening, finding that Ralph Nader has entered the presidential race. Not that I’m surprised.

There’s been talk of another Nader run and I think everyone knew it would happen. While I wouldn’t vote for him, I think it’s great that he’s entering the race again.

The Democrats, of course, were quick to pounce, claiming that it’s at least partly Nader’s fault that Gore lost in 2000. Clinton hopes that his bid doesn’t “hurt anyone” this time. Obama said, “He thought that there was no difference between Al Gore and George Bush and, eight years later, I think people realize that Ralph did not know what he was talking about.” Well, actually…

In a lot of fundamental ways there aren’t that many differences between George Bush and Al Gore. Granted, I’m glad that Bush has been the president for the last 8 years rather than Gore, but they’re basically the same guys with different special interests. It’s not like one of them is a true “Jeffersonian” and the other a died-in-the-wool “Hamiltonian.” They’re both big government power-players. Nader got that right, at least.

I think it’s a shame that the Dems (and I’m sure the Republicans would act the same way if someone got into the race that would pull votes away from them) can’t get excited about a real presidential race – as opposed to the “lesser of the two evils,” “Sophie’s choice” that we’ve been faced with for the last several elections. Until we get rid of this absurd two-party system and get some real proponents of change in the race, we’re going to continue to end up with crappy choices like Obama vs. McCain.

So, good for you, Ralph Nader! You get in there and “steal” votes from whomever you darn well please…and maybe one day we’ll have a race in which a third party candidate actually has a chance of winning!

While John McCain attempts to present himself as the “ethical” candidate, the NY Times tonight released a story on the web raising questions about McCain’s behavior during his 2000 Presidential campaign.

McCain reportedly spent a questionable amount of time with a particular female lobbyist:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, in his offices and aboard a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity (NY Times).

While the question of McCain’s possible infidelity is certainly concerning, the more serious political issue is the fact that he was spending this time with a lobbyist. Following the Keating Five scandal, McCain began reworking his image as a champion of ethics and campaign finance reform, so the notion that he was simultaneously carrying on with a female lobbyist is quite damning.

This story has been percolating for a while, as the NY Times has been working on it for several months. Matt Drudge ran a piece on December 20 in which it was revealed that McCain was trying to convince the Times to chuck the story.

What I find terribly interesting about this story is the timing. Granted, we are talking about the NY Times here, but why not run the story when other Republican candidates still actually had a shot of beating out McCain for the nomination? I suppose it’s possible that the Times was still working on gathering sources, etc., but the fact that the NYT is a notoriously liberal paper leaves one with doubts.

Because the story just came out this evening, I’m sure we’ve only heard the tip of the iceberg, and I look forward, in particular, to hearing McCain’s response to the accusations.

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