November 2008


Do pardon my absence from the blogosphere…

In addition to recently becoming a new mommy again, a basement remodeling project has become a much bigger job than I ever imagined. Every spare moment (which are few and far between, by the way) has been spent painting, moving furniture, picking out flooring, rugs, etc., etc., etc. I’m actually blogging right now while inhaling a salad, as the proposed auto industry bailout is a topic I just can’t ignore.

Giving the auto industry $25 billion would be akin to giving a shopaholic teenager daddy’s new credit card number becuase she ran up so much debt she can no longer afford to feed herself. “I promise I’ll only use your new card for living expenses!” Yeah, right.

Bad management and a heavy-handed union has put the auto industry in the position it’s in today, and throwing more money at them is not going to solve the problem. Placing them in a position where they will have to file bankruptcy, streamline the business, and improve management just might.

Contrary to what the auto execs want you to believe, filing for bankruptcy will not force them to shut down tomorrow. It is in the best interest of those who are owed money by the industry to keep production going – you can’t get blood from a turnip, as they say – and to encourage better business practices to ensure that they are payed their due. Handing the auto execs a check will merely encourage them to keep doing exactly as they are doing now and place them right back where they are now in a decade or so.

Want to make more money? Build cars that people want to buy. Cut labor costs. Stop flying your corporate jet to Congressional hearings. Pick up a Quarter Pounder with Cheese rather than eating in the executive dining room. Coming to the government with your hand out isn’t in the best interest of the auto industry, it’s employees, or the taxpayers.

So, should we bail out the auto industry? Absolutely not. It’s the dumbest idea I’ve heard this week.

I’ll start with what I hope will be good news:

Republicans have taken over the General Assembly in Tennessee.

Yesterday’s election gave Republicans a 50-49 lead in the state’s lower house, while picking up 3 seats in the Senate for a 19-14 advantage. House Minority Leader, Jason Mumpower, said “We are going to make sure that we live within our means and not put any higher taxes on Tennesseans and make them proud they elected us.” I hope they stick by that promise.

With the election of Barack Obama as President, however, I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the media. What I have seen throughout the night and into this morning is a bunch of white people talking about how “historic” it is that we have elected an African-American president.

While I am not so naive to think that it is not a big deal that a black man will be moving into the White House, especially considering what men and women endured a mere 40 years ago to make it possible, I am beyond irritated that it’s all we’re talking about this morning.

Obama’s color is taking precedence over his policies.

It seems to me that the fact that Obama is black should be a footnote in the history books, rather than a whole chapter. Rather than discussing his support of a cap-and-trade system, his questionable views on gun control, and his peculiar move toward the middle during his campaign (distancing himself from his votes in the Senate…), we are talking about his color. If I were him, I’d be a bit insulted.

Barack Obama is more than the color of his skin. He’s a barrage of Socialist policies that I fear will send America in a new wrong direction. I hope I’m wrong. And I also hope that the media will begin to focus on the issues rather than Obama’s race.

I took my unexcited behind to the polls this morning, with my two kids in tow, and voted. Did I waste 20 minutes? Maybe.

I’m glad the line wasn’t long out in the country where I vote, because I can’t say for sure that I would have stuck around to actually cast my ballot. I only voted for one person who actually has a chance of winning, so, what’s the point?

Somehow, a tiny bit of dreamer lives on in my skeptical, disenfranchised heart. Deep down, a little part of me still believes that someone, somewhere, will be impacted by my third party votes. I think, “if only more people voted like me, someone would take notice,” and I dutifully cast my ballot for those with whom I actually agree the most, regardless of their chance of winning.

So, yes, my vote matters. But it would matter a lot more if those of you who think like me would actually vote for the candidate that you believe is best, regardless of his chances of winning or attention from the media. If you voted your conscience, maybe – just maybe – we’ll one day have a choice between two great men, rather than just being forced to pick between the lesser of the two evils.

I haven’t been so disinterested in an election since I was eight years old.

My first major presidential election that really sparked my interest was 1992, when, at the age of 12, I worked to get out the vote for Bush Sr. In the years since, I have taken at least a marginal interest – even through my carefree teenage years – in each and every presidential race and most Congressional and local elections. This year, I’d rather take a nap or do something constructive like get a root canal than pay attention to the election results. Due to the difficulty I’m having getting someone to keep my kids so I can go vote, I even momentarily entertained the thought of not voting this year. Then I thought better of it.

Despite the fact that most Americans think their only choice tomorrow is to vote for Dumb or Dumber, I plan to drag my disinterested behind, possibly along with my two small children, to the polls to vote for Chuck Baldwin. Although I know he doesn’t have a chance in Hades of actually winning, at least my conscience will be clear, and I will be sending a message to the two “major” parties that I will not vote for whatever puppet they decide to parade in front of the American public.

I’ll, of course, be casting votes in my local and Congressional elections, as well: Matthew Hill in the 7th District, Daniel Lewis for Senate, James Reeves for US House.

I’ll feel good about my vote; not so good about the votes of others.

I know I’ve quoted this before, but it bears repeating: “If the only TV you watch is the MTV, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote.” Hank Hill

Although I’ve been mostly bored by this year’s election, there have been a few things that have brought out the “Angry Jama” of old. I’ve already rattled on about the control the two “major” political parties have over our country. Maybe even more than that, the notion that it’s ok to vote for Barack Obama because he’s black has really riled me up.

For whatever reason, it seems to be ok to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin, but God forbid you vote against him for the same reason. I have heard time and again folks say that they are voting for Obama because he “looks like me,” or because “it’s historic,” but, if anyone were to openly say that they are not voting for Obama for the very same reason, that person would be denounced as racist. I suppose we’re only color blind when it’s beneficial, eh?

I have also been annoyed by the numerous references to “negative campaigning.” It seems that you’ve “gone negative” whenever you tell the truth about your opponent. Reveal his voting record in a commercial? Negative! Talk about people your opponent has befriended? Negative!

It seems to me that we need a little more truth-telling in campaigns and a little less telling people what they want to hear.

So how will the presidential election end? I think Obama has it in the bag, but I think we’re only going to be marginally worse off than we would be if McCain were to win. I think the Republicans will regain control of Congress in 2010, and possibly the White House in 2012. And, thus, history repeats itself until we learn our lesson…