Thursday, October 30, 2008 blames Michael Vass for President McCain win

I heard about this vide that was being sent across the net and I was just waiting to see how long it would be until I received it. I didn’t have to wait long.

Of course this is a video created by and circulated originally by my friends at What lovely people they are. But this video was sent to my by a reader I don’t know, Donna (last name withheld).

I’m happy to know that I have made an impact.

In all actuality I am amused that I received this video. But if you look at it closely you see it’s a bit insulting as well.

First off it equates a vote for Senator McCain as a non-vote. That’s a pretty high pedestal to be standing on, but considering that MoveOn has attacked the very military that protects its freedom to say what it does, I’m not surprised.

Be clear, a vote for Senator John McCain is no less a vote than for anyone else. And not voting for Obama does not make you a racist, if it is based on issues and not the fact that he is Black. Even if you are African American it’s ok to disagree with the bigger Government, spend today tax tomorrow, Government knows best policies of Democrats and Senator Obama. This is not akin to a mandate of your Blackness, its not part of the commoditization of Black culture.

But if I were to be the responsible party in a McCain vote, which by my numbers and expectations is a real potential, I would not be upset. I made my opinion clear, and my reasons. And I have yet to hear an argument, or policy, that gives me pause for that choice. (I would also love the attention and income that such responsibility would provide my blogs and company)

I love the way this video equates a loss for Obama as a national outrage. It completely ignores the fact that nearly ½ the nation (according to polls of committed voters, and who knows about the undecided votes) does not agree with Obama’s policies. If this video is conveying the outrage that might occur in San Francisco, Berkley, or Eugene, Oregon then I will sleep well at night.

In fact in looking over this video again I can see why MoveOn made it. It’s an attempt to scare, cajole, and/or shame voters to vote for Obama. It’s like high school cliques in video form. If you don’t do this you won’t be part of the massive crowd of kids that think they stand out and are different – even though they wear, speak and act exactly the same. How dare you have a brain, know the issues, and have an opinion they don’t like.

The fact that it goes so far as to use religion to slam home the thought that even God must like the politics of Obama. Please. It’s a bit hypocritical for an organization that would support the removal of all hint of religion from all aspects of the nation and public life, to use it as a selling point for their political views. God doesn’t care about politics, Moveon, unless every verse I’ve read in all religious tomes are wrong.

Some would say “Mike, this is just funny.”

No, it’s a targeted attempt to use subtlety and humor to force an opinion onto people. To give the impression that voters have an obligation, instead of a choice, on who to choose for President. It’s the classic move of some liberals and Democrats, to support freedom of speech until someone disagrees with your position. They then need to slam them hard and force them to change their mind to their side, or else. Kind of like what the Obama campaign did to Florida reporter Barbara West, among others.

The best part might just be the absurdity of the thought that McCain would bomb some ubiquitous goat herder. Though the counter thought of Obama sitting down with Iran’s President - to ask him to play nice with Israel, stop making nukes to bomb America, cease funding terrorist groups that plan to kill all Americans (including pacificst and Democrats), and if he is still listening maybe raise the cost of oil so Americans can’t afford it and be forced to use less energy until some new discovery makes an alternative to oil possible – that is terrifying and real.

Of Course MoveOn wants to really sell the Republicans are evil thought. And reinforces the thought that a vote for anyone beyond Obama, and democrats, is a non-vote. MoveOn has a personal gripe with President Bush, and so he is one of their biggest scare tactics. But be honest, to have ANY President mention your name in a positive manner while speaking to the nation is an honor. I wish I had that much influence. I may be a megalomaniac but I’m not insane. (Though I hope to get Bill O’Reilly to comment on a post or speak about me one day. It would be fantastic for my business.)

I will say this, if is for Obama it is yet another reason not to vote for him. They are the most extreme far-left political group short of communists in China. Ok, that was a bit overstated – maybe the North Koreans and Castro. Of the political opinions they hold that I am aware of I know only 1 person out of about 10,000 in my life that agrees with them. Talk about outside the curve.

So the future I fear is an Obama win. His tax plans will hurt my business and the national economy. He will promote a healthcare plan that will make my health about as important, and as high a quality, as regular mail. He will endanger American lives, and lead us into a war within 5 – 7 years because of his weak stance on foreign policy. He intends to give more to those that do less. He is unbending on his views, and uncaring about other political opinions. He is duplicitous in what he will say to the nation to achieve his goals (though not as bad as Hillary Clinton). And all of that, if not quite a bit more, can all be found in following his campaign since his announcement to run for the Presidency – something I have followed virtually everyday.

I respect Senator Obama. My dislike of his policies is not personal. I admire the fact that he is a Black man that has overcome many obstacles to reach this point. I think he is an incredible orator. And I do not question his intelligence. But none of that is enough to cause me to vote for him.

Voting is always important. Choose who you think matches your hopes for the nation. There is no stigma, no social pariahs. You cannot be singled out, and all the bad jokes and peer pressure in the world will not make someone else’s opinion your vote.

A vote for McCain is as American as a vote for Obama. A vote for Republicans is as valid and honest as a vote for Democrats. A vote is your Right, exercise that Right. But don’t let stupid gimmicks disguised as a joke curb your opinion, nor limit your right to vote. Be informed – from both sides – then get out and make your voice heard.

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Senator Obama speaks to nation

For those that missed it here is the video of Senator Obama’s 30 minute ad.

I will note one thing for now, the only reason this was made and ran on 3 broadcast television networks was because of him breaking his promise to accept public financing.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Presidential election levity

You know what? I’ve been following the Presidential election everyday for 2 years now. It’s been serious and informative. It’s been important and annoying. And I am tired.

So for a brief moment of complete levity I present the following videos. Because sometimes we all need to relax from the stress this election can bring.

and now the candidates please

Ok, now go vote!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Was Barbara West's Senator Biden interview fair?

In response to my post on Barbara West’s interview with Senator Biden I have heard many people excuse the response of Senator Joe Biden, and defend Senator Obama’s flexible tax plans. Even more have chosen to attack or dispute the questions of Barbara West.

First is a fact that this election seems to have avoided, at least in the sense of the major media. There are few questions that can be asked of candidates that are unfair. Any question that is based in whole in the words and meanings of a candidates statements is always fair and deserving of an answer.

In addition it is the responsibility of the major media to ask the candidates tough questions that some or all citizens have. When the media in question is more local those questions should be more locally motivated, but otherwise the questions should be asked. This has rarely happened with Senator Obama, even as far back as the Democratic Primaries.

The statement in question is Senator Obama definitely stating and standing by his desire to “share the wealth” of Americans, and doing so via Government mandate. This is beyond taxation and a statement of redistribution of wealth forced upon Americans. This is in no part an ideal of Democracy. The closest style of Government that reflects such attitudes is the socialism that Karl Marx discussed and wrote of – communism being a far more extreme form of that same government style.

Taxes are not meant as a means to check the power of Americans. In fact it is impossible to do so as a billionaire is still drastically wealthier than the middle class or less Americans. Yet they have only one vote and are equally as restricted in their campaign contributions. Taxes are a means by which the Government is able to enact policies it believes are in the best interest of the nation as a whole.

Barbara West did not ask the same question twice because the first is speaking on a Gallup poll and the effect of the Obama tax plan. The second question on the tax plan is asking to clarify the distinction of the tax plan versus socialism – which really does not exist as redistribution of wealth is a core point of socialism. That is the reason I believe that Senator Biden refused to answer the question, besides the fact that he was visibly upset at being asked tough questions which is rare for the Obama campaign.

And it should be noted that virtually every independent study of news coverage of the election has shown that Senator Obama has been treated with an unfair bias. He has been asked fewer tough questions and has had less complete investigation of his policies and past political votes.

Were the major media fair there would be questions on how Obama could claim he is a moderate when he has been consistently ranked by his voting as far back as the Illinois Senate as extremely liberal, as an example. The media has avoided coverage of several gaffes by Senator Biden that refute or question Obama policies. The media has failed to ask for clarification of several controversial or unclear policies and statements of the Obama campaign. Even right now you can go to Yahoo and see a poll result for the Presidential election that is unmatched by several of the most reputable polling companies including Rassmusen.

But the question at hand is the comment of “sharing the wealth”. There is no question of what Senator Obama has meant. He has repeated and defended his belief. Such a belief is liberal at the least and socialist in definition. It is effectively a cap on the productivity of all Americans.

A friend of mine explained this to her son who asked what it meant as follows:

“Say you were to do a job, like rake leaves, and be paid $20 for it. The guy across the street did nothing but watched you. Before you get paid the Government would take $15 dollars out of your $20 and give $5 to the guy across the street that watched you, and another person like him down the block, and another. But you get to keep the $5 for all your hard work.”

Her son felt this seemed unfair since they did nothing. I agree that giving people money that they did not earn and cannot justify, based on the will of the Government, is unfair. And in my experience, having lived in Moscow and Tsblisi while the USSR still existed, it does reflect aspects of the socialist style of Government.

I did not open my business to share the wealth I generate. When I chose to make a donation that is my choice, and any donation will go to something I support. I do not trust the Government to spend my money, and neither does Warren Buffett, John Kerry or other famous Democrats.

If Warren Buffett were so confident of the Government he would have left his money to the Government as opposed to a foundation run by Bill Gates. If John Kerry and other extremely wealthy Democrats were so in favor of sharing wealth with Government allocating the funds they would have donated millions (Kerry is worth in excess of $300,000,000) without any change of lifestyle. And I won’t even go into the donations of Senator Biden, which I outpaced.

But again I detract. Barbara West was justified in asking the questions she did. Senator Biden had an obligation to the citizens in Florida and the nation to answer the question. Senator Biden failed his obligation, not Barbara West. And the Obama campaign compounded that failure when they then had a tantrum and canceled the access of that media organization (including its Philadelphia affiliate) to the candidates. Because not being presented to Americans just prior to an election benefits whom on Election Day?

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Carl E. Heastie, NY State Assemblyman - up for re-election

In mere days the nation will be out looking to vote in their choice of Presidential candidate. On that same day there are a multitude of other decisions that will be decided as well. Various referendums and local and state officials will gain, maintain, or lose their positions. While I tend to not be as directly involved in local elections outside of where I live, I was born and raised in the Bronx – so I have a vested interest.

As those who have looked at my bio are aware, I went to Evander Childs High School. It was a decent public high school, with books older than I was at the time, and I have fond memories of the place. Evander has been closed and in its place (literally) there will now be 4 separate high schools. As stupid as that decision may sound it is what has happened. But in May 2008 there was a final reunion of all alumni.

The final reunion gathered hundreds of teachers and students going back as far as the 1930’s. It was impressive to see all the successes that all had spent time at this one local Bronx institution on learning. Also at the event was Carl E. Heastie, NY State Assemblyman.

Assemblyman Heastie is up for re-election, his district is the 83rd and his local office is at

    1351 East Gun Hill Road
    Bronx, NY 10469

I met Assemblyman Heastie at the event, and after a short discussion we set up a plan to see if I could interview him. It would be good for his election hopes, and I’m never reluctant for good publicity as well. So I started to do my homework.

Elected in 2000, Assemblyman Heastie is a member of the Democratic State Committee and was Chair of County Elections Committee of the Bronx Democratic Party from 1996 – 2000. He is a member of the NAACP (Williamsbridge), did not go to Evander but did go to public school, did go to Stonybrook College for his B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Baruch College for his M.B.A.

Assemblyman Heastie is a native New Yorker, and like many people in the Bronx a Democrat. He grew up within years and miles of me. He was not rich, and he is involved in the community. He sits on Aging, Housing, Labor, and Small Business committees. He is highly involved in education and is directly involved and leads in creating new schools.

Learning all this I was very interested in interviewing Assemblyman Heastie. I tried to contact him within a week of the Evander reunion. After 3 attempts I let it go. A month later Assemblyman Heastie had his office contact me in reply.

This was mid- to late June. The office of Assemblyman Heastie informed me of their interest in having the interview. They were excited in the fact that I have an international presence, and that my political comments are followed by enough people to fill a small city. I asked at this point if they had read any of my blog posts, which I learned they had not. I suggested that they do so, and we arranged a date for the interview – 2 days later – which had to be via phone since Assemblyman Heastie was too busy to meet with me in person (I was willing to go to the Bronx to interview him in person).

A bonus I noted was the fact that not only would this interview appear in my blogs, but I had the ability to include it on one of the biggest blogs in the world (in the top 5,000 out of 55 million at the time – – ranked higher now) as well as several blogs related to the subject. I also planned to release a press release to ensure maximum exposure.

The next day I was contacted by the office and told that they were very excited by the chance to be interviewed by me. They were

“...looking forward to express on a national basis the support Assemblyman Heastie has for Senator Obama”

In addition Assemblyman Heastie wanted to highlight his work on education. I had no problem with this and stated that I was willing and eager to allow him to discuss the issues he supported. I again repeated the fact, that I have stated many times to every person I have interviewed or discussed the matter with, that I would provide them the opportunity to review (but not alter) the final interview 24 hours prior to publishing – factually incorrect data would be corrected in this manner (ie. typos or incorrect transcription). I also stated, as is my policy, that any additions, clarifications, or expansion of points they might wish to include would be posted as well, verbatim.

Thus, as with all my interviewees, they had the opportunity to discuss even more any issue that Assemblyman Heastie felt was important to his constituents and the nation. That could be his support of Senator Obama, need for funding and reform of Bronx schools and education on a national level, and/or even cheerleading the Democratic Party. Whatever he wished, I would have published verbatim.

Again the office of Assemblyman Heastie expressed interest and eagerness. Then they failed to contact me.

I contacted them 3 more times up to the end of July. Each time I was not allowed to speak with the staff in charge of the scheduling that I had previously spoken to. Each time I was told to leave a message. Each time I received no follow-up, or any form of information explaining why Assemblyman Heastie had abandoned our scheduled interview.

Now I am not vindictive. I’m a grown man and I can take a hit. My blogs do not rise or fall with the influence of any politician. So I let the issue go. But it has nagged me since. Not because I still have yet to hear from Assemblyman Heastie but because of what it might mean to my readers.

My concern is not for Assemblyman Heastie. My concern is his inability to face questions from an ordinary person just like his constituents. As an interviewer I wanted to discuss issues that I believe are important to the people he represents. Many have no idea of how to contact him; and fewer believe that even if they could contact an elected official that that official would pay attention to their concerns. This was an opportunity for Assemblyman Heastie to alleviate those concerns and express his beliefs. Obviously he has a desire for greater political office at some point, an interview of this nature and international exposure could have done that. I have no doubt that in the future he will attempt to do this again. But the fact that he backed out so suddenly made me wonder why.

What might I have asked Assemblyman Heastie?

  • Do you support any candidate for President?
  • What does the campaign of Senator Obama for Democratic nominee mean to you? What does it mean to African Americans in your view?
  • What is your position on Iraq and Afghanistan?
  • Many African Americans were divided by the Clinton campaign during the Primaries – what would you say to those with questions/hesitation?
  • You are quite young for a politician, what motivated you to enter politics?
  • Growing up in the Bronx, how important has education been in your life?
  • How important is the youth vote?
  • How is the current mortgage crisis affecting the 83rd district compare to the rest of New York City, NY State, and the nation?
  • How are your constituents being affected by the economy?
  • As a native New Yorker 9/11 had to have a massive impact on your life – what efforts have you worked on to provide safety in the world’s largest city and ensure that no America is ever compromised again?

Those were exactly the prepared questions I had for Assemblyman Heastie. I do not think they are too harsh or difficult to answer. I believe that in June, July, and August – if not now – many in America would like to see their elected officials answer these questions.

I was not asking Assemblyman Heastie why he did not respond to the 2006 and/or 2008 Political Courage Test. I did not question his political ratings that include his votes such as:

  • 45% in favor of business
  • 37% in favor of conservative issues
  • 90% in favor of liberal issues
  • 54% in favor of animal rights issues
  • 100% in favor of environmental and anti-gun issues
  • and an unclear stance on pro-life, choice, or abortion issues.

Overall I felt I was fair, or would have been. But why did Assemblyman Heastie back away?

Was he afraid of an issue he thought I might have researched and learned of? Did he believe that via my ties to the community he serves I had heard something that he did not want to address nationally about his past or present? Was he not committed to his support of Senator Obama and feared that being brought to life after the interview? Does he have a prejudice against Republican Black Puerto Ricans, or at least this one in particular?

I cannot answer any of these questions. Assemblyman Heastie has refused to give me the opportunity to ask these questions. Assemblyman Heastie has refused to allow his constituents to hear the questions or answers up til now.

Assemblyman Heastie may be a very good man, and/or a great politician, I do not know. All I can say is that he agreed to and then ran from an interview without stated cause. I presume he has political ambitions beyond State Assembly. He may or may not be re-elected.

I neither support nor am against Assemblyman Heastie. His constituents will decide what to do in the voting booths next week. I ask Assemblyman Heastie to respond to the questions I have placed here, and am still willing to interview him – whether or not he is re-elected. If he chooses to respond via email I will provide that response on my blogs verbatim. If he chooses to contact me, and he has all my contact information, via phone or regular mail I will transcribe the information verbatim as best is possible and provide that on my blogs. But in all honesty I do not believe that Assemblyman Heastie will do that.

Assemblyman Heastie has acted in a manner that I personally find rude at the least. This may or may not be reflected in his political actions. But if I were still in the 83rd District on Election Day and I were posed with a choice of re-electing Assemblyman Heastie I would be hard pressed to vote for him over a rabid dog.

This is my opinion. I look forward to hearing from anyone that knows of Assemblyman Heastie or his political actions that would like to respond.

** I should note that I am sending a copy of this to Assemblyman Heastie after it was posted. Again, any response will be posted verbatim.**

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Barbara West asks Senator Biden questions - Obama campaign blacklists media

I recently made a Youtube video where I mentioned several questions that should be asked by each voter before they make their vote. The now famous Joe the plumber had a question that he asked of Senator Obama. Joe has been raked over the coals by many part of the media and internet for that. Much of the major media was also embarrassed that the internet and an average guy are asking the toughest questions of the Obama campaign since he decided to run for President.

But now we may see why

After that interview the Obama campaign pulled all interviews with Biden and his wife. The station, for those not familiar with Barbara West and Florida television, is the number 1 news channel for the last 20 years in Florida.

Over and over it seems that every news organization that challenges the Obama campaign is labeled as rude, outlandish, and biased. Every tough question has been branded Right-wing propaganda, and refused to be answered.

Everyone admits that the media overwhelmingly is in favor of Obama and has been unfairly easy in asking Obama questions. And even when Obama has been on “difficult” news media, like Fox News with Bill O’Reilly, and treated fairly he has turned around and blasted the organization as being unfair in their coverage.

Why is it that Obama refused to answer, and attack when asked, the tough questions. Why is it off-limits to question the direct similarities of Obama’s self-stated desire to redistribute wealth and socialism (which is a moderate form of communism)? Especially when socialism has part of its definition as redistribution of wealth? Why is it wrong to note the on-the-record comments of Obama from his past?

Do you think this is unfair? Is this a question that the news media can’t ask? And what else that might be of interest that cannot be asked.

By the way Biden stated directly that only Obama would be challenged by an international crisis. Colin Powell never addressed this in statements I read. And the Obama campaign did in fact give $800,000 to an ACORN subsidiary.

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What the Presidential election numbers might be

Well great minds think alike, and so several writer’s are discussing the chances of Senator Obama maintaining his lead and winning the Presidency. I too have been waiting to discuss this issue, trying to time it to be just in the attention span of most voters. But because this is important I will jump on the bandwagon.

Unlike many other writers I don’t care about polling results too much. And I won’t discuss an Obama or Bradley effect. Others have crunched the number more than enough on that. Instead I will focus on basic math that I think everyone can figure out.

There are racists in America. A shocking statement to some I am sure. Not everyone, not just in one region. And not just a stereotypical type of Whites or Americans. In all honesty there are racists of every color and creed in America, each for their own small-minded illogical reasons. And all to different degrees.

Taking that fact into account let’s do some numbers. Let’s say that there are only 1 racist close-minded individual per ten thousand in America. Let’s also say that only 200 million can vote in America. That makes 20 million that will vote based solely on skin color. Of that number roughly 30 percent are Black, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian. Assuming all 30% vote for Obama that is 6 million for and 14 million against. Those are just general numbers. Time to get more exact.

If we take into account that 43% of the nation was registered Democrat in 2004 (72 million and 55 million Republicans with 61% of voters voting) and that Rasmussen recently reported that the ratio in the nation was 38% Democrat and 34% Republican I gather that some 40% are Democrat with roughly 36% Republican.

Also taking into account the number of people in the nation was around 250 million, almost 75% of the nation made a vote. So the population today is over 300 million and thus some 225 million should be able to vote.

That means the vote should go 90 million Democrat, 81 million Republican with a total of 171 million votes which would be a record. That would be a 5% win for Obama, which is close to most polls right now.

But we need to add race. Adjusting the numbers we get 154 million votes splitting 81 million Democrat and 73 million Republican. That’s 8 million or 5% for Obama without race being a factor (which I pray is an underestimate of racial indifference but could be an overestimate).

Adding race we get 5 million for Obama and 12 million for McCain. The numbers change to 86 million Democrat, 85 million Republican when race is factored in again.

Now comes the real interesting part. The Hillary Democrats, and Democrats that just don’t like Obama’s political platform (which has nothing to do with race or gender issues). I will group them all together though they have different reasons, and I will take out 10% because they are part of the above figures. If 1 in 10 Democrats don’t like Obama’s plans and/or inexperience (which is what I have found in my conversations over the election cycle), and 10% of the Hillary Democrats are combined we get 16 million or 20%, minus the 10% I noted above, and you get another 10% of Democrats against Obama. The numbers are now 78 million to 93 million.

And for the sake of the unknown and to just correct for my adjustments I will add 4 percent to Democrats (since they have that lead in numbers) and 10% from Republicans (because that is an accurate measure of people that do not follow predictable patterns). Final numbers come to 81 million vs 84 million – in favor of McCain. There is 6 million left over or 3.5% that are really in question (including my rounding off of numbers).

That is the real race. That will decide the election. That’s how important the vote of every single American is. By my numbers the race is 47% for Obama, and 49% for McCain.

My experience says that the youth vote will not be as strong as hoped for currently, which will hurt Obama. In addition women will be in higher numbers, though I expect only a slight bias to McCain as a factor of that. Those 2 factors could make a 5 – 10% difference in the numbers above – against Senator Obama.

So my expectation is that we will likely see the following results:

  • 154 million votes or 70% of Americans that can vote will, which will be a record.
  • 78.5 million votes will win the election, or 51 percent.
  • McCain will win 51% to 49%
  • Democrats will claim that voters in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio were restricted from voting.
  • A Democratic Congress will be re-elected
  • The economy will continue to be bad, though the stock market will recover 1500 pts after the election.
  • There will not be an international incident over the next 6 months.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Before you vote, questions you should have answered

The following is a transcript of the video. Just in case you missed something or wanted to quote and/or respond directly.

Over the next few days there will be a slew of television ads discussing the views of each candidate and why you should vote for them. Some will make sense to the one part of the public or another. But they are just polispeak and no decision should be made based solely on a 30-second ad.

Before you decide who to vote for in this critical election I suggest you think of these things:

In the last 20 months we have come to know Senator Obama, but do you know the relationship that exists with Bill Ayers today – He is an admitted terrorist and self-described anarchist without remorse as late as 2001 while he helped start Obama’s political career?

Senator Biden believes Obama will be challenged on the international stage if elected within 6 months, as he directly said. This is because Obama is inexperienced. Can America afford an international crisis while in a financial crisis and fighting 2 wars?

The major media is overwhelmingly biased in favor of Obama. They have used this bias to avoid asking tough questions, such that a plumber asked one of the hardest questions Obama has received in this election cycle. What has the media failed to let you know? And what will they receive as a benefit for this lopsided support?

The Government has not been able to balance it’s spending in over 40 years, which you and I do everyday. Considering that every department and agency of the Government costs more and runs less efficiently year after year, why would bigger Government cost less or be better?

After a century of running the post office, the Government still can’t get that right. What would make you think that they will be able to run the incredibly complicated task of healthcare better than delivering the mail?

We all want the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to end. But how they end is important. If you think an immediate retreat is best, think of the 3 million that were killed in Viet Nam after America retreated there. More importantly think of the fact that Al Quida and Iran will use a U.S. retreat as a sign of weakness and fear of their radical beliefs, which would spur future attacks. How we leave is as important as when.

Senator Obama promised to take public funding for the race against Senator McCain. He backed away from that promise. Senator Obama promised to speak to America with McCain in at least one if not more town hall events. Again he backed away from that promise. What other promises is Senator Obama capable of backing away from?

Higher taxes on business sounds great, but small business creates jobs. Higher taxes means less money to hire or employ workers. With business slowing down, less money means more unemployment. Is your job recession proof, especially if business taxes are higher?

I don’t proclaim to know all the answers. I admit I support Senator John McCain. But that doesn’t change the fact that you should know the answers to these and other questions before you vote.

Vote for whomever you believe in, but know what you are voting for. Vote for a reason, not a 30-second soundbite. Vote because you love America.

I’m Michael Vass, owner of M V Consulting, Inc. and I approved this message.

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Senator Obama can't compare to President Kennedy

Senator Biden has recently warned that Senator Obama, and exclusively Obama, will be challenged by international events due to his inexperience if he is elected to the Presidency. He continued to state that the response, to at least 1 of 4 or 5 different scenarios would at least look wrong, and that supporters would need to stand by and wait while the events play themselves out. And Biden finished the thought with a comparison of Senator Obama to President John Kennedy.

Since that time, the Obama campaign has wasted no time in backing away from the comments, while the major media has done it’s best to ignore the statements altogether. It is now stated that Biden was speaking of any President, which is a direct lie as he named Obama and only Obama – going so far as to be very clear that it was an Obama only issue when he made the original comment.

But putting aside the willful rewriting of fact, I want to focus on the comparison to President Kennedy. This is a popular comparison for Senator Obama. Both men were young and relatively inexperienced so in some ways the comparison fits, but the question is how much.

President Kennedy was rich. Very rich. Senator Obama was not.

President Kennedy was a family man, as is Obama.

President Kennedy was an adulterer, Obama is not.

President Kennedy came from a politically elected and connected family, Obama did not.

Before becoming President, and before WWII, Kennedy lived as a young adult in Europe and had a degree in international affairs. He also wrote a thesis on the appeasement, “Appeasement in Munich”. In addition his father was ambassador to England. Thus he had some degree of international experience and understanding, none of which Obama has.

President Kennedy volunteered for military service, and was accepted due to the influence of his father (before America was attacked at Pearl Harbor). He served a total of 4 years. Senator Obama has never served a day in any branch of service, and has in fact blamed U.S. servicemen for various acts that are inaccurate at best. (He has claimed U.S. forces have bombed villages and civilians)

President Kennedy was decorated with Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Purple Heart, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. Again Obama has never served.

President Kennedy served in the House of Representatives for 6 years, and was a Senator for 7 years. In that time he broke several times with President Truman and the Democratic Party. Senator Obama has served 4 years as Senator – 2 of which have been during his time campaigning for President. He has never voted against the Democratic Party line, and is the most liberal member of the Senate.

President Kennedy had to fight against the belief that his religion, Roman Catholic, would affect his ability to lead the nation. Senator Obama has had to fight against the lies of his being a Muslim. In addition he has had to contend with racial prejudice.

President Kennedy failed in one of his first major international confrontations when he ruined the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. His inexperience led to the failure of support, naval and air, for the men that were attempting to overthrow Fidel Castro. The invasion attempt was planned before Kennedy was President and there was no action by Cuba to justify the revolt – beyond their support of Communism. Senator Obama has no international experience, and had his perhaps first major mistake in looking to have the U.N. punish Russia for the invasion of Georgia. (Russia is a member of the security counsel in the U.N. and thus could veto any action against it)

In 1962 Kennedy faced down the Soviet Union, which was emboldened by the Bay of Pigs result, as they tried to ship nuclear weapons into Cuba. It has been stated that America was within hours of a nuclear war before the Soviet Union backed down. Senator Obama has indicated that it prefers to speak with nations that are seeking nuclear weapons development, and hold a declared desire to see America destroyed – no matter what person is President. He has also threatened to attack the sovereign soil of an ally nation (given that Pakistan is volatile at best).

President Kennedy increased U.S. troops in Viet Nam from 800 to 16,000 in support of France (who was getting their butts kicked by the communist forces) to defend America against communism. Senator Obama intends to reduce the troops in Iraq from roughly 130,000 today to an unannounced number (though in his polispeak it is assumed to be 0) within 18 months of his being elected. Many dispute the effect of this, and I believe it to be a guaranteed manner in which to create greater instability in the region, empower Iran, and will lead to attacks on American soil within 5 years of the removal of troops.

President Kennedy also did vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1957 which many at the time opposed. But he also voted for the Jury Trial Amendment, which in effect nullified the Act, thus engendering the support of segregationist Senators James Eastland and John McClellan and Mississippi Governor James P. Coleman. There is no directly comparable law that Senator Obama voted for or against. But he has voted against funding troops in Iraq, an act that his own Vice Presidential candidate opposed very publicly, which was publicly a mixed decision.

So in looking at both men what do we get?

President Kennedy was a man who was familiar with events in the world and was active in them. He was dedicated to the nation and willing to put his life on the line to protect it – going as far as using political pressure to ensure his enlistment. He was willing to work against his Party on issues he felt were important, though he was also willing to compromise those issues for political favor. He made bad decisions early in his Presidency that caused near nuclear war at a time when few had such means but great fear. He was willing to use U.S. troops to enforce the views of America, even when there was no direct provocation or danger to America – though he foresaw future danger.

Senator Obama is unfamiliar with involvement with world events. He has preferred to make decisions based on political advisement instead of active investigation (he has visited Iraq and Afghanistan twice, the second time for both after he gained the nomination of the Democratic Party). He has framed himself as a far-left liberal and as such is against the military. He is a Party line supporter and has no real bi-partisan interests. He is interested in discussion as opposed to action, to an extreme. Enemies of America believe he is weak as well as inexperienced (much like Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs). He has served virtually no time in nationally elected office.

Overall there is in fact little connection or positive comparison of Senator Obama to President Kennedy. It might be summed up that both men were Senators (though for far different amounts of time, and Kennedy serving in both Houses), both had religious misunderstandings they had to overcome, both are Democrats. In addition both men can claim intelligence, families, wealth, and a dedication to America. Both men are charismatic and excellent orators.

Beyond that, there really is no comparison. Both men are very different and it would be fair to say that President Kennedy would likely oppose most of the campaign promises of Senator Obama. In fact it would be fair to say that President Kennedy would support Senator McCain and his policies – even if that meant breaking Party lines which he was wont to do.

So when we return to the promises of Senator Biden, keeping in mind the real comparison of President Kennedy and Senator Obama, it becomes clear that Obama is not the person that should be elected.

The media may not like to make that fact based comparison, the Democrats might prefer the romanticized pairing of the men, but when you really look at the truth and not the polispeak there is an obvious difference.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How does media bias affect Presidential election

For as long as Democratic candidates have been mentioning their desire to run for President most of the major media has been promoting them. Going back as far as 2006 the media was virtually guaranteeing Senator Hillary Clinton would be the next President of the nation. Once Senator Obama took the national attention they began they love affair with him.

While that is not as important a reaction when we are speaking about bloggers, though many of my colleagues are more than capable of swinging independent votes as I believe I am, the major media is meant to be independent. It is the purpose of the media to ask questions, tough questions, of the potential candidates. It is their purpose to inform the public of facts and comments of note by the candidates. It is the fact that they receive more attention and response than bloggers of most any size that we rely on them.

But the media has been remiss in their responsibility. There is no question about this. From the New York Times refusing to allow Senator McCain to write editorials, while approving 8 of Obama’s, to the failure of the media to investigate the relationship of Bill Ayers, the media has failed America.

Gov. Sarah Palin has had her kids, her husband, and her friends investigated by the media. Senator Obama has yet to have his friend Bill Ayers confronted. Yet audio tapes of Ayers decry his belief in anarchism, and interviews has clearly stated his lack of remorse and desire to have inflicted more terrorist acts against America. All of that while he served on a board with Senator Obama, and while he was supporting – if not creating – Obama’s political career.

We have heard about every aspect of Senator McCain’s health. His reports have been reviewed and questioned multiple times. So we know that he is in excellent shape for a man of younger years than he is. But there was no question asked of Senator Biden, who denied to present information about his health which is important because of his past health problems.

And just this week Senator Biden directly stated caution if Senator Obama is elected President. He directly stated that Obama, AND ONLY Obama, would be challenged on the international stage because of his inexperience. He further went on to state that the response of Obama would look inappropriate or bad initially. He even went as far as to say that there are 4 or 5 scenarios that could happen.

The major media failed to ask what those potential national threats might be. They failed to ask how America might protect itself, regardless of who is President. They even failed to notice this dramatic and important fact. Because they don’t want to affect those that might chose to vote for Obama. So they would spite America to satisfy their own wants.

In fact, in a moment of honesty, while interviewing Gov. Sarah Palin one of the few honest views on this matter was recorded.

So think of this. What else is the media not telling you about on the Democratic candidates. What other facts that are they withholding because it can affect your vote. What gain are they expecting in return for their targeted help and support of Democrats?

When the media is willing to ignore facts, and report polarized views, how is the public served? And where will it end? Will they ignore important facts about laws that Democrats want to pass that the public may not support? Will they gain tax or other incentives for their support? Are they being bought or allowing themselves to be compromised?

Most importantly, is Senator Obama and Senator Biden really the best choice for America if the public is not being told all the facts? Or are they the best choice for selected groups with targeted agendas that can mold public thought through deception and omission?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Need welfare? Elect Obama

As talk of the economy and taxes dominate the political pundits, and the Presidential candidates stump speeches, I again wanted to take a look at the reality of the Obama tax plan. In searching for those more intelligent than myself to evaluate the tax plan I came across the Wall Street Journal. Considering the daily focus on money and economics I doubt anyone could call them an unqualified source.

And while this article may be a bit dated I find it accurate. In fact since it was written the only real change ahs been the fact that Obama has promised, and virtually guaranteed, that he will give away even more money. Suffice to say that in total the Obama tax plan is really a welfare system.

“Moreover, the tax credits would mostly go to those who pay little or nothing in federal income taxes. His trick is to make the tax credits "refundable." Thus, if the tax credit is for $1,000, but the taxpayer would otherwise only pay $200 in taxes, the government would write a check to the taxpayer for $800. If the taxpayer pays nothing in federal income taxes, the government would pay him the whole $1,000.”

Giving people money that they have not earned and is not theirs is welfare. That is the core of his “share the wealth” redistribution of income he proposes as a tax plan. That is anything but the American way. It is far closer to a socialistic Government.

“Mr. Obama proposes a fully refundable Making Work Pay Tax Credit, which would have the government pay out $500 to each worker and $1,000 to couples -- reminiscent of George McGovern's 1972 election proposal for the government to send a $1,000 check to everyone.

His American Opportunity Tax Credit would provide a $4,000, fully refundable tax credit for college tuition expenses. His Mortgage Interest Tax Credit would provide a 10% credit -- refundable -- to offset mortgage interest payments for lower- and middle-income families. His Health Care Tax Credits, which the campaign says "will ensure that health insurance is available and affordable for all families," include "a new refundable 50 percent health tax credit on employee premiums paid by employers.

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit would be made refundable and expanded to allow "low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit on the first $6,000 of child care expenses.”

This may all sound great, except it forgets something important. All that money being given to low income people and families has to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is feeling the crunch of credit and the slow down in the economy as well.

“The latest Congressional Budget Office data shows the bottom 40% of income earners already pays no income taxes. Indeed, they receive a net payment from the federal income tax system -- meaning from the taxpayers -- equal to 3.8% of all federal income taxes, because of the refundable tax credits under current law. The middle 20% of income earners, the true middle class, pays 4.4% of federal income taxes.”

So while those in the lowest income brackets make the most money, it’s all money that is undeserved. You might be saying, “I don’t care. That’s money coming to me and not out of my pocket.”

But that would be a lie. In fact that is the exact thought the Obama campaign and Democrats hope you think. Because money does not grow on trees, and deficit spending that the Government does so well must be paid off at some point.

The money comes from business, at least they hope. By increasing corporate taxes and that of those making over $250,000 the Government hopes to cover the costs of the ‘welfare’ and the bigger government Obama promises (costing $800 billion dollars on it’s own).

But those in the top income bracket have no reason to invest in or create small businesses. The capital gains tax means that investing is not worthwhile. Unless you can legally find a way to make 45% on investments in a down market (that would cover the 20% tax, 10% broker fee, and leave 15% which would be further hit by personal taxes – and for the record at the top of the internet bubble the average investment made 35% profit and this is far from that exuberant market).

And business will pass the cost onto consumers, while firing employees to make up the difference. Kind of like what Yahoo just did. And you can expect more of that from more companies if Obama is elected.

Welfare is not a bad thing in itself. Most of us need help at one point in our lives. But that is not the same as handing out someone else’s money simply because of envy that they worked hard and made more money. It’s not the same as the Government arbitrarily capping how much money you can make in your chosen field of work. It’s not the same as essentially working for the Government when you had struggled to be able to work for yourself.

The repercussions of the ‘welfare’ or effectively higher taxes, and higher unemployment that is the Obama plan are severe. And in a Democratic Congress that is more focused on placing blame on anyone else while spending money that does not exist those problems become more extreme.

Senator Obama is a good American, and his high hopes are laudable. But America cannot afford his socialist leaning views.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Nancy Pelosi wants 2nd try at stimulus plan failure

Just one month ago Nancy Pelosi was advocating a mortgage bailout bill that would give nearly $1 trillion to Treasury Secretary Paulson and use any potential profit or repayment for pro-Democratic groups including federally indicted ACORN instead of the public. Also in that initial bill was a quiet attempt to add $50 billion dollars as a stimulus plan for normally pro-Democratic segments of the nation.

Nancy Pelosi was shot down in her first attempt, but she did not give up. Though ACORN is now recognized as a bad choice for more federal funding, especially as a substitute fro repaying the public bailout of financials, Pelosi is still trying for her stimulus plan. And you have to give her credit, she has increased the amount she wants to spend to $150 billion now (or more if she can get it). And she is now getting support from Fed Chairman Bernanke and the White House it seems.

Long-time readers will be familiar with the fact that I thought the first stimulus plan was a waste of money. It was a complete failure in every objective it was hoped it would deal with. It did not stimulate anything, it did not bring stability to the housing markets, it did not prevent the failure of several banks and brokerages, and it did not alleviate the credit crunch.

Another stimulus plan will have the same effect. Nothing. Any funds being used to give to the public will be used to pay down bills and debt, again. Even moreso now with such uncertainty.

And we need to get this into perspective. Nancy Pelosi has presided over the worst Congress ever. It was her Congress that failed to see the crisis from the start. It was her Congress that as late as July denied any problems, in the words of Barney Frank. It was Paulson and Bernanke that have been playing catch-up. It is the current fiscal plans that are causing real inflation to grow, and business to slow – which is the only reason oil prices have dropped. And they want to make it worse by doubling down.

Pelosi is confident that she will get another stimulus plan, if Obama is elected. She plans to wait til then to really push for this useless plan.

“But we can get something signed — please, God — when Barack Obama wins the election.”

That is just blatant polispeak. But what it also means is this. An Obama Administration will bring in $832 billion in new spending, we are spending $700 billion on the bailout, we have spent over $200 billion on prior bailouts, and we will be spending another $150 billion or more on another stimulus plan while businesses will be saddled with 10% higher taxes, and investments will be shutdown with another 15% in capital gains taxes.

Given these facts, I cannot see how anyone will not have their taxes increased. And I don’t mean the 3% increase that Obama and Democrats have voted for and tried to pass in March of 2008. If anyone thinks that business will not slowdown further, and jobs will be lost while inflation grows under these economic plans, they have never done well in basic math – in my opinion.

Nancy Pelosi is decidedly a partisan and underhanded politician. She promotes wind energy without disclosing her substantial stock investment in wind energy companies. She has refused and block discussion on domestic drilling. She has wasted the taxpayers money on trying to point blame on Republicans, admittedly where no laws have been broken. She has had a Congress that has accomplished the least ever, while maintaining a majority in both Houses. And now she wants to make things worse.

I hope people in California wake up and vote her out of office. But the fact is she will hold power long enough to cause damage that will last years. And considering that she has enabled a Congress to willfully damage the nation via inaction and inattentiveness, I can only have nightmares about the damage she will be able to inflict on the nation with a Democratic, left-wing, President as banks and healthcare is socialized.

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Senator Biden highlights Obama weakness - who is he campaigning for?

Senator Biden never made sense to me as a Vice Presidential pick for Senator Obama. He has made racist statements, and has made claims to equal the invisible bullets of Senator Clinton. He disagrees with the policies of Senator Obama on key issues, and he has declared (until selected for the VP) that Obama is not qualified and experienced enough to be President. Now he has made further statement s that are confusing at best.

Senator Biden stated

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.” he told a fundraising crowd in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. “Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“He’s gonna have to make some really tough - I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it’s gonna happen.”

So in Biden’s own words the Democratic candidate for President, that he believes is unqualified and inexperienced, is going to face an international crisis just because he has been elected. That perhaps Iran, or some other nation that is opposed to the existence of America no matter who the leader is, will cause a situation that requires a serious and immediate response from the nation. And he implies that this event could involve nuclear weapons, as it did for President Kennedy in the Cuban Missle Crisis.

Now considering the mistakes and failure of Senator Obama’s response to the invasion of Russian troops into Georgia – an ally of the United States, and the universal acceptance of Obama supporters in the fact that Obama is inexperienced (something that even Colin Powell noted when endorsing Obama) you have to wonder what would happen.

Will Obama try to sit down and talk with a leader of a nation that hates America as say crude oil shipments are held hostage? Or perhaps North Korea will openly renew efforts to build a nuclear weapon. Or perhaps Russia will invade another nation, threatening our allies in Europe. And even Biden cannot imagine bama’s response or style.

If Biden is right, and Obama is to be tested as he believes, are you sure he can repond well? Even Biden is not sure.

What I really don’t understand is why Biden would suggest such a scenario so close to the election. Why would he shed light on the fact that Obama’s inexperience and recent mistakes. How does clarifying and promising the likelyhood of international crisis – something Obama tries to avoid speaking about and is often wrong about – help his campaign.

I see the benefit of this statement. But I endorse and support Senator McCain. I have no question that McCain could handle such a situation. But according to Biden such a scenario would never be placed before McCain because he is experienced and strong on international affairs. Only because of the inexperience of Obama, like Kennedy, would this be done.

So the question should be, do we want a President that will be challenged internationally at a time when we are still reeling from monetary instability, engaged in 2 warfronts, and headed by an Administration that is internally conflicted?

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Abortion - the 2008 election issues that is unspoken

In roughly 2 weeks the nation will be going to the election booths and selecting a leader for the next 4 years. That leader will be responsible for all the issues facing the nation today. The economy, the war in Iraq, potentially selecting Supreme Court Justices, and abortion to name a few.

Abortion is one of the bigger issues that the nation is very divided on. It has not been a main point of the debates nor in the media and pundits, yet millions will base their vote on this issue alone. Considering how strongly most feel on the issue I thought it deserved a bit more attention.

Just to be fair I will mention that I disagree with late-term partial birth abortions. I find that concept to be distasteful and painful just in imagining the act. I do understand how such a procedure can be performed to save the life of a mother, but beyond that I have no reason to accept this act.

Further I believe that men have no rights in any part of the thought of abortion these days. The media portrays men as callous and unfeeling, unreliable and prone to departure and as such deserve no voice in the matter. I feel that while this could be true of some men, it is not true of all men. I am not saying a man’s wishes should be the final decision, but that since it took 2 people to create the life in question some regard should be given to those men that wish to actively be involved.

And I do not believe in the concept of those that say that a baby is merely a visitor in a woman’s body. That the woman is the sole responsibility in how a pregnancy will play out. That the child has no right beyond that given to it to live.

Overall I am an advocate of choice with leanings to life, understanding that there are situations that create the need for an abortion. That does not mean that I am tunnel-visioned and cannot hear arguments on either side and evaluate situations as they are presented to me. Like life itself, abortion seems to me to be a situational decision that cannot be fit into slot A or B like policy on economics or building nuclear power plants.

All that said, the positions of the candidates are essentially the following as I understand it:

    Obama supports the overall Democratic view that any form of abortion is permissible

    McCain supports the view that abortion should be a decision of the individual state, as defined by that states population, and the Federal government should be outside that choice.

I state that Obama supports any form of abortion, including late-term abortions, due to his strong support of the Freedom of Choice Act (he is a co-sponsor of the bill, as is Senator Hillary Clinton). This Act assumes the thought that abortions are a Right, similar to the Rights detailed and outlined in the Constitution. While I agree that the Constitution is free to some interpretation, this claim is completely outside of its framework. There is no Right to abortions any more than there is a Right to suicide.

The Freedom of Choice Act asserts that abortion has affected the

“ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives”

Which seems to state to me that it is also stating that raising children is a negative for women, which I disagree with. And it seems to state that abortion is a form of contraception, which I think is foul. And I would even say that if a woman was really so focused on raising her economic and social life she could either not have sex, or ensure that contraceptives were used to prevent pregnancy, and/or ensure that her partner and/or she no longer had the ability to procreate.

But the Freedom of Choice Act also attacks the fact that there have been bans on abortion that disregard the health of a woman. That is equally a bad choice and a problem of law.

In essence my problem with the Act is most with the following language:

“the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.”

The definition of that last part, when combined as a Right, allows for almost anything to be done. What is necessary for the health of a woman? Her emotional health, financial health? Does that include weight gain? Does that health provision mean serious changes in health or just cosmetic ones?

Thus under the wording that exists any form of abortion is allowable, which I disagree with.

But there is a problem with the view held by McCain as well. In backing away from a Federal mandate to allow abortions of at least some type, states could be pressured into making illegal any form of abortion, even when the life of the mother is in danger. That is not beneficial to women, or the nation.

If States are the only voice then women lose the strongest advocate in a truly personal and life changing decision. It weakens the ability of women to make this choice and opens the potential for ridicule and persecution of women that make this choice. I do not favor that kind of action.

So the question is which is the right choice for America? Which candidate would be most flexible? In my opinion Obama is less flexible than McCain. The Freedom of Choice Act is too vague and open to interpretation. It can be used to allow for abortion as a form of contraception, which I disagree with. And while McCain supports State decisions, he can be swayed to ensure an overall Federal support of the choice and legality of having an abortion.

Now without religion being brought into this discussion, which is a personal factor that does not apply to all citizens of the nation, which do you support? Will this make a difference in your vote? Is there a middle ground that the candidates should be looking to support? Is it possible to have a middle ground, and if so which candidate seems likely to reach it?

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About Colin Powell endorsing Senator Barack Obama

Well if you haven’t heard about this, I am sure you will. The commercials and the pundits will likely be buzzing all week on this news. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has endorsed Senator Barack Obama.

Now this is important on several levels. Powell is a Republican (as I’ve said in the past, Black Republicans do exist), respected on an international level as well as domestic, has great insight on foreign affairs, and is politically neutral (up til now). His opinion, and the weight he gives to Obama should not be underestimated. It should also be scrutinized as to why he picked Obama.

At the offset, Powell clearly states that he has followed this election since the candidates first mentioned they would run. That indicates to me that he was aware early on that this election would be the most important likely in decades. That the shape and ability of America will be shaped in the outcome.

And he clearly states that he is quite familiar with both men. He has spoken with both several times in almost 2 years.

Those are facts. And I interpret from that fact that neither man was able to convey a confidence for Powell. Further it is clear that he believes that the Republican Party is becoming too conservative and religious for his liking. In that I can say I agree with Powell, if I understand him correctly.

But it seems that Powell does not like the pick of Gov. Sarah Palin. It is not because she is incapable, nor that she is not qualified. It is the fact, in his opinion that she is not prepared or experienced enough at this time. That argument is one that many have made, and is the source of why Palin is so often compared to Senator Obama instead of Biden.

And the final critical point is the actions of Senator McCain with respect to the mortgage crisis and the credit crunch it has caused. McCain has made several moves on this issue and had several changes in policy as event have unfolded. This was a problem for Powell.

But I have a problem. It is the very lack of action, and the seeming disdain that Obama displayed in regard to the mortgage bailout and the credit crisis that bothers me. He did not do his job as a Senator when the Congress was debating and voting on the mortgage bailout. Were it up to Obama the bailout would have been passed with a clause that would take any repayments and provide them not to the public but to Democrat sponsored groups like ACORN. That is not where I would want my money to go, and the Government should not choose for my money to go there without my permission.

And Yes Obama has seemed very steady in his view of the crisis. In fact he seems more than unflappable, he is steadfast. Obama essentially refuses to change his mind on his tax plans, and the 832 billion dollars in new spending that he continues to promise, seemingly oblivious of the consequences of the trillion that has just been spent (to say nothing of the hundreds of billions just prior to that).

There is also a question of the judgment of Obama in picking a VP that opposes him so much on critical issues. That includes healthcare, Iraq, and taxes. This says nothing of the public denial Biden made about the preparedness of Obama to assume the Presidency. That speaks to me of an Administration that would be plagued with internal stryfe and ineffectiveness.

And as to the campaign of Senator McCain, I agree that the focus has drifted a bit from the core issues facing America at this time. But drifting is not the same as abandoning.

Yet I think addressing issues like Bill Ayers is important. Not only because Obama has yet to clearly state the nature of his relationship with this terrorist, but because he refuses to discuss the matter at all. He reacts as if mentioning that the actions happened in the past is enough. It is not, since the terrorist has no remorse and has stated in the present his desire to have done more domestic bombings.

And let us not forget that it is the Democrats who are firmly fixated on the past with regards to Iraq, and many policies of President Bush, if not also the 2000 election. If they believe the past is important for the future how is the past of Ayers, and his relationship with Obama not important?

So yes I agree that if this were about Rev. Wright it would be too far. And yes there is a hint of the anger versus terrorists in the message. But Ayers is unapologetic about the terrorism and domestic bombing he was admittedly responsible for. I feel that is important when dealing with a future President.

And I must ask, when has a Republican called Obama a Muslim? I am not familiar with anyone stating that, except one preacher who was then chided and refuted by Senator McCain.

But I do recall that it was the Clinton campaign that promoted and spread thoughts of Obama as a Muslim and drug dealer during the Democratic primaries. I do recall that they had staff going so far as to spread emails and appear in interviews stating these thoughts. Republicans, as I recall never have, but Democrats often have. And McCain has nothing to do with that.

And I do agree that there is nothing wrong with being Muslim in America. They are as American as anyone else. They are as religious and pious as any other religious sect. They are as worthy of any position as any other religious American. A Muslim can be a President, as there is Muslims in Congress. There is no difference than a woman, an African American, Hispanic, Jewish, Asian, Mormon, or other type of person as President.

So again I have to question how McCain can be responsible for every Republican in the Party, just as I believe Obama cannot be responsible for the actions of all Democrats – like various racial comments of Biden, the wild spending and disinformation of alternative energy stock ownership of Nancy Pelosi, or the inaction and hazardous inattentiveness of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in their respective banking committees.

So I respect the conclusion that Obama is transformational. I respect that his is an orator of exceptional ability. I respect that he has an image that conveys a thought of a new type of America. And the fact that he is Black is not a bad point either, being Black Puerto Rican myself. But is that enough?

Is it enough that he has ideas that he thinks are good. Is it enough that he wants to turn the nation from the hard right direction we are in now to a far left position he embraces (as opposed to a more centrist position that most agree the nation reflects as a whole)? Can we accept that he is potentially a President that would bankrupt the nation with his economic policies in his attempt to make everyone more equal? That he would rather face defeat and embolden attacks on U.S. soil in the future rather than struggle through a difficult and politically damaging success? That he would rather increase the cost of energy such that businesses would fail in order to enforce energy saving practices on the American public? That having a uniform and Government mandated healthcare is better than any other choice? That the Government is larger and more involved in the daily lives of every American and business than ever before?

Colin Powell agrees that Obama does not have enough experience. That he will need to be guided by others around him. But is not the choice of a person with enough experience to understand a good advice being given from purely political or bad advice the better choice? Is not a President who knows enough to ask a question not answered, or wise enough to ask a question not brought up, better?

The growth of Senator Obama over the past 20 months has been impressive, and I have no doubt that in 4 years he will be the choice for America. But today the inexperience and inability to work in a bi-partisan manner on even something as important as the mortgage bailout troubles me.

And as for those that would claim that Powell has supported Obama because both are Black, they have not thought the facts through. While I respect Powell, and his decision, I see his reasons. I do not agree with them, but at no point are they wrong or fabricated. He has expressed a well thought out and heartfelt reason why Obama should be president. To disagree with those reasons is no more about race than to oppose voting for Obama would be. In fact I think to simply disregard the arguments of Powell for Obama as simply race preference is to be racist in the most ignorant manner, in my opinion. I find that no different than someone deciding to not vote for Obama because he is Black, because a decision and choice as important as this can never be based on something as trivial as who has the best suntan.

So these are my thoughts about Powell’s choice. I respect his view, and the man. I respect anyone who has a well thought out view on why they should or should not vote for either Presidential choice. But I have to say that I disagree with his final view. But that is America, and it is a right that we each have.

Exercise your right to vote after you have exercised your mind and learned who the right choice is for you. Colin Powell has, I have, now it’s your turn.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

First Bank of Delaware - credit card panic during credit crisis

When the major media, pundits, and Wall Street scream about how the mortgage crisis will cause liquidity to dry up and hurt the average citizen, I doubt most thought it might affect them as I just had it affect me.

It’s not that the value of my house has gone down. I’m not in default or danger of default on my mortgage. My business is functioning well and my bills are all paid. But I did run into a problem just this weekend. And it was completely unexpected. And it is directly tied to the credit crunch.

One of my credit cards is Tribute MasterCard. Not a huge name in the credit card market, but just a small card I use for minor purchases. I’ve had a card with them for 2 years. In that time they never increased my credit limit, but they did increase the annual fee.

Now I will tell you a bit about me personally. My business has been going for over 5 years now. My credit rating is excellent, the only debt I have is my home and my credit cards (I have 3). None of my credit cards has been maxed out in the last 4 years at least. I have missed no payments, and had 1 late payment in that time (5 days late to be exact).

I say that so you understand my surprise this weekend. I had car trouble, which I discussed in a different post, and wanted to use this card to handle the situation until I could get home and evaluate which account I wanted to use to pay off the situation. I found out that this card was dead. So I used a separate card and followed up the situation today.

I called the company, and the joy I found as I had no credit, but I did have a balance from use of the card last month. When I got a human on the line, I had the joy of speaking to someone in India. Her English was good, which is not as common as you might think, and she could not say anything more than I no longer was a wanted customer of the company. Which shocked and angered me.

The exact reason as I was told was that I have made a late payment. Not missed a payment, not overdue. I was exactly 5 days late in getting my monthly payment out to the company, a month ago. And that was the only problem that the company has ever had with my account.

Now I have to imagine that things must be pretty bad over at the First Bank of Delaware, which issued the card on behalf of MasterCard International. If I had an account at that bank I would be checking to see how my money was. If I was invested in that bank I’d be calling my broker and the bank to find out how their loan reserves are doing. Because it sounds like they are on the verge of collapsing.

When a credit card company is willing to drop a long-term client, of solid standing, because they have 1 payment that was 5 days late there is a problem. That problem is not me.

I am now rather scared. The fact that a credit card company is that terrified of an open balance that has never been over a couple of hundred dollars in an account that has spent 75% of its activity paid off in 30 days every month troubles me. It means that if even people with excellent credit, and significant histories with a financial company are being shoved to the wayside, there are banks with massive problems out there still.

Now this is no real problem for me. I have 2 other credit cards and I have enough cash to handle my needs. But the fact that this can occur means that I fear what might happen if another card were paid a day late. Or my mortgage. Again I’m not saying not paid, just late.

The financials are in paranoia, if this is any indication. And that paranoia is reaching the smaller companies, which I generally prefer since they are less prone to the risks that large multi-nationals will take to prop up quarterly reports for analysts. This paranoia will not resolve itself in a week or 2. This is something that will take months to work out.

And I can only guess at the repercussions over the holiday season, especially to those with less than perfect credit. Late paying off the Thanksgiving dinner, say goodbye to Christmas shopping. Took a client out to dinner and put the payment in the mail after midnight, so much for that business account. Your mail man was lazy and didn’t pick up your mail as usual, don’t ever have your car breakdown, on a weekend, on a highway in the middle of nowhere.

Suffice to say that I am displeased with the service at Tribute MasterCard and the First Bank of Delaware. I’m sure that no longer doing business with them will only prevent a future problem with them for me. This is a benefit, and there are several dozen other companies looking to provide me cards every week, so the net impact of having them as one of my extra credit cards is negligible.

But if you have a credit card from First Bank of Delaware, or Tribute MasterCard, I’d advise you to switch the account.

And if anyone at First Bank of Delaware would like to discuss this matter on the record I’d be happy to provide my readers with the full interview and transcript.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Full video of 3rd Presidential debate of 2008

As with all the prior debates of the candidates involved in the 2008 Presidential election, I present the complete video of the 3rd debate between Senators McCain and Obama.

This was the most interesting debate of all 3. Yet I must state that 3 debates are far too few. In addition I have to say that 2 minutes to discuss intricate issues like education or healthcare, with a 5 minute rebuttal period shared between the candidates, is far too short to make a real statement. Given these shortcomings there was a lot of non-stump speech information in this last debate.

No matter which candidate you chose to vote for, you need to be informed on where each candidate stands. To that end I suggest you review the debates, and all the comments and debates of the Primaries, that each candidate has been involved in.

We have a right to vote, it’s important and vital. And only in all Americans voting can we receive the best choice as President.

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Presidential debate number 3 - initial thoughts

In watching and reflecting on the 3rd and last Presidential debate of 2008 there are a few immediate thoughts that come to my mind, a more detailed review will come tomorrow. The foremost is the thought that 3 debates, and only 1 for the Vice Presidential candidates, is far too few to really convey to the public the issues facing the nation. The next is that there were several inaccuracies by both of the candidates. And I have to say that this debate was by far the best of the 3.

Going beyond that I have to say that Senator Obama was very eloquent. His ability to debate is quite impressive. He made no major mistakes, and was very sure of his answers.

Yet I think that his answers were stylized and edited polispeak. He had poor answers to several subjects, which if you just listened in a cursory manner, or only heard him speak once, you might have missed. In fact if you have followed the campaigns since before the Primaries, as I have, you would find fault with several subject he spoke on.

Senator McCain was a bit more fiery at points tonight. It was invigorating when he got on the attack, which he has needed to do for some time. But at several points he disappointed as well. While he was less edited in his answers, he also failed to close a subject definitively several times. And he made a major gaff, in my opinion, when he was surprised by the answer of Senator Obama about the cost of healthcare on small businesses.

And speaking of Joe Wurzelbacher I’m not surprised that Obama did not want to discuss him much. The fact is that Obama has clearly stated that he wants to effectively cap the income Americans can make. That he will take money to redistribute to whatever he believes is best. That he does not trust the ability of individual Americans to use their wealth to the benefit of their families and the nation – preferring instead to grow a larger government that will oversee such decisions.

And by the way, Joe the plumber was not swayed by the argument of Obama. In fact he has clearly stated that he will not vote for Obama. Because the tax plans of Obama will mean that in buying the company he will lose money as Obama increases the corporate tax, personal tax, and capital gains tax nullifying future investments. Which means that Obama will either stifle growth of small businesses, or cause those businesses to fire or reduce the hours of workers just to pay the increased taxes.

Another fault of Obama, and this is more the problem of Democrats in general, was his insistence on being firmly focused on the past. He is fixated on placing blame, and living in the past descisions of President Bush. This lead to the best line for McCain

“I’m not President Bush. If you want to run against him you should have run 4 years ago.”

But McCain did not stay consistent in his strength. He failed to demand a clarification on William Ayers, which was never provided. The man was a terrorist, and it is unclear how much influence he had on molding Obama’s political career or when Obama became aware of the past of Ayers, or if their association has ever ended.

McCain failed to exemplify the importance of vouchers and better schools, not just more money for bigger Government run programs. McCain failed to deliver on the importance of having individual choice in healthcare, and how a system based on the Canadian or British models is a system doomed to failure. McCain failed to mention that there has never been a Government Agency or Department that has run efficiently or effectively in the last 40 years, at least.

McCain failed to mention that many of the economic proposals made by Senator Obama are similar to another President besides Herbert Hoover. That President was Jimmy Carter, and the result was double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, and an overall malaise for the nation.

So in the end, the debate was a draw. Neither candidate shone more brightly than the other. Both were able to provide solid arguments for their proposals and views, and point out problems with their opponents position.

But Senator Obama was clearly the better debater. Of course this is not some school competition, there is no blue ribbon award for parsing huge subjects into the equivalent of a soundbite. The next president cannot be elected because of their composure in a debate, or the speed in which they respond to a question with bullet points of their stump speeches.

Polispeak may win elections, and look great on the television. But it does not prove the worthiness of a Presidential candidate. Nor does catchy phrases like “Senator Government” – even if it was an accidental blurb.

I have long ago declared that I am a supporter of Senator McCain. M V Consulting, Inc. has endorsed McCain for President. Evenso I can see and admit that Senator Obama does have some ideas of interest, surrounded and encompassed in a Government that spends far more than it can collect in taxes, is involved in more aspects of individual lives, and controlling the choices we are able to make. That is his national healthcare, federal education, higher corporate capital gains and individual taxes, unfettered abortion, and hand picked energy alternatives really means – Big Government to a degree unseen previously.

You may not agree with that conclusion. You may vote for Senator Obama. That is your right and I respect and admire that, even while I can disagree with your choice. But the debates have made one thing clear to me, we all need to vote because if we do not America may suffer as a result. And in making that choice of who to vote for you should review the records, votes, and campaign promises of each candidate.

Because in the end, 2 years from now, you can look backwards and/or place blame but you can’t undo your vote.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scam targets grandparents

I wanted to mention a scam that I have just heard about. It’s a scam that targets grandparents. The vultures that do this should be beaten with a stick.

The way the scam goes a grandparent is called with the criminal asking for either grandparent. When they respond who is on the phone the criminal asks them to guess, hoping to get the name of one of the grandchildren. Once a name is offered they assume that as their own.

Then comes the trap. They mention that they are in a location, normally out of the country but not always, and their car has been in an accident. They may or may not be at a police station. But wherever they claim to be, and whatever the reason they ask for a large sum of money, thousands of dollars. They insist that the grandparent not contact the rest of the family – because they are embarrassed about the situation.

The money is to be sent via Western Union or another similar service.

This kind of scam preys on the fact that grandparents love their kids. They rip of the elderly for money that a grandparent might need to live off of but will provide to help a grandchild in need. There is nothing lower than this kind of scum.

For my readers that are older, never volunteer the name of any family member to someone on the phone. Never provide details of your personal information to someone that can’t confirm they are family over the phone, or the internet. Always check with other family members and the police – locally and at the supposed location of the “grandchild”.

These few steps could be the difference between helping a loved one and losing $5,000 or more.

So far this year one grandparent in Missouri was nearly scammed out of $8,000, another grandmother nearly lost $5,000. Luckily they checked with the police, in these cases at Niagra Falls on the Canadian side, and family before sending the money. It’s not known how many grandparents across the nation have received this kind of call and lost money but have yet to report it due to embarrassment.

Please spread the news on this. I don’t know if the major media will cover this, they ignore important news like this regularly. But this is not a made up internet joke. This is real. You can check this news on the Associated Press at

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A reason for the death penalty

Over the years there have been arguments for and against the death penalty. I’ve read about dozens of arguments, from the fact that the death penalty is primarily used against Blacks and minorities to the inhumanity of state sponsored murder. Still I believe that in some cases it is justified.

One such case is the recent death of Richard Cooey. He was responsible for the rape and murder of 2 young women, Wendy Offredo and Dawn McCreery. Both of these women went to the University of Akron. The murders occurred in 1986.

Cooey was convicted and sentenced to death. In 2003 he had his death stayed as appeals were ongoing. That gave him an extra 5 years of life. That is 5 more than he deserved, in my opinion.

But because Cooey gained 75 pounds while he was in prison he tried to yet again have his life saved. His argument was that he was too fat to be killed. And it was considered.

Thankfully this idiocy failed to gain any strength and the judges did not except this feeble excuse. Because I see no problem with his weight. Had Cooey weighed 500 pounds I still would have said he should be killed.

The key here is that because of his obesity Cooey believed he was too heavy to kill with lethal injection. It would be too inhumane to kill him if his veins could not be found. Bollocks.

The reason he was overweight was that he gained 75 pounds while he was in prison. The extended time he was allowed to live gave him the chance to fatten up off of meals. Every bit of food he ate was paid for by taxpayers, and was another moment and morsel more than either Offerdo and McCreery were able to enjoy.

I have no problem with a rapist and murderer being poked and prodded, for hours if need be, until a suitable vein can be found. In fact if they couldn’t find one in his arm, I would have suggested they use his penis.

Even at the execution Cooey had no remorse. His last words were

“For what? You (expletive) haven't paid any attention to anything I've said in the last 22 1/2 years, why would anyone pay any attention to anything I've had to say now.”

That kind of abominable waste of DNA didn’t deserve the pity or time he was able to receive. It’s that kind of crime, and criminal, that makes sense to have a death penalty. And I can only hope that in the future similar criminals never get out of their sentences with some idiotic defense as the one Cooey tried to pull off.

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Mining stocks still look bright for the stock market in 2008

There is nothing that feels as good as being vindicated on an idea. As a former stockbroker I especially like to hear that I got it right. But I realize that my vanity is only a personal joy and mining stocks are the real winners.

I have said in August and September, as well as in other points in this year, that mining stocks were one of the best values in the stock market. While the focus has been on financials the market has run to gold. And with the latest drop in the stock market, some 20% down in a week and 42% for the year at that point, there were few that believed anything was still a buy. And then the market gained nearly 1000 points in a day.

And then the Motley Fool readers jumped on the ride. The MSN Money list of institutional buying and the Motley Fool CAPS both picked as their top 2 leading buy choices:

  • Compania de Minas Buenaventura
  • Agnico-Eagle Mines

Is anyone surprised?

Copper ran for a huge 2-day run that was unheralded, the largest mining company in the world BPH gained 3.5%. Vedanta Resources Plc, the biggest copper miner in India, gained 14%.

On Monday Barron’s wrote about Van Eck portfolio manager Joe Foster and his call for the gold market - International Investors Gold Fund.

So it seems that all these sources are looking towards the mining stocks. That means that you can be sure that this is the time for a pause in gains for a bit. I still regard this sector as one of the best purchases in the market. Volatility is not gone, but then again the markets in general are going to experience that.

The 4th Quarter is going to be abysmal. As sales miss projections and earning look to become negative, the need for metal will become attractive again. As the financials continue to seesaw, causing turmoil in other markets, and the Presidential election places a firm vision of the next 4 years precious metals will experience a run similar to that at the end of 2007.

I may be wrong, just as at various points this year I already have been. But the overall outlook has been correct, and I think it will be in the future as well. But only time will tell.

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