Saturday, December 4, 2010

Joe Cool in Afghanistan

I happen to live a mile from the bridge that crosses into "Coast Guard City USA," Grand Haven, Michigan. Around here, we take the Coast Guard very seriously.
I could be wrong, but in this clip when Obama forgets to mention the Coast Guard, I see a moment in his eyes where he actually doesn't know if the person is serious. Then I see an awkward glimmer where it looks like he is going to make a joke to cover his error.

Looks like he held off a quip to say something like, "You guys know you don't really count. No, I'm just kidding. You're the first people we call if somebody's drowning in the gulf. Ha Ha. No I'm just kidding. You know I love you, man." And the voice in the crowd says, "I'm a woman, sir!" And Obama say, "Oh, that's even worse. Maybe we won't call you if someone is drowning. Ha Ha. No seriously, you know I'm kidding. We're glad you're here to. But seriously, folks, I didn't fly 7,000 miles just to joke with some girl in the Coast Guard...I came for a photo op so the folks back home will see how credible their Commander and Chief is..."

Thank heavens none of that happened. But the tone of the entire speech is so glib, so unpresidential, so "Joe Cool," so un-Reaganesque, that it is not hard to imagine him getting side tracked like that if his teleprompter had not kept him on track. Bet the guy who wrote his teleprompter notes and left out the Coast Guard got chewed out.

If the screen below does not work, you can watch the clip here:


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Common Sense from Teddy Roosevelt

Exactly 100 years ago, in 1910, former president Teddy Roosevelt a year after leaving his eight years in the White House, gave a speech on citizenship in a republic. The speech is sometimes called "The Man in the Arena." As a college freshman, I memorized the most-quoted paragraph for a speech class. It reads as follows, but it is important to remember that these words were a SPEECH and not an editorial or written document. To fully understand the power of his words, it may help to listen to his voice on the brief video clip below.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Here are some unbelievably prophetic extended quotes from that 1910 "Citizenship in Democracy" speech:

On National Defense:
"There are well-meaning philosophers who declaim against the unrighteousness of war. They are right only if they lay all their emphasis upon the unrighteousness. War is a dreadful thing, and unjust war is a crime against humanity. But it is such a crime because it is unjust, not because it is a war. The choice must ever be in favor of righteousness, and this is whether the alternative be peace or whether the alternative be war. The question must not be merely, Is there to be peace or war? The question must be, Is it right to prevail? Are the great laws of righteousness once more to be fulfilled? And the answer from a strong and virile people must be "Yes," whatever the cost. Every honorable effort should always be made to avoid war, just as every honorable effort should always be made by the individual in private life to keep out of a brawl, to keep out of trouble; but no self-respecting individual, no self-respecting nation, can or ought to submit to wrong."

On Definition of Marriage and Sanctity of Life:
The first essential in any civilization is that the man and women shall be father and mother of healthy children, so that the race shall increase and not decrease. If that is not so, if through no fault of the society there is failure to increase, it is a great misfortune. If the failure is due to the deliberate and willful fault, then it is not merely a misfortune, it is one of those crimes of ease and self-indulgence, of shrinking from pain and effort and risk, which in the long run Nature punishes more heavily than any other. If we of the great republics, if we, the free people who claim to have emancipated ourselves from the thraldom of wrong and error, bring down on our heads the curse that comes upon the willfully barren, then it will be an idle waste of breath to prattle of our achievements, to boast of all that we have done. No refinement of life, no delicacy of taste, no material progress, no sordid heaping up riches, no sensuous development of art and literature, can in any way compensate for the loss of the great fundamental virtues; and of these great fundamental virtues the greatest is the race's power to perpetuate the race.

On Not Being Swayed by Gifted Teleprompted Orators:
It is highly desirable that a leader of opinion in democracy should be able to state his views clearly and convincingly. But all that the oratory can do of value to the community is enable the man thus to explain himself; if it enables the orator to put false values on things, it merely makes him power for mischief. Some excellent public servants have not that gift at all, and must merely rely on their deeds to speak for them; and unless oratory does represent genuine conviction based on good common sense and able to be translated into efficient performance, then the better the oratory the greater the damage to the public it deceives. Indeed, it is a sign of marked political weakness in any commonwealth if the people tend to be carried away by mere oratory, if they tend to value words in and for themselves, as divorced from the deeds for which they are supposed to stand. The phrase-maker, the phrase-monger, the ready talker, however great his power, whose speech does not make for courage, sobriety, and right understanding, is simply a noxious element in the body politic, and it speaks ill for the public if he has influence over them. To admire the gift of oratory without regard to the moral quality behind the gift is to do wrong to the republic. [Wow! 2008]

On Individuals Doing Their Part for a Greater Good:
In short, the good citizen in a republic must realize that they ought to possess two sets of qualities, and that neither avails without the other. He must have those qualities which make for efficiency; and that he also must have those qualities which direct the efficiency into channels for the public good. He is useless if he is inefficient. There is nothing to be done with that type of citizen of whom all that can be said is that he is harmless. Virtue which is dependent upon a sluggish circulation is not impressive. There is little place in active life for the timid good man. The man who is saved by weakness from robust wickedness is likewise rendered immune from [more robust] virtues. The good citizen in a republic must first of all be able to hold his own. He is no good citizen unless he has the ability which will make him work hard and which at need will make him fight hard. The good citizen is not a good citizen unless he is an efficient citizen.

On Equality as an Ideal Not a Socialized Outcome:
Abraham Lincoln, a man of the plain people, blood of their blood, and bone of their bone, who all his life toiled and wrought and suffered for them, at the end died for them, who always strove to represent them, who would never tell an untruth to or for them, spoke of the doctrine of equality with his usual mixture of idealism and sound common sense. He said (I omit what was of merely local significance):
"I think the authors of the Declaration of Independence intended to include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men created equal--equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This they said, and this they meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth that all were actually enjoying that equality, or yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all -- constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and, even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people, everywhere." [Abraham Lincoln]
To say that the thriftless, the lazy, the vicious, the incapable, ought to have reward given to those who are far-sighted, capable, and upright, is to say what is not true and cannot be true. Let us try to level up, but let us beware of the evil of leveling down. If a man stumbles, it is a good thing to help him to his feet. Every one of us needs a helping hand now and then. But if a man lies down, it is a waste of time to try and carry him; and it is a very bad thing for every one if we make men feel that the same reward will come to those who shirk their work and those who do it. Let us, then, take into account the actual facts of life...."

On "One World" Government and Global Thinking:
I am no advocate of a foolish cosmopolitanism. I believe that a man must be a good patriot before he can be, and as the only possible way of being, a good citizen of the world. Experience teaches us that the average man who protests that his international feeling swamps his national feeling, that he does not care for his country because he cares so much for mankind, in actual practice proves himself the foe of mankind; that the man who says that he does not care to be a citizen of any one country, because he is the citizen of the world, is in fact usually and exceedingly undesirable citizen of whatever corner of the world he happens at the moment to be in. ... if a man can view his own country and all others countries from the same level with tepid indifference, it is wise to distrust him, just as it is wise to distrust the man who can take the same dispassionate view of his wife and mother. ...Now, this does not mean in the least that a man should not wish to good outside of his native land. On the contrary, just as I think that the man who loves his family is more apt to be a good neighbor than the man who does not, so I think that the most useful member of the family of nations is normally a strongly patriotic nation.

One hundred years later... we could use some of the common sense of Teddy Roosevelt!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Only "Shovel-Ready" Job in America!

Read full Story at CBS News. com.

At groundbreaking ceremony in Dallas for the George W. Bush Presidential Center today, former Vice President Dick Cheney said "history is beginning to come around" to a more positive view of former President George W. Bush.

Cheney said that Mr. Bush, whose approval rating upon leaving office was just 22 percent, always understood that "judgments are a little more measured" with the passage of time. He added that Americans "can tell a decent, goodhearted stand up guy when they see him."

Cheney lauded Mr. Bush as a president who refused "to put on airs," stating that he was thrilled to find that the most powerful person he knew was "among the least pretentious." He said Mr. Bush was someone who could "walk with kings, yet keep the common touch," added that "there were no affectations about him at all - he treats everyone as an equal."

He spoke admiringly of Mr. Bush's actions in the wake of the Sept. 11th attacks, telling the former president that "because you were determined to throw back the enemy, we did not suffer another 9/11 or something even worse."

Cheney, who (unlike Mr. Bush) has been a vocal critic of President Obama, also took a shot at the current administration. Speaking of his expectation that construction would move quickly on the presidential center following the groundbreaking, Cheney quipped that "this may be the only shovel ready project in America." The reference was to the Obama-supported stimulus package that Republicans have criticized as ineffective.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bush eclipses Barack Obama

The Decider returns to haunt Mr Nuance

Read the full article here.

The 43rd and 44th American presidents are a study in contrasts, but the link between them is symbiotic, argues Toby Harnden. There could have been no Obama without Bush, and only Obama's stumbles could have made Bush look good again so quickly.

Say what you like about former President George W. Bush, but his sense of timing is impeccable. Just after his successor Barack Obama took a self-described "shellacking" at the polls, Dubya was back, mocking the current occupant of the White House by his very presence.

For the 43rd President, the return must have been sweet....

During the 2008 election campaign, Obama slammed Bush at every turn. Since then, the 44th President has almost ceaselessly blamed his predecessor for everything, even stooping to lambast Karl Rove, Bush's long-time aide, by name during the recent mid-terms campaign.

But the anti-Bush shtick soon wore thin. Two years after Obama was anointed, the halo around his head seemed distinctly tarnished. In his post-defeat interview with 60 Minutes, Obama was at his most listless and meandering, projecting all the certainty of a Hamlet on the Potomac.

Right on cue, Bush entered, stage Right, clutching a copy of his 497-page memoir Decision Points, a tome full of breezy certainty.

Did he order the waterboarding of terrorist suspects? "Damn right."... Boring of Mr Nuance, Americans lapped it up.

Bush must know, however, that his steadfast refusal to make any comment at all about Obama's presidency stands in stark contrast to the derision he has received from his successor. He is self-aware enough to realize that his pithy, confident interview answers are sharply different from Obama's wordy circumlocutions. [End of abridged article]

Amen! This book is on my Christmas list!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

He is Still Running for President of the World

Sunday Update: Here are confirming photos from day-one of his trip.

I've said it here before, but it bears repeating. Obama is not focused on making our country great again; he has his sights set on becoming some sort of new "global" president.

Tuesday's election results and Wednesday's press conference remove all doubt that OMBMA DOESN'T GET IT! It would be tempting to say his trip to India three days after his agenda was flushed down the toilet by the American people is further proof of his detachment, but it is actually confirmation of his attachment to "higher office" beyond our shores.

Read this article about Obama sending 34 war ships to India for his visit [later denied by the Pentagon]. What could possibly justify the 200 million dollars PER DAY that this weekend visit is costing U.S. taxpayers? I'm hoping that figure includes the cost of a mile-long bomb-proof tunnel the U.S. is constructing so Obama can drive safely to a museum. Why should we foot the bill as Obama continues to run for President of the World? Here is part of what that last link says:

A top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit has reckoned that a whopping $ 200 million...per day would be spent by various teams coming from the US in connection with Obama's two-day stay in the city.

"A huge amount of around $ 200 million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit," the official said in Mumbai.

About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists would accompany the President. Several officials from the White House and US security agencies are already in Mumbai for the past one week with helicopters, a ship and high-end security instruments.

Unprecedented security has been put in place both in Mumbai and New delhi.
"We have never seen this sort of an entourage going with the president before. And I think this is an example the massive overspending that we've seen - not only just in the last 2 years, really in the last four," Bachmann said.
Asked for comment about Bachmann's criticism of the trip, the White House said in a written statement that the figures cited by the Republican lawmaker "have no basis in reality."

Considering the 34 warships and the largest entourage in presidential history, I would say the 200 million per day is accurate. Since when does the Obama Administration know the true cost of spending other people's money?

Compare this obscene show of power and excessive spending to the Prime Minister of England's trip to the U.S. last July.

David Cameron, returning last night from his first trip to the U.S. as British prime minister, took a business-class seat on board a scheduled British Airways flight.

Cameron, trying to cut Britain’s deficit, its largest since World War II, is scaling back on the chartered jets his predecessors used for overseas travel and told his staff to book him on regular flights. Yesterday he traveled to New York from Washington on Amtrak’s Acela train.

“We have got a lot of money to save,” the prime minister told ABC News July 20. “We’ve got a very big budget deficit, so we can’t go spending money on executive planes, sadly.”

While Cameron’s office estimates it is saving several hundred thousand pounds by forgoing chartered jets, that isn’t the only consideration. His party fought the May 6 general election arguing “We’re all in this together.”

Do you remember how harshly the Democrat Senators mocked the Detroit auto executives for flying private jets to the "bail-out" hearings in the senate? They rebuked the bonus-earning millionaires for "not getting it." They were right. I'm all for "security" for the POTUS, but the more we learn about this trip, the more absurd it becomes... until you remember that he is running for President of the World.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pelosi Loses Gavel: The Best News of the Night!

At least the best news as of 9:30 PM.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tonight rejected numerous polls predicting a Republican landslide among House candidates and defiantly predicted that Democrats will retain control of the House of Representatives."

"The early returns and overwhelming number of Democrats who are coming out – we're on pace to maintain a majority in the House of Representatives," Pelosi told reporters during a photo op in Washington."

She was wrong--but there's nothing new about that.

Another bit of good news is that Joe Manchin, the Democrat who had to ran against Obama and literally shot Obama's "Cap and Tax" bill, won a seat in the Senate. His victory speech sounded more like a small government Republican speech, and that does not bode well for Obama. That may be a Democrat win but it is not good news for the Obama agenda.

Marco Rubio in Florida has risen from nowhere to become an eloquent Reagan-like leader and speaker who, now hearing his victory speech, will have the Democrats running scared for years to come. This guy is presidential material. Maybe not in 2012, but watch this young leader. He exudes humble confidence and is a natural influencer and TRUST builder.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dems Blue about a Red Mitten

Former President Bill Clinton came to our fair state of Michigan yesterday to speak at a ralley in Detroit. Michigan is often referred to as a left-handed mitten. As such, Detroit is the second knuckle of the thumb. It's only a knuckle, but it's a big ol' swolen knuckle, infected by the woes of the auto industry and other problems. When that knuckle aches, the whole state aches.

Funny thing about that knuckle: its also the face of the state. When people think "Michigan," they typically see Detroit, even though the rest of the state looks nothing like it.
Michigan is mostly rural with forests and lakes and people who use guns for hunting furry critters in the woods and cornfields--not for shooting each other as is more true in Detroit.
Since Detroit is the big knuckle and the face of the state; and since the face is the front of the head; some folks think Michigan is full of knuckle-heads.

Bill Clinton must think so. He showed up in Detroit yesterday and stood in a two-thirds empty high school gymnasium downtown. He'd come to tell his shrinking fan-base how to vote next week.
The Democrats have known for decades that the Detroit vote dominates the entire state. They also know that if the Detroit vote is lethargic--and it is--the cast of characters in the rest of the rest of the state gets to be heard--the rest of the fingers in the mitten suddenly matter again. It's long overdue for the rest of those fingers to count. Based on this photo, it looks like at least one of them showed itself (...maybe it was the little finger where I live), and based on the article below, I think Lansing (and thereby the whole mitten) has a chance of going red!

“These other guys are playing you. They say they’re mad, they’re frustrated and want something new,” Clinton said. “But this country is coming back.”

Bernero was joined by all the other statewide candidates at the rally. Their message was clear -- don’t be discouraged by the polls that show them trailing Republicans.

“Are you ready to win, ready to fight, ready to vote?” Bernero asked the crowd.... “You have to remember the votes, because this election is up to you, not the editorial pages, or the pollsters, or pundits or prognosticators.”

While the crowd hoisted signs that stated “Virg Surge,” the turnout at the rally was anemic. More than 500 people came to the rally, but the gym at Renaissance High School was only about one-third full, even though Clinton used to command full houses wherever he went, especially in Detroit.

Politician after politician exhorted the crowd to not let the polls keep them from voting on Nov. 2.

“They think that if they tell you often enough that you’re not doing well that you won’t go to the polls,” U.S. Rep. John Conyers said. “But we’re not buying that malarkey. If Detroit turns out as it has in the past, we win.”

Without Detroit's vote, Michigan would not be "a blue state" for the Democrats who think votes can be bought with bail-outs and warn-out faces from the past. Looks like Clinton's got the blues. Maybe we're about to see a red.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Reagan Vs. Obama: The Great Debate

The first presidential vote I cast was for Ronald Reagan back in 1980. I later got to meet Ronald and Nancy Reagan in person, and attended a small ralley with him when he ran for re-election in 1984.

I must admit that the past two years have been depressing times. I miss the sound of Reagan's voice. I miss the rock-solid principles and common sense he used prior to being in office and for the eight years he was our president. I wish the Reagan we remember could debate the Obama we now know. I hope the November mid-term elections take the wind from the "windy city" speech used in the clip below.

The times have changed; the issues have changed; but Reagan picked up the pieces after Carter, and I'm looking forward to the sense that our best mornings are not behind us.

It was that phrase that prompted the poem below which I wrote the day Reagan passed away.

Mourning in America

June 11, 2004. The Funeral of President Ronald W. Reagan
"All we go down to the dust,"
his priestly friend intoned,
and the words echoed
in the stained glass silence.
Below him on the catafalque,
bound tight in stars and stripes,
was the wooden box
that throngs for days
had come to pay respect.

Outside (and all across the land)
that which tightly held our focus
waved slowly in the darkened noon,
never lower on the mast.
It, too, seemed somehow at a loss—
not knowing how to thank the man
who made it wave so proudly in his day—
and so felt all who lined the way
and watched him leave the towering spires
and pass forever
from his city shining on the hill.

Then in the West,
as if to claim the setting sun,
he came to rest upon a chosen rise
where were whispered last goodbyes
to him who kindly bid us all farewell
those many years ago.

The full weight of his absence
first hit me when we saw the empty mount
that bore his backward boots.
It was mourning in America...
draped not so much in sorrow
but belated gratitude.

© Copyright 2005, TK
Considering that President Bush's ( POTUS 43) second term is considered by many to be a continuation of the Reagan Revolution, I thought it might be appropriate to post something I wrote back in June.

President Reagan's death on Saturday, June 4, 2004, prompted a greater response from the public than even his greatest admirers would have predicted. After all, it had been a full decade since he had written his 1994 farewell letter to the nation informing us that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease which closed: "I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."

The years passed by with little news of his status. He and Nancy lived those years quietly in their home in California's Simi Valley. He breathed his last in the room adjoining hers, and that private moment soon triggered a week of non-stop nostalgia and personal tribute to the man most credited for the collapse of the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain and the literal tearing down of the hated Berlin Wall. For the networks and cable news channels, it became a review of the 80's, which (thanks largely to the Clinton 90's) were remembered by many as the true apex of the waning 20th Century.

Reagan's last week in the news was the first memorable state funeral since JFK's, and there were many similar elements. The most obvious difference was that Kennedy's tragic assassination left the country reeling in disbelief and grief. Reagan's funeral was a celebration of sorts, a time when long-overdue tributes were shared-in some cases by partisans who never said a kind word about the 40th president while he led the nation into his "New Beginning." These same critics mocked Reagan's traditional values, flag-waving, and his Rockwellian ad campaign that proclaimed, "It's morning in America," (and continued running after his inauguration.)

The observances began in California at the Reagan Library, then on Wednesday moved east to the Capital via Air Force One. It was on this day that the horse-drawn caisson followed the empty-saddled horse that had Reagan's own riding boots in the stirrups. Friday, the last day of scheduled events, was a drizzle of sky and gray in D.C. The official service was held in the National Cathedral. One of the speakers chosen by Nancy to deliver a eulogy was former Senator John Danforth, who is also an Episcopal clergyman (and recently appointed US Ambassador to the U.N.). I heard his portion of the service live on the radio, and this opening line "All we go down to the dust" (which may have been original or liturgical) stuck with me through the day and came back to me when the casket was last seen in the glow of the setting California sun. See the images here.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Case in Point!

Remember back when Obama was ramming his ill-conceived healthcare plan through congress and our senators and representatives were voting on things that they hadn't even read....and people like me and thousands of others were trying to point out the empty promises and the unintended consequences of saying "Obamacare won't affect anyone's current coverage"?

Well, a few weeks ago, Obama and company realized just one of the many flaws of imposing a socialized medicine program on a free-market society. It looks like even the White House had an epiphany on this topic. It might have gone something like this:

Oops! If we impose Obamacare on fast-food chains, the cost of a 95 cent hamburger is going to triple; if hamburgers prices triple, people will stop buying them; if people stop buying them, the franchise will close; if franchises close, people lose the jobs and health care they currently have; if people lose the jobs and healthcare they have, they go on the government dole; if they go on the government dole, the government gets even "more broke" than they are right now. Whose idea was this anyway? We'd better make an exception to our own rule before the November election or the voters will know we're idiots who ram-rod whatever Obama says even if we don't know the consequences of our actions.

Here's how the article read in USA Today:
McDonald's, 29 other firms get health care coverage waivers

Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald's (MCD) and Jack in the Box (JACK), won't be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which provided a list of exemptions, said it granted waivers in late September so workers with such plans wouldn't lose coverage from employers who might choose instead to drop health insurance altogether.

Without waivers, companies would have had to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013 and unlimited in 2014.

"The big political issue here is the president promised no one would lose the coverage they've got," says Robert Laszewski, chief executive officer of consulting company Health Policy and Strategy Associates. "Here we are a month before the election, and these companies represent 1 million people who would lose the coverage they've got."

The United Agricultural Benefit Trust, the California-based cooperative that offers coverage to farm workers, was allowed to exempt 17,347 people. San Diego-based Jack in the Box's waiver is for 1,130 workers, while McDonald's asked to excuse 115,000.

...McDonald's, which offers the programs as a way to cover part-time employees, told the Obama administration it might re-evaluate the plans unless it got a waiver.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

That Red Squiggly Line

Everyone is talking about “the exhausted woman” from yesterday’s town-hall meeting. I did not watch the mid-day event, but this clip was all over the evening news. First of all, if the people who got to ask questions were not previously selected and screened that would be surprising indeed. Secondly, I will say that the president kept his cool. He answered this lady’s question and comment in typical bumbling, affable, Obama style and used it to launch a list of why her life is better than she thinks her “new reality” is.

But frankly, the lady’s phrasing and sincerity came across as much more real than Obama’s charm. This lady had no bone to pick with her president, you can tell it grieves her to say what she says to the man she voted for and believed in.

I can sympathize with her plight. I know people, including me, who are wondering about the new reality. The biggest difference between me and the exhausted woman is that I never bought the Obama “beans” in the first place. She's tired of defending him. I'm just tired of him.

I typed this first as a Word document with the spell-check feature turned on. For two years “spell-check” has been underlining the word Obama with a red, squiggly line as if something is wrong with it. I know I can tell spell-check to accept the word and add it to the dictionary—to quit telling me something is wrong with Obama—but I don’t. I like that red, squiggly line under his name. It’s my way of not adding this “new reality” to my life. If I have to live with the consequences of his actions, at least let me remember a time when even Microsoft Word had the sense to know something was wrong. I’ll keep the red, squiggly line under his name, thank you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now That I Can Understand!

I love when students find effective ways to teach grown-ups.

Go to this link and listen to a student explain how meaningless are Obama's 100 million dollars in budget cuts that he mentioned in last week's stumbling press conference.

Double-click here to see the one minute 38 second lesson in economics that anyone can understand. How dare we add to our debt in light of this reality!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I began writing this post from the hotel (now owned by a motel chain) that has become our home away from home whenever we visit our daughter Kim near Chicago's "Magnificant Mile."

Read on and I will attempt to do justice to an event that happened last night, a well-planned happening that prompted magnificant smiles and even some happy tears. Magnificant guy! Magnificant news! I know what you're thinking: "If this is what I think it is--what in the world were YOU doing there?" Good question, and the answer is part of why it was such a magnificant event.

Kim is a senior in college. This summer she stayed in Chicago to nanny for a family who attends Latin School, where she works during the school year. Her boyfriend Nate attends the same college and also works in the city. On August 2nd we were camping on the shore of Lake Michigan. We were sitting around a campfire when Nate called on my cellphone and asked if he could drive up from Chicago to visit with me about something. He stressed that Kim should not know he was coming up.

The next day, August 3rd, he drove up alone to meet me at the Starbucks in Grand Haven where we had a long talk. Actually, I mostly listened to his well-planned thoughts that culminated in his declaration of love, commitment, and request to marry my daughter. I assured him of my wife's and my permission and blessing, and then we had a long and pleasant talk about related things before joining the rest of my family (except Kim) for dinner at one of our favorite places nearby. It was great, and best of all, we managed to keep it all a secret from Kim (who called more than once while we were together)

About ten days later, Nate called again from Chicago asking if we could come down secretly on Friday to wait for them in Promontory Point Park along Lake Michigan (first photo above). It is a beautiful picnic setting with large limestone fire pits overlooking the lake.

We brought fire wood and all the goodies to enjoy it. Nate's plan was to propose to Kim at another park along the Chicago River where they have had many significant moments in the past, and then to bring her to our location. She of course thought we were home in Michigan so it was a great surprise that went without a hitch.

That second photo is them arriving shortly after six o'clock. After Nate had proposed and given her the beautiful ring. There was one minor glitch. After Kim said "Yes" she of course began calling family and friends. One of the first calls was to Nate's parents who are missionaries in Guatemala, nearly 2,000 miles away. That call went through fine. We knew Kim would also try to call us (on Julie's cell). That call was going to be my cue to light the fire. Unfortunately, our phones that were only a few miles away had no reception out on the point, so I never got my cue. When I saw them coming down the walkway, I began looking for the lighter. Never did find the lighter, but fortunately there was a nice homeless guy just down the lake a ways who had a lighter he was happy to loan me. I got the fire started, and after that the evening went perfectly as Nate had planned.

It was a great evening of celebration with friends (who later joined us for a cook-out). There is much more I could say all of this... about how happy Kim's two sisters are for her... about how happy Julie and I are for them...about how the fun will continue when Nate's mom flies in to visit over Labor Day... about how much we appreciate the way Nate included us from that first phone call while we sat around a campfire on the west shore of Lake Michigan to that second campfire on the east side of the lake...

But the thing we are most happy about is this young couple's commitment to begin thinking of life in terms of their future together; to see the path God has for them as shared; and to honor each other as they begin making the plans to walk that path together.

Of course, it doesn't hurt at all to see that Nate brings to Kim the very same squinty-eyed smile we have loved since she was a child.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Funny Stuff!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here's to Dr. Charles Krauthammer

A friend emailed this info to me yesterday. I SNOPED it, and found that it is cheezy summarization of that evening's remarks, but I've included the summary below unedited.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer
Born: March 13, 1950
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Raised in Montreal, Canada
Attended McGill University and Harvard Medical School
1972 diving accident left him a paraplegic - I have suspected this for a long time - ptf
Directed psychiatric research for the Carter administration
Began writing career in 1981 with The New Republic
Helped develop the "Reagan Doctrine" in the 80s
Appointed to Presidential Council on Bioethics in 2002

We see him on TV every weekday on the Fox news channel (not Channel 5) at 6:30pm. I didn't know he was an MD nor did I know he is paralyzed. He's quite a man.

Dr. Krauthammer is an M.D. and a lawyer and is paralyzed from the neck down. A friend went to hear Charles Krauthammer. He listened with 25 others in a closed room. What he says here, is NOT 2nd-hand but 1st. The ramifications are staggering for us, our children and their children.

Last Monday was a profound evening, Dr. Charles Krauthammer spoke to the Center for the American Experiment.. He is a brilliant intellectual, seasoned & articulate. He is forthright and careful in his analysis, and never resorts to emotions or personal insults. He is NOT a fear monger nor an extremist in his comments and views . He is a fiscal conservative, and has received a Pulitzer Prize for writing. He is a frequent contributor to Fox News and writes weekly for the Washington Post.

The entire room was held spellbound during his talk. I have summarized his comments, as we are living in uncharted waters economically and internationally. Even 2 Dems at my table agreed with everything he said!

Summary of his comments:
1. Mr. Obama is a very intellectual, charming individual. He is not to be underestimated. He is a cool customer who doesn't show his emotions. It's very hard to know what's behind the mask.The taking down of the Clinton dynasty was an amazing accomplishment. The Clintons still do not understand what hit them. Obama was in the perfect place at the perfect time.
2. Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan and Clinton . He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with your position, while doing the opposite. Pay no attention to what he SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES!
3. Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can't be straightforward on his ambitions, as the public would not go along. He has a heavy hand, and wants to level the playing field with income redistribution and punishment to the achievers of society. He would like to model the USA to Great Britain or Canada .
4. His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for FREE college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive RATIONING of services, like in Canada .
5. He has surrounded himself with mostly far-left academic types. No one around him has ever even run a candy store. But they are going to try and run the auto, financial, banking and other industries. This obviously can't work in the long run. Obama is not a socialist; rather he's a far-left secular progressive bent on nothing short of revolution. He ran as a moderate, but will govern from the hard left. Again, watch what he does, not what he says.
6. Obama doesn't really see himself as President of the United States , but more as a ruler over the world.. He sees himself above it all, trying to orchestrate & coordinate various countries and their agendas. He sees moral equivalency in all cultures. His apology tour in Germany and England was a prime example of how he sees America , as an imperialist nation that has been arrogant, rather than a great noble nation that has at times made errors. This is the first President ever who has chastised our allies and appeased our enemies!
7. He is now handing out goodies. He hopes that the bill (and pain) will not come due until after he is reelected in 2012. He would like to blame all problems on Bush from the past, and hopefully his successor in the future. He has a huge ego, and Dr. Krauthammer believes he is a narcissist.
8.. Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong. Republicans are pining for another Reagan, but there will never be another like him. Krauthammer believes Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in February) are the future of the party. Newt Gingrich is brilliant, but has baggage. Sarah Palin is sincere and intelligent, but needs to really be seriously boning up on facts and info if she is to be a serious candidate in the future... We need to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and state's rights.
9. The current level of spending is irresponsible and outrageous. We are spending trillions that we don't have.. This could lead to hyperinflation, depression or worse. No country has ever spent themselves into prosperity. The media is giving Obama, Reid and Pelosi a pass because they love their agenda. But eventually the bill will come due and people will realize the huge bailouts didn't work, nor will the stimulus package.These were trillion-dollar payoffs to Obama's allies, unions and the Congress to placate the left, so he can get support for #4 above.
10. The election was over in mid-September when Lehman brothers failed, fear and panic swept in, we had an unpopular President, and the war was grinding on indefinitely without a clear outcome. The people are in pain, and the mantra of change caused people to act emotionally. Any Dem would have won this election; it was surprising it was as close as it was.
11. In 2012, if the unemployment rate is over 10%, Republicans will be swept back into power. If it's under 8%, the Dems continue to roll. If it's between 8-10%, it will be a dogfight. It will all be about the economy. I hope this gets you really thinking about what's happening in Washington and Congress. There is a left-wing revolution going on, according to Krauthammer, and he encourages us to keep the faith and join the loyal resistance. The work will be hard, but we're right on most issues and can reclaim our country, before it's far too late.

To read Dr. Krauthammer in his own words. Go to the following:
Obama:The Grand Strategy
The Sting in Four Parts
The Obamaist Manifesto

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around...

Before reading below, watch this video flashback of Maxine Waters saying "What's good for the goose is good for the gander" back in 1995.

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press

Mon Aug 2, 7:13 pm ET

WASHINGTON – California Democrat Maxine Waters faces a House trial this fall on three charges of ethical wrongdoing, setting the stage for a second election-season public airing of ethics problems for a longtime Democratic lawmaker.

The charges focus on whether Waters broke the rules in requesting federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on the board of directors. She denied the charges Monday.

The House ethics committee's announcement comes just days after it outlined 13 charges against Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., including failing to disclose assets and income, delayed payment of federal taxes and improper use of a subsidized New York apartment for his campaign office.

P.S. After a great race, my friend Bill Cooper did not win the Republican primary, but I will say that his run did prevent an ex-pro-football player from winning, thereby saving west Michigan from suffering from endless grid-iron metaphors and bull-headed jock talk for the next few years. That is our consolation prize.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Remember LBJ's Daisy Ad?

Today our campaign is launching a TV commercial with the objective of encouraging voters to think about the importance of the decision we are facing on August 3rd, 2010.

The original daisy ad was very controversial because of its imagery and language. This ad borrows the edge from that ad but pretty much serves as a very valid warning about our national debt and Obama's spending spree. That's Bill's third daughter, Grace, in the film. We babysit for the three girls and she is a hoot, and I dare say better than the little girl in the original ad from 1964.

Here's what my friend, Bill Cooper, says about the ad on his web site.

In 1964, one of the most powerful political ads ever produced depicted a little girl in a field counting daisy petals. As the camera zoomed in, the reflection in her eye was that of an atomic bomb exploding. The ad was effective because during the Cold War, a nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union was one of our greatest fears.

In 2010, we face a threat that has the potential to collapse our economy and cause the complete destruction of the free enterprise system. Our country is currently more than $13 trillion in debt, with more than $90 trillion of unfunded entitlements in the not so distant future. Our federal government has gone from spending 8% of GNP (Gross National Product) in 1913 to 44% in 2009, before the recent healthcare legislation was passed.

Does anyone really believe that the answer to reining in out-of-control federal spending is to send the same career politicians to Washington who have presided over the most poorly run state economy in the country?

Would it make sense to send a person whose resume consists of playing a game? [He's running against a former professional foot ball player and two career state politicians.]
Shouldn’t we elect the only candidate running in the 2nd Congressional District who has actually created jobs and is a proven and successful leader?

One difference between the business world and the political “Ruling Class,” is accountability. 90% of all businesses fail – 90% of all incumbent politicians are re-elected. In business you live with the consequences of every decision you make.

Making tough decisions and solving complex problems is critical to survival! Bill Cooper is the only candidate in the 2nd District with that type of experience.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Spot of Tea, Anyone?

I am not a member of the Tea Party because in fact no such "party" exists. It is instead a term that signifies a grass-roots groundswell against the ill-fated economic steps taken by President Obama (and those incumbents who followed his lead). Perhaps the best explanation of what the Tea Party is can be found in this article by Matthew Continetti June 28, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 39 The Weekly Standard.

Even without "joining" the local organization, I can appreciate the effects of Tea Party Momentum. I am pleased to say that a few weeks back, my friend Bill Cooper who is running for the U.S. Congress became the "Tea Party endorsed" candidate, which means he is the man who can do in Michigan what so many other non-politicians have done already in other states. Tea Party endorsed candidates have won something like five out of five major primaries nationwide thus far. Bill is happy to have earned their support. He is a hard-working, successful businessman with boundless energy. In addition to his run for office, he has also implemented an ingenious solution to help meet needs during these hard times.

So regardless of where you stand on the topic of "Tea Party," it's interesting to know that it is having a very real effect on this year's races. Continetti suggests that the Tea Party has two unofficial "founders": Glenn Beck and Rick Santelli. He also thinks that the future of the movement will fair better under the influence of the latter. It was the following moment that launched Santelli's common sense rocket into Obama's orbit.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Governors Shaking in Their Boots

about Obama's Arizona Law Suit

The New York Times, reporting on thie weekend's three-day Governor's Conference in Boston, says the topic not on the main agenda was on everybody's mind behind closed doors--esspecially the 19 Democrat governors who are either leaving office or trying to hold their office through the November elections: How can we defend Obama's law suit against a fellow governor when summaries of her law are forced to say stupid things like "the law makes it a crime to be an illigal immigrant"? Duh! Do Democrats not see the relationship between the words crime and illigal?

An excertp of the Times piece fowllows. Read the full article here.

The Arizona law — which Ms. Brewer signed in April and which, barring an injunction, takes effect July 29 — makes it a crime to be an illegal immigrant there. It also requires police officers to determine the immigration status of people they stop for other offenses if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that they might be illegal immigrants.

The lawsuit contends that controlling immigration is a federal responsibility, but polls suggest that a majority of Americans support the Arizona law, or at least the concept of a state having a strong role in immigration enforcement.

Republican governors at the Boston meeting were also critical of the lawsuit, saying it infringed on states’ rights and rallying around Ms. Brewer, whose presence spurred a raucous protest around the downtown hotel where the governors gathered.

“I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that almost every state in America next January is going to see a bill similar to Arizona’s,” said Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, a Republican seeking re-election.

But the unease of Democratic governors, seven of whom are seeking re-election this year, was more striking.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

How Dare an Administration...

How dare a country that is on the road to bankruptcy, a congress that cannot live within its means, an administration who is clearly failing at economics.... How dare they talk about redistributing wealth until they understand how individual wealth (i.e. middle class sustainable income) is generated.

Remember when the controversial healthcare bill was approaching a vote? Remember how concerned Americans were calling it the first step toward the financially unsustainable "socialized" systems of Canada and Europe? Remember how President Obama assured the country that his plan would not affect the current system for those who prefer it? Remember how we all knew he was not telling the truth when he said we had enough money and doctors to take on 30 million uninsured people (including millions of illegal aliens whom he intends to make "legal")? Remember when Obama told Joe the Plumber it was time to "spread the wealth" in the form of redistribution? Remember conservatives pointing out that equalizing wealth is unconstitutional and not the role of government? Remember those who pointed out that equalizing healthcare does not mean making it excellent for everyone--it means making it mediocre for everyone and will eventually mean poorer care, longer lines, rationed services, quitting doctors and less people choosing to become doctors, higher taxes?

I remember that, too. Today, with no input from congress, officially made Donald Berwick his recess appointment to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If only this guy would have been named and quoted before the vote... it never would have passed.

Healthcare is not a right; it is service. Rights are inherent and cannot be purchased or distributed like candy by those in power. Any nation that confuses true RIGHTs with purchased services is on the road to socialism and bankruptcy. Here's our new tour guide on that road.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP CEO Sideshow

I was just watching the live webcast of the testimony of Tony Hayward, Chairman of BP, before a congressional hearing.

Setting all other feelings about the spill aside, what a circus! Mr. Hayward barely got two words of his opening remarks out when some woman in the back row of the chamber stood up with a tar-like substance on her hands and face and started shouting something I couldn't understand but I’m sure will be put in sub-titles in subsequent media coverage.

If you look at the rest of the room as the gang of videographers scramble to get the shot of the woman being handcuffed, you’ll see that there are very few audience members in the room, which begs the question: how did this lady get through security looking like a tar-baby. If she put the substance on her hands and face after entering, what kind of security check lets a lady with a purse full of tar into the room?

I suspect the whole thing was scripted. Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan was chairing, and after the lady was hauled off by police, he simply said, “Please begin your remarks again. As you know emotions run high on this topic.” His demeanor made it sound like he was saying, “I hope you don’t mind that we asked that lady to go through that Aboriginal war dance, but we’re trying to up our ratings before the noon news break.” Immediately after the five minute opening remarks, Stupak gaveled to adjourn for lunch.

P.T. Barnum would probably suggest making better use of the clowns before breaking for intermission. We’ll see if the sideshow continues after lunch.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mr. President, Perhaps...
Your Kicking Foot Should Go Full Circle.

For several years, the Emerald Coast of the Panhandle has been our school's Senior Trip destination. Two weeks ago, we were there enjoying the white beaches of Destin, Florida.

No matter the size of the group we take each year, there are always two or three for whom it is the first time they have flown or the first time they have seen the ocean (we let them call the gulf the ocean in this case). It stands to reason that it is also the first time some of the seniors have seen dolphins and pelicans in the wild. (This picture is not from Destin. The oil booms were not yet in place when we were there.)

The day before we flew back to Michigan, one of our young ladies was trying to take a picture of a pelican in flight along the beach. I can't remember if she succeeded or not, but I know it would make her sick to see these pictures.

We live in that area of the gulf for just one week each year, I can only imagine how the people who for generations have lived there are feeling right now. Already their tourism has been decimated, their charter fishing boats docked by either mandate or lack of customers, and now their pelicans (which is the state bird of Louisiana) are being grounded by crude sludge and boxed up in crates for attempted rescue.

How could this happen? Look under any one of the sinks in your house, and you'll see a shut-off valve on both the hot and the cold water supply lines. Those valves are required by building codes for convenience and safety in the event that a leak occurs or a pipe breaks above that valve. If a leak occurs below that valve, there is a main shut-off valve in the basement of your house. If a leak occurs in the supply line to the house, there is an underground shut-off valve somewhere between your home and the street, and your area waterworks engineers know exactly where it is. Millions of homes across this country have at least three shut off valves between the street and the sink.

My point? If "code" requires so many shut-off valves for clean water, how in the world have we allowed an industry to have not one shut off valve in the thousands of giant man-made verticle pipelines capable of spewing millions of gallons per day into one of our treasured resources? Don't get me wrong. I'm not against oil or off-shore drilling any more than I'm against city water running to my house from the supply line near the street. I'm just flabbergasted that companies like BP are allowed to drill and install miles and miles of "plumbing" without a viable shut-off system, and I'm equally flabbergasted that President Obama has been so inept at helping SOLVE the problem BEFORE making enemies and criminals of those he's left in charge to fix it.

This underwater oil gusher is nearly 60 days old. For the first 50 days, our president was in damage control--unfortunately it had nothing to do with the gulf; he was controling the damage to himself. For weeks we heard nothing but blame and litigation and most recently threats for some a** kickin'.

Can you imagine the different treatment this news story would be getting if it had occurred under the previous administration's watch. Listen to this report on British television. The leak is dumping 40,000 barrels (not gallons) per day into the gulf. This may be BP's liability but its OUR PROBLEM. It's not the white cliffs of Dover, England, that are being ruined; it's our own shoreline. How could we as a nation be so ill prepared for this containment and clean-up process? This is a disaster that requires not a politician, not a lawyer, but a true leader. (Thank heavens we are learning this now and not during "World War".)

I think its time for the President's kicking foot to go full circle and find his own rear end.

In the meantime, it would be good for us to remember that we are allies with Britain. The U.S. will play the Brits in the World Cup Soccer match today. I have a feeling this British Petroleum mess will add some tension to that match. But I also sense that Obama has not liked the Brits for some time. Did you know that one of the first acts Obama performed upon moving into the White House was sending a bust of Winston Churchill back to England ? (It had been a gift from Tony Blair to our country.) I hope that the spirit of this old WWII song, will remind us of a far more desperate time when the Yanks and Brits banded together. The U.S. and English relationship continues to serve a much greater purpose. This is a time for team work not a reenactment of the Revolutionary War.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dents in the Carpet (Revisited)

In the days following Obama's election, I began a series of posts called "Dents in the Carpet."

Below, in brown text, are key thoughts from that initial post:

The Power of Status Quo
and Importance of Burden of Proof

On occasion it’s helpful to know a dead language, and most of us know a little Latin whether we think so or not. We all use the term status quo, which basically means “the way things are,” but it‘s often used negatively by advocates of change to mean “the way things have been for too long.”

I’ll begin with a simple example. How often do you rearrange the furniture in your most static room? [Static is a form of the word status and, in this usage, means the room that changes the least in your house, not the room with the most static electricity.] If you consider why you set that room up the way it is in the first place, you may find the reasons remain compelling through time. If you try to change things around, you may end up putting things right back where they were. (which is easy to do because of the dents in the carpet).

This is not always true, sometimes you can rearrange things in a room, step back, and really like it. [And you put ice chips in the carpet dents to help them bounce back overnight.]

The difference between men and women when it comes to rearranging furniture, is that (typically) men can live with the status quo of any room. They set up a TV room, for instance, and it can stay that way for all eternity....

Before getting off the couch to move it, men are far more likely to challenge the idea, because they understand that, while change is not wrong, the burden of proof rests firmly on those who which to change the status quo. Not only do women sometimes forget CHANGE bears the burden of proof, they seem to forget the fundamental rules of furniture inertia: the heavier the piece, the more indelible the dents, the less often it should be moved. Or as the Romans said in Latin, Quieta non movere, meaning "Do not move settled things."

In other words, it is safe to assume that there is a reason for the status quo and CHANGE has the burden of proof that it will indeed be better, if implemented, than the way things are. Some changes are good and long overdue, but this merely eases the burden of proof; it does not eliminate it.

This topic is far more important that this furniture example suggests. It becomes strategic in matters of law, morality, and politics....

Those were my thoughts a year and a half ago, and they still hold true today.

The only thing that has changed is that we now have more than 500 days of watching the Obama Moving Company attempting to rearrange the nations furniture--and in fact, they are trying to remove the carpet itself so we can't see the dents and forget how things once were for America. Not only is the carpet rolled up and sitting out on the curb, the curtains and upholstery are being replaced. In short, anything that represents the fabric of our lives seems to be fair game for being undone before Obama's era is brought to an end.

But a funny thing happened under the rolls of carpet and all the other things Obama hastily took to the curb. Under that pile of America as we know it, the grass began to feel the pressure, the grass began to feel like it was being robbed of sunshine, the green life in its cells began to fade to a pale yellow, and the grass roots said, "Wait a minute! This carpet and all the dents that remind us how things were before Obama took over don't belong out at the curb. It's still good carpet. We like the way things were before he tried to force his view of this world on the rest of us."

And to all the liberal Democrats surprise, the grass roots became so strong under those rolls of discarded Americana carpet that they pushed it up and let the winds unroll it for all to see, and passers by began to say, "Hey, I remember that carpet. I remember those dents. I remember how things used to be." And the people, beginning with the strength of those grass roots, began to rally together to put things back the way they were.

Here is an column from the Wall Street Journal, that articulates the beginning of the end of the Obama regime. I think it will help people understand why the Obama bell does not ring true. At first, millions of people liked the sound of his bell ringing and ringing throughout his meteoric rise to fame and the White House, but now folks from both sides of the aisle are seeing that the ring is hollow.

The Alien in the White House
The distance between the president and the people is beginning to be revealed.


The deepening notes of disenchantment with Barack Obama now issuing from commentators across the political spectrum were predictable. So, too, were the charges from some of the president's earliest enthusiasts about his failure to reflect a powerful sense of urgency about the oil spill.

There should have been nothing puzzling about his response to anyone who has paid even modest critical attention to Mr. Obama's pronouncements. For it was clear from the first that this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans' leader, a man of them, for them, the nation's voice and champion.

Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric....They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July.

A great part of America now understands that this president's sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

One of his first reforms was to rid the White House of the bust of Winston Churchill—a gift from Tony Blair—by packing it back off to 10 Downing Street. A cloudlet of mystery has surrounded the subject ever since, but the central fact stands clear. The new administration had apparently found no place in our national house of many rooms for the British leader who lives on so vividly in the American mind. Churchill, face of our shared wartime struggle, dauntless rallier of his nation who continues, so remarkably, to speak to ours. For a president to whom such associations are alien, ridding the White House of Churchill would, of course, have raised no second thoughts.

Read the full column here, and you'll see why I say that the grass roots are rising up to reinstall the best of America as we once knew it. The carpet will return to the rooms, the dents will be studied, and the many hasty changes will be reversed. Who knows, maybe we'll even ask our friends in England if the bust of Winston Churchill can be returned.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summary of Obama's Response
to Oil Disaster after 50 days...

"I said it before; I'll say it again: 'The buck stops with me...' where this oil stops is beyond me." T.K.

Evidently his idea of leadership and problem solving is knowing who to blame. This statement was said on the very same day he said to the high school students of Kalamazoo Central "Don't make excuses," but that speech just put one of the listeners to sleep.

Byron York's Tuesday article claims that the...

"Spill Reveals Obama's lack of executive experience"

"...perhaps candidates in future presidential races will think twice before arguing that running their campaign counts as executive experience.

"A few days before Obama won the White House, Bill Clinton joined him for a late-night rally in Kissimmee, Fla. Clinton, who became president after 12 years as a governor, told the crowd not to worry about Obama's lack of executive background. Given the brilliance of Obama's campaign, Clinton said -- and here the former president uncharacteristically mangled his words a bit -- a President Obama would be 'the chief executor of good intentions as president.'

"Chief executor of good intentions? Perhaps that's what Obama is now. But with oil gushing into the Gulf, that's just not good enough."

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