Who Should Obama Choose for Vice President?

Some of the buzz these days is about who the candidates are going to choose to be their running mates.  I have a couple of ideas for Senator Obama.

First, for those of you wanting the “dream ticket” of Obama-Clinton, get over it.  I don’t believe that either of them want it, I don’t think their staffs or supporters want it and I darn sure don’t think their spouses want it!  Senator Clinton will do much better for herself and for her future as a United States Senator.

Now, with that out of the way, there has been talk of Obama selecting someone from one of the battleground states to help him there.  If Senator Obama continues to go to those states and continues to deliver his message as he has in the primaries, he won’t necessarily need someone from there to win those states.  The people he would choose as a running mate will be campaigning for him in their states anyway.

Some have said that he should pick a woman (other than Hillary) or a Hispanic (Bill Richardson?).  I think the choice of a woman would be a bad choice under the circumstances.  The women who supported Senator Clinton and are still angry about the primary season might feel it is yet another slap at their favorite lady.  The choice of a Hispanic, while possibly useful for a few percent of the Hispanic vote, may look like he is just pandering to minorities (which he would be!).

No, the choice should be someone who can help with issues where John McCain appears to be stronger than Obama.  Sam Nunn, from Georgia, has been mentioned and would be a strong choice.  He is strong on military and national defense issues for a Democrat and actually may appeal to many Independents and/or Republicans who just can’t bring themselves to support McCain.  Another choice who would be strong in the area of military and national security issues, in my mind, would be Gary Hart.  He knows the military issues at least as well as Sam Nunn and he was an author of Hart-Rudman Report that came out just prior to 9-11.  The report stated the danger of an attack on the continental United States by terrorist groups and suggested the creation of a Homeland Security Department (and you thought that was a Bush Administration idea!!!).  Nobody is talking about Gary Hart in the veep-stakes, but I think he could be Obama’s Dick Cheney.  He is smart, he is articulate and he could hold his own in the campaign and especially during the inevitable debates.

 

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Pelosi Wants to Block House Vote on SAVE Act

Nancy Pelosi has decided that the country should not have a chance to have the Secure America with Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act.  The SAVE Act is a bi-partisan bill seeking to strengthen border security and limit illegal aliens in our work force

Pelosi has threatened political exile to the 50 Democrats in Congress who co-sponsored the bill, but have yet to sign its discharge petition which would bring the bill up for a vote on the House floor.

It doesn’t seem to matter to the Speaker of the House that a majority of Americans are in favor of securing our borders.  It doesn’t matter that the constituents in the 50 Democratic House districts might want the bill brought to the floor.  It doesn’t matter that the Speaker promised to work in bi-partisan manner when she took her position in 2006.  It doesn’t matter to Ms Pelosi what is good for the country.   

Six years after 9-11, the federal government still hasn’t done what nearly 70% of Americans want: secure our borders from the continuing flood of illegal aliens.

The SAVE Act targets employers with still penalties for hiring illegal aliens, secures both the northern and southern borders of our country by adding 8,000 new border patrol agents and increases interior enforcement by allowing for additional federal district court judges and providing more resources for law enforcement officers.

As of June 25th, there were 190 of the needed 218 signatures required.  Urge your representative in Congress to sign the petition which would bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

 

Democratic Controlled Congress – How Are They Doing?

The Democratic Party took control of Congress in 2006 on what they said was a mandate to immediately end the war in Iraq, to lower gas prices, to end corruption in politics and to work with Republicans in a bi-partisan manner.

How have they done on their pledges?

The war is still going on in Iraq.  The Democrats had said as they took control that it was the people’s desire to end the war now.  This was the flagship of promises the Democratic leadership had made to their supporters.  Time and time again we saw Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or a cast of other anti-war legislators in front of a camera stating that the war was lost and that our military effort was a failure.

Gas prices have almost doubled since they took power and the Democratic members of Congress block any legislation that involves building nuclear plants, investing in coal to oil, or drilling for oil either in the U.S. or off its shores.  If they have an energy policy, and it’s not clear that they do, it would be to raise taxes and punish corporations for allowing us to get into the mess we are in.

The governor of New York has resigned in a prostitution scandal and his replacement has admitted to having affairs and drug use.  Several political figures in position to influence banking and home mortgage companies have been found to have received sweetheart loans themselves. 

And as for working with Republicans, well that just doesn’t happen in Washington, unless it is a Republican who happens to agree with a Democrat proposal.  There is no voting allowed by a Democrat for a Republican proposal.  Party leaders see to that.  There are steps taken to not allow amendments to Democratic legislation or even debate for that matter.  For the most part, it seems that Congress has spent two years holding hearings to investigate the Bush administration for everything it has done since it came to power in 2001.  Sure they took breaks from investigating Bush to holding hearings on the use of steroids in professional baseball, but the only results of those seems to be the photo ops Congressmen had with the athletes and the autographs that were obtained.  Bi-partisan work by this Congress–not so much!

 Where do we stand today?

The war in Iraq continues with many, many successes.  Security in Iraq has not been better since the invasion began, Iraqi forces are taking over much of the fighting with continuing success.  Foreign businesses are beginning to invest in Iraq.  Things appear to be going as well as we could expect.

Things are getting tougher for Americans at home since the Democrats have taken control of Congress.

One promise they were able to keep was to raise the minimum wage.  Today, as a result, unemployment is on the rise.  Granted, the minimum wage hike is not the only reason for rising unemployment, but it is a contributing factor.

An then there is the energy problem.  Oil prices continue to climb as China and India come on line.  To help counter that, we have invested in heavily in corn ethenol which has started a crisis in the food industry.  The rise in fuel prices has made everything more costly to produce.  The rise in fuel prices has made everything that is shipped to your stores more expensive.

  • World Bank says that global food prices have increased over 85% since 2005.
  • The cost of bread is over 15% higher today than a year ago.
  • April’s milk prices are $3.30 per gallon compared to $3.14 a year ago.
  • Produce prices are up 5% from last year.
  • The average price of gasoline is $4.10 per gallon compared to $3.16 a year ago.
  • The price per barrel of oil has risen 93% in a year.

How is the Democratic controlled Congress doing?  Let your answer come at the ballot box this November.

Democrat Energy Plan Means Higher Gas Prices

The recent request by President Bush to allow drilling for oil off America’s shores and Senator McCain switching his position to the virtually the same thing shines an even brighter light on the Democratic Energy Policy which is to raise taxes on oil companies.  The result of the Democratic plan would be that the oil companies would pass on the taxes at the pump.  That means, under the Democratic plan, you and I would be paying the additional taxes!

Democrats in the Senate and House came out in opposition to the plan to drill off shore, stating that you can’t drill our way out of the high cost of gasoline.  Some said that drilling won’t change the cost at the pump soon enough.  Some said that there wouldn’t be enough oil to make a difference.  Some criticized the oil companies for not drilling where they already have off shore leases.  Some said it didn’t make sense to authorize drilling because there are no ships available to drill from.

I would argue that it makes more sense to drill for oil than to raise taxes.  One eventually results in more oil and one does not.  What isn’t being said is that when the U.S. faced a similar crisis in the late 70s, a program to build plants that would create synthetic fuels.  The program would only have been successful if oil prices remained high, but when the United States started a program that would reduce our need for foreign oil, the price dropped from  about $38 dollars per barrel to $8 dollars.  President Reagan then ended the government support for the synthetic fuels program. 

I don’t think it was a coincidence that the price dropped.  I think that there is a good chance that oil prices will drop drastically before the first barrel of oil reaches the surface!  OPEC wants nothing to do with the U.S. being energy self-sufficient.  They count on our need for oil.  They know that China and India are coming on line, but they want to keep us addicted to their oil as well.

Now if Congress isn’t too busy trying to sneak an immigration bill by the American public, or if they aren’t too busy making speaches and having hearings that try demoralize our military, or if they aren’t too busy investigating some sort of “problem” happening in professional sports, then maybe, just maybe, they might vote in favor of what over 60% of Americans want.  That is to begin drilling for oil and get us off dependence of foreign sources.

Obama-speak Without a Teleprompter

This is Barack Obama speaking at a campaign event last Thursday in Bristol, Virginia,

“What they’ll say is, “Well it costs too much money,” but you know what? It would cost, about… It — it — it would cost about the same as what we would spend… It… Over the course of 10 years it would cost what it would costs us… (nervous laugh) All right. Okay. We’re going to… It… It would cost us about the same as it would cost for about — hold on one second. I can’t hear myself. But I’m glad you’re fired up, though. I’m glad.”

“Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early and they got some treatment, and a, a breathalyzer, or inhalator, not a breathalyzer. (crowd laughing) I haven’t had much sleep in the last 48 hours.”
What?!

Barack’s dramatic speaking ability seems to have been turned off along with his teleprompter.  Is he a great speaker or simply a great reader?  Is this the type of dialogue we can expect while he is negotiating with world leaders.  Is this an example of what we can expect in the White House Situation Room during a crisis?

 

 

 

It Appears to be Obama vs. McCain

It would appear that the nominees for the major political parties will be Barack Obama for the Democrats and John McCain for the Republicans.  It should be noted that neither have actually been given the title by the parties yet.  This will take place at their respective conventions later this summer and their is always the possibility of something happening to change things between now and then.  That said, it appears to be Obama vs. McCain.

I vow not to write about the apparent associations that either candidate has or has had with other people or organizations unless it is something where the law has been violated or if national security is involved.  That means Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, William Ayers, Tony Rezko and Trinity Church will not be dissected here.  Others are doing enough of that and people will make up their minds whether it matters or not.

The candidates’ record, their words, their background and experience, their choice of a running mate are all fair game.

The candidates families will not be discussed except in cases where, again legal or national security issues are involved.  There is an exception to this.  If the candidates family member is involved in the campaign and making separate speeches on behalf of their spouse, the words spoke should be and will be fair game.

With all of that being said, let the campaigning begin! 

It May Be Time to Amend the Constitution

It may be time to consider amending the Constitution of the United States.  Specifically, Article One, Section 7 should have words added that no bill shall contain any amendments that do not pertain to the original bill.

By changing the wording of the Constitution, we could avoid the legal problems that arose with the Line Item Veto which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional.

We could also end Congress’ habit of hiding legislation that would not pass on its own or would be very unpopular with we the people.  Another of Congress’ favorite ways of doing business is to add amendments that would, force members to vote for or against the entire bill because of the very nature of the amendment.  These practices are not good for the country, not good for the people and is a waste of time for the entire Congress.