Saturday, November 08, 2008

Etiquette for Winners and Losers

Yesterday I removed the McCain ad from my blog, took down the McCain-Palin sign from my front yard and removed the McCain bumper sticker from my front storm door and the bumper of my car.

I think that following an election it is bad form, if you win or lose, to keep your yard sign up for more than a couple days after the election. I live in a small well-defined neighborhood of only about one hundred and fifty homes. I regularly walk the neighborhood to get a little exercise. In my whole neighborhood, there were only three McCain-Palin signs, including mine, and there must have been twenty to thirty Obama signs. I will be glad when all the signs come down.

Winners shouldn’t gloat and losers should accept defeat without bitterness. I read a lot of blogs and visit a lot of chat rooms and am seeing an awfully lot of bitter sore losers and a lot of bloating winners. I think both McCain and Obama set the right tone on election night; McCain was gracious and Obama was humble. That does not mean that one has to stop arguing issues, but one should avoid bitterness or gloating.

I think it is ill mannered for anyone to ask me, “What did you think about the election.” If they know me, they know what I thought about the election. To ask, is to just rubbing salt in the wound. It would be hard for me to answer that question without offending you.

Some people, when they win, feel that their views have been vindicated and they have been proven right. Winning an election does not prove you were right about anything; it just proves your candidate was able to persuade more people they were right. It does not prove your candidate had the better ideas; it proves he was the better salesman. Winning shows that you are in the majority, not that you are right. If you won’t gloat about the elections, I won’t have to point out to you why I think the majority made the wrong choice.

When at a family gathering it is ill mannered to voice your disgust or glee when the President Elect’s name is mentioned. I think it is in poor taste to pontificate, lecture or sermonize about the issues of the day and then take offense when an alternative view is presented. Those who agree with you may think you are brilliant; those who don’t may feel obligated to present an alternative view. If you know you are sharing the holidays with those who do not share your values, maybe you should discuss nothing more controversial than the weather.

Don't forget your manners. Can’t we all just get along?

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters to Realize How Empty Their Lives Are.

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This is creepy! Take a look. I don't know what to make of this site. I don't know if it is satire or if it is for real.
The African music video is really catchy.
Spike Lee says that from now on history will be known as before Obama and after Obama.
Is there really an Obama cult in the world? I hope what is shown on this site represents a small fringe of nut cases. I am assuming it does, but nevertheless, this is weird.
Tell me what you think.
Link here: Obamamessiah.

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If Obama is a Socialist....

..... So was Ronald Reagan.

In the last days of the McCain campaign, in an effort to win the election, an attempt was made to label Obama a Socialist. The opening for this attack was Obama replying to a question from Joe the Plumber about taxation and Obama telling Joe that he wanted to “spread the wealth around”. I think that the McCain camp was right to use this incident as an opportunity to showcase the differences between the way Democrats and Republicans think about economic issues, but they went a little overboard.

Democrats tend to think that it is the government’s job to redistribute wealth and equalize outcomes and punish success; republicans tend to think that people have a right to keep more of what they earn and that economic growth is more important than redistribution. However, we are talking about degrees of differences of opinion, not polar extremes.

You probably have seen the clip or read the report of this exchange: A Florida info babe quizzed Sen. Biden about Obama's intention to “spread the wealth” and quoted the famous Marxist principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." She then asked Biden, “How is Sen. Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth?” Biden paused momentarily, grinned, then asked, “Are you joking? Is this a joke? Is this a real question?” Biden went on to defend Obama saying he hoped to spread the wealth by giving the middle class tax breaks. I could not help myself; I was rooting for Biden in that exchange. He was right to show contempt for the questioner and the info babe looked like an indeological air head.

Recently Pat Buchanan wrote in an article, “ If Barack Obama is not a socialist, he does the best imitation of one I've ever seen. Under his tax plan, the top 5 percent of wage-earners have their income tax rates raised from 35 percent to 40 percent, while the bottom 40 percent of all wage-earners, who pay no income tax, are sent federal checks. If this is not the socialist redistribution of wealth, what is it?” Buchanan then goes on also to quote the Communist Manifesto.

How can Buchanan do that with a straight face? Buchanan is not an air head. Don’t get me wrong, I favor more economic freedom; not less. I favor less economic redistribution; not more. However, why is the current 35% not socialist and 40% is socialist? What if the current rate was 36% and Obama wanted to raise it to 39%? I think I have it figured out; if you favor a marginal tax rate of below 37.5% you are not a socialist but if you favor anything above 37.5% you are socialist.

How can Republicans, like myself, who recently favored a $1 trillion bailout of Wall Street in order to prevent an economic collapse, have the right to call Obama a socialist? If you do not favor elimination of the graduated income tax, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare and the Earned Income Tax Credit, you might be a socialist.

Let us look at who is a socialist. George Bush did not cut social spending; he increased it. Who gets credit for a Medicare drug prescription plan and No Child Left Behind? Is George Bush a socialist?

John McCain supports the retention of an estate tax and he opposes the Flat Tax and he opposed Bush's 2001 tax cut arguing that it unfairly benefited the rich. I guess if Obama is a socialist, John McCain is a socialist.

Our nations largest wealth redistribution program is The Earned Income Tax Credit. Low-income people who make insufficient income to owe any income tax are given a “refund” when they file taxes. This program was first proposed by Richard Nixon and was called The Negative Income Tax. Congress failed to pass it, when the Welfare Rights Organization opposed it because they thought it should be more generous and they could get a better deal.

Congress approved the EITC in 1975 at the urging of Gerald Ford. President Carter slightly expanded the program, and Ronald Reagan greatly expanded it. Ronald Reagan heralded the EITC as "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress." I guess that makes Ronald Reagan a socialist.

Now, back to the tax rate issue. (I lifted this from Wikipedia.)

  • In 1913 the tax rate was 1% on taxable net income above $3,000
    ($4,000 for married couples), less deductions and exemptions. It rose to a rate
    of 7% on incomes above $500,000.
  • During World War I the top rate rose to 77%; after the war, the top rate was scaled down to a low of 25%.
  • During the Great Depression and World War II, the top income tax rate rose again. In the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, the top rate was 75%. The top rate reached 94% during the war and remained at 91% until 1964.
  • In 1964 the top rate was decreased to 70% (1964 Revenue Act), then to 50% in 1981 (Economic Recovery Tax Act or ERTA).
  • The Tax Reform Act of 1986 reduced the top rate to 28%, at the same time raising the
    bottom rate from 11% to 15% (in fact 15% and 28% became the only two tax
  • During the 1990s the top rate rose again, standing at 39.6% by
    the end of the decade. The top rate was cut to 35% and the bottom rate was cut
    to 10% by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

Do you see this? The rate has been all over the place. The rate has often been above the magic rate of 37.5 percent, which I have calculated must be the dividing line between socialist and not socialist.

It was Ronald Reagan who greatly cut tax rates. However, tax rates do not tell the full story. Along with tax rates cuts, tax policy was simplified and many previous exemptions were eliminated. As a result of the Reagan tax policy, the rich ended up paying more in taxes than they did prior to the tax cuts. Liberals don’t want to believe it and much of the public does not know it, but the Reagan policies increased the amount of taxes paid by the rich, and decreased the amount paid by the poor.

I think we should have vigorous debate about economic and tax policy and poverty and wealth creation, except that it would put most of the public to sleep. If something doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker, it is hard for the public to grasp.

It does concern me that someone’s thought processes and values are such that they can cavalierly call for “spreading the wealth.” However, if Obama can be labeled a socialist so can Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, John McCain and anyone to the left of Ron Paul.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Maya Angelou's inaugural poem for Obama

LOL. This is very funny. David Alan Grier as Maya Angelou on Chocolate News

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our Values Have Not Changed Based on this Election

by Robert Schwartz

Hello. I'm Bob Schwartz, founder and co-chair of Music Row 4 McCain. Talk about bad timing! I was asked to come up on stage moments after Pennsylvania and Ohio have been called for Obama. Even though I was born up north, I have to tell you that when I heard about Pennsylvania and Ohio, from deep inside I wanted to shout: "Yankees. Damn Yankees!"

Ahhh, well. First, I'd like to say that I have been honored to work as a volunteer for John McCain! You know John McCain and Sarah Palin have run an incredible campaign. They fought bravely against stunning obstacles: an unpopular war, an unpopular incumbent President, arguably the most troubled economy in fifty years and, oh did I mention?, a Democratic candidate who had nearly two thirds of a billion dollars --- and spent it.

Nonetheless, John McCain and Sarah Palin fought bravely and they fought for our core values. And, you know, despite the election results, our values and beliefs have not changed. We believe that the American people and the American experience are essentially something to be proud of. We believe that conservatism can be compassionate and creative and brave as witnessed by Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and, my hero, William F. Buckley, Jr. We believe that government should protect the weak and voiceless --- starting with the unborn. We believe that government should secure our borders. We believe that the public schools are too important to be turned over to those who would politicize students rather than teach them the fundamentals. We believe in a court system that interprets laws rather than makes them up. And we believe in a nation strong enough to be, as Joe Lieberman said, to be trusted by our friends and feared by our enemies.

No, these values have not changed based on this election. I encourage all of us to take those same values to our families and into our communities tomorrow --- as we did yesterday --- with courage, with respect and with love. Nothing should stop us from doing so! God bless America. May God bless us all.

The above remarks were delivered last night here in Nashville at the Limelight nightclub where Republicans gathered to watch the elections returns. It was nice to network and mingle with like-minded people and console each other. Despite the nights loss it was pleasant evening. Rod

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McCain's Concession Speech

by John McCain

(I was moved by McCain concession speech last night. I thought it was gracious and set the right tone. Below is a condensed version of the speech. Rod)

Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.
My friends, we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him. To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight. I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.
But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.

America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.

Let there be no reason now ... Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

It is natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

We fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.
I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends.

The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.

I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century.

Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it.
Tonight more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

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Gracious in Defeat and Humble in Victory

Now is the time for healing. Now is the time to de-emphasizing our divisions and focus on those things that unit us. Democrat or Republicans, we are Americans first.

I am certainly disappointed, but not surprised, by the result of this election. Now, the election is over. It is time to unite. I am going to remove the John McCain yard sign from my front yard and take the John McCain bumper sticker off my car.

I am not giving up my ideas. I am going to continue to be part of the party of the loyal opposition. I will continue to critique those policies and ideas that I think are wrong or misguided. I will continue to support Republican and conservative causes and work for future victories. However, I will try to disagree without being disagreeable. I will remind myself that liberals are not evil; they are just wrong. I am going to try to put the divisiveness of the election aside. I am not going to disagree just for the sake of partisanship. I will part of the opposition, but not the angry opposition.

I join John McCain in congratulating Barack Obama. We can only have one President at a time. Barack Obama is my President too. As much as I might have wished the result were different, I am not going to dwell on the loss.

I am accepting Mr. Obama at his word that he wants to get beyond partisanship and pettiness and do what is best for the nation. It is my hope that Obama governs as the centrist he has presented himself to be.

I pray that God gives Mr. Obama the wisdom and courage to guide our country through the difficult economic times and foreign challenges that confront us and to deal with the problems that we face. While I wish it were McCain taking the helm, I am nevertheless glad that the Bush era is coming to an end. I welcome a fresh start.

Watching McCain’s gracious concession speech tonight, I was reminded again of why I like John McCain so much. He is an honorable and good person. Watching Obama, I was impressed by his humbleness and his reaching out to those who did not support him.

After a hotly contested election, both Senator McCain and Senator Obama set the right tone. I congratulate and respect McCain for the way he handled his defeat and Obama for the way he handled his victory.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Don't Bother to Vote

Tomorrow morning there will be the obligatory editorial in the paper telling you that it is your right and your duty to vote. Monday evening the local TV news will also have a little editorial and tell you same thing. These editorials will probably remind you that people fought and died in wars so we could have the right to vote. It may tell you that African Americans were beatten and jailed and lynched and had fire hoses and dogs turned on them so you could vote. If you are female, they will tell you that you are betraying all the women who fought for women’s suffrage if you don’t vote.

You will be told you have an obligation to vote. You do not; just ask Barack Obama. As a U. S. Senator he abstained from voting on very many occasions on very important issues. He simply voted “Present” time and time again. So, if Barack doesn’t bother to vote while serving in the US Senate, why should you?

The people who want you to vote are going to tell you that if you don’t vote any number of bad things might happen: your home will get foreclosed, they will take away your right to get an abortion, more jobs will go overseas, a war will continue, new wars will start, and we will all die from global warming.

If you vote the right way they will tell you that you will no longer have to worry about filling you gas tank or paying your mortgage, jobs will not leave America any longer, your taxes will be lower because only the super rich will have to pay taxes, global warming will end, and gas prices will drop.

If that is not reason enough to vote they will tell you this: This will be an historic elections and the Nation is going to elect its first Black president. You do want to be part of this historic election, do you not?

You will be told that not voting is a sign of a weak democracy and a sign that you just don’t care. Well, I am here to tell you that not voting is not a sign of a weak democracy or not caring. You could interpret not voting as a sign that things must be going so well, that people see no reason to vote. When the actions of government are so unimportant that people don’t feel compelled to vote, that is a sign that people must be pretty content and pretty certain that those who do vote will make the right decision. Not voting is a vote of confidence.

You should not let anyone shame you into voting. You should not vote unless you are real informed and confident in your decision. It is unpatriotic to cast an uninformed vote. What if you vote the wrong way and the person you vote for does something to really screw up the world? Do you want that responsibility?

Voting casually without being certain of your vote is wrong. Casting your vote should be a sober decision. Casting an unsure vote is sort of like driving drunk. So, if you don’t feel certain that you are qualified to vote or have adequately studied the issues; please don’t vote. If you get most of your news from Saturday Night Live and The Colbert Report, please do not vote.

Some people will tell you that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain. That is just not true. By not voting, you are not giving up the right to complain.

I don’t want you to vote. You see, if you don’t vote, my vote carries more weight. If only 33% of the people vote, it is like I am voting for three people; if 50% of the people vote it is like I am voting for only two people. I don’t want you to dilute my vote. Let me vote for you.

Voting is difficult. It is very complicated to figure out how to do it right. Look at all those people in Florida who left hanging chads. The new electronic machines are real difficult to figure out and anyway, with the electronic machines, how do your even know your vote is counted.

You do know that if you vote, you will probably get called to jury duty? Also, I understand that this year immigration officials will be at the voting places looking for illegal immigrants. There are always a lot of police at the voting places too. A lot of outstanding warrants are served on Election Day. Voter registration records are public records so the police know who will be voting where on Election Day so it is easy pickings to serve warrants. I have heard that officials also stake out the voting place to look for people who are behind on their child support.

So, if I were you, I wouldn’t vote.

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