Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Because we all need a laugh

I am so glad I read Stacey's blog today, I needed a big laugh...man, I swear I know this guy!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Financial Crisis - Part 2

As we wait for the bailout solution negotiations to come to an end, it gives everyone time to place blame on how it happened. The easiest target is President Bush and yes, as a leader, he does need to accept blame because it happened on his watch. Yes, we know he warned us in 2001 and in 2003 about the systemic problems with Freddie and Fannie, but something should have been done. We had the majority in Congress for goodness sakes. Yes, John McCain offered up a bill in 2005 that addressed the situation...but we ignored that as well. Everyone was getting along fine, thank you very much. Prosperity and lax regulations benefit everyone. Then the other shoe dropped.

But how did this all happen, how did we start going from logical banking standards to the free for all situation that occured these past several years. It may have started back in 1977 with the Community Reinvestment Act. Just like welfare started with FDR during the Depression (drastic measures for drastic situations), the Community Reinvestment Act was a tool during the great Inflation era to help poor people in poor neighborhoods get loans.

The article that I am sharing with you deals with an entity that took full advantage of the Community Reinvestment Act and greatly contributed to the proliferation of sub prime loans...the back bone of this current financial crisis. What makes this information more troubling is that our current presidential candidate, Barack Obama, worked for them in his younger years.

The pressures used by groups like this helped me understand a little better why banks and regulators just "gave up" and "gave in" to the temptations. I know alot of bankers and money people and high risk is a dirty word to most of them. Something had to make them all throw caution to the wind...


Hat Tip to Bill Hobbs

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Financial Crisis

I will be the first to tell you, I can't get my head around this mortgage crisis and the right course of action. I was one of those foolish college students who majored in Sorority and didn't pay attention (or didn't go) to my Macroeconomics classes.

My major at that time was International Business with a French minor of all things so you would have thought I would have had enough sense to pay attention. But there were more important (and fun) things going on in college that held my attention. I think that is what has happened to all of us today. We were all too busy making money, living life and enjoying the prosperity of the moment to pay attention to the warning signs.

But as I would have learned in my Macroeconomics class, there is a big "circle of life" that occurs in the world marketplace and when one part of the circle fails, the whole system fails. For every action, there is a reaction. And this system failure is HUGE. I just pray that there are smarter people up there on the food chain who knows what the heck they are doing...and that they paid attention in class. May God help us all.

Below is an article that helped me understand the bigger picture a little better. Yes, it is partisan in nature, but there are always two sides to a story.

Congress Lies Low To Avoid Bailout Blame
Lawmakers fear wrath of voters as cost of crisis soars to $1 tril or more

Congress says it likely will adjourn this month having done nothing on the most important issue in America right now: the financial meltdown from the subprime lending crisis.

Can Congress just walk away from a problem it helped create? Maybe, maybe not.

There’s now some talk of a grand deal between the Treasury, the Fed and Congress for a “permanent” solution: creating a government agency to buy up all the bad subprime debt, just like the Resolution Trust Corp. did with bad real estate in the 1980s and 1990s.

Already, the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to keep the subprime crisis from crashing the world economy. The collapse of twin mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the failures of Lehman Bros., Bear Stearns and insurer AIG, expose taxpayers to more than $1 trillion in liabilities.

Until now, Congress has been surprisingly passive. As Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, “no one knows what to do” right now.

Funny, since it was a Democratled Congress that helped cause the problems in the first place.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently barked “no” at reporters for daring to ask if Democrats deserved any blame for the meltdown, you saw denial in action.

Pelosi and her followers would have you believe this all happened because of President Bush and his loyal Senate lapdog, John McCain. Or that big, bad predatory Wall Street banks deserve all the blame.

“The American people are not protected from the risk-taking and the greed of these financial institutions,” Pelosi said recently, as she vowed congressional hearings.

Only one problem: It’s untrue.

Yes, banks did overleverage and take risks they shouldn’t have.

But the fact is, President Bush in 2003 tried desperately to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from metastasizing into the problem they have since become.

Here’s the lead of a New York Times story on Sept. 11, 2003: “The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.”

Bush tried to act. Who stopped him? Congress, especially Democrats with their deep financial and patronage ties to the two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie and Freddie.

“These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Rep. Barney Frank, then ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.” It’s pretty clear who was on the right side of that debate. As for presidential contender John McCain, just two years after Bush’s plan, McCain also called for badly needed reforms to prevent a crisis like the one we’re now in.

“If Congress does not act,” McCain said in 2005, “American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole.”

Sounds like McCain was spot on.

But his warnings, too, were ignored by Congress.

To hear today’s Democrats, you’d think all this started in the last couple years. But the crisis began much earlier. The Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act forced banks to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, mostly in minority areas.

Age-old standards of banking prudence got thrown out the window. In their place came harsh new regulations requiring banks not only to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, but to do so on the basis of race.

These well-intended rules were supercharged in the early 1990s by President Clinton. Despite warnings from GOP members of Congress in 1992, Clinton pushed extensive changes to the rules requiring lenders to make questionable loans.

Lenders who refused would find themselves castigated publicly as racists. As noted this week in an IBD editorial, no fewer than four federal bank regulators scrutinized financial firms’ books to make sure they were in compliance.

Failure to comply meant your bank might not be allowed to expand lending, add new branches or merge with other companies. Banks were given a so-called “CRA rating” that graded how diverse their lending portfolio was.

It was economic hardball.

“We have to use every means at our disposal to end discrimination and to end it as quickly as possible,” Clinton’s comptroller of the currency, Eugene Ludwig, told the Senate Banking Committee in 1993.

And they meant it.

In the name of diversity, banks began making huge numbers of loans that they previously would not have. They opened branches in poor areas to lift their CRA ratings.

Meanwhile, Congress gave Fannie and Freddie the go-ahead to finance it all by buying loans from banks, then repackaging and securitizing them for resale on the open market.

That’s how the contagion began.

With those changes, the subprime market took off. From a mere $35 billion in loans in 1994, it soared to $1 trillion by 2008.

Wall Street eagerly sold the new mortgage-backed securities. Not only were they pooled investments, mixing good and bad, but they were backed with the implicit guarantee of government.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac grew to become monsters, accounting for nearly half of all U.S. mortgage loans. At the time of their bailouts this month, they held $5.4 trillion in loans on their books. About $1.4 trillion of those were subprime.

As they grew, Fannie and Freddie grew heavily involved in “community development,” giving money to local housing rights groups and “empowering” the groups, such as ACORN, for whom Barack Obama once worked in Chicago.

Warning signals were everywhere. Yet at every turn, Democrats in Congress halted attempts to stop the madness. It happened in 1992, again in 2000, in 2003 and in 2005. It may happen this year, too.

Since 1989, Fannie and Freddie have spent an estimated $140 million on lobbying Washington. They contributed millions to politicians, mostly Democrats, including Senator Chris Dodd (No. 1 recipient) and Barack Obama (No. 3 recipient, despite only three years in office).

The Clinton White House used Fannie and Freddie as a patronage job bank. Former executives and board members read like a who’s who of the Clinton-era Democratic Party, including Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson and current Rep. Rahm Emanuel.

Collectively, they and others made well more than $100 million from Fannie and Freddie, whose books were cooked Enron-style during the late 1990s and early 2000s to ensure executives got their massive bonuses.

They got the bonuses. You get the bill.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Alaskan Speaks

I had a great discussion the other day with a highly intelligent supporter/friend from Sewanee about Sarah Palin and the politics of war and government. I got to know him during my run for Mayor earlier this year, when I was campaigning to replace the small town, corrupt Mayor that had dug our little town into a financial juggernaut over the past 16+ years.

He was concerned about my support of a person he knew to be a caustic politician who took no prisoners in her rise to power...then this letter came into my inbox.

This one is for you Lyle!

Subject: Who is Sarah

Dear Eddie, (Eddie was a friend from Texas who inquired about Sarah Palin)

Fishing is good here at Wildman and I rarely have time for politics, but
many of our friends are asking us "Who is Sarah Palin?" Of course, as
Alaskans, Kathy and I are extremely proud of her. We just want to let you
know that Sarah "Barracuda" Palin is a straight shooting, hard charging,
get it done gal. She knows when to listen, how to analyze the facts and
how to make a decision, then implement the plan. She doesn't do a poll
before jumping in with both feet like too many of the Washington types.
She has little legislative experience because she has always held the
EXECUTIVE position; in private life, as mayor of Anchorage's largest
bedroom community or more recently as Governor of our State. She is a
smart, attractive home grown Alaska girl with excellent moral and family
values. She can see what needs to be done and does not hesitate to get
it done.

One of our State's major problems is that its Capital is in Juneau, 500
miles from the nearest road and 800 air miles from the population base
which is Anchorage, Wasilla and Fairbanks. Our legislature and most of
the State government is in Juneau and they ALL behave like a bunch of
freshmen in a college town. It has been this way since Statehood in
1959. When Sarah moved to Juneau, so did accountability and
responsibility When the oil revenue started flown and a barrel of North
Slope Crude hit $23.00, these people began spending money like drunken
sailors. You can only imagine what was happenings when oil hit $100.00 a
barrel, about the time Sarah took command. My wife Kathy has first-hand
experience with this fiasco, as her father and also her ex-husband were
Alaska Legislators who served in Juneau as Senators, Senate President, or
members of the State House for a combined period spanning nearly three

About the time Sarah took the HELM as Governor of Alaska, about half of
the State legislature was in the pocket of big oil companies or
contractors doing big projects for Native Corporations around Alaska, all
funded by State oil revenue. Alaska government was nothing but a good
old boys club riding the perpetual wave of prosperity. This filtered
down from the legislature, through the Department of Natural Resources,
Department of Labor and even spilled in to the Public Safety who are
supposed to "preserve and protect".

When Sarah walked into the Governor's Mansion, she promptly dismissed
the State Trooper detachment assigned to Governor and had her and her
husband's gun case brought in from Wasilla. Then, she got rid of the
former Governor's STATE Jet and told legislators that there were no more
free rides, they would have to fly Alaska Airlines, just like her and her
family if they wanted to travel. Next came the nut cutting (the
Barracuda part) the heads that rolled were too numerous to name, but when
Sarah finished cleaning house, a number of our legislators ended up in
jail for on corruption charges, or tendered their resignations along with
numerous department heads and those who have been riding the gravy train
for way too long, AND THEN SHE HAD LUNCH. By the end of the day, Sarah
Palin had saved the people of Alaska millions and has not yet slowed

She has truly brought CHANGE to Juneau. I personally know several
persons in the private sector in Alaska, that hold her in high esteem.
She surrounds herself with smart people, many from my hometown of
Anchorage, she listens to them but makes her own decisions. Sarah Palin
is a no B.S. politician. It is refreshing that there is such a thing
anymore. You want to talk about CHANGE? You should see a before and
after picture of the State government in Alaska. That's CHANGE! Sarah
will bring a number of things to the election. I am sure she will appeal
many voters who my otherwise could have gone the other direction on
election day. The conservative block will not be for Barack. We have
their vote. We need what Sarah will bring, first to the election and
second, what she will bring to Washington D.C. McCain has been advised
well, Let's just hope the American people can get the straight scoop on
her in the weeks ahead. This is just the opinion of one Alaska Bush Pilot
and Guide, who pays attention to national politics, watches the news and
is deathly afraid of the direction our nation is headed. I guarantee
that if Sarah gets a chance to dig her spurs into the flanks of the
liberal Washington types, they will know that she is in the saddle.

Butch King


Butch & Kathy King
Wildman Lake Lodge

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Double Dog Dare

One of my favorite media cynics (now taking a daddy break) sent me these obnoxious photos to yank my chain...and dared me to post them. So this one is for you David, congrats on the new baby!

...CNN ran this Palin picture today.
And suddenly, it dawned on me why I felt like I’ve seen her before, why she has seemed so familiar to me, even though she is a complete stranger.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why I am not a Democrat

The article below was a profound commentary I found in my inbox this past January and thought I would repost here. I just had this very same discussion with a new friend at lunch the other day. Yes, we all want to help people...but how you do it is really the dilemma of the day. I truly believe in the "Giving a Fishing Rod, Not Fish" theory of public assistance. Maybe that's why this story hit me so hard, that and I am surrounded by proud generations of men who lived on the land. It would break my heart to see any of them this way...but it can happen to anyone. That is why I am not a Democrat.

Writer Unknown...

People often ask me why me and my sister left the Democrat Party after growing up in it in southern west Tennessee. The answer for me really has nothing to do with the Bible as a lot of the talking heads on the networks claim is the reason why southerners left the Democrats in droves in the 90's. It has to do with witnessing the failure of the Democrats social agenda firsthand.
My dad and his brothers absolutely worshipped the Democrat Party...

They made their living by farming and they would also buy old homes and fix them up and sale them for a profit. They did all this despite not being able to read or write and there started the problems that I developed with the Democrat Party.

When dad was of school age in the 50's, the Democrats were in their 80th year of having a power lock on the state government in Tennessee....EIGHTY YEARS PEOPLE. Why hadn't the Democrats in Nashville developed a plan by that time that would have properly educated these people like my father who literally worshipped them?

Then came the dependence on the Democrats welfare programs. When the income from farming dipped in the early 80's, dad went and signed up on food stamps and they also increased the monthly check he was drawing. I noticed a change in him when he did this. He gradually stopped working on the farm like he had been doing before he signed us all up on welfare.

He started becoming fearful of someone seeing him out on the farm working because he was afraid they would turn him in and they would eliminate the food stamps and the monthly check he was getting. Then when 1986 rolled around and he was diagnosed with lung cancer he just completely gave up on everything and became totally dependent on welfare the final seven years of his life. He went from getting up at 5 am to go to work on the farm to sitting in his chair by the window watching people go to work and waiting on the mailman to come by at 1 pm every afternoon. It was a situation I wouldn't wish on anyone.

That's why I have only voted for two Democrats in my life so far. ... I can not in good conscious support a political party that discourages people from working the way they do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11: One Nation, Under God

One of my favorite bloggers (and fellow political junkie) Lynn Sebourn had an entry today about Todd Beamer and his role in Flight 93's "takeover" by the brave passengers. It reminded me of my own 9/11 story.

We all know Todd Beamer's famous phrase "Let's Roll" before the ultimate crash, but do we remember his other last words with the 911 Operator who stayed with him on the phone before the crash?

I was living in Wheaton Illinois on 9/11. I had just dropped off my children at their schools (both Christian based), and was in front of the building where my first meeting of the day was located when I heard the news on the radio. The next few minutes were a blur, I went to my meeting but we were all too numb to discuss anything...we just sat there listening to the radio.

I called my children's schools and they were prepared and wanted to keep the children all there together. So I went to the one place where I knew I would be around people who were like me, numb. The Wheaton Sport Center, my home away from home. We sat in the lounge watching the events unfold, glued to the screen and thankful we weren't alone, thankful we didn't have a family member on one of those planes or in the World Trade Center.

Then we watched the Flight 93 story unfold and listened to Todd Beamer, one of our own, as he said the Lord's Prayer to the 911 Operator and we knew God was with him.
We couldn't be prouder at that moment. You see he was a Wheaton College graduate, home of another famous alumnus, Billy Graham. This college was one that held it's students to a higher, Christian standard. Todd Beamer was truly one of God's warriors.

So people may say God doesn't have a place in today's society, I say thank God it does...and I hope that we always stay "One Nation, Under God". We certainly need more people like Todd Beamer, honed by a Faith that supercedes self.

High Noon

My dad is a big fan of the old westerns. John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood and all the rest of those bygone heroes line his video shelves. Those were the days when men were men. In recent history, my favorite western movie is Tombstone and even the newest one 3:10 to Yuma. It never fails in these movies, the hero usually has to stand up to the bad guys on his own. I always found that a shocking fact of human nature.

When people ask me about my steadfastness towards our President, I say very simply that I think history will tell a different tale. Nobody is perfect in this life, but I believe GWB's role in our history was to keep us safe...and he did.

Dad sent me this excerpt from an Ann Coulter column that really summed it up. I love the ending!

Rich wrote: "Since major al-Qaida attacks are planned well in advance and have historically been separated by intervals of 12 to 24 months, we will find out how much we've been distracted soon enough." ("Never Forget What?" New York Times, Sept. 14, 2002.)

There wasn't a major al-Qaida attack in 2003. Nor in 2004, 2005, 2006 or 2007. Manifestly, liberals thought there would be: They announced a standard of success that they expected Bush to fail.

As Bush has said, we have to be right 100 percent of the time, the terrorists only have to be right one time. Bush has been right 100 percent of the time for seven years -- so much so that Americans have completely forgotten about the threat of Islamic terrorism.

For his thanks, President Bush has been the target of almost unimaginable calumnies -- the sort of invective liberals usually reserve for seniors who don't separate their recyclables properly. Compared to liberals' anger at Bush, there has always been something vaguely impersonal about their "anger" toward the terrorists.

By my count, roughly one in four books in print in the world at this very moment have the words "Bush" and "Lie" in their title. Barnes & Noble has been forced to add an "I Hate Bush" section. I don't believe there are as many anti-Hitler books.

Despite the fact that Hitler brought "change," promoted clean, energy-efficient mass transit by making the trains run on time, supported abortion for the non-master races, vastly expanded the power of the national government and was uniformly adored by college students and their professors, I gather that liberals don't like Hitler because they're constantly comparing him to Bush.

The ferocity of the left's attacks on Bush even scared many of his conservative allies into turning on him over the war in Iraq.

George Bush is Gary Cooper in the classic western "High Noon." The sheriff is about to leave office when a marauding gang is coming to town. He could leave, but he waits to face the killers as all his friends and all the townspeople, who supported him during his years of keeping them safe, slowly abandon him. In the end, he walks alone to meet the killers, because someone has to.

That's Bush. Name one other person in Washington who would be willing to stand alone if he had to, because someone had to.

OK, there is one, but she's not in Washington yet. Appropriately, at the end of "High Noon," Cooper is surrounded by the last two highwaymen when, suddenly, his wife (Grace Kelly) appears out of nowhere and blows away one of the killers!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why women should vote

My friend Jim passed this on to me. Being a kind of my "maverick" myself, I find this story even more appealing. There are alot of women along the way that made it possible for us to vote. Let's never forget that privilege was hard earned.

A Message for all women



This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.
The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed
nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking
for the vote.
Remember, it was not until 1920

that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing
went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of
'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above
her head and left her hanging! r the night, bleeding and gasping
for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,
Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.
Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging,
beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,
when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his
guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because
they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right
to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their
food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks
until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because-
-why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?
Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new
movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle
these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling
booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the
actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.
Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.
Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history,
saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk
about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought
kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said.
'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use,
my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just
younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The
right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history,
social studies and government teachers would include the movie in
their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere
else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing,
but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think
a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so
hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Palin perspective

I really liked this Letter to the Editor from the Chattanoogan.com

As a former Chattanoogan now living in Alaska, I had to comment on the opinions about Sarah Palin. By the way, what are the elusive "facts that will surface"? Maybe Lucy Bach meant facts about the Alaska state trooper who was fired. Maybe she isn't aware that when Gov. Palin was told there would be a legislative investigation on the matter she said, "Bring it on. I have nothing to hide."

Do people really think Palin was picked because she was attractive and charming? Do people think Alaskans elected her governor because she was cute and "intelligent... to a degree"?

Alaska... one of our 'smallest' states? Are you kidding me? I'm sure the other reader meant smallest in population, not area, but does anyone really think that the heft of a governor's job is determined only by the number of people in her state? Consider, if you will, the complexity of managing a state that is so vast that its borders from end to end would span the entire continental U.S., that has limited infrastructure because of its geographical and climactic extremes, and has 95%+ of its land locked in the bureaucracy of state and federal land management.

As a woman, am I only supposed to support female politicians whose only platform is my right to have myself vacuumed out like a dusty old sofa? Or here's a great issue... my right to work, to do it all, for equal pay (yeah) while my kid spends all day in a government-subsidized, affordable day care, so that I can come home and nag my husband to load the dishwasher and fold the laundry because I'm tired.

In the last few days all I have heard from Alaskans is disgust at how she and her family have been treated. And if I have to see one more TV ad mentioning the tiny town of Wasilla and showing a small gravel road intersection and a stop sign, I'm going to scream (they must have driven by the four-lane highway lined with a series of strip malls, chain restaurants, stores, stoplights, turn lanes, Super Wal-Mart and newly constructed Target to get there.)

It sickens me to read smug comments about how the conservative abstinence advocate has a teenage daughter who is pregnant (always worded in a way that you can almost hear the snickers), and that she acted irresponsibly when she had her son who has Down's Syndrome. I spent a year working as a nurse in a public health department so I can say with confidence that availability of birth control does not prevent teenage pregnancy. It is much more complicated than that. And as far as her handicapped son, well teenage pregnancy may be considered a community issue, but sex within a marriage (and the occasional results of it) is not. The circumstances of her son's conception and birth are none of anyone's business.

So, here's my dissection of the issues that are important to me and my family in a troubled economy. Sarah Palin was just another woman, mother and wife. Her husband had a good stable job and a comfortable income that allowed her the time to be a mother and also pursue local school and then government issues that were important to her. The rest is history.

She doesn't whine and complain that all the problems in her life are someone else's fault. And she and her family aren't looking for someone else to solve their problems for them.

I'm proud of her for living a good life, for being a woman, for being a mother, for being a wife, for having ingenuity, and for having the guts to be proud of her family, skeletons and all.

That brings us to the main issue facing us in this election. We want good lives, a comfortable home, to be happy, and to be proud of our accomplishments. So, do we want a government that creates an environment in our country where we as individuals can make that happen, or do we want a government that does it all for us, that "takes care of us"?

All we've heard so far are speeches. Speeches don't lend themselves well to a thorough discussion of issues. Speeches are written to motivate and inspire, not necessarily to sway. That's what debates are for.

I agree that the recent media theatrics are surreal, but it makes me sad that so many have reeled them in hook, line and sinker.

Stephanie Ferguson
Kenai, Alaska

* * *

As a lifelong Democrat and active voter, I am truly impressed with Ms. Palin. The Democratic Party has only demonstrated to me that they are dyfunctional in the handling of Hillary Clinton. How do you leave out a state, namely Florida? The swing vote may swing Republican.

It is not a challenge to figure out that the educated, PTA mom that rose to governor of the great state of Alaska is a person of vision and very focused to execute the vision. Make no mistake about it, we are impressed with her in Chattanooga.

Allison Graham

Why I am a Republican

Sometimes even our own people forget...

Republican Principles

1) Individual ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility are basic to good government.

2) The free enterprise system and encouragement of individual initiative are musts for a strong economy.

3) Government exists to protect the freedom of each individual, not to restrict it.

4) Government should get involved only in those things which the people cannot do so
well for themselves.

5) Both government and society should assist those who cannot provide for themselves
and should help them become self-supporting citizens with pride in their

6) Equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity belonging to all, regardless of
race, creed, color, national origin or gender.

7) The preservation of our nation and the security of our citizens depend on every
citizen’s respect for the Constitution, the laws and the courts.

8) Government must maintain sound money and reasonable economy. The rights of life
and liberty are meaningless if citizens are deprived of their property through
excessive taxation, inflation and government waste.

9) World peace and friendship will continue through strength.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Angelina Jolie

Speaking of Lara Croft, I read an article while working out yesterday that featured Jolie and her thoughts on many topics. She said people assume that she is a Democrat because of all the humanitarian work that she does, when in actuality she really is an Independent that believes in peace through strength. Sounds like a right leaning gal to me.

I thought her political leanings were even more evident in her discussion of a new project that she would like to see happen...the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I read this book for the first time earlier this year and was blown away by it. It is a fictional book with a woman heroine which details the fall and rise of an American civilization taken over by government.

I think Angelina Jolie could be our new champion in a Hollywood.


Since the beginning of time, people have yearned for a hero to lead the charge. Sometimes they found them, sometimes they didn't. We have been looking for that person in our party for some time now and everyone has fallen short. Gingrich, Romney, FRED, Huckabee & definitely Giuliani. There was always that fatal flaw that kept us from truly believing.

In 2001, I remember asking Robert Novak at a townhall meeting in Monteagle TN of all places, who our next leader would be since there was such a void out there. His answer shocked me. George W. Bush. He said if GWB could get thru his communication issues, he was the man we needed in the White House. Well, as we know, he won...both times. But he never did get over his communication issues and he never did reach out and get us in the gut and inspire us like Reagan did.

So fast forward to today. The left has their hero, and finally, I believe, so do we. Who would have ever thought that she would come from Alaska and remind us all of our stronger, inner selves. She is the Lara Croft of our political world.

And believe it or not, I have actually taken a second look at McCain after his speech on Thursday. You know, I am thinking I can trust this man who chose torture over renouncing his country or his honor code. It really is as simple as that. And it takes a real man to appreciate a woman like Sarah Palin.

Hope and Pride have finally returned to this tired conservative heart...and it feels real good.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Red State Update

These guys are hysterical. Thanks again to Stacey for finding this stuff.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Discussion

Okay, now that I got that out of my system...

I am blessed to have intelligent and thoughtful friends from all sides of the political equation. Libertarians, doctoral students, journalists, musicians, politicians, teenagers and alot of people in between who come to me when they want to talk about politics...because they know I listen and they know I am passionate about the pure political process.

Political Dialog is important.

Here are some of the comments that came out of last night's speech:

The Negatives

"She shouldn't have talked about drilling in Alaska"

"My wife asked me to turn off the tv, she was too mean"

"There was no substance"

"I will be interested in finding out more on Troopergate and her actual participation in what she said she accomplished"

The Positives

"That prisoner looking thru the keyhole story got me good"

"She has some cajones"

"She is one good looking woman"

"What a great looking family"

"That is my kind of gal"

"Did you see her youngest child fixing the baby's hair? How darling is that!"


Last night sealed the deal. Sarah Palin had me at hello. I laughed, I cried, I cheered and I was charmed. Sarah Palin was chosen to solidify and energize the rural, conservative base that got GWB elected 2 times...and that is exactly what she will do in this election.

We needed our own Rock Star, and Sarah Palin is it.