Archive for October, 2008

Ideological Bigotry Part XVIII–Boycott Family Guy

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

The left just can’t stop the hatred. They wake up in the morning and find that they cannot be happy unless they are angry, miserable, spiteful, and vicious.

As I have said many times, I began blogging to combat ideological bigotry, the hatred of people based on being politically right of center and having the nerve to exist.

Before going any further, I wish the Jewish people of the world a Happy Simchas Torah. Simchah means joy, and on many levels my cup of joy truly runneth over. My Simchas Torah last year was a deeply sad affair due to the death of my friend Zach at age 40. Therefore, nothing going on in my life, even this election, will cause me to lose perspective.

Having said that, I have to remind myself repeatedly to be joyful when I am bombarded on a daily basis with people who want to remove me from the planet.

I am not referring to Islamofacists. I trust my current Republican President George W. Bush to handle that. I am referring to American liberals, particularly in the Jewish community, that would rather be waterboarded or given electric volts than concede that conservatives have a right to exist.

The latest version of ideological bigotry comes from Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the cartoon “Family Guy.”

I am not somebody who watches Family Guy. I have seen it once or twice, and it just did not appeal to me. I enjoy “South Park” and “King of the Hill,” and even enjoy “American Dad,” despite that last one being quite politically liberal. I stopped watching the Simpsons years ago, and just never enjoyed Family Guy. I never thought about it one way or the other. Besides, Sundays are about football, so I miss most of these shows anyway.

Yet now I hope none of my friends ever watch Family Guy ever again.

Seth MacFarlane contributes tons of money to liberal causes. He is typical Hollywood. That is all well and good. This past week, Family Guy had a scene where the characters were dressed up as Nazis.

I am not a big fan of Holocaust humor, but I am not humorless. I did like the episode of “Seinfeld” that focused on the “Soup Nazi.”

What bothered me was when one of the characters noticed a button on their Nazi outfit. It was a lapel button that read “McCain Palin.”

When is this going to stop?

Some will tell me to “lighten up.” My response to them cannot be printed.

When some comics printed a strip of Barack Obama working at Kentucky Fried Chicken and eating watermelon, there was an uproar. I was disgusted by this. It was vile. Why is it that when racial or ethnic bigotry exists, people condemn it, yet ideological bigotry not only goes unchallenged, but in many areas is celebrated?

Comparing the most evil murderers in history to people who want to kill evil murderers, in addition to tax cuts, is obscene.

I have been wrestling with this issue for some time, and as much as it makes me ill, it is time to “scare people straight and stupid.” For those that like to make jokes about Nazis and republicans, it is time for the emotional 2 by 4 to be applied to their heads.

For those who have weak stomachs, stop reading this immediately, and skip down several paragraphs. This is about to get very graphic. I will be copying several passages from the book “Deliver Us From Evil,” by Sean Hannity. It contains graphic descriptions of the Holocaust. I cannot think of another way to convey the seriousness of this issue.

Again, a final warning. This will be grisly, and please come back tomorrow if facing this is too painful.

“The Jews of Europe reached the camps mostly by rail. The trains–sometimes fifty cattle cars long–were packed with exhausted men, women, and children, who had been traveling many days with nothing to eat or drink. Not all the ‘pieces,’ as the SS called the victims, could be killed at once, so families in the rear cars waited in ignorance on the tracks outside the train station for the front cars to be ‘unloaded.’ The whole murderous process–from getting off the train to being turned into ashes and dumped in a nearby river–often took no more than a few hours. Those too ill to be brought to gas chambers were shot in the back of the neck.

In crematoriums 2 and 3, Zyklon gas crystals were poured in by a so called SS disinfection squad through the ceiling, and in Crematoriums 4 and 5 through side openings. With five or six cannisters of gas they could kill around two thousand people. This so called disinfection squad arrived in a truck marked with a red cross and escorted people along to make them believe that they were being led to take a bath.

Until they reached the end, they saw nothing. Then they’d see the dead in the pit. They were forced to strip, to sit on a sandbank, and were killed with a shot in the neck. They fell into the pit. With rubbish, paper, and gasoline, people burn very well.

Nothing ‘useful,’ was wasted, from the hair on their heads to the gold in their teeth. It all went into Nazi coffers…

Nearly 70% of European Jews were slaughtered in these camps during the war…but it didn’t happen with a snap of the fingers…the Nazis needed a system, a plan devised by bureaucrats and executed by efficient men who had analyzed all the difficulties of managing the ‘task,’ and who worked constantly to refine the ‘process.’

As documents from the Nazi era reveal, the efficiency of the genocide was also abetted by virulent anti-Semitic propaganda, which demonized the victims and glorified their Nazi murderers.”

Ok, you can open your eyes and bring the kids back in the room. I will quote the conclusion that Mr. Hannity reaches.

“In taking on the German military–a war machine every bit as fierce as the Nazi death machine–the Allies were compelled by three basic principles: that totalitarian government is the enemy of freedom; that systematic oppression and cruelty it fosters is not merely senseless, but utterly evil; and that appeasement can never defeat evil–it can only embolden it.”

Now for those who think that Family Guy is “just a cartoon making a joke,” I simply have no humor for those that compare me to a Nazi murderer.

Yet wait…how does insulting John McCain, Sarah Palin, or George W. Bush by comparing them to Adolf Hitler affect me?

Because I believe in them. I voted for President Bush, and will be voting for McCain and Palin. I have a McCain yamulkah (Jewish skullcap). I have a t-shirt with President Bush on it. These slurs do not attack just these people. They attack all the supporters.

It is not just cartoon. Al Gore has referred to President Bush supporters as “Brownshirts.” He asked in 2000 if we wanted to be “part of the forces of good or evil.” Evil? Are you kidding me? Why is it that liberals cannot refer to real evil such as Islamofacism as evil, but have zero problems referring to political conservatives as evil. He also claimed that “conservatives use color blind in the same way hunters use a duck blind.” A duck blind is used to kill ducks.

When is this madness going to stop?

I began blogging when a Jewish leftist at a dinner party expressed desire to see supporters of George W. Bush be flammable. That is called lynching.

Some will say these are just words. Yet remember how the Holocaust was able to happen. The first step in exterminating people is by dehumanizing them. If they are subhuman, then they do not deserve the normal protections that people receive.

The goal of those on the left is too stigmatize the right, dehumanize them, and exterminate them.

No, I do not expect liberals taking me into a back alley and stuffing Zyklon B down my throat. However, I see physical violence towards conservatives. I visit college campuses, and I see leftists students, egged on by professors, frothing at the mouth. I see them learning from terrorists like William Ayers that actually did blow stuff up. Some will try to claim that this violence is just as bad on the right, and bring up abortion clinics. The quantity of violence is not even close. Also, those that bomb those clinics are not educating our children.

Children do not know how to hate.. They have to be taught. Yet I just saw a video of young girls ages 5 to 15, criticizing Sarah Palin for supporting rape. Is this acceptable, to indoctrinate children in this way?

Do those on the left really believe that political conservatives support rape, murder, and the destruction of human life in a manner equivalent to 1930s Germany?

If not, why do they joke about it?

Seth MacFarlane should look my dad in the eye. He was four years old when the war ended, and still is in some ways affected by it at age 67. He has voted for politically right of center candidates. Try telling him that jokes about the Holocaust are just “sophisiticated humor.”

(Full disclosure: My father did not talk about it when I was young. He wanted to give me a normal childhood, and he succeeded. I learned about it when I was older.)

How can liberal Jews compare such atrocities to people who wear a diagonal blue and red necktie and support supply side economics?

I could point out that Hitler was a vegetarian and environmentalist, but that would be totally unfair to the many decent people on the left who eschew meat but are against the Holocaust.

This goes so much deeper than Family Guy. An entire political party has been taken over by people who truly believe that the biggest atrocities in the world are being committed by people like me.

I am just a guy. I am not even Joe the Plumber. I can’t fix a sink. I am a harmless little fuzzball that lives an ordinary life, and wants to the right to exist free of the psychotics that object to this. I want to get through my day without being compared to murderers.

So for those that need to have it explained again…for those that use analogies of Hitler and Nazis with regards to politically conservative individuals…

(Grabbing the bullhorn): STOP…F*CKING…DOING…IT!

Until the left learns humanity, they will fail to “bring people together.” It is not possible to unite people when you have demonized them to the point of no return.

One day they will come for the liberals.

Nobody will save them because they will not have left anybody else to speak up.

Then again, maybe if they came for the hatemongers on the left first, next time this year I truly could enjoy Simchas Torah. The people in the Synagogue would see me as what I already am…human.

Hineni. Here I am. Republican, Jewish, and proud.


Ideological Bigotry Part XVII–Obama attacks the Republican Jewish Coalition

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Barack Obama has decided that his quest to become dictator and king for life has run into a snag. Apparently disagreeing with his holiness is still legal.

Unfortunately for democracy, dissent of the anointed one may not be permissible for long.

Barack Obama has decided to wage war on the Republican Jewish Coalition, whose only sin seems to be supporting republican candidates for office, including John McCain.

Before getting to this specific incident of left wing bullying, some brief contextual background is necessary.

Democrats are not the party of free speech, and the left is not about tolerance. Free speech and tolerance is for those that agree with them ideologically. Those that do not, aka conservatives, are subjected to ruthless ideological bigotry.

It is the left that removes lawn signs, and keys cars containing GOP bumper stickers. It was a democrat that ran over Secretary of State Katherine Harris with his car due to his being displeased at the 2000 Election. It is the left that feels the need in every GOP administration to find one bogeyman to hate. First it was Ronald Reagan. President George H.W. Bush was considered “moderate,” so Dan Quayle was savaged. When Clinton and Gore were in power, the left demonized Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Nobody went after Tom Foley in that manner.

In the beginning of the Presidency of George W. Bush, he and Vice President Cheney received some abuse, but not as much as now. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was considered “moderate,” and therefore likable. The left had to go down the list to Attorney General John Ashcroft to find someone they could loudly detest. I do not remember a liberal Attorney General getting that treatment. When he left, the liberals had to search and search, and finally found John Bolton, the Ambassador to the United Nations. Does anybody remember who the last liberal U.N. Ambassador even was?

Now Sarah Palin is in the crossfire. The left wears t-shirts that say, “Abort Sarah Palin.” I guess they ran out of “Kill Bush,” and “Bush = Hitler” t-shirts.

The purpose of such rabid frothing at the mouth is to silence and intimidate those on the right. Conservatives disagree with liberals. Liberals despise conservatives. They want to take republicans and destroy them, rip their insides out, and grind them into dust.

Some will say that it is wrong to blame all liberals for a few million lunatics. Fair enough. However, when the leaders of an entire political party become hijacked by the basket cases, and start engaging in the same tactics, they must be called out.

Sarah Palin is hated on the left for being politically conservative and existing. That is it. A rally to condemn Iranian President Armageddonijad became political when Sarah Palin was disinvited. Disinvited? For what reason? Does she not have the right to be against a terrorist murderer, and proclaim loudly how awful Armageddonijad is? When did free speech only become allowable for those on the left?

This free speech angle is important, because there are so many chilling attempts by the left to simply ban the right of those on the right to voice their opinions.

Liberals lament about how the debate is “coarser” than it used to be. They blame talk radio, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh in particular. What they are really lamenting is that the right has any voice at all. The left has ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, The Jayson Blair (New York) Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington (com)Post, and virtually all the cultural institutions in America ranging from public schools to libraries.

The left is angry that it can no longer get liberals elected by drumming up “Fake but Accurate” memos, or by breaking drunk driving “scandals,” just before an election.

This is why the left wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. There is nothing “fair” about it. What the Fairness Doctrine means is that for 30 minutes of conservative programming, there has to be 30 minutes of liberal programming to balance it. Whether or not the station makes any money is irrelevant. The reason conservative talk radio flourished was because the right had no voice at all until it existed. The marketplace had an opening. Additonally, Rush Limbaugh did not succeed because of his political views alone. He is genuinely entertaining.

Liberal talk radio fails because it is boring. Also, it is politically correct. Humor cannot succeed when virtually every constituency is off limits, or apologies have to be rendered after every joke. Also, liberals are terrible at making fun of themselves. Ronald Reagan was self deprecating. Liberals from Michael Dukakis to John Kerry never learned this.

Yet as awful as it is that the left is going after conservative institutions, they are getting more and more hateful. The left is now going after private citizens.

Joe the Plumber is the latest example. All this man did was ask a potential leader a question. Barack Obama, who has been very disciplined, slipped up. He said that we should “spread the wealth around.” That phrase breathed new energy into conservatives, and instead of analyzing Barack Obama, the left decided to provide scrutiny to Joe the Plumber. This is what they do. Anybody on the right knows that if they speak up, they can be destroyed. Being on the right is not even necessary. Challenging anyone on the left is enough to become a public enemy. Just ask Paula Jones, the only person I know making $35,000 per year that was audited by the IRS after speaking up about being sexually harrassed.

Not all private citizens have the money or power to fight back. Students get bullied by leftist professors, although a well placed tape recorder gives them a slim fighting chance.

This brings me to the newest victims of Barack Obama’s attempts at censorship, the Republican Jewish Coalition.

(Full disclosure: I am a member of the RJC leadership. All this means is that I attend their events, and occasionally make donations. I am not employed by them, nor is my blog in any way affiliated by them. I do not take orders from them, but am proud to have many of their members as my friends. Any columns I write about them are solely my choice.)

The Republican Jewish Coalition is the preeminent organization in America for those that are politically right of center, as well as being of the Hebrew faith.

Jews are not monolithic, in the same way black people, women, and other minorities are not monolithic. One of the great traditions of Judaism is the notion of debate. For those that have ever sat at a Jewish dinner table, the discussions are lively. Senator Barbara Boxer, no friend of republicans, has publicly praised the notion of debate.

Given the election of 2008, several Synagogues have been holding Jewish debate forums. The left has been represented by Congressmen such as Adam Schiff and Howard Berman, former Congressman Mel Levine, and Andrew Lachmann, who heads up Democrats For Israel. The right has mainly been represented by the Republican Jewish Coalition. Larry Greenfield does most of the debates on the West Coast, while other RJC executives have done others on the East Coast. Richard Baehr, an RJC member who writes at American Thinker, crisscrosses America debating and making the case for the GOP. I have even recently gotten into the act myself, sparring with a democratic strategist.

These debates were lively, informative, and mostly civil. Then I noticed that something began to change. The competitors on the left began getting angry, snarky, and downright hostile towards the RJC. In one debate, Mel Levine attacked the RJC about 14 times.

I will put my personal inegrity on the line and say that I would never belong to an organization that traffics in hate speech. I would not sacrifice my principles for career advancement. I challenge anybody to find anything on the RJC website or in any RJC printed publication that crosses the line. Like other politically right of center organizations, we focus on policy distinctions, not personal attacks.

Mel Levine and Ira Forman began accusing the RJC of engaging in hate speech, lies and smears. When asked to produce one solid example, they failed to do so.

What really began to bother those on the left was that the younger Jewish community, not wed to FDR and JFK, was thinking for itself. The older Jewish community was also having doubts. Simply put, the normally 80% of the Jewish vote that votes on the left was being reduced to as little as 60%. It could reach parity in a decade. Some will say that it is because Obama is being smeared, but the truth is that many Jews privately like George W. Bush, supported Rudy Giuliani, and are very comfortable with John McCain. Joseph Lieberman has gravitas in the community, and that helps as well.

Because of this, the days when liberal Jewish politicians could walk into a Synagogue and automatically receive a standing ovation are gradually lessening. So instead of honest debate, the left tries bullying tactics. Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida has made comments about Sarah Palin that cannot be printed in a blog that abhors such language.

The bottom line is that Jewish audiences for the debates were no longer stacked against those on the right. The crowds were sharply divided. One recent forum I attended was actually majority republican!

The Obama campaign, which is basically trying to run out the clock on the election, saw that the strategy of debating the issues was not working in a Jewish community that is becoming less and less reflexively liberal. He therefore gave a directive BANNING his surrogates from engaging in any debates with anybody from the RJC.

The incredibly weak excuse his campaign proffered was that since his surrogates were “official”, they would only debate “official” surrogates from the McCain campaign.

This is nonsense. These are Jewish debates. The RJC is as every bit important to right of center Jews as the NAACP is to many blacks, and the Catholic League is to many Catholics. Will the Obama campaign ban debates about gay and lesbian issues from including anyone from the Log Cabin Republicans?

Mel Levine and others followed their marching orders, and pulled out of several debates at various Synagogues at the 11th hour. This was rude, abrasive, and dishonest. The goal of these boycotts was to force the Synagogues to cancel the events. After all, partisan events could jeapordize their tax exempt statuses. With nobody on the left, the speaker on the right could not debate, and the events would be canceled.

Yet Jewish republicans learned from what happened when John McCain recommended skipping a debate for noble reasons. Barack Obama threatened to show up alone. That is exactly what members of the RJC did. Thankfully, the Synagogues did not give into the blackmail. They excoriated the participants who canceled at the last minute. The Synagogues reiterated their non-partisan staus, but explained that canceling events would cost them money and anger their congregations. In some cases, last minute surrogates filled in.

This is not an alleged conspiracy. Mel Levine and others have publicly stated that the Obama campaign will not let them debate the RJC. Mel Levine has debated with Larry Greenfield on several occasions. So have other surrogates on the left. For the Obama campaign to try to get these debate forums canceled is pure thuggery.

The Obama campaign has no right to decide who the other side chooses to offer as debate opponents. The only criteria should be if they are legitimate opponents. Mel Levine even sniveled that he did not want to debate Larry Greenfield again because he “did not want to elevate him in importance.”

I have a news flash for Mel Levine. He already debated Larry three times. Mel Levine is also somebody who was a Congressman back when “Dallas” was on television. He came in fourth place in a 1992 Senate race. I am not saying he is “unimportant,” but most people on the street would not recognize him.

Those on the left who are dropping out of these debates at the last minute are engaging in nothing but cowardice. They are also offending many Jewish people who gave up their evening, and in some cases money, to witness actual debates representing various points of view.

If Barack Obama were to win this election, is this how he would govern? Would he try to pressure Synagogues to ban RJC members from speaking at all?

If anybody thinks this is fear mongering, investigate Robert Wexler. He is the “Bully of Boca,” pressuring Synagogues into silencing his opponents. It is already happening.

This needs to be dealt with immediately. Barack Obama is going to learn one way or another that you cannot bully your opponents into submission in the United States of America. We may have a media that would rather investigate private citizens than a potential world leader, but private citizens are fighting back.

Republicans are tired of ideological bigotry. We demand an honest discussion of issues. We are not scared of foreign attackers, so we will certainly not be scared by leftist Jewish bullies taking their instructions from somebody who wants to silence those who point out his shaky credentials on Jewish issues.

It is these obscene tactics that only add to the many justified questions surrounding Barack Obama on Jewish…and non-Jewish…issues.

Senator Obama can bring the hammer down, but he cannot hit every nail. The questions will be asked, and Jewish Republicans will continue to speak out.

Senator Obama, you are out of line. You have some explaining to do.

We will get to the truth. We will be heard. This, and only this, is beyond any debate.

Hineni. Here I am. Republican, Jewish, and proud.


My Jewish Debate About 2008

Monday, October 20th, 2008

I have covered several Jewish debates about the 2008 election, but always as a blogger and audience member. Several days ago, I had the pleasure of being a debate participant.

This will not be a transcription. For one thing, I cannot transcribe myself while I am talking. I cannot transcribe my opponent, preferring to actually pay attention. This is more about the experience.

The idea of being a debate participant came from watching my friend Larry Greenfield participate in several forums with people ranging from democratic members of Congress to others on the left.

Simply put, Larry cannot be everywhere, and he was supportive of my efforts to help make the case for John McCain.

The toughest part was finding an opponent.

Although a majority of the Jewish community leans to the left, most people are not qualified to engage in an actual formal debate.

I asked my friends to help me find an opponent. I wanted three criteria. First of all, the person had to be politically liberal and a supporter of Barack Obama. Otherwise it would not be much of a debate. Secondly, they had to be intelligent. Thirdly, they had to be a nice person.

This third one might seem irrelevant, but I wanted this to be a friendly and enjoyable experience. The entire purpose of the evening was to show people that individuals can have sharp disagreements, yet still like each other.

A friend of mine referred me to an individual named Randy Steinberg. Randy is a Democratic Strategist who runs his own firm, SJA Strategies.

We spoke on the telephone, and there was immediate rapport. Randy was exactly what I was looking for…a well informed, staunch partisan democrat, who is also very likable. Plus, he likes football. I can break bread with virtually anybody that likes football.

We both agreed that we had no patience for gutter politics. He finds comparisons of President Bush to Hitler abhorrent, and I am revolted by insinuations that Obama is a secret Muslim, or that his middle name should be a line of attack.

Randy and I both have significant public speaking experience, and feel comfortable in public settings. However, neither one of us had done a formal debate before. It is one thing to observe. It is another to actually do it.

The next issue was finding venues. Randy and I are both Jewish, and we wanted to debate in front of Jewish institutions, particularly ones that had a healthy amount of young people. One of the institutions that expressed interest was USC Chabad. Rabbi Dov Wagner was great.

The conditions set forth by USC Chabad were minimal and completely reasonable. The event had to be bipartisan, and it had to deal with Jewish issues. This made complete sense. A healthy portion of the debate was dedicated to discussing Israel and other Jewish issues.

We wanted to give the event some heft, which meant a well respected moderator. The Jewish Journal is well known in the Jewish community, particularly in Los Angeles. Jewish Journal writer Brad Greenberg moderated the debate. Brad is a blogger as well. His blog is “The God Blog.”

With all the pieces in place, the next step that candidates usually do is have the “debate about the debate.” This is where every little detail gets haggled about.

Thankfully, Randy and I were not interested in arguing about nonsense. We were not running for office, and whether the opening statements would be 3 minutes or 5 minutes would not change the world. Most of the email correspondence between us was along the lines of “what do you think about this?”

The only area of disagreement, and it was mild at that, was about videotaping the session. I wanted to, but Randy felt that since it was our first debate, we should see how it goes first. I respected his position. After the debate, we both seemed comfortable with the idea of videotaping future debates. At worst it will be a You-Tube enjoyment, and at best a resume builder.

The debate itself was a very enjoyable experience. I am not a fan of podiums, so I was glad when the structure was for us to be seated at the table. It was adults having a conversation.

While a transcription was not possible, I remember some of the things I said. I remember much more of what I said than what Randy said, but that is only because I have said the same things to people for years.

Randy and I were both very good about time. The moderator did not have to chastise us. One moment occurred when I asked the moderator for an extra 15-30 seconds to rebut something Randy had said. The moderator explained that he would then have to give it to Randy as well. I replied, “Well then I don’t need it.” I was not afraid of a rebuttal. I just did not want to open up a pandoras box regarding constantly going over time limits. Randy, Brad, and I all wanted as much time as possible for audience questions.

As for the questions, they were substantive.

Because I had criticized Obama’s tax cuts as wealth redistribution and socialism, somebody asked me if I felt that we should be should abolish welfare. I stated that we absolutely should not do so. We must give hope to those at the bottom. They need to have hope that they can have upward mobility. I then distinguished between welfare and helping the poor with wealth redistribution, which just punishes the rich, and helps nobody. Nevertheless, the question was designed to try and imply that conservatism and heartlessness were identical. I did not take the bait.

One questioner asked me what I thought of the notion that Obama was a Muslim, or the invocation of his middle name Hussein. I emphatically stated that such tactics disgusted me. At the beginning of the debate I pointed out that both men were good, decent men, good husbands, good fathers, and men who loved America. I reinforced that Obama is a Christian and an American, and that the debate should be about issues, not slander. I also pointed out that ideological bigotry is coming mainly from the left. Conservatives have their cars keyed, lawn signs stolen, and other acts of violence. One leftist ran over Katherine Harris with his car after the 2000 election.

I pointed out that it is trendy to despise conservatives simply because they exist, whether it be Dan Quayle, Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, Newt Gingrich, or Sarah Palin.

The crowd laughed when I mentioned BHMO, Barack Hannah Montana Obama.

Another moment of levity occurred when Randy rhetorically asked “What should we do, just go in and attack Iran and Syria?”

Because we were not interrupting each other, I could not directly answer him. So I just nodded my head up and down and smiled broadly, to much amusement.

Randy is much more polished than me. He is calmer, and I am more excitable. More than once Brad had to steer me in the right direction. Randy was more focused and disciplined. I was more emotional.

One exchange where I felt I was successful was when Randy brought up Bill Ayers and Robert Malley. While I did mention Pastor Wright and some other associations in the news, I did not mention Ayers or Malley. That allow me to say to the audience that, “Obama has so many questionable associations that there is not enough time to mention them all. The fact that Randy brings up to defend Ayers and Malley when I never mentioned them shows the depth of Obama’s problems on this issue.”

While Randy did not clean my clock, he made no mistakes. For a man who has never debated before, he is a well oiled machine. The democratic party is lucky to have him. He got in one particularly good line. I mentioned that, “in 22 democratic debates, there was no mention of Islamofacism or Islamic Fundamentalism.” He coolly responded that, “in 3 general election debates, John McCain did not mention the economy.”

After the debate, we both shook hands, and chatted with each other and the audience.

One of the reasons this debate worked well is because while there were plenty of political differences, there was harmony among everybody putting the success of the event over everything else. Brad, Randy, Rabbi Dov, and I all let the audience know that the purpose of this was to educate and have fun. The audience complied by being polite, and asking intelligent questions. Questions were submitted in writing to prevent filibusters.

The audience clapped loudly after we were done, and noticed that a debate could be civil, with people breaking bread afterwards. In fact, the debate occurred just after the Jewish Holiday of Sukkos. A ritual during Sukkos is to smoke something similar to a peace pipe, known as a Hookah. So after the debate there was “Hookah in the Sukkah.” People debated, and then shared a peace pipe. There was actually a drum circle. I could not make this up if I tried.

Randy and I talked about getting together after the election, and doing a post election analysis. We will not only look at the election itself, but where both parties go from here.

The best part of my debate with Randy was that two nice guys got to know each other. This will not be our last debate. Regardless of the actual election, we have both made a new friend.

That is something excellent, which both of us would agree about.


NFL 2008–Week 7 Recap

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

This week the Oakland Raiders host the New York Jets. I will not be at the game, which bothers me. I really want to see Brett Favre. As I told Steve at “No Runny Eggs” last year, I was going to see the Raiders play the Packers with a sign that read, “I’ll trade our 45 for your # 4.”

Now Brett is a Jet, but the Raiders are still a mess. I would still trade most of our 45 for their # 4.

If the Jets win, let the record show that I conceded in advance, and Jersey McJones should not be too rough on me.

If the Raiders win, I knew it all the time, and never lost faith.

In addition, there were other games played on this NFL Sunday, but with less meaning.

With that, from my multiple television pad in Los Angeles, below is my NFL Week 7 Recap.

San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills–It seems like only 47 years ago that both of these teams ruled the AFL, with Jack Kemp quarterbacking them both. This game was actually delayed due to a power outage. Nevertheless, football was played. After a Buffalo field goal, Philip Rivers led an 11 play. 6 1/2 minute drive that ended with a 14 yard touchdown toss to Floyd. In the 2nd quarter, a San Diego fumble had the Bills Starting at the San Diego 38. With the short field, Trent Edwards, who completed 14 of his first 15 passes, found Lee Evans for the 2 yard touchdown and a 10-7 Bills lead. Buffalo added a field goal to take a 6 point lead into the locker room.

Early in the 3rd quarter, Rivers led the Chargers 80 yards on 12 plays in over 6 minutes. The 12 yard touchdown from Rivers to Vincent Jackson put the Chargers up 14-13. The Bills needed 6 minutes and 9 plays to cover the78 yards needed to retake the lead. Marshawn Lynch rambled 9 yards to put Buffalo up 20-14. With 6 minutes remaining in the game, Rivers had the Chargers in the Buffalo end zone. Rivers was intercepted in the end zone by Kavika Mitchell, who ran it back to the Buffalo 31. That set up a field goal to put the Bills up 9 points with 3:17 remaining. Rivers was hit and fumbled, snuffing out any comeback hopes. It was Mitchell again that made the play.

Perhaps Norvelous Norv Turner regretted his 3rd quarter decision on 4th and 1 from the Buffalo 40 to punt rather than utilize Landanian Tomlinson. Either way, Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson turned 90 this past Friday, and the Bills turned 5-1 for the first time since 1995, during K-Gun days of Marv Levy, Jim Kelly, and Thurman Thomas. 23-14 Bills

New Orleans @ Carolina Panthers–It seems like only 13 years ago that the late Sam Mills, aka the “Field Mouse,” left New Orleans for Carolina. Rest his defensive soul. Defense reigned early on, but with the Panthers leading 3-0 in the 2nd quarter, the Saints got the ground game going. Reggie Bush had a 30 yard run, and Deuce McCallister plunged in from a yard out to put the Saints up 7-3. A Jeremy Shockey fumble on their next drive had the Panthers starting at the New Orleans 40. Jake Dolhomme threw a 19 yarder to Steve Smith, and Stewart ran 18 yards to put the Panthers up 10-7. On the next Carolina drive, a flea flicker set up a 29 yard toss from Delhomme to Smith. John Kasay added his second field goal to put Carolina up 13-7

The Carolina defense clamped down in the second half, as it frequently does. Coach John Fox released Julius Peppers and the rest of the hounds. One minute into the second half, it was offense that did the job. Delhomme found Smith for 39 yards and a 20-7 lead. A Brees interception at midfield was returned to the New Orleans 18. Delhomme hit Williams for 4 yards to put the game out of reach. 30-7 Panthers

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears–It seems like…oh please, they play each other every few weeks, and both wish that Brett Favre retired years ago. This game was supposed to be a black and blue slugfest. Instead the teams racked up the points early on.

The Vikings took the opening kickoff and went 67 yards in 10 plays, with Adrian Peterson running it in from one yard out to put Minnesota up 7-0. After a short kickoff, the Bears began at their own 46. Kyle Orton worked out of the no huddle, and an 18 yard pass to Greg Olsen tied the game 7-7. Minnesota had to punt on their next drive. The snap was fumbled, and a desperate attempt at a punt was blocked and returned 17 yards for a touchdown to put the Bears up 14-7. Gus Frerotte led the Vikings right back, and a 24 yard pass to Shiancoe tied the game 14-14. That was only the 1st quarter.

The 2nd quarter began with an exchange of field goals. With the game tied at 17-17, Minnesota had more special teams problems. A fumbled punt was recovered by the Bears in the end zone for a gift touchdown and a 24-17 Chicago lead. The Bears had 2 special teams touchdowns, neither involving Devon Hester. With 3:47 left in the half, Frerotte led the Vikings back. Chester Taylor plunged over form one yard out to tie the game 24-24 with 22 seconds left in the half. Yet the scoring was not done. Another short kickoff followed by a 19 yard toss fro Orton to Olsen set up Robbie Gould’s 48 yard field goal. The Bears led 27-24, and the only thing that temporarily stopped the scoring was halftime.

The pinball machine continued into the 3rd quarter, when the game turned into a sandlot game. Orton began at the Chicago 20, and reached the Minnesota 36. He then threw a pass to Clark that went for 35 yards down to the 1. Clark was hit by 2 Minnesota defenders just shy of the goal line and fumbled the ball. Yet Davis recovered the ball in the end zone for the touchdown, just as the Bears drew the play up. They led 34-24, but not for long. Adrian Peterson ran 54 yards for a touchdown, as the Vikings were within 34-31.

Orton then hit Marty Booker on a swing pass. Booker outran all the defenders in a game with no defense anyway. Booker raced 51 yards to put the Bears back up 41-31. Frerotte then threw a bomb that resulted in his 3rd interception of the day. With Payne returning the interception 50 yards to the Minnesota 6, the 3rd quarter ended. The 4th quarter began with Chicago failing to convert on 4th and goal from the 1. The goal line stand was all for nought as a defensive penalty gave Chicago a new set of downs. Matt Forte ran it in to put Chicago up 48-31.

This game was not close to being done. Frerotte brought the Vikings right back, but on 4th and 3 form the Chicago 5, needing 3 scores, the Vikings kicked the field goal. They trailed 48-34 with 9 minutes remaining. After a Chicago punt, Frerotte led the Vikings back. A 5 yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian finished off a 75 yard drive. The Vikings trailed by only 7 points, and did get the ball back with 1:06 left. Frerotte’s magic fell short as he was intercepted with 40 seconds remaining. 99 points later, Chicago had held on in a thriller. 48-41 Bears

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals–It seems like only 36 years ago that the Steelers were getting better and the Bengals were getting worse. To quote Spinal Tap, the more it stays the same, the less it changes. Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers 75 yards on their opening drive, capping it off with a 2 yard touchdown pass to Mewelde Moore. A field goal extended the lead to 10-0, but then both defenses geared down. The Steelers were in total control of the game when Fitzpatrick, again filling in for Carson Palmer, led Cincinnati down the field late in the half. A 14 play, 92 yard drive led to a 5 yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Chad Johnson just before halftime.

Pittsburgh took a Cincinnati punt and began the second half at their own 45. Mewelde Moore put on a clinic, running 13 yards for the touchdown that put the Steelers up 17-7. Although Pittsburgh only led 17-10 after 3 quarters, they poured it on in the 4th. Big Ben hit Nate Washington on a 50 yard bomb to put the Steelers up 24-10. Moore’s 2 yard touchdown had the Steelers up 31-10. Byron Leftwich came in for Big Ben in mop up action, and added to the final misery of the Bengals. They need Palmer back now. 38-10 Steelers

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs–It seems like only 14 years ago that Warren Moon and Joe Montana battled, except the Houston Oilers existed. Vince Young remained bench, and Kerry Collins remained efficient. Brodie Croyle completed 9 of his first 10 passes, but was knocked out of the game early, bringing Damon Huard back into action. A Rob Bironas field goal and a 6 yard Lendale White run had the Titans up 10-0 after the 1st quarter. The Chiefs did manage to reach the Tennessee 21, but on 4th and 1, a field goal was no good. The second quarter featured heavy doses of White, who ran it in from 2 yards out to put the Titans up 17-0 at the break. For some reason, the second half was played. Lendale White had an 80 yard touchdown run to put the Titan up 27-0. Jeff Fisher and the Titans are the sole remaining unbeaten team at 6-0. The Chiefs are a mess. 34-10 Titans

Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins–It seems like only last year that the Ravens blew a chance to prevent history by giving away a game to New England, failing to prevent 16-0, while succeeding in giving away a game to Miami, preventing them from going 0-16. Shockingly enough, a game involving the Ravens was a defensive slugfest. A 3-3 tie was broken when Chad Pennington threw a 44 yard touchdown pass to Terrell Suggs. Unfortunately for Pennington, Suggs plays defense for Baltimore. After another Miami field goal, the Ravens finally finished a drive late in the half Joe Flacco led the Ravens 67 yards, with an 11 yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mason putting the Ravens up 17-6 at the half.

In the second half, a field goal had the Ravens up 20-6. Chad Pennington then found Patrick Cobbs for a 27 yard gain to set up a 6 yard touchdown pass to Bess to close to within 20-13. Yet the Ravens were too much on this day. Flacco found Mason for a 23 yard gain to set up a 5 yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee to ice the game. The Dolphins are improved, and so are the Ravens. 27-13 Ravens

San Francisco 49ers @ New York Giants–It seems like only 18 years ago that both these teams started 10-0 before engaging in two of the greatest defensive clashes in history. The 49ers have fallen on hard times, but the Giants still have solid quarterback play in Eli Manning, a bruising running back in Brandon Jacobs, and a tough defense.

Beginning their second drive at their own 46, Brandon Jacobs ran over San Francisco. His 26 yard run had the Giants up 7-0. After a San Fransisco field goal, Jacobs continued barreling over the 49ers. His 2 yard touchdown put the Giants up 14-3. J T O’Sullivan got going, and his 30 yard touchdown pass to Morgan had the 49ers within 14-10. O’Sullivan was intercepted at his own 15 late in the half, but the San Fransisco defense stopped the Giants at the 3 yard line. New York settled for a field goal and a 17-10 halftime lead.

Early in the 3rd quarter, O’Sullivan fumbled at his own 15. This time, the Giants made them pay, as Manning found Plaxico Burrress for 6 yards and a 24-10 Giants lead. A chip shot field goal had the Giants in position to take a 3 score lead. Instead it was blocked and returned 74 yards for a touchdown by Nate Clements. Out of nowhere, the 49ers were within 24-17.

Yet the Giants clamped down in the final quarter. John Carney redeemed himself by nailing a 48 yard field goal early in the 4th quarter to go up by 10. The defense then forced a fumble of O’Sullivan that resulted in a safety to end the scoring. It was not pretty, but what Giants football lacks in beauty, it makes up for with wins. As for the 49ers, they fired Coach Nolan the day after the game and replaced him with assistant and former Bears great Mike Singletary. 29-17 Giants

Dallas Cowboys @ St. Louis Rams–It seems like only 33 years ago that these teams were fighting for the right to go to the Superbowl. The Rams are less awful with new Head Coach Jim Haslett. The Cowboys are less super with Tony Romo out with an injured pinkie. Yet backup Brad Johnson, despite being 40 years old, has a Superbowl ring and plenty of experience. Johnson led the Cowboys 74 yards in 10 plays, and Marion Barber ran it in from one yard out. The Cowboys led 7-0 in a game they were expected to win big.

The game was a blowout, but in the reverse direction. The Rams scored 3 times, all very quickly. They partied like it was 1999, and the Greatest Show on Turf still existed. Marc Bulger needed only 4 plays to reach Avery on a 42 yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Brad Johnson fumbled, recovered his own fumble, and had the Cowboys punt on 4th and 24 from their own 8. The Rams took over at the Dallas 44. 4 plays later, Stephen Jackson ran 8 yards to give the Rams the lead. Johnson was intercepted at his own 17, and 4 plays later, Jackson’s 1 yard run had the Rams up 21-7. None of these 3 drives lasted 2 minutes. This was only the 1st quarter. Things settled down in the 2nd quarter, but a field goal extended the St. Louis lead to 24-7.

In the second half, the Rams had another drive that lasted 2 plays and 38 seconds. Jackson ran 56 yards to put the Rams up 31-7. Terrell Owens ranted and raved, because that is what he does. The Rams just rolled. They have won back to back games since Haslett took over. 34-14 Rams

Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans–It seems like every year from now until eternity, that nobody will have a reason to care about this game. The Texans have been relatively awful since they entered the league in the 21st century. The Lions have been awful since the 1950s.

Matt Schaub led the Texans 75 yards, and found Daniels for 2 yards to put the Texans up 7-0. Schaub later led the Texans into the red zone, where a defensive penalty led to Ahman Green running in from 1 yard out to put Houston up 14-0. In the 2nd quarter, Schaub found Danield for 25 yards to set up a 1 yard touchdown run by Slaton. The Lions again trailed 21-0, as they do in many of their games. Rumor has it that USC is favored over the Lions. Orlovsky probably wished that Jon Kitna was still starting instead of him.

A 26 yard touchdown run by Kevin Smith in the 3rd quarter had the Lions within 21-10, but Schaub then led a 79 yard drive that took 15 plays and ate a staggering 10 minutes off of the clock. Schaub hit Daniels for 1 yard and a 28-10 Texans lead.

In the 4th quarter, from his own 4 yard line, Orlovsky found Calvin Johnson for a 96 yard bomb. A field goal by Jason Hanson cut the gap to a touchdown. The Lions did make it close, but the Texans held the ball for 40 minutes, and that was enough to win it. They ran down the clock and the Lions. 28-21 Texans

Indianapolis Colts @ Green Bay Packers–It seems like only 40 years ago that these teams took turns ruling the NFL. Despite Green Bay keeping the ball for 11 minutes in the 1st quarter, the Colts led 7-3 on a Dominic Rhodes 3 yard touchdown run. Late in the 1st quarter, Rodgers led the Packers 80 yards, hitting Darren Lee for a 12 yard touchdown and a 10-7 Green Bay lead early in the second quarter. On the next Green Bay drive, Rodgers led the Packers 89 yards in 11 plays and 7 minutes. Ryan Grant ran the final 11 yards, and the Packers led 17-7 at intermission.

Peyton Manning had a tough first half, and in the 3rd quarter had a pass intercepted by Collins, who took it 62 yards the other way. The Packers led 24-7. Nothing went right for the Colts. They had a short field goal attempt blocked on their net possession. Later Manning had another interception for a touchdown as Aaron House went 100 yards the other way. There would be no miracle comebacks today. 34-14 Packers

New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders–It seems like only 38 years ago that the movie Heidi ruined a great game between these teams. For more on the Raiders, go to

Favre went right to work, and the Raiders defense jumped offsides 3 times. A field goal had the Jets up 3-0. The Oakland offense began with a false start, showing the team had balance. Leon Washington fumbled a punt, and the Raiders began at the New York 16. JaMarcus Russell hit Zach Miller to set up 1st and goal at the 4. A touchdown pass was nullified, the Raiders moved backwards, and the worst goal line offense in the league settled for a 29 Sebastian Janikowski field goal to tie the game 3-3.

The Raiders have always been a highly penalized team, but today was out of control. After offensive and defensive errors, the Raiders killed themselves on special teams. The Jets punted on 4th and 4, but the Raiders jumped offsides. Giving Brett Favre a second chance is suicide, and the Raiders were in favor of this strategy. Favre led the Jets down the field, reaching the 3 yard line. Luckily for Oakland, the Jets then did their impersonation of the Raiders. A false start on 3rd and goal at the 3 was followed by Favre being intercepted in the end zone by Gibril Wilson for a touchback.

Russell led the Raiders from their own 20 to the New York 23. Seabass then clanked a 40 yard field goal attempt off of the upright to continue this miserable game. Thankfully halftime did not feature any mistakes.

The Raiders finally showed a spark of their potential on the first drive of the second half. From the 30, Fargas picked up by 5 yards, and then 16 yards to pass midfield. A reverse to McFadden and then Higgins went for 18 yards. Russell then hit Higgins for 16 yards to the 20. McFadden ran 13 yards to the 7. This is where the Raiders break down, and it appeared they had self destructed again after a false start on 3rd and goal from the 3. However, from the 8, Russell rolled out, and threw a bullet to Javon Walker for the touchdown. The Raiders led 10-3.

After a big gain, the Jets had a pitchout go wrong, resulting in a big loss. On 3rd and 14 Favre then got belted. The SIlver and Black got several good hits on him on defense during the game. After the punt, the Raiders took over at their own 37. They had the lead, the ball, and momentum. Could they finish a game?

Not on this drive. A completion on 3rd and 2 was ruled out of bounds. After a delay of game, team bright spot Shane Lechler punted again. The Jets could not move the ball, and as he clock clicked into the 4th quarter, Oakland was on the move. The first play of the 4th quarter saw Russell complete 30 yard pass to the New York 41. Yet the Raiders cannot finish drives or games, and after another false start, they punted again.

The Jets took over at their own 12, and Favre led them down the field. Would this be typical Raiders game where the offense would malfunction, the defense would get tired, and the 4th quarter would be a disaster?

Yes it would. On 3rd and 2 from their own 45, Brad Smith came in at quarterback, and Favre went as a wide receiver. Smith ran for the 1st down. Then a reverse, with Favre throwing a block, went for 16 yards. Washington ran up the middle through several pathetic tackles for n 11 yard otuchdown run. The game was tied 10-10 with 8 minutes remaining. The Raiders then went 3 and out, with 3rd and 2 being an incomplete pass out of the shotgun. The Raiders were in full collapse mode.

Coach Tom Cable then took the gamble of the year. On 4th and 2 from their own 28, a fake punt went to midfield. On the next play, a tripping call on McFadden pushed them back to their own 35. Yet this team showed signs of heart. A 25 yard gain to McFadden with an additional 15 yard facemask penalty had the Raiders at the New York 20. Only 4 minutes remained. On 3rd and 14 from the 24, the Raiders played it safe and ran for 5 yards. Seabas came in for a 37 yard attempt. The kick was good, and the Raiders led 13-10 with 2:56 remaining. It was up to the defense, which was tough all game, but wilted on the previous drive. Could the Raiders finish a game?

Favre went for the long ball on 3rd down, and the only person around was Denagelo Hall. The third Jets turnover had the Raiders at the Jets 40 with 1:55 remaining. The Raiders could not pick up a first down, and the Jets used their timeouts. On 3rd and 7, instead of plowing forward, a pitchout lost yardage. Instead of a field goal attempt, Lechler punted. It was a spectacular punt, and the Jets took over at their own 5 yard line with no timeouts and 1:21 remaining.

After avoiding a safety, Favre on 3rd and picked up the 1st down. After a defensive penalty, with 40 seconds remaining, a completion kept the ball inbounds. The Jets were just shy of midfield with 3rd and 3 with 27 seconds left. With 8 seconds left, a 52 yard field goal attempt bounced off the upright. The Raiders had won.

Except Coach Cable had called timeout. Naturally the second attempt was good. The game went into overtime 13-13.


In overtime the Jets began at their own 10. They got to midfield but punted. The Raiders went 3 and out, and the Jets took over again. The Jets went 3 and out. The Raiders began at their own 45 and wasted the opportunity with 7 minutes remaining in overtime. The Jets again went 3 and out, and the Raiders took over at their own 20.

Russell hit Walker for 16 yards and Miller for 27 more. From the New York 39, the offense went stone cold. With 2:35 remaining in overtime, Cable decided to bring in the Polish Cannon Sebass for a 57 yard attempt. Cable figured they would not get the ball back, and if the kick missed, Favre would make them pay.

The longest field goal in Raiders history…IT’S GOOD! Seabass would have been good from well over 60. He drilled it. Somebody by Seabass a beer and then keep him out of the clubs.

3 to 5 years from now, if the Raiders are a very good team, it started today. The players can now rally around Tom Cable. Thank you Seabass. 16-13 Raiders, OT

Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins–It seems like only decades ago that I would be mixing up decades by comparing the 1940s and Sammy Baugh with the 1950s and Otto Graham. The 1st half was scoreless. I refuse to elaborate out of respect for the game of football. The Redskins scored midway through the 3rd quarter when Clinton Portis ran it in from 3 yards out. The drive was set up by a 35 yard pass from Jason Campbell to Santana Moss. A field goal pulled the Browns within 7-3.

In the 4th quarter, field position allowed Washington to start just past midfield. A 27 yard Portis run set up an 18 yard pass from Campbell to Moss to put the Redskins up 14-3 with 12 1/2 minutes remaining. A short kickoff had Cleveland take over on their own 44 and get to the Washington one yard line. 4 plays later, the Redskins had a goal line stand. Yet Portis, after a 24 yard gain, fumbled at the end of the run. The Browns came back, and on 4th and goal from the 1, this time converted. Derek Anderson hit Joshua Cribbs for the score. The 2 point conversion had the Browns within 3 points with 2:44 left.

Washington went 3 and out, and the Browns took over at their own 29 with 1:51 remaining and no timeouts. Anderson passed for 18 yards to Dante Stallworth and 9 yards to Kellen Winslow. With 32 seconds remaining, Phil Dawson had a shot from 54 yards to tie the game. The kick was no good, and the Redskins survived. It was ugly, but Jim Zorn and the Redskins are 5-2, and playing hard. 14-11 Redskins

Seattle Seahawks @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the Sunday night game. It seems like only 32 years ago that these two expansion teams began a legacy of…well, never mind. The Walrus and Chucky matched up again.

The Buccaneers jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Jeff Garcia went deep to Antonio Bryant for 47 yards. A one yard touchdown run by Graham had Tampa Bay up 14-0 with 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter. The rest of this game was “Buc Ball,” meaning it was ugly and unwatchable, with the exception of the brilliance of Monte Kiffin and his Tampa Bay defense. A field goal with 4 minutes remaining effectively ended a game that was a statistical blowout.

The Bucs led 20-3, and Seattle at that point had only 109 yards of total offense. Seneca Wallace did move the ball during garbage time, and a touchdown pass on 4th and 1 from the 2 with 1:55 left gave the illusion of a close game. It was not. The Bucs had the ball for nearly 42 minutes. Garcia outpassed Wallace 310 to only 73. Seattle dropped to 1-5, and the Buccaneers are 5-2 with the win. 20-10 Buccaneers

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots is the Monday night game. It seems like I ran out of hyperbole. These are both good teams, in desperate need of a win. Jay Cutler hurt his hand on the first play of the game, but stayed in. The Broncos fumbled twice in the opening quarter, but New England could only convert them into a pair of field goals. The Patriots began driving in the second quarter, and Matt Cassell reached 4th and 1 at the Denver 6. A handoff to Sammy Morris went for the touchdown, putting the Patriots up 13-0. On Denver’s next series, Cutler went for the long ball, and was intercepted. Denver came into the game 30th in total defense and dead last in pass defense. It showed, as Morris reached over 100 yards in the first half alone.

Nothing went right for Denver. New England faced 3rd and 15 near their own goal line, when Cassell was chased and threw incomplete. He was outside the tackles, so it was not intentional grounding. It was a facemask penalty, that gave New England an automatic first down and continued the drive. Denver committed a second personal foul, and New England reached midfield. Despite getting stuffed on 2nd and 1 and on 3rd and 1, the Patriots again gambled on 4th and 1, and Morris picked upa  big gain around the end. His 36 yard run to the 14 set up Cassell’s touchdown to Randy Moss had the Patriots up 20-0 with 44 seconds left in the half.

At that point Patrick Ramsey came in for Cutler. It was not a benching. He was injured. Ramsey promptly called timeout before running one play. Ramsey did complete a couple of passes, and with one personal foul on New England, crossed midfield near field goal range. However, Ramsey was then hit while trying to pass, and the fumble was picked off out of the air at midfield with 17 seconds left in the half. The Broncos had 5 sacks in the first half, yet trailed 20-0 at the break.

Cutler returned for the 2nd half, but it did not matter. He got battered, and Denver appeared to give up with a run on 3rd and 14 deep inside their own territory. A punt return had New England starting at the Denver 28. Cassell threw a swing pass to Moss, who did the rest. New England led 27-0 midway through the 3rd quarter. Cutler immediately responded by throwing his second interception for Denver’s 5th turnover. Cassell then found Wes Welker for his 3rd touchdown pass and a 34-0 lead after 3 quarters. Other than Mike Shanahan continuing his NFL record streak of never being shut out in 235 games as a head coach, there was nothing positive for Denver to take from this game. 41-7 Patriots


The Al Smith Dinner plus the other November 4th nightmare

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Before getting to the Al Smith Dinner, and a November 4th tragedy that goes beyond politics, I would like to recognize some new friends in the blogosphere, as well some old ones that remain gracious towards me.

A nice fellow from Germany named Juergen moved to America in 2007, and has love for his new homeland. He does not want to to become Socialist like Germany.

A fellow named Mondo has a warped sense of humor, as he serves up Death by 1000 Papercuts.

Solid writing and quality commentary can be found at Sassafrassin.

A gentleman who blogs on Townhall reminds us of the importance of life, liberty, and property.

For a stinging indictment of the corruptocrats on the left, check out a recent column by Nick Fitzgerald.

For some good video footage, check out Carlos from Scoop This . org.

I offer a tip of my cap to Lavesusmanos, who sent me this Howard Stern election video.

Wilson Fu showed me some link love this week, so please check him out as well.

As for the Big Dog, he rocks. He has been nice to me for quite some time.

A very nice guy named Erik is a new blogger friend. He is at No Pasaran.

Rudy Carrera is also a nice guy, who does not shy away from hard hitting analysis.

For a hilarious analysis of the debates from a 9 year old boy, check out this link from his mother.

Ward Connerly has a new book out. It is entitled “Lessons from my Uncle James: Beyond Skin Color to Content of Character”

My friend Evan Sayet has two more comedy shows coming up at the Laugh Factory.

Tom at Old Glory Radio is on his way to be a leading voice on the AM dial.

The Al Smith Dinner has generated a ton of buzz, virtually all positive.

Yet before the positive, I must eliminate something very negative. On November 4th, I will be facing a colossal personal disappointment that will be devastating much of Middle America.

Let me go on the record and say that I am white. My pigmentation is light. My collar is also white. I am a working professional in business. However, my trash was never white. Yet I look in the mirror, and I realize that I am on the verge of becoming white trash.

I am obsessing over the heartbreak will befall me on November 4th. That is the day where I will look at all of my missing pieces, and realize that I again did not win at the McDonalds Monopoly game.

The contest ends November 3rd, and despite obtaining a free McFlurry that I may forget to redeem, I will not be able to replace my original retirement plan with a winning piece.

It is not even the money. Well, if I win the million dollars with Boardwalk and Park Place, than it is the money. Yet several years ago, had I been able to get Mediterranean and Baltic, I would have won a $2 glass. Actually, it was plastic. The point is it was a cool looking glass, and I could not even win that.

Sure, I could have bought one, but I wanted to win it. I was willing to spend $3 to win the $2 glass, and it still did not happen.

To make matters worse, the contest ends when the Presidential election ends. I may be so busy with politics that I will not have a chance to make that critical stop at McDonalds that would propel me to glory.

In fact, Oliver Stone’s next movie should be about the conspiracy to slip the winning pieces into cartons on the last day when nobody is paying attention. Actually, I heard that if you scratch a dime on Oliver Stone’s head, you can find the secret recipe to McDonalds secret sauce.

Where is John “Big Mac” McCain on this? Barack Obama may pretend to be cooler than a McFlurry, but he has no answer to this crisis.

Anyway, even though I am disgusted that nobody in America is helping me win the McDonalds Monopoly game, at least some of you had the decency to wish the completely unsmooth transition into the Al Smith Dinner story. See, there it was.

This dinner is one reason I love America. Politics should not be about hatred. Elections are always won by the more likable candidate. This might be the one campaign where both men are likable.

People should not take themselves too seriously. This lighthearted dinner reflected the best in these two men, and the best of the America spirit.

John McCain spoke first. Some of his remarks are below.

“All my senior advisers have been dismissed and replaced with Joe the Plumber.”

“Joe the plumber recently signed a contract with a wealthy couple to do the work on all 7 of their houses.”

“Oprah called Obama ‘the one.’ I call him ‘that one.'”

“Obama even has a pet name for me. George Bush.”

“Even in this room of Manhattan democrats I can’t help but feel that some people are here to support me. I am delighted to see you hear tonight Hillary.”

“It’s going to be a long night at MSNBC if I manage to pull this thing off. I understand that Keith Olbermann has ordered his very own ‘mission accomplished’ banner. They can hang that in whatever padded room is reserved for him.”

“The press is an independent, non-partisan, civic minded group…like Acorn.”

“I cannot wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well.”

Barack Obama took the microphone next.

“There is no other group in America that I would rather be palling around with.”

“I share the politics of Alfred E. Smith and the ears of Alfred E. Neuman.”

“I thought this event was being held at Yankee Stadium. Can somebody please tell me what happened to the Greek columns I requested?”

“I never knew your great-grandfather, but from what Senator McCain told me, the two of them had a great time before prohibition.”

“Senator Schumer brought some of his loved ones. Those are the people with the cameras and notepads.”

“I am glad that Senator McCain and I could sit down two weeks before an election and sit down together at the same table without preconditions.”

“Barack is actually Swahili for ‘that one.'”

“I got my middle name form somebody who obviously didn’t think I would run for President.”

“My greatest strength is my humility. My greatest weakness is that I might be too awesome.”

“I have never put lipstick ona  pig, or a pit bull…or myself…Rudy Giuliani, I have one on you.”

“I did used to hang out with deadbeat, lowlife punks…I was in a group called the Senate. Come to think of it John, I think I saw you at one of our meetings.”

“I got so tired of being called a celebrity that I got angry and punched a paparazzi.”

Both of these men should be proud of their performances. They put aside their differences to break bread, as they did on 9/11. Yet that was a somber day. This was a happy evening.

Life can be rough. The evening was a nice break in the action.

Now I can go back to worrying about the disaster of November 4th. WHoever wins the election had better explain to me why I have 20 copies of Park Place, and 0 copies of Boardwalk.

I still think the game is rigged.


My Interview With Governor Tim Pawlenty

Friday, October 17th, 2008

At the 2008 Republican Convention in Minnesota, I had the pleasure of meeting hometown hero and favorite son Governor Tim Pawlenty.

In addition to being a popular Governor and rising star in the party, Governor Pawlenty was a finalist to be Vice President under John McCain. In fact, I confess to guaranteeing that he would be the pick.

My rationale was simple. He is tall, has good hair, and is inoffensive. He is the epitome of a “safe, do no harm” choice. I suspect he will be on various republican short lists for some time to come.

I initially met him in South Florida at a Republican Jewish Coalition event honoring Vice President Dick Cheney. Governor Pawlenty was a rock star at this event. The elderly Jewish ladies kept coming up to him and fawning over him as if he were Joe Lieberman. They insisted on showing the Governor pictures of their daughters and granddaughters in the hopes of fixing them up with him. He politely and genially insisted that he was happily married and not Jewish, but the women did not care. He was simply that telegenic. At age 47, the man looks like John Cusack.

At the convention, I ran into him at the very end of the third night. I did a rapid fire interview with him before his aides whisked him away. Given that he was the Governor of the host city, he was under more pressure than most politicians, making sure everything went like clockwork. It did, and he shined.

Below is my interview with Governor Tim Pawlenty.

1) What are the most important issues of 2008?

TP: “The economy and National Security. Both of those are vitally important and require a strong leader who is prepared.”

2) Who are your 3 favorite political heroes?

TP: “Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Teddy Roosevelt.”

3) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about Tim Pawlenty the person?

TP: “I would like to be remembered as a good person who shared his commitment to public service with the people of Minnesota.”

4) How did Sarah Palin do in her speech to the convention?

TP: “She did a fantastic job. She introduced herself to America in a powerful way.”

Time was short, but if I had more time, I would have asked him about the 24 hours following the Minnesota bridge collapse. While it was not 9/11 or Katrina, it was a tragedy nonetheless. His steady and compassionate leadership in the wake of the bridge collapse was what public service should be about.

One other thing about Tim Pawlenty is that while he is a very competent executive, he is also very likable. One can be pleasant and still get the job done. When he talks about “Sam’s Club Republicans,” he means it. He is a blue collar guy at heart. He truly does like people. He once got a reporter ina  playful headlock and gave the man a “noogie.” Until recently, he had a “mullet.”

Once he became a top tier contender for Vice President, he had to tone that part of his personality down.

The last thing I said to Governor Pawlenty was, “Governor, I lost money on you. I bet on you.”

He laughed, gave me a hearty handshake, and let me know that he appreciated the support, even if it did not put him over the top.

The people of Minnesota are lucky. They have a great Governor. I wish the very best for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.


Election 2008–Presidential Debate III Recap

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Last night John McCain had their Presidential debate, the final debate of this campaign season. Before getting to the recap, I offer one last recap for my personal debates. I will be making the case tonight for John McCain at USC Hillel.

From Left to Right to the Middle East:

A Debate about 2008


Randy S: Democratic Strategist

Eric G: Republican Blogger

Moderated by Brad G of the Jewish Journal

Hosted by USC Chabad and USC Hillel

Thursday, October 16th

Meet and greet: 6:45pm

Debate: 7:15pm

USC Chabad is located at 2713 Severance St., Los Angeles, CA

Then on Friday, October 24th…

From Left to Right to the Middle East:
A Debate About 2008
Jonathan Z UCLA Law Professor
Eric G         Republican Blogger
Moderated by
Friday, October 24th
Dinner: 7:00 pm
Debate: 8:15 pm
Hosted by:
UCLA Hillel
The UCLA event is for students and young professionals only. for details or to RSVP

With that, I bring you the main event, or in an ideal world, the warmup to my debates. Wow, now I know how it feels to be as pompous as a liberal elitist. Back to humility. Now, for the main event.

Bob Schieffer began with Wall Street, seeing as the market dropped over 700 points today.He asked the campaigns point blank why each of their economic plans was better than their opponent’s plan.

McCain began by offering prayers for Nancy Reagan. He mentioned that we must “put a floor on the decline of home ownership.” He wants to take 300 billion of the 750 billion allocated to buy the bad mortgages. This seemed new, because initially the 300 billion was to be additional money, not part of the original allocation.

McCain empathized with the homeowners that were responsible, but pointed out that they suffer when the house next door is abandoned. It was a valid point.

Obama again claimed that this was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Obama then went through his 4 point plan. He spoke about tax cuts, and allowing individuals to tap their IRAs without penalty. Obama considers McCain’s plan “a giveaway to banks.”

McCain then brought up the plumber in Ohio who challenged Obama. This was the moment where Obama spoke about “spreading the wealth.” McCain said that he “will not stand for a tax increase on small business income.”

Obama laughed and then said that McCain was “watching ads of Senator McCain.” He again claimed that McCain wants to give tax breaks to oil companies. He repeated the 95% claim that has been completely bunked. He claimed that “independent analysts show his plan giving three times as much tax relief.”
Obama then claimed that 98% of small businesses make less than $250,000.

McCain went after the “spread the wealth” comment. He said that “I want Joe the Plumber to spread the wealth, I don’t want you to spread the wealth.” He then said that Obama’s plan was class warfare. McCain then asked, “Why would you want to increase anybody’s taxes right now?”

This was definitely a feistier McCain than in previous debates.

McCain asked, “Why would you want to take Joe the Plumber’s wealth and spread it around to others?”
Obama, for one of the first times in this general election campaign, looked like a dear in the headlights. He spoke about Warren Buffet and Exxon Mobil, before McCain reminded him that “this is about Joe the Plumber.”

Obama then said that, “nobody likes paying taxes. I don’t.”

McCain then responded, “then don’t raise them.”

McCain finally hit the home run out of the ballpark. “America has the second highest corporate tax rates. Our corporate tax rate is 35%. In Ireland it is 11%. Where are companies going to go to create jobs? We need to cut taxes and create jobs, not spread the wealth around?”

Schieffer then shifted to the fact that neither candidate has a plan to reduce the deficit, and asked if both of them were ignoring reality. He then asked them for specific programs they would cut back.

This was a fabulous question, and a brilliant attempt to see if specifics would even be offered.
Obama began by speaking in generalities. Schieffer pressed for specifics. Obama continued saying he favored “pay as you go.” Obama said that we spend too much on “subsidies to insurance companies.” He then said that he would “go through the budget line by line to eliminate programs that don’t work.”

This is a prime example of Obama having no there there. He will not offer specifics, either because he has no idea what he is talking about, or because he is dishonest.”

He then added that “programs we need, we should make better.” This is why I consider Obama a gasbag.
McCain veered back to home ownership, and referred to a program offered by Hillary Clinton. Schieffer tried to get McCain to offer specifics, but McCain quickly began answering.

“Reducing energy independence will save us the billions we send overseas. We need alternative energy, including wind and solar. We also need offshore drilling, which Obama has opposed.”

For some reason, Obama sneered at this.

McCain then offered an across the board spending freeze. In past debates, Obama has called this “taking a hatchet to what needs a scalpel.” Mccain rebutted that assertion tonight by saying, “Yes, it is a hatchet, and I would get out a hatchet, and only after that, then I would get out a scalpel.”

This is a major difference. Obama will not cut anything. McCain will. A spending freeze slashes everything. It is better than saying “some programs don’t work.”

“Marketing assistance programs, ethanol subsidies. Obama supported them. I would eliminate the tariff on Brazilian sugar. I saved the taxpayers 6.8 billion dollars last year.”

Again, this may not be much, but unlike Obama, McCain actually answered the question with specific examples. McCain mentioned the one billion dollars in earmarks Obama has sought.

Obama insisted that we need a scalpel. He then said that “some programs are underfunded.” Obama pointed out that earmarks are 1/2 of 1% of the budget. This may be true, but it still does not change the fact that Obama will not cut a thing.

Obama blamed President Bush for the doubling fo the debt. We did have a War on Terror, but that was not mentioned.

McCain then offered a stinging rebuke to Obama’s constant comparing of McCain to Bush. McCain said, “I’m not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run 4 years ago.”

McCain then pointed out that Obama “twice voted for budget resolutions that raised taxes on people making $42,000 per year. McCain then pointed out the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a spending freeze for his city.

McCain then really got into it by pointing out that in the last two budgets, Senator Obama “voted for 24 billion more in spending than President Bush proposed. He voted for the energy bill that gave goodies to the oil companies that I opposed. Let’s look at our records. Let’s look at our ratings from the National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste.”

McCain then challenged Obama and asked him to “name one single time where you have stood up to your party on one single major issue.”

Obama claimed that the first bill he supported was tort reform. McCain pointed out that this was “an overwhelming vote.” Obama then mentioned merit pay for teachers, which he actually backed away from. He then claimed he supported clean coal technology, which is fallacious.

Obama disputed the $42,000 figure before getting in a dig at Fox News. He then continued to link McCain to President Bush. McCain showed where he disagreed with President Bush, offering a tangible list. He then said that Senator Obama’s “record of standing up to the leaders of his party is not very convincing.”

Schieffer then pointed to the nastiness of the campaign. The candidates were asked to say to each other’s faces what has been said over the airwaves. If Schieffer was trying to liven thing sup, he succeeded ona  massive scale. It also allowed McCain to bring up Obama’s associations without having to initiate it. The question was if McCain would do it.

McCain went after John Lewis’s comments calling he and Sarah Palin racists. He compared them to George Wallace, the segregationist.”Senator Obama, you never repudiated that. Every time there has been an out of bounds remark by a republican, I have repudiated them. I hope Senator Obama will repudiate the comments by John Lewis.”

McCain then belted Obama for opting out of public financing after saying he would take public financing. Obama raised a ton of money, so I can see why he did it. Nevertheless, McCain was right when he said, “Senator Obama, you looked the American people in the eye, and you broke your word.”

Obama stammered and claimed that polls show McCain running the more negative campaign. He never got to John Lewis’s hateful remarks.

McCain gave several examples of ads that Obama is running that are completely false. He also mentioned Joe the Plumber perhaps one too many times, before correctly pointing out that Obama never repudiated Lewis’s comments.

Obama made excuses. He then told a complete lie, saying that somebody shouted “kill him,” when his name was mentioned at a republican rally. The phrase “kill him,” was directed at unrepentant bomber William Ayres. This allowed McCain to mention Ayers in self defense.

McCain does not have the stomach to go for the jugular, but in this debate it was being handled to him on a silver platter. Obama mentioned the remark about his “palling around with terrorists.”
McCain fiercely defended his supporters, but would not correct the record about what the “kill him” reference was about.

McCain did say that “there are some awful things said at your rallies.” He also pointed out that he repudiates the bad comments, while Obama does not.

Obama seemed very flustered, but kept pivoting back to domestic issues.

McCain FINALLY went for the jugular. He claimed that Obama “must explain the extent of his relationship with William Ayers. He must explain his ties to ACORN, who is trying to pull off one of the greatest frauds in election history…”

Obama kept laughing. The guy is simply incredibly cocky. He has a mile wide grit eating grin.
McCain pointed out the $832,000 Obama gave to ACORN.

Obama actually tried to tie Ronald Reagan to William Ayers. That is what a leftist does when they get caught. They claim that Reagan did it too, so it is ok.

Obama then brought the U.S. Justice Department into the ACORN allegation. He then made a brazen statement. “Senator McCain has told you that my allegations are trouble.”

That might have been the first truthful thing Obama said during this campaign.

Obama then claimed that if he “was interested in figuring out foreign policy, I turn to my running mate Joe Biden.”

Interested in “figuring out” foreign policy? This was a gift from Heaven, and I pray news outlets pick up on it. It was better than John Kerry’s “global test.”

Obama then got desperate by saying that “the fact that this is what your campaign has become about says more about your campaign than it does about me.”

McCain then tied it all together. “You launched your career in Mr. Ayers’s living room, and you gave $230,000 to ACORN from the board you and he were on. Facts are facts and records are records.”

Schieffer then asked about the running mates, and why each candidate had a better running mate than the other one.

Obama praised Joe Biden. “He has among the best foreign policy credentials of anybody. He also fights for the little guy.” Obama then went back to platitudes, such as “invest in the future, tax cuts for the working people, etc…”

McCain called Sarah Palin a “role model to women, and a reformer. She has given money back to the taxpayers, and cut government.” McCain mentioned that she will be an advocate for special needs children, including autism. “I am proud of her,” was how McCain left it.

When asked if Palin was qualified, Obama demurred by saying that “it was up to the people.” He stated that McCain’s spending freeze “would hurt the funding for special needs children.”

McCain said that Biden was “qualified in many respects, but that he has been wrong on many foreign policy and national security issues, which is supposed to be his strength.”

McCain was clicking on all cylinders.

“He was against the first Gulf War. He had this cockamamie idea (in the most recent conflict) to divide Iraq into three separate countries.”

McCain then shifted back to Obama’s spending tendencies. “Your answer to everything is to spend more. Why not just have transparency and accountability in government?”

Obama again sneered when McCain mentioned the $860 billion in new spending.

When Bob Schieffer brought up climate control, McCain corrected him that the phrase was “climate change.” Both candidates were asked how much they could reduce foreign oil imports in their first term. Schieffer wanted a specific number.

McCain said that we could eliminate the need for Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil. He then brought up a fabulous point about Canadian oil. He pointed out that when Obama said he would “renegotiate NAFTA, the Canadians responded by saying that they would then sell their oil to China.” It was a great way of showing the lack of understanding that Obama has about business and foreign policy.

McCain said that “we can build 45 new nuclear plants.” He pointed out Obama’s hedging on that issue.

Both Obama and McCain agreed that 10 years was a realistic time frame for eliminating our dependence on foreign oil. They would not say what they could do in 4 years.

Obama then began lying again. He said that we should implement offshore drilling, but only where there is no oil. He threatened to take away the leases that the oil producers currently have. He did not say how, or if that is even legal. He did say “use them or lose them.”

Obama is simply dishonest on the issue. You drill where the oil actually resides.

He then continued lying by saying that he believed in free trade. This is totally false. He is beholden to big labor. They hate trade agreements. That is why he wants to reject future deals with allies such as South Korea while blaming President bush for betraying our allies.

He then blamed President Bush and Senator McCain for NAFTA, even though it was enacted in 1993 by Bill Clinton. He said we had to “make China stop manipulating its currency.”

How does he plan to “make them” do this? Perhaps with “tough diplomacy,” aka doing nothing.
He then bashed South Korea.

McCain pointed out that “Senator Obama is good with words.” He said that Obama said he would “look at” offshore drilling. That does not mean he would actually do it. He then stated that he was a free trader, and spoke of how Obama “opposes the Columbian Free Trade Agreement.” He also said that Obama has “never been South of the border.”

McCain was on fire. Where was this guy in the second debate?

“Free trade with Columbia is a no brainer. Maybe if you would travel down there and visit you would understand it a lot better.”

Obama spoke of assassinated Columbian labor leaders. He tried to tie human rights to free trade. Obama wants us to “stand up to other countries.” He then shifted to the Big 3 automakers. He said that we have to “hold them responsible for producing the highly efficient cars of the future.” I am not sure how that relates to free trade, but in Obama’s world that means something.

Obama was simply rambling.

McCain pounced.

“Obama does not want a free trade agreement with our best partner in the region, but wants to sit down without precondition with Hugo Chavez, who has been helping terrorist organizations.”

Obama laughed and sneered again.

“Senator Obama wants to restrict trade and raise taxes. The last President who tried that was Herbert Hoover. We went from a deep recession to a depression.”

Schieffer then turned to health care. He then asked another fabulous question. I have to admit that Schieffer is one of the few moderators worthy of speaking at all, much less with Presidential candidates. He wanted to know if “either of the candidates would be open to controlling health care costs rather than expanding coverage?”

This was supposed to be Obama’s strong suit, health care. However, since his answer to everything is to spend more, a question about cost controlling was absolutely worth asking.

Obama said that “we have to do both.” He then went into the sob stories that do not answer the question about cost cutting and reforming the broken system. Obama said he would “try to lower costs.” It depends on what the meaning of “try” is. Obama then said that insurance companies “cannot discriminate based on preexisting conditions.” That means regulating businesses rather than allow them to avoid losing money. Insurance companies are not charities. This is the socialism that Obama endorses.

McCain spoke about putting health care records online, and more clinics. More community health centers would reduce costs. He spoke about the rising obesity rates, and physical fitness programs. Prevention does matter. I don’t agree with McCain that employers should “reward employees who join health clubs.” That is impractical easy to manipulate. I could go and just sit in the jacuzzi.

Nevertheless, at least McCain offered something. Obama did not.

McCain brought up Joe the Plumber again, which was overkill. However, he tied it in well by again reminding Americans that “Obama will raise the capital gains tax, and fine people for not buying mandated healthcare. Senato Obama still will not tell us how much that fine is going to be.” McCain also pointed out that Obama wants a single payer system, which is what is hurting Canada and England.

When pressed by Schieffer, Obama denied this. Obama said that the fine would be “0.” Obama said he exempts small businesses, but not “large businesses who can afford to buy health care for their employees but don’t.” Naturally, he would not mention the size of the fine.

Who the heck does Obama think he is to order employees to purchase health care? It is not his decision.
He then smugly said to Joe the Plumber that “if you want to do the right thing, and provide health care for your employees…”

Again, Joe is not required to do this. Obama will force businesses into doing what they are not legally obligated to do. That is bullying, and it is wrong.

Obama went after McCain’s $5,000 tax credit. He claimed that older folks will not benefit. He claimed that people would lose because the health care would cost $12,000, more than the credit.

Obama criticized companies for cherry picking and taking only the most desirable people. How dare a company make business decisions based on what will help the business grow and profit. Instead companies should take on everybody for the sake of “fairness,” which would have the company go bankrupt and nobody be taken care of.

(Grabbing a bullhorn): Barack Obama does not understand business because he has never run a business. He has no clue how businesses work.

McCain hammered away.

“My plan will allow people to decide their own futures, not have Senator Obama decide their health care choices for them.”

A moment of levity occurred when McCain referred to Obama as “Senator Government.”

He also said that “Spending has gone way up in the last 2 years, and it has been democrats in charge of congress the last 2 years.”

Obama claimed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attacked McCain’s plan, and that it would lead to the “unraveling of the U.S. Health Care system.

Bob Schieffer then turned to abortion. I again have to praise Schieffer because he asked the question in a creative way. He asked them both “Could either of you nominate to the Supreme Court a nominee that disagrees with you on this issue?”

This question was less about abortion than judicial litmus tests. I expected both candidates to squirm. The honest answer is that there should be no litmus tests ideologically. If the judge is qualified, that would be the end of the discussion. Nevertheless, this was one area where gutlessness was expected to reign supreme for both men.

I was wrong. McCain said that he “never imposed a litmus test, and never will.” He stated that Roe v Wade should be overturned, and that abortion should be decided by the states.

McCain hammered Obama for not joining the “Gang of 14,” because as McCain put it, Obama was “afraid of appointing conservative judges.” McCain voted for Breyer and Ginsburg “not because I agreed with them, but because they were qualified. Senator Obama voted against Roberts and Alito based on ideology. That is not how we should judge these nominees.””Strict adherence to the Constitution” was what mattered. McCain emphatically said that there would be no litmus tests.

Obama insisted that he would not provide a litmus test, but that “Roe vs Wade was rightly decided.”

Obama tried to turn the question into an abortion question. It was about judges. He reverted back though and said that “states should not have the right to decide on privacy issues.” Obama then said he wanted a justice who “understood what real world folks are going through.” That has absolutely nothing to do with interpeting the Constitution. Judges are not social workers.

Then again, in Obama’s world, every government worker is a social worker.

Obama shifted to a pay discrimination case that was thrown out on a technicality. He claimed that McCain was against that particular case. Obama wants judges that will “stand up when nobody else will.” Again, judges are not social workers.

McCain said that the referenced case was a “trial lawyer’s dream.” McCain pointed out that when Obama was in the Illinois state Senate, Obama voted against a bill to provide aid to children who survived abortions, as well as being against partial birth abortions.

McCain mentioned the “pro-abortion movement,” which could have been dicey.

Obama denied voting against the life saving treatment amendment by stating that the law already existed. He claimed that the Illinois Medical Society voted against it.

Obama then became truly Clintonesque when he said that he was “for a ban on late term abortions, partial or otherwise, provided that an exception for the mother’s health was inserted.” He knows full well that the health exception is a poison pill because any woman could claim it was a health issue.

Unfortunately for McCain, Obama succeeded in shifting the debate away from the issue of judges.
Yet McCain successfully attacked the health exception for the Trojan Horse that it is. McCain spoke of his own adopted daughter, but stated that adoption does not mean abortion is a solution that should be encouraged.

Bob Schieffer, who had been doing everything right all night, made one glaring omission in an otherwise stellar performace. He reserved the final question for education. There was not a single question on foreign policy. The campaigns did agree that the final debate would only be domestic policy, but the first debate should have only been foreign policy, and it was not. So Schieffer obeyed the rules, but at the expense of a foreign policy discussion of any kind.

This is why it was refreshing and surprising to see McCain energized and Obama rattled on domestic issues. Education ended the discussion, with Schieffer asking if our education problems were a threat to our national security.

Obama said it is. Obama said that “between more money, and reform, we need both.” His answer is always both. He wants to “raise teacher pay in exchange for higher standards and accountability.” The NEA will never allow this, and Obama takes his marching orders from the NEA. Obama aslo said that he “wants to make college affordable.” That is a platitude, and an expensive one at that. Obama proposes a $4,000 tuition credit, which is a drop in the bucket.

McCain called education the “civil rights issue of the 21st century.” He alluded to school choice, rather than “send children back to failing schools.”

The candidates were asked if the Federal Government should play a larger role, which according to Schieffer, meant more money.

Obama said that he wanted to fire bad teachers, but was against vouchers. On the first issue, the NEA would not allow it. On the second issue, he is just wrong.

Obama had an amazing line when he attacked McCain by saying, “it is unfair to offer plans but not say how we are going to pay for it.”

Perhaps Obama was referring to his own campaign, which is one big spending spree that cannot be paid for.

McCain spoke of how a failing DC school system was reinvigorated with vouchers. McCain said to Obama that “I am surprised you did not pay more attention to this example. It was vouchers.” McCain said that “I am not going to continue to throw money at a problem.” He reinforced the need for vouchers.

Obama claimed that vouchers do not work. He can say what he wants, and maybe the sky is purple in his world. He is simply more afraid of the NEA than he is of students failing later in life.

The candidates then gave their closing statements.

McCain spoke that the issue is trust. He said that people should look at his record, and his long commitment to service.

Obama again mentioned the Great Depression. He did it without laughing with glee about it. He said that we need to “invest in the people again.” He also mentioned the word “change.” He also mentioned “sarifice, service, and responsibility.”

I think he just endorsed John McCain.

This debate was a major win for John McCain. It was not close. I understand the media will somehow claim otherwise, but what this debate showed is that when a fair moderator asks tough and intelligent questions, McCain answers them, and Obama rambles. Obama cannot offer specifics because he has none. He cannot offer substance because he has none.

It took a nightmarish second debate with a horrendous moderator to show how good McCain can be when he is given a fair shake.

Barack Obama does well when he is coddled, but simply falls on his face when forced to offer tangible metrics of anything.

Obama is a socialist, and this debate will hopefully finally show the American people that Obama is a snake oil salesman who wants government to run peoples’ lives, decide what is fair, and play Robin Hood with our money.

We need a President, not a community organizer.

As awful as I felt after the second debate, this was a complete turnaround.

John McCain handily won this debate.


The Presidential Debate–Pre-debate Perspective

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Too many people have lost their minds, and I need to help them put their eyeballs and other loose parts back in the appropriate sockets.

Either John McCain or Barack Obama will be President. They will have a tough job.

We must respect the winner’s right to govern. Remember, the greatest empires fell due to internal collapse, not external pressures. Americans must prevent this.

Both candidates are good, decent men. They love their country, and their families. They are good husbands and fathers.

I am not neutral in this race. I am a conservative republican backing John McCain.

However, I disagree with Barack Obama. I do not despise him.

He is not an Arab or a Muslim. He is not a terrorist sympathizer. He is not an anti-Semite. Such destructive slurs are devastating for society.

The man is a human being, and while I have absolutely zero intention of voting for him, he might be President. I do not want the President to be crippled from the start. He needs to be strong to deal with the world threats. I love my country more than I hate the other political party. In fact, again, I merely disagree with the other party.

Having said that, it would be nice if the Obama campaign and their supporters would quit crying every time anybody has the nerve to criticize him. The issue is not his being light or dark skinned. The issue is that he is thin skinned.

William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, and the others are completely fair game. It is not racist to question why Obama had such questionable connections with people of low character.

The issue is not that Obama is a terorrist, or an America hater. Again, he is a patriot who loves America as much as I do. Obama associated with terrible human beings, Ayers being the worst. Obama used these people to climb the political ladder, and threw them away when they became liabilities. This makes him a politician, albeit one that is willing to tolerate worse behavior than most. This is because the Chicago machine is more corrupt than many places. JFK anyone?

Also, enough with the 1960s. When every last baby boomer finally grows up, we will all be better off.

I am tired of hearing about Selma, Alabama. Young people today believe they can achieve anything. The racists have lost, and those who despise racism have won.

Yet the left needs anger and rage to survive. Every conservative is deemed a racist. John Lewis compares John McCain to racist Governor George Wallace, and the liberal media shrugs.

For the sake of full disclosure, I prefer white bread to wheat bread. I hate wheat bread. It tastes terrible, and upsets my stomach. Also, in chess, the white pieces move first. Now if this causes you to march in the streets, then you really have too much free time.

This brings me to what being a community organizer is about. Community organizers are not people who stand in line and serve at soup kitchens. They are rabble rousers. They are political agitators. Al Sharpton is a community organizer.

Barack Obama is simply a Chicago politician who made his career by agitating. He was not defending and protecting the poor. He was using them to further his own ambitions, leaving them behind. In no way is this illegal. However, it is far from noble.

Barack Obama has no significant accomplishments. He is simply Al Sharpton with a smile.

This has nothing to do with race. If Al Sharpton were white he would still be a parasite. He would just have different victims. If he was a woman he would be Gloria Allred.

Barack Obama has never run a state, a city, or a business. He claims that running his campaign counts. No it does not. It does not produce a good or provide a service.

Barack Obama gets rattled and claims racism through his surrogates whenever anybody questions his associations. We are supposed to question his associations, and he is supposed to answer these questions in a satisfactory manner.

The best ad of this campaign was the one comparing Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The racial hustlers cried racism, but the ad had nothing to with race. It was an ad comparing Obama to vacuous gasbags that are useless to society.

If Barack Obama were 100% white, he would simply be treated the way John Kerry and Al Gore were treated, as a slick talking, flip flopping, leftist that talks out of both sides of his mouth (Yes, Obama has much more charisma than they ever will).

This is where John McCain is wrong. He is scared to death to go after Obama hard because Obama is black. McCain needs to consult with Rudy Giuliani on the issue. Giuliani took down David Dinkins. The issue was not race. It was that Dinkins was a good, decent, thoughtful man that was incompetent, and not tough enough for the demanding job of running New York City.

Barack Obama is an unqualified hack who happens to be black. He has corrupt former associates, some of whom happen to be black. Ayers is white.

As for those that claim Obama is a victim, cry me a river. Sarah Palin is getting skewered in the same way that Ronald Reagan, John Ashcroft, and Dan Quayle were skewered. The media despises conservatives.

The left frets about violence against blacks if Obama is elected. It is not the left that has their cars keyed, lawn signs displaced, or t-shirts of assassinating their leaders distributed. Sarah Palin has been targeted for rape, and abused by the very feminists that cannot admit that they only care about liberal women. Her crime? She is a conservative not afraid to be more at home with Middle America than San Francisco or the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She wants to break corruption, and that include leftist corruption.

This brings us to ACORN. As for voter fraud, ACORN absolutely is a campaign issue. If Obama would just come clean, rather than try to sweep the matter under the rug, the matter would go away sooner. Trying to downplay it only adds fuel to the fire.

Also, John McCain needs to stop praising those on the left. They despise him. They liked him when he was an honorable man who lost. They hate him solely because he may win, nothing more.

Those that complain about the tone should remember that the left despised George W. Bush long before the Iraq War. They have hated him since the 2000 election, and never treated him like a human being.

We cannot make the same mistakes again. John McCain and Barack Obama are human beings.

We have every right to ask them tough questions, and to make it crystal clear when we think they are not providing satisfactory answers.

However, we absolutely must not question their patriotism, or their humanity.

Also, we cannot let them cry their way out of tough questions by claiming that questions about character are personal attacks.

Nobody in this race is a Nazi, nor is anybody turning fire hoses on any potential voters.

The hyperbole must stop.

Barack Obama is a tax raiser, a wealth redistributor, untested on Foreign Policy, and a socialist in the mold of failing Europe.

That is the main issue of this campaign. The hate speech must cease.

The poison must stop.

Let the final debate begin.


What John McCain must say and ask

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Barack Obama is wrong on virtually every issue. John McCain will not list the reasons why.

I have pretty much thrown in the towel on the McCain campaign because I am tired of caring more about his winning the White House than he does.

John McCain is a good man. Yet he simply does not make the case. I will again try to make the case for him. I pray that my advice gets heeded.

Barack Obama will raise taxes. That can be stated over and over, but unless it is properly explained, it is a meaningless phrase. Barack Obama claims he wants to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. He also plans to repeal the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Repealing tax cuts is exactly the same thing as raising taxes. Additionally, it is impossible mathematically to lower taxes on 95% of Americans when only 62% of Americans pay any taxes at all. How do the other 33% have their taxes lowered when they pay nothing? The answer is “refundable tax credits,” which in English means wealth redistribution, aka socialism.

Some will scream that calling Obama a socialist is a slur. No, it is not. What bothers me is not the socialism, but the refusal to admit it.

On health care, Obama wants mandates. How will these mandates be enforced? Will people be fined? Obama says no, but does not answer how he will enforce mandates. Also, Obama claims that 47 million Americans do not have health care. 15 million of those people are illegal aliens. When asked whether he favored covering them during the primaries, he was all over the map. Also, what about young people that refuse to purchase health care for their own selfish reasons? Should they be fined or sanctioned?

On trade, Obama is moving away from the free trade policies of recent democratic and republican Presidents. He blames President Bush for shattering our relationships with our allies. Yet he then says he will veto trade deals with South Korea and Latin American countries, as well as revise NAFTA. Does he understand that rejecting our allies in this manner will push them into the arms of countries that hate America, such as Venezuela? He praises Bill Clinton and the economy of the 1990s. Doesn’t he realize that free trade helped spur this economy?

On Iraq, Obama was against the surge, which worked. Yet this argument is not enough. Obama has stated that he was against the war from the very beginning. Fair enough. This means that if he was in power, he would not have gone into Iraq. This then means that Saddam Hussein under an Obama administration would still be in power.

Is Obama delighted that Saddam Hussein has been removed? No matter how he tries to dance around this, the yes or no question remains whether or not he is glad Saddam is gone. If he finally does say yes, than he needs to be reminded that President George W. Bush made this decision.

When Obama points out that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, remind him that the issue is not Iraq and 9/11. The issue is Iraq and terrorism. Saddam was not behind 9/11. He absolutely was connected to terrorism. He gave $25,000 to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers. Saddam Hussein absolutely was a terrorist. Does Obama agree or disagree with this statement?

The Saddam Hussein angle absolutely relates to Israel. Obama claims to be supportive of Israel, despite claiming that “nobody has suffered more than the Palestinians.” My Holocaust surviving father would disagree. How can one who supports Israel have a problem with the forcible removal of one of Israel’s biggest enemies? I would then mention every anti-Israel person Obama has relied on for advice. General Tony McPeak blames Jews in New York and Miami for the current world problems. David Bonior, a rabidly anti-israel former Congressman from Michigan, was part of his circle of advisers. So was Samantha Power.

Obama shoves people under the bus after they get caught making anti-Israel statements, but not before. Or he just disavows that they ever are or were advisers. It depends what the meaning of “advisers” is. As for Jeremiah Wright, his position on Israel is well known and available for all to see.

Regarding Iran, the argument that he wants to dialogue with Iran is not enough. A more convincing train of thought is necessary. Would he support a resolution to bring Iranian President Armageddonijad up on war crimes before the Hague Court? After all, he was one of the hostage takers during the 1979 hostage crisis. The fact that he leads a nation does not alter the fact that he is a 30 year fugitive.

Obama wants to close down Guantanamo Bay. Fair enough. Where does he want to keep the detainees? They have to be kept somewhere. Also, would he be willing to turn them over to other governments if he suspected they would resort to methods to obtain information that we would not? After all, we do not have the right to tell other nations how to handle their criminals, do we?

With regards to the current situation on Wall Street, he blames President Bush for a culture of deregulation. While Ronald Reagan did deregulate many industries, George W. Bush did not create any new notable deregulatory measures. Can Obama name three specific examples of deregulation under the Bush Presidency? Also, does he realize that Sarbanes-Oxley increased regulations, and made things much worse?

If he is willing to go after the “bad guys,” does that mean former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines? Will he investigate Chris Dodd? Will anybody notice that Congressional Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a banker he was supposed to be monitoring?

Notice I did not say “homosexual relationship.” If Barney Frank tries to make this a gay-bashing issue in the tradition of Jim McGreevey, stick to the fact that this is no different from the Jon Corzine sexual scandal, which was heterosexual. Also, this is not about sex. It is about undue influence and corruption. The fact that it is sexual, and homosexual at that, is irrelevant. It is no different than bribery or other financial misdeeds.

Does Obama support forcing lenders to make loans to poor people with bad credit? That contributed to the current mess in the first place. Is he willing to demand that a certain percentage of loans go to minorities, regardless of ability to pay? Should the government simply buy the homes for them?

For those who are still taking notes, or are at least cutting and pasting, observe that none of the above has anything to do with William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Acorn, Louis Farrakhan, Rasheed Khalidi, or others that Barack Obama has shoved under the bus. I personally believe all of these people are fair game if expressed properly. Yet what I am emphasizing is that even if such topics as these make one squeamish, there are plenty of issues above to show that Barack Obama is somebody that simply has a problem with telling the truth.

Nobody of any substance is saying that Barack Obama is a terrorist, a closet Muslim, an Arab, or a hater of America. He is a Christian, a good husband, and a good father. He is also a man that associates with ne’er do wells, and then disavows them once they become hurtful to him. This does not make Obama a criminal. It makes him a conventional Chicago politician.

He does not transcend race. He does not transcend politics. He does not transcend anything. He climbed the ranks of Chicago, which does not happen ethically.

He was a community organizer. So are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. This is not about race. It is about corruption. Community Organizers are agitators. They are rabble rousers. This is how Obama ended up knee deep in ACORN. They are sympatico in their belief that community organizing, regardless of the law, is fair game.

Some will say he has bad judgment. This is not a fair argument because it implies a certain innocence or naivete on Obama’s part. He may be naive on foreign policy, but with regards to his associations, he knew exactly what he was doing. He got elected in Chicago by getting his challengers thrown off of the ballot. This is neither illegal or unusual. However, it reinforced Obama as a typical politician that will bend the rules to win.

Back to foreign policy, Obama wants to pressure Russia through the United Nations Security Council. Is he aware that Russia has a veto on the Council?

On Pakistan, saying that Obama is willing to bomb Pakistan is too simplistic. However, he has stated his own position as, “If they have Bin Laden, and refuse to get him, we will.” How does he plan to do that? How can he “get” Bin Laden in Pakistan without either using air missiles or ground troops? Doesn’t that require in some manner bombing Pakistan?

Is Obama willing to be a global social worker? The Congressional Black Caucus will want him to do everything to help Africa. Helping people is noble. What does “helping” mean? Will he send the military into Darfur? I suspect he will do what Bill Clinton did in Rwanda, absolutely nothing.

On energy, Obama wants to explore alternative energy sources. However, Americans want drilling, including in Alaska. Has he ever been to Alaska, and would he be willing to visit the state and see the terrain before jumping to conclusions? Also, he claims to be for nuclear power. How many plants will he build, and how fast?

Getting back to cultural issues, is he willing to lift the ban on gays in the military? He must be forced to answer the question either way.

Does he believe the death penalty is inherently racist? Would a judge that supports capital punishment be eliminated from consideration as a justice?

The Supreme Court recently ruled against the death penalty for rapists. Does Obama agree with this decision?

Obama claims he supports the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that the DC law banning guns was unconstitutional, yet DC continues to flout the law. Saying that he agrees with the Supreme Court is insufficient. Would he be willing to enforce the law, as the President is supposed to do? Would he be willing to remove DC officials that violate the Court?

On education, he once expressed support for merit pay for teachers, as well as school choice. Does he still want to help students, or do the teachers’ unions have him in a stranglehold?

Getting back to economics, the 1990 budget deal that raised taxes ended up compounding a cyclical recession. Also, the “luxury tax” on yachts and jewelry was repealed in 1993 after proving to be a complete failure. Does Obama acknowledge that when rich people are overtaxed, they can simply leave and take their money with them because money is fungible? What will he do to prevent rich people from taking their businesses elsewhere? Shouldn’t we lower corporate taxes to prevent businesses from going overseas? Does he acknowledge that the states with low or no state income taxes are doing better in the United States than high tax states?

There is so much more, but this is more than enough.

John McCain should ask these questions. Sarah Palin should ask these questions. Every republican in America should ask these questions. Every potential voter must know the answers. Enough people can be persuaded to vote for John McCain.

The last question I have is whether or not John McCain is willing to ask them.

I just did the heavy lifting.

Senator McCain, you must get to work on this.


My Interview With Senator Trent Lott

Monday, October 13th, 2008

At the 2008 Republican Convention in Minnesota, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing former Mississippi Senator and Majority Leader Trent Lott.

Senator Lott was not only very generous with his time with me, but with many members of the media. He gave expansive and substantive answers, and displayed a sense of humor when appropriate that was very enjoyable.

Since his schedule at the convention was packed, most members of the media would take notes when he gave interviews with other people in case they did not get their turn. So before getting my turn, below are some remarks Senator Lott made on various topics with other members of the media in my presence.

“Big issues are never easy. Getting the little things done is easy. Yet it’s the big things that we have to address.”

“My advice to anybody coming to a convention is don’t go to every party. Take time to come to the floor. Just look around. This is an amazing experience.”

“Also, I commend Minnesota on the weather. You did a great job keeping things sunny for us.”

“Being a leader means getting things done, but you have to listen to the people. Take immigration reform. We tried to do it one way, and I got my head handed to me. I listened.”

“Sarah Palin is a very attractive candidate. Am I allowed to say that? I hope so, I don’t want to be misunderstood. She is an attractive political candidate. She could be to America what Margaret Thatcher was to England and Golda Meir was to Israel. Sarah Palin was a great choice.”

The Senator then turned to me. Below is my interview with him.

1) What are the most important issues of 2008?

TL: “Strength of character, leadership, and integrity.”

2) Who are your 3 favorite political heroes?

“George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ronald Reagan. In fact, let me bend the rules and add a fourth person. Margaret Thatcher is another one.”

3) Mississippi got belted by Hurricane Katrina, but rebounded quicker than Louisiana. What did Mississippi get right that perhaps Louisiana did not?

“Let me start out by defending Louisiana for a second. We had a hurricane. They had floods. I lost my home. There was water up to the roofs. However, Louisiana looked like a city at war.

As for what we did right, Mississippi was very fortunate. The local leaders were capable and honest. Governor Haley and Senator Thad Cochran were part of a seamless team with one attitude, to help the situation. There was no whining. We went to work.

In Louisiana, they were less unified. The leadership was less sensitive to the need to work together. Again, they had a tougher situation with the floods. Without knocking Louisiana in any way, I am just thankful for all the hard working, God fearing people of Mississippi.”

4) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about Trent Lott the person?

TL: “That he did his best to serve America. That he loved his family and his country.”

5) Now that Eli Manning has his Superbowl ring, can Peyton Manning be forgiven for attending Tennessee instead of Mississippi?

(A member of the Senator’s staff, who shall remain nameless, felt strongly about the subject, although in a joking manner. Normally staffers stay completely silent, but some things are too important to remain quiet about. The staffer emphatically said, “No. Absolutely not.” Senator Lott was more diplomatic.)

TL: “Well, I don’t know. Peyton Manning will always have an asterisk in what is otherwise a very distinguished career. Wherever you go, we take pride in our Mississippi stars. Brett Favre may have moved from the Packers to the Jets, but to us he will always be Kiln, Mississippi. Mississippi is taking over the football world. I think we may see a Manning vs Manning Superbowl this year, and Eli will whip Peyton. They both have had success, but Peyton has that asterisk.”

It was a genuine pleasure t meet and interview Senator Lott. He is a genuinely nice guy. While many people want to fight at all costs, leaders have to get things done. They cannot throw bombs. They have to produce results.

Donna Brazile, the former campaign manager of Al Gore, admitted that she did not think she could ever like Trent Lott. She is a black female liberal, and he is a white male conservative. Yet she got to know him after Hurricane Katrina, and he came through for her ina  way that truly transcends politics. Her family was devastated, and he came through with the ice required, among other emergency supplies. She says about him that, “Trent Lott saved my family.”

Neighbors helping neighbors, whether white or black, red state or blue state, is what separates a politician from a leader.

I wish Trent Lott well always, and thank him for his public service.