Tag Archives: 2008 Presidential Race

Hat's Entertainment

20 Jan

Random Thoughts on the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America

Like millions of others I watched the Inauguration of Barack H. Obama on CNN.com via Facebook. Hundreds, if not thousands of bloggers, writers, pundits will be speaking of this day for weeks and months, perhaps years to come.

I’m still absorbing the day. STill thinking things through. While I made no secret of not wanting BaracK Obama to win, he is our President. And he assumed the office today with grace and style.

What I suspect is that President Obama will be somewhat changed (to borrow a phrase) from candidate Obama. He’s seen the briefings, he knows the agenda. He’s our leader now, and only time will tell if he’s up to the challenges.

While I still need some convincing, millions who turned out to hear him today believe that he is.

Inauguration Crowd Estimated At Up To 2 Million; No Arrests Reported Yet
CBS News Political Hotsheet

The crowd attending the inaugural festivities has been estimated to be between 1.8 million and 2 million people, according to a senior law enforcement source.

What others are saying:

Obama’s Inaugural Address
Cal Thomas

The media coverage of the Inauguration gave a preview of how they might cover the Second Coming. It was total worship. No doubts were expressed; no questions about his ability to do anything — from healing the economy to bringing peace to the Middle East. The media have at last found a god in whom they can believe. They are worshipping at the altar of the church of Barack Obama. Journalists and some of their ideological cable TV allies have so much invested in Obama’s success that they will be hard-pressed to criticize him for anything and can probably be counted on to explain and justify any mistakes he makes, at least in the first two years.

The Completion
Hugh Hewitt

Though many will grade the new president’s rhetoric, and attempt to glean from it some guide to the term ahead, the significance of the speech has very little to do with its particular giver or its particular content. It’s greatest significance is rather that it marks the completion of the repair of the Constitution which had been flawed in its framing because of its departure from the Declaration that preceded it all those years ago.

Bearing Drift: Bush greeted with jeers at inaugural
Isn’t keeping America from suffering another terrorist attack at least worthy of some polite applause?

Virginia Virtucon: Congratulations President Obama
So, in a short while, I plan on raising a glass to toast the new President. Let today be our national party, where we celebrate the inauguration of the new President and the peaceful transition of power. This peaceful transition is a shining symbol of our civilized republic and something worth celebrating regardless of who you voted for in November.

The Contemporary Conservative: DNC Chairman (and part time VA Governor) Tim Kaine declares Virginia Budget Deficit Over
If the budget situation calls for pairing of the core services of government, why is Gov. Kaine using scarce tax dollars to transport folks on buses to an inauguration ceremony?

Tertium Quids: What’s $975,000 Between Friends?
One is left to wonder why some of these same generous folk in Capitol Square cringe at the idea of spending even a nickel on budget transparency.

And in other related news…

Virginia Virtucon: Wall St. Suffers Worst Inauguration Session In History
Anyone who studies the stock market even in a cursory manner will tell you that most trading is not based on sound economic principles, P/E ratios, etc., but rather is psychologically driven by what is happening at any given moment.

The Corner at National Review Online: Rep. Jim Moran’s Confrontation With Capitol Police
…Soon Moran stormed out of the building and angrily confronted the police officer looking at his wife and shouting, “Is this the one?” He then got in the officer’s face and insisted that he did not know the proper procedure. Moran’s wife was then allowed in the building under her husband’s congressional escort.

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Nowhere to Bridge

9 Jan

In prepararation for the Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama, bridges leading into the District of Columbia from Virginia will close at 2:00 a.m. on January 20.

Four bridges to close for Inauguration
The Washington Times

The Key, the 14th Street, Memorial and Roosevelt bridges will all be closed on January 20 when Barack Obama is sworn in as President of the United States at the Mall, making the commute from Arlington to the District, which is done by millions every day, a nightmare.
Read more.

Hype has been building for this day since before Election Day. Nothing personal.  Not me.

I’ve been to two Inaugurations.  My wife and I went to the Inauguration of George H. W. Bush in 1989.  We actually hadn’t planned to be at the ceremony, but we were visiting around the Cannon Building and congressional staffer friends gave us a pair of tickets.  As the Mrs. was four and a half months pregnant, after the ceremony we went to Bullfeathers and sat at the bar to watch the parade.  Later that evening we went to an Inaugural Ball at the Kennedy Center.  We’ve been there.  We’ve done that.

In 2001, I took my oldest son, then almost 12 to the Inauguration of George W. Bush.  It was a moment in history that he needed to experience.  Four living Presidents were in attendance.  Carter, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II.  Had the election turned out differently, I had planned to take my youngest, almost 9, to see President McCain and Vice President Palin sworn in.  But, in case you haven’t heard, it didn’t work out that way.

I guess you could say I’ve actually been to 2 1/2 Inaugurations.  In 1993 we took my Mom and Stepdad to the parade.  Or the parade route.  We did see the limos heading up to the Hill.  But it was bitterly cold, so we gave up on waiting for the parage.  We heard the broadcast of the ceremony, then headed home to get warm.  I didn’t get quite warm enough.  But I did get bronchitis.

I do understand the historic significance and the reason thousands, if not millions, of people want to be there for that day.  People who once found it difficult to vote, or even ride the bus, will see the first African American become President.

As much as I may disagree with the policies of the President-elect (at least the ones we can yet identify), his winning the White House brings to close a painful chapter, or several chapters actually, of our nation’s history.  No, we’ve not achieved racial reconciliation, but we’ve made great progress.

It’s been a long, slow journey.  For me, I started to school the first day schools were desegregated in my Southwest Virginia County.  To me, it was normal, I didn’t know any different.  In retrospect, I understand why others saw it as a big deal.  Years later, Virginia elected the nation’s first African American Governor and sent him to an office in the building that once served as the Capital of the Confederacy.

Now, in just a few days an African American man and his family will move into the White House, where not that long ago, his ancestors could have only entered as servants.

But this Inauguration has more than historic significance.  What we still don’t know is “can he lead?”

I’m hoping that I’m reading the news right and that the President-elect has had a few “Oh Snap!” moments in the briefings he has received.  And I hope that he’s realizing that his message of “Hope and Change” may have been enough to win an election, but it’s not enough to govern a country in difficult times.

Yet my hopes may be dashed in the next few weeks.  Today in an economic policy address, the President-elect said:

It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.

Only government can break the cycle that are crippling our economy…

International Herald Tribune:  Text: Obama’s speech on the economy

He’s from the government.  He’s here to help.

That’s not an economic policy Mr. President-elect.  It’s a punch line.

08 Post of the Year

31 Dec

I was working on my Year in Review Post (which will be up soon) and came across this little gem posted on May 17: So all the GOP needs is the right pair of pumps?

Now, considering how the rest of the GOP political year played out, it was a pretty amazing post. here it is in its entirety.

I really want to be a good Republican and believe in what our party stands for (or used to), but our “leaders” are making it soooooooooooooo hard.

GOP Must “Accessorize” Says Strategist
CBS News

Republican National Committee Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli: So, you know, it’s kind of like we’re a basic black dress. Sometimes it works. But sometimes you’ve gotta, you know, you’ve gotta have the accessories to go with it. And we need accessories this time.

Well, there’s our problem. The country is going to hell in a handbasket and the RNC is getting the vapors over what to wear to the funeral.

I’ve got news for Mr. Donatelli. You can put lipstick on a pig.

But it’s still a pig.

Before you get snippy about it, at that point I knew a little about Sarah Palin, but didn’t have a clue she’d be the VP nominee.

And, contrary to the President-Elect, I knew exactly what that phrase meant and how to use it.

There's got to be a morning after…Whether we want one or not.

5 Nov

Morning after observations:

Ouch.

Congratulations President-elect Obama.

Is it 2012 yet?

It’s an historic election as the United States elects the first African American to the Office of President. That’s significant. Yes, we happen to still think he’s the wrong man, but repeating that isn’t going to do any of us any good.

In reality he’s not going to be able to do all the things he promised, and that’s a good thing. It does give us great concern that we’ve now elected the most liberal President in our modern history, along with a significantly more liberal Congress. But rest assured that we’ll remain as the loyal opposition. As long as our voice isn’t silenced.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time assessing the blame. Others will do that until we’re sick of hearing about it. But let me make these general comments.

John McCain wasn’t the first choice for many of us. Although with a couple of exceptions, I’m not sure any of our other choices could have done any better in this climate. And let’s be clear, most of us wouldn’t really have had any emotional investment without the selection of Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

Much of this was a referendum on the Presidency of George W. Bush. There was no escaping that. I believe history will be kinder to the Administration of George W. Bush than current thought.

The economy was a major obstacle for Senator McCain. Try as he did, he couldn’t shake the impression that it was all the Republican’s fault. While we know that’s not completely true, it remained the public perception.

As for the losses in the Senate and the House. The story remains as it did in 2006. The Democrats did not win as much as the Republicans lost.

The GOP forgot what it stood for. It forgot what made Republicans the majority party to begin with.

So the Republican Party needs to do some major soul searching. I fear, however, that the pattern of previous years will repeat and the GOP will line up in a circular firing squad. That won’t solve anything.

It’s time for new leadership. Leadership that comes from people like Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal.

Here in Virginia, we need to remember that we’ve got a gubernatorial election in just 12 months. I won’t be at the advance, but I’d encourage our leaders to have some serious discussions about what we do to regain our footing in the Commonwealth. History is on our side in that every election since 1977, Virginia’s have elected a governor from the opposite party that held the White House.

But, we also have an incredible ability to screw things up.

As for this year, as I said in my Monday post, this remains a part of God’s plan. I don’t have to understand it. I don’t have to like it. But I know in the end, that He is in control.

I won’t be writing much more about this year’s election. Not really much need to. And beginning this weekend, I’ll be making some changes around here. A little less politics, a little more “stuff.”

Unofficially, it's over…

4 Nov

With Barack Obama winning both Pennsylvania and Ohio, along with Iowa and New Mexico it’s now clear that he will be the next President of the United States. We’ll save official congratulations for the official call.

It was a long, hard fight. And we’ll have more to say about that tomorrow.

One last reminder…

4 Nov

There’s little we can do at this point but vote and wait. This will be the last post before the results are in.

Is it all over but the rioting?

3 Nov

A few weeks ago, we asked the question: Will we be safer with an Obama Presidency?

On the eve of the election, with the race too close to call, Bearing Drift describes the “Carbone Riot Scale” in which various outcomes and resulting violence are outlined.

It. Could. Happen.

Police prepare for unrest
The Hill

“We’ve seen it on the Internet and we’ve heard that there could be civil unrest depending on the outcome of [the election,]” said Lt. Mark Briede of the Cincinnati Police Department. “We are prepared to respond in the case of some sort of unrest or some sort of incident.”

Are Riots Being Planned for November 5?
New American

Are ultra-radical elements planning nationwide riots in the event that Barack Obama loses the election? It certainly appears that the fires have been stoked and the dials pre-set for rage and violence if the “Messiah” does not win in this down-to-the-wire race in which most polls and media predictions have Obama beating McCain.

Liberals Warnings About Obama Loss May Prove Self-Fulfilling
Dennis Prager, Townhall

If Obama loses, it will not be deemed plausible that Americans have again rejected a liberal candidate, indeed the one with the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate. Liberals will explain an Obama defeat as another nefarious Republican victory. Combining contempt for many rural and middle-class white Americans with a longstanding belief in the inevitability of a Democratic victory in 2008 (after all, everyone they talk to despises the Republicans and believes Republicans have led the country to ruin), there will be only one reason Obama did not win — white racism.

Recaffeinated Mondays: Tomorrow, the Choice is Clear

3 Nov

As America goes to the polls tomorrow, our choice for the man to lead our nation for the next four years is clear.  John McCain has the experience, the background and the philosophy to guide this country both in terms of our national defense and our economy.

No, you may remind me, he was not my first choice.  Over the past three years I could’ve written dozens of different scenarios and never come up with this one.  But, here we are.

Yes, I considered what it would mean to not support John McCain, and I considered a third party.  But, regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, I’ll go into this next four years knowing that I did what I could to prevent an Obama presidency.

As I’ve said on many occasions, there’s just too much we don’t know about Barack Obama and there’s no need to repeat that here.  At the same time, what we do know about him and his plans for this country are all we need.  He wants to turn our health care over to the government, bankrupt the coal industry and spread our wealth around.

Pair all of that with the radical agendas of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and our country will move further to the left than at any time in our history.

John McCain and Sarah Palin have documented records of government reform.  And at this time in our nation’s history, they’re the leadership we need.

As I’m writing this the polls are tightening but still all over the place.  I’m inclined to place my bets with D.J. who calls the race for McCain based on the record of the New York Jets.  His method, while unconventional, is probably as scientific and as accurate as most of the polls we’ve seen this season.

No matter who wins, our nation will survive.  Although with the damage Obama and company will do to our economy, our national defense and our standing in the world we may never again regain our status as that “Shining City on a hill” which Ronald Reagan (via John Winthrop) so eloquently spoke about.

But, I believe in a Sovereign God.  And I believe that nothing happens that is outside of His will.  That doesn’t mean an Obama win will be a good thing for our nation.  But it means it would be part of God’s greater plan.  And that is a good thing.

What I dread most from an Obama win is the incessant yapping of the leftosphere and the folks who will stop by here in full “neener neener mode.”  But I realize that, unlike most of them, I’m old enough to have seen a few cycles.  Having lived through the Carter years is one of the main reasons I know we shouldn’t risk repeating them.

The pendulum will swing back.  Some day.

Then again, I have a dream that Tuesday’s vote will prove all the pundits wrong.  A dream that John McCain will not only carry Virginia, but Pennsylvania and more.  Laugh at you will, but in spite of the polls the candidates both have been acting as if they know this is possible.  Look at where they’ve been in the last two weeks.  This race is indeed to close to call.

Back to my initial point.  The choice is clear.  Tomorrow I’m voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

I urge you to do the same.

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

Obama's not even President yet and already your middle class income is shrinking

28 Oct

First they came  for the people making $250,000, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t making $250,000…

For weeks (months?), Barack Obama has been saying that if you make less than $250,000, your taxes won’t go up.

Then in the last debate he said if you make less than $200,000 your taxes won’t go up.

Then yesterday, Joe Biden said that if you make less than $150,000 your taxes won’t go up.

Pretty soon they’ll be down to that $42,000 level on which they’ve already voted to raise taxes.

Obama’s Definition of Rich Keeps Going Down
Neil Cavuto

We can’t pay for all our programs taxing just the very rich, so we’ve moved to the rich, then the close-to-rich, then maybe not-so-rich at all.,,Now isn’t that rich?

Obama’s tax-cut threshold shrinking?
Confusion abounds as voters hear $250,000, $200,000, now $150,000
World Net Daily

According to the 2006 IRS statistics published by the National Taxpayers Union, “95 percent of working Americans” only includes those making less than $153,542 per year.

Obama, Biden Shift ‘Tax Break’ Threshold
NewsMax

Barack Obama’s “spread the wealth” tax plan took another hit today when a new campaign ad debuted over the weekend shifting the presidential candidate’s definition of rich from those making more than $250,000 to those making $200,000.

And let’s be clear about your taxes “not going up.”

The Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 are scheduled to expire.  Barack Obama wants them to expire. John McCain while initially opposing the tax cuts, now wants to make them permanent.

The tax code changes enacted in 2001 and 2003 are scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. If they do, statutory marginal tax rates will rise across the board, ranging from a 13 percent increase for the highest-income households to a 50 percent increase in tax rates faced by lower-income households. The marriage penalty will be reimposed, and the child credit cut by $500 per child. The long-term capital gains tax rate will rise to 20 percent from 15 percent, and the top tax rate on dividends will nearly triple, rising to 39.6 percent from 15 percent. [source]

Roughly translated, if the Bush tax cuts expire, your taxes WILL go up.

Barack says he won’t raise your taxes.  Barack says he wants the Bush tax cuts to expire.

You do the math.

See also:

Heritage Foundation to Obama Campaign: Kindly stop lying about our support of your tax plan.
Red State

…the very short version is that the Obama campaign is deliberately using misquoted material – material that they have already tried to use, and have already been called on – to misrepresent the opinion of the Heritage Foundation towards Barack Obama’s tax policies.