Presidential Debate 2008 Round 2: The Hard Questions

Have a question for the two candidates? Publish it here by leaving a comment!

It is getting down to the wire here and McCain is behind in the Polls.  It is time to take those polls seriously and take off the kid gloves if you are the Republicans.

We are going to summarize the questions we would ask Obama if we were confronting him in a debate.  We will follow with a similar segment asking McCain the questions we would ask if we were confronting him.  Everything goes here.  It is time to get nasty.

Our opinion of Obama, and it would be the central part of our attack in any debate, is that he is great at stating what he will do with absolutely no specifics.  We would primarily be asking “how”.  With Obama, the key tactic has to be to pin the sucka down.

1. You say you pay for every penny of your hundreds of billions in dollars worth of programs.  Tell us exactly how.  If it is by closing “loopholes” and “rolling back tax cuts”, give us the specifics.  What loopholes will you specifically close.  What “tax cuts” are you taking away?  Are you dependent on funds from your planned withdrawal from Iraq?

2. If you are rolling back tax cuts, how is that different from increasing taxes?

3. If you are focused on raising the capital gains tax and taxes on dividends, aren’t you concerned about the negative fall out on the stock markets which have already been pummeled over the mortgage fiasco?  Would you also be concerned with fixed income seniors dependent on these dividends as income?

4. You claim deregulation led to the mortgage fiasco, but we fail to see the exact deregulation of which you speak.  Could you elaborate?

5. Wasn’t it Barney Frank that resisted legislation sought by the Bush administration in 2003 to better regulate mortgages, and, specifically, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Didn’t he repeatedly say there were no problems there while the Bush administration warned of “systemic risk”?

6. On Social Security, you say you will pay for it partially by raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year 10 years from now.  Isn’t that a cop-out on America?  Aren’t we going to have to start paying back Social Security with interest in less time than that?  And how does deferring the problem to your successor solve the problem now?

7. You say you want to send more troops into Afghanistan?  Isn’t that just your own version of the Surge?

8. You imply you want to violate Pakistan’s borders or threaten Pakistan if we are not allowed to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda within Pakistani borders.  Of what specific threats do you speak?  And if you would attack without government knowledge and cooperation, wouldn’t that be an act of war?

9. You have a plan to get us out of Iraq in 16 months.  Have you asked General Petraus what he thinks of such a plan?

10. In the last debate you claim that Iraq has a huge surplus.  We would like to know, if that is true, why haven’t you suggested to ask them to contribute financially to the war effort rather than using it as justification for bailing on them.

11. You claim your energy plan includes increased production.  If you don’t support drilling, where would that increased production come from?

12. In an interview, you referred to your Muslim Faith, and had to be corrected.  Since the beginning of the campaign, you distanced yourself from the pastor of your church for stating to “God Damn America”.  What faith are you Senator?  What church do you attend?

13. If you are Christian, Senator, how does abortion conflict with your Christian belief?

14. Your healthcare plan says it will include those with pre-existing conditions.  How would that work Senator?  Wouldn’t people just wait until something catastrophic went wrong and THEN join the plan?

15. You imply that giving tax breaks to oil companies is a bad idea, but then you say that providing a tax break to companies that invest in America is a good idea.  Many oil companies invest in America, so how will you resolve that?

16. You say you may delay programs because of the financial crisis.  Being absolutely specific, what programs would you delay?  Do not include what we need to do.  We only want the answer to the question.

17. You preach energy independence.  Can you please give us your exact plan for reaching energy independence along with the time frame?

18. You speak of hard negotiations with Iran.  Senator, when is the last time you were involved in any form of international negotiation?

McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

Everyone we speak to that works in America believes Social Security is just a pipe dream and that no funds will exist to support them when they retire.  This isn’t just paranoia.  Many politicians say the same thing. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the current system is unsustainable.

There are many ideas, such as taking Social Security private.  We find it funny that some politicians argue against that as being unsafe and it should remain in the hands of the Federal government. The Federal government has borrowed against Social Security with impunity, and, based on current estimates, in about 8 years or so will have to start paying that money back with interest in order to pay benefits.  Certainly, just examining the facts, Social Security in its current form cannot survive, and one can see it isn’t safe in the hands of the Federal government, who has acted like an irresponsible custodian stealing from her trustee’s trust fund.

Now the Federal government is sucking up mortgage backed securities at a huge rate, which means that all Federal investments will in part be based on these securities that have led to a major collapse of the financial institutions in America.  We are not so sure that keeping Social Security in the hands of government is a good idea at all.

From CNN:  “Demographics are a major reason for the funding shortfall. The number of workers, compared to retirees, has begun to shrink. That means the system will produce a smaller surplus, then none at all, and eventually it won’t be able to pay out all benefits promised to future retirees.”  This clearly argues for a strong immigration policy in favor of more immigration and less protectionism.  If we cannot demographically support our own programs, it only seems logical that we need to change the demographics.

It is currently suggested that there are only two ways to address the dire problems Social Security faces.  Raise the payroll tax even more or reduce benefits.  Some say to start now in small increments.  Fact is, they have already been increasing the tax, increasing the income limit on which Social Security tax is charged.  This has been a steady and subtle tax increase on Americans for years.

Medicare is an even bigger problem which we will address separately.  But we will mention that we are once again looking at the only way to address the problem being an increase in taxes from about 3% now to about 7%.  Doing the math, this implies that Medicare and Social Security alone will take approximately an additional 6% of Americans’ gross income.  Turn that around and imagine how much an American could save if that 6% went steadily into a retirement fund and was possibly even matched in part or in whole by an employer.

We personally believe in the abolishment of Social Security and Medicare, phasing them out in favor of private investments such as 401Ks and a national solution to the disaster the United States has created in its health care programs.

What are the candidates positions?

Obama’s Position

Protect Social Security

Obama is committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. Obama will be honest with the American people about the long-term solvency of Social Security and the ways we can address the shortfall. He will work with members of Congress from both parties to strengthen Social Security and prevent privatization while protecting middle class families from tax increases or benefit cuts. As part of a bipartisan plan that would be phased in over many years, he would ask those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security to keep it sound.

Increase taxes on those making over $250,000 may help contribute “a bit“.

Question, Senator.  Does the rest beyond “a bit” come from the middle class below $250,000?

Despite the many smears of his opponents, Obama does not support uncapping the full payroll tax of 12.4 percent rate. Instead, he is considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee). This change to Social Security would start a decade or more from now and is similar to the rate increases floated by John McCain’s close adviser Senator Lindsey Graham and that McCain has previously said he “could” support.

But our Treasury Secretary already says we will have to start paying back what the Federal Government has borrowed from Social Security in less than ten years.  And, c’mon, isn’t that a complete cop out?  Putting off the plan for ten years.  Senator, even if you won two terms as President, would place the burden on your successor.  Great idea.  Never seen that one before.  You are pretty good at math.  And in ten years, won’t inflation make it so people that earn 250,000 a year ARE the middle class not the wealthy?

Continue on next page…

Nancy Pelosi Shows Democrats Can’t Spell Bipartisan

Nancy got to eat crow today when Democrats were forced to offer tax cuts to get a bill passed that was already earmarked for success, all because she couldn’t keep her mouth shut.  Read on folks, this is exactly the opposite of how adults act.

After Democrats and Republicans had spent days working together on a bipartisan bill to avert a national financial disaster, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took the low road in Congress in order to promote her Democratic agenda.  Rather than congratulating the Congress for their bipartisan effort,  she took the opportunity to instead bash George Bush for what she claimed were “reckless economic policies, fiscal irresponsibility and an anything goes policy”.  After we heard the shrew’s comments, we could never vote for Obama.  It demonstrates the Democrats have no concept of bipartisan cooperation.

After the bill failed to pass, Nancy then ironically stood with the founder of all our current problems, Barney Frank, Representative from Massachusetts. Barney (Rubble) Frank claimed the Republicans voted against the plan because Nancy had hurt their feelings.

We ask you Barney, how would you have reacted if the Republicans referred to you as a child abuser that used your influence to prevent regulation in 2003 that could have prevented this crisis.  Awww, did we hurt your feelings Barney?

Nancy showed she is an amateur and was not interested in America or the plan.  She was only interested in getting her chance to take a cheap shot.  Her objective was to provoke a negative response, and if she thinks we cannot see right through her motivation, she is more stupid than she looks and more childish than she acts.

Nancy and Barney demonstrate that the liberals and Democrats are still bitter children that haven’t recovered from getting beaten in the last elections.  They prove in their actions they could never cooperate with Republicans to reach any positive results for America.  We are glad to see it, because the more they demonstrate their childish behavior, the less likely they will get America’s votes in November.

If we were running McCain’s campaign, we would get out a commercial immediately. We would show Nancy making a fool of herself and Barney lecturing people in 2003 to defeat regulations on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have averted this crisis.

Nancy has pushed these moderates to the right.

Who Caused The Financial Meltdown? Was McCain Negligent? 2008 Presidential Debates Don’t Tell All.

As you probably know, if exposed to any news at all in the past week, the Federal Government is bailing out the financial industry to the tune of $700 billion. Their plan is to buy up bad mortgage debt with the hope of resolving the financial crisis and perhaps some day recovering that money. No government estimate has ever come in on time and on budget, so don’t bet your life on that $700 billion being enough.

To put that $700 billion in perspective, with that same amount of money, we could have followed Boone Pickens plan and erected enough wind power facilities to generate 20% of the US energy needs with wind power!!! Instead, we are buying BAD MORTGAGES!! Think about that. Instead of burning coal and oil, we could use wind for 20% of our energy, but we are buying bad mortgage debt instead!

As it turns out, the funniest aspect of the debates last week, and the saddest, was an accusation made by Senator Obama. Obama stated that regulations had been hurled out the window by the Republican administration, and that disregard for government regulation resulted in our current financial malaise.

But it wasn’t deregulation at all, it was the weakening of mortgage requirements.  Mortgage requirements, specifically for the poor and minorities, were severely weakened over a much longer period than the tenure of the Bush Administration, going back as far as the Carter Administration. Regulations as a whole were not reduced on Wall Street. In fact, regulations on public companies are more stringent today than they ever have been.

This article has moved to its new home, The Lie Politic. Please continue reading by clicking here and you will be directed to the new site. Thank you!

Obama Versus McCain on Abortion

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

This topic touches on every election even though many of us do not want to overweight it in the light of a Presidential election.  The reason it plays so strongly in a Presidential election, however, is the President appoints Supreme Court Justices, and they decide upon the federal laws pertaining to abortion.  In addition, and more importantly, it plays to the morals of the candidate, and provides the sides a way to condemn the other for their beliefs.

The Republicans have carved out the pro-life niche.  Their belief is abortion at any time in the pregnancy and for any reason other than endangerment of the mother’s health, is wrong and an abomination.  It is seen as murder of a viable living being.  This belief, while it may sound extreme, is also the Christian belief.

The Democrats have played the “women’s right to their body” niche.  They believe it is the woman’s right to decide, and that no one but the woman has that right.  There are varying extremes, but they do not see abortion as a murder, but a right.  This belief, while it may sound extreme as well, is the US Supreme Court’s belief (see Roe Versus Wade).

The fact is for most people, this is a very muddied issue.  One has to believe that no woman wants to take the life of her unborn child, but that life’s pressures and circumstances are different for each.  There are choices, such as having a child and putting that child up for adoption.  With waiting lists years long for people wanting to adopt, it is hard for many to understand why any woman would abort an unborn fetus.

What people have to put into perspective is that a pregnancy does not take nine minutes or nine days, it takes nine months.  It is not something most women can conceal and it has major ramifications with respect to one’s family and future.  A single event can have life long implications.

There is a notion that this does not and should not involve the father, that he has no rights to his own unborn child even if he is willing to raise the child.  This appears to be believed by both sides given the way fathers are dealt with in the courts with respect to custody and their rights involving their children. Fathers appear to never have real rights to their children in the United States.  We would like a Presidential Candidate to stand up and defend Fathers’ rights, but have yet to see it happen as they tend to pander to women’s rights.

Many abortions involve women that cannot afford the child, that live in poverty, may be drug addicts and are for one reason or another, desperate to rid themselves of the fetus before it can impact their lives.  In fact, one argument for abortion is that a woman in such a desperate situation will risk her life to abort her fetus herself if she cannot find a safe method, so it is inhumane to not allow a woman that outlet.  Our horrific pictures of coat hangers come to mind.

The fact is the water is very muddy with respect to this issue.  Everyone seems to have their own level of acceptance for either side.  While some argue for Roe versus Wade, they believe there is a point, perhaps the third trimester of the pregnancy, at which the woman should no longer be allowed to abort.  While some are pro-life, they believe there are certain extremes, such as rape and incest, when abortion is justified.  The fact is though, if you are pro-life, it is the fetus that has the rights, and the fetus does not have any concept of how it was conceived.  Therefore, it is very difficult to approve any form of abortion.  It would be like a vegetarian that eats only McDonald’s burgers other than their vegetarian diet.  It is a cow, but oh that special sauce.  You are a vegetarian or you are not.  There is no in between.  And such is the abortion issue for many.

How has this played out in politics?

It is always the same mantra.  In politics, it is difficult to take a position only part way because you can get cut to shreds seeming to waffle.  Your personal beliefs can become your enemy if they do not seem firm.  Imagine the debate.  “Senator McCain, you claim to be a vegetarian, but how do you explain this video of you consuming a Big Mac last Thursday?”

So, typically, those politicians on the side of abortion cite Roe versus Wade and believe it is totally the woman’s right to choose in all cases.  Similarly, those politicians that side with the pro-life argument favor the total “life begins at conception” position, arguing that at the moment of fertilization, a human life with his or her own rights to life exists.

Politicians tend to play this with the same repeated arguments against the other side.  Those in favor of a Roe versus Wade will point at the other side and say they EVEN do not favor abortion in cases of rape and incest, and by bringing up the much more rare and often horrific instances that could lead to pregnancy, diminish the importance and wonderment of the rest.  Those that are on the pro-life side will accuse the other side of murder, and some believe it in their hearts to such a degree that they believe, in an almost vigilante way, that they must protect the rights of that fetus.

So, the game is on, and one side is inferred to be murderers or at least support murder, and the other is implied to endorse incest and rape.  These are great images to paint on your political nemesis.

While this may not sound all that political to many of us, it has huge political ramifications in elections.  Catholics, and most Christians, are very heavily taught that abortion is murder and that one should not vote into power anyone that would support it.  Inherently, that supports the right.  Many people cannot understand why people vote the way we do, but we believe this issue decides many a vote on religious grounds.  Because we are predominantly a Christian population, it has huge ramifications with respect to election results.

Interestingly, finding McCain’s position in a search was easy.  It was more difficult to find a non-interpretive statement of Obama’s.  Obama seems to want to hide his position or at the very least not put it in writing.

McCain’s Position

We take McCain’s position from his website.

Overturning Roe v. Wade

John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.

Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.

However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion – the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby. The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need. This work must continue and government must find new ways to empower and strengthen these armies of compassion. These important groups can help build the consensus necessary to end abortion at the state level. As John McCain has publicly noted, “At its core, abortion is a human tragedy. To effect meaningful change, we must engage the debate at a human level.”

It is not surprising that this is the position of the Republican running for President.  It would have to be, because it has been for some time.  We believe John’s position here to be pretty much rote.

Promoting Adoption

In 1993, John McCain and his wife, Cindy, adopted a little girl from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh. She has been a blessing to the McCain family and helped make adoption advocacy a personal issue for the Senator.

The McCain family experience is not unique; millions of families have had their lives transformed by the adoption of a child. As president, motivated by his personal experience, John McCain will seek ways to promote adoption as a first option for women struggling with a crisis pregnancy. In the past, he cosponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination against families with adopted children, to provide adoption education, and to permit tax deductions for qualified adoption expenses, as well as to remove barriers to interracial and inter-ethnic adoptions.

We do favor adoption vastly over abortion, but we would not vote for someone because of that belief.  We are surprised at parts of John’s statements though.  We were unaware of any discrimination against families that adopt or barriers to interracial or inter-ethnic adoptions.  We would like John to elaborate a bit on that, because we know people that have adopted their children and are very well adjusted and the children have benefited from wonderful loving parents.  What discriminations are there John?

Protecting Marriage…

We will not print this part of John’s position.  He devotes a significant argument for promoting marriage to prevent abortion.  We believe that the two are completely independent of each other.  It is a political diversion.

To make it a more political issue, how about removing the marriage tax John?  Whoops, not that committed are we?

Addressing the Moral Concerns of Advanced Technology

Stem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases – hope for both cures and life-extending treatments. However, the compassion to relieve suffering and to cure deadly disease cannot erode moral and ethical principles.

For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.

As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.

Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines.

We are unclear on the stem cell argument.  We can understand the belief in conception within the womb, but the creation of stem cells by creating embryos outside the womb is less clear if it would save or assist human life, but there is really no other position the pro-life side can take if they believe every fetus has the right to life, and it really would not impact our vote.

Protecting Children from Internet Pornography

John McCain believes the Internet offers tremendous promise…

However, there is a darker side to the Internet. Along with the access and anonymity of the Internet have come those who would use it to peddle child pornography and other sexually explicit material and to prey upon children.

John McCain has been a leader in pushing legislation through Congress that requires all schools and libraries receiving federal subsidies for Internet connectivity to utilize technology to restrict access to sexually explicit material by children using such computers. While the first line of defense for children will always be strong and involved parents, when they send their child to school or drop their child off at the library, parents have the right to feel safe that someone is going to be looking out for their children.

OK, John, now you are way off in outer space now.  We have somehow managed to mix in an argument against internet pornography with going to the library?  We think you should think of removing this paragraph.  We don’t think too many people are viewing child pornography at their local public library.  This seems so deluded as to question your ability to make Presidential decisions and to draw necessary lines.

For example, would you go to war and kill thousands of innocent people because a single madman rules that nation?  Whoops, we already did that.

Protecting Children from Online Predators…

Do you work for Dateline NBC Senator?  We swore we were supposed to be reading about your position on abortion.

The Greatest Honor is to Serve the Cause of Human Dignity…

OK,  again, you are in outer space.  In this section, John rambles on  about compassion and human sacrifice and his military service to the nation.  What?  How can you bring up your military service when speaking of abortion?  Could it be you are you speaking of soldiers that have raped the young girls of other nations in areas where the US is based?

We think you may want to rethink bringing up your military service every time you speak of any issue.  Every position you take is not justified by Vietnam.

While we would not vote against you for being pro-life, we would consider voting against you for exploiting abortion by associating it with their military service to acquire votes.  We find that an absurd association and, quite honestly, not worthy of a President.

Obama’s Position

Supports a Woman’s Right to Choose:

Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.

Obama buries his positions on abortion under Women’s Rights in an apparent effort to conceal them in the same way McCain appears to accentuate his.  He obviously believes in a women’s right to choose under all circumstances.  In fact he calls himself a “champion”.  “We are the champions, we are the champions, no time for losers, cuz we are the champions, of the world”.  A new theme for you perhaps Senator?  We picture our champion Obama in front of an abortion clinic with a cape and big O on his chest ready to right the wrongs of those that would deny a woman her rights to abort.

Barrack appears to have no statements to make about encouraging adoption or providing support for unwed mothers.  He seems to avoid the alternatives, almost promoting the act.  We find it a hollow, cowardly position.  We are not saying it is wrong for someone to support Roe versus Wade, but we also believe that any viable candidate should strongly suggest the alternatives and that support of those alternatives i  critical to this issue.  To speak of it with such brevity and to only refer to the courts certainly does not sound Christian to us.  You did say you are Christian did you not Senator?  Well, except when speaking in this interview.

Preventing Unintended Pregnancy:

Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.

Here we agree fully.  We do believe in the availability of contraception and health information and preventive services.  It is delusional to believe support of the family could possibly prevent unwanted pregnancies and we are certain Sarah Palin’s daughter did not intentionally get pregnant.  We would like to say that we do see courage, though, in supporting one’s daughter through that pregnancy and we also support Sarah’s daughter’s right to choose,  Roe vs Wade is not about a woman’s right to only abort her fetus.  The Senator seems to have missed that fact in his attacks on Palin and her family.  Senator, we just wanted to inform you, the other choice is to have the child and that takes vastly more courage than to abort it.

Therefore, because you avoided the topic, this leaves us wondering.  Do you favor abortion over adoption?  Do you believe Roe versus Wade applies at all points in the pregnancy?  Do you find your Christian faith at odds with your political stand?  What does your church preach?  We do know the leader of your church was quoted as saying “God Damn America”.

Conclusion

We are offended by some of the associations made by John McCain with respect to abortion.  We believe he went off topic, attempting to associate unrelated issues to abortion and to somehow associate his military service to protecting an unborn fetus.

But we believe Obama copped out almost completely avoiding the hard questions on abortion, leaving his position open to public interpretation.  By not stating his opinions openly and clearly, he leaves that interpretation to others.  We are disappointed in this shallow statement, but it does keep Obama somewhat slippery on the subject, allowing him to distort his view enough in the public eye so as to garner votes from either side.

We are dissatisfied with both sides stated positions, but we believe it is not up to the President to decide anyway, other than by the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, so we do not consider it central to our selection.  We do believe that our opinion of each candidate is driven by the way in which each expresses his opinion.  We believe McCain overstepped by a wide margin.  We believe Obama understated and dodged the issue.

Round Six, Draw

Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action

PART II: Obama Versus McCain on Natural Resources & Fossil Fuels. Dems, Reps And We All Are Misguided

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

We have an incredible dichotomy. We want clean air, to reduce green-house gases, to preserve our natural wildlife, and yet we use 24 percent of the world’s oil!! How can we, as a nation that believes in such ideals, still use 24 percent of the world’s oil? Fact is, we prove in practice, we don’t truly have these ideals, but we do have a NIMBY attitude.

We pass off the responsibility of tapping the resources to others and import it when we ourselves possess massive energy resources. And we don’t just hand off our responsibilities to Arab nations. In our first article of this series, we asked our readers which nation we import most of our oil from. Here is the answer, are you ready?

The nation exporting the most oil to the United States is Canada. We have vast reserves of natural resources in the United States while the nation immediately to our North is exporting oil to us as fast as they can tap it. We are honestly standing up and saying we will not drill on our land and use our resources, while our next door neighbor to our North provides most of our needs? Could we be any more hypocritical?

And take a look at number 3 folks. Do you honestly think that the two nations closest to us geographically are so vast in natural resources relative to us that we should import their resources at incredible expense while our trade deficit explodes?

We borrow the following chart from the US Energy Information Administration.

Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)

Country

Jun-08

May-08

YTD 2008

Jun-07

YTD 2007


CANADA

1,883

1,840

1,888

1,905

1,881

SAUDI ARABIA

1,479

1,579

1,523

1,501

1,407

MEXICO

1,124

1,116

1,193

1,392

1,454

VENEZUELA

1,085

1,030

1,012

1,135

1,109

NIGERIA

946

851

1,036

893

1,022

IRAQ

693

583

674

573

476

ANGOLA

636

464

496

502

568

BRAZIL

280

318

221

121

158

ALGERIA

269

440

319

504

494

RUSSIA

228

119

109

29

135

KUWAIT

179

263

219

263

193

ECUADOR

178

162

192

166

195

COLOMBIA

177

245

182

143

108

CHAD

107

57

101

80

69

LIBYA

89

96

76

144

66

Total Imports of Petroleum (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)

Country

Jun-08

May-08

YTD 2008

Jun-07

YTD 2007


CANADA

2,359

2,346

2,472

2,410

2,470

SAUDI ARABIA

1,493

1,604

1,538

1,534

1,434

MEXICO

1,254

1,218

1,304

1,529

1,590

VENEZUELA

1,215

1,171

1,172

1,364

1,356

NIGERIA

1,020

918

1,092

968

1,080

RUSSIA

764

441

474

285

400

IRAQ

693

583

674

573

476

ANGOLA

649

476

506

514

580

ALGERIA

492

620

535

709

718

VIRGIN ISLANDS

314

340

336

218

319

BRAZIL

314

335

246

161

205

UNITED KINGDOM

286

237

223

345

310

NETHERLANDS

264

192

167

171

126

ECUADOR

184

162

200

168

199

KUWAIT

183

263

222

263

200

This map of the world which clearly demonstrates the highest use of oil per capita is educational. However, we believe it is a bit misleading. Warmer climates use less oil and more developed nations also use more. Still, it is very clear who the largest consumers are. We constantly hear about the increase in demand among developing nations, but we still dwarf their usage and we still import most of it. Interestingly, some of the major exporters, like Saudi Arabia, have very little use for the oil they export. Think about that for a minute. What else do they have to offer, and yet we are at war in Iraq, in part to protect our interests in the Persian Gulf?

Recently, our demand for fuel dropped off. When it did, our dollar strengthened, demonstrating a strong correlation between our trade deficit and the value of our currency. (see our article on Trade). It seems that most articles we have read on the matter have the cause and effect totally backwards. They are claiming oil prices dropped in response to a stronger dollar. Wrong!!! The weakened economy collapsed our demand for oil. That, in turn, reduced our trade deficit, which strengthens the dollar.

When you were in Junior High School, you likely read this book. It started with the famous quote “Call me Ishmael”. Does it ring a bell? The name of the book was “Moby Dick”. It was written about the hunt for an evil white whale by Captain Ahab and originated out the biggest whaling port in the world, New Bedford, Massachusetts. New Bedford, at the time,  was known throughout the world.

New Bedford still has a lone whaler on the hunt, holding a harpoon in his whaling boat, as a landmark in front of their public library, but worldwide the city is now an unknown spec. They do have the largest whaling museum in the country, and we think you should visit this museum to gain a better understanding of our history with respect to energy use. Why? Because the hunt for whales was based on our dependency on energy, specifically whale oil for lighting. We knew nothing about fossil fuels. We depended on whales for our energy. “Uncle Jed” would be rich had he owned a whaling ship. We murdered whales at will, a beautiful and intelligent animal, to provide for our nation’s energy needs.

We nearly caused the extinction of whales in the process, but thankfully, we discovered an alternative… fossil fuels. Our basic energy needs now are met almost entirely, directly or indirectly, by fossil fuels.

Initially, the US was able to meet its own demands for fossil fuels. Eventually, we could no longer satiate our own appetite, and in the mid 1900s, we started to import our resources in excess of what we consumed. A famous personality, M. King Hubbert, defined the concept of “peak oil” saying we would eventually run out of oil, and by a specific date, the cost would start to escalate. This theory has been brought to the forefront again and again, and is used at every spike in oil trading prices, because those on the long side want to make money. It has little to do with reality. There are enough fossil fuels in one form or another to last us hundreds more years and many are cost effective, but domestically, we are a NAMBY PAMBY NIMBY population.

The Environment and Us

We (US citizens) seem to care about our environment. We care about the warming climate, pollution, the decline of the rain forests and the transition away from the use of fossil fuels. Other nations think about money or survival. They are willing to sacrifice the world’s rain forests for their own benefit. They are willing to provide us oil and other fossil fuels at any cost to make a profit or eat. They do not care about their natural resources or the world’s. These other nations have major problems that lead to disaster with respect to natural resources world wide, and, in the same way we nearly killed off all whales in pursuit of our energy needs, they will kill off and destroy all their natural resources and even each other to provide our market, regardless of what it does to the world’s environment.

Every gallon of oil, every farm product, and in fact, every natural resource, we choose to import, when we already have access to those resources in large quantities within our own borders, is a cop out. It is not saying we are protecting our environment or our desire to preserve our jobs. It says we are not willing to accept responsibility for our own actions. We want to blame others while we drive our cars to work, heat our homes and consume natural resources at a higher rate per capita than any other nation in the world. We are not willing to accept the damage it causes within the US, but we are willing to encourage it outside our borders, no matter what the consequences, so we can blame others.  This becomes even more evident when you realize we import such a vast amount of petroleum from Canada, but we want to protect Alaska.  Does the US population have any concept of geography?

People throughout the US try to understand why we are hated throughout the world in the way we are. We have a theory. It is because we value ourselves above them. It is because we think our lives, our way of living and our children are worth more than theirs. We think that if we purchase oil from another nation, we preserve our environment within US borders. By tapping others resources, we pollute their environment, but we keep ours clean. Somehow, we believe, in an isolationist fashion, that if we do not tap our resources within our borders, it is OK, because someone else will suffer the consequences.  We will not have to experience the results, “out of sight, out of mind”.

The deluded idea is we are acceptable in our minds, because those nations will make the hard decisions, and without any percentage of the consideration we have for our environment, tap and export their resources. Is it worth it to us to preserve a blind fish in a cave, while other nations destroy thousands or millions of species to feed us the same amount of oil? They don’t care, we do. And because we care too much, we are misguided.

Read Part III: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!!

CNN’s One Sided Diatribe…”McCain Campaign ‘sleaziest’ in modern history” Obama a Cry Baby!

We have watched the web become a slingshot for the liberal press to fling articles at us bashing the Republicans and anything non-liberal.  Honestly, we expect the web, with outlets like the HuffingtonPuffingtonPost to be completely biased against McCain and anything non-liberal, but CNN has gone overboard with their liberal tactics. They have totally reversed the facts in this article

If McCain or his camp stood up and said these same things after being bashed repeatedly by the Obama camp and the liberal press, CNN would have used a title like, “McCain Can’t Take It”, or “Palin’s Crying Smears Her Lipstick”.  The writers at CNN act like a bunch of children.

They are using a quote from an Obama advisor to state that McCain is dirty in his attacks on Obama?  Fact is,from what we are reading, it is just the opposite.  Throughout our newspapers and all over the web all we see are attacks on McCain and Palin.  We haven’t even decided on who to vote for for president yet, but when we post any article on our website that favors McCain in any way over Obama, even if Obama’s position is a joke, we receive a string of hate mail and insults.  When we criticize McCain, we hear nothing at all.  They (the McCain camp), apparently, can take the criticism and move on while the liberals are apparently a slew of cry babies.

From what we can gather, the liberals believe a criticism of Obama is an attack, but a criticism of McCain is informational.  The comments in the CNN article are bitter and childish and they aren’t being made by McCain or his camp!  They are quotes from Obama and his.  In fact, we can’t find one quote in the article that is a specific McCain attack against Obama, but we see quote after quote of insulting attacks from Obama.

Obama needs to be less of a cry baby and more of a man if he wants to get elected President.   CNN and the other liberal outlets should try it.  A bit of non-biased writing might help their image.

Let us know if McCain calls Obama on being a Muslim and we will believe Obama is more than a cry baby campaigner.  In the meantime, Obama said he was a Muslim all by his lonesome.  He didn’t need McCain’s help.

John McCain’s RNC Speech Shows No Real Direction

We feel last night Senator McCain had an opportunity to lay out a clear direction for America. We believe he turned mostly to hyperbole and avoided the issues that face America, and because of this, his speech failed. Here are some primary issues from that speech and our replies.

1. We lost their (Americans) trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.

Our Response: OK, we need to know what the heck you are talking about Senator. If a bill was passed that was a welfare bill for oil companies, what was it, and how will you have it repealed? That is a big issue, don’t gloss over it.

2. We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendants arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We’re all God’s children and we’re all Americans.

Our Reponse: Uh, no kidding. You are just paraphrasing the US Constitution. We are figuring the US citizens get that by now. But yet we appear to be doing everything we can to inhibit migration of new immigrants that could help this nation and economy going forward. That Latino daughter likely had parents that came to this country illegally because of the bureaucracy we create to block desirable immigrants from making our shores.

3. We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.

Our Response: OK, but there a policy in there somewhere right? These statements are too broad-based. Open Markets scare Americans because it has led to a huge migration of jobs out of the US and because we continually allow countries like China to export cheap, knock-offs of our products, often patented or name-brand products, to the US. Free trade is one thing. It means we do not charge duties and taxes on imports. But cheating trade is another. And those nations that continually hurt Americans do not deserve carte blanche access to our markets.  Certainly, we want to keep the “fruits of our labor”, but we want to have jobs so there is some fruit!

4. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.

Our Response: OK. But this is just filler right Senator?

5. My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them

Our Response: Senator. With all due respect, we have kept taxes low or cut them over the past eight years and destroyed our economy. We went from a nation in 2000 with a surplus to once again having a massive deficit. And despite all those tax cuts and Republican efforts, we are facing an economic meltdown as banks and mortgage companies fail.

6. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

Our Response: We fail to see how a health care system that pools the purchasing power of all Americans can hurt America. So far, the health care insurance companies are raking in unheard of revenues and profits, all the while telling us it is because the expense of health-care has gone up. Yes, it has, primarily because of these institutions that fight, not for health-care, but against paying for it while steadily raising premiums. On a regular basis, these insurance companies reject health-care claims for obscure reasons and make each and every American fight for every visit to their doctor or for every prescription. It is no longer up to your doctor to decide what is appropriate for your personal care; it is up to the insurance companies. That is not health-care. That amounts to insurance bean-counters trying to keep Americans from getting the care they pay for, and it has placed the US well behind curve in terms of quality nation-wide health-care.

In addition, your policy of removing the tax deduction for employer provided health-care benefits replacing it with a $5000 tax credit for family coverage is totally misguided. It penalizes people in higher cost of living areas.  It also rewards only families, implying single people were not worth government’s time (remember, all men/women were created equal, the constitution says nothing about “married only”), and essentially does nothing to address the furious rise in the cost of health insurance.  That is the true issue here.  It comes down to how much we are charged for medical coverage, not the cost of health-care artificially inflated by these insurance companies.

For example, when I get a bill for a test from the hospital, it is three times what the insurance company has told the hospital they would approve.  That is totally unfair to uninsured Americans, to pay many times the cost of the actual service and many times what large insurance companies pay for the same service.  A simple law to ban this practice would assist greatly in the artificially increasing cost of health-care.

7. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas.

Our Response: It is not the tax rate that drives companies out of America, it is the expense of labor. Our cost of living is higher, so we have to pay our workforce more money. You argue for free trade, but fail to protect us from cheap and often illegal knock off imports that damage those companies that support our jobs. If you want to support jobs in America, make it less profitable for companies to locate outside the US, take away their tax breaks and take away the ability of foreign companies to export knock-off products into the US so easily that one can purchase illegal copies of copyrighted software and patented products on the streets of New York 24 hours a day.

8. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.

Our Response: Again, you are discriminating against the unmarried man or woman. That does not improve their lives, it makes them pay for the children of others. We are all for reducing government spending, but so far, we haven’t seen a specific policy regarding that. Opening new markets for us internationally is great. The US Market is too open already. Free trade so far is better than “free” for other nations, but is very expensive for America and its labor force.

9. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We’re going to help workers who’ve lost a job that won’t come back, find a new one that won’t go away.

Our Response: Words are cheap. This is repetitive nonsense we have heard before. Where are those jobs? We don’t want to wish away the global economy Senator, we want to make it a fair playing field, not just allowing foreign countries to steal from our investors while marketing illegal products in our nation. That is not free trade; that is stupid trade.

10. We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities.

Our Response: Sounds good. But it implies you think that other nations aren’t already training their workforces as well, and as long as you make it more advantageous for them to steal work from America in a so-called global market place, they are doing the training cheaper and delivering cheaper labor, which is killing even trained jobs in America.

If we are going to do that, at least immigrate trained labor from other nations so those people can at least pay American taxes and support Social Security going forward, instead of wasting billions trying to fight off immigration.

11. Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I’m President, they will.

Our Response: More useless verbiage with no plan.

12. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It’s an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It’s time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.

Our Response: Here we agree with the Senator 100%. We are a “prima donna” nation that thinks we have the right to not use our resources as the rest of the world charges us for theirs. We think that by paying others to do the dirty work, we somehow brush off responsibility on them. We can no longer, with our massive deficit, continue to enrich the nations rich in oil resources. We have our own resources, we must find ways to tap them.

We as a nation cannot be responsible alone for the “health of the planet”. Our population is only 1/3 that of China, and that is only one other nation in the world. You speak of a global economy where the US takes all responsibility for “health of the planet” while you offer those countries taking advantage of cheap resources at the expense of the environment free trade with the US on a totally unfair playing field. We need to drill. We need to build better and more modern energy plants. We need to mine those resources available to us. If we do not, other nations will, we will pay them to do it, and they will not care about what they destroy in the process of taking our money.

We are done listening to speeches like this Senator. We want a plan. We want specifics. This speech was disheartening because it lacked content, it lacked a plan we can buy into, and it is clearly not going to get you elected president no matter how many years you spent in a prison camp.

We have a new idea.  How about making Iraq the 51st US State?  Wow, that is radical.  Anybody with any guts out there?