Sunday, April 29, 2007

Democratic Candidates Debate 4/26/2007

Faith spoken in the first and last lines only!

Dear Lord, thank you for CSPAN and especially for repeats of significant shows such that I can see them in pieces when needed. It took two viewings to see the complete debate due to that wonderful thing called life. But here, Sunday evening, I get to watch the balance that I had missed the other day.

Sadly, none of these candidates are the one. Not one of them differentiates themselves enough and stands up as the one that will make the changes in my humble opinion. The debate was good, and had it’s humorous moments (Thanks, Joe Biden, for that simple answer of “Yes.” And the attempt to resist a smile if not fully realized when asked about your ability to keep your food out of your mouth.)

But in my personal rating from bottom to top –

Mike Gravel – this guy is angry. Rightly so. But a candidate simply can’t show anger or be known to have reason for anger. To darned scary. For me, this is the reason John McCain will never win the majority of the vote. Back to Mike, though, his point that all the main players leave nukes on the table with respect to Iran is valid. How about we leave that to Israel to deal with? Does anyone really think that Israel won’t strike if nobody else does? But Mike is the potted plant he felt he was, nice to have around and serves a good purpose, he will not be our next president. It occurs to me if Barack Obama said the exact words that Mike Gravel said, but in his own tone and cadence, it would have been entirely differently perceived.

Chris Dodd – Old School. And this said from a guy who is decidedly old school. He seems the Democratic Party’s Newt Gingrich. Please, no.

Joe Biden – Joe lost me a couple of months ago thanks to CSPAN. On “The Road to the Whitehouse” they followed him for a bit on some house calls in New Hampshire. The live camera showed him from outside, walking into the house, to greeting the first person there. The charm of the smile that came on his face simply let me know that he is a professional politician and all that entails. I’d probably enjoy lifting a glass and solving the problems of the world with Joe, but I don’t think he’s are the guy to do it. Great statement on foreign policy at the end though, the world we live in can benefit from our support of the lesser ones in far away places.

Bill Richardson – I want to like this guy but he’s too nervous to trust. He is obviously well studied, going often to listing one, two, three, the items that relate to the given topic, but his openly stated desire to give Alberto Gonzalez extra time “because he’s Latino” scares the crap out of me. Honesty is good. Preference due to similar background is not. He’s good on guns, though. And that comment about blow-dried candidates – what is up with that? Is there some issue between him and John Edwards? Bill does have the worldly credentials and seems a proper servant of the people. Can it be so?

Dennis Kucinich – this guy is smart, well spoken in his every inflection, well spoken in his plan of what to do in so many instances, but an overly confident nerd ain’t gonna win it. Even with a hot wife, as I was told in typical white trash manner by Randi Rhodes the other day on Air America. I like just about everything I hear from Dennis but I don’t see him winning and a big part of choosing who the Democratic Party candidate is if the person can win the whole thing. I don't think Dennis can.

Barack Obama – very simply, lack of experience. Frankly, Dennis K is tied with Barack in my thinking. For the first time that I have seen, Barack's youth showed during this debate. Please, Barack, come back in four more years. Or eight, or twelve, or sixteen. Until then, show us what you’ve got on the national level and keep working at the local level. Make a difference. Then run for president. One more thing – given one minute to make a response to an important question please don’t go to the old saw of reciting your daughters’ name and ages for any reason.

Hilary Clinton – I want to like Hilary, and again I do. Her candid admission of many mistakes, without a laugh, was well timed. Her desire to get real health care reform is well known and spoken here again. She remains unflustered. But while she ain’t the one, but she may wind up in the position. Her ability to raise money raises concerns about her being beholden to the contributors. As much as I like Bill, and think he would make an excellent first first husband, and as much as I like the moderate platform of the party that Hilary supports, she is probably part of the machine that needs replacing.

John Edwards – One of the frontrunners for good reason. Incredibly well prepared. A good looking guy with a good reasoning behind his expensive haircuts. He’s thankful and humble all while building what – a 28,000 freaking square foot house? I have also paid attention to his wife’s troubles and while I think it worthy of prayer, as are so many, I don’t think he should be running for president right now. He is so calm that I really wonder what he will be like when emotions run strong. It is difficult to find fault in John Ewards, and that may be his greatest fault.

Which leaves the question – Can Al Gore run again? Could he come in this late and win it? Very simply, I think yes. I didn’t much care for Al in the previous election. I thought him pompous. Not quite as bad as the real blow-dry guy, John Kerry (whose picture with John Lennon I still have magnetted near my computer and like for it's determination) but surely the sense was that Al was talking down all too often to all too many people. Then the movie came out and we got a sense, however expertly manipulated by a fine director and a separate cinematographer, of a guy that has a mission and a desire to achieve a greater good for all of mankind. While I wonder if that one cause may overwhelm (rightly!) all others and become the wall that all the stuff thrown by the GOP sticks to, I also think it would be almost worth it. Either Al wins and becomes the next president or he loses and becomes the only candidate to twice be defeated through the implementation of illegal voting violations.

It’s a long road to the Whitehouse, thank God.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Higher Calling

Don’t’ worry, this will get political before too long!

As Christians we like to say we have a higher calling. Well, some of us anyway. It drives us to try to be better people, to actually care about those around us that might be a bit of a pain in the butt at times and to also go out and do some good in the community. We consider the Word to be that calling and I think that right.

Many within the faith also consider forgiveness a big part of their lives. They are correct. Forgiveness frees us from guilt, the driving force that leads to further sin. With forgiveness there is a peace. In that peace we find purpose. Purpose is a wonderful thing.

Forgiveness is apart from the secular world. Yes, we are told to forgive others so that we ourselves may be forgiven, but I consider public service a higher calling. Public servants are beholden not just to God, but to the people. And the people deserve more than “ I don’t remember, I don’t recall…”

Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez used variations of that phrase 34 times I am told. This from one of the top legal minds in the country, or at least the man that holds that position in our government. (It may well be that he isn’t so smart, considering who appointed him and the history of that person’s appointments, but anyway…) Still, Mr. Gonzalez must have done well in school, been able to memorize large chunks of law and all the tidbits of related material. I don’t imagine him to have many memory impairments by any means.

But he can’t recall who set up meetings within the past six months, what was said at those meetings, who was there, or what the outcome was. He can’t recall how decisions were reached or who participated in the discussion. He can’t remember anything at all. (Thanks Peter Gabriel, for those that follow that link)

Something is very wrong with the legalities of our political system, and that something is accountability. There is none. The lawyers/politicians we have elected over the years have created a space in which they can do as they please, lie when needed, and deny anything simply by “not remembering. If the man had any sense of decency he would plead the fifth. But no, he is a coward. He has no conviction to say what his real intent is. He denies having any memory of what he has done.

We have to ask ourselves what the purpose was behind the firing of those judges. Could it be covering for even more upcoming election fraud? That would be my primary take on it with no supporting evidence. I am still amazed that some of my Republican friends think that the last election was on the up and up. Or maybe they are happy to have gotten away with it and hope for further success in subverting democracy in the future.

Condoleeza Rice is up next. Oh boy. She’s already saying that she won’t respond, that she’s answered all those questions before. Giving the sense of a badgered servant of the people that has more important things to do than to report what she has done she invokes executive privilege and that appalls me.

There has been quite a bit of press about the email trail of both the firings of the judges and, to a lesser degree about the emails sent on GOP accounts during the last election and the days following, specifically in Ohio, where many votes were possibly deleted and voter fraud was perpetrated in widely Democratic Party voting precincts. Those emails have been “disappeared.” That alone should be considered an admission of guilt.

Elected officials should have no rights of privacy in any of their public service, nor in any regard to any communications relating to that service. They should be willing, no glad, to provide transparency to their workings, and proud of the decisions they make. Given that employees have no rights of privacy to the email on their computers at work these servants of the people should have similar rights, and any in the Republican party that have had a part in the widespread deletion of email records should be judged by mans law as the criminals they are.

As for lack of memory, an elected official that can’t remember things of great importance that took place within the last six months should be considered incompetent and removed from office immediately.

How can the will of the people be done? Is it possible to impeach Bush and Chaney at the same time and would that mean .... Nancy Pelosi would be the first woman president?