Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Friday, May 30, 2008

One Way to Save on Gas

My wife just called and told me she was looking in her purse and realized she has both sets of car keys. At current prices for fuel maybe it is just as well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Neat Web Site

Here is a link to a neat website I was told about yesterday - ALL MY FAVES. Enjoy.

Cutting Obama SOME slack

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama has made a series of verbal gaffes. Whether it was his 57 states comment, forgetting the name of the city he was speaking in (Calling Sunrise, Florida - Sunshine and saying "Thank you, Sioux City!" when he was in Sioux Falls, Idaho), mispronouncing words and getting dates wrong. His Memorial Day speech has been roundly panned for his factual errors rather than being examined for policy statements it contained. The items in the speech being jumped on are his opening statement (where he acknowledges the dead people in the audience) and the paragraphs where he discussed his extended family's service in WW II.
On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong. (H/T Newsbusters)
and leading in to explain why he is pushing for more funding for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (btw when the word syndrome is used you should question the science behind the diagnosis)
"I had an uncle who was one of the, um, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps. And the story in our family is that when he came home he just went up in the attic and he didn't leave the house for six months."
--Barack Obama, Memorial Day speech, Las Cruces, NM. (H/T NRO's Corner)
Well, unless his uncle was with the Red Army he never got near Auschwitz which is in Poland and was "liberated" and then placed under communist rule for 4 decades by the Soviet Union. This prompted people to research his families military history and another mistake was found.
My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don't oppose all wars.
Well, research showed his grandfather was drafted in June of 1942 and it was a great-uncle (not an uncle) and his unit liberated a concentration camp saved by U.S. troops - Ohrdruf (rather than Auschwitz).

The title of this post was about cutting the candidate some slack so maybe I should start. Most of his verbal gaffes can be attributed to the nature of campaigning. Politicians will make mistakes when they are giving dozens of speeches each week. As far as the mistakes regarding his families history, I'll give SOME slack for a different reason - he was born 20 years later and stories change over time (the fish was THIS big). Additionally, I doubt any of the WW II stories were told first hand. My dad and all my uncles who were old enough served in WW II. However, I don't believe I ever heard a single one of them talk about it. That generation came home and got to work living a life that had been interrupted by war. The only accounts about their service was from my mom or an aunt just saying which theatre a couple uncles served in (Pacific).

While I can give Obama a little slack, I have a major problem with the mainstream media (and Jay Leno & his late night buddies) basically giving him a pass on all his mistakes. For decades any slip of the tongue from a Republican is leaped on and used to prove either stupidity or dishonesty yet a similar gaffes from a liberal is excused or ignored. During the 2000 campaign the media gleefully played gotcha with George Bush asking him to name the heads of a few countries. There is no chance at all the the In The Bag Media would play gotcha to embarrass Obama. Inexcusable difference in handling of candidates.

Separately, I capitalized the word SOME in the title for a reason. Sure I'll ignore some slips of the tongue and miss pronouncements. However, a Harvard educated presidential candidate who aspires to be commander in chief of our military should have a better understanding of geo-political history. People who pay attention are starting to see that an empty suit is close to being a major party nominee for president. However, the actions (or inaction) of the regular media will ensure the majority of voters (AKA: people who don't pay much attention) are shielded from his shortcomings. Last time we had a candidate this poorly vetted we ended up with Jimmy Carter. Another Carter now that's a scary thought.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reassessing my Total Disdain for Lawyers

In the 1960's and 70's we said the only good commie was a dead commie. Since then some (myself included) have modified that saying changing commies to lawyers. As they say "when a bus load of lawyers goes off a cliff tears flow over the empty seats." However, I find myself having to reassess my opinion of lawyers. An old friend and occasional commenter on this blog passed the very difficult California Bar Examination. Congratulations Julie! Awfully proud of you.


A what point does a crook get considered a victim or vice versa?

Bizzyblog brings to our attention today an article in the Capital Weekly titled "Foreclosure tale shows that nobody is immune from crisis" that attempts to portray a congressional thief as a victim. The situation involves Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA). She bought a second home and then decided not to pay for it. I may be a little confused, but I always thought that the correct word for buying something without paying for it was "stealing."
While being elevated to Congress in a 2007 special election, Richardson apparently stopped making payments on her new Sacramento home, and eventually walked away from it, leaving nearly $600,000 in unpaid loans and fees.
Here's the punch line, this character is going to be voting on legislation forthcoming to bailout the other equally irresponsible people (IP's). By the way, if you belong to the group I'll refer to as RP's (Responsible People) then the jokes on you. The only victims in this phony crisis will be the tax payers who will foot the bill incurred by politicians trying to pretend they care.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ted Kennedy

As I'm sure you're aware by now, Sen. Kennedy after suffering a seizure this past weekend has now been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I'm honest enough to admit that my first thoughts were not very charitable. However, after reflection I'm including him in my prayers. Based on news reports he could be in his final months if not weeks. I'm not praying for a medical miracle. In the short term that may seem important, however in the long term it is actually very unimportant. Rather I am praying he takes advantage of being given a warning that time is running out to reassess his life. Over the past several decades ago he abandoned the tenets of the Catholic Church for political expediency and to live a life solely devoted to personal self gratification. He has an opportunity now to realize his failings and address them in the confessional prior to facing final judgment. Each day many people die in car accidents or other ways with no advance warning to allow them to get their spiritual life in order. He has been given a precious gift and I hope he understands that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Which Way Will the Gender Gap Slice in 2008?

Traditionally, there has been a gender gap of varying proportions favoring the Democrats. It is usually attributed to several factors. Often cited as a reason is that since 1973 the Democrats have more and more strongly supported abortion rights. Somehow this is a woman's issue even though more than have of the children killed are female. Oh, that's right, kids can't vote so they don't count. However, even prior to Roe v. Wade, there was a gender gap which could be tied to how the different genders look at issues and how the two main parties package their policy ideas. Is it possible that the gender gap could be eliminated this cycle or even reversed in Republican favor? How many women will stay at home or vote for Sen. McCain in November if Sen. Obama is the Dem nominee? There are several factors that could influence women not to vote for Obama. The most obvious is many were emotionally invested in seeing Sen. Clinton elected as the first woman president. Just this morning we have an article quoting Geraldine Ferraro saying “I think Obama was terribly sexist,” and, as a result, she says she may not be able to cast her ballot for him if, as anticipated, he gains the Democratic presidential nod. Last week we had Obama dismissively refer to a female reporter as "sweetie." Wonder how that goes over with women who have complained over the years about not being taken seriously in the workforce? Then during a speech to tree huggers and hippies in Oregon he said:
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.
Many have correctly jumped on that part of his speech to make comparisons to Jimmy Carter's call for sacrifice during the energy crisis of the late 1970's. However, the part of the speech I'm highlighting as important to women is his saying we can't keep our houses at 72 degrees. He may find out (as many of us husbands have) that women don't like being told that they can't set the thermostat on their comfort level (no matter how high last months bill was). For decades Dems have successfully campaigned on the dishonest message that Republicans want to tell them what to do with their bodies. Well, maybe the Republicans should return the favor and aggressively campaign on the message that Democrats (Obama in particular) want to tell them to turn down their thermostat. My guess is there are more women concerned about being warm in the Winter than in being able to get an abortion on demand.

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The General Election has Started

Despite the fact that Sen. Clinton is still competing for the Democrat nomination for president, Sen. Obama has signaled that he is already fighting the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain. How has that signal been sent? Obama reached into the standard Dem general election playbook and started lying to old people to scare them about Social Security.
Democrat Barack Obama told seniors Sunday that Republican John McCain would threaten the Social Security that they and millions like them depend on because he supports privatizing the program.
Showing incredible audacity, Obama actually bragged about derailing the Bush administration's effort to reform the mathematically doomed Ponzi scheme.
"Let me be clear, privatizing Social Security was a bad idea when George W. Bush proposed it, it's a bad idea today," Obama said. "That's why I stood up against this plan in the Senate and that's why I won't stand for it as president."

Bush proposed a Social Security plan in 2005 that focused on creating private accounts for younger workers, but it never came up for a vote in Congress. Democrats strongly opposed the idea and few Republicans embraced it.
Despite his claims of being a new kind of politician, he is sounding more and more like a Jimmy Carter clone with a better tan.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Metzenbaum Actually Against Higher Taxes!

As odd as it is to consider, the late Senator Metzenbaum was actually against taxes. This sounds odd to those of us who remember Metzenbaum as a politician who never met a tax he didn't want to increase. Oh, this is a case of being against personally paying higher taxes. This article from the Wall Street Journal details how Metzenbaum moved to Florida a few years before dying to avoid paying Ohio's excessive estate taxes. I wonder how the fools who voted him to four terms in the U.S. senate feel about his decision?
Though a lifelong Ohioan, the Senator moved to Florida in 2002, according to a declaration of domicile filed with the Broward County Clerk's office in 2003. In doing so, he avoided paying his home state's income tax (top rate: 6.55%).

More important as he neared the end of his life, the former Senator also saved his family from paying Ohio's death tax, which features one of the highest state rates (7%) and lowest asset thresholds – $338,333 – in the country. Florida famously has no income or estate tax, which is one reason other than the climate that it is home to so many northern-born retirees.

Howard Metzenbaum thus denied the state in which he lived most of his life a parting financial gift. But he has at least provided the rest of us with a teaching moment in tax policy. If a liberal lion like Metzenbaum is willing to relocate late in life to avoid his state's death tax, maybe living politicians in Ohio will better understand how their confiscatory tax laws are driving its citizens to warmer climes. Ed. Not likely.

Book Review Time - Stephen King Edition

I don't do a lot of book or movie reviews, but I'll make an exception for Stephen King. King has written dozens of best selling books, several of which have been made into blockbuster movies. If you have respect for our country and the men and women who serve in our military then I urge you not to buy his books. Why am I making this recommendation? Here are King's words to a group of high school students that caught my attention:
I don't want to sound like an ad, a public service ad on TV, but the fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got, the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that. It's, it's not as bright. So, that's my little commercial for that.
He must have been channeling John Kerry. Actually, I think this coupled with Kerry's previous nearly identical comments probably betrays the overall opinion that liberals have of our military. I'm not an advocate of reinstating the military draft, but I feel these kind of statements show how little connection the the very rich have to our military nowadays. In previously generations all families had a relative or two who served. Now, folks like King and Kerry are so isolated they assume only an idiot would volunteer.

Link with video.


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