It is now common knowledge locally here that I am seeking a seat on the White Pine Board of Mayor and Aldermen-commonly called City Council, and that I will be on the ballot for the November election. Further, I am now in what amounts to a four-way race and have three opponents (two seats are up for election, but with one popular incumbent seeking re-election, those of us running realistically believe that we are all in competition for the second open seat).
A few friends have asked if I would be willing to put up a donation button here at The World so that they can contribute something to my campaign effort. It is generous indeed for those folks to have asked.
Were I running for something like the State Legislature, I would not be shy about peddling the need for donations constantly. As it is, this is a local race in which many of my friends around the State and in the blogosphere will not be casting a vote. Because it is a local campaign, I am not going to be one to peddle for donations constantly, as I do not want to give the people of White Pine the impression that I would act on behalf of outside interests-I loathe those who behave that way and have no intention of doing so myself.
I also think it unseemly to hold big fundraisers in town for a race that consists of my neighbors as the voters-literally. This is not a major race for most people-it is a big deal to me because it is the first time I have appeared on the ballot, and I intend to do everything in my power to win. Upon winning, I intend to do right by the people of this town, and to be as accessable and available to them as possible.
So I will not ask over and over again for donations-but those friends who wanted to do so are more than welcome. I will include a donation button here, and one will stay in my sidebar until November 4th for any who wish to give whatever they please and whatever they can. All donations are welcome. Those from White Pine and Jefferson County, please e-mail me and let me know when you donated. If I can I'd like to come and thank you personally.
And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.
The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.
When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.
And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.
He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the
Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.
And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.
From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.
And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.
And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.
From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.
In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.
As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.
And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.
The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.
And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.
Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.
And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.
Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.
But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.
And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.
Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.
On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.
And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”
It is reported that John McCain may be days from choosing his running mate. What he can do to help shore up victory in the fall, and what will absolutely backfire. David Oatney goes from one opponent to three in his local race in White Pine, Tennessee. Bill Schulke, Adam Graham, Fabian Story, and former NBC News correspondent Sharon Cobb join the discussion.
Newsweek Ruckus asks:"What would be the boldest vice presidential choice John McCain and Barack Obama could make?":
Newsweek is asking each of it's blogging members of The Ruckus to give their honest opinion about who would be the best Vice Presidential running mate for the Democratic and Republican nominees. My honest answers may surprise you-at least one of them will.
For Barack Obama: Contrary to the notions of some people, Hillary Clinton is not the best Number Two choice for Obama. Even when one takes into account her most die hard supporters, he unfavorable numbers among the electorate are astoshingly high. A Clinton nomination for Vice President might give Obama a temporary boost, but her baggage and that of her husband may come back to bite Obama.
Instead, it might behoove Barack Obama to reach for the female vote by nominating Senator Claire McCaskill of Missori. McCaskill has not only been a supporter of Obama during the primaries, her public stance on many issues is more moderate than the wing of the Democratic Party that has given the most support to Barack Obama. McCaskill is on record as supporting the partial-birth abortion ban, supports stronger border security, and opposes allowing illegal aliens a driver's licence. She also supports efforts such as coal liquification as an alternative energy source, supports an earmark moratorium, and even favors parental consent before a child can receive an abortion. Her overall record is quite liberal, but these stances mean McCaskill would not be frightning to many in Middle America. She also helps Obama with women voters, which is an obvious plus after the primaries.
For John McCain: The best choice would likely be former Arkansas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Despite the protestations of some that Huckabee is somehow not conservative, cultural conservatives were and continue to be drawn to Huckabee in droves. Mike Huckabee has the very solid pro-life and pro-Second Amendment "movement" credentials that John McCain now lacks in the wake of many of his Washington escapades. Huckabee also has a base of supporters that will turn up for the ticket on Election Day if Huckabee is on it, and that could really matter in a close election where McCain needs the South to vote as a bloc to have any chance at winning.
Sen. John McCain is weighing whether to announce his running mate in the coming weeks before the spotlight shifts to China and the opening of the Olympic Games next month.
"He's in a position to make [the decision] on short notice if he wanted to," said Charles R. Black Jr., one of McCain's top political advisers.
Aides to the most likely candidates to join McCain on the ticket, meanwhile, offered terse "no comment" replies when asked whether they have been asked to provide documents that the campaign can use to vet backgrounds.
The choice of a running mate could make or break John McCain's campaign, especially since conservatives are simply not excited about McCain. We can collectively get excited about his running mate because that person could conceivably become President of the United States. If John McCain picks the right person, it could mobilize conservatives to work in a strong and effective manner to insure McCain's election-and we know from experience that motivating conservatives will win national elections.
What happens if John McCain chooses the wrong person? It could mean that conservatives stay home in droves on Election Day, and could have a negative impact on downticket races where conservatives are running. The lower the voter turnout in conservative areas, the more likely it is that the next Congress could get a veto-proof majority. The possibility of an Electoral College tie still looms large, and if Barack Obama's vote totals are inflated by big city machines while conservative turnout is depressed, John McCain could be in an untenable position when the time comes to negotiate the winner in the House.
We may learn in a few days just how serious John McCain is about becoming President of the United States.
Shelby Steele pointed out in The Wall Street JournalTuesday that Jesse Jackson's recent admission to a hot microphone that he wanted to "cut [Barack Obama's] nuts off" is really an admission of the reality that Jesse Jackson hates Barack Obama, because Obama offers hope to the African-American community that one of their own can be accepted merely by showing faith in the white community, rather than using white guilt as leverage against them:
Mr. Jackson was always a challenger. He confronted American institutions (especially wealthy corporations) with the shame of America's racist past and demanded redress. He could have taken up the mantle of the early Martin Luther King (he famously smeared himself with the great man's blood after King was shot), and argued for equality out of a faith in the imagination and drive of his own people. Instead -- and tragically -- he and the entire civil rights establishment pursued equality through the manipulation of white guilt.
Their faith was in the easy moral leverage over white America that the civil rights victories of the 1960s had suddenly bestowed on them. So Mr. Jackson and his generation of black leaders made keeping whites "on the hook" the most sacred article of the post-'60s black identity.
They ushered in an extortionist era of civil rights, in which they said to American institutions: Your shame must now become our advantage. To argue differently -- that black development, for example, might be a more enduring road to black equality -- took whites "off the hook" and was therefore an unpardonable heresy. For this generation, an Uncle Tom was not a black who betrayed his race; it was a black who betrayed the group's bounty of moral leverage over whites. And now comes Mr. Obama, who became the first viable black presidential candidate precisely by giving up his moral leverage over whites.
On paper, that sounds like something awful-but in a time when most whites as well as blacks have accepted racist thought as totally unacceptable, we are beyond the point where the white community finds it acceptable to continue to saddle them with guilt for the past, without members of the African-American community taking responsibility for the here and now. If Barack Obama doesn't understand that, he is doing a wonderful job pretending as though he does.
Nevertheless, Mr. Obama's sacrifice of black leverage has given him a chance to actually become the president. He has captured the devotion of millions of whites in ways that black leveragers never could. And the great masses of blacks -- blacks outside today's sclerotic black leadership -- see this very clearly. Until Mr. Obama, any black with a message of black responsibility would be called a "black conservative" and thereby marginalized. After Obama's NAACP speech, blacks flooded into the hotel lobby thanking him for "reminding" them of their responsibility.
Jesse Jackson was, of course, never interested in moral responsibility-at least not since Martin Luther King passed from this Earth. What he was very interested in was capitalizing on white guilt, and he has been the master at it for decades in this country's political and social discourse.
Now along comes Barack Obama. Yes, Obama subscribes to the same political liberalism that Jesse Jackson and other so-called black "leaders" believe that the African-American community must subscribe to, but Obama is also going to the NAACP and preaching the message of black responsibility. This is the very same message that, when proclaimed by black conservatives and other African-Americans of conscience, gets them the dreaded brand of "Uncle Tom." Jesse Jackson made his political way (if it can be called that) for years by talking up white guilt in the news media. It got him nowhere, and made he and his fellow-traveler Al Sharpton the brunt of fear, jokes, and disgust in both the white and Hispanic communities. While some may think that the fear Jackson created was a good thing, it did little to benefit the black community and created unneeded resentment among whites.
Barack Obama has taken a completely different approach. Obama doesn't manipulate white guilt, but he instead seems to show faith in the basic ability of the ordinary voter to accept him for who he is and judge his ability to be Commander-in-Chief based on his ideas.
I won't be voting for Barack Obama in the fall, but that is a decision made based on ideas, issues, and policies. Barack Obama has managed to get no small number of white people to support him because he showed faith in them rather than suspicion.
Jesse Jackson's entire career has been built on suspicion and hate. It made a joke of him in the eyes of mainstream America. Barack Obama discards suspicion and hate, and he becomes the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. He is also embraced by the African-American community in overwhelming numbers, while Jesse Jackson is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
That irrelevance in the face of a positive message is why Jesse Jackson hates Barack Obama, and wants to cut his n**s off.
We now have what appears to be the McCain VP short list: Romney, Pawlenty, and Jindal. Those seem to be the three after reading today’s news clips.
If this is McCain's top three, his campaign may be in more than a bit of trouble. Of the three names on that list, the best choice is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Jindal appeals to social conservatives, he is a solid economic conservative, and he is very strong on national security in a year when that is going to be an issue that Republicans can win on. Jindal hasn't been Governor long enough for many of his long-overdue reform programs to come to fruition. He has a lot of work to do in Louisiana, and he knows that. For him to take the Vice Presidential nomination at this point would likely be seen as naked political opportunism, and whether John McCain wins or loses, taking the Republican Veep nod this early in his career may hurt Jindal's potential for State or national office in the future. Jindal's prediction on Morning Joe that he will not be the Republican Vice Presidential nominee is very likely a factually accurate statement.
The other two choices on the short list could bomb for McCain outright. Southerners, whose States McCain will absolutely need to vote as a bloc to cancel likely Obama victories in Elector-rich California and New York, are not likely to warm to the more moderate Minnesotan. The questions as to the sincerity of Mitt Romney's conversion to conservatism (when he has had a career of simply telling his audiences what they wanted to hear) continue to fester, especially since several former supporters are now questioning that sincerity and urging McCain to choose Mike Huckabee.
John McCain seems content to run on the platform of "I'm not Barack Obama." We know that and we thank God for it. Voters will want to know who (or what) the McCain campaign is, however.
Still, many of the party's newbies are preparing for the worst. Matt Lewis, 33, is hoping a trouncing in November will force the old guard aside and give his generation a shot. He was one of the committed young conservatives who came to Washington during the Bush administration, eager to push the politics of limited government and compassionate conservatism. He worked for the Leadership Institute, which teaches youngsters about the principles of classic conservatives such asEdmund Burkeand Frederic Bastiat, as well as William F. Buckley Jr. and Barry Goldwater. He now blogs full time at the conservative Web site Townhall.com.
He's happy with Bush's Supreme Court picks but disappointed by the administration's failure to curb the ballooning deficit and bloated government.
"When everything is working well there is no hunger for new ideas," Lewis says. "Maybe there is room for some new up-and-coming thinkers to get a shot now. There is a bright side to seeing the Republican Party go through travail."
Not everyone who could still be considered a "Young Republican"-including myself-thinks John McCain is going to lose. The problem is that McCain does not encourage confidence that the GOP is sticking to the core ideas that got the Republicans elected to Congress in 1994 and to the White House in 2000. Young conservatives are right to be disappointed in the Bush Administration. Matt Lewis is right when he says the President's Supreme Court picks may be one of the few things he has done right. He hasn't kept the lid on federal spending, and the war has taken the punch from the domestic agenda that a lot of us had hoped to see implemented.
Further, I still hold that a John McCain victory does not equate to good news for Republicans nationally. Expect to see the GOP lose seats in the House, and quite possibly the Senate, even with McCain winning the election.
Put more simply, whether Barack Obama or John McCain win in November will have no impact on down-ticket races, and that simply isn't good news for Republicans.
Last week we discussed how Barack Obama could win a very narrow victory in the Electoral College. This week, let's examine what could bring about an Electoral College landslide for Obama, what that would look like, and how it might transform the electoral map:
>Electoral College Prediction Map - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.
Even in a landslide scenario, we don't see too much change to the idea that there is a clearly defined "Red State-Blue State" divide, in that there will still be a massive swath of the country that will vote overwhelmingly Republican. Even on a bad night for the GOP, the Democratic nominee remains primarily a Northern and a West Coast candidate. The difference in an electoral landslide for Obama would be that the key swing States move in his favor. In a true electoral landslide, Obama would win Ohio, a State no Republican has ever won without. He would hold a very tight race in Pennsylvania for the Democrats, and would build on his victory in the Iowa Caucus to carry that State in the fall.
In addition to holding every "blue swing State" from 2004, Obama would also carry Colorado-with its increasing numbers of more liberal Eastern transplants, and New Mexico on the strength of the Hispanic vote. The State that would make it a landslide for Obama would be Virginia, which Obama would win almost entirely on the strength of turnout from a coalition of affluent Northern transplants, federal government employees, and the African-American vote-most of this will come from Northern Virginia near Washington.
If Barack Obama were to win the General Election based on this scenario, the national popular vote would still likely be quite close. A lack of enthusiasm for John McCain among conservatives would be the culprit that many Republicans would blame for the loss.
A conservative journal of social, cultural, and ecclesiatical affairs grounded in a realistic Catholic Christian worldview. It is my hope that this site will be a reflection of Christ,the teachings of His Holy Church, and of the basic vision of a Christian social morality.