Health Care

This is how you know the government is involved.

Man alive, this is going to be a mess.

And did you know teenage sex can be fun?  The British government wants to tell you how!

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Freshman Congressman – Jared

CNN has picked up two freshmen congressmen (one Republican, one Democrat) and has them documenting their first term as congressmen for CNN.  I won’t go into details and you can read more about them here.  I enjoyed both.  It is a perspective from the inside very few see everyday.

Hypocrisy – Jared

Barack Obama has taken office, retaken the oath he and Justice Roberts bungled, and already begun to go back on his promises.  Hypocrisy is a more fitting term for this particular instance.

Obama’s administration has already issued an executive order placing strict anti-lobbying rules for employees in his administration, including limiting gifts, how quickly one can move from public service to a lobbying firm, and moving from lobbying an official position.  Obama’s campaign of executive transparency has begun.

Or so we thought.  Two “exceptions” to this rule have already emerged.  Let us think of them as “privileged persons“.  These persons are William J. Lynn III, Obama’s pick to be number 2 at the Pentagon and until a few days ago a registered Pentagon lobbyist, and William Corr, tapped to be number 2 and the Department of Health and Human Services was an anti-tobacco lobbyist for the same department.  The response from the Obama Administration:  “Our waiver provisions are designed to allow uniquely qualified individuals like Bill Corr and Bill Lynn to serve the public interest in these critical times.”

But on Wednesday Obama said this:  “If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied, during the previous two years.” So much for a break from “business as usual”.

This is a very disappointing beginning for a much heralded and highly anticipated administration.  It seems that business as usual in Washington may also include hypocrisy.  Transparency and openness for the Obama administration may simply require you to know he lied to you, not for him to actually keep his word.  I don’t particularly appreciate being lied to.

Rick Warren…A Tool for Obama – Tilly

Rick Warren has accepted an invitation from Barack Obama to give the invocation at his inauguration on January 20.  Gay-rights groups have criticized Obama for the choice.  They oppose anyone who disagrees with their views to even be allowed to pray at Obama’s inauguration. The outcry by these gay rights groups once again shows how ridiculously unwilling they are to work with anyone who has a different view than they do.  But gay rights groups should not be angry with Obama for inviting Warren to give the prayer.  It is clear where this administration will stand when it comes to gay rights.  Having an anti-gay rights preacher give a small prayer does not change Obama’s positions.

Obama’s invitation is a clear political move to undercut the evangelical support of the Republican Party. Warren giving the invocation at the inauguration only helps Obama and his pro-gay rights policies.  Gay rights groups should be thrilled an anti-gay marriage pastor is so willing to give the opening prayer.  Obama is using Warren.  And this is only the beginning. Throughout the next four years there will be a concentrated effort by Obama to reach evangelicals.  Without the evangelical vote, Republicans cannot win.  They have consistently represented one third of the Republican vote in the past several presidential elections.  When Democrats win, gay rights groups win.  They should not be angry with Obama.  If he is successful, Democrats will win more elections.

If anyone should be angry, it is evangelicals.  They should be criticizing Rick Warren for being so willing to participate.  By doing this, Warren is allowing Obama to use him.  Warren has a massive following and Obama hopes to persuade some of his following to move away from the Republican Party.  Warren must be more aware of what is actually going on.  And other evangelical leaders should be leery in the coming years when Obama invites them to participate in different administration events.  Obama does intend to become more open minded on issues evangelicals find important.  He simply wants to undermine the evangelical base of the Republican Party.

A little Obama Commentary – Jared

Alright, the Illinois governor Blagojevich has tried to sell Obama’s old senate seat and got caught.  Obama link?  Not likely.  Possible.  Sure.  Do I think so?  Gut reaction, no.  Obama just got elected.  I do not think he is dumb enough to try something so early.  He has not had much power, so I do not imagine his head has been corrupted yet.

But how has he handled the situation?  Andrea Tantaros made her commentary about it and I have to agree with her.  Obama needed to be more forceful initially.  And expressing anger through a spokesman is no where near as powerful.   This is Obama’s first major test and he is barely passing.  The media will jump on him soon if he is not careful.  

Obama controlled the message well as a Presidential candidate, and with this has done a poor job.  If this is his way of supporting his party members, ok, but his party will start running wild with corruption while he is President and it will reflect poorly on him.  I fully expect Obama to pull the message together but the media smells blood.

Its Not Over – Tilly

For the past couple of weeks, I have been very pessimistic at McCain’s chances.  The economic disaster left McCain as much as 8 points down to Obama in the polls.  There is certainly a lack of excitement among Republicans right now as it seems Obama has all the momentum going into the last two weeks of this campaign.  But I have not lost all hope, there is a glimer, though small, still left.  The past week McCain has been narrowing the gap in the polls.  Rasmussen (the poll I trust most) has it 50-46 and Gallup has it even closer at 49-47. There are a couple of reasons why Obama’s numbers have begun to fall, if only oh so slightly.

First, the ACORN scandal is making a difference.  The very fact Obama had to address this issue in the last debate hurts him.  He HAS been connected to ACORN in the past.  His campaign HAS given close to 1 million dollars to the organization.  If this continues to be a topic of discussion, it will continue to push Obama’s numbers down.  Second, the economy no longer seems as urgent of an issue.  Though the stock market is still somewhat unstable, the conversation about the economic disaster has moved into more of a focus on how Obama and McCain will address the economy in general.  Which, has become a discussion of tax policy.  I believe McCain wins the debate if it is on tax policy.  He has been able to frame Obama’s plan as a “redistribution of wealth” (this is largely because of “Joe the Plumber”).  Americans do not like this idea and if they equate “redistribution of wealth” with Obama, McCain will gain ground.

There is one more issue which the Republicans are going to begin pushing hard this week.  Obama supports driver licenses for illegal immigrants.  Up to this point, this issue has not been brought up.  But if it becomes an issue largely discussed, it will become a problem for the Obama campaign.  This issue could infuriate independents.  Watch this ad that will begin playing in swing states this week… read on…

McCain Gets His Bounce…But For How Long?

Well its the Monday after the Republican National Convention.  And the polls look very different than they did before the convention:

Rassmussen: McCain +1

USA Today: McCain +10

Gallup: McCain +5

Zogby: McCain +4

This should not be surprising because the Republicans, as always, gave a great convention.  Read More…