A blog that I post on whenever I see something that makes me want to go off on a Republican (Libertarian every once in a while) rant. I will cover stories from all over the nation and world, but I will try to cover as many stories about my home state of Michigan as I can (I'll also talk a lot about Texas, because Texas is awesome!).
Well, in an interesting move that I’m still trying to figure out, former Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R-AR) has endorsed Attorney General Mike Cox for Governor. Here’s a copy of the press release that I received today. I’ll give my analysis after the press release:
Mike Huckabee Endorses Mike Cox in 2010 Race for Governor
Huckabee: “Mike Cox best described as Michigan’s Pro-Life, Pro-gun conservative candidate for Governor”
LIVONIA, MI— One of America’s most respected conservative leaders, former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee today formally endorsed Mike Cox in the 2010 race for Governor.
“Mike Cox is best described as Michigan’s Pro-Life, Pro-gun conservative candidate for Governor,” said Huckabee. “Mike is an innovative, strong leader who is not afraid to take a stand on an important issue. He is opposed to the runaway tax and spend policies we are seeing at the federal and state levels.”
Cox’s message of less spending, lower taxes and reformed government has set him apart in Michigan’s race for Governor. Cox recently drew a crowd of 1,200 families, activists and community leaders to a Rally for Michigan’s Future in Oakland County and hundreds more last weekend to the Grand Opening of his campaign headquarters in Livonia.
“Mike Huckabee is one of our nation’s most respected leaders,” said Cox. “Mike Huckabee continues to fight for more liberty and less government. I am proud to have his support and am honored he is standing beside me as we fight to bring jobs back to Michigan.”
Cox announced Huckabee’s endorsement first today via social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, U-Stream and conservative bloggers across Michigan.
Huckabee has been called an early frontrunner for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination scoring well in many polls including last November’s Gallup-USA Today poll. Mike Huckabee polled ahead of President Obama as recently as January 2010.
“Mike Cox has also fought hard to protect Second Amendment rights in Michigan,” Huckabee continued. “I am proud to endorse Mike Cox for Governor of Michigan.”
Cox is the only candidate for Governor to release a comprehensive 92 point plan to put Michigan back to work, including proposals to cut billions of dollars out of the state budget, cut taxes on job providers and families by $2 billion, make government more transparent, reform education, and revitalize our cities. The plan is available at www.mikecox2010.com. The Mike Cox 2010 Campaign also recently announced that it raised $1.8 million in 2009 – with roughly $1.5 million cash on hand. The funds came from over 2,500 individual donors – with roughly 1,000 of the contributors donating less than $100.
For more information on Mike Cox’s campaign for Governor, please visit www.mikecox2010.com or call the campaign office today at 734-525-5035.
About Gov. Mike Huckabee: Prior to his 2008 presidential campaign, Huckabee served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007 and as the state’s lieutenant governor from 1993-1996. As a young adult, he served as a pastor and denominational leader. He became the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the largest denomination in Arkansas. Huckabee’s efforts to improve his own health have received national attention. He is the author of 6 books, the most recent being “Do the Right Thing,” which spent its first 7 weeks of release in the top ten of the New York Times Bestseller list. He is currently the host of the top rated weekend hit “HUCKABEE” on the Fox News Channel, and is heard three times daily across the nation on the “Huckabee Report.” Huckabee and his wife, Janet, live in North Little Rock, Arkansas. They have three grown children: John Mark, David and Sarah.
Alright, so my analysis… this honestly confused me when I saw it. I’ve been wondering for the past few hours why a Presidential candidate would jump into the gubernatorial race here in Michigan.
One thing is for sure, this is by far the biggest endorsement that I can think of for any of the current gubernatorial candidates. The announcement definitely gives Cox more momentum than he already had (which is quite a bit – he’s been battling Congressman Pete Hoekstra, with both of them leading the polls at one time or another). But will it help him in the long run?
In the 2008 Presidential Primaries, Huckabee got 16.08% of the vote in Michigan, with Romney winning with 38.92%, and McCain coming in second with 29.68%. Huckabee did worst in Cox’s area of the state, but better in central and western Michigan, so that might help Cox a little bit, by diversifying his support. So, I’d say that the best endorsement to get would’ve been Romney’s but Huckabee is still a major player in the conservative movement, and as of now, polling well for 2012.
Now, another thing that I thought about was Huckabee’s stances on law and order issues. One of the major problems I’ve always had with Huckabee (don’t get me wrong – I like the guy) has been his stances on law and order issues as governor. He issued a lot of pardons and commutations as governor of Arkansas (most notably, the recent scandal with Maurice Clemons who shot and killed 4 police officers in 2009). Being an Attorney General, I’m not sure if Huckabee’s endorsement is the best thing for Mike Cox’s law and order record, but I may be reading into this more than I should.
Huckabee’s endorsement will help Cox with social conservatives, a group that may be hesitant to vote for him because of his affair back in 2005, but I think most people have (rightfully) moved on from that issue. But the pro-life movement in Michigan is very strong, and Huckabee’s endorsement will go a long way for Cox when it comes to social issues. Then again, with the current emphasis on the economy, social issues probably won’t be the deciding factor in who voters do vote for (although in the Republican primary, it’ll be more of an issue than in the general election).
But the most interesting thing about this, and I’ve been wondering this all day, is why would a Presidential candidate endorse a gubernatorial candidate in a primary race? There’s 3 answers that I think it could possibly be:
Huckabee has given up running for President (at least for 2012), and is going to focus on his PAC and getting Republicans elected around the country.
He’s gambling that Cox will end up winning, and will help him here in Michigan in 2012.
Huckabee is already counting Michigan as lost to him in 2012, and isn’t afraid of losing a few potential delegates by angering non-Cox supporters.
Option 2 and 3 make the most sense to me. I don’t think he’s given up on running, but I don’t think Huckabee can win Michigan in 2012 if Romney runs. Romney’s biggest competition here in Michigan was McCain, and without McCain, I think Romney would’ve gotten close to, if not more than, 50% of the vote in 2008.
He may not be publicly saying it, but I don’t think he plans on winning Michigan. My guess would be that he’s hoping Cox will bring in some supporters (and money) in 2012, so that can offset the voters that Huckabee may lose because he’s supporting Cox.
But no matter what the outcome is for Huckabee, this definitely gives Cox a decent boost for now. Whether or not is does anything for him come August 3rd, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Alright, we’re moments away from the beginning of the debate. As always, I’ll be watching CNN, who will have a focus group (undecided voters in Ohio) with a tracking rating of how people like what they’re hearing (broken up by men and women). WordPress just added an option to add polls, so I’ll see if I can get that working after the debate is over and post a poll about who won.
Tonight’s debate will be moderated by Bob Schieffer (CBS’s Face the Nation).
We’re about 2 minutes away.
Schieffer: Why is your plan better than your opponents?
McCain: Thanks to everybody, my prayers go out to Nancy Reagan. “Americans are hurting and angry.” They’re innocent victims of greed. “They have every reason to be angry.” We have to have a short term fix and long term fixes. Short term fix: Fannie and Freddie cause the sub-prime lending situation, that caused the housing market to collapse. We need to reverse the decline in home ownership. People need to know that they can stay in there homes. Let’s take $300 billion of the $750 billion and buy mortgages so that people can stay in their homes. What about people who could already afford to stay in their homes? It’ll drive home value down if there are abandoned houses. I didn’t like the answer (because I’m staunchly against any of the bailout), but it’ll go over well with voters, and the focus group liked it.
Obama: I think this’ll take some time to work itself out. We need an economic package for the middle class. The fundamentals of the economy were weak before this crisis (it depends what you’re defining fundamentals of the economy as). Tax cut for people making less than $200,000. Buying mortgages could be a bailout to banks, so I disagree with McCain there, but we do need to help homeowners. Need to fix energy and health care.
McCain: Obama had an encounter with a plumber, Joe (somebody)Wurzelbacher. Joe wants to buy the business that he’s worked in, and he looked at Obama’s plan, and he saw that he’d be put in a higher tax bracket, and that’d cause him to not be able to employ people. Joe, I’ll not only help you buy that business and keep your taxes low, and provide a way for you to provide health care to your employees. You want to increase people’s taxes, like Joe the plumber’s. And he’s right there – he’ll kill small businesses if he raises taxes. The focus group liked that.
Obama: McCain wants to give tax breaks to some of the wealthiest companies, including oil companies. I want to give tax cuts to 95% of Americans. Income tax, capital gains tax. THAT’S A LIE ABOUT CAPITAL GAINS!!! He wants to take capital gains taxes back to levels before Clinton lowered them! I want to give small businesses tax breaks. He lies here – 11.5% of Americans don’t even PAY income taxes, because they don’t make enough money!
McCain: Obama says, “We need to spread the wealth around.” “I want Joe the plumber to spread the wealth around.” Why would you want to raise taxes?
Obama: I want to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. Not true! I want to cut taxes for Joe the plumber before he was able to make $250,000. I want to give families with kids going to college a break. I’d prefer that nobody pay taxes, but we have to pay for the core of the economy to remain strong.
McCain: Companies will go overseas if we raise our business tax rates. “Of all times in America, we need to cut taxes and encourage business, not spread the wealth around.” Great answer – McCain actually did better with the focus group there than McCain, and that surprised me.
Schieffer: Talking about reducing the budget deficit. Won’t some of the programs you’re proposing have to be trimmed or eliminated?
Obama: If the $750 billion works as it’s supposed to, taxpayers will get their money back. I have been a strong proponent of pay-as-you-go. Some of the cuts we’ll need are subsidies to insurance companies. “It’s just a giveaway.” I’ll go through the federal budget line-by-line, and eliminate what’s unnecessary. We need to invest in the American people. We need to prevent diseases when they’re young, so they won’t spend as much Medicare money. The same with college – they’ll drive up the economy. He’s getting very high ratings right now – he’s appealing to the average American people.
McCain: Back to home-ownership. During the depression, we bought homes and home values went back up. This was a plan that Senator Clinton proposed. We need to become energy independent. I need an across-the-board spending freeze. I oppose subsidies for ethanol. Sorry – got interrupted there. I will veto earmarks. Senator Obama put in an earmark for a projector in a planetarium in his hometown.
Obama: An across-the-board spending freeze is a hatchet, and we need a scalpel. Senator McCain talks about earmarks, but they account for 0.5% of the federal budget. Eliminating them will help, but it won’t solve the problem. When President Bush came into office, we had a budget surplus, and now we have a deficit. Pursuing Bush-esque budgets will worsen the situation, and McCain voted for Bush’s budgets, 4 out of 5 times.
McCain: I will give a new direction to this economy. I’m not President Bush. If he wanted to oppose him, he should’ve run 4 years ago. Mayor Bloomberg just put in a spending freeze in New York, so it can be done. I’ll eliminate spending. Obama voted for the last 2 budgets that Bush proposed (the only 2 that came up since he’s been in office!). I have fought against spending and special interest. When have you stood up to your party? He’s getting good ratings, and I really think that he’s appealing to American people.
Obama: The first major bill I voted on was against tort reform. I support charter schools. I support clean coal technology. I have a history of reaching across the aisle. If I mistaken your policies for President Bush’s policies, it’s because on the core economic issues, taxes, spending, etc…, you’ve been a supporter of President Bush. You’re been against him on stuff like torture, and I commend that, but for the majority, you want 8 more years of the same thing.
McCain: It’s been clear that I’ve disagreed with Bush and my party: climate change, opposition to earmarks, torture, conduct of the War in Iraq, Medicare prescription drugs, HMO patients’ bill of rights. I have stood up to my party’s leadership.
Schieffer: Both of you promised to take the high road, but both campaigns have turned nasty.
McCain: This has been a very tough campaign. If Obama had responded to my request to do town hall meetings, like he originally said, the tone of this campaign could’ve been better. The tone of this campaign has taken a nasty turn. I apologize for some of the negativity that has come out of my campaign. I hope OBama will repudiate the remarks made by Congressman John Lewis. Obama didn’t keep his word about taking public financing. He’s getting high ratings from men here, but average ratings from women.
Obama: 2/3 of the American people think McCain’s running a negative campaign, versus 1/3 of the American people thinking that of mine. 100% of your ads have been negative (BULL CRAP!). There’s nothing wrong with having a vigorous debate like we’re having now, but not having town hall meetings doesn’t justify the ads that have come out from your campaign and 527s. I don’t mind being attacked for 3 weeks, but we can’t afford 4 more years of failed economic policies. He’s actually getting negative ratings from women, and average from men here. He’s really attacking McCain during a question about negativity in campaigns, and I think he’s really making himself look bad here.
McCain: If you turn on the television, every other ad was an attack ad on my health care policy, saying that I oppose federal funding for stem cells. I don’t. Obama is spending unprecedented amounts of money in negative attack ads on me. Of course we’re talking about Joe the plumber and restoring jobs to America. That’s what my campaign is all about. Again, I didn’t hear a repudiation of Congressman Lewis.
Obama: Lewis, made a statement with what he was troubled with hearing some of the rallies that your running mate was holding. People were yelling “terrorist” and “kill him,” and your running mate didn’t stop them. I do think that he gave a good comparison between what’s happening now and the civil right’s movement. What the Americans want is for us to focus on the challenges that we have now. We have serious differences on health care. When people bring up me being with terrorists, that’s not the issues.
McCain: Whenever you have big rallies, you’ll have fringe people, and that’s not appropriate. But for the majority of people, they’re not saying anything negative. These people are the most patriotic people in this nation (veterans and wives of veterans). There’ve been thingsat your rallies that I’m not happy with either. I have always repudiated out of line statements, and I will continue to do that, but we cannot stand for the things that have been going on. I haven’t.
Schieffer: Do you take issue with that?
Obama: What I think is most important is that we recognize that in order to solve 2 wars, a financial crisis, creating jobs, then we all need to be able to work together. “We need to disagree without being disagreeable. What we can’t do is try to characterize each other as bad people.”
McCain: We need to know the full extent of Obama’s relationships with Ayers and ACORN. If there’s nothing there, I don’t care about it, but we need to know what all went on there.
Obama: Mr. Ayers has become the centerpiece of McCain’s campaign. Bill Ayers is a professor in Chicago. 40 years ago, he engaged in despicable acts. “I have … condemned those acts.” I served on a school board with him 10 years ago. “Mr. Ayers is not involved in my campaign … and he will not advise me in the White House.” ACORN: Apparently, they were paying people to get people registered to vote. The only thing I did with them was represent them with some thing in Illinois – I didn’t catch it all. I associate with Warren Buffet on economics. On foreign policy, it’s Joe Biden or Dick Lugar, or General Jim Jones. “Those are the people who have shaped my ideas and will be surrounding me in the White House.”
McCain: While you and Ayers were on that board, you gave money to ACORN, and you launched your campaign from Ayers living room. In 2001, he said he’d wished he’d have bombed more. We need to know all the details here. And my (not McCain) view is that with Ayers – it’s no big deal if Obama’s honest. With ACORN, there are some serious problems there – ACORN has supported Obama, and Obama has supported ACORN, and ACORN has shown to have some serious legal problems.
Schieffer: Why is your running mate better than his?
Obama: He’s been there a while – he knows what he’s doing, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Biden has never forgotten where he came from. He fights for the little guy. He has always been fighting for working families. “After 8 years of failed policies [we] will have to reprioritize … give tax cuts to small businesses … and individuals who are struggling.” We need to become energy independent, and make sure that our kids afford can go to college. Biden has always been on the right side of the issues.
McCain: Palin is a reformer. She took on the old governor, who was part of her party. She’s given money back to taxpayers and cut the size of the government. “She is a reformer through and through, and it’s time that we have that breath of fresh air and sweep out” the old politics of Washington. “She understand special needs families, and understands that autism is on the rise.” She has united people all over America, and I’m proud of her.
Schieffer: Is she qualified to be President?
Obama: That’ll be up to the American people to decide. Her work on special needs kids has been commendable. He didn’t answer the question! If we have an across-the-board spending freeze, special needs kids will suffer.
McCain (on Biden): Biden is experienced, but he’s had some bad foreign policy ideas, such as dividing Iraq into different countries, and we’ve seen Iraq become united as one country. Every time Obama says we need to spend more. Why can’t we have transparency of these government organizations.
Schieffer: Energy and climate control. Presidents have said that we need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Give us a number of how much you believe we can reduce foreign oil during your first term.
McCain: We can eliminate our dependence on Middle East countries and Venezuela. Canadian oil is fine. We need nuclear power plants, and that’ll be how we eliminate those 2 sources of foreign oil. We need wind, tide, solar, gas, clean coal. He’s getting huge ratings, and for good reason – it’s a good energy plan. Especially the nuclear part!!!!
Obama: In 10 years, we can reduce our dependence so we don’t have to import oil from the Middle East or Venezuela. “Nothing is more important than us borrowing … money from China and sending it to Venezuela.” We need to expand domestic production, by telling oil companies, “Use them or lose them” in terms of oil fields being leased here in the U.S. We need to drill offshore, but that won’t solve the problem. We need wind, solar, biofuel. We need efficient cars built here in America, not in Japan. And he’s got good ideas too, but I WISH he would’ve said he wants nuclear power – nuclear power is safe (we use it on subs) and VERY efficient. NAFTA didn’t have enforceable environmental agreements, and we should’ve included those. When it comes to South Korea, we have an agreement with them, and they’re sending more cars here than we are to them. That’s not free trade.
McCain: “Obama said, ‘We will look at offshore drilling.’ Did you catch that? ‘Look at.'” We need to do more than look at it, we need to do it. AGREED! Our businesses are paying money into Columbia, but because of previous agreements, they’re getting their goods into here for free. We need a free trade agreement with Columbia, which Obama has opposed. Obama hasn’t even travelled down there, and he doesn’t understand Columbia.
Obama: I understand it. Labor leaders have been persecuted, and we need to stand for human rights. Workers who are trying to organize for rights shouldn’t be persecuted, and that’s why I supported a free trade agreement with Peru. When I talked about automakers, they’re getting hammered right now, not only because of gas prices, but with the financial crisis. People can’t get car loans, so we need to get loan guarantees. We need more efficient cars and cars of the future. That’ll help create new jobs. He’s getting VERY high ratings – he’s maxed out with women, and men are rating him high too.
McCain: Obama doesn’t want a free trade agreement with our best ally in the region, but wants to sit down with Hugo Chavez without preconditions. Jobs and businesses will be created if we open up those markets. Obama wants to restrict trade and raise taxes, and the last President who did that was Hoover. We went from a deep recession to a depression. I won’t let that happen.
Schieffer: Would you first lower health care costs, instead of providing more health care?
Obama: We need to do both. My plan will allow you to keep your plan if you have health insurance. We will lower costs so that cost savings are brought back to you. If you don’t have insurance, you can buy into the same kind of federal pool that federal employees enjoy. Insurance companies won’t be able to discriminate against people with preconditions. Drugs will be lower, and we need to look at preventative care. This will require more money up front, but will lower costs in the long run. VERY high ratings at the end there.
McCain: Premiums and copays are going up, and health care costs are going up and inflicting pain on Americans. We need walk in clinics and community health care centers. We need nutrition and physical fitness programs in schools to keep kids healthy. I want to give all American families a $5,000 tax credit. Under Obama’s plan, if you have employees and they have kids, if you don’t have a health care plan, Obama will fine you. I still haven’t heard what that fine will be.
Obama: Your fine will be $0. I exempt small businesses for the requirement that large businesses have to provide health care. Well, Senator Obama, what do you consider a small business??? The average family is paying higher premiums because of the uninsured. I’ll give small businesses a 50% credit so they can afford it. If not, you can buy into the plan I have. McCain will give you the tax credit, but what will happen to older folks who can’t afford the health care plan? McCain will tax the health care benefits you have from your employer, the first time in history this has ever happened. Insurers right now are restricted statewide. Those rules would be stripped away, and you’d see companies excluding people.
McCain: People like Joe are rich, because Obama said about him that we need to “spread the wealth,” so he’s rich enough that he would be fined. Under my plan, people will be able to go across the country, giving them the chance to choose their futures. “Senator Government–Senator Obama wants government to do the job.” Senator Obama and the Democrats have been in charge the last 2 years, and things have gotten worse.
Obama: Under McCain’s plan, there’s a strong risk that you will lose your health care from your employer. All I want to do is lower costs.
Schieffer: Could either of you nominate a Supreme Court Justice who disagrees with your view on Roe v. Wade.
McCain: I have never had a litmus test. I think the Court decided incorrectly there, but I’m a Federalist – it should be left up to the states. We need to nominate people based on qualifications, not if I agree with their ideology. There should be no litmus test. These nominees should be picked based on qualifications, who adhere to the Constitution, not people who legislate from the bench. (But people who stick to the Constitution would oppose Roe v. Wade). I’ll have no litmus test.
Obama: I’d agree that we shouldn’t have a litmus test. Fairness and justice should be given to the American people. It’s very likely that one of us will be making 1 or more appointments, and Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance. I support the decision in Roe v. Wade. I believe that women are in the best position to make this decision. The Constitution has privacy built into it that shouldn’t be subject to state referendum or popular vote. “I will look for those judges who have an outstanding record … intellect.” McCain and I disagreed when the S.C. made it harder for some woman to bring suit for equal pay for women. The Court said that she waited too long. If a woman is being treated unfairly, the Court needs to stand up if nobody will.
McCain: You can’t waive the statute of limitation 20 to 30 years. Senator Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide medical attention to babies who were not successfully aborted (essentially passive infanticide). Then he voted present on the floor. He did the same with partial birth abortion. Men are liking this, but women not so much.
Obama: That’s not true. There was a bill put forward that said that you need life saving treatment that would undermine Roe v. Wade, but there was a law alreay on the books. On partial birth abortion: I’m supportive of a ban on late term abortions as long as there’s an exception for the safety of the woman’s life. Both men and women are rating him a bit above average now. Surely there is some common ground, when both sides can come together and prevent unintended pregnancies. Communicate that sex shouldn’t be engaged in carelessly. Adoption choices should be out there. Those things are now in the Democratic platform, for the first time ever.
McCain: “Health of the mother” has been stretched to mean almost anything (such as mental health in some cases). Cindy and I are adoptive parents. We need to promote adoption and protect the rights of the unborn.
Schieffer: A question about education and national security – I missed what all it was.
Obama: No nation has had a bad economy and a good military. Education is a huge part of this. We need better pay for teachers. We need college to be more affordable. We’ll offer an exchange of community/military service with money for college. We can’t do this just in schools. Parents need to show responsibility too – encourage thirst for knowledge. And he’s absolutely right here. It starts at home. People rated him as high as they could.
McCain: Choice and competition among schools are some of the key elements – New York and New Orleans – where we find bad teachers another line of work. We need to give parents a choice in sending kids to good schools. Charter schools are one option.
Schieffer: Should the federal government play a larger role?
Obama: The states need to be in control, but the federal government needs to step in and help struggling local school districts. Bush did this with No Child Left Behind, “but unfortunately, he left the money behind.” That was a good line. McCain and I agree on charter schools. I think we need to encourage competition between schools. Bad teachers need to be replaced. “Our kids need to have the best future.” We disagree on vouchers, and we disagree on college accessibility. McCain doesn’t have programs that help college groups. (That’s because he’ll simplify the tax code to make finding tax credits for college easier to find).
McCain: Vouchers need to be provided, because parents WANT vouchers. They wanted to chose the schools where their children go (this was in Washington, D.C.). As far as NCLB, it had its flaws and problems, but it’s the first time we looked at this from the national perspective. Head Start is a great program. It’s not doing what it should do, so we need to reform it and fund it. We can’t just give more money, we need to reform it too. We need transparency, rewards, and funding. We’ll find and spend money to find the cause of autism, but to have a situation that the most expensive education is in America means that we also need reform. We can’t throw money at a problem without reform. Vouchers work.
Obama: On vouchers in D.C. The D.C. school system is in terrible shape. The superintendent there is doing a great job (McCain interjected that she supports vouchers). There’s not proof that vouchers solve the problem. We need a President who will tackle this head on.
McCain: Obama said that because there’s not enough vouchers, we shouldn’t have any. That’s wrong.
Schieffer: Closing statements.
McCain: Thank you. We need a new direction. “We cannot be satisfied with what we’ve been doing for the last 8 years.” I’ve been a reformer. I’ve opposed my party. I’ve been a good steward of your tax dollars. We need to make health care and education affordable to all. We need to stop this wild spending. All of these promises made tonight will be made based on whether you trust us or not. I ask you to examine both my record as well as my proposals for this country. I’ve put my country first. “It’s been a great honor of my life, and I’ve been proud to serve, and I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to serve again. I’ll be honored, and humbled.”
Obama: Washington has been unwilling to address the problems. We cannot adopt the policies of the last 8 years. We need change. You’ve invited me into your homes. “Our brighter days are still ahead, but we have to invest in the American people.” College needs to be more affordable. Wages need to be higher, and we need to grow the middle class. “It’s not gonna be easy. It’s not gonna be quick.” Republicans and Democrats will have to come together. “If you give me the … honor of being President, I will work tireously and honorably to ensure the future of our children.”
Bob Schieffer: As my mother would say: “Go vote now. It’ll make you feel big and strong.”
McCain/Obama: Thank you (to each other).
Alright, overall, I think this was BY FAR the best debate we had. I commend Bob Schieffer. He was by far the best moderator we had.
Overall, I think McCain won this won. This is the first time I’ve called a debate (other than the VP debate, where I called Biden the winner), and I think McCain won. He was VERY strong toward the beginning. I think Obama was weak at the beginning, but picked it up toward the end, but overall, I think that McCain was the winner.
Again, I think McCain was definitely stronger here. I think Obama was too weak. This was definitely the debate McCain needed, but I’m not sure that it’ll be enough for him to recover.
EDIT: Now that WordPress has a little option to put polls in your blog posts, I’ve added a poll at the bottom of my post (the end of the blog post, not the end of the comments).
Alright, as promised, I will now be discussing Michigan’s Proposal 2, “Proposal 2008-02: A proposed constitutional amendment to permit with certain limitations stem cell research in Michigan.” My analysis of Proposal 1, which legalizes medicinal marijuana is available here.
Ballot Wording as approved by the Board of State Canvassers
August 21, 2008
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ADDRESS HUMAN EMBRYO AND HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH IN MICHIGAN
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
Expand use of human embryos for any research permitted under federal law subject to the following limits: the embryos —
— are created for fertility treatment purposes;
— are not suitable for implantation or are in excess of clinical needs;
— would be discarded unless used for research;
— were donated by the person seeking fertility treatment.
Provide that stem cells cannot be taken from human embryos more than 14 days after cell division begins.
Prohibit any person from selling or purchasing human embryos for stem cell research.
Prohibit state and local laws that prevent, restrict or discourage stem cell research, future therapies and cures.
Should this proposal be adopted?
So that’s what will actually be on the ballot. Here is a copy of the actual amendments that will be made to the Michigan Constitution if this passes. I’ll have my analysis throughout the amendments as well as a summary at the end:
INITIATIVE PETITION AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION
A Proposal to Amend the Constitution of the State of Michigan by adding a new Article I, Section 27 as follows:
Article I, Section 27.
(1) Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.
(2) To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements:
(a) No stem cells may be taken from a human embryo more than fourteen days after cell division begins; provided, however, that time during which an embryo is frozen does not count against this fourteen day limit.
(b) The human embryos were created for the purpose of fertility treatment and, with voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing, the person seeking fertility treatment chose to donate the embryos for research; and
i. the embryos were in excess of the clinical need of the person seeking the fertility treatment and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research; or
ii. the embryos were not suitable for implantation and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research.
This is where I need to bring up a key flaw in the whole debate over embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). You have the camp who opposes ESCR because they believe that life begins at conception, and I fall into this camp. Then you have the camp who argues, “But they’re going to be discarded anyway.” And this is where the ESCR opposition has somewhat failed. Many don’t address this issue and simply say, “Well, we shouldn’t be doing research on them.” That’s not the point. The point needs to be that instead of making EXTRA embryos for in vitro fertilization, we should be making embryos AS NEEDED. Sure, it’s costlier, but it doesn’t create embryos that will be destroyed. Now, if you don’t believe that life begins at conception, then this point is irrelevant. I just wanted to point out that the issue for pro-lifers should NOT be that ESCR is the problem, but that the creation of EXTRA embryos is the main problem. Once we stop this, ESCR will become irrelevant.
(c) No person may, for valuable consideration, purchase or sell human embryos for stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures.
(d) All stem cell research and all stem cell therapies and cures must be conducted and provided in accordance with state and local laws of general applicability, including but not limited to laws concerning scientific and medical practices and patient safety and privacy, to the extent that any such laws do not:
i. prevent, restrict, obstruct, or discourage any stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures that are permitted by the provisions of this section; or
ii. create disincentives for any person to engage in or otherwise associate with such research or therapies or cures.
(3) Any provision of this section held unconstitutional shall be severable from the remaining portions of this section.
I understand that this is a common practice in proposals, but with this being such a small proposal, I think that if a section of this proposal is held unconstitutional, ESPECIALLY in section (2)(b), the whole proposal will become extremely weaker than initially intended.
Overall, I don’t like the proposal. I don’t think we should be making ANY extra embryos, and justifying it by saying, “Well why let those embryos go to waste” will inhibit us from ending the bad practice of making excess embryos.
Plus, adult and umbilical stem cells have proven to be way more helpful than ESCs, which have given us NOTHING so far.
So, I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now–I will be voting “No” for this come November. As of now, my prediction is that this proposal will fail with voters voting somewhere around 43-57%.
Alright, so tonight I saw Swing Vote. I liked it. Although it had a LOT of swearing (which added some humor at times, but was a little over the top at others), I’d give it a 9 out of 10.
First, we’ll look at how the election could’ve happened (spoiler alert – I eventually get into details, and a few things about the ending). This is not a map they showed in the movie, I made it myself – it’s a believable hypothetical that adds up to the numbers they give in the movie:
The movie shows a hypothetical race where the Republican, President Andrew “Andy” Boone (Kelsey Grammer – a real Republican), has received 267 Electoral Votes, and the Democrat, Donald Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper), has received 266 Electoral Votes. New Mexico (5 EVs) is tied, and Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) has to cast the tie vote (perfect electronic ballots, and his machine was unplugged. But actually, his daughter tried to vote for him, so he never should’ve voted in the first place, and NM’s EVs would’ve been split with 2.5 going to each, and Boone would’ve won). Here’s a possible map:
Boone in red, Greenleaf in blue. New Mexico is tied, and it’s never revealed how Bud votes.
Now, on to the characters:
Don Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper) is essentially McCain as a Democrat. Here’s some similarities:
His slogan is “Greenleaf Express,” similar to the “Straight Talk Express.”
In the beginning part, he says something that kinda makes him sound like a senile old man (you have to admit, McCain doesn’t always sound with it).
His mannerisms, holding his arms up sometimes when he speaks, and the way he talks, mimics McCain somewhat.
He switches from being pro-illegal immigrant to anti-illegal immigrant (and does a HILARIOUS campaign ad against the Republican, showing a bunch of immigrants running across a field).
He switches from being pro-choice to pro-life (ok, McCain’s been MOSTLY pro-life, but it still applies).
Martin Fox, Boone’s campaign manager (Stanley Tucci), is Karl Rove. Here are some similarities:
At the beginning, he’s talking about strategies involving getting religious voters out to vote.
He’s shown as somewhat of a do-what-we-must-to-win kind of guy.
He’s won all 7 elections he’s worked on.
He kinda resembles him physically, with the bald head.
President Andrew Boone (Kelsey Grammer) doesn’t resemble anybody in particular, but toward the beginning of the movie, he talks about whoever controls the Nuclear Football as being the most important issue, and talks about the dangers of North Korea. It portrays him as being a stereotypical Republican War Hawk. It’s probably the most stereotypical moment in the film.
Both Fox and Art Crumb (Nathan Lane), Greenleaf’s campaign manager, are shown as trying to manipulate Bud Johnson, and having their candidates switch their stances on issues just to get his vote. It differs from the movie where the politicians are the evil liars, and makes the campaign managers the “bad guys.” Although both candidates flip-flop on various issues to appeal to Bud, they ultimately turn good and realize what they were doing was wrong, ticking off their campaign managers.
One other stereotype was John Sweeney (George Lopez), the local FOX news reporter, is shown as just wanting to get massive media attention, and FOX is mocked a couple of other times throughout the movie.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It was fair and balance, and made fun of both sides, and shows them ultimately realizing their wrongs.
The movie never shows how Bud Johnson votes, but that could be a bonus part of the DVD.
So, now that I’ve ruined the plot for you, go out and see it!
Early last week (while I was on vacation), I saw a news story about Dr. James Dobson, from Focus on the Family, saying that he might endorse McCain. So, I dug around and found the whole quote, from Dr. Dobson’s July 21st podcast. With him is Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The podcast is originally available on the Focus on the Family website:
MOHLER: I have to tell you, I find Barack Obama to be a very attractive person, a very attractive candidate. I would want to vote for him. But the closer I look at his positions, the more alarmed I become. He is the candidate who bills himself as a candidate of change, and in an odd way he is, just not the kind of change that I think most Americans now understand. So, Doctor, when I look at this, I have to say we’re looking at the most liberal candidate, I think, to gain a party nomination probably in the history of this country. And on so many of the issues, far beyond even where a Bill Clinton was. That’s what I think most Americans don’t understand. Many evangelicals don’t understand, particularly younger evangelicals. This is a man who has staked out his positions for the last 20 years in a way that is markedly beyond where most Americans believe he is.
DOBSON: I think he’s more liberal and more extreme than most Democrats in the Senate.
DOBSON: That, and the fact that I’m so very concerned about Senator Obama and what he believes and stands for, as well as the need to rethink some of my views regarding Senator McCain, and that thinking has taken place and continues to do so. This is been the most difficult moral dilemma for me. It’s why you haven’t heard me say much about it, because I have struggled on this issue. And there’s some concerns here that matter to me more than my own life, and neither of the candidates is consistent with my views in that regard. But Senator McCain is certainly closer to them than Senator Obama by a wide margin, and there’s no doubt about — at least no doubt in my mind — about whose policies will result in more babies being killed or who will do the greatest damage to the institution of marriage and the family. I’m convinced that Senator McCain comes closer to what I believe.
So, I am not endorsing Senator McCain today. I don’t even know who his vice presidential candidate will be. You know, he could very well choose a pro-abortion candidate, and it would not be unlike him to do that because he seems to enjoy frustrating conservatives on occasions. But as of this moment, I have to take into account the fact that Senator John McCain has voted pro-life consistently, and that’s a fact. That he says he favors marriage between a man and a woman; I believe that. He opposes homosexual adoption. He favors smaller government and lower taxes, and he seems to understand the Muslim threat, which matters a lot to me. I’m very concerned about that. Therefore — therefore — I have considered the fact that elections always involved imperfect candidates. There are no perfect human beings, and you always have to choose between two flawed individuals. That’s the way we’re all made. So, it comes down to this, and I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but it’s where I am — that while I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might, and that’s all I can say at this time.
I’ve bolded the crucial part of that podcast. And this is essentially Dr. Dobson saying that he’ll endorse McCain. Unless McCain picks a liberal, pro-choice running mate (like Lieberman), he’ll get Dobson’s endorsement, which equates to at least 95% of the Religious Right vote. And McCain won’t pick Lieberman or any pro-choice candidate. He’ll have a hard enough time securing the party base (Religious Right and others) without picking some liberal. He won’t pick Lieberman just because of his Iraq stance (as I’ve said before).
Dr. Dobson sent a written statement to the Associated Press, saying, “There’s nothing dishonorable in a person rethinking his or her positions, especially in a constantly changing political context. Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation. His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to reevaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain. … If that is a flip-flop, then so be it.” He did that to keep the AP from saying what I’m saying now – that his statements are essentially and endorsement. I do see where he’s coming from – he doesn’t want to endorse him until he picks a VP, just in case, but that VP will be Mitt Romney, and Dobson will be fine with that, and endorse the Republican ticket.
McCain will get almost all of the Religious Right vote, as I’ve previously said, and ultimately, he’ll win the election.
I’ll keep you updated on the Dobson endorsement, as time goes on.
I’ve just gotten done with what seems like my 500th debate with a pro-lifer who claims they won’t vote for McCain. Now, I myself am extremely pro-life (no abortions, not even under circumstances of rape, incest, or mother’s life [except tubal pregnancies where it is impossible for the baby to survive], no embryonic stem cell research, etc…). I would NOT vote for Rudy Giuliani, and I will vote for a pro-life Democrat over a pro-choice Republican. Being pro-life has ALWAYS been important to me, since I was a little kid, and this election is no different.
Many pro-lifers say that McCain isn’t pro-life enough enough, especially when it comes to embryonic stem cells. I’ll give them that – I am saddened that McCain supports experiments that have so far yielded ZERO productive results, but McCain is not an advocate of ESC research, McCain is an advocate of what works, and as it is shown more and more that adult SCs are yielding results, I think he will begin to oppose ESC research.
Now, McCain’s voting record. I have heard the argument that his voting record is not pro-life enough. I always respond, “Other than ESC research, show me one pro-choice thing he has voted for. [Silent pause] That’s because he hasn’t.” In the 109th Congress, McCain had a 75% voting record from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and a 0% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL Pro-Choice America). Meanwhile, Obama and Clinton have been rated 0% by the NRLC and 100% by NARAL.
The reason that a lot of pro-lifers are saying that they won’t vote for McCain is that “We need to turn the party around and teach Republicans a lesson that they can’t do this again.” Well, I have a problem with that, and it’s called the Supreme Court. The next President will nominate one Justice for sure (to replace John Paul Stevens), and most likely another (to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Both of those justices are pro-choice.
If the pro-life religious right wants to teach the Republican Party a lesson, do NOT do it during a time when Roe v. Wade could be overturned. 2 pro-life Justices would change the Court from a 4-5 pro-life vote to a 6-3 pro-life vote. If you ask me, teaching a lesson to a party should NOT be done at the expense of millions of helpless babies.
I recently heard Rocky Raczkowski (Michigan Representative who was planning on running for Senate until he got called back to serve in the Army), and he said, “If pro-life voters don’t vote for John McCain, shame on them,” and I agree.
Even if McCain appoints pro-choice judges, how is that any worse than what Clinton or Obama would do? Why should we risk letting somebody that we KNOW for SURE will appoint pro-choice justices to the bench? I would vote for McCain if there were only a 10% chance in him appointing somebody pro-life, over Clinton or Obama where that chance is 0.0000001% (you never know how the Justice will vote until they actually vote), but McCain himself has said he’ll appoint a pro-life person. On other occasions, he’s said that he will appoint somebody like John Roberts or Samuel Alito, and that he would use the same people that Bush used to find Justices like that.
If you are pro-life, and you vote against John McCain / don’t vote, and Obama or Clinton (Obama will be the nominee) gets elected by a slim margin, the blood of those innocent babies will be on your conscience.
Now is not the time to send a message to the party. Do that when millions of lives aren’t at stake.
(My apologies if any of this doesn’t make sense – I just got back from oral surgery and I’m on vicodin right now, so if something just doesn’t make any sense, leave a comment and I’ll revise it when I’m all with it.)
OK, first, I know that many of you will say that Mormons are Christians. 1. That’s not what I believe. 2. We’re not here to debate this.
What I am here to say is that the Religious Right (who I proudly call myself a member of) needs to snap out of this “I’ll only vote for a TRUE CHRISTIAN!” mentality. I’ll think about voting for anybody who is pro-life. If you’re pro-choice, you’re out of consideration for me. After this I take into effect some other social issues as well as allowances for certain personal freedoms (where my semi-libertarianism kicks in), and lastly economics (I’ll vote for a fiscal liberal before a social liberal any day).
I’m just going to highlight his 3 main points, and let you read the rest if you want to (and I’d really encourage you to):
There is no risk that a Mormon President will drive people into the Mormon Church.
There is no Biblical support for the fear that God will judge our nation if we elect someone to be our President who is not theologically sound.
The lives of 4 million innocent Americans should outweigh any concerns we might have regarding the theological failings of our president.
If the Religious Right refuses to vote for Mitt Romney (in the general election, I’ll be fine if they support Huckabee or somebody else in the primary) because of his religion, I will denounce the movement and disassociate from it, because they have gone from not caring about issues to only caring about religion. And I doubt that they think that all the Presidents that have claimed to be Christians, meaning that they would have to judge the religiosity of candidates, which is something left up to GOD to do, NOT Christians.