Saturday, November 29, 2008

These people are the enlightened left?

I guess I am too far down on the evolutionary scale to see the wisdom encapsulated in this gathering of New York progressives. I just see a herd of bed wetting, angry, old hippies and young nihilists. But what do I know, I am just one of the ignorant peasants.
(warning, there is a F-bomb in the video)

Friday, November 28, 2008

From the "who would have guessed it" department

Rosie O'Donnell's variety show ties for dead last.
Rosie O'Donnell gave NBC a real turkey.

The network's attempt to revive the primetime variety show failed to draw an audience Wednesday night, tying for the evening's lowest-rated program.

Every time the networks think it's time for the variety show to make a comeback, surprise, they are wrong again. The variety show is dead as disco. Unless the show stars Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers, a variety show has as much chance being successful as I do being the new spokesperson for PETA.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How thankful are you?

I have always been fascinated watching people. The way they live their lives, they way they interact with others, what makes them tick. At times it seems many people are caught up in a endless loop. They live their lives on a sort of cruise control. Get up, go to work, come home, dinner with the family, watch a little TV, go to bed, then repeat the process tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, my life is not a series of adventures taken from an action packed movie script. In fact, it is about as plain vanilla as you can get. If my life were a reality TV show, it would be canceled.

So am I caught up in the endless loop I spoke of earlier? Not a chance.

While my life is pretty sedate, I would like to think it is vibrant and full. Why? Two things, my faith and my family.

I am not sure how I would cope without my faith in the Lord. In my younger days, when I was sure I knew everything, I walked away from my faith and experienced some painful results. One thing I am sure of now, through good times and bad times, God is always there, he does not move. We are always the ones who move away from Him and our relationship becomes more distant. Through those painful experiences, I began to move closer to God. It has been a blessing in more ways than I can count.

As much as my faith grounds me, the one thing that gives me more joy than anything in this world is my family. My wife and I have been married for 20 years and our two children are truly gifts from God. Even when they are in the process of driving me crazy, I love them to pieces. My mother and sister are far away but I see them occasionally and my grandmother is still going strong at 91. I have also been blessed with a great extended family.

With all the blessings in my live, it would be foolish to take them for granted. It would be foolish to not spend as much time with my children as I could. It would be foolish not to tell, or even worse, not to show my wife how much I love her everyday. It would be foolish to ignore God when things seem to be going fine. It would be foolish to slowly drift away from my daily walk with God. It would be foolish indeed.

Well folks, you are looking at a fool.

My family is healthy, and I would like to think, relatively happy. How many families in our community are going through a medical or a family crisis right now? Our marriage, while far from perfect, is going great. How many marriages in our community are breaking apart right now? My relationship with the Lord is as strong as it has ever been, but let me assure you I am still a pretty poor excuse for a Christian.

My point is it would be easy to turn on the cruise control and just motor along for the next few years and the next few decades until I wake up in a hospital bed, ready to meet my maker. What kind of life would that be? What a waste of all the blessings poured out on me, to take them for granted and not to stop and celebrate each and every one of them. We don't know how long that road will be for us. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

This Thanksgiving Day, I am truly thankful to God for all his blessings, and for the trials that made me grow and learn to lean on Him when times get tough. How about You?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Football games, turkey and giant balloons?

Americans are constantly changing creatures. We fiddle with and tinker with everything. In some respects, it is our genius. America has taken ideas, inventions and changed them to fit our needs and our wants, mostly our wants.

Take the celebration of Thanksgiving. From its origins as a day of public prayer and giving thanks to God for the blessing we enjoy, we have slowly turned Thanksgiving into a secular festival of consumption. Not that anyone should get the impression I don't enjoy Thanksgiving in its current form. I will be watching the Cowboys play football and enjoying the smell of the roasting turkey and pumpkin pies with the rest of you, however I will try to remind our family about the message behind the holiday. Giving thanks, and especially giving thanks to God.

2008 has been a year that has seen many changes for our nation. With all the economic turmoil we are facing, it would be easy to think 2008 has been a very bad year for everyone. For those hit hardest by the housing market crash, they are facing real pain and things can seem bleak. However, while the news gives us daily reminders of the tough times we face, there are many thing to celebrate as we gather with our families.

The long and costly war in Iraq is coming to end. Thanks to the men and women in our armed forces, the Iraqi people are slowly gaining back control of their country, a reality that would have been laughed at and ridiculed only two years ago. There are units that have been patrolling in Iraq for months and rotated out without firing a shot. The sacrifice our soldier have made is incredible, but it always is. This group of young, and not so young men and women are truly a blessing to our nation. If you see a soldier in uniform this week, take a moment to say thank you.

We have just been through a historic election and while the emotions on both sides are still a bit raw from the contest, the fact that once again Americans have peacefully passed the reins of power to a new person from the opposing party is something that is originally American. It is almost amazing considering how power is gained through most of the world.

This year I will be enjoying the holidays with my family, and for that, I give thanks. If you are hosting a big Thanksgiving day feast for a huge crowd, a word of advice, delegate, delegate, delegate. Our group will probably be around 18 or so and that is a lot of work. Some of you are probably dreading a visit by that one particular family member who gets on your nerves, but don't let them get you down. Every family has that one 'special' relative that makes you think evil thoughts when sharpening your carving knife. Just relax and take a look around your table. Enjoy this time spent with the ones you love, they will not be around forever. Cherish this time, right now, you can't get it back.

I know that for some families in our community this will be the first Thanksgiving without a cherished loved one who has been lost. Lean on your friends and family, and especially lean on God. You will make it through.

As we become busy with all the planning, cooking, and travel arrangements, lets try to remember the big picture. George Washington's original Thanksgiving Day proclamation is a far cry from the image of a 100 foot SpongeBob Square Pants floating down Broadway in a parade, but hey, this is who we are. Americans like to have fun, and I hope all those who line the streets watching the parades and those who quietly sit down to watch football have a great Thanksgiving Day. If you could, please try to remember the why behind the what.

P.S. - for all you 3AM Black Friday shoppers; I will be thinking of you as I sit in my comfy chair with my slippers enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee Friday morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sqeaky the pig

Okay, this is a cool pig, not that I would want one mind you, but I do admire a handy animal.....

Little Ceasars and Dr.Pepper, not bad wages either.

Heroes Weekend - a photo recap

Thank you to everyone who came out to give show your appreciation to those local heroes who serve us all.

We had fire trucks, boats, command vehicles, pursuit units and a great group of local first responders.

A beautiful day to say thanks.

Cool stuff!

I didn't ask to go to the top, but I should have, I love high places.

Going up.

We served them breakfast between the two services.

A tribute to fallen Yolo Sheriff's Deputy Jose' Antonio "Tony" Diaz

These were just some of the local heroes in attendance. Again a great big thank you to the Woodland Police Department, Woodland Fire Department, Yolo County Sheriff's Department, Yolo Emergency Communications Agency, California Highway patrol and everyone who helps make Yolo County a better place.

As Pastor John Withem of Bayside Woodland said at the service, we will be praying for you, and standing behind you, because you stand behind us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bailout fever, catch it!

Is General Motors too big to fail? What about Ford and Chrysler?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, because the auto industry is the manufacturing backbone of the US economy and the workers, material suppliers, dealers and associated businesses that would be hurt if the Big Three closed their doors would act as an anchor on our economy for years. No, for the plain fact that if your business is encumbered by unsustainable labor contracts and a corporate mindset that has not changed with the US auto market, no amount of bailout money will save it.

Trying to save the big three by giving them money is like trying to lift a bucket while you're standing in it. Just as politicians are allergic to reality and telling their constituents bad news, GM has not stood up to the UAW or to the shareholders and said, this is just plain crazy. No one at the top of the big three has the courage to say we cannot sign these labor contracts, if you want to strike, strike. If we make it through fine, but to sign these labor contracts would be suicide for our company and just won't do it.

Mitt Romney's editorial in the Times is a great piece, you should read the whole thing.

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.

That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car. Think what that means: Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon. Of course the Avalon feels like a better product — it has $2,000 more put into it.
Think about that. GM is in the hole $2,000 before they tighten a bolt on a new car. The other great point Mitt makes is the leadership must change, and not just new people who have been raised in this big three culture, they need new blood with a track record of reinventing companies. Someone from the outside who has worked hand in hand with labor and has sat down and showed them the books. Someone who will tell the UAW that you can shear a sheep year after year, but you can only slaughter it once. The AUW has a job to do, get as much money as they can for their members, but what happens when they demand so much that their member's jobs simply vanish? Is this what their members want? Is this what labor negotiations have come to?

We want what we want, and if it drives you out of business, oh well.

Back to the bailout, if GM and the rest of the big three have a burn rate of billions of dollars a month, what use is giving them 25 billion more? This is like giving someone a third mortgage on a house in foreclosure, it might keep the lights on for a little while but it doesn't change the fact that they are going broke because they spend more than they make.

It's called reality. Get used to it. Sell the corporate jets, cut your upper management, cut your executive's salaries, and then ask the UAW to rework their contracts.

It is the only way it will work. Even with the bailout, this will still need to be done to save the domestic auto industry, they will just be a year further in the hole and the taxpayers will be $25 Billion poorer.

The first rule about holes is, when your in one, stop digging.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Heroes Weekend - a tribute to those who serve

Sunday the 23rd of November, Bayside Church Woodland is celebrating its annual Heroes Weekend. This it is one of my favorite Sundays of the year. It seems perfect that Heroes Weekend falls between Veteran's day and Thanksgiving. We pay tribute to all those who have served, and are currently serving our nation on Veteran's Day, and we get together a few weeks later to give thanks for all the blessings we enjoy and the special people we share them with. To borrow a line from Lincoln,"It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this."

While many of us know someone serving our nation in uniform, we are more familiar with those who serve and protect us everyday, right here in our community. Our local law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency and support personnel are there for us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

At times its easy to get a little upset at the flashing red light in your mirror, especially the motorcycle officer on Gibson Road who always seems to be there when you are late getting your kids to school. It's hard to be upset with fire fighters, I have yet to be pulled over by anyone in a turnout coat and rubber boots, although they do hog up a few parking spaces at the grocery store. These heroes blend in to the background of our community, and it would be easy to take them for granted. We can forget that at a moments notice, the day to day routine of traffic stops, paperwork and firehouse duty can by shattered by a radio call that could change their lives forever. This is what they do, this is who they are. They respond to crisis situations, and they do with courage and professionalism.

Heroes Weekend celebrates their service at Pioneer High School's theater this Sunday at two services; 9:30 and 11:15. The Woodland Police Department, Yolo County Sheriff's Department, Woodland Fire department, California Highway Patrol as well as community service groups, 911 dispatch operators and all those who served our nation in uniform will be honored. We will also being giving a donation to their favorite charities as a way to say thank you.

A Sunday of great music, a great message and great big thank you. See you there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lincoln Bicentennial Sacramento

February 12, 2009 marks the 200 birthday of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. While most of us only know the thumbnail sketch of Lincoln; he freed the slaves, President during the Civil War and assassinated after soon after, there is so much more behind the complex man on the Five Dollar bill.

As the bicentennial nears, make plans to visit The California Museum in Sacramento this summer as the traveling exhibit from the Library of Congress makes its way West.

Scholars have literally studied Lincoln for decades and still find they only know a small portion of this great man. I would recommend Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin as a primer.

Obama banned for a week!

With the election over, I am imposing a ban on any talk of President elect Barack Obama for a week. (Unless he does something really crazy, it's my blog, my rules)

So how bout' that weather?

Lets see, with two weeks until Thanksgiving I am trying to figure our what I can eat besides turkey. I have been on a low-carb diet the last few months, nothing very structural, but I read some of the Atkins book and the South beach book and it seems sugar, starch, white flour and processed foods are bad for you.

I have not eaten a Reese's peanut butter cup in three months, and I love Reese's peanut butter cups. No potatoes, a slice or two of bread each week and more eggs than I can count. Thanksgiving will be interesting. My wife always makes my mother's secret recipe mashed potatoes with cream cheese, and sour cream. I am sure they have enough calories to feed a small village in Borneo but they sure are good. I will be letting them pass by this year. I guess I will have extra turkey maybe I'll make some of my mashed cauliflower substitute. Mashed cauliflower is not bad, but it's not mom's potatoes.

The Dallas Cowboys play the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving. I know this is more a Christmas wish sort of thing, but I would give thanks if Jerry Jones would retire as President of the Cowboys and in his last act as such, trade Terrel Owens to the San Francisco 49'ers for something of equal value. Something like a Slim Whitman CD or half a bag of the orange, halloween Oreo cookies.

Maybe when Barack sends me my magic unicorn I can ask him for a new defensive sceme in Dallas, Wilson's 3-4 sceme is not working. ( Dang it, I broke my own rule in the first post)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lurch to the left?

I have enjoyed reading all the editorials and opinion pieces in the past week.

American conservatism is dead. The Reagan revolution is over. The Republican party has been repudiated and will slowly decline as the younger, enlightened generation take over.

I wonder if I was this bad at the end of the Clinton administration? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. I was more than ready to embrace George W Bush and put the Hillary Care, White Water, and Lewinsky days behind me. I remember I thought the country had finally come to its senses.

President Bush had my support in his first term and while I was alarmed at the huge spending increases taking place under his watch, we were attacked and we were at war. I was going to support the President and I would overlook the growth in entitlement spending. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress forgot who sent them to Washington and kept spending. If you want to know why Republicans lost big in the last two elections, here it is; Republicans stopped governing like Republicans.

So what do the tealeaves tell us about the American people? Have we seen a true realignment in the electorate or is this just an angry reaction to the status quo and a a desire for something new?

I think it is the latter. For those on the left, the true believers who think President elect Barack Obama is going to legislate his way into a new utopia, they are heading for a industrial-sized case of buyers remorse. Reality is still reality and you can't wish away your enemies and hope for buckets of money to fall from the heavens.

Those Reagan Democrats and 'decline to state' voters who thought they would give Obama a chance, because he could hardly do any worse than the current crop of big spenders, they will give him a year or two but in that third year, they will say enough of this liberal nonsense.

The overall voter turnout was within a percentage point of the turnout for the 2004 election. While the youth vote went overwhelmingly to Obama, the percentage of young voters stayed within two percent of the last election. The next two election cycles will favor republicans, especially in the Senate where more Democrats will be defending seats, unlike this year. If the new administration plays it smart they will tell Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to not propose anything crazy for at least the first year. Good luck with that.

The American electorate is not a Ferrari, it does not turn on a dime and change direction in the blink of an eye. Americans are more like a 1971 Ford station wagon. A bit slow to respond, a bit sluggish to accelerate and it wanders down the road from right to left and back again.

If you think America has finally turned from a center-right country to a center-left country, please explain why liberals have stopped calling themselves liberals. They hide behind the new label of 'Progressives'. When you have to hide who you are to get elected, you are not winning the battle of ideas, you are just better at re marketing your brand.

P.S. - It has been a week since the election and I am yet to find a unicorn in garage. So much for campaign promises.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

For the young soldier sitting in a dusty tent, riding in a dusty Humvee or eating some meal seasoned with the taste of dessert sand, thank you does not even come close. God Bless you and my prayers for you and your families back home.


What is AUIEG? Is it a new lobbying group? A new mutual fund? A new disease?

From our friends over at the LLama Butchers;

It's 'A Unicorn In Every Garage' Better know as the wild expectations of the Obama-trons who think Barack Obama is magically going to right all the wrongs and make life fair for them.

Sure its silly and childish, maybe that is why it appeals to me.

A night spent with friends

I am an old and somewhat boring person. As a young man, I burned the candle at both ends and sometimes threw the whole candle into the fire. As I have seasoned a bit, I find myself enjoying a quiet night of reading more than chasing after the frantic nightlife of my youth. My wife and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that we like a good night's sleep on the weekend. I know, it's sad, but getting home at 2 AM makes for a long, tiring Sunday.

However, sometimes you have to take one for the team. The team in this case being the Yolo County Cattlemen and Wool Growers Association. Saturday night was our fall dinner dance at the Zamora Community Hall. It is the main event on our social calendar and as the president, it is my job to worry about the details and watch my blood pressure rise during the two weeks preceding the dinner. I'm not sure why people don't RSVP, but the crowd attending our events are in desperate need of a lesson in protocol. It seems that a phone call to one of the board members two days before the event passes as proper notice in the Capay Valley. I think we had 39 written RSVPs the day of the event, we had another 75 verbal or email commitments. We had well over 150 folks show up for the event.

Trying to buy Rib Eye steaks and all the trimmings when you don't know if 120 or 150 are coming is enough to make you crazy, or at least a little unbalanced. I want to take this time to thank everyone who stepped up and made this event a success, our board members and all the volunteers who showed up and asked how they could help. From the planning and paperwork, to the decorating and setup, to buying the food and drinks, to cooking, working raffle and the final cleanup Sunday morning. Thank you, one and all.

The event was great. I was sweating the number of rib eyes we had until the last person made it through the dinner line and we still had a plenty left. Whew. The raffle was big hit with dozens of great prizes and gift certificates. This year we had the Jim Hunter band play after dinner and I think we shut the place down about 1:00.

Once the raffle was over, I had a chance to relax and enjoy the night. I was able to talk to some old friends, dance with my wife and just be a participant. My face returned to normal, I stopped looking like a bomb squad technician and I was able to smile again.

My calendar is now cleared. I am not planning or preparing for anything, except church functions, and Thanksgiving with all the family, and Christmas vacation trips, and..

Never mind.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Paul Ryan - A Roadmap For America's Future

I like this guy, I do.
Could he be the next House Minority leader, I hope so.

Preach on Brother Ryan, preach on!

No one ever told me

Okay people, if you never read another word I write, please pay attention to this.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are heading for economic collapse, and they will take America along for the ride.

That isn't meant to unduly scare you or sensationalize a situation, it is not a Republican fact or a Democrat fact, it is just a fact.

If you are thinking, so what; if they go broke the government will bail them out just like they did the banks, you don't understand the fundamental problem. Think of the current 700 billion bailout as a one time infusion of cash to get the economy back on its feet. The problem with the looming entitlement crisis is a long term one. These programs are growing so fast, as the boomer generation comes into its retirement years that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will soon outspend their revenues. They will need more money and the government will have to cut spending on other programs or raise taxes to keep up with the costs. Not just once, but each year they will have to cut something or raise taxes, every year. After a decade, there will be nothing left to cut and no one left to tax.

At first it will only be a billion here and a billion there, but if you are in your late 30's or 40's, by the time you retire, the current tax rates across the board will have to be doubled to keep up with the spending for these programs.

Think of it as your household budget. If you have an adjustable rate loan payment that increases every year, with this increased burden you either cut your spending on other things, or get a second job, and then a third job to increase your income. This certainly not the time to buy a new Lexus or take the kids on vacation to Hawaii. The time to act is not when you have have maxed out all your credit cards to keep living in manner that got you into the mess, the time to act is a soon as you see crisis coming. That time is now.

President elect Obama has a golden opportunity to act now, to lead, to show that sometimes you have to endure a little pain in the short term to avert a long term crisis that threatens our very viability as a nation. Will the Democrats walk the walk? They have certainly talked a great deal about fixing Social Security. I am not optimistic. I see Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid rubbing their hands together figuring out new entitlement programs to spend even more of our tax money on. Oh you can be sure they will raise taxes, but they will spend every penny and then spend even more. That is what they do, that is who they are.

The greatest danger in acquiring power is the fact you are accountable. You cannot stand on the sidelines and point fingers, you have to lead. No more blaming Bush and the Republicans, although they will for a year or two. In 2010 this will be Obama's economy, a Democrat economy. They will have been in charge of Congress for 4 years and have held the White House for 2. They will not be able to hide behind 'W' any longer.

So who will finally take on the AARP, the Labor Unions, the Defense industry and every other lobbying interest that feeds at the government trough? I am waiting for a new breed of Republican to step forward. A Republican with the courage to tell America the Federal government is not Santa Clause. That government is too big and controls too much of our lives. A Republican who is not afraid to tell us that we need to get back to fiscal conservatism. I really like a young Republican I saw on election night, Paul Ryan. I would love to see a young Republican like Ryan lead the GOP back its principles.

We need to cut spending on everything. Nothing is sacred. If the old guard Republicans complain about cutting certain Pentagon projects in their districts, let them. When the Democrats howl over cutting back on social programs and putting the bloated government bureaucracies on a diet, let them. We need to get our financial house in order now, we will need to have a game plan in place when the boomers hit the system will full force. We will need a track record of setting priorities and cutting waste when the boomers get in their 80s and head into long term, full-time care. Getting an SSI check is one thing, getting an SSI check and sending the taxpayers the bill for the nursing home is quite another. These bills will simply overwhelm us.

When the entitlement crisis 'sneaks up' on America in a few years, people will say, no one ever told me. Well folks, I just did.

P.S. - Barack Obama has been President elect for three days now and I have yet to find a Unicorn in my garage. What's the deal?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama wins! Ah, the cheering crowd, the tears of joy...

And that is just in the MSNBC newsroom.

It gets good about 1:50 into it.

Claiming the MSM isn't biased toward democrats is just laughable.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yolo County Cattlemen and Wool Growers Association dinner - dance is Saturday

If live in rural Yolo County or you support the county's agricultural community you should be a member. We would love to have a few more gift certificates and raffle prizes for Saturday night. As President, I have shamelessly asked dozens of businesses to donate this year and have been very surprised by their support. This year's raffle will be outstanding, but I am still asking for more donations.

I am making a pair of spur straps this year, I will even customize them with you initials or brand if you win. Tickets are limited so send me an email asap if you want to join us for Rib Eye steaks, a great raffle and live music Saturday November 8th at the Zamora community hall.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President of the United States, Barack Obama

Barack Obama is my President. It will take me a little while to get used to the idea. My wife on the other hand, I'm not sure she ever will. I think she still has her 'Romney 08' button on.

I remember back in February, when McCain secured the nomination, I tried to find the light at the end of the McCain tunnel. Alas, it never materialized. Matt Rexroad was a McCain backer from the start. Try as I might, I could not see how this ends in anything other than a McButt-whoopin'.
I looks like McCain is our guy now. I am not close to being as short sighted as the far, far right wing of conservatives who will never vote for McCain, because given the choice between Senators Clinton and Obama, McCain is far and away a better choice for Republicans, and Americans for that matter.

PS, hope for McCain/Clinton and not McCain/Obama.

Grumpy old patriot vs. Grumpy slick politician is a fair fight.
Grumpy old patriot vs. Young dynamic dreamer is a landslide for the Democrats.
Well, the Grumpy old patriot just got his back porch painted red by the Young dynamic dreamer.
I hate to say I told you so, but I just did.

If I were still a drinking man, I would have three fingers of Crown Royal in a glass right now contemplating how to rebuild our party. I am skipping the booze, but I will take a few weeks to digest the election results and I will start working towards the 201o election. No robo-calls, no slick mailers, no yard signs, no high priced campaign gurus, just this, just this one thing.

What, you may ask is 'this one thing'?
Like Curly from City Slickers said, you have to figure that out for yourself....

Monday, November 03, 2008

The next four years

As I sit down to write this, the night of November 3rd, I am filled with competing emotions. Part of me is exited about Election Day. Could Senator McCain pull off an upset? Could a Republican presidential nominee in the midst of an economic slowdown, with an unpopular President, an unpopular war, with the worst managed campaign in a decade, overcome these challenges to win?

The other part of me is filled with trepidation. If Senator Obama wins, is America ready for the next four years with Democrats in charge of the House, the Senate and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?

Whoever is elected, the next President will face challenges both at home and in a dangerous, yet dynamic world. A world that does not play by our rules. A world looking to see if America is the same nation who defeated German National Socialism, Japanese Imperialism and Soviet Communism, or has it turned into an isolationist nation, set on retreating behind its borders and allowing the worst of world's dictators and terrorist regimes a free hand to gather power and territory? The next four years will tell.

They will look to see if America turns away from its role as the driving force behind the world's economy and imposes protectionist tariffs. They will demand we handcuff our economy with carbon restrictions and offsets, all the while building coal-fired power plants to the tune of one a week. Will America turn down this path towards economic restriction and handicap our ability to compete in the world market? The next four years will tell.

Both Republicans and Democrats will look to the government, some will have sky high expectations of what the government will do for them, others will hope they won't screw things up any worse than they are. I fall into the latter group.

Most of the conservatives I know have no illusions about John McCain and his policies. We know Senator McCain and we know that while he was our only real choice in this election, we would all be mildly surprised if in four years we gave him a glowing review. We also know the limitations of government.

The Obama supporters on the other hand are 'all in'. They have pushed all their chips into the middle of the table and bet everything on a politician. They are so emotionally invested in Obama as the person who will make their world right and more important to them, make it fair, the reality will fall far short of their expectations. If Obama wins, no matter how effective his Presidency is, they will find with all the glowing speeches and the promises Senator Obama has made, he is just a politician and the government is still the government, no matter who is in charge.

No matter who the next President is, broken promises and government failures will be the best lessons we can learn in the next four years. The government is a blunt tool, to believe it will make your life appreciably better is to disregard every personal experience you have had dealing with it. Don't expect the same government that runs the DMV and the IRS to overnight become your fairy god mother. The next lesson we should learn is government is not in the business of making everyone equal. Some people show up to work early, stay late, work hard, continually learn and make good decisions; others watch Dancing with the Stars and buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like. No government program will fix this.

As you read this, we will know who will be the 44th President of the United States; at least I hope we will know. Obama or McCain, Democrats and Republicans, Blue states and Red states, we are all in this together. We will get through it. Our founding fathers had it right, four years is just long enough to change the nation in the direction of its leadership, and not long enough to do any irreparable damage.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Country First: Vote McCain Palin

Guest post by Mark Pruner, YoloGOP Chairman.

Whatever our political stripes may be, we can all agree that the next president will face more than a few difficult choices and challenging circumstances. Rightly so, both here at home and around the world this election and our choice for president are the subject of intense interest and lively discussion.

What is it about Republican candidates and the Republican Party that is so appealing?
History. The Republican Party formed on July 6, 1854 to oppose the evil of slavery. The Democrats took the opposite view. During the Civil War, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, the Republicans passed the 13th Amendment (outlawing slavery), the 14th Amendment (guaranteeing equal protection under the laws), and the 15th Amendment (securing voting rights for African Americans). Freedom was the theme.

When it came time to stand up for securing the right of women to vote, the Republican Party was the first major party to endorse women’s suffrage. Republicans, controlling Congress, passed the 19th Amendment. Members of the Democratic Party fueled the opposition. In 1917 Jeanette Rankin of Montana was the first woman elected to the Congress. Freedom was still the theme.
Through the corridors of time down to today the Republican Party remains the stalwart champion of freedom and individual rights, limited government and the unwavering belief that the individual, not the government, is best suited to make decisions about family and family income. We are boldly confident about California's future and hold dearly all that is good about California's people.

The Republican Party believes government’s role is to empower every person to reach his or her full potential. The Democratic Party believes that government has a much larger role in making decisions for people and their families – telling them what to do, even if it means limitation of personal liberties.

John McCain and Sarah Palin. It makes sense then that John McCain and Sarah Palin stand for individual freedoms and will not back down when it comes to protecting America from her enemies.

Foreign Affairs. The radicals dedicated to killing Americans are committed because we stand for freedom and in opposition to their desire to force individuals and nations to believe as they do. Mr. Obama’s clear inexperience in representing America’s interests abroad was summed up when he flatly stated he would meet with heads of state opposed to us, thereby elevating their stature, without precondition. Although he later “clarified” his position to add he would be prepared for such a meeting, he never withdrew his declared willingness to strengthen our opponents by meeting them without precondition.

The War. Senator McCain and Governor Palin stand by the mission of our troops: fight terrorism and support freedom abroad. Standing against terrorists overseas reduces the risk of attack at home. Who of us on September 12, 2001 really thought we would not suffer another attack. We have been kept safe at home by strength and vigilance. On the other hand Mr. Obama, during the primary, adamantly stated America should retreat on a fixed 16-month timetable. After the primaries were over the Democratic nominee talked of being flexible. Now, Mr. Obama states “we’ve got to look at” ending the war. He appears ready to say what he thinks needs to be said to win an election. This kind of waffling confuses our allies and gives strength to our enemies.

The Economy. It is no over simplification to say that a McCain Palin administration will grow the economy by giving all Americans the tools and opportunity to reach their dreams. When the economy grows we all do well. Senators Obama and Biden give us a completely different perspective: they want to redistribute the wealth – imposing their value judgments on who “should” and who “should not” own a piece of the American Dream. The Democratic plan might work in a soviet-style economy, but not here. The trouble is, economic vitality does not occur when you just reshuffle money. A mature economic perspective understands that actually growing the economy, not taking from some to hand out to others, is what has made American an economic success.

Health Care. Senator McCain and Governor Palin stand committed to a Guaranteed Access Plan for health care, forged from the best of what actually works. The proposals of Senator Obama borrow from the old-time tool kit of government programs. Rather than allow American ingenuity and energy to deliver reliable health care, Senators Obama and Biden want to take us back to high cost and low delivery outcomes. Please take a look at the detailed analysis of a major nonpartisan study by the Lewin Group ( Under the McCain Palin plan only 12.6% of American families would experience an increase in family health costs. Quite the opposite is true under the Obama Biden plan where 29.0% of families would experience increased health costs. More dramatically, the point is driven home for families making less than $20,000 in income: under McCain Palin 7.5% of these families would experience higher family health costs. Under Obama Biden 24.0% of the poorest families would pay more for their health costs. These facts explode the myth that the Democrats look after the interests of the poor. The opposite is true.

Tax Cuts. A lot has been said about tax cuts. We know that more money consistently in the hands of wage earners creates good jobs. We know that good jobs grow the economy and lift everyone up. The Obama Biden tax plan starts with a shifting definition of who is rich and should be taxed more: first $250,000, then $200,000, then most recently according to Senator Biden $150,000. The Democrats call one-time rebates tax relief. Senator McCain looks at the long term: holding the line at the tax rates, allowing people to plan and create good jobs through spending their own money.

Conclusion. Throughout its history as the leader in the cry for freedom, the Republican Party and its candidates have consistently stood for individual liberty and limited government. A president who forces upon us his personal idea of who should have and who should not have would do injury to us all. I urge you to vote for Republicans this Tuesday, November 4th.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Poles are an independant people with a.......oh the polls.

Poll watching is an interesting phenomenon. Kind of like the commercial on TV says, 90% of statistics can be made to say anything, 50% of the time.

Daily tracking polls, Rasmussen, Zogby, AP, Gallop, IBD/TIPP, there must be dozens of polling organizations out there all wanting to be the one that nails the election results down to the tenth of a percent come Wednesday. Will any of them get close? Who knows.

John Zogby nailed the 2000 election. On the day before the 2004 election he predicted an electoral college landslide for Kerry, woops. If you want to figure out who is going to be the next president, there are a few polls you really need to be watching. Battleground states. National polls and daily tracking polls are almost meaningless, almost. Zogby's daily tracking poll showed today McCain leading 48% - 48%.

A double digit swing in a week either shows a real move of undecideds one direction or a flawed sampling methodology. I am not sure, but like I say, we will know Wednesday.

I check Real Clear Politics everyday to get my polling fix. I watch the battleground state polls and take an average. Sure, most polls are over-polling democrats by 8 - 13%, thinking more democrats will turnout to vote than republicans by those margins, and that may be why Obama's supporters might wake up on Wednesday thinking the evil republicans stole another election.

Remember the Kerry/Lieberman exit polls in 2004? The Democrats and the media, like there is a difference, went absolutely bananas when Kerry did not win. He was polling so well, the exit polls showed a landslide, what happened?

Will the pollsters over sample democrats hoping to discourage republican turnout? Will the young vote turnout this time in convincing numbers? Will there be a Bradley effect? Will the LA Times release the video tape of Obama and Rashid Khalidi ? Will the Cowboys get to the Superbowl?

Stay tuned.

Oh and for the dumb ass who threw a planter through the window of the Yolo County republican headquarters downtown; very mature. I only hope the Woodland PD will get the finger prints off the planter. I don't want any jail time, I just want the names published.