Sunday, November 30, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul.

Most long-time Christians would agree that one of the great and moving hymns of all time is It Is Well With My Soul. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one clings to the lyrics of this 19th century song when facing trials and tribulations.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Until recently, I had no idea of the circumstances which inspired such spiritual, faith-filled words.

In 1871, a wealthy businessman name Horatio Spafford basically lost his entire fortune in the Great Chicago Fire. The married father of four had invested much of the money he earned as an attorney in the city’s real estate market.

Two years later, the Spafford family decided to travel to England for vacation. However, Horatio’s travel was delayed due to business obligations, thus he sent his family on ahead of him with plans to join them later. While crossing the Atlantic on the Ville du Havre, the four Spafford daughters were tragically killed as a result of the ship being struck by an iron sailing vessel. Anna Spafford, Horatio’s wife, survived but was left with the heart wrenching task of telling her husband that their four daughters had perished. Mrs. Spafford merely sent a two word telegraph message: SAVED ALONE.

Shortly thereafter, Horatio sailed to Europe to join his wife. When his ship reached the site of where his daughters died, Mr. Spafford was inspired to pen the lyrics of that timeless hymn. In doing so, his faith and peace in the face of a horrific tragedy continues to serve as an inspiration to us all.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Get off the bus Gus and hit the road T-Jack.

Regardless of what the Vikings do this season, there may still be that glaring hole at the quarterback position come 2009.

At his best, Gus Frerotte has been OK this season. Despite a 6-3 record as a starter he's 37-years old and is all too often performing imitations of Super Dave Osborne.

Third year man Tarvaris Jackson looked like he regressed when witnessing his play the first two games this season. Unfortunately, the T-Jack experiment looks to have failed.

Bottom line, the Vikings need a QB who poses a legitimate threat to throw the ball downfield. And in this upcoming offseason Brad Childress (assuming he's still coach) and company look to have some viable options.

1. Derek Anderson. Despite being out the rest of this season with a broken right index finger, QB Brady Quinn has been anointed the future of the Cleveland Browns. That means the organization will entertain offers for the services of Anderson. With Anderson taking over for the injured Quinn this season it will be a great opportunity for the Brown to showcase his talent. However, Anderson will need to improve upon his mediocre 49% completion percentage.

2. Matt Cassel. Admit it, you thought the New England Patriots were cooked when superstar QB Tom Brady tore left knee ligaments in Week 1. Backup Cassel, who was sandwiched between Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC, took the helm despite not having started a game since high school. His first three games were rather pedestrian, averaging a mere 149 yards passing per contest. However, he has taken off his past eight starts. He has averaged more than 270 yards passing per game, including more than 400 yards and 3 TDs in each of the past two. With Brady expected to be ready for training camp in the Summer of 2009, Cassel, a free agent, will get plenty of nibbles.

3. Donovan McNabb. Depsite a nice ten-year run with the Philadelphia Eagles, McNabb always seems to be on his way out in Philly. And the talk has never been stronger than this season where he's on pace to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 24 TDs. This time the prevailing theory for McNabb's possible departure is his 2009 cap number of $10.3 million. However, none of that money is guaranteed so the Eagles could cut McNabb without any ramifications against the salary cap. If McNabb is to be an Eagle in '09, he would need to negotiate a cut in salary, something I'm not sure he's willing to do.

Going in to the '08 season, many felt the biggest X-factor for the Vikings was the quarterback position. Thus far, that has rang true. But given the QBs available after this year, it doesn't need to be another question mark going in to '09.

Which QB should the Vikings pursue for the 2009 season?
Derek Anderson
Matt Cassel
Donovan McNabb
Free polls from


From the sublime to the ridiculous.

As is custom, members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins (the only NFL team to finish a season unbeaten) pop the cork on some champagne upon the final undefeated team losing its first game in a season. The last unbeaten club in '08, the 10-0 Tennessee Titans, lost their first game last Sunday.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who finished 0-14, are the only team in NFL history to go an entire season without a victory.

So how does that club…uh…”celebrate” when the final winless team in an NFL campaign finally records its first victory?

Just curious.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Yes, there is much more to be thankful for than just food.

I'm thankful I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I'm thankful to live in a country where we are free to worship God.

I'm thankful for my loving family, most of whom are happy and healthy.

I'm thankful for the scores of people I can call "friends".

We wish you all a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

55 things...

...about me.

1. The phone rings; whom do you want it to be?
My brother Eric. We usually have quite a few laughs.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
Yes. In fact, I always strategically park near the outdoor rack so I don’t have to walk too far to return it.

3. If you had to kiss the last person you kissed, would you?
Since it was my gal, yes.

4. Do you take compliments well?
I’m getting better.

5. Do you play Sudoku?
What’s that?

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
No matter where I go I’m never alone, if ya know what I mean!

7. Do you like nipple rings?
Ewwww, no.

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
A few times, yes. My first ever camp was at a campground near the St. Croix River. The boys bathroom didn’t have the dividers between the stalls.

9. If a sexy person were pursuing you, but you knew he/she were married what would you do?
Respectfully say ”Get lost. I’m married.”

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
Depends on how different. Me being a Pentecostal, I dated a gal who was a Lutheran (and she’s now my wife). I could never date an atheist.

11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
Being married, I don’t pursue. And I would probably be incredibly uncomfortable if I were being pursued.

12. Use three words to describe yourself at the moment:
Content, relaxed, full.

13. Do any songs make you cry?
Angels in Waiting by Tammy Cochran.

14. Are you continuing your education?
Collegiately, no. But spiritually, yes.

15. Do you know how to shoot a gun?
Not yet, but I plan on learning.

16. If your house were on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed?
Assuming the family was out safely, it would have to be our brood of pets.

17. Who was the last person you shared a bed with?
Obviously my gal.

18. Whom do you text the most?
My brother Eric.

19. Favorite children’s books?
Anything by Dr. Seuss.

20. What color are your eyes?

21. How tall are you?

22. If you could do it over again, start from scratch, would you?
Since I’m excited about where life is going right now, I would say no.

23. Any secret admirers?
If they’re secret, how would I know?

24. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Nope. Too claustrophobic.

25. Where is the farthest place you have traveled?
Southern California.

26. Do you like mustard?
Any kind but honey mustard.

27. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?

28. Do you look like your mom or dad?

29. How long does it take you in the shower?
Maybe five minutes.

30. Can you do splits?
Maybe, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to get up.

31. What movies do you want to see right now?
No desire to see anything that’s out in the theater right now.

32. What did you do for New Year’s Eve?
Spent the evening with friends in Woodbury.

33. Was your mom a cheerleader?
I don’t think so.

34. What’s the last letter of your middle name?

35. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
7 or 8

36. Do you like Care Bears?

37. What do you buy at the movies?
Large pop and Popcorn.

38. Do you know how to play poker?
No, never have.

39. Do you wear your seat belt?
Yep. I don’t even think about it, it’s so reflexive.

40. What do you wear to sleep?
Just a pair of shorts.

41. Anything big ever happen in your town?
We have only lived in Ramsey for two months. Does the mere fact we moved here count?

42. Is your hair straight or curly?
What hair?

43. Is your tongue pierced?
Surely you jest.

44. Do you like liver and onions?

45. Have you ever been in love?
Oh yes. Still am!

46. Do you like funny or serious people better?
It depends on the situation. I always like a little levity but there are times when it just doesn’t feel appropriate. I guess I’d lean towards funny.

47. Ever been to L.A.?
Yes. I was there with family for a few days in the Summer of 1985.

48. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
Don’t do downloads. I’ve transferred a sufficient number of songs from my CDs to my ipod.

49. Do you hate chocolate?
I love it.

50. What do you and your parents fight about the most?
Mom and I don’t fight about much anymore (unlike when I was a kid). Dad can pick a fight about sports, politics, religion, pop culture, jobs, cars, hunting…well….you get the idea.

51. Are you a gullible person?
Not nearly as much as I used to be.

52. If you could have any job, what would it be?
Sports broadcaster (preferably baseball or football).

53. Are you easy to get along with?
You’d have to ask those I deal with regularly. However, I think I am.

54. What is your favorite time of day?

55. Are you a generally happy person?


Friday, November 21, 2008

Anoka County recount: Day 3 (UPDATE)

The vote recount for the US Senate race in Minnesota reached Day 3 in our home county. While it was the first day the gal and I participated, we chatted with several volunteers who had been there each day.

Prior to the recount we were warned that the Al Franken supporters would make frivolous challenges of as many ballots as possible in order to get them to the Secretary of State's office. With Franken now trailing by only 149 votes, his minions will stop at nothing to gain votes or take some away from Senator Norm Coleman.

As was evident in our recount, they Frankenites are living up to the hype.

-At a table my where wife was working, there was a vote clearly cast for Coleman, the oval discernibly filled in. The problem was the smart aleck who cast that vote wrote in Franken's name for Soil & Water Commissioner on the opposite side of the ballot. Seeing that, the Franken camp decided to challenge that ballot citing an "over vote" (more than one vote cast for an office). If ruled in their favor, Coleman would lose that vote even though his name was the only one chosen under the Senate race.

-At a table I was observing, there was clear under voting (no vote cast at all) for the Senate race. However, there were indiscriminate little dots (smaller than a pin head) at various spots on the ballot, including one right above Franken's name. It was nowhere near the oval, yet the desperate Frankenites argued that it was meant to be a vote for their guy.

-But it was my wife who experienced the grand adventure of the day. A Coon Rapids precinct that was recounted indicated three less votes for Franken than were cited on the voting machine tape. The ballots were counted multiple times, yielding the same result. Since there was no way the Franken camp would accept that result, they demanded that the voting machine from that precinct be inspected to ensure all ballots were removed. From there, an election judge accompanied two Franken and two Coleman volunteers (including my gal) to Coon Rapids City Hall to inspect the machine in question. No ballots were found, which netted Coleman a plus-3!!!

Our county is a little more than half way through the 180,000 ballots cast. As a result, the gal and I will be back counting first thing tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: The Strib reported on my wife's City Hall excursion.

Anoka County officials discovered that a Coon Rapids precinct had three fewer ballots than the voting machine printout said should be in the box. The Coon Rapids city clerk and representatives from both campaigns drove to City Hall but didn't find them. The machine printout and the hand-count of the ballots indicated that the three ballots were votes for Franken.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shuffling the MOB deck.

Back in July, JRoosh decided to cease blogging on his site Roosh Five. Not wanting Roosh’s valued insights to be stored away forever, Mitch Berg gave Roosh the prestigious role of co-blogger at Shot in the Dark.

Six weeks later, my good pal Ben pulled the plug on Hammerschwing. Why? I don’t know, some gibberish about finishing up seminary, planning a wedding, etc. Anyhow, he was able to land a spot at his future father-in law’s joint (not that he’s taken full advantage of such a prime venue).

I barely recovered from that shock when my fellow Protest Warrior Leo told us in September that he too was headed out the proverbial blogging door. His reward? One of the dawgs. However, Leo has resumed his opining at the Ice Palace!

After witnessing all this, I have to wonder if Dan-O is trying to horn in on another blog himself, especially after reading his first post in almost three weeks.

I am thinking strongly about going in a new direction. When I figure it out, I'll let y'all know, but for know, I'm going to lay low for a few more weeks.

Fess up, Dan! You’re secretly hoping for an open invite from Foot, aren’t ya?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Top 5 phrases we'll never hear uttered.

5) ”That Steven Seagal is a mighty fine actor.”

4) ”I sure wish Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds would make a comeback.”

3) ”It’s a pleasure listening to such an objective journalist as Chris Matthews.”

2) Strib hack Nick Coleman saying ”I sincerely apologize for my shameless demagoguery the day after the 35W bridge collapse. Given the NTSB’s conclusion of a design flaw, I am utterly embarrassed at my asinine behavior”


”Mr. Davis, I am very interested in being the head coach of your Oakland Raiders.”

UPDATE: WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!!!! You mean someone actually said something to that effect? Wouldn’t it be more desirable to just take a swan dive in to a pit with every carnivorous member of the reptile family?


Sunday, November 16, 2008

A text from beyond.

Greg & I having fun on the radio, 6/19/2005.

It's been 3 1/2 years since my dear friend Greg Bittner and myself appeared as talk radio hosts. Back in June 2005 we made our debut on AM 1500 KSTP. It made enough of an impression on the program director that a couple of months later he asked us to fill in for Dave Thompson back when Dave hosted the 4-7 pm shift on Sundays.

Unfortunately, that show would be our last in the foray of talk radio. We have since lobbied for additional opportunities at KSTP and other talk stations with no success. The biggest regret we have is we felt like we left a lot on the table. We felt our performance in the second show was uneven. That sentiment was echoed by then interim PD Brad Lane, who said we came off as a little too "MPR"ish. That one stung.

Whenever Greg and I discussed that second show, we always talked about things we could have done so much better. And as it so happened, Greg was thinking about it this past Friday. It got to the point where he started beating up on himself, once again feeling the pains of regret.

A little later in the day, Greg received a text message from a number he didn't recognize. The message simply said "You rocked in your second show."

A wrong number? Perhaps. Divine reassurance? I'd like to think so.


Friday, November 14, 2008

The old man can still play.

I checked out the second half of last evening’s Thursday night NFL game between the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Newsflash: The old man can still play!

Jets QB Brett Favre led his club to a 34-31 overtime victory, giving them sole possession of first place in the AFC East division. But Favre was most impressive after his club blew a 24-6 lead.

With the score tied at 24 in the fourth quarter, Favre and Co. took the field after three consecutive lackluster offensive possessions. Despite the Patriots seemingly having all the momentum, the Jets took a 31-24 lead on a Thomas Jones 1-yard touchdown run, concluding a 14 play, 67 yard drive. Said drive, which chewed up 7:06 off the clock, was vintage Favre. He still had the ability to reach down and put together a professional drive despite his offense having sputtered the entire third quarter (15 yards total offense).

But with 1:06 remaining and no time outs, the Patriots marched 62 yards, culminated by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Randy Moss with one second left. That tied the score at 31, heading into overtime.

With the Jets starting OT at their 20-yard line, Favre was sacked and then threw an incomplete pass. With the Jets facing a third and 15, the Pats, with momentum and a raucous crown on their side, needed a stop to force a punt and turn the ball back to their offense on a potentially short field. But as he has done so often throughout an 18-year career, Favre broke the hearts of opponents and their fans when he hit TE Dustin Keller for a 16-yard completion. I sensed the Patriots were pretty demoralized after that play. From there, the Jets offense continued to move the chains with Favre performing his patented late game magic. He completed several throws on the run, including a nice 16-yard completion to Laveranues Coles in which Favre rolled to his right and threw across his body to Coles over the middle. Four plays later, kicker Jay Feely booted a 34-yard field goal for the victory.

Warning to the rest of the NFL: Favre is having fun again. That has never been a pleasant site for opponents.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vikes-Bucs history lesson.

The Vikings hit the road this Sunday to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It will be their first visit to Tampa since a 38-24 loss in 2002, which brought their all-time record in Raymond James Stadium to 0-5. Of course, the two clubs used to meet twice per year in the old NFC Central division.

In fact the Vikings have not won in Tampa since October 26, 1997 when the Bucs called Tampa Stadium their home. The 10-6 Vikes win that day was nothing exceptional. But the week leading up to the game is where all the intrigue emerged.

Just prior to his weekly press conference, Vikings head coach Dennis Green released his autobiography No Room for Crybabies. As part of the promotion of the new book, Green warned of a “bombshell” at its conclusion. Upon release it was learned that the book included an elaborate document detailing a lawsuit he considered filing against the Vikings’ ownership group. Apparently Denny felt his ability to coach was being undermined amid rumors that the owners considered firing Green after the 1996 season and replacing him with Lou Holtz. In the proposed suit, Green basically demanded that he be given a percentage of the team’s ownership or he would sue.

In the press conference leading up to the Tampa Bay game, the focus was squarely on Green’s stunning revelation. Ah, but Denny wasn’t in the mood to talk about that. In response to the first question about the book, he emphasized that he would not address its contents until after the season. As such, he only wanted questions or inquiries pertaining to Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Star Tribune columnist Dan Barreiro was incredulous that Green would drop such a bombshell yet expect no one to address it until after the season. Green then defiantly stared straight ahead and uttered the now famous phrase of “Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay.” Said phrase is now used regularly by various talk show hosts (including Barreiro) on AM 1130 KFAN.

Yes, Denny was wildly entertaining even before his infamous meltdown as Cardinals coach.

With the excruciatingly dull Brad Childress, don't expect any such melodramatics this week. Just the run-of-the-mill talk about a 5-4 team trying to take over first place in their division. Which is fine by me!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day tribute.

There really aren’t ample words to sufficiently honor those who have served this country overseas. The best tribute I can give our veterans is to truly appreciate everything freedom has to offer. And as long as I am alive, I will convey to every generation of my family the true heroism and courage displayed by those who fought to protect our freedoms.

So to those who are being recognized on this Veteran’s Day, I offer my sincere gratitude for your sheer bravery and selflessness.

You will never be forgotten.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Win one for the Gipper!

Whether you're a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team or not, one of the more famous motivational speeches took place on this date 80 years ago.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

A good and faithful servant turns 90.

Rev. Billy Graham

Over the past thirty years or so, there have been a few high profile men of God who have fallen hard. And when the likes of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and Ted Haggard had their very public scandals, many secularists nattered with the glee.

You also have some very outspoken ministers (who are disdainfully called “the religious right”) like Pat Robertson, John Hagee and Dr. James Dobson, who regularly draw the ire and vitriol of the political left.

But regardless of people’s faiths (or lack thereof), one man of God has held iconic status for nearly sixty years: The Rev. Billy Graham.

Ever since 1950, when he urged Harry Truman to counter communism in North Korea, Graham has had a personal audience with every sitting President of the United States. To that end, Graham never seemed to be loyal to one particular political party, even though he was a registered Democrat in the 60s. Despite that, he supported Richard Nixon in his Presidential bid against John F. Kennedy in 1960 and was a long time friend of Ronald Reagan. In the 70s, he refused to align himself with the religious right because he felt Jesus did not have a political party. In Rev. Graham's mind, the gospel superseded any party affiliation.

To me, the most impressive attribute is Graham's genuine humility. Raised on a dairy farm in North Carolina, he has often marvelled at how God used a mere farm boy like himself to spread the gospel worldwide. And despite visiting scores of foreign countries, holding more than forty crusades and earning the admiration and respect of eleven U.S. Presidents, at the end of the day Graham still went home to a modest cabin in rural North Carolina.

And today, Rev. Graham celebrates 90 years on this planet. And for more two-thirds of that life, he has faithfully served the Lord by impacting literally millions of people across this planet.

Luke 12:48 says that to whom much is given, much shall be required. Billy Graham humbly admits he has been blessed exceedingly, abundantly above what he could ever think or ask. As such, he has tirelessly dedicated his life conveying that very message.

Happy 90th, dear sir.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Stay classy, lefties.

After enduring eight years of petulance and invective from the left wing loons, you would think that might start to subside now that Barack Obama has been elected President.

Yeah, not so much.

Tim Newbolt, BPOU chair of the SD49 Republicans, came home last evening to find his lawn signs vandalized.

In victory....

....and defeat

....a tiger just can't seem to change its stripes.


More election digestion.

While I was disappointed in the outcome of the Presidential race, I have to say that this election season was quite gratifying when it came to Minnesota’s US House delegation.

With long-time Congressman Jim Ramstad retiring, the Democrats looked to seize CD 3, a district that has been a GOP stronghold for more than thirty years. As such, national money was coming in to this district in an effort to help DFLer Ashwin Madia defeat Republican Erik Paulsen for the open seat. Nothing would have made Minnesota Dems more tingly than to give credence to their endless nattering of how the third was going blue. But Paulsen ended up winning somewhat comfortably (7.5% to be exact), a surprise given this race had been considered too close to call for weeks.

For the second straight election cycle, left-wing loons painted a huge target on the petite frame of Michele Bachmann in CD6. Bachmann won by eight points in 2006 and looked poised to be re-elected with a double digit victory this time around. Her opponent, empty suit El Tinklenberg, was nothing more than the proverbial speed bump. Ah, but then came Bachmann’s appearance on MSNBC’s Hard Boiled Hardball where she had the audacity to voice concerns about Barack Obama’s questionable associations. Bachmann found out the hard way that you don’t question “The One.” From there, the maniacal left (locally and nationally) poured insane amounts of cash into E-Tink’s campaign in an effort to unseat what had become the biggest threat to them this election year: a strong, outspoken woman. But as is Bachmann’s modus operandi, she weathered the storm and emerged victorious!

While the Republicans nationwide suffered a net loss in the House, I take solace in the fact that my state GOP at least managed to maintain their delegation. That was far from a sure thing leading up to election day.


Election night recap.

I woke up Tuesday morning totally at peace. Granted I pretty well knew we would be electing Senator Barack Obama as President. But I wasn’t devastated at the prospects.

My biggest wish for Election Day was not even a Republican winning the Presidency. No, my largest desire was to have the Senate Republicans keep at least 41 seats. And as I write this, it looks to be all but assured that the GOP Senators will maintain the filibuster option (albeit barely), which is absolutely huge!! If the US Senate had reached 60 members caucusing with the Democrats, the Obama administration would have been able to ramrod through any legislation they desired. Such damaging legislation may well have included card check (that is preventing union members from being able to keep their votes confidential), The Fairness Doctrine, abortion on demand, etc. That’s not to say the Dems won’t try to implement those things, but at least there will be a last line of defense since they don’t have the super majority.

As it is, the Democrat majority may pass some pretty liberal fiscal policies, thus driving the country into a possible recession. Yeah, I know that sounds pretty bleak. But believe it or not there is a ray of hope in that. It opens the door for 2010 to be a repeat of the 1994 midterm elections when the GOP made historic gains in the US Congress after two years of complete Democrat control. Let me emphasize that I do not wish for America to suffer just so conservatives have a chance to take over Congress. But it seems inevitable that we’re headed for tough times given Obama’s seemingly dangerous notions of “redistributing wealth.”

One thing’s for sure. During the Obama presidency, the vast majority of us on the right will not act like a bunch of sniveling and petulant little children like the liberals have over the past eight years. As of mid-January, Barack Obama IS MY PRESIDENT! While I will speak out against him on a host of issues with which I disagree, I will respect the office of the President of the United States.

Congrats, President-elect Obama. Come January you will hold the most powerful office in the free world. As such, you will be in our prayers during the length of your administration.

Remember: Country First!!


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ladies & Gentleman......

The President of the United States


Today's the day!!!

This election day marks the 20th anniversary of the first time I cast a vote. As a sophomore in college I couldn’t have cared less about politics. But I at least knew my state was the home of prominent Democrat politicians like former VPs Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey. And since my Dad and paternal Grandparents were such staunch liberal Democrats, I merely marked every DFLer on the ballot. Yes, I voted for Michael Dukakis for President in 1988. Scary!

I’m certainly not in the prediction game but it’s difficult for me to envision a scenario where Barack Obama is not elected the 44th President of the United States. The one glimmer of hope I have is that Obama’s comments regarding his policies bankrupting the coal industry may resonate with voters in key battleground states. Such rhetoric could solidify John McCain’s lead in Ohio and possibly turn Pennsylvania red. If indeed the McCain-Palin ticket can somehow win the Keystone state, they could endure losses in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa and Virginia (all of which went for President Bush in 2004) and still emerge victorious.

Truth be told, I would almost be able to stomach a McCain loss if Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Senator Norm Coleman can win their respective re-election campaigns. Of course, a Coleman win significantly reduces the Democrats chances of obtaining a “super majority” in the US Senate. With the current Senate delegation of 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 2 Independents (both of whom caucus with the Democrats), it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the Dems could attain the filibuster-proof of 60 members. If that were to take place, you would essentially have three people running this country: President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

I know I will be up until the wee hours Wednesday morning to see how this all shakes out. And I will be praying fervently for my country that whole time.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

The audacity of disincentive.

When Barack Obama pledges to give a tax cut to those earning less than $250,000 $200,000 $150,000 $120,000 $250,000, it's biggest victim looks to be small business owners. Obama's rationale for such a plan is to ensure that all the employees (especially those employed in a small business) have a "chance for success, too." Someone is going to have to explain to me how assistance from government is defined as "success".

But I digress.

Who better to explain the flaws of Obama's plan than Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, an owner of a small business with her husband. In an interview on The David Strom Show yesterday morning, Bachmann emphasized the incredible sacrifice that goes in to running a small business. First of all, there is no such thing as a "weekend". After the employees get paid first, there are the obligations of regulatory fees, operating expenses and taxes. After all that, the actual owners get whatever is left over. Basically, the owner of the business is the one who assumes all the risks and is paid last.

Under Obama's plan, already overburdened business owners will be forced by government to make additional sacrifices that could ultimately force them to reduce their expenses or, heaven forbid, cease operations. And the most exorbitant expense of any business? Employees. In essence, Obama's plan will ultimately harm those who he aims to have a "chance for success, too."

And if anyone dare object to Obama's plan, they're labeled as "selfish."

Given that small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, it would be a travesty if ambitious Americans would cease attempts at starting a business due to their sacrifices being in vain.