Super-wife and I just finished watching the third presidential debate between President Obama and Governor Romney. I still hold the opinion after watching the last one in the series that there's not much difference between the two.
I need to hear more. I'm looking for some serious discussion, but I'm not sure it's findable.
What do you think?
I can't believe that we watched the whole vice-presidential debate last night. After a few minutes, I felt my partisan blood stirring. It would be easy to get indignant at some of the things said and how they were said.
How much is one candidate or one political party going to change things in this country? The answer I found was on the BillyGraham.org website. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I know this. You can "Fact Check" it and the answer will remain the same. This is what it said:
We are watching the debate right now between Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.
Biden is constantly smirking and sarcastic. He doesn't want to debate. He comes across as a partisan thug and that's it. I'm not impressed. He shows no respect to his opponent.
It 's still happening. How can people pull aorund a common vision and move forward? Doesn't seem like it will happen tonight.
What if Rebecca Kiessling's birth mom had decided to abort her because she was conceived in rape?
Do the circumstances of her conception make her less valuable than somebody who is not? In this video, she tells her personal story which is a compelling case for life.
The whole topic is uncomfortable to talk about and produces much emotion without any serious resolution. This is worth a view.
Somebody on Facebook expressed surprise that a conservative like me would support a liberal like Walt Sorg for the Michigan House of Representatives in the 67th District.
First, I can't actually vote for Walt because he's not in my district, but I would if he was. Next, let me be completely open about my relationship with him. I've known him for at least four decades give or take a couple of years.
We have worked together as reporters and on the staff of the Michigan Legislature. We have socialized and we have helped each other when necessary. I have seen his ups and downs and he has seen mine.
He knows how to govern and he knows that you need people from the other side to do it. He listens and he reacts and it's not some phony exercise to create the illusion of communication. If he disagrees, he'll let you know and he's open for continued conversation.
Walt is open and transparent. He hasn't tried to hide that he has had bad knees or that he has struggled in keeping his weight down. He's had financial and health challenges. He's a real person.
He was there when I needed help cutting a tree down and he was there when I needed a place to stay when I found myself homeless for a week.
What about the philosophical differences? What are labels worth anymore. Mitt Romney calls himself a conservative and he was the father of the health plan in his state that President Obama used as a template nationally. Romney says Obamacare is wrong, but it's the same as Romneycare on the state level.
Relationships are key in politics and I don't even no who's running on the Republican side in the 67th District. I've seen Walt at every community function I've been at. He's listening and he's talking.
I'd vote for him if he was in my district, the 68th.
I would understand if you said your tolerance for "political bullshit" hit full a long time ago and you just want all the television commercials, robocalls and door-to-door to go away. For much of the time, I'm there myself. But . . .
I know that I could spend the rest of my time on the political sidelines and instead of reading about ballot proposals and candidates I could read, watch videos and look at pictures of my grandchildren, my grandson, my unborn granddaughter and grandkids yet to come.
But I've made a choice, my grandkids, my kids and my wife are still at the top of the list. But, as part of that, I know that I have to be involved in the politics of the day in some fashion.
That includes the six ballot proposals that we will probably be asked to vote on. I want to know the pros and the cons, the who, what, when, where, how and why and, especially, the so-what.
To start out, here's a story by Tim Martin of the Associated Press about the six proposals with bulleted point for each one. These are important and each one has consequences.
Don't expect me to start going door-to-door for a candidate, but I feel some involvement coming on.
Tomorrow I will probably stop at our neighborhood Biggby's coffeeshop for my usual two dollar coffee before I go to help lead a class in East Lansing. I wish they would have a discussion question for the day.
I'd love to see the folks who stop in there react to Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley's offering today about how government programs are being bungled in the Motor City. He points to what he says are daily stories about misspent funds, cheating and audits which raise big, big question marks.
His question for our local coffeeshop: How much control over private institutions and our personal lives do we want to give a government who can't manage the money it has now?
Maybe I ate too much bran cereal for breakfast this morning, but Jack Hunter, the Southern Avenger, makes some serious points about the Republican Party and its future. It's the young who are behind Paul and his ideas and not behind the others. I wish we had a few more at our dinner table tonight, I'd love to talk about this.
Are you trying to decide who you are going to support as a Republican candidate for president? I am. It would be easy to ignore all the babble coming from all sides, including both parties.
I'm tired of all the carping, the meaninglless rhetoric and the seeming phoniness coming from the political and media camps. On television, give a choice between watching a debate among the candidates and reruns of Army Wives or the Good Wife, I'd probably go with the latter.
Then I saw this CBS interview with Rick Santorum's wife. I see a sincerity and an openness that you don't see with the other candidates. She gives a revealing look into her husband and to their family life. She provides a snapshot of her husband's values as seen through her eyes. I'm impressed. I want to learn more.
When I get to our neighborhood coffeeshop in a few minutes, I'll have to throw this question out kind of like a hand grenade with the pin removed. Just who would Jesus vote for? And Barry Goldwater is not a choice.
Check out this post from the CNN religion blog where the head of a NGO answers that question. Remember that Jesus was not oblivious to politics. Was he conservative or liberal? Was he pushing for inward or outward transformation of individuals?
I just spotted a link to this story about Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announcing a state hotline to report child abuse. This is being billed as evidence that our state is really on top of this heinous problem. This deserves a read and discussion. I getting close to going out the door. I'll come back to this.
I remember when I had dinner with Peggy Noonan here in mid-Michigan along with three or four hundred other people. She was the guest speaker at a local Republican event and I was smitten with how she made me think more clearly about what I believe. That had to be more than a decade ago.
She does the same with her column in the Wall Street Journal. In her latest offering which was published Friday, she writes about conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart who recently died.
Noonan recounted his passionate battle with any liberaal politician or any so-called progressive. He was in a full-time holy war and never took his foot off the throttle. Liberals were considered by enemies by him.
Noonan comments about this attitude
But in their fight against liberalism and its demands, too many conservatives have unconsciously come to ape the left. They too became all politics all the time. Friendships were based on it, friendships were lost over it. "You agree with me? You're in. You don't? You're out." They became as good at ousting, excluding and anathematizing as Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, as Jacobins. As self-righteous, too, and as adept at dehumanizing the enemy.
It is not progress when you become what you hate, when you take on its sickest aspect.
The result is continued polarization and balkanazation of this country. How do we swing this back in a productive way? Is it too late?
This interview with Newt Gingrich on Meet The Press today deserves a look. Newt provides a good, solid answer to David Gregory's question about the whole contraception hullaballoo over a statement by talk radio's Rush Limbaugh. Nobody's being denied access to contraception. Everybody agree?
Did Pete Hoekstra do this Super Bowl television commercial for his U.S. Senate race as a result of polling Michigan voters? Is this what they see as the issue with voters in our state? Does it work? Does he set a hook into Stabenow about this issue? Click here for the website to go with the tv spot. Check it out:
How many of you just assume that a politician is going to lie and not tell you the truth at some point?
It's just assumed that politics and lying go hand in hand. The two words seem to be synonyms. Their efforts at untruth will run the continuum from just shading a fact to their favor to an outright lie. Does anybody who is not in politics disagree with this statement?
What are the consequences for us as citizens when politicians and their statements are allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged?
There's a new book--How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think by Andy Andrews--that raises these questions for us during a transition time in our history where politicians dominate everything we do. Their unchecked and unchallenged words have never had more potential for good or for harm.
In this small book, Andrews points to the Jewish Holacaust where more than 11 million were murdered where Germans refused to believe or acknowledge the truth of what was happening. They were misled and they refused to acknowledge the truth as it was unwrapped for them.
As you watch CNN today or read news on the web and see what our political leaders are saying, ask yourself how you know what they are saying is the truth? What can you do when you're not sure or when you know it's an outright lie or it's a fact that's shaded and turned?
Both parties and their partisans engage in these actions where the truth is played with or ignored.
Why do we let it happen? Would you rather be lied to or would you rather know the truth?
What if members of the Michigan Legislature and other politicians were required dress like race car drivers with big patches sewed on their jackets showing where they get their financial support?
What companies and organizations in our state would be the most visible? Michigan Chamber of Commerce? United Auto Workers? Michigan Education Association? I draw a blank? Who are the big political givers?
It would certainly make disclosure of political contributions more visible. I first heard of this from a friend on Facebook. Have you seen this before:
Newt Gingrich apparently is really amping up his campaign in Iowa to win the Republican presidential caucuses there on Jan. 3. Check out this new tv commercial released just this morning.
He's reassuring about the future and about bringing people together. Does it work? Would it work in Michigan? How would our state respond?
I just read the story linked on the Drudge Report about how Newt Gingrich is ahead in the Iowa polls leading up to that state's partisan caucuses where delegates to the Republican National Convention are ultimately picked.
How many of you are familiar with how that process works?
It sounds like fun and much more participatory to meet with other Republicans from my precinct, listen to each candidate's pitch and then put my selection of a blank piece of paper. It would feel more engaging to get together with neighbors to hear their thoughts and to ask questions.
How does it work in Iowa? I found this piece from Wikipedia which provides a lot of details about the process and how successful caucus-goers have been in picking ultmate winners at the national convention
Why hasn't Michigan tried this? Would this be a state party decision?
Don't go to this link for Jack Abramoff's Facebook page if you've just eaten. Remember him? He's the Washington D.C. lobbyist who showed that you could buy members of the U.S. Congress with gifts of money and trips. He has a website too. He's out promoting his book explaining how he did it. His fingers reached into a lot of states through his paid advocacy for certain Indian casinos.