Monday, September 29, 2008

Politics

Politics
Since I have to endure my great friends talking about why they love Obama so much and hate Palin more than anything in this world, I thought I brave the waters and mention some things that cause me my beliefs. Many of my good friends know am Republican....though in this day and age, I'm not sure a registered party matters much to someone like me. I have very Democratic social views. I believe in pro-choice, I believe in gay marriage, I believe that a long time lover should be able to stand beside their loved one on their deathbed and say goodbye. I was granted that opportunity once in my lifetime and am grateful for it. I believe people in need should have a place to look to for help when they need it. However, I do not believe in living on welfare as a way of life and will not support anyone that believe lifetime welfare is an acceptable way of life. I remember a story Obama mentioned at the DNC here in Denver about a single other in Ohio with six of seven or maybe a slew of children. She worked, I believe, so I will give her that, but Obama mentioned the family and how because of our suport system, i.e. welfare, grants and financial aid, she was able to send her slew of children to college. Now this educational growth makes me happy and proud for an American; unfortunately, I was in a family that always made too much money to qualify for financial aid or grants fo college, so we had to take out loans or pay cash. My children in another 15 years won't qualify for grants or welfare, but I can bet we'll have those weeks when buying milk will be tight much less sending three kids to college.
As a family, we happen to be in a tax bracket that will take this year about $60K and on top of that we pay for our own benefits. And yet we'll 'make too much' to get the financial to send out kids to school when the time comes. (probably....seeing as that is a long time away) Speaking of benefits, I remember talking to a mother one day whose daughter was on Medicare because she didn't have health benefits for her. She managed to go out to dinner at least twice a week with friends, for coffee at least once a week at Starbuck for $4 a cup, she drove all over the city putting gas in her car at least once a week certainly if not more, but her priority was not giving her child healthcare. She didn't feel it was her responsibility. So she allowed the government to handle it for her. At first I was terrified to go out on our own with a personal business and have to provide health insurance for my family. She made me feel like we'll never have good coverage again. Then I found out she was paying $500 a month for three people in her family and I realized you get what you pay for. For a little more than double that, I have a PPO, no co-pay and 90% coverage. I got what I paid for and I paid more for what I got. I chose to own that responsibility instead of asking for a hand up. I'm not suggesting every democrat is like that, but it does seem that many people I have met like that have that democratic belief that the government should always be there to help you out as long as your not willing to help yourself out; where as I believe people come on hard times and we all need a hand every now and then, but it's not owed to us and we need to pay it forward always and keep it short and simple because there is always someone in line behind us. I was raised in a family that believed we should never take anything from the government. I never have and hope I never will....or rather am never in a place where I can't handle my life on my own ir with help of family or even friend first.
The basis of my republican view is less government. I don't believe many of the government programs actually help people as much as they enable people to stay where they are instead of striving to do and become better. However, in my later years I've become cynical of even the republicans and the party's drive. I think religion has overtaken the party more than political views. I don't actually remember when Kennedy was elected because I'm a child of the '70s, but I do know the outrage that a Catholic would be president. I am also aware of many of the conspiracy theories that reside in people's minds about his assassination from affairs with Marilyn to suggesting getting rid of the CIA or even banking conspiracies such as the ones we face today. For me, over 40 years later, it just proves that politics just gets dirtier over time and with each election I've been a part of in the last (gasp) 17 years, I have always felt I was choosing the lesser of two evils. It's sad that so many of us feel that way.
I'm not a huge fan of McCain. There are things I like about him. There are things I have always liked about him. When Obama threw his hat into the ring, I asked a few friends from IL about him and I've never felt satisfied that I know enough about him to judge make a well educated decision about him. I think as people we pick what we like based on the influences we allow in our lives. It's so comical to me how CNN is left and Fox is right. I love Glenn Beck (who is actually on CNN) and many of the things he says and believe will influence me much more that someone else...I'll keep the ones I'm not fans of nameless....not really out of respect but more because I'd have to look at their pictures to get their full names. Many others will allow other news anchors or news makers or talk show hosts to influence their decisions as well. You chose to watch the news channel you watch...because you like then anchors or the way they report the news...or the way they lean. And face it, the media leans....one way or another. I think even Bill O'Riley who claims to be in the no spin zone seems to inflate his own ego each night and lean every now and then...but he'll deny that.
So back to the lesser of two....whatever you wish to call it. McCain and Palin are not perfect people or perfect politicians by any means. I've never cared if anyone inhaled anything 30 years ago and I expect people's views to change as they grow and therefore they may seem to flip flop over the years. I have flip flopped....the things that were important to me once, like being pro-choice and for gay rights drove my voting decisions. Those things are important to me as is stem cell research and the such but not enough for my personal life to drive my vote. The environment is important to me as well, but like many things it's a double edge sword. Mother Earth is important and we've done damage to it. But I'm not the little girl going from house to house anymore spewing about plutonium in the dirt and local water. Scientists say our oceans are a degree cooler that they were ten years ago. We go through these cycles of El Nino and El Nina every few years. The polar bear population is actually up and they can swim for at least 100 miles without stopping. Many have been seen 200 miles from land or floating on ice in basically a pool of food available. I think things like global warming are over rated. I think our earth like our lives goes through cycles. There was a time with this earth was a ball of fire. There was a time when it was covered with ice. There was a time when all the land settled down near the South Pole. I don't believe any of this happened with people on the Earth, but just as any plant or animal, Earth is a changing being filled with motion, ice, water and fire. We need to accept responsibility for our actions as companies that polute the air and as people that consume too much food that generates waste. But things like Carbon Credits....is this a joke? And someone please tell me Al Gore is behind this so I can laugh harder. Are people really buying a promise? So I can buy a promise that someone else in another city would not release greenhouse gasses? Even with the stock market down 700 points today, I'll keep my money there. Companies can really pollute Denver more because they are buying credits that can be used in Salt Lake City. So SLC houses a company that has better technology with cleaner equipment and the company in Denver doesn't need to upgrade their equipment; they just need to buy a credit from someone that is not polluting the air as much. What a joke....this is going to save the world? Go rent a car....you pay for the car, you pay for the gas, the insurance and now you can buy carbon credits so when you pollute the city you are visiting by driving the car, someone else that pollute less will take the credit for driving a better car....and you pay for it.
I digress….there are things on a typical Democrats mind that is important to me, but I think like many things important to a typical Republican, they are one sided and blown out of proportion to the other things important to ones day to day life and future.

Obama…..won his first election in IL by getting his opponents off the ballot, has been close to man men in corrupt Chicago politics including a man that was convicted of stealing $4M in quarters (that’s a lot of freaking quarters) from toll booths and then hired into the city to work for the people again where he began bribes for campaign monies to buying his mansion from Tony Rezko, an indicted political fund raiser….there are things that I even think are petty, but demand questions of character like his grandfather’s military record. Obama once said something about his grandfather seeing dead bodies in combat lying across Europe in WWII and yet records show his grandfather never saw combat. He’s also said his grandfather signed up the day after Pearl Harbor and military records show the gentleman signed up in June, six months after Pearl Harbor. I see the commitment to our country Obama is trying to portray from generations before him, but much like the Clinton, “I smoked but didn’t inhale” comments, what is the benefit of lying…especially about something that can be checked out like military records?? Of course there have been many questions about his own parentage, but those conversations are old and worn by now, I’m sure.
His beautiful and eloquent wife….ironically wants universal health care or at least a health care system where anyone can come into a doctor or hospital and get the help they need and deserve as American people. I believe it was Nancy Pelosi that said at the DNC that it is every American’s RIGHT to be insured. Personally I don’t remember reading this under the bill of rights or anywhere in our Constitution. But Michelle Obama wants to work to make this happen. Until the people give her the power to do so, she will continue to work at her current job in Chicago…well, she did until sometime in May when she resigned to campaign with her husband. When she resigned she was quoted saying something along the lines of she’s where she is because she’s tried to not get to far ahead. Yet her promotion to VP of community and external affairs at University of Chicago Hospitals took place just after Obama was elected and included a $215K a year paycheck. That’s pretty far ahead if you ask me. But that’s not my problem. I think anyone that works that hard and is recognized for it by pay or promotion deserves a pat on the back. However, on function of Michelle’s was to turn way the uninsured. Now I would think one with values as strong as hers and beliefs that we all deserve healthcare would not accept a job the required her to turn citizen away because of their lack of insurance. The people that have those hardcore beliefs that I respect are the ones that open free clinics and work night and day providing healthcare and recruiting donations and doctors to help the people of the community. I can’t respect someone that wants to fight in Washington for healthcare for all if she couldn’t use some of the almost $20K a month she made to get healthcare to her own neighbors. (though I have seen a Chicago Sun Tribune that reported her salary at $317K a year I think the increase was after he was elected to Senate for the not for profit hospital - now that could create some donations, wouldn’t you think?? I’d expect to Michelle Obama free clinics all over Chicago by now if she actually practiced what she preached)
And as the night ends, and you are way bored with my writing if you are even here….I am reminded that in recent weeks we have lost Fanny and Freddie….an idea that never should have worked anyway and major corporations that many of us depend on for our 401K, or insurance or our life savings. I don’t think this is the time for me at least to place blame on any politician or party. Our country’s CEOs has become greedy and in any political environment greed cannot be acceptable behavior. This has been seen in Obama’s life several times. From his wife’s not for profit salary to her board of directors position at Treehouse Foods where the CEO reportedly made $26M in the year 2005; the same year Obama stood in front of union workers at Wal-Mart and discussed standing up and fighting for better salaries and benefits and fighting CEO salaries like the Wal-Mart’s CEO’s salary of that same year of $10.5M….much lower than that of the Treehouse CEO who then shut down a plan and laid off lower paid Hispanic workers. Obama has been getting advise from the three top execs from Freddy Mac and Fannie May. They not only contributed FM/FM monies to many democratic campaigns, but then before they failed enormously, the three execs walked out with over $137M in salaries alone…one has seen a bonus of over $700K! Bonus! That’s my mortgage and your put together (Ok, most of us at least) That was one bonus..and now these people that brought down a system that in reality was doomed to fail are giving Obama advise. On what? How to change our economy? On what not to do maybe? Over the last year Freddie and Fannie have lost $14B….and Obama has been receiving money from them…they have all walked out never having to work again, making more money that most of us will ever see.

Now I close with McCain doesn’t yet have my vote. Politics are corrupt…sadly…true in more cases than many of us would like to admit..or hope at least. John McCain is not innocent and I’m sure there are many lobbyists working for him that you don’t agree with and campaigns monies coming from places we don’t understand. I know he has ties to Fannie and Freddie as well….it’s Washington; everyone’s in bed. I’m not trying to open a debate or change your opinion..just stating why I fee the way I feel. There are many more reasons…these are just a few.