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The Dark Knight Rises: Movie Review

The Dark Knight Rises completes Christopher Nolan’s fabulous Dark Knight trilogy, and does it in a spectacular manner.  The final film of one of the great movie trilogies of all time demonstrates a world in upheaval; in rebellion and revolution, with only one old, past his prime hero that stands in the way between civilization and the chasm.

Since the last movie, 8 years have passed, and Batman is in virtual banishment.  Bruce Wayne has turned into a modern day Howard Hughes, largely ignoring or avoiding the reality of the society around him.  He is not actively Batman, and his body shows it.

Gotham City is fairly lawful…but the corrupt underbelly of the city, like always, remains.  Of course, the peace was achieved only through the passage of Draconian laws which, of course, limit true liberty and freedom.  Add to this the divide between the rich and the poor, and you have a city that is primed for strife.

Into this vacuum enters Bane. Bane is a bulky, evil S.O.B. who wears a large gas mask covering his face, which makes him utterly frightful.  He plans on completely disrupting the entire social construct by using terror and mayhem.  Bane makes a call to arms to the indigent and the weak, to stand up and face their rich oppressors, in echoes of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

It is Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) who remains without Batman, keeping the peace. He still has only a few trusted allies in the police force, among them John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a beat cop who becomes central to the movie.

The stakes of the final showdown are raised to epic proportions with grandiose images of disaster and murder, that seem all too real in 3D Imax.  Bane is the ultimate threat; he does not mind destroying the world in order to save it.  And Nolan makes you believe in the threat as much as a movie can.

So what does Nolan do?  He takes us where no other film would dare take us.  This is not a spoiler, just a statement.  Nolan, as usual, has something in store for the viewer that is special and unique, in a way no other movie series could ever achieve.

Is this better than The Dark Knight?  I don’t know, but if it isn’t…it is damn close.  That in itself is an achievement of the highest order.  The Dark Knight should still be considered for posterity as the best film of 2008 (all apologies to Slumdog Millionaire) and possibly the greatest of all superhero movies.  However, nobody steals the movie the way Heath Ledger did with his portrayal of the Joker, although the acting is superb and at a high level.

Christopher Nolan ends this trilogy in a fabulous, fantastically exciting and satisfying way, that should make any fanboy ecstatic.  I am not sure how he could have out done himself, as he concludes one of the great movie arcs in history.

Possibly the best movie of the year so far; a must see.

This blog post was written before the events of Aurora, CO came to light.  Condolences to the families and victims of that atrocity.


Senate predictions July Edition

The 2012 cycle of course is going to spend the bulk of its time talking about the race of Gov. Mitt Romney vs. President Barack Obama. That is the way of things.

However, especially for Republicans, Congress may actually be more important.  Nothing Republicans want to achieve (tax reform, entitlement changes, spending restraint) can be accomplished without retaining the House and Senate.

As for the House…I am fairly confident that, short of a catastrophe that is unimaginable at this moment, the Republicans will hold the House of Representatives. Charlie Cook, who is by far the best predictor of House races on a national level that I know, basically predicts very little or no change to the Republicans advantage.  Stuart Rothenberg, another respected expert, basically believes that Democrats have no chance of retaking the House.

But the Senate?  The Senate is much more fascinating, and should lead to many intriguing races in the fall.

So what are the most interesting races, and the overall picture, of the Senate race?

1. Massachusetts

The race between Sen. Scott Brown, who took over for liberal lion Ted Kennedy, and Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren has been heated and likely will be the most expensive Senate race this year.  Brown has earned a lot of political capital in the state as he is one of the few true moderates left in the Senate.  Warren has the liberal machinery behind her, and although she has had headwinds (like her question of Native American ancestry), it has little mattered so far.  The race is tied in virtually every poll.

PREDICTION:  Scott Brown by a nose.  But really a tossup.  Right now, Republican hold.

2.  Virginia

The race between former Gov. and DNC head Tim Kaine, a close ally of Obama’s, and former Sen. George Allen will get heated for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that Virginia is now a presidential battleground state.  This may end up to be a Republican vs. Democrat proxy fight.  The latest poll by a Republican outfit shows Allen leading by 9, but I think this is an outlier.  This race is tied.

PREDICTION:  Allen, by a few thousand votes; a virtual toss-up.  Republican pickup.

3.  Nevada

Nevada is another battleground state which, like Virginia, is going to be a party proxy.  Current Sen. Dean Heller faces Democrat Shelley Berkeley.  Heller leads by a tiny margin in the polls, but any news could shift this race.  I do wonder though, in this state with a large Mormon population, if that extra lift may push Heller over the top.

PREDICTION:  Heller.  Republican hold.

4. North Dakota

North Dakota should be the easiest of Republican pickups, but it is not turning out that way.  Rick Berg has struggled to add distance from Democrat challenger Heidi Heitkamp.   However, the most recent Rasmussen poll has Berg leading by 9 points.  Heitkamp has so far run a brilliant race.  But in a state that likely will vote for Romney by a +20 margin, and with Berg with a money advantage and ready to pound Democrats over Obamacare, I still think Republicans pick up this seat.

PREDICTION:  Berg.  Republican pickup.

5.  Montana

Montana is intriguing.  Jon Tester is a fairly popular Democrat in the state.  However, most polls show him trailing Denny Rehberg.  Tester is running away from the Obama record as fast as he can.  Again, like North Dakota, this is one of those states where the Presidential race may have coattails.

PREDICTION.  Rehberg.  Republican pickup.

6.  Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a blue state!  Well, until Gov. Walker.  Now, this race is trending red, and Obama now sees it as a battleground too.  Fmr. Gov. Tommy Thompson is the presumptive nominee for Republicans, and he is now leading in virtually every poll versus Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

PREDICTION:  Thompson.  Republican pickup.

7.  Florida

Bill Nelson is like Charlie Brown’s football…Republicans think they can kick him out every six years, and fail.  Connie Mack is going to try his best, but has not run a solid campaign as yet.  Nelson has led in every poll so far.

PREDICTION:  Nelson.  Democrat hold.

8.  Missouri

Claire McCaskill is quickly becoming one of the most endangered Democrats. Every poll has her trailing a trio of Republicans, and all three Republicans (Sarah Steelman, John Brunner, Todd Akin) all poll at over 50%…a death sentence for an incumbent.  Additionally, the Obama campaign has written off the state.  No coattails here.

Prediction:  Republican pickup.

9.  New Mexico

New Mexico continues to trend blue.  Martin Heinrich leads Republican Heather Wilson by five points.  If Romney can challenge in the state, Wilson has a chance. But this is a heavy Democrat lean at this point.

Prediction:  Democrat hold.

10.  Maine

Olympia Snowe stunned Republicans with her retirement.  Former Independent Governor Angus King is going to walk away with this election, and will caucus with Democrats.

Prediction:  Independent win; virtual Democrat gain.

This of course doesn’t include other races like Hawaii, Michigan, Arizona, and Connecticut, states in which should the incumbent party should hold their respective seats, or Nebraska which is an obvious Republican pickup.

One state I also didn’t include above?  My home state of Ohio.  Right now, Sherrod Brown leads by double digits over Republican Josh Mandel.  Mandel has a lot of money, but a lot of ground to make up.

If you take all this into account, that would mean the Democrats gain one Republican seat (Maine), while Republicans gain 6 seats.  That would give Republicans a net gain of 5 seats, a 52-46-2 advantage in the Senate, and the majority, making Mitch McConnell the Senate Majority leader.

There remains an enormous amount of flux in the race.  The most tenuous races for Republicans remain Massachusetts and Virginia, which could easily flip.  Losing those two seats alone, that would make the Senate a tie, leaving the decision to the Presidential race and the ultimate Vice President of the United States.   On the other hand, Florida, New Mexico and even Hawaii could move in the other direction, all of which have competitive races that could easily shift. But right now, the trend is for Republicans to take over the U.S. Senate.




Happy Fourth of July, 2012 Edition



And please remember, as you enjoy your barbecues and picnics with family…our troops still serve on five continents around the world, and some dying even this day.  To often do we forget, that freedom is in fact not free.



The Amazing Spider-Man: Movie Review

Spider-Man is my favorite superhero, bar none.  Always has been.  Peter Parker is the traditional nerdy geek who can never get the girl, and becomes the ultimate superhero, even though he takes a beating along the way.  I always could relate to that.

But in all honesty, when I heard about this remake of a movie that was only released in 2002…I was more than a little dismayed. Why another origin story, when Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was so brilliant to begin with?  Along with Spider-Man 2, Raimi’s movies were going to be hard to beat; although he thoroughly missed with Spider-Man 3.

But Sony Pictures saw a cash hound, and was not going to let it go.  Somehow, instead of just replacing the actors and going forward with the story, they thought a reboot was in order.  And I humbly suggest, that was the fatal flaw in this movie.

Don’t get me wrong…the movie is decent.  There are parts that I think are better than the original, especially when we get to Peter’s back story.  This movie is no where as great as Spider-Man 2, but it is respectable.

Furthermore, Andrew Garfield is so superior in the role to Tobey Maguire, it shames me to admit it.  Garfield has a depth that Maguire never really had in the original movies.

As for Emma Stone…it is unfair to ask me.  She is my crush of the moment.   I love everything she does.  And as Gwen Stacy, she and Garfield have some real chemistry on screen, which should come as no surprise…they are an item in real life.

The Lizard is Spider-man’s evil villain, playing Dr. Connors in human form by Rhys Ifans, was solid, but not spectacular. At some point, you kind of lose the entire reason why Connors is so mad…and why the Lizard matters all together, other than as a foil for Spidey.

However, I submit that the entire film pales in comparison to the prior trilogy.  Sure, the third film had serious issues (3 villains?  Really?), but to make a reboot successful, they needed to surpass what they achieved just a decade ago in the first two films…and they just come up a little short.

I will say this though:  my six year old, who only recently discovered Spider-Man, loved the movie.  For one reason or another, he preferred it to the Tobey Maquire original.  And maybe that reintroduction of Spider-Man is the real key to the series.  I still think I would recommend this movie, but this is certainly not a must see.  I personally would have been content watching this at home 6 months from now…which I guess tells you all you need to know.



Its The Economy, Stupid…But…


…for Congressional candidates, Obamacare may be the issue that wins the day.

This could quickly become a redux of 2010.

In my previous post, I argued that Romney should only talk about Obamacare in reference to its effects on the economy.  It is the largest tax and regulatory bill in American history, and its deleterious effects on the economy and job production fit nicely into Romney’s single issue campaign.

But for congressional candidates, they need only to look at the last midterms to understand the benefit this provides.  Chief Justice John Roberts may have used somewhat convoluted legal arguments to come to the decision, but he now forces a stark reality upon Democrats.

Obamacare is a tax.  Arguably, the largest tax ever.

Numerous candidates who support Obamacare must now defend raising taxes in the middle of a stagnant recessionary economy; or if you believe Joe Biden, a depression.

Just a few examples.

1. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.  McCaskill has already been lagging her Republican contenders for months, and is certainly one of the weakest candidates out there.  Can she now defend Obamacare?  What political capital does she possess to make that argument?  And even more so…how does she explain the comments of Democrat MO Governor Jay Nixon, who said the mandate is bad for Missouri?

2. Tim Kaine of Virginia is in a dog fight with Republican George Allen.  Allen now has a new weapon against Kaine: force him to rationalize a huge tax increase during a recession.  Kaine either has to accept it as a tax and defend it, or give a convoluted Pelosi-like answer that most moderates are unlikely to buy.

3.  Jon Tester of Montana is in a tough re-election race against Republican Johnny Rehberg, who has early as May had already hit Tester on voting for Obamacare.   How long before the tax argument arise?  I wager days, if not hours.

This does not even begin to argue about House seats, especially marginal ones in red states, where in 2010 the Obamacare issue was destructive, as it annihilated the Blue Dog caucus.

Mitt Romney needs to take a macroeconomic position and focus on the country at large.  In doing so, he will frame Republicans as the party of economic growth and job creation. But the down ballot candidates need to focus on how critical their role is for the repeal of the unpopular Obamacare law even more now than ever.

Starting this weekend, and continuing today on social networks, liberals are using every excuse they can to define Obamacare as anything other than a tax.  That, in a nutshell, shows you the political bind they are in.  They will try to spin it as anything but what the Supreme Court said it was…and of course, that is a losing proposition for them.  There was one message from the Obamacare ruling:  it is constitutional because it is a tax.

The GOP blueprint for victory and claiming the majority in the House and Senate is clear:  2010 redux.


OK, Obamacare Constitutional…What Next?


So now that we are past the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the ACA, we can move on to more important things.

I am completely serious.

This is not to put a spin on what is ultimately a loss for conservatives.  It clearly was that, and a huge victory for progressives led by Barack Obama.  You may hear me putting a silver lining on it, but we all know conservatives lost this round.

But fundamentally, it changes nothing.

First and foremost, most of the ACA was going to be upheld.  I never truly believed that the whole law would be overturned.  That includes the exchanges, the IPAB, and a myriad of taxes and regulations.  So we needed Congressional action to rid the country of this garbage regardless of the SCOTUS decision.  Now, simply add the mandate to the list, and the work load is virtually the same.

Furthermore, this changes nothing central to the presidential election.  It might give some political boost to Mitt Romney, as I stated in yesterday’s post.  Already, Mitt has had a huge day in contributions, raising over $4 million in the last 24 hours.  But the election is still about one and only one thing:  the economy.  The mandate is important to deal with, primarily because of the individual rights that are trampled, but the only reason to talk about it this year is because of its effect on the economy.

This is still a single issue election.  Mitt Romney knows this and understands this.  Yes, repealing Obamacare is a priority, on day one of a Romney administration…but it is only one piece to the economic puzzle that Romney must convince voters he knows how to solve.

It is still the economy, stupid.


Obamacare Constitutional: Thoughts and Reactions

In a landmark ruling the Supreme Court today announced that in a 5-4 decision (with Justice Kennedy dissenting and Chief Justice Roberts writing the decision) that Obamacare, for the most part, is constitutional, including the individual mandate.

John Roberts declared,

“Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and the Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax.  This is sufficient to sustain it.”

“Simply put, Congress may tax and spend,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “This grant gives the federal government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate.”

“The federal government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid or otherwise control,” Roberts wrote.

In other words, the constitutionality of the mandate is derived from it being a tax, not from any rights under the commerce clause.  As a constitutional scholar friend of mine stated,
I’m going to use this analogy on TV, to explain the Court’s ruling, unless one of you convinces me not to (and the fact that 90% of the population can’t process analogies isn’t a good enough reason). The government can’t force you to have kids, or punish you for not having kids, but they can make taxes higher for people without kids than they are for people with kids.
In a stinging and surprising dissent, Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested that the other justices wanted to wipe out the entire law. “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety,” he wrote.
The justices did rule against another key part of the law, saying the law’s Medicaid expansion — which starts in 2014 — tranforms the program into something it wasn’t designed to be.

“The court today limits the financial pressure the secretary may apply to induce states to accept the terms of the Medicaid expansion,” the ruling states. “As a practical matter, that means states may now choose to reject the expansion; that is the whole point. But that does not mean all or even any will.”

So my thoughts on the legal aspects?:

1.  Although this is clearly a defeat for conservatives, who hoped to put the issue to the grave, the reality is that this court was never going to seriously overturn the entire bill.  I never believed that for a second.  So legislative action was required to turn back Obamacare before, and is still required.

2.  The commerce clause, the Obama Administration’s argument, was null and void.  There never was a good argument for the commerce clause to apply in an industry that is not interstate.  In fact, Obamacare specifically prohibits buying this product across state lines, and the commerce clause simply does not apply in those cases.  The Supreme Court almost completely rejected the argument. The justices rejected two of the administration’s three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” Roberts said.

3.  The power to tax is the power to destroy.  Chief Justice Roberts has reaffirmed this government right.  Simply put, they are treating Obamacare much like they treat Medicare and Social Security.

4.  The Medicare ruling is being dismissed, but this may be significant.  States now have the legal right to reject to enact this portion of the bill.  It may be the equivalent of a waiver.  What does this mean practically?  I don’t know if anyone knows.

So, my thoughts politically?

1. Short term, this is a big victory for the Obama Administration.  Their key legislative victory survives for another day.

2. Long term?  Long term this helps Mitt Romney.  I have been consistent on this.  I think overturning the mandate would have helped Romney marginally, by removing the issue all together.  However, now conservatives and especially Tea Party groups must unite behind Romney if they ever believe they can remove Obamacare. Once in place in 2014, it is highly unlikely that it will be repealed.  I would expect that Romney’s campaign coffers will grow substantially as well.

Furthermore, will this convince moderates, independents, and libertarians that it is essential for Romney to be the next President?  I think for some, the answer is ‘Yes’.

3.  Mitt Romney also has a new line of attack.  By defining the mandate as a tax, Obama no longer can claim not to have increased taxes on every living American.  The taxes in the ACA will raise $500 billion over the next decade, making it by far the largest tax increase in American history.  Furthermore, it is inherently a regressive tax, as it is basically imposed equally among the rich and the poor, though the poorest will receive subsidies.

This completely invalidates the left’s argument that Obama has been a low tax president.  If you include Obamacare taxes, our tax rates are the highest in decades.  Mitt Romney should pound this issue into the ground.

4.  The left’s credibility in lieu of the Supreme Court is a joke.  As late as two hours ago, many liberals were losing their minds, calling the Court ‘dishonorable’ and a ‘Banana Republic’.  Justice Roberts yesterday was a pariah…today a hero…at least to the media.

Another point.  CNN initially got the story wrong.  But, the most interesting development concerning the Supreme Court’s ruling when it was released was not the initial inaccurate media reports that the mandate was invalidated, but instead the reaction from the mandate’s supporters on Facebook: in about three minutes, the Court went from a bunch of pathetic political hacks to jurists of great intelligence and wisdom.

On the other hand, you do not see such insults hurled at the court from the Right.  This morning after the ruling, do you hear conservatives calling the court ‘jackals’ or ‘without honor’?  No.  The majority of conservatives disagree with the ruling, but move forward.  Liberals are the one without honor in this issue.


My final thoughts?  Ultimately, politically this may matter a lot, as it will likely improve Romney’s arguments of Obama being a tax and spend liberal who will continue to grow government regardless of its long term effects on our financial outlook.  It will also however harden Tea Party support around Romney, and likely unite the conservative base once and for all.

Legally and practically, I have to say I prefer winning this battle in Congress rather than in the Supreme Court.  The public is on our side in this issue, by a 2:1 margin.  If we can’t win that argument for more individual rights and freedoms, we don’t deserve to be a political movement.  Furthermore, I have long argued the worst thing about the abortion issue was that is was not done by legislative action, but by Court fiat.  The same goes here.  The public will accept legislative change much easier than it will accept five unelected jurors determining how their lives are led.

So basically, nothing has changed.  The fight goes on.  And the ultimate battle in that fight is to elect Mitt Romney President of the United States.

P.S. – please ignore any typographical errors…I wrote this in haste. 


Brave: Movie Review

Brave is the long anticipated next Pixar contribution to film lore…and it lives up to its hype.  It is maybe the most aesthetically amazing of the Pixar movies, and looks all the more glorious in 3D.

Pixar has built a gorgeous world to bring numerous amazing characters to the screen.  Led by the lead, Princess Merida, the film gives us characters we are unlikely to forget.

Merida is a tomboy in the truest sense, which does not fit with her mother, Queen Elinor, and her concept of the perfect daughter and princess.  This of course gets in the way of setting up the ideal husband for the princess.  However, growing up in a Scottish world, especially with the raucous father in the likes of King Fergus, it was unlikely Elinor would have ever gotten her wish.

Merida is not unlike most girls these days, pushing the boundaries of what society often defines them as, at the same time hoping to fall in love with the ideal mate.  Merida simply wants freedom to make choices, but she lives in a world that limits them at every turn.  This may sound like a ‘feminist’ line, but it is more of a growing of age tale than a political commentary.

Furthermore, I loved the relationship Merida has with both of her parents, each unique in its own way.  And there are lessons to be learned, like in every good Disney/Pixar film.  I would say the real lesson in this movie is that every person has to take responsibility for their actions.

The plot is full of twist and turns, to say the least, and I doubt that many people can predict every curve the writers will throw at you.  Some people have criticized this, but frankly, what would you want?  The same “princess runs around and finds Prince Charming” tale?

What I also love about this movie?  It doesn’t hold back in animated violence. Merida is a warrior at  heart (people compare her character to Katniss of Hunger Games fame), but all the key warriors in this movie are ultimately children.  There are scenes where I think young children may get frightened, so pay attention to that.

Ultimately however, Pixar does what Pixar does best:  provide a beautiful background to tell a classic coming of age story in a completely unique way, while telling a story that entrances both children and adults.  Pixar has done it again:  they have created an instant classic.  A must see for the summer of 2012.


Obama Opponents: We Are All Racists Now…

I remember, when Barack Obama became a truly serious candidate for the Democratic nomination late in 2007, how awe inspiring it was.  I knew very little about Obama, other than his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention.  But his oratory was uplifting and moving, and I honestly felt spurred by his statements.  He spoke of a more civil, a more united future together as Americans.  He spoke of post-partisanship.  A post-racial society.

How things have changed.

Today, Barack Obama leads a movement and party that has so debased itself, it hard to recognize it.  Sure, Democrats were always loud and obnoxious when it came to conservatives.  I had long come to accept that.  Being called ‘mean spirited’, ‘hateful’, or being accused of wanting to kill women and starve children was routine.

But then, in 2008, a new regular charge erupted from the mouths of liberals:  the charge of racism.

Sure, conservatives were called racists before.  And sometimes, the charge was deserved.  But Barack Obama’s ascendancy made the claim routine and common place, targeting almost anyone that opposed Obama.  And it became the fall back position for any liberal that could not make a substantial argument otherwise.

In reality, the epithet was used against Democrats first; just ask Bill Clinton, who was famously called ‘the first African American President’ by Maya Angelou, but then in 2008 was called out for being bigoted against Obama.

The first time someone called me a racist, I was truly offended, and emotionally upset.  As a minority who was born and raised in this country, I have never really harbored prejudice to anyone.  I remember being thirteen years old, and not understanding what an ‘African American’ was. I had Black friends…but the term ‘African American’ to me literally meant someone from Africa…in the same way I was an Indian American.  I simply grew up in a household where the concept of bigotry did not exist.  And I grew up in a society where although I understood peripherally that racism existed, I did not suffer from its effects.  I was raised in a multicultural suburb of Detroit, went to college at the University of Michigan, went to medical school, completed my residency, and started practicing medicine…and never once, although I was always a conservative, had anyone with any knowledge of me even hint that I had a prejudicial bone in my body.

And then in 2008, everything changed.  The term ‘racist’ became as commonplace as virtually any other descriptor in political dialogue.

Now, four years later, you hear the claim of racism daily, if you are involved in as many political debates as I am.  Some claims of bigotry are outright, while others are hinted at.  In either case, you know what the person hurling the claim is saying:  you are a bigot, you are racially biased, you are evil. 

Just think about the last week.  On Friday, a reporter yelled out a question to President Obama during a statement.  What is inappropriate?  I would say it was definitely inappropriate.  Was it racist?  That simply is nonsense.  Reporters have been doing inappropriate and stupid things for as long as I have been alive, some worse than the reporter in question here.

And that is almost the least prominent of the racism charges.  Prominent Democrats and liberals lay the charge of racism almost daily.  Whether it be from the likes of the Congressional Black Caucus or DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the charge is like throwing a figurative bomb into a crowded room. And who can even keep up with the myriad of other celebrities who make claims of racism on the right, as if it is a badge of courage on their part?  And let us not forget the likes of President Obama himself, and Attorney General Eric Holder, who fall back to the race card when an extremely difficult moment of criticism comes there way.

Similar charges of racism come routinely from hosts on MSNBC, from Bill Maher, from prominent Democrats.  It is a daily occurrence.  A few hours after President Obama declared executive privilege on information Congress has been trying to obtain for 8 months, Chris Matthews played the race card, for a simple reason:  he has no intellectual defense, so the only weapon they have is the hammer of racism.

And you never hear Barack Obama decrying those statements; his cries for civility are limited to his opponents only.  I guess we should never have expected anything more, when you consider his past history, now in the full light of day.  Obama’s post-racial, post-partisan society was simply rhetoric molded to the needs of his political career, not a long standing belief.

For me, the epithet has largely become meaningless now.  My friends and I, of all races and backgrounds, laugh when someone calls us racist.  And that, sadly, is the worst part of this routine use of this charge.  There is true racism in society, areas where people are truly damaged by racial prejudice and bigotry, and instead, political hacks use the claim to make incremental charges against the opposition political party that had no racial intentions whatsoever.

So in doing so, liberals, or anyone for that matter, that make casual charges of racism have damaged our society. The charge used to mean something shameful, something embarrassing. For someone like me, who now feels nothing from being called a racist…that is damage that will take this society a long time to recover from…and will make the elimination of true racism all that much harder to come by.





Mitt Romney Rally, Newark, Ohio

Shaking hands with Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, on his bus tour of the midwest, today stopped in Newark, OH for an enthusiastic welcome by the central Ohio city.  In sweltering heat and humidity, a loud crowd that I personally estimated at 5,000 (media reports put the number at 3,000), Romney promised “a fair shot” for everyday Ohioans.

“I’m convinced that the American people are going to be surprised at just how great this economy is going to be,” Romney said.

Shaking hands with Rob Portman and his wife, Jane.

Romney, his wife, Ann, and two of their five sons, Craig and Matt, were accompanied to Newark by Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who is on the short-list to be Romney’s running mate. Portman, in introductory remarks, continued to capitalize on Obama’s recent statement that the private sector “ is doing just fine,” a comment the president quickly walked back.

Approximately 50 or so Obama supporters were in attendance, and were as loud and obnoxious as possible, but were drowned out by the pro-Republican crowd.

I personally shook Romney’s hand…and made sure to tell him, “Its the economy, Mitt; don’t forget!”  Romney, who was about to walk away, came back to me and said, “You’ve got that right.”  That personally gives me hope that Romney is going to avoid the Obama team’s strategy of distraction.


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