The Loony Bin is Dismissed

The Loony Bin is Dismissed
The Loony Bin is Dismissed

Andy Martin v. Linda Lingle, et. al.

In the last few weeks, as you may have read, Andy Martin filed a “lawsuit” against the Governor of Hawaii and others, alleging that he and the rest of the U-nited States of America had the right to obtain a copy of Barack Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth.  As expected, on October 22, 2008, the Supreme Court of Hawaii denied this claim.  There are so many different explanations of the memorandum decision that I thought I would just add it here so you can interpret it for yourself.

ORDER  Upon consideration of the petition for a writ of mandamus filed by petitioner Andy Martin and the papers in support, it appears that the issuance by the Department of Health of a certified copy of a vital statistics record to petitioner was not mandatory, but involved the exercise of discretion and judgment. See HRS § 338-18(b) (Supp. 2007) (The department shall disclose vital statistics records to those persons enumerated in HRS § 338-18(b)(1) through (13); otherwise, “[t]he department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record.”).

Therefore, petitioner is not entitled to mandamus relief against the respondent public officials. See In Re Disciplinary Bd. of Hawaii Supreme Court, 91 Hawai’i 363, 368, 984 P.2d 688, 693 (1999) (Mandamus relief is available to compel an official to perform a duty allegedly owed to an individual only if the individual’s claim is clear and certain, the official’s duty is ministerial and so plainly prescribed as to be free from doubt, and no other remedy is available.); Salling v. Moon, 76 Hawai’i 273, 274 n. 3, 874 P.2d 1098, 1099 n.3 (1994) (“A duty is ministerial where the law prescribes and defines the duty to be performed with such precision and certainty as to leave nothing to the exercise of discretion and judgment.”).

It further appears that the Hawai’i Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of the Circuit Courts of the State of Hawai’i do not provide petitioner with a clear and indisputable right to a telephonic hearing or an expedited hearing in Civil No. 08-1-2147. Scheduling a hearing for November 7, 2008 and requiring petitioner to personally appear at the hearing was within the discretion of the respondent judge and was not a flagrant and manifest abuse of discretion. Therefore, petitioner is not entitled to mandamus relief against the respondent judge. See Kema v. Gaddis, 91 Hawai’i 200, 204-05, 982 P.2d 334, 338-39 (1999) (A writ of mandamus is an extraordinary remedy that will not issue unless the petitioner demonstrates a clear and indisputable right to relief and a lack of alternative means to redress adequately the alleged wrong or obtain the requested action. Such writs are not intended to supersede the legal discretionary authority of the lower courts, nor are they intended to serve as legal remedies in lieu of normal appellate procedures. Where a court has discretion to act, mandamus will not lie to interfere with or control the exercise of that discretion, even when the judge has acted erroneously, unless the judge has exceeded his or her jurisdiction, has committed a flagrant and manifest abuse of discretion, or has refused to act on a subject properly before the court under circumstances in which it has a legal duty to act.). Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the petition for a writ of mandamus is denied.

DATED: Honolulu, Hawai’i, October 22, 2008.

Philip J. Berg v. Barack Obama, et. al.

Andy Martin’s friend, Philip J. Berg, filed a claim against Barack Obama and others, claiming a whole litany of things of why Obama is not eligible to run for president as well as how Barack and the DNC were conspiring together to violate federal law.  On October 24, 2008, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Berg’s claim in its entirety.  Berg put everything and the kitchen sink into his complaint, so as you might imagine, the decision was long, as it addressed each of Berg’s several points separately.  It reserved about a paragraph or so for each of Berg’s “complaints.”  For the purposes of brevity, I’ve attached the relevant portion of the decision that pretty much sums it all up.  Berg’s claim was denied for two reasons:  1) Berg did not have standing to file a lawsuit and 2) even if Berg did have standing, he failed to state a claim.

A. Lack of Jurisdiction — Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a court must grant a motion to dismiss if it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the case. The party asserting that jurisdiction is proper bears the burden of showing that jurisdiction exists. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S. Ct. 1673, 128 L. Ed. 2d 391 (1994); Packard v. Provident Nat’l Bank, 994 F.2d 1039, 1045 (3d Cir. 1993). A challenge to jurisdiction may be either factual or facial. See CNA v. United States, 535 F.3d 132, 145 (3d Cir. 2008)(citing 5B Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1350, at 147-55 (3d ed. 2004)). Where the challenge is facial, as Obama and the DNC’s is here, courts must take the well-pleaded facts of the complaint as true and must draw all inferences in a manner most favorable to the plaintiff, as with ruling on a motion to dismiss. See Mortensen v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir. 1977).

B. Failure to State a Claim — When considering a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), this Court must “accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief.” Pinker v. Roche Holdings Ltd., 292 F.3d 361, 374 n.7 (3d Cir. 2002). However, “a court need not credit a complaint’s ‘bald assertions’ or ‘legal conclusions’ when deciding a motion to dismiss.” Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997) (citations omitted).

I guess it’s now back to the drawing board for both Andy Martin and Philp J. Berg.  I can’t wait to see what they happen to come up with next.

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Barack Obama and the Muslim Connection?

In the last several weeks, you may have heard or read those emails claiming that Barack Obama is a Muslim.  Although for most people, the truth has been set straight that Barack Obama is not a Muslim, the larger point often is missed, and like most points that are missed, it is the more important one.  To me, the fundamental question is not whether Obama is Muslim, but whether it should even matter to the American public that he is Muslim?

I’m sure some of the reasonable people out there are already answering that question with an answer that goes something like this, “Well, it goes to his character.  If he said he wasn’t Muslim but a Christian, but he really is a Muslim, you have to ask why he would lie like that?  I can’t trust someone like that.”

That’s a perfectly reasonable answer.  But I’m sure for the majority of those people who gave that answer, what response would you give if Barack always said he was a Muslim to begin with?  The answer would probably boil down to, “I like Barack and his policies but frankly, I just don’t trust the guy.  I can’t put a finger on it.”

Political correctness has just given us new codewords.  Discrimination is still discrimination though, even by another name.

The media, along with Obama’s supporters, have for the most part taken great strides in “debunking the myth” that Obama is a Muslim.  But they haven’t taken the next step, or even the a priori step, of contending why that question is flawed to begin with.  In an election of name calling, both Obama and McCain’s attempt to put the “Muslim question” into a nice, little soundbite is not so much an example of weak political will, but the failure of the United States to be truly an inclusive place for all.

It’s that whole idea, somehow, that being called a “Muslim,” or being associated with a “Muslim,” is akin to being on the side of a terrorist.  Of course, McCain doesn’t say this directly nor does Obama.  They are politicians, after all.  Of course, there are people out there — and I’m sure if you have a yahoo or google account, you surely have received these emails — arguing that there is a fundamental connection between Islam and terrorism, and that anyone who is a Muslim must be a terrorist by default.  

The question I ask is whether McCain and Obama’s actions have essentially extended this same message?  For McCain’s part, he doesn’t do enough to quell the members of the right who are constantly trying to paint Obama as a terrorist, with suggestions that he is, in fact, a Muslim.  McCain and Palin, for their part, discuss in the most ominous of ways, Obama’s “past” catching up to him and why no one should trust him.  For Obama’s part, he doesn’t do enough to raise the question to his constituents of why it is irrelevant what his religion is in determining whether he is “patriotic” enough to be president.  In the end, for both candidates, their claims that the U.S. is an inclusive country just rings hollow. 

After all, have you seen any of these candidates visiting a Mosque?  I haven’t.  I’m sure none of these candidates would want to be caught dead within 500 miles of one. 

Change we can believe in?  For whom?

“Poor Sarah” (Or How Judith Warner Type Reasoning Can Lead To Shocking Results Come November)

First, let me get this out of the way:  I will not be voting for McCain/Palin.  With that said, though, I almost feel compelled to write about NY Times Domestic Disturbances writer Judith Warner’s latest article, “Poor Sarah.”  I will quote it and the end of the post but you can find it here.

If you ever want to see an example of the elitist, snooty, out of touch reasoning of liberal democrats that republicans are so fond of labeling all democrats as, then you don’t have to go any farther than Judith Warner’s article.  Although a jaded mind may think that all articles from the NY Times are dripping with elitist, snooty, out of touch reasoning, I think Judith Warner’s piece takes the cake and then buys the bakery after.

Judith Warner’s article can boil down to pretty much three things.  Number 1:  Sarah Palin is like Elle Woods, the heroine in Legally Blonde.  Number 2:  Anyone who supports Sarah Palin, and particularly any woman who supports Sarah Palin, mistakenly sympathizes with Sarah Palin, much like a prisoner would in a Stockholm Syndrome type of situation.  Number 3:  And, anyone who supports Sarah Palin is an idiot, because Sarah Palin is both “incompetent” and an “insult” to every man and woman alive in America, and perhaps the rest of the world.

Warner’s article speaks for itself but I thought I’d spend a few lines with my comments.  Judith Warner’s article is an example of the shroud of ignorance that many democrats are still living in — even after the second George Bush win.  I’m sorry to break it to Judith, and perhaps to some liberal democrats who are laughing to themselves over a cup of latte and a scone (pronounced skahn, not scone), but not every women has been duped into supporting Palin for the wrong reasons (such as sympathy), and not every woman who was born on this earth — by both God given mental faculties and reason — is born a liberal democrat with liberal values. 

Warner doesn’t admit this in her article, but let’s put it this way: if Sarah Palin was fat and ugly, would she be compared to Elle Woods or some other type of ditz?  I’m not a woman, nor have I ever in this lifetime been a woman, but when Judith Warner wrote this article, is she reliving her high school memories of the pretty and popular “girl” who beat her in school elections and won the prom queen?  On a more fundamental and primal level, Warner’s article just sounds bitter against her because, well, Palin is where she is and Judith, is, well, where she is.

Apart from that, Warner’s article represents the view that liberal democrats are right and that anyone who disagrees with that view is simply stupid, backward, and idiotic.  It’s different than saying someone is wrong for supporting McCain/Palin.  There is a fine line between saying someone is wrong versus saying someone is stupid, backward, and idiotic.  Not only does the latter resort to ad hominum attacks which do nothing to actually create constructive dialogue, it’s just simply so, so, well, as Elle Woods might say, “so, oh my god, like that’s so high school.”

Here’s the article from the NY Times:

I spent the past week in New York, helping my mother recover from surgery. It was a new role for me, taking care of my mom. It must, I think, have been somewhat destabilizing. Perhaps when previously untapped wells of care-for-others are accessed, there’s no stopping the flow. Or perhaps it was just that, after five days locked in stare-downs with my mother’s cat, my eyes were playing tricks on me.

This may explain why, on Tuesday afternoon when I went to The Times Web site and saw the photo of Sarah Palin with Henry Kissinger, a funny thing happened. A wave of self-recognition and sympathy washed over me. That’s right — self-recognition and sympathy.Rising up from a source deep in my subconscious. I saw a woman fully aware that she was out of her league, scared out of her wits, hanging on for dear life. I saw this in the sag of her back in her serious black suit, in the position of her hands, crossed modestly atop her knees, and in that “Mad Men”-era updo, ever unchanging, like a good luck charm.  Why, all of a sudden, was I experiencing this upsurge of concern and kinship? I knew, on the one hand, that this new vision of Palin had to be a mirage. Only a few hours earlier, I’d nodded along knowingly as a band of old-school liberals, gathered in my mother’s apartment to cheer her through her convalescence, tore the Alaska governor apart.

“He’s probably the first Jew she’s ever met,” one older gentleman, who himself had grown up as one of the only Jews in pre-World-War-II Lincoln, Neb., said of her meeting with Kissinger.  “No, there was Joe Lieberman,” his wife reminded him, putting me in a mind of the comedian Sara Benincasa’s utterly hilarious Palin parody, as a chorus of “despicable” and “disgusting” filled the room. My friend Mary has long said that I have a tendency to develop a Stockholm-Syndrome-like empathy for the people I write about. But I don’t think that’s what was going on here. I think — before I blinked — I had an actual flash of insight. I think I finally stumbled upon a major piece of the puzzle of how it is that so many Republican women can so passionately claim that Sarah Palin is someone they relate to. (It’s worth noting that polls have definitively shown that John McCain’s Palin gambit has not paid off in attracting disgruntled Democratic women voters.)

That the women who agree with Palin would also like her is not surprising. But the whole business of relating? That has remained mysterious for me. What, I’ve wondered, could the kinds of suburban moms I met, for example, at the McCain-Palin rally in Virginia, some of them former professionals with just two children apiece, one a former grad student making links between Palintology and the work of Homi Bhabha, have in common with a moose-killing Alaska frontierswoman with her five kids, five colleges and pastoral protection from witchcraft?  I think I’ve seen it now. In her own folded hands, her hopeful, yet sinking posture, her eager-to-please look. Sarah Palin is their — dare I say our? — inner Elle Woods.

I had thought of Elle Woods, the heroine of the 2001 and 2003 “Legally Blonde” and “Legally Blonde 2” films, a great deal during the week that Palin became McCain’s running mate and made her appearance at the Republican National Convention. The thoughts didn’t actually originate with Palin; my daughter Julia had recently discovered the soundtrack of “Legally Blonde: the Musical” and then the movies that inspired the Broadway show.  Re-watching the movies with Julia, I’d been surprised at how time, and motherhood, had tempered my affection for Elle Woods — a frilly, frothy blonde who charms her way into Harvard Law School and takes the stodgy intellectual elitists there by storm with her Anygirl decency and non-snooty (and not-so-credible) native intelligence.

I’d found the “Legally Blonde” movies fun the first time around. Viewing them in the company of an enraptured 11-year-old, who’d declared Elle her new “role model” after months of dreaming of growing up to be a neuroscientist in a long braid and Birkenstocks, was another story. “You can’t,” I’d admonished Julia, “accomplish anything worthwhile in life just by being pretty and cute and clever. You have to do the work.” “It’s just fun, Mom,” she protested. Right. You don’t have to be perennially pretty in pink — and ditsy and cutesy and kinda maybe stupid — to have an inner Elle Woods. Many women do. I think of Elle every time I dress up my insecurities in a nice suit. So many of us today — balancing work and family, treading water financially — feel as if we’re in over our heads, getting by on appearances while quaking inside in anticipation of utter failure. Chick lit — think of Bridget Jones, always fumbling, never quite who she should be — and in particular the newer subgenre of mom lit are filled with this kind of sentiment.

You don’t have to be female to suffer from Impostor Syndrome either — I learned the phrase only recently from a male friend, who puts a darned good face forward. But I think that women today — and perhaps in particular those who once thought they could not only do it all but do it perfectly, with virtuosity — are unique in the extent to which they bond over their sense of imposture. I saw this feeling in Palin — in a flash, on that blue couch, catty-corner to Kissinger, as her eyes pleaded for clemency from the camera. I’ll bet you anything that her admirers — the ones whose hearts really and truly swell with a sense of kinship to her — see or sense it in her, too. They know she can’t possibly do it all — the kids, the special-needs baby, the big job, the big conversations with foreign leaders. And neither could they.

The “Legally Blonde” fairy tales spin around the idea that, because Elle believes in herself, she can do anything. Never mind the steps that she skips. Never mind the fact that — in the rarefied realms of Harvard Law and Washington policymaking — she isn’t the intellectual equal of her peers. Self-confidence conquers all! (“Of course she doesn’t have that,” said Laura Bush of Palin this week when asked if the vice presidential pick had sufficient foreign policy experience. “You know, that’s not been her role. But I think she is a very quick study.”) Real life is different, of course, from Hollywood fantasy. Incompetence has consequences, political and personal. Glorifying or glamorizing the sense of just not being up to the tasks of life has consequences, too. It means that any woman who exudes competence will necessarily be excluded from the circle of sisterhood. We can’t afford any more of that.

Frankly, I’ve come to think, post-Kissinger, post-Katie-Couric, that Palin’s nomination isn’t just an insult to the women (and men) of America. It’s an act of cruelty toward her as well.

Is Barack Obama the Anti-Christ?

Is Barack Obama the Anti-Christ?

When I first heard that question, I had to ask myself whether this was some kind of joke spread by a fundamentalist nutjob living in a basement full of the first-edition copies of the “Left Behind” series. It did not take long for me to realize that the question of whether Barack Obama is the anti-christ is a fully-fledged and debated topic for those who are bent on spreading the theory: certain evangelicals and christian conservatives. In a previous post, you may have seen how republicans, either by implicit agreement or straight out proclamation, have claimed that somehow God is on the side of John McCain and that anyone who doesn’t vote for John McCain is anti-christian.

The whole thing is rather scary — the reasoning that is. When you look at the “barack-obama-is-the-anti-christ-theory,” it is based on facts that are just patently untrue, most notably the claim that Obama is a Muslim. People actually believe in their heart of hearts that Obama is the anti-christ.  For his part, McCain hasn’t gone out and proclaimed, “Obama is the anti-christ!”, but at the same time, he hasn’t done anything to ease the flames of the right’s scare tactics that Obama is the anti-christ. McCain is certainly aware of fear tactics . . . he uses them anytime and anywhere he can (see Republican Convention).  After all, you may have seen a commercial last month from McCain that echoed many of the images and messages of the “Left Behind” series.  In the end, McCain is profiting from the mistruths that certain portions of the conservative right are spreading.

As I have previously mentioned in prior posts, the democrats should not underestimate these claims from the right. Yes, the claim that Barack Obama is the anti-christ is patently absurd — but it is a patently absurd belief that millions of Americans believe. Whether it is their racism by another name or just plain stupidity is really of no consequence in the end — the fact is they believe that Obama is the anti-christ in their heart of hearts and will vote for McCain.  Another four years of Bush and just general stupidity (see McCain’s interview on radio caracol on September 17, 2008) is something I think most Americans could do without.

The anti-christ claim is both an indictment on the clear racism that some portions of our society have against Obama as well as a call to action for Obama to start getting down and dirty and calling McCain out. It is clear that McCain and company have taken their gloves off; it’s time Obama and company to start doing the same.

Here’s an example of an email I received about Barack Obama being the anti-christ:

This will make you re-think : A Trivia question in Sunday School: How long is the beast allowed to have authority in Revelations? Guess the Answer? Revelations Chapter 13 tells us it is 42 months, and you know what that is. Almost a four year term to a Presidency. All I can say is Lord,  Have Mercy on us!!!!!! According to The Book of Revelations the anti-Christ is: The anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal….the  prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it OBAMA?? I STRONGLY URGE each one of you to post this as many times as you can! Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media outlet…do it!  I refuse to take a chance on this unknown candidate who came out of nowhere. GOD BLESS AMERICA

Barack, Sarah, and the Bible?

Both democrats and the republicans, much like rabid commercial marketing executives, have worked hard to promote their tag line to the American Public.  For example, Barack Obama and company want to portray themselves as the party for all people and having a government with a common-sense foreign policy.  Vote for us because we can turn the economy around and make our country safer. For John McCain and company, they want to portray themselves as the party that is the most tough on national security and the best able to get the economy to turn around.  Vote for us because we can really turn the economy around and we’ll fight our enemies wherever and whenever. 

Both the democrats and republicans fight hard to ensure they have the right ‘tagline’ in twenty words or less.  After all, voters do not have high attention spans.  Why encumber them with substance?

But for democrats, there’s one main issue that the republicans have done extremely well in monopolizing:  God.  I’m not saying the republicans are heartless opportunists, but let’s face it. . .  What better tag line can you have when you have God in it?  Here’s a simple tag line that the republicans have done extremely well to convey to the American people (and, unfortunately, I’m not talking about those people on the coasts):  God doesn’t want you to vote for Barack Obama.  In fact, the tag line also goes on to say:  If you vote for Barack Obama, then you are not Christian.

Jeez, how can you disagree with that?  Some democrats will think that people who believe this are simple minded or peons.  I think most democrats didn’t realize how truly ridiculous this notion was until the last election.  Fine, you may think the God question is only for God-fearing people but . . . but wait, there are millions of God-fearing people in the U.S.!  How can democrats publically attack this as being backward?  And, more importantly, how can democrats ignore the God tag line as something only the fringe would agree to? 

Attention to democrats, attention to democrats:  better look again who your “fringe” is.  Think red states.

Here’s an example of something I found from myinjesus.com, an online christian community newsletter. This is a newsletter I received from Jim:  

Barack Hussein Obama has taken the nation by storm. From obscurity, with zero executive experience, or much of any kind, he has vaulted into the position of Presidential frontrunner. It is stunning. On the surface, it appears attributable only to his eloquent oratory and his race. But an invisible factor may be a strong spiritual force behind him, causing some people to actually swoon in his presence.

I have been very concerned that he has publicly said that he does not believe Jesus is the only way to heaven. This makes both the Bible and Jesus a liar, and it means that Christ has died in vain. A person cannot be a true Christian who believes that there are other ways of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life with God. Only Jesus has paid the price for that.

Therefore, there is, indeed, another spirit involved. And this spirit has come into our national life like a flood. Last week at Obama’s acceptance speech, that spirit exalted itself in front of a Greek temple-like stage, and to a huge audience like in a Roman arena. Obama was portrayed as god-like. His voice thundered as a god’s voice.

At the end, Democratic sympathizer Pastor Joel Hunter gave the benediction and shockingly invited everyone to close the prayer to their own (false) gods. This was surely an abomination, but it was compatible with Obama’s expressed theology, and Hunter’s leftist leanings.

God was not pleased.

And God says, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him”(Isaiah 59:19).

Enter Governor Sarah Palin. With incredible timing, the very next day, Sarah Palin also appeared out of nowhere. Her shocking selection as John McCain’s running mate stunned the world and suddenly took all the wind out of Obama’s sails. We quickly learned that Sarah is a born-again, Spirit-filled Christian, attends church, and has been a ministry worker.

Sarah is that standard God has raised up to stop the flood. She has the anointing. You can tell by how the dogs are already viciously attacking her. But they will not be successful. She knows the One she serves and will not be intimidated. Back in the 1980s, I sensed that Israel’s little-known Benjamin Netanyahu was chosen by God for an important end-time role. I still believe that. I now have that same sense about Sarah Palin. Today I did some checking and discovered that both her first and last names are biblical words, one in Hebrew the other in Greek:

Sarah. Wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. In Hebrew, Sarah means “noble woman” (Strong’s 8283). Palin. In Greek, the word means “renewal.” (Strong’s 3825). A friend said he believes that Sarah Palin is a Deborah. Of Deborah, Smith’s Bible Dictionary says,”A prophetess who judged Israel…. She was not so much a judge as one gifted with prophetic command…. and by virtue of her inspiration ‘a mother in Israel.'”

Only God knows the future and how she may be used by Him, but may this noble woman serve to bring renewal in the land, and inspiration.

Jim

John McCain, the Republicans, and the Diseased Elephant in the Room

If I had to sum up the message from the Republican Convention, then I would sum it up like this:  the Republicans — unlike those Democrats — do not represent the elite, are first and foremost for the country, believe in smaller government and less taxes, support less spending, and were not the party of President George W. Bush.  

I wish I had known this before.  This makes my decision so much easier after learning these facts, particularly the one about President George W. Bush not being part of the Republican Party.  Whew. 

I also didn’t realize that democrats represented the elite and that the republicans represented the poor man.  I guess it makes sense, then, that the republicans want more tax cuts for corporations and the uber-rich.  Why should the middle-class get tax cuts?  Everyone knows that if you give tax cuts to corporations, especially those corporations who export U.S. jobs to foreign countries, and to people who make over $250,000 a year, then eventually the benefits of those tax cuts will trickle down to the middle-class.  After all, this trickle down type of economic policy has been working like a charm in the last eight years.  We should keep doing that!!  I mean, it’s not like we have a big deficit, our unemployment rate has not increased, and we have a very robust housing market with minimal foreclosures.  And, just take a look at our rising stock and bond markets.  Anyone who says we’re not better off than we were eight years ago has their heads in the sand!  If you don’t believe me, just look at your 401(K) statements! 

I also didn’t realize that republicans are the party whose primary interest is the U-nited States of America, as opposed to the democrats, who, as I now realize, are probably aligned with terrorists, such as Al-Queda.  I now know that those country-hating democrats are against the torture of terrorists, extraordinary rendition, and anything else that would give ‘due process’ to anyone, citizen or not, who is suspected of terrorism.  It’s not like our country was founded upon the principle of ‘due process’!  I think that term was invented by judges, all of whom are just trying to legislate from the bench.  I also didn’t realize that republicans are the party that want to reduce the size of government.  This is good news, because our president for the last eight years has increased it.  It just keeps getting better for the republicans!  

I guess it’s a good thing that President George W. Bush is not from the Republican party.  When I watched the convention on television, he wasn’t even there and those Republicans didn’t even mention his name.  I don’t even get what those Obama commercials are saying that McCain and President George W. Bush are the “same.”  That’s just ridiculous.  They are not even from the same party!  And, as everyone surely must know, the Republicans have absolutely nothing to do with keeping that President George W. Bush in office the last eight years. 

Wow.  What an epiphany.  You know where my vote is going come November!

USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!  USA!

Top Five Running Mates For Barack Obama (Other Than Hillary Clinton)

With Barack Obama finally wrapping up the presidential nomination for the Democrats, pundits and experts alike are rushing to proclaim who might get the nod for Vice-President.  A good vice-presidential pick, according to Chris Bowers from openleft.com, should “reinforce[ ] his strengths, not one who balances out his perceived weakness.”

With that in mind, the first name that obviously emerges as the top VP pick is none other than Hillary Clinton.  I don’t know whether this is just a knee-jerk reaction because she was so close to picking up the nomination herself, or the fact that Obama and Clinton monopolized the political landscape for the last several months so that no one can think of anyone other than Clinton. 

Either way, the lack of any creative thought is a sad reality for the Democrats and for Barack Obama.  But once the “Go Hillary Go” dust settles, many viable Vice Presidential candidates will remain.  This is not to say that Hillary Clinton is not a good Vice Presidential pick (she certainly is but don’t ask me why).  Rather, the democrats have to realize that there are viable and meritorious Vice Presidential candidates out there who can galvanize the electoral base and support Barack Obama other than just Hillary Clinton.  To that end, here is my list of the top-five running mates for Barack Obama.  I have analyzed several data sources, spoken with numerous people, and consulted various indices both in the U.S. and abroad.

1)  Zohan:  Zohan, a former Isreali assassin and now a hairdresser, is just the kind of “action-man” Obama needs to support the rhetoric in his speeches. After all, Obama is really good with words and rousing arenas with awesome one-liners, but no one knows whether he can actually do what he says he is going to do.  With Zohan by his side, voters really won’t care.  Zohan can fill in the Obama “action” gap with his quick wit and proven record of hits.  Zohan will also erase any doubt that Barack is not a friend of Isreal.  Finally, Zohan’s profession as a hairdresser is just the kind of dichotomy the democrats need.  The assassin part will sway blue dog democrats and libertarians to vote for an Obama/Zohan ticket, and the hairdresser part will sway those democrats who want to vote for Ralph Nader.

2) Ronald McDonald:  What Obama lacks in age and experience, Ronald McDonald can make up for it with his ageless, international charm. We cannot overlook the fact that Ronald McDonald is fluent in approximately 31 languages, which will dampen any criticisms that Obama lacks foreign policy experience.  Further, McDonald has corporate connections as the CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for the megacorporation, McDonalds.  This will certainly allay any fears that Obama is a “corporate hater” or “business hater” or “socialist.”  Ronald McDonald’s corporate upbringing, coupled with his generosity, compassion, and color coordination, will help tip on-the-fence republicans and conservative democrats towards an Obama/Mcdonald ticket.

3) Sir Alexander Ferguson: Sir Alexander Ferguson’s record as the greatest football coach in English Football — and perhaps the greatest football coach in the world — is just the kind of “aged star quality” that Obama needs to counteract his own “young star quality.”  Sir Ferguson has solid, no-nonsense managerial experience running such teams as top ranked Manchester United.  Of course, if Sir Ferguson can manage his football teams so well, then imagine what he could do with a country?  Who else had the foresight and shrewdness to sign Cristiano Ronaldo when he was 19 years old?  That’s exactly the kind of message that an Obama/Ferguson ticket will have.  Ferguson has a proven track record of making the right choices during difficult times and when it mattered the most.  This is something that Obama hasn’t shown.  But by having Ferguson on his ticket, voters will forget that Obama has no track record.

4) Min Behadur Sherchan:  At 77 years old, Sherchan is the oldest person on record to climb the formidable Mt. Everest. John McCain may be 71 years young, but can McCain climb Mt. Everest?  I don’t think so.  And that’s exactly the kind of weakness that Obama needs to ruthlessly exploit by having Sherchan on his ticket.  With such a monumentous achievement as climbing Mt. Everest, it truly doesn’t matter what else Sherchan has done or what he believes in or what his economic policies are or even what his views are on the Iraq War.  It all doesn’t matter.  Sherchan can rest on his laurels.  What is there left to do after climbing Mt. Everest?  Nothing, except to run for Vice President with Barack Obama.

5) Chewbacca:  As a towering Wookie, Chewbacca has exactly the kind of presence that Obama so desperately needs to win the general election.  He has the physical stature to deflect any claims against Obama of being weak on terror or on crime or on unions — issues that usually kill the democrats in a general election.  Chewbacca is a certifiable badass. He also has the international stature to deflect any claims against Obama as lacking foreign policy experience.  It goes without saying that Chewbacca has experience in other universes, a fact that even McCain cannot dispute, as well as language skill.  Chewbacca is also a certifiable wingman and will be a loyal vice president.  Voters will know that he has no aims to be the president or some ulterior motive to control the president, as many know Hillary will want to do if she gets the VP nod.  Finally, Chewbacca can only help Obama with his rhetorical jibberjab to confuse and bewilder voters into voting for an Obama/Chewbacca ticket.  As we all know, the famed “Chewbacca defense” was no accident, and it something that Obama has mastered.  Why not have the person-practice that Obama mastered on his very own ticket?

In the end, the choice of VP will be an important decision for Obama.  Only time will tell if Obama has made the right pick.