Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama and the Supreme Court: Whats at Stake

You might be wondering where Part IV is. I'll admit it. Obama did an interview in 2001 that, in my mind, disparages the Constitution and laments that the government doesn't have enough power to do the things it wants to do based on that document.

The interview put side by side with all that we know now about "spread the wealth" mentalities, is very relevant. I think the argument is there, I just didn't do a good enough job making it. I didn't make my case on this topic, so I deleted the whole post. If you want to discuss it, however, I'd be happy to do so.

However, Brad Latta made a good point... what will happen to Supreme Court appointees if Senator Obama gets the Presidency? Its a huge, huge deal, one that most of us don't even think about.

So, to better put forth my thoughts, I give you the text of an article from National Review Online, written by Edward Whelan. Mr. Whelan says it far better than I ever could.


If America’s citizens care to wake up and pay attention before they elect as president a sweet-talking, moderate-posing left-wing ideologue with a history of alliances with anti-American radicals, one of the several matters they ought to think seriously about is the future of the Supreme Court. Simply put, the survival of the historic American experiment in representative government will be in serious jeopardy if Barack Obama is our next president.

Our Constitution establishes a constitutional republic, a system in which, within the broad bounds that the Constitution sets forth, policy issues are to be determined by American citizens through their elected representatives at the state (including local) and national levels. The great battle over the Supreme Court in recent decades is between the proponents of original meaning and judicial restraint, on the one hand, and judicial activists, or advocates of living constitutionalism, on the other. Proponents of original meaning and judicial restraint embrace an interpretive methodology that respects the vast realm of representative government. Advocates of judicial activism and living constitutionalism, by contrast, redefine the Constitution to mean whatever they wish it to mean. They willy-nilly invent rights that aren’t in the Constitution and ignore those that are. Theirs is a philosophy of government by judiciary, with the operations of representative government confined to those matters that the justices aren’t quite ready yet to take charge of or that they think don’t matter very much.

If you’ve been paying attention to the media’s scant coverage of the impact of the presidential election on the Supreme Court, you’ve been hearing that we currently have either a “conservative” Court or a Court delicately balanced between its “liberal” and “conservative” wings. Electing Obama as president is unlikely to change anything, you’re told, because he’d probably just be replacing liberal justices. The real threat, Obama himself tells us, is that John McCain would appoint justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and thereby (supposedly) make abortion illegal.

Wrong on all counts.

1. For starters, if we are to use crude political terms, the current Supreme Court is markedly to the left of the American public. The Court has a working majority of five living-constitutionalists. Four of them — Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer — consistently engage in liberal judicial activism, and a fifth, Kennedy, frequently does.

For evidence of how liberal the current Court is, consider the biggest cases of last term. In Boumediene v. Bush, the Court ruled 5-4 (with the five living-constitutionalists in the majority) that aliens detained by the U.S. military abroad as enemy combatants have a constitutional habeas right to challenge their detention in American courts. In so ruling, the Court struck down the statutory framework that Congress and the President had crafted. I’ll set aside here an extended discussion of how wildly wrong the Court’s ruling was. For present purposes — i.e., showing that the Court is well to the left of the American public — I’ll simply note the public’s strong disapproval of it (by a margin of 61-34 in a Washington Post poll).

In Kennedy v. Louisiana, the same five justices formed the majority that ruled that the death penalty for the crime of raping a child always violates the Eighth Amendment — “no matter,” as Justice Alito put it in his dissent, “how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator’s prior criminal record may be.” Again, let’s set aside how badly reasoned the majority opinion was. Even Barack Obama recognized how poorly the majority opinion reflected the public consensus that it purported to determine, as he rushed to assert his disagreement with the Court. A Court to the left of where Barack Obama claims to be on a telltale case like this cannot be described as conservative or moderate.

Finally, consider by contrast the one big “conservative” victory of the term, the recognition of individual Second Amendment rights in District of Columbia v. Heller. This decision was so popular with the public that Barack Obama tried to make it appear that he agreed with it.

Let me be clear: I am not arguing that public approval is the measure of whether a ruling is correct or not. On the contrary, it has no bearing on that important question. Rather, I am using it here only for its bearing on the very different question whether the Court, in crude political terms, is liberal or conservative.

If we look to the future and take seriously the positions and principles that the five living-constitutionalists have already adopted, the Court, as it is now composed, may very well have five votes for, say, the imposition of a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage, five votes for stripping “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance and for complete secularization of the public square, five votes for continuing to abolish the death penalty on the installment plan, five votes for selectively importing into the Court’s interpretation of the American Constitution the favored policies of Europe’s leftist elites, five votes for further judicial micromanagement of the government’s war powers, and five votes for the invention of a constitutional right to human cloning.

2. There’s no solace in the prospect that Obama would likely be replacing only liberal justices during his first term. First, as the examples in the preceding paragraph show, the Court as currently composed threatens further incursions on the realm of representative government. The Court urgently needs to be improved. Second, it’s a foolish bet to rely on probabilities. One never knows when a good justice will step down or die.

Third, the Left sees even President Clinton’s appointees, Ginsburg and Breyer, as too mild and moderate. Obama’s supporters are clamoring for “liberal lions” who will redefine the Constitution as a left-wing goodies bag, and a look at some of their leading contenders, like Yale law school dean Harold Koh (champion of judicial transnationalism and transgenderism), Massaschusetts governor Deval Patrick (a racialist extremist and judicial supremacist), and law professor Cass Sunstein (advocate of judicial invention of a “second Bill of Rights” on welfare, employment, and other Nanny State mandates), shows that there is lots of room for Obama’s nominees to be even worse than Ginsburg and Breyer. And no matter how bad they are, you can count on their being confirmed by a heavily Democratic Senate. Obama’s own record and rhetoric (which I discuss more fully in this essay) make clear that he will seek left-wing judicial activists who will indulge their passions, not justices who will make their rulings with dispassion.

Fourth, the next president will be the odds-on favorite to be re-elected in 2012. Over the next two presidential terms, a single president could well replace five or six justices. If a President Obama replaces Justice Scalia (who will be 80 in 2016), the resulting Court would have six votes for all sorts of constitutional mayhem. If he replaces Justice Kennedy (also 80 in 2016), the pivotal vote on the Court will move even further left.

3. I hope very much that a President McCain appoints justices who will help to overturn Roe v. Wade, and although it won’t be easy to get good nominees confirmed by a heavily Democratic Senate, I think that it’s definitely possible. Overturning Roe, of course, wouldn’t make abortion illegal. Rather, it would restore to the citizens of each state the power to establish abortion policy through their elected representatives — and to revisit that policy over time. That’s the system our Constitution established, and it’s the system that all citizens faithful to our Constitution should welcome. The democratic processes may at times be messy and contentious, but they offer the only real hope of working out a consensus on abortion policy.

Roe v. Wade has corrupted and distorted American politics and Supreme Court decisionmaking for 35 years. All Americans, irrespective of their positions on abortion policy, should welcome its long-overdue demise.

With its five living-constitutionalists, the Supreme Court is well to the left of the American public and threatens to engage in yet more wild acts of liberal judicial activism. The Court urgently needs to be transformed into an institution that practices judicial restraint. If Barack Obama is elected president, he will drive the Court further in the wrong direction, and the liberal judicial activists that he appoints will likely serve for two or three decades. Our system of representative government, already under siege, would be lucky to survive an Obama presidency.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Interview Part III: The Small Business Lie, Obama on Abortion and The American President

(screen opens with video clip. Actor Michael Douglas is on the screen, portraying President Andrew Shepherd, in the movie "The American President".)

President Shepherd (Michael Douglas): America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".

Thank you so much for joining us here at Headline America. I'm Mary Beth Sutter, and we are here with blogger and columnist d$ for the third of five discussions on the upcoming election and the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama (turning to me) Now that was a clip from the movie "The American President"... you're smiling and nodding, so I assume you enjoy that movie.

Very much so. Its my 29th favorite movie of all time. If Andrew Shepherd were real, I would be tempted to vote for him, despite the ACLU membership he proudly proclaims in the movie.

Even though he's a Democrat?

Well, the values and most of the ideals he portrays in this movie are moderate and some even right-leaning. He becomes the Democrat with the global warming, gun control and ACLU scenes, but for the most part, he's a guy we could like.

Do you think there should be a Constitutional Amendment flag burning? I only ask because most Republicans and Conservatives do.

No. Admittedly, I think flag burning is a stupid thing to do, really. If you hate the country enough to want to destroy its symbols, either leave or run for office and try to change things to the way you want them done. Personally, I'd rather Senator Obama have chosen the former than the latter, but that is what makes this country what it is.

That being said, don't burden the Constitution with it. I feel the same way with gay marriage. I don't agree with it, I think its wrong, but leave it out of the Constitution. Leave it out of the federal government, really. Let states decide, one by one. And when the states decide, let it be. Don't keep bringing it back up to get the results desired by the government.

Of course, there is a second part to the speech we just witnessed, is that correct? You asked that you be allowed to finish it...

Yes, there is. Watching that movie recently, I thought it would fit perfectly if you just took out the name "Rumson", played by Richard Dreyfus, and inserted Senator Obama's name in it. And then, you've got a great speech McCain should give...

"We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Barack Hussein Obama is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character."

Do you think John McCain can win this election? Seriously?

Absolutely. He's not leading right now, that's been made pretty clear by all the media, but I'm pretty sure its going to be closer than its being let on. Every one of my conservative friends have pretty much given up hope... even my wife has said, "Well, you know he's going to win". It seems like everyone is getting ready to do their Obama pose.

Which is...?

Bend over and grab your ankles.

So all is lost for the Republicans, I guess?

(smiling) No, not yet. I think it was looking pretty bad in the early stages... he wouldn't "go negative". But the thing is, telling the truth about your opponent isn't "going negative", unless your the Democrats. If your a Republican, than the Dems are trying to inform voters. If you are Democrat, then the Republicans are conducting a "smear campaign".

Lately, though, McCain and Palin both have been going after him. And that is what he needs to do--hammer away at who Obama is. At what direction Senator Obama wants this country to go in.

But every poll has Barack Obama assuming the presidency..

Very true, but almost every poll has the lead that was once double digits down to just a few points, many within the margin of error. Again, McCain is not leading, but this will not be the landslide that was predicted. Obama was campaigning in Vermont a few weeks ago--VERMONT! Shouldn't that be a state that was wrapped up long ago? I think Senator Obama is nervous, to be honest with you. He's done his very best to keep William Ayers and ACORN and Wright out of the news, but he can't hide who he really is forever.

Do you think constantly invoking the names of Ayers, or ACORN, or even Reverend Wright has helped McCain's campaign? Don't you think voters get tired of hearing those things over and over, especially when Obama hasn't done that to McCain or Palin?

First of all, McCain doesn't need Ayers or ACORN anymore, I don't think. Not now, not with the "spread the wealth" image that Obama has now gotten through his own words. I do think that McCain and Palin need to continually pound him on this, though. We need to hear Senator Obama tell this country how he plans to "spread the wealth". Through what methods he wants to take from "the rich people" and re-distribute to the "poor people", and he needs to clearly define who is "rich" and who is "poor". He won't do it, though. Senator Obama paints with broad strokes so as not to be pigeonholed into anything that might haunt him later.

That's a term we keep hearing, "spread the wealth". If I may clarify, Senator Obama's plan is not to "spread the wealth", its to help everyone get wealthy, not just those people who have money now.

Ah, see, that's the Democratic logic, isn't it? Thats what Obama wants you to think, thats what the message going out to all these high school and college students is... "I'm Barack Obama, and I'm going to help poor people", and you've got all these liberal teachers in high schools and colleges telling their students idealistic ideas of "helping the poor people", and those kids come out saying, "we've got to help poor people! People who don't have much!"

It's called Socialism. Pure and simple.

Let me stop you there, d$. That is a very strong word, Socialism, and its something that pundits, especially on the Republican side, have been tossing towards Senator Obama. Do we need to define the difference in Senator Obama's plan and actual socialism.

Fine. I'm ready for this one. (reaches down and pulls out a dictionary). Socialism... and this is important, because there are probably a lot of people out there that don't understand what this is... it says, "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."

Simply put, a seizing of private possessions and wealth, redistributing to those with less so that everyone has close to a fair amount. And the kicker is that Senator Obama is NOT doing this for revenue, he's doing it because its FAIR. Fairness, is what he says.

And what does that mean?

It means that its not fair that someone who worked their whole life, starting out at minimum wage and moved their way up the company in 20 years and is now pulling in six figures should make that much money. Its not fair that a family who is working hard, providing for their families, should have great jobs making great incomes when so many people do not.

Here's a hypothetical. You are in a restaurant. You decide to not leave a tip, but not because of the quality of service. No, its because you notice the homeless guy on the street. You tell the waiter that, "Hey, you've got a job. You are making ends meet. You earned this money because you refilled my glass and brought me my food quickly and took care of my meal needs, but that homeless guy out there--he needs this more. He doesn't have a job. So I'm going to give it to him instead."

Oh, and one more thing. The next definition of socialism? "The stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles." Thought it was worth a mention.

And I'm assuming you are going to bring Joe the Plumber into this discussion. We all remember how he owns the plumbing business, and he asked about his business and taxes, and told Senator Obama how the new tax plan wouldn't help him. He has made national headlines, not only because its rumored that he's behind on his taxes, but also because he's not even a licensed plumber.

Number 1, he doesn't own the business, he wanted to buy the business, and was saving for it--and his concern was that buying the business would take him over the threshold of Obama's tax plan and hurt him severly. Number 2, he is, or was, I'm not sure, having tax problems, and Number 3, whether he's licensed or not, its not about whether Joe the Plumber has a license to re-pipe your bathtub... its about finally getting Senator Obama to admit what he is all about. Taking from those who make alot and giving it to those who don't. Making sure that achievement is punished in this country.

But didn't you find it a little suspicious? I mean, Joe the Plumber just happened to be there? Could he have been a plant to, for lack of a better term, ambush Senator Obama?

Senator Obama picked this guy out of the crowd. He found Joe, Joe wasn't called upon to ask a question in a town hall setting or something. Did you know that the media hates this guy so much, Ohio government computers were used to dig into this guy's life? They find out about and attempt to destroy the life of a plumber who dare have the audacity to challenge Senator Obama's tax plan, but you can't get one single newspaper, one single news channel to talk to Ayers, or Wright, or ACORN or anyone else.

I can imagine if Joe were a liberal, and had told Senator Obama how mean George W. Bush and his hurricane machine were making impossible for him to support his family. Democrats would have paraded him around like a sob story, and blame Republicans for his plight. But he asked the tough questions--and he must be destroyed.

I'm glad you mentioned Senator Obama's tax plan... we touched on this briefly before, and you mentioned the Bush tax cuts ending...

...which will make everyone's taxes go up, regardless of income...

...right. Well, we've heard the numbers being tossed around, and Senator Obama isn't going to tax any small business making $250,000 or under. Obama has been saying that 90% of small business fall into that catagory.

I've heard him say that, and that is an out and out lie. A complete lie. Again, I only assume Senator Obama is a very intelligent man, so I can only assume he's lying on purpose.

Let's say you run a small business, with maybe six or seven people. Add up your combined salaries, and figure how out fast $250,000 comes up. Many people think coffee shops or book stores that pay college kids $6 per hour to work there, but you have to remember, small businesses include marketing firms, public relation firms, some lawyer offices, some doctor offices, accounting firms, even some high end restaurants with expensive cooking staffs...

Senator Obama wants all the people out there who don't make that money in their business, or even in their own incomes, to think that is a huge amount of money--to some people, it is. But the US Small Business Association actually has different amounts of money as to what "qualifies" as a small business.


Well, for one, Forestry and Logging. Anything under $7 million per year income is considered small business. Fishing. $4 million. Irrigation, sewers, waterworks, $7 million

Forestry? Fishing? Are you serious?

I'm being dead serious. What about construction. According to the US SBA, any construction business that makes LESS than $33.5 million per year is considered small business. Some forms of housing contractors can make up to $14 million, and still be considered small. Car dealers? Their level is $22 to $29 million.

Now keep in mind that Senator Obama has told us over and over that 90% of small businesses make less than $250K per year. RV, motorcycles, boat dealers, $7 million. Furniture, hardware, sporting good stores, $7 million. Now I'm talking Best Buy or Circuit City, but if you are a mom & pop electronic store, you can make up to $7 million, as with pharmacies. Gas stations and supermarkets are $27 million.

Now there are alot of industries, such as manufacturers of food, beverages, apparel, print, oil, gas, plastics, plumbing, machinery, computers, on and on and on that are considered small businesses based on their total number of employees instead of average annual receipts. In those industries, the qualification line from small business to large business ranges anywhere from 500 to 1,000 employees. Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'm guessing if you have 500 employees.. heck, if you have 100 employees, you are pulling in more than $250,000 per year in annual receipts.

This is A BARACK OBAMA LIE. Like many of them he has been spilling.

(Really quick... I have heard many people comment on this format of asking the questions and then answering, like in a real interview--but after this, I really don't even have a defending question about Senator Obama's tax plan for small businesses. Seriously. I've been sitting here for almost 5 minutes thinking of a way to spin this, and I can't. So I'll just go on to the next question... take it away, Mary Beth Sutter!)

What about Senator Obama's pledge to give every employer a $3,000 tax credit for each employee?

Its a joke. Its basic economics. I worked at Starbucks for over five years. Part time, hourly employees cost hundreds of dollars to train. Make it a management employee, and you are looking at possibly a thousand dollars or more to train, considering the salary-broken-into-hourly wages. Plus, if you offer benefits, you have to pay that, per employee. If you have insurance, much of it is based on the number of employees you have, and what they do. There's another cost. Then, add on the cost of any uniforms, supplies, computers and so forth... for someone that makes $35,000, it might cost the company $50,000 to employ them initially. Do you think $3,000 is going to entice anyone to hire anyone?

No, whats going to happen, and I've already been reading stories about how it is happening now, is that small businesses are discussing plans for after the election--figuring out who to lay off, figuring out how they will survive with less money and less employees. And when the people who are laid off turn to the government for help--make no mistake, this is what Senator Obama wants you to do--who's fault will it be? The small business owner.

Why do you think this $250,000 figure has been such a strong point for Senator Obama?

That $250,000 is key because he wants all of you who don't make that amount of money to think you're not going to get a tax increase. You have to remember, there is up to 35% of peole who don't pay any income taxes. Not only that, they want the rest of us to pay more. They've been told they're getting shafted. They've been told the rich are getting all the tax cuts. They have been told that the rich is getting all that wealth and prosperity out there. They pay no Federal income taxes. So they think they've been screwed, and Senator Obama is telling them that over and over.

So you are saying this is really about class warfare? Class envy?

Yeah, pretty much, as crappy as that sounds. Its about trying to make the people on the low end of the scale feel good about the people above them getting whats "coming to them". But how does that make you feel good? How do you make poor people rich by making rich people poor?

See, thats the big secret when it comes to Democrats in Congress. They don't want to lift the little guy up. They don't want to help the poor-stricken succeed, so they can be in competition with the group that is making it work. They want to push the people making it work down. Push them down to the same level as the poor-stricken, then we are all equal and all miserable and all depending on the government--and that is what socialism is all about.

We will talk more on Senator Obama's taxes, as its one of the most pressing issues in this election, but since we did promise to discuss abortion in the last segment, I wanted to go ahead and get to it...

In your opinion, should abortion be illegal?

Should or could? I mean, it should be illegal. Its murder. Could it be illegal? No, I'm not sure thats possible. If you make a blanket law across the country outlawing abortions, they'll still happen, in much less safer environments than they do now. However, I firmly believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. That Court decision has been turned into what amounts to a constitutional amendment in the minds of pro-choice people, guaranteeing the rights to an abortion anytime, anywhere.

I think you overturn it, pull the federal goverment out of it, and toss it back to states. Let the states decide.

Isn't that a little idealistic, though, to just overturn the law and give it to states, hoping it will turn out alright?

Might be, in some way. Bottom line is, our side--the pro-life side--has our side defined. Life begins at conception. For people who are pro-choice, including Senator Obama, they can't, or won't say. So, instead of not declaring where they think life begins, they err on the side of death.

Err on the side of death? Thats a little macabre, don't you think? I mean, that is an extreme statement, isn't it?

Not really. It is what it is. They cannot decide when to say "okay, after this point in a pregnancy, you cannot have an abortion, because the baby is now alive", so they just kill it whenever. For me, personally, I think if an abortion is to happen, it has to happen very early. I think 3rd tri-mester, or even 2nd tri-mester abortions are butchery. And there is no reason to not have a ban on partial birth abortions. I think the woman's right to choose slowly develops into the child's right to live. That line is grey for Democrats, and apparently, above Senator Obama's paygrade.

You are referring to, of course, the response Obama gave when asked that question. He did say in a meeting in Iowa last year that he feels that abortion is a personal subject and that one way to reduce abortions is to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

Thats all well and good, I'm sure, but his idea of unwanted pregnancy reduction is handing out more condoms at school. I think that abortion should be treated as a last resort operation, after the mother--which by the way, at what point does she become a mother for Democrats?--has had options like adoption presented to her. They need to be educated and counseled on the emotional toll this is going to take on them.

Well, Senator Obama has said that he opposes partial birth abortions, and thinks that states should decide for themselves.

Yes, he did say that a few years ago. Then he must have changed his mind, because in June of this year, he said that as President, he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act--legislation he co-sponsored--which would remove every ban or regulation in every state, nullify parental consent laws, any waiting periods, health and safety regulations for clinics and more. Total, unrestricted access to an abortion, anytime you want.

And honestly, the fact that Obama voted against the Born Alive bill four different times. Four. Each time, it was changed a bit to be more compromising, and he voted against it four times. This is the bill that give the child life, if the abortion is not done correctly and the baby is born alive, sometimes healthy. The Born Alive bill would ban these abortions. But not for Obama.

Well, he does have two beautiful daughters. Do you think he was trying to think of them, wanting their options to be available should something happen?

Why sure. In March of this year, he told the crowd, "Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby."

Punished with a baby. This is the man who might be our next president.

Coming up, we'll discuss this Constitutional argument that Senator Obama appears to have made, saying that document is "fundamentally flawed", and and on Friday, in our final segment, we'll discuss what might happen in an Obama presidency, and if the Democrats take complete control of Congress. Then we'll let d$ make his case to the American People against Barack Obama. This is Headline America, I'm Mary Beth Sutter, we'll be back.

(segment closes with another clip from The American President, with Michael J. Fox, playing Lewis Rothchild, and Michael Douglas, playing The President, onscreen)

Lewis: You have a deeper love of this country than any man I've ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism.

President Shepherd: Look, if the people want to listen to-...

Lewis: They don't have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.

President Shepherd: Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.

The Interview Part II: The Economy, Low-Informed Voters and An Angry Caller

Welcome back and thanks for joining us here. Again, in the studio we are discussing the candidacy of Senator Obama. (turning to me)...

So now, let's discuss the economy.

Let's do.

How bad is it, do you think?

Well, I don't think its a great economy, but its not as bad as people... or the media... say it is.

How can you even say that, though? Mortgage companies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae collapsing, the Lehman Bros., a Wall Street legend, collapses, AIG falls apart, people are losing money left and right and you can say the economy is "not as bad"?

Its not. Listen, when you are in a country where the NFL sells out most of its games at $50 per ticket, or Apple iPods are still huge sellers, or companies like DirecTV can make millions at providing satellite cable services, then no, the economy is not falling apart. That's not to say that there is anything wrong with the NFL, iPods or DirecTV, but people are spending money. The trouble is, they might not be spending as much for a while.

I know people who have lost money. Some have lost a few thousand, some tens of thousands, heck, my wife and I have lost a couple of thousand in our retirement... but the market will rebound. Strongly, if left alone. Capitalism works, when its left to work.

Capitalism didn't work with the mortgage industry, did it?

It would have.

Do you blame anyone for the mess? Can you pinpoint one party or another for whats happened?

Sure. The entire thing falls squarely on the shoulders of our American Democratic Party. Senator Obama. Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC). Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT). Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). Former President Clinton. Speaker Pelosi, Senate Leader Harry Reid. Thats just naming a few.

So you don't throw any Republicans in there? None at all? This is all the Democrats fault? You seriously believe that?

There might be a handful of Republicans who supported the Democrats in this, and there might be a handful of Democrats who opposed what was happening, but the blame pretty much falls on the American Left. Senator Obama and Senator Dodd have been out there screaming about having "oversight" in mortgage companies, and it was their oversight that forced banks to loan money to people who clearly couldn't pay it back.

And trust me, if there was a single Republican they could pin this on, there would be nonstop media coverage of hearings, investigations and so on, to destroy whoever it was and make him take the fall for it.

But the Democrats in Congress are looking for regulations and an overhaul of the system now. Doesn't that mean that...

...all that means is, they see where they screwed up and are trying desperately to cover their tracks. Bill Clinton even admitted it--he said, "I think the responsibility the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little bit on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Honestly, I don't think the American people have a clear understanding about how big this is, and how deeply the people who are in Congressional power currently are involved in this. President Bush not only warned Congress of this, he had plans to help stop it. Franklin Raines, who was appointed by Clinton and now works for Senator Obama, led Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and combined to loan over 1.5 trillion in loans to people. On September 11th, 2003, Bush proposed what the New York Times called "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry..." The main point of the overhaul was the creation of an oversight agency for Fannie and Freddie.

But Democrats cried foul. Barney Frank said, "These two entities are not facing any kind of financial crisis", while Watt said that Bush was "weakening the bargaining power of poorer families."

But Bush should have stopped it, right? I mean, he was the President.

You'd think. He tried 11 different times between 2001 and 2007, and 17 different times in 2008 to try to stop this mess through legislation, and every time, he was thwarted by Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid. You said I didn't prop up McCain, well, here's one for ya... in 2005, McCain was urging for reform as well, saying, "if Congress doesn't act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie and Freddie pose to the housing market..."

2005? The Republicans had control of Congress then. Why didn't they pass it?

Because they couldn't get enough Democrats to join them. They controlled, but it wasn't filibuster-proof, as they say.

You mentioned Clinton's role in all this.

Yeah, that would be 1995's Community Reinvestment Act, which mandated--forced under the threat of lawsuits and fines--that banks lend to borrowers in poorer communities. And welcome to the Sub Prime Disaster.

So, the American Dream is not for everyone, huh? You own a home, right? Why shouldn't everyone be able to own a home?

That's a terrible line of thinking, and part of what got us into this. I do own a home, my wife and I bought one in February of this year... but after we got to the financial point of being able to pay for it. We paid off our debts, we found a house we could afford, bargained for a reasonable rate and bought. We didn't just expect the banks to give us whatever we wanted. In fact, our mortgage company told us we could get a home worth several tens of thousands more, but we declined... because we want to be able to pay for it.

Senator Obama has been talking about Bush Economics. Would you agree that Bush Economics led to part of what has happened? With the recession occurring?

What recession?

What recession? Seriously, d$? Have you been paying attention?

(chuckling) I've been paying attention. Actually, it makes me think of this week's Newsweek article, asking the question "What If Obama Doesn't Win?", and pointing out how far fetched that idea is--but it says if Obama doesn't win, it will be due to "low-informed voters voting for McCain". That made me laugh quite a bit. If anyone is "low-informed", it makes me think of people who blindly support Obama without knowing why.

Now I'm going to ask you about what you just said, but I want to hear your response on Bush Economics and this "non-recession" you have scoffed at.

Say what you want about the guy, but under President Bush, we had an extremely strong and robust economy in the first 6 years of his terms. Unemployment at record lows, the stock market strong, gas prices reasonable...

Let me stop you there. Perhaps you've seen the bumper sticker that says "When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.45"?

Yeah, I've seen them. There quite stupid actually. I mean, when Clinton took office in 1992, gas prices were 98 cents. So, gas prices were 1.45 when Bush took office in 2000. When the Democrats took over in 2006, gas prices were $2.34, an increase of 89 cents. In the last two years, I've paid anywhere from $2.50 to $4.50 per gallon. Go figure.

Back to the economy, though, Bush has had a great run on the economy. Bottom line is, the tax cuts worked. That puts more disposable income in your pockets. He did it twice, in the early 2000s, and then again a few years ago.

Senator Obama has vowed to cut those taxes though.

But how? He's also vowed to let the tax cuts expire in 2010, even though President Bush has lobbied for making those cuts permanent. Which means in 2010, you'll see your taxes go up, whether you make a million a year, or $20K per year. Your taxes will go up.

This whole notion of "people who make $250,000 or less won't see a single increase" is a flat out lie. A complete and total lie. Recently, however, Obama dropped the figure...

(video clip of Obama speaking) If you have a job, pay taxes and make less than $200,000 per year, you'll get a tax cut.

And then, Joe Biden lowered it even further on Monday.

(video clip of Joe Biden speaking) It [tax cuts] should go like it used to. It should go to the middle class, people making under $150,000 per year.

But let's face it, d$... whether you want to admit it or not, we are facing a tougher economy ahead of us. Those taxes might need to be used to "right the ship", or so they say.

Right, right... only Senator Obama doesn't care about "righting the ship". He cares about spreading the wealth. When he was told, flat out, that when Clinton lowered the capital gains taxes in the 90s, it led to huge economic groth, Obama--who plans to double it from 15% to 30% said, straight up, its not about income, its about fairness.

This is leading to an entirely different subject, and I do want to come back to this. But first, I wanted to back to what you said earlier, about the Newsweek article stating "McCain voters were low-informed", and you said that if anyone was "low-" or misinformed, it was Obama voters? Isn't that a little mean?

Perhaps. But I'm done with the niceties. People have to understand who this guy is. Senator Barack Obama is dangerous, and we are all aware that most of the public only know of the candidates what they read in headlines. All they see from Obama is that, he's different and for change. Well, they also see he's not George W. Bush, so they will take whatever change they can have, regardless of what change it is.

And the facts are that Obama is not even being who he is. If he were running a completely honest campaign, his slogans would be something like "Taking Your Money and Using it For Poor People" or "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You--Demand It". But he's not running on those platforms, because he'd never have a prayer.

The dirty little secret is, he has to "lean right" to be elected. Tax cuts is a conservative ideal...

(cutting me off) Now, come on. Cutting taxes is not only a conservative idea

Yeah, it kinda is. Liberals believe in higher taxes, more government, and less personal freedom. Conservatives believe in the opposite.

And you said that people are voting for him 'because he's not Bush'. In the same manner, aren't you voting for McCain because 'he's not Obama'?

That's one of my reasons, and I'll admit, one of my main ones. However, I'm also voting for McCain because I believe, out of the two, he can do the job correctly. He will keep the taxes lower, he'll concern himself with the well-being of national security and our military and hopefully, he'll start putting some doggone oil rigs in our country.

But people who vote for Obama? I have talked to over a dozen people, and they can't tell me ANYTHING Obama has done. Not a single thing. All they can say is, "Oh, well, he's not George W. Bush. Obama has ideas." And its the low-informed voter that cannot say what those ideas are, those ideas that they will be voting for. Those ideas include taking your hard earned money and giving it to people who don't work, those ideas include making abortion readily available to anyone who wants it, those ideas include possibly nationalizing your 401(k) for government use... these are all things that Obama won't talk about, because he knows it won't do him any good.

Before the break, we do have a caller on the line. Caller, go ahead, you are on the line with d$

Caller: Okay... you've got to stop this. Please don't continue. Seriously. Stop while you still have people reading. (dial tone)

Well, that was kind of to the point, I think. Well, d$, how about it? Why are you doing this interview? Aren't you really just preaching to the choir?

You could say that, I guess. The majority of people who take note of this probably agree with me, and I honestly don't expect to change anyone's minds directly. However, there are people out there that don't like Senator Obama, but don't have all the fact spelled out in front of them. And they are talking to people who love Obama, and probably don't have the facts with them either. Well, this is a good chance for people I know to help Obama supporters be a little more informed. And after its all said and done, and they vote for Obama, then at least they'll be aware of what they are wanting.

I noticed your counter on your blogpage as well.

Yeah... that made me laugh. After posting the transcript to Part I, by the end of the day, I've had over 30 page loads--thats not me hitting the refresh button 30 times, mind you, thats 30+ different computers pulling up my blogpage. I mean, tomorrow I may only have 5, I don't know. But someone was interested. Not that caller though (laughs)

(also laughing) Are you ready to get back to The Dave100, or other random blogs you do? And what is your favorite movie?

God yes. I am so ready for this election to be done and over with. But I want people to know whats going on first. And I can't tell my favorite yet. However, the next up is #80, and it stars Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey.

Well, when we come back, we talk about one of the most divisive comments in our country--Abortion. And, can McCain actually win this election? Coming up later, we ask the question, "Does Obama hate our Constitution?"

d$, via teaser clip: I really think he just doesn't like what our country is founded on. He truly thinks the founding fathers of this country was wrong

Back for more with d$. Stay with us.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Obama Interview

Welcome back, and thanks for being a part of our audience. As we turn to politics tonight, in our studio we have the author of the Clouds in My Coffee blog, read by tens of people each day. Thank you, d$, for joining us today.

Glad to be here, thank you for inviting me on.

Let's just jump right in... in the 2006 elections, you were very vocal about your opinions on Democrats and especially the American Left, and yet in this election coming up, perhaps even more important than the '06 elections, you've been somewhat silent. Why is that?

Well, I haven't been silent. Anyone who has heard me talk knows where I stand. I would like to think, though, that I've evolved as a writer and blogger over the years, and though taking a few shots here and there is not above my paygrade, I want to stick to whats imporant, especially in this election. I don't want to give my critics any reason to discount what I say, because what I say is... well, its right.

Some of your critics, like fellow columist and attorney B. Latta, have pointed out that you've spent a lot of time discussing why someone shouldn't vote for Obama, rather than why they should vote for McCain & Palin. How do you respond to that? Why not prop up McCain & Palin?

Good question, and if I may point back to the previous questions, its criticism that I receive from the likes of Mr. Latta that has helped me in my political commentary. Its that kind of feedback we all need. He's great at playing devil's advocate, though I know he has no love for the empire. Hold back the names, stick to the issues. The issue is this, though... this election coming up, its not about John McCain. Honestly, most people know where he stands. He's Republican, so he's not for raising taxes. He's pro-military, he's pro-life, he's a war hero.

Let me stop you there... the war hero thing. Isn't that a bit played out by now? I mean, every time he's on TV, he bring it up...

Oh, I agree. It might be a bit played out. He might have mentioned it one too many times... but whether he mentions it five times in a year or 40,000 times, the truth is... he's a war hero. He went through a lot for this country. I can't sit here and say he's more or less patriotic than someone who didn't serve in the military, but Senator McCain has done more for this country than hundreds of Congressman put together. And his decades of government service lends to who his is. His experience lends to what kind of president he will be. He's got experience in foriegn policy, domestic issues, war, peace, and so on. Though I don't agree with everything he says and wants to do, I can live with who he will be as President.

Understood. Back to the previous question.

Yes, I was getting to that... as I was saying, this election is not about John McCain, or even about Sarah Palin. This election is a referendum on one Barack Hussein Obama. This election is a decision about which direction this country will go. Will we remain a country that puts its citizens rights first, a country that has a government that will stay out of people's lives.... or will get on that slippery slope towards government being involved of every aspect of our daily lives. This election is about Obama, pure and simple. Do we embrace or reject that kind of person he is.

I've heard you say before that though you never liked Clinton as president, you thought he might be a fun guy. When you say "reject the kind of person he is", are you speaking personally or professionally?

Both. Yes, I've said that about Bill Clinton. I mean, I think he was a terrible president--if the media ever decides to report it unbiased, I think history will say the same--but despite his flaws, to me he's been a guy that might actually be fun to have a conversation with. I wouldn't leave him in a room alone with my wife, but he'd be fun to sit around and watch football with. Obama? He has serious character flaws. I don't respect him as a potential president, I don't respect him as a person. I've always thought he would be a bad choice as the leader of the free world, but I used to say he'd be interesting to have a conversation with, to debate. Now? I wouldn't care to talk to him about anything, really.

Character flaws? That's a pretty strong statement. What makes you not like him as a person?

Well, his belief system, for one thing. He's completely and totally sold out on the notion that this country would be better if we took from those making lots of money--the producers in this country, the achievers in this country--and gave to those who don't make anything. The non-producers, if you will. In our current climate, we are raising up a whole generation of people who feel as if "others" make money to support them. Other people should give them money because they deserve it. Because they are black. Because they are poor. Because they were abused. Because they are Mexican. Because of whatever. This is what Senator Obama wants to do. Build a nation of people totally reliant on the government to fix their problems.

Well, again, those are his political opinions. Is that the same as his personal life?

One leads to the other, honestly. It has too. I mean, we are talking about a man who spent 20 years in a church, heralded by a pastor who has screamed nothing but hatred for this country, and nothing but hatred for "whitey". "Not God Bless America, God Damn America!", remember? Twenty years. Then when he's called on it, Senator Obama says, "That's not the Jeremiah Wright I knew"? So either he's not very intelligent, because he spent 20 years in a church and didn't absorb anything, or he's lying through his teeth. I tend to believe the latter, because if there is one thing to be sure of, Obama is not stupid. He's alot of things, but not stupid.

So when you say 'Obama is the wrong choice for president', you aren't talking policies. You're talking as a person?

I'm talking both. This is a man who won't even produce his birth certificate and...

Now, come on. That's conservative rhetoric. The whole notion that because he won't produce his birth certificate makes him somehow not a citizen?

(shaking my head) No, no, I think thats a little silly too, to be honest.. I fully believe he was born here in our country. It shouldn't be an issue, except that it is, which is my point. Its an issue because he hasn't been honest from day one about anything. About ACORN, about William Ayers, about his tax policies, about his view on the middle class, about his views on the war...

You bring up William Ayers. The story goes that William Ayers was... I repeat WAS... a terrorist suspect in the early 70s. He was a member of the radical Weather Underground Organization, but let's be real here, d$... Senator Obama was EIGHT years old when this stuff happen. Do you honestly want to try to make a connection between Ayers and Obama?

Absolutely. See, if Ayers had come out, even recently, and said, "I was wrong. I did a stupid thing when I was a kid. I have changed", and we could see evidence of that, then no big story. People do crazy, ill advised things when they are younger--Ayers was never convicted for these things, by the way. However, Ayers didn't do that. We're talking about the same man who, after September 11th, said, "I don't regret setting bombs [back then]... in fact, we didn't do enough." This is a man who despises this country as it is, and is unrepentant for his crimes. And this is a man whom Obama has embraced. Lived nearby. Held campaign parties at his house. Ayers is a dangerous man with dangerous ideals, and to think that he's one friend away from The White House come January is troubling. What's worse is neither Ayers nor Senator Obama have been willing to even discuss the relationship, other than to give that line about "eight years old"

So you do maintain there is a connection between Ayers and Obama?

Absolutely. Just the line that says "we didn't set off enough bombs back when I was setting off bombs as a protest", said right after 9/11, makes me think that Ayers hasn't changed. And now he's a professor. And Senator Obama has a friendship with him. I mean, you can be friends with lots of people, we all have friends good and bad, people we trust some, more than others. But when you are running for The President of the United States of America, the most powerful office in the world, you MUST distance yourself from people with these ideals. And if you don't, it sends a clear message that says, "I at least in part agree with this person."

We'll be back after this break with more from d$. Up next, we'll discuss the economy, who's to blame, and we'll get into the fine points of this election--abortion, the war and does Obama's inexperience matter when Palin is on the ticket? Stay with us.

Part II coming Tuesday night.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why I Can't Vote For Obama, by Huntley Brown

I found this after someone posted it on Facebook. I thought it was quite good, so I thought I would post it for your response.

Dear Friends,
A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating...

First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him. Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can't dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.

I can't vote black because I am black; I have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter. We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008)

To beat Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.

There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 % rating. There is a reason the homosexual community supports him. There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him. There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court. There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill. There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion. There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.

Let's take a look at the practice he wanted to continue.

The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedures:
A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps. (Remember this is a live baby)
B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

God help him.

There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law. Think about this: You can't give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane. There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years. Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright's sermons. I wonder why now? Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 'Go and make disciples of all nations.' This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?

Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a ...
1. Commitment to the White Community
2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community.
5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System
7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.

Would you support a President who went to a church like that? Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside. This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can't be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world. A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if it is a white church or a black church it's still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.

Obama's former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote:

'Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.'

Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this? So what does all this mean for the nation? In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing - judgment. Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king.

First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 'Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.' Then God says 1 Samuel 1:18 ' When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.' 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. 'We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.' 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.'

Here is what we know for sure. God is not schizophrenic. He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God. Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it.

For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends. Since we know someone's value system has to be placed on the nation,

1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation.
2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?

Huntley Brown

Brown is a concert pianist and a follower of Christ. His website is here. Oh, and he's black, so he's down for the struggle, and according to Joe Biden, he might be a clean and authentic black man.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where you at???

For those of you who keep checking the blog page, keep checking it. I'm due any day now.

With two jobs, The DFC, Survivor, WalkAbout, The Amazing Race, KidStuf and everything else that goes on, blogging has taken an accidental backseat. However, I really want to get back to form... and I want to unload on one Barack Freakin' Obama. With both barrels. With regards to Jaci Gresham, however, I will do it respectfully, with very little name calling, except for the word "Socialist".

Anyway, I haven't given up, I haven't forgotten, and I'll talk to you very soon.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Troy State: The Freshman Fall

I'm a mix tape guy. Always have been. Always will be. I used to make mix tapes for friends of mine, and think that for the most part, they were pretty good. They aren't easy to make, though... you can't just slap some songs onto a cassette (the only true mixtape form) and call it "A Mix Tape". You have to get the songs to flow. You have to make sure that there is some cohesiveness. You have to make sure they songs match.

On this note, for October's music on Clouds, I'm pulling out one of my favorite mixes... I call it "The Troy State Experience". The first volume is a two-cd set featuring music from my freshman year, mostly in the order in which they were released to radio. The cover has Erin Magonigal, while the back of the case features Adrianne Benton, Greg Gibson, Ginny Kochan and Mandy Stewart.

Mind you, this is before iTunes, before the explosion of the internet, before Napster, back when you had to either buy a CD or find your favorite song on the radio (or get a mixtape from me).

So, this month, since we are now at 15 years since I first stepped foot upon the beautiful Troy State campus, I wanted to give you the contents of Disc One, featuring Miranda Bryant and Michael Dunn on the cover.

"Because the Night" by 10,000 Maniacs. I still have no idea what Natalie Merchant is singing during the bridge. Something about the cycle turnings and burning.

"Another Sad Love Song" by Toni Braxton. One of my favorite 90s divas, still looking great after 40, singing one of my favorite driving songs.

"Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum. Who remembers this video? All those lost and runaway kids on the video. FYI, can you name Soul Asylum's follow up hit? That's right. "Misery Incorporated."

"Again" by Janet Jackson. The Lovely Steph Leann and I were sitting with DeLisa and DeNick the other day on the way to Walt Disney World, and this song came overhead. "Suddenly those memories came back to me in my... miiiiind...." DeNick gave me a funny look. Sad song.

"Hey Jealousy" by The Gin Blossoms. Another great driving song, another song that you cannot help but turn up when it comes on. You know you do.

"Everybody Hurts" by REM. I included this song because it was just so big in 1993, back when REM was relevant, and people cared about Michael Stipe. Ah, that was long ago.

"I Love the Way You Love Me" by John Michael Montgomery. So, Bobby Black is driving, Mandy Stewart is in the front seat, I'm sitting in the back with Bradley Grantham and Miranda Bryant, and Bradley is singing this song. First time I'd heard it. He's got a great voice. Miranda and Mandy were swooning. I was jealous.

"All That She Wants" by Ace of Base. YOU KNOW THESE WORDS. You are now singing them. Well, you're welcome.

"Cryin'" by Aerosmith. Ladies and gentlemen, Alicia Silverstone!

"Linger" by The Cranberries. This has a 51 second intro, which is great, because it gives you plenty of time to talk about the upcoming remote at Bondy's Ford & Jeep Eagle, or give you the quick weather forecast, or how you can win free stuff, all while I worked at WKMX, Max 106.7, overnights. Another good song was "American Pie" and "Lyin' Eyes", and if you put them back to back, you had almost 15 minutes to do whatever you needed to do--especially in the bathroom.

"One Last Cry" by Brian McKnight. This song is a masterpiece of a kick in the crotch of love. "I saw you holding hands, standing close to someone else..." Wow. I'm not sure Brian McK has ever been better.

"No Rain" by Blind Melon. The Bee Girl! See, this is back in the day when videos matter too. When was the last time you discussed a recent video with anyone? Seriously? "No Rain" was a topic of conversation many times while crusin' in the Olds Cierra.

"I Would Do Anything For Love (but I won't do that)" by Meat Loaf. Is it Meat Loaf? Or is it Meatloaf? Speaking of event videos, wow, this was nuts. It was like an epic movie. And remarkably, it was almost a mirror image of Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now", which is weird that Loaf and Dion would mirror on anything. This is from the Loaf album "Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell".

"Sweat (a la la la la la)" by Inner Circle. This was the same group that did "Bad Boys", made famous by "Cops". When I was in high school, people didn't invite me to parties. Well, I went to Beverly Day's party one night, but I felt kinda like a loser. Mostly because I grew up in a smokers household, and only when I got to college did I realize how badly I must have smelled to those non-smoking chicks in high school... I mean, who knows what I could have accomplished, chick-wise, had I not smelled like a bar almost all the time? Maybe Nicki Vann would have gone out with me. Maybe Angie Jay would have been geniune in her acceptance of my homecoming offer.   Coulda woulda shoulda.

By the way, I've known Angie Jay for almost 20 years now, and when I sent her an invite on facebook, she rejected it, saying, "I don't know you very well". Seriously? Angie Jay was my first slow dance! "Wanted" by Alan Jackson! I feel dumped all over again! So, I've decided if I ever write teen chick fiction, one of the mean girls will be named Angie. So there.

Where was I? Ah yes, when I was in high school, people didn't invite me to parties. So, on the weekends, I would listen to Open House Party with John Garabedian, and I would hear all the new stuff coming out, including Inner Circle's follow up to "Bad Boys", a little ditty called "Sweat". It came out in the fall, while at Troy, but I knew about it.

"The Sign" by Ace of Base. I first heard this song while riding in Cyndi Bledsoe's Teal Green Geo Metro. She had the cassette tape. I miss her and Lisa Turk.

"If" by Janet Jackson. I never realized how dirty this song was until I found the lyrics on the internet. I only included it here because you won't realize how bad it is because she sings so fast.