Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Night - Looking good for Democrats!

I've been watching the returns off and on throughout the evening, and it is starting to look like a bloodbath for the GOP. They've lost many key races, including Kentucky District 3, where Rep. Northrup has been beaten by John Yarmuth, and Rick Santorum has been beaten by Bob Casey for the Senate seat from Pennsylvania.

The best news of the night, though, is right here at home. John Hostettler (Johnny Ho) lost his House seat to Democrat Brad Ellsworth. Ellsworth beat him 61% to 39%, with 96% of precincts reporting as of 11:39 pm EST. Now that was a whoopin!

Joe Donnely defeated Republican Chris Chocola (also known as Count Chocula) by 54% to 46%, with all precincts reporting.

But the best of all is the news that Baron Hill has defeated Republican Mike Sodrel, 49% to 46%, with 90% of precincts reporting. That's a 6,132 vote advantage, and I don't think we have to worry about a recount this time.

The current count in the House as of 11:39 pm EST is 152 seats to the Republicans, compared to 191 seats to the advantage of 39 seats. This will probably change by the time it's over, but it is starting to look like we have control of the House. For more info, click here.

This election is starting to look like a Democratic blowout...turnout has been high, and it looks like people finally had had enough of the nonsense to get out and vote these rascals out...thank God!

My congratulations to Baron Hill on a fine campaign. You fought hard, and you stuck with it, even though they threw everything but the kitchen sink at you...come to think of it, I thought I actually saw that too, at one point.

My congratulations also to Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly, for their victories tonight. I wish you well in your new jobs as Representatives.

Congratulations to all the other Democrats across the country, who are riding a wave of change. This is indeed an historic night. I think said it best:

We're not going to make any official announcments yet, but to put it mildly, this is not shaping up to be a good night for the Republicans.
That may be the biggest understatement of the night.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Eve

Hello everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts, but it's been pretty busy around here. I thought it was time for a new post, being as tomorrow is so important. I really have one important thing to say on this election eve:

If you want to make change in this country, VOTE!

If you're tired of the direction we're going in,

If you want to send a message to Washington that We the people matter, and that our voices count, VOTE!

This is one of the most important elections I can remember, not to mention one of the few where we really have a chance to make a real change in this country. The Repubs are on the ropes, and reeling. A large turnout from the Democrats would deliver the knockout punch we need.

If you are in Indiana, please remember to bring your state-issued photo ID, either a drivers license, or a state-issued ID that can be obtained for voting (it's free at the License Branch).
You can check out the information at the BMV's site.

Indiana License Branches will be open tomorrow, Election Day, from 6 am to 7 pm, in order to issue ID's and driver's licenses to those who need it. If you have questions about times, call your local BMV. They will be giving priority to those who just need the state-issued ID for voting. If you want more information, click here.

If you live in the 9th District, I urge you to vote for Baron Hill. He is the best candidate for the job, and will be able to assure that our voice is heard in Washington once again.

Let's get out and vote tomorrow! Don't worry about the weather. It doesn't matter whether it's raining or shining...get out and vote!

Voting is too important to miss out on because of the weather, or for any other reason. This election will determine our future for years to come.

I urge you to Vote Democratic tomorrow, for a real change in this country.

See you at the polls!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nastiness in the Indiana 9th

The race between Mike Sodrel (R) and Baron Hill (D) is heating up. According to a survey performed by Constituent Dynamics, Hill is currently leading Sodrel by a wide margin - 53% to 42%. Other polls show the margin to be lower. CQ Politics is listing the race as "no clear favorite" (you can read it here). The Washington Post also calls it close. This is one of the hottest races in the country, and one of the dirtiest. My wife and I have been receiving flyers from the Repubs, and they are getting disgusting. Granted, there have also been Democrat flyers, but they're not nearly as nasty as the Republicans. I've been collecting and scanning these to submit to Taking Down Words and Baron Hill's campaign. Here's some samples of this garbage (please excuse the alignment of some of the images - I could not get some of them to align properly) :

This flyer is a smack at the Democrats, disguised as an absentee ballot application. The desparation of these people shows. As far as new heights, it wouldn't take much to rise above where they are. BTW, I wonder why Eric Koch doesn't have a picture attached?

"Capitol" Hill"? Seriously, folks. Now they are resorting to name-calling. As far as what is wrong with Washington, Baron Hill didn't cause this mess we're in. Sodrel and his bunch did.

This one is just chock full of lies. The bills they speak about in this flyer were ones that the Republicans tied to other legislation, knowing that they would be voted down because the main piece of legislation was flawed in the first place. They were political set-ups, designed to be used as ammunition against them in the election. As far as "opposition of a strong national defense", nothing could be further from the truth. Baron Hill supports a strong national defense, and has always supported our troops. Sodrel, on the other hand, has voted against giving our troops additional body armor, pay raises, etc. If you want to know the real truth about Baron's stand on these issues, and know who is funding the lies, click here for the truth. The lies about Baron's stand on defense and other issues are being funded by the same person who financed the Swift Boat Campaign agains John Kerry in 2004, Republican donor Bob Perry. He, in fact, is the sole donor for the so-called "Americans for Honesty". If that's honesty in Washington, no wonder the place is such a mess.

There are other flyers coming in the mail every day, and my wife is getting sick of it. These flyers show the desperation of a party who knows they are losing. They will say or do anything to stay in office. The sad thing is, there are people who believe these flyers. We even received one today that said that after the election in 2004, Baron didn't return to Seymour. I know that is a lie, because I personally spoke with him at a local gas station in Seymour several times in the weeks following the election. Who do they think they are kidding? Certainly not me, or my wife.

Baron doesn't live in a mansion, or drive a brand-new car. He has no qualms about walking right up to people to talk to them, no matter who they are. Not sure about Sodrel, but I think the only time I've seen him was in a parade last weekend. Other than that, we don't see him much.

Folks, this election is important. It is about restoring integrity to Washington, and regaining a voice in Washington. Sodrel is part of the reason we are in the mess we are in. He must go, along with the rest of the Republicans.

I urge you to vote for Baron Hill on November 7th.

Bring Back Baron!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

More Republican Troubles

Seems another Repub has bit the dust. Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio has been convicted of making false statements and conspiracy. Ney admitted that he received money and gifts in return for favors for Abramoff and friends. He could get ten years, but will receive 27 months in prison under a plea agreement. Not a lot of time for someone who stole so much. Many people have had far worse for a lot less.

Another one in trouble is Pennsylvania representative Curt Weldon, who, as of today, is under investigation by the FBI to determine whether he "used his influence to secure lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter", according to sources close to the investigation. Allegedly, this had something to do with work that Weldon performed between 2002 and 2004. The companies involved were two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers who had connections to the former leader of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosovic. Apparently the company, Solutions North America, which was run by Weldon's daughter, Karen Weldon, had a contract worth $1,000,000 with the Russian companies and the Serbian brothers. A Republican ally of Rep. Weldon, Charles Sexton, was also involved.

Add these scandals to the Foley mess, the cover-up by Hastert, and the various other scandals of late, and you have a Republican party in trouble. So much trouble, in fact, that according to a poll taken by Constituent Dynamics and a post on Bill Earl's site Americans for Bayh, (thanks to Americans for Bayh for the post and link), the Democrats are now leading in the polls by 19 seats, more than enough to gain the majority. This is indeed great news for the Democrats, and bad news for the Repubs.

We now have a chance to make a change in this nation. We can win this November, and put the brakes on Bush and his buddies' power grab. We can end the "culture of corruption" that has engulfed Washington, and begin to restore dignity and honor to the Congress. Please join me in voting Democratic this November 7th. Our time has come.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Approach of Winter

I'm going to change the topic a bit now. Summer is almost gone, and we've had a little frost already. The leaves haven't really started turning yet, but the soybeans have begun to turn brown, and the farmers are getting the corn out of the fields. It's even dropped to 41 degrees at night. Won't be long till winter is upon us again. Time to finish the outside projects (too many) before it gets cold. Wish I had some pictures to share with you, but I don't have a way to download them from my phone yet (no cable). I'll have to get one soon, and post some pics.

It looks like it may rain today, even though the sunrise looked promising. That's ok, I've got enough work in the garage to keep me busy.

One interesting thought concerning winter. I've read that our weather may be affected by El Nino, which is forming in the Pacific. According to those forecasts, we will have a mild winter. However, I was raised in the country, and always heard the old timers talk about predicting the weather by the color of the "wooly worms". If you don't know what a wooly worm is, it is "the larval stage of the Isabella tiger moth, according to a site from the University of Illinois, "The Green Line". According to them, there is no truth to the story that wooly worm colors predict winter. Well, I do have a degree in technology, and have an interest in science. However, I have been around enough to know to listen to the old-timers. They were often right more than wrong.
According to the lore of the old-timers, a wolly worm with light colors means a mild winter. One that has brown on one or both ends and black in the middle means a mild beginning or end, and a rough winter in the middle. All black means a bad winter. You get the picture.

As I said, I have an interest in science, and know about scientific principles. However, I have to believe what the old-timers say, as their knowledge was gained from years of experience, and from what their fathers and grandfathers passed on. In those days, knowing what the weather would be was the difference between surviving the winter, and possibly starving or freezing to death.

I've seen years when the worms were all black, and we had a bad winter (I think the winter of 77-78 was one). I've also seen mild winters preceded by brown worms. I have to think that the old folks knew what they were talking about.

As for this year, my wife and I were on our way home from church a few weeks ago, which is located up in the hills. On the way down the hill, we saw three black wooly worms crossing the road. All black...not a good sign.

I certainly hope that the old-timers weren't right...(sigh). We'll be digging out all winter.

Let's hope not.

Another Repub bites the dust

I see in the news where another Repub is resigning...this time for allegedly sending inappropriate emails to a 16 year old page. You can read the story here. Pretty sick. What is amazing is how these skunks can stand up and preach about morality, and yet do something like this. Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. Not only that, but the House Page Board knew about this last year, but did nothing. How many more will get caught up in this scandal...chasing after young pages? Absolutely sickening! Imagine the howl if he had been a Democrat!

These people deserve what they get, and come November 7th, the game is up. Time to clean house, and bring back a Democratic majority with a sense of decency.

Vote Democratic on November 7th!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Drop at the Pump

Sorry for the wait between posts. It's been pretty busy around here.

We seem to have had a change in the gasoline prices as of late. As of the last time I looked, gasoline was $2.08 a gallon and falling. This is certainly good news, but it begs for a few questions, such as why did it take so long to fall, and why are the prices falling just before an election?

According to the DOE's site, which can be accessed here, prices in the midwest are the lowest in the nation. The midwest is also the most hotly contested election battleground in the country. Seems funny that suddenly the price drops in our area, just when the Repubs are in danger of being thrown out of office. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

The Repubs are scared, and they should be. People have had it. Now, some will say that the lower price is due to market conditions, which may be. However, the bunch in the White House are good buddy's with the oil companies, as evidenced by the secret meeting between Cheney and the oil men after Bush came to power.

When you talk to people about the lower price, they are relieved, but also very skeptical. Everyone I have talked to seems to think the same way, that the only reason the price is going down is to save the Repubs sorry butt. People are upset about the prices, and still blame the administration. People have been hurt by these prices, and it's going to take more than a temporary drop at the pump for them to recover. Most of us, including me, have been hit hard by this, and have had to scrape to get by, allowing some things to be put off because they can't afford it. This hurts all of us, because when the money isn't being spent in local stores, the local economy hurts.

The Repubs think that the lower price will help their election chances. "Hey, look, the price is down...everything's ok, for me". I was even more convinced than ever of this this afternoon, when a politician was being interviewed on NPR about the election. I can't remember what the show was, but they asked him if he thought that the lower prices would help his chances. He replied that they would, and said that there had been a slight uptick since the price dropped. He was almost gleeful. I guess when you are that far down, any ray of light looks good, right?

It's going to take a lot more than a drop at the pump to bring things back to normal. People are hurting here, and it's going to take a long time for them to recover. Come November 7, we can send them a message, that enough is enough.

Monday, September 11, 2006


What were you doing that day?

I remember being at work, and listening in disbelief about the attacks. I did not view any scenes about the towers, as I figured I needed to stay at work, since we were at war. I thought that was what the terrorists wanted, to stop us cold.

I went to class that night, and learned through the radio that gas prices had shot up, and some stations didn't have gas. I saw the lines, and decided to wait until after class.

The instructor tried to teach class, but gave up after a few minutes. He said, "Ok, what do you want to talk about?" He knew no one's mind was on class that night. We spent the rest of class time talking about it.

After school was over that night, I stopped to get gas. I had to wait with several other people, and I'll never forget the look on their faces. You didn't have to say anything. Everyone knew, and everyone had the same look of anger and determination on their face. Anger from the attacks, and determination to find whoever did this. It was like you could read what they were thinking. We all had the same thoughts that day.

When I got home, I watched the towers fall for the first time that day, and wept.

We were all united then, in the hope that we could bring these killers to justice.

What has happened?

Our nation has become divided over the war, and the debate will continue until it is completed. Bush has managed to split the country over this issue, unlike on 9-11, when we were united. Bush's prosecution of the Iraq war (needed or not) is a key factor in this. His calling anyone that disagrees with him a "terrorist" is pathetic. No wonder we're divided.

Mr. Bush made the right move, initially, in going after the Taliban. Unfortunately, he didn't get the main one. Bin Laden was cornered, and he got away.

Bush then makes a wrong turn, and deceives the public into thinking Saddam was linked to them. Five years later, we now have the proof that he lied.

Now, mind you, Saddam had to go. He had killed millions of his people. Problem is, we went after the wrong target, at the wrong time, in the wrong way.

I still believe that since we are in Iraq, for better or worse, we can't leave a vacuum. Problem is, the way the war has been run has been a shambles. We need a new direction, and a new way to get control before we leave. When we do, we can just leave the tanks and weapons for the Iraqi army to use. Dumb move disbanding their army, which could have been used with our own army to keep the peace.

Now we have Iran, which has always been the bigger threat, pulling the strings in Iraq, and creating a terrorist breeding ground. Bush opened Pandora's box when he went into Iraq, and only brought about 130,000 troops to control a country this size. Pretty easy for terrorists to hide when their is no army about, and the locals protect them.

As for Afghanistan, Bin Laden is still loose, and now the Taliban is back. Once again, a failed series of policies in Washington allows corruption to gain hold in the new Afghan government. People over there are getting disillusioned with the corruption, and turning back to the Taliban in some areas. We don't need these people getting a foothold again.

Bush made a huge mistake in not getting rid of Bin Laden first by using every tool we had at our disposal. Now he looks like a hero to some of them.

All Bush could think about was finishing the job his daddy didn't, and going after oil. Looks like it was much harder than he thought.

Now, here we sit, five years later, wondering if another attack will occur. We should have been done with this by now. We found Yamamoto in about a year and a half, and killed him. Why can we not find this clown?

Maybe Bush doesn't want to find him. That would end his "war on terror". Only problem now is that because we didn't get him at first, he's got an even bigger following now, almost mistique status to some.

This is no way to treat the families of the victims. It is as if a person knows who a murderer is, and keeps getting taunted by them, because they haven't been caught. There is no closure for them, because the murderers have not been brought to justice.

Maybe Bush is just using this as a political tool, and knows where he is, just so he can capture him by election time, and say, "Look what we've done!". Yeah, and it took how long to do it?

Don't buy the hype, folks. The Repubs are going to try every scare tactic in the book to get you to vote for them. If there is no attack, it's "See, we kept you safe". If there was one, it would be "We told you it wasn't safe". Either way, they'll play it to the hilt.

The only way to get the current administration to make the changes in policy that are needed is to vote in a new Democratic congress. Bush's hands would be tied, and he would have to make changes in the "war on terror". The first change should be to find Bin Laden and his deputies, and bring them to public trial in the U.S. The next should be how to get real stability in Iraq, so we can finally bring the boys home.

On a day such as this, let us all pray that we can finally get our country back on the right track, and earn the respect of the world again. Let us pray that with God's help, we will never have to see another 9-11 on our shores.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Thoughts on the Economy

Seems like we are always hearing about how good the economy is, how the unemployment is low, and how new jobs are being created. Well, from this point of view, it doesn't look so good.

If the economy is so good, why does it seem like most of our income goes out on fuel? Now, mind you, I do not have the latest and greatest gas-saving car (can't afford the payments). I drive an older Bravada, but still manage to get between 18-20 mpg, not bad for an all-wheel drive. After the snow here two years ago (29+ inches in two days), the van I had didn't cut it anymore. Besides, with a full frame, it is much stronger than the minivan I used to have, and used about the same amount of gas.

As I stated before, it seems like the price spikes quickly, but takes forever to go down. The profit made from these oil companies (who just happen to be good friends of the Bush Administration) is an outrage. Seems like the amount of profit made each quarter is about the same percentage as the difference between what we were paying over a year ago and now. Seems funny, doesn't it?

The high fuel price just contributes to higher prices at the grocery store. The store we shop locally does a good job of holding the line, but they are also competing against Wal-Mart across the street. I don't shop for groceries at Wal-Mart, because I like to keep my money at home, or at least out of Bentonville, Arkansas.

Ordinary people, who would normally be making a good living on the wages they make, are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet. By the time they pay the weekly bills, visit the grocery store, and buy gas, there is not much left. They still have to contend with credit card bills, utilities, etc. Oh, and then there are the little things like: clothes for the kids for school, books, school lunches, etc. People are reeling from the effects of this. What is the current administration doing about it? Absolutely nothing, nor do they care. As long as their cronies keep contributing to their war chests, they're happy. Congress is doing nothing, either. They're too concerned with remaining in power, and siphoning money from the rest of us. As long as they can continue to stay in power, we as a people will suffer.

On the subject of unemployment, I noticed an article today in an Indiana blog, Taking Down Words, which can be read here. According to TDW, in a print edition from the Indianapolis Star:

"Unemployment in Indiana has hit the highest level in three years, preliminary government figures show. The rate reached 5.7 percent in July, up from 5.2 percent the previous month. That's the highest the state's jobless rate has been since June 2003, when it climbed to 5.8 percent. However, the figure is subject to revision as government analysts receive more detailed information in the coming months."

Hmmm, so much for low unemployment. Our beloved governor (cough, cough), will surely blame the previous administration for this, as he is prone to do.

As far as new jobs, most of the new jobs being created are lower-wage jobs. Good example is what Daniels said a few months ago, which can be read in part here in the same TDW article, when Delphi was cutting jobs and wages. Daniels said that 9 bucks an hour was a good wage! Funny coming from a guy that is a millionaire, and probably hasn't seen the inside of a grocery store in years! I'd like to see him live on that! Same goes for Bush and Cheney!

My main point of this rant is this: with expenses rising, wages flat or getting less, and families struggling to make it from week to week, how do they expect us to live? I'm sure it's easy if you already have a million. For the rest of us, it's getting tough.

Folks, the only solution in sight is to vote in a new Congress. We need a Congress responsive to our needs, that will try to reign in the oil companies, and put a stop to the Bush and Republican agenda of No Billionaire Left Behind, No Common Man Left Standing. We must act this fall, or we will continue to suffer. I urge you to vote Democratic this election, for real change in Washington.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Greetings and Welcome to my Blog!

I've thought about doing this for quite some time, but have been busy working and with life in general. I am new to blogging, and am still trying to learn how to do this, so please bear with me. I don't know if anyone will read this blog, but if you are, please enjoy!

BTW, just to clarify, the postings and comments made on this site are strictly my own, and are written with no intention of offending anyone or just plain making someone mad! If I do offend with my posts, sorry, but after all, these are my opinions, and I have the right to make them, just as you have the right to differ in your opinions. We all have to blow off steam, and politics tend to get me hot under the collar sometimes. The opinions contained in the links on this site are those of their respective authors, and do not necessarily constitute an endorsement of such opinions, just as I'm sure mine may not be endorsed by them.

What I hope to communicate here are my feelings toward the need for a change in the current political climate. The regime in Washington has made a mess of things, and it is time for a change. The extreme right wing of the Republican party is bent on full control of all facets of our lives, from surveillance of our conversations, to our emails, to keeping the lower and middle class so broke that we cannot do more than work from paycheck-to-paycheck. Case in point: gasoline. Did you ever notice that the price increases quickly, but doesn't drop as quickly? Makes you wonder if the reason the prices are so high is because the oil companies are using the extra to contribute to their buddies in Washington to keep them in power. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

I am not a liberal Democrat, so before you align me with the left side of the party, let me clarify my position. I was raised in a Democratic family, with a mother and father who grew up in the Depression and the Second World War. My grandfather was a Democrat, and was a supporter of FDR. They knew firsthand about which side would help the working man, and it wasn't the Republicans. My Dad was as die-hard as you could get. He was proud of having "always voted Democrat".

Now, mind you, I have friends who are Repubs, including my best friend, but we don't talk politics. We agree on almost all the same issues. Maybe it's because in this part of the country, we tend to be more conservative in our thinking than in other parts of the country. Issues such as gun control and gay marriage don't have much support around here. People still believe in the right to bear arms, and don't think much about gay marriage. This is, after all, part of the Bible Belt. We still believe that gay marriage is immoral. Issues such as these are only used by the extreme right as a hot-button issue to keep themselves in power, and could care less about the issue other than that. The extreme right really doesn't want you to have guns, because an armed populace is a threat to their existence. Same with gay rights. Sure, they say they are against it, as most of us are, but they seem to think that it is the only issue that matters. Sorry if that offends anyone, but that's the way I feel.

The extreme left wing of the party has brought up issues such as these, and has isolated themselves from the mainstream. This has allowed the Repubs to gain control. They tell people what they want to hear, without really being concerned about the issue itself. They are simply concerned with keeping power, and use this and fear-mongering to win elections. The real Republican party has been hijacked by the extreme right, just as the Democrat's have been hijacked by the extreme left. They in turn call all Democrat's "liberals". Nothing could be further from the truth.

What I would like to do with this blog is see if there are other Democrat's out there who also tend to run to the center. I'm not saying that I don't want to hear any other opinions, for not everyone agrees with me, and they do have a right to speak. What I do want to do is encourage those out there who tend to lean toward the right to raise their voice, and let people know we are here. I also want to encourage those leaning to the left to listen to us, the quiet voice of the Democratic party, and come back to the center, for it is the only way for the Democratic party to lead this country again.

Ok, I've vented enough. More thoughts to come later.