Posted by Charity on August 18th, 2008

The Purpose Driven Debate

Okay, so it wasn’t technically a debate, but this was America’s first real look at the two major party presidential candidates, side-by-side.

I admit that I haven’t seen it. I watched a few clips pertinent to what I am going to talk about here, but I have not had a chance to see all of it.

When I heard that Pastor Rick Warren was the interviewer, I thought, Ick. Why?

C’mon, pastors, stay out of the political spotlight. Did you not learn anything from those who came before you?

Does anyone even know why he did this forum? I can’t seem to find that information.

A story in the Boston Globe reported that the forum took place in the church’s sanctuary. That is just so wrong, I don’t even know where to start. These guys about cover it.

I am not a big “tall wall” person, but even I think that asking the candidates what Christianity means to them, in a candidate forum, just doesn’t sit right with me.

That said, I have read around the internets, from people on both ends of the political spectrum, that McCain did much better than Obama in that format. If that is indeed the case, it does not bode well for Obama, given that there will be many more forums to come before November.

Better Qualified?

When asked which Supreme Court justices he would not have nominated, Sen. Obama named Clarence Thomas.

Let me transcribe.

Uh, I don’t think that he, uh..uh..I..I don’t think that he was an ex…, a strong enough jurist or legal thinker, uh, at the time, uh, for that elevation.

Notice how he avoided completing the sentence “I don’t think he was an ex…” Could it be he was about to make the same criticism of Justice Thomas that people are making of him – the he lacks experience?

Victor Davis Hanson asks, at Pajamas Media, “Why would Obama think, given his own credentials, that he was better qualified for President than Clarence Thomas was for the Supreme Court?”

Good question.

Define Rich and Don’t Avoid the Question

The left is a little upset that, at the Warren forum, John McCain defined rich as over $5 million – except that he was joking! He is laughing (not maniacally)! Rick Warren is laughing (a lot)! And, here’s the clincher, he says, “but seriously,” afterward!

(Here’s the clip – it’s at 1:33)

Steve Benen, who also didn’t get the joke, took issue with the fact that McCain avoided the question.

Yeah, kind of like when Obama avoided the question of when human life begins, stating that “answering that question with specificity is above [his] pay grade.”

Monsignor Francis Maniscalco, former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and now public policy director for the diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., called the comment a “dodge that wasn’t even intellectually respectable.”

And it’s only August, folks.

Education and Attention-Different Children

By now, I am sure you have heard about US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’ outstanding performance in Beijing and his record-setting 8 gold medals. (Read the article – it is unbelievable!)

But did you also know that he has ADHD?

The New York Times had an amazing and inspiring interview with his mother, Deborah Phelps, about her son’s struggles with school as a child. It is an absolute must read.

She will never forget one teacher’s comment: “This woman says to me, ‘Your son will never be able to focus on anything.’ ”

Fast forward to today.

Too many adults looked at Ms. Phelps’s boy and saw what he couldn’t do. This week, the world will be tuned to the Beijing Olympics to see what he can do.

And, boy, what he did do. Simply incredible.

It is tragic that our society is so willing to discard children with attention differences because we are unwilling to change our vision of what learning should look like.

Michael Phelps’ story is a perfect example of what ADHD children can accomplish when they are allowed to find their passions and develop them. Unfortunately, many children are cast aside by the education system and do not have the opportunity to find and have nurtured their strengths, instead finding themselves labeled as damaged goods.

That is why educational alternatives are so important. We must move beyond the notion that the public schools are sacrosanct and embrace options that will produce more success stories from children who fail to thrive in the current educational model.

A Funny

Funniest Obama video ever. (This is not a “right-wing smear machine” piece either.)

4 Responses to “Thoughts On the Presidential Forum and More”

  1. I think Steve gets that McCain was joking (Actually, I know he does because we talked about it on our radio show Sunday), but Steve’s point is that regardless of whether or not the $5million remark was a joke, McCain’s actual tax plan reflects a relative seriousness of that attitude.

  2. The only thing McCain’s tax plan reflects is that he wants to cut taxes. Yeah, the higher incomes get a bigger percentage cut, but that is because they are paying a substantially higher rate to begin with.

    What McCain was trying to say, and what his tax policy reflects, is that the government should not determine who is “rich.” Tax policy should be consistent for all Americans, not designed for income redistribution.

    Bill, you don’t want to discuss this with me. Your head will explode! (Or mine will.)

    Let’s talk about something else… I heard The Sarah Connor Chronicles premieres on Sept. 8.

  3. Sept. 8 is my birthday! “I’ll be back!”

    And yeah, it’s not like progressive/regressive tax debates haven’t been thoroughly worked over a bazillion times already. I’ll just say I don’t necessarily disagree with the statement “Tax policy should be consistent for all Americans,” except insofar as I think the definition of “consistent” probably differs in context for you and me. A 10% tax rate hurts a lot more if you make $20,000 than if you make $200,000 — so those aren’t “consistent” rates despite the fact that they are the same percentage of income.

  4. I actually do think that there should be a degree of exception for incomes below a certain level. I just don’t think there should be a penalty above a certain level.

    At the same time, I think everyone should have to pay some tax, so they have a vested interest in how the government spends money.

    We actually have a negative income tax rate, meaning we get back more than what is withheld from my husband’s paycheck, which I think is reprehensible. The IRS has become a welfare agency.

    Oh my gosh! I’m starting to sound like one of those right-wing extremists!