Monday, January 21, 2008

Trade offs...

Well, I was supposed to go to the NAACP sponsored event on gangs this evening, but something came up and I wasn't able to make it. I had friends there who reported back to me about it. Here's a few tidbits they mentioned.

Dave Simmons, candidate for Sheriff had a good night from what I hear. It seems he's extremely knowledgeable about the issue.

The Fayette County Sheriff was supposed to be there but cancelled, they didn't give the reason. There were representatives from all the various law enforcement agencies except the Fayette County Sheriff's dept. Not sure what the story is on that.

Commissioner Peter Pfeifer was there as was Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele. I understand the two new Peachtree City council members were also on hand. None of the folks I heard from saw any other elected officials.

There were just over 100 people attending.

OK, so the trade off on missing the gang discussion (which I understand focused on much more than gangs), was that I was able to watch the very fractious Democratic debate held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

There were a number of times where I found myself thinking the three candidates were going to get into a fist fight if the back and forth kept going. I wasn't impressed with the way they conducted themselves during the sparring matches.

I kept trying to picture Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as President while they rumbled with each other. Neither came across as very "presidential" during their verbal arguments.

Clinton and Edwards are both for Universal Health Care. It sounds nice to think that everyone in the country would have health care. However, I take issue with the word "mandate". Clinton was very clear, she said point blank that health care would be mandated.

That's a slippery slope with a nasty surprise at the end. The government already mandates enough (taxes in particular!).

She was able to get into a bit of detail. Time that could have been spent talking about issues was instead spent jabbing at others on the stage.

Nothing is free. Health care for everyone won't be free either. The money has to come from somewhere. Clinton said employers would have to pony up. I can just picture workers across the country nodding their head thinking those deep pockets should be paying for their health care.

Guess what? When it's time for a raise, the money won't be there. When a new employee is needed, the money won't be there. The companies will be paying for health care coverage.

They aren't going to cut their profits to pay for health care. They're going to move their business to Asia, cut internal costs, cut back on hiring or increase the prices of their products.

I do have a tendency to get off track, don't I?

I am getting tired of hearing the Democrats run against President Bush. I think the constant slapping at him is demeaning to the candidates and I think it further divides the country. Of all the candidates tonight Barack seemed to come across as the most reasonable, the one working more to reach out to a broad spectrum of people.

I may disagree with his stands but he sure is a smooth talker. No matter how outrageous I might feel his stands are on some issues, he makes 'em sound good when he talks.

I have a hard time swallowing Edwards as some fighter for the poor. I believe in the American dream, work hard, earn money, live well. But it's real hard to see a guy wearing a suit that costs more than some people make in a month, with a hair cut that would feed a family of four for a week (yes, I understand he's now getting cheaper hair cuts), living in a house that is bigger than some housing centers, talk about fighting for the poor.

It just seems like empty rhetoric. It's also getting old. At least the other candidates are original each time I hear them. I mentioned in a previous blog that I could go word for word with John Edwards. Read his campaign releases, hear him stump, hear him in the debates. Same old well-worn speeches.

It was interesting hearing them all lay claim to polls showing they would be the best person to run against the Republican. Shows you what polls are worth!

Ah, almost forgot to mention the last question of the evening. They were asked what two reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. would give for endorsing them for President or something along that line.

Edwards started off talking about how he had spent his life helping the poor and some other words that didn't stick in my mind, more of his soapbox talk.

Obama gave the best answer in my opinion (which is all this blog is anyway, my opinion!). He said he didn't think MLK would endorse any of them. Then he talked a bit more, but I think he was absolutely correct. I think King would be pleased to see the diversity on the stage though!

Hillary's answer didn't really address the question but she did talk about Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know I've skipped all around, hitting some areas, completely leaving out some rather important questions and answers from the debate. And this definitely isn't my best writing by any means. However, tonight's debate is going to be the focus of discussions for days to come in the media, so you'll soon have opinions from everyone under the sun coming at cha!

In November we're going to see which direction the country will choose. There are some very, very clear differences between what the Republicans are putting out versus the Democrats.

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