Thanks, George W. Bush

Eight years ago, there was the promise of a new presidency. I (and many others) thought that George W. Bush had the potential to be one of the greatest presidents in history–that he was at least in the same ballpark as Ronald Reagan.

In the end, we were left with mostly disappointment. Promises such as Social Security reform never even got out of the starting gate; we saw massive increases in the commitments of the Federal Government without the resources to cover them; we continue to fight a war that, if fought properly, would have been over long ago. Instead, it has become a wildly unpopular war.

His crowning achievement is that we have gone more than 7 years without a follow-up to the 9/11 attacks. I don’t think this is an accident and I don’t think it should be minimized.

I think that history (long after we are all gone) will judge George W much gentler than we have. Another massive terrorist attack would have tanked the economy even more than it has been already.

Despite some obvious failures, I do not think we can doubt his character, his intentions, or his love for this country. Despite the pundits, I really believe he did what he thought was right all along. I don’t believe any of it was self-seving.

He could have earned much more in the private sector than he did as president. No, I believe that this last 8 years was a labor of love. The overwhelming majority of us could not handle this job–nor tolerate it vs. the pay given.

GW took on the challenge and did the best that he could. For that, we need honor and thank him for his commitment to his country.

Thanks George W. Bush, for your service to our country.

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Congratulations to Barack Obama

barack_obama_portrait_20051Those who know me personally probably realize that I am deeply disappointed with yesterday’s presidential election result. Those who only know me by following this blog may not know where I stand. This is somewhat intentional–I don’t want this to be a heavily political blog. Let me make one thing clear: I didn’t like either candidate. I thought that they would both take us in the wrong direction–just that John McCain wouldn’t take us there quite as fast. Having said all that, I trust and respect the collective will of the American people. They have spoken loud and clear.

So congratulations to president-elect Barack Obama. Just 40 years after the end of segregation, we have our first African-American president. This really is a proud, landmark day for the country. It shows how far we have come in defeating racism. There will always be a few ignorant folks that hate just based on skin color, but we are now a very diverse and predominately tolerant people.

The challenges we face over the next decade are huge. We have deep, deep economic, budgetary, and security problems that threaten our very existence. While almost half of us wanted someone else to lead us through these dark times, today we must join ranks, put partisan politics aside, and work together on these issues.

I take Obama at his word that he wants to be my president too and that we will work on compromised solutions that we can all live with. These words are uttered after nearly every election. However, this time, we cannot afford to not follow through with it.

It’s Election Day–Let’s Party!

For the first time in 69 years, Idaho residents can buy booze and vote on the same day. Liquor stores will be open today and you can buy drinks by the glass in restaurants and bars. Finally, depending upon your perspective of the outcome, you can drown your sorrows or celebrate victory and not be limited to beer and wine.

Cheers!

Please, Please, Please Vote!

This is said for almost every election, but this time I think it is actually true. I believe that this may be the most important election…perhaps in our country’s history. We are facing a huge perfect storm of challenges right now. We are in an economic crisis and I believe we are much closer to the beginning of it than the end. We also face numerous threats both abroad and I believe quietly organizing domestically.

The country has faced long odds many times and has always mustered the will and the right leadership to overcome the challenges. I still believe that the collective voice of the American people can, and will, select the right leadership at the national, state, and local levels to deal with the huge chaos I expect over the next decade.

So I don’t want to hear any excuses. Get informed and go vote. We need your input now more than ever before. Don’t let us down.

Let me address any excuses you might try to come up with:

I don’t have time: Give me a break, we don’t have time for you not to learn about the issues and candidates. Even at this late hour, there is time. Make time darn it.

I don’t understand the candidates and/or issues: Oh come on. There’s a wealth of resources on the Internet to help you understand where the candidates at all levels stand on issues that are important to you. It’s likely that your local newspaper and television stations’ websites have links to resources.

My candidate has already won/lost: Don’t let the polls sway you to not vote. When people start believing that it’s a foregone conclusion and decide not to vote, that’s when things can start swinging wildly from what the polls show. If you don’t vote because you think your candidate has won, you may cost them the election. Conversely, if you vote even though it looks hopeless for you candidate, you may just swing it for them if the other side gets complacent. Again, we get the best folks in office if everyone informs themselves and votes.

My vote one little vote doesn’t count: I think that I just addressed this. Every single vote does count. You have no idea how close some of the races will be. You really could be the one to put it over the edge.

Vote!

Happy Halloween!

Joe Biden: Gaffe Machine Extraordinaire

This is my fourth and final post in a series where I find a video making fun of a presidential or vice-presidential candidate. Today’s victim is the walking gaffe machine: Joe Biden

The Sarah Palin Story

Ok, I’ve skewered the presidential candidates in earlier humorous video posts. Now it’s the vice-presidential candidates turn. First up, Sarah Palin. Forgive the ad for the movie “W” at the beginning–I couldn’t find a version without it.