Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Matthew 25 Network Calls Out Palin

Letter to Governor Palin from the Matthew 25 Network. Brian McLaren was the first to sign. You could sign on as well.

Governor Palin, Put Away Falsehood

As Americans and people of faith from around the country, we were extremely disappointed in Sarah Palin's divisive, sarcastic, and often deceptive address at the Republican National Convention. We call on her not only as a political figure, but also as a prominent Christian, to recommit herself to campaigning in good faith, with a strong commitment to truth-telling.

As Christians, we are called to be respectful and loving toward our neighbors, honoring their intentions even if we disagree with their plans. We are also called to "put away falsehood" (Eph 4:25) and to refrain from slandering, belittling, or speaking out of contempt for anyone.

If these are the standards God has set for us in our personal lives, our church communities, and our neighborhoods, how much more so should they be the standards of those Christians who choose to be in the public eye? Shouldn't we also expect our brothers and sisters in politics to speak the truth in love and to extend respect and goodwill even to those with whom they disagree?

Sarah Palin has shaped much of her life around her Christian faith. Indeed, it has been continually suggested that one of the major reasons John McCain chose Palin as his running-mate was her Christian faith and her ability to energize evangelical Christian voters. Thus, it is no stretch to say that Palin has suddenly become one of the most visible faces of Christianity in today’s political scene.

As such, we believe she has a calling even higher than her responsibility to her party's victory in November - a calling to represent Jesus to the rest of the world. This is why her speech at the Republican National Convention was so disappointing to us at the Matthew 25 Network.

In questioning not only Senator Obama’s policies but also his motivations, and mocking his career, Palin went far beyond what could be considered acceptable disagreement and into what seemed like open contempt for a political opponent.

To be blunt, we saw very little of Jesus’ love in Sarah Palin's speech, as she heaped contempt on those who disagree with her politically, while offering no vision for how to resolve the critical issues facing Americans today like job loss, health care, growing child poverty rates and the war in Iraq.

Moreover, as has been documented by major media sources including the Associated Press, Palin spoke falsehoods not only about her own record, but about Barack Obama's record as a State Senator and as a U.S. Senator. As Christians, we are called throughout Scripture to speak the whole truth, to put away falsehood, to bear true witness even when it hurts our own interests. The name of Jesus should never be associated with falsehoods or deception, but in Sarah Palin’s speech, we believe it was.

Therefore, we in the Matthew 25 Network call on Gov. Palin to repudiate her attitude of contempt towards her political opponents and to tell the whole truth, not only for the sake of a more honorable politics, but also for the sake of our Christian witness in the world.

Senator McCain is no less responsible because he selected Gov. Palin and praised her speech, and he claims to be a Christian as well. It is ill-fitting to use Christian identity and language for one's political advantage without seeking to live up to that high calling. Ultimately, as the Presidential candidate, Governor Palin's tone and infidelity to truth reflect negatively on Senator McCain as well.

Brian McLaren
Author and Pastor

Douglas W. Kmiec
Caruso Family Chair & Professor of Constitutional Law
Pepperdine University School of Law

Rev. Dr. Susan B. Thistlethwaite
Professor of Theology, Chicago Theological Seminary

Vince Miller
Georgetown University

Peter Vander Meulen
Coordinator, Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church

Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins
Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Bart Campolo
Urban minister, Founder of Mission Year

Sharon Daly
Former Vice-President of Catholic Charities

Rev. Wilfredo De Jesus
Vice-President for Social Justice, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Delores Leckey
Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center
Former Director of the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


62 comments:

  1. You never cease to amaze me John with the stuff you post. I was ready to sign this petition because I agree with it, but then I researched the Matthew 25 Network and seen that they actually believe Obama is the man to put our country back on track. It's really a sad situation when both the mainstream left and right are so deceived. It's not just the Paulites who know the truth about Obama. Don't you watch DN! interviews, and here is a good one from the social anarchist group on CNET.Albert says, "As such, sadly, Venezuela is also dead center in the sights of Washington - Bush's Washington, McCain's Washington, and yes, Obama's Washington too. "

    I can't wait until everyone realizes the truth about our situation and hopefully, but doubtfully, bands together to fight it.

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  2. Hey Rachel, millions of Americans are banding together to fight our current situation, we're all banding together to vote for Obama and to vote in a Democratic party controlled Congress. We've had enough of deregulation and Republican rule, and the last time I checked your man, Ron Paul, was a card carrying Republican. Your man Ron Paul and his buddy George Bush have had too much time in office and all of them and their corrupt Republican sidekicks have taken this country down the wrong path for too long. It's time to take back our counrty from people like George Bush, Bush McCain, and your boy Ron Paul. They are all entrenched Republicans who ride the corrupt gravy train. OBAMA '08!

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  3. Dr. monkey von monkerstein, Ron Paul is not running for president so you don't have to worry about him being elected. RP is definitely not buddies with George and he is a man of so much character that he even refused to endorse McCain, let alone vote for him. I understand that you do not agree with his free-market ideology. The point of my comment is to make shuck and jivers aware that they are not going to get much change out of an Obama presidency either. Obama 's run for presidency is obviously not run on on facts or even policy - just image and worthless points that get people inflamed like gay marriage or abortion. The real policy decisions that affect people's lives are not in the picture. These things are diliberately not reported by mainstream media or even spoken to by the candidates. I, for one, do not see my life changing significantly if either McCain or Obama wins, and it won't change for people overseas either - look at Obama's full support of US coca erradication campaigns and his denunciation of Chavez. The constituency mainly affected by the winner - middle class home owners and up. The 40 million plus in poverty in this country won't see any difference, and don't care about home owners going into foreclosure.

    Yes, I would like to see a black man be president, but at the same time we get a female VP if McCain wins and that's pretty progressive too.

    Real change comes from the bottom up - never from the top. Ron Paul supporters as well as many other left activists both want to fight the corruption and improve society. Sure enough we have different ideologies. That is why I said it is hopeful, but doubtful that we will band together to fight corruption and truly change the system.

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  4. I commented last night and come to find out this morning it's on another posting. So here's my comment:
    From what I know of Barack Obama, what I've read and heard, Gov. Palin has only highlighted the thinness of his resume. She did not attack his person, just his proposed policies and lack of experience. What are these alleged lies she spread in her speech? I'm sure I'll get some comments. And shouldn't this same threat/warning/request be made toward all the candidates? I don't think snarkiness is a sin. Mocking those who disagree with you...hmmm... where have I seen that before, Rev. Shuck?
    I was also thinking about this group of Matthew 25 - have they sent such a letter rebuking Sen. Obama for his overarching support for abortion?
    And Dr. Monkey - I believe we've had a Democratic party controlled congress for the last two years - ever since gas prices have escalated and job growth has slowed down.

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  5. "What are these alleged lies she spread in her speech?"

    I'm surprised that well-informed people don't know the lies that the Republicans spread in their speeches, but here's a good start:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080904/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_fact_check

    That story has been around for at least 4 days, and I've seen it reported and re-reported on several main stream news sites. If people aren't familiar with the lies being spread at this point, one wonders if they're actually trying to keep up with the news, or just shutting their eyes and plugging their ears.

    "And Dr. Monkey - I believe we've had a Democratic party controlled congress for the last two years - ever since gas prices have escalated and job growth has slowed down."

    ROFL. First they're a "do-nothing" congress, and now they're responsible for everything bad that ever happened in the world. We all know that Republicans are going to try to contort the truth in an attempt to blame Democrats, and I understand that desperation is seeping into the Republican Rove playbook...but could you at least find a consistent story and stick to it for more than 5 minutes? Thanks.

    "I don't think snarkiness is a sin."

    The Bible has a lot to say about minding your tongue, actually.

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  6. Rachel you, like the majority of the Ron Paul supporters, are living in a dream world if you think there ever was or ever will be such a thing as a "free market." Corporations will never allow it, politicians will never support it, and the people will never get behind it.

    You may not want to admit it but Ron Paul was a part of the current corrupt Republican establishment that has put this country under the attack. He's voted more often than not with Bush Cheney and he'll do the same thing under Bush McCain if he steals the White House later this year. Your life has changed under Bush and it will change for the better under Obama, for one thing your civil liberties and your civil rights will not be under assault like they are now.

    I'm not some politically naive naif, I've been a student of politics since 1972 and I have a degree in political science, and I know the most dangerous things to happen in this country for the past 30 years have been the twin evils of deregulation and privatization of government services. Sure Clinton ended welfare, but he only ended it for the people who actually need it, he didn't end it for corporations and business. And Ron Paul's buddy Bush Jr took it to an even more frightening extreme.

    I would urge you to read Naomi Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine" to find out just what deregulation and privatization have done to the USA and to the world. Bust since her book is an indictment of the very tennents that you Ron Paulista's hold dear, I doub't you'll ever open it, which is a pity.

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  7. You are living in a dream world if you think Obama will restore all of our civil liberties such as completely repealing the Patriot Act and undoing the National REAL ID cards that are due to go into effect in the next couple of years. (Do I need to provide links). But maybe we need these for our "security". Ben Franklin said, "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security".

    I would like to read Naomi Klein's book sometime. Based on the reviews I have read I think the book basically points out the same thing that Ron Paul has been pointing out for years: Big Government is in Bed with Big Business.

    It's not the free-market at work today:

    Klein drew a sharp distinction between the two systems. She said on an interview on Bill Maher that, "[I]t's certainly not the free market. ...Ironically, it's the free-market ideology that gets used to propel this [corporatist] vision forward. It's not free for anybody but the contractors." (The interview is here.)


    While I haven't read her book, I'd be curious if she propels the stereotype that big business and Republicans are the only ones who take part in this? Democrats and Republicans share in the blame pretty equally, and have been doing this for more than 150 years. Big business loves big government. Big Business loves regulations, tariffs, taxes because these things protect them from competition. The key ingredient is big government, because without the power of the State (and their guns), no business would have any power over anybody.

    That is exactly why Ron Paul says 'down with Big Government'. Do actually believe that Halingburton and Enron would have kept their power for so long without big government, for example?

    "Rachel you, like the majority of the Ron Paul supporters, are living in a dream world if you think there ever was or ever will be such a thing as a "free market." Corporations will never allow it, politicians will never support it, and the people will never get behind it."

    Freedom will send a wrecking ball to the Corporatism system we have now! Why not dream?

    Do you have a better solution for the disease that plagues are world?

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  8. Matthew 25 - "We proudly endorse Senator Barack Obama for president".
    From their website.

    Ahem, guys, this doesn't seem to be a little disingenuous to you? Where is the calling out of Obama supporters who have viciously tried to ruin this woman on a personal level with unfounded smears? Surely that's not Christ-like.

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  9. Humm...

    "This woman" has not exactly been telling us the truth about her record.

    Take her "bridge to nowhere" escapade. She only opposed it after congress came down against it. And she took the money anyway to build a ramp to it.

    Imagine this however. Suppose McCain gets elected. Then he dies before Jan 20. The next president of the United State will have gone from being the mayor of Noplace, Alaska to President of the United States in two years.

    People would be marveling at that for centuries to come.

    Bush was governor of Texas (was it two terms?) and look how terrible he turned out. Could she be any worse the Bush? Hard to imagine, but do we want to risk finding out? A pit bull with lipstick for President?

    I really like McCain, but rewarding the Republicans with another go at the White House would mean we are dumber than Bush.

    Rachel, you need to decide which to the two possible winners of the next election you want to support.

    Or oppose.

    But there are only two choices now.

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  10. And what...

    sacrifice my integrity to merely add my vote to the millions votes cast?

    When you vote for who you really want to win, then you give up nothing and maintain your integrity. when you vote for somebody who you don't really want to win, then you are merely adding one more vote to the millions cast.

    It's about voting for who you want out of the love of how great this country can become. Not about voting out of fear of what this country might fall into if you don't get in line.

    I have not voted for a sitting president ever, and I'm not going to start.

    I'm voting Bob Barr, unless Ron Paul does a remarkable thing and runs as an Independent.

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  11. Rachel,

    Interesting combination of idealism and cynicism. But every vote counts. Bush's victory over Al Gore came down to 500 votes.

    Me, I'm voting for the hope of a new tomorrow.

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  12. "I'm voting Bob Barr,..."

    Wow... Yeah, there's change we can believe in. A lifelong Republican who couldn't get on the ticket and now suddenly has had a revelation and decides he's a libertarian? In this day and age does anyone actually believe stories like that?

    This is the guy who authored the Defense of Marriage Act and people honestly think he's a libertarian? That word must mean something very different to them than it does the rest of us. LOL

    Oh and Jim, I'm still looking for the unfounded smears perpetrated by the Obama/Biden campaign. Can you provide direct quotes?

    (I mean other than the fact that she was for spending taxpayer money on the "bridge to no where", is currently being investigated for ethics violations, wants creationism taught alongside evolution in the schools, goes to a church that sponsors extremist conferences promoting so-called change therapies for LGBT people, has had ties in the past to secessionist groups, and is promoting herself as an agent of change by running with a guy who has voted with the current administration 90% of the time (according to *his own words*) None of those seem too personal though....unless "smear" is now a synonym for "truth.")

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  13. Alan,

    The most important issue to me is the war and the global American Empire. Bob Barr speaks out against it. Here is the link to his position. As for the marriage act, I don't know why it bothers so many of you that there are people in this country that believe in following the Constitution and letting states determine their own future.

    A good place to check the facts on smears by both candidates is FactCheck.org It does appear that the McCain camp has spread more lies and smears than the Obama camp.

    Jodie,

    I am glad that you are voting your conscience. I would hope that everyone do the same.

    Rachel

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  14. "As for the marriage act, I don't know why it bothers so many of you that there are people in this country that believe in following the Constitution and letting states determine their own future. "

    Um...actually there's that whole "Full Faith and Credit" clause in the Constitution, something you've never addressed when I've asked you about it the last 3 times. :)

    But that isn't the problem, actually. The problem is a guy who wrote a bill that pushes the Federal Government directly into one of the most important personal aspects of people's lives: marriage -- calls himself a Libertarian.

    I'm just saying words have meanings. That's all. And "libertarian" doesn't mean telling private citizens who they can or cannot get married to. I guess Mr. Barr is all for smaller government for big companies but Big Brother for the little guy. I'd say that pretty much describes the Republicans as well.

    I agree that the war is also a big issue. Unfortunately Bob Barr, like McCain (and unlike Obama) voted with Bush Republicans FOR the Iraq War. Barr voted FOR the Patriot Act as well, the biggest Federal Government power grab in recent memory, and a "libertarian" is for it? Again, that's an interesting use of the word, "libertarian", in that it's the exact opposite of it's real meaning. ;)

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  15. Alan,

    Timothy Joseph Keefer, says here that "The whole issue of faith and credit as applied to the law of domestic relations is difficult, and the books of the Court will not be closed on it for a long time, if ever."

    I am interested in it so I will investigate it further when I get the time.

    You are correct that Ron Paul and Barr both supported DOMA and the Marriage Protection Act as opposed to a Federal Marriage Amendment. Here is Paul's statement.

    And to answer you questions about the meaning of "libertarianism", alls I can say is that there are different stripes of 'em. Barr and Paul happen to be the conservative stripe. wiki

    Also, you are 100% on the mark when you note that Barr voted for the Iraq invasion and for the Patriot Act, and I am hoping that you are correct when you say that he is a "lifelong Republican who... has had a revelation and decides he's a libertarian?" Maybe he's like, a million others of us who heard Dr. Paul's message and awoke from a slumber where we now realize that the U.S. is moving toward authoritarianism. If you want to learn more about his 180 degree turn-around position on the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, there are some good videos on his site (linked to below).

    Here is a video of what Paul has to say about Barr.

    Back to the war issue, compare ,Obama's foreign policy and McCain's (Puke) to that of Barr's or Paul's. You will see that both Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin are pro-Empire and Paul/Barr/Baldwin/Nader/McKinney are anti-Empire.

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  16. Alan,
    You're repeating the debunked hubris of bored lefty bloggers. Newsweek printed a list of data from Factcheck.org on the Palin smears (yes, smears, as in unfounded rumors). These are from Obama supporters, some pretty high up, as I said.

    So the Matthew 25 prayer group are revealing a brazen hypocrisy to call out one side when the other side is foaming at the mouth saying "Don't vote for the stewardess..or the MILF." See Bob Maher. McCain has found the one team that will guarantee him the White House: stupid, sexist Democrats. Brilliant.

    Now we have Obama's pig and stinky fish comments as a lead-in to talk about Sarah Palin.

    Yes, that's Christlike.

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  17. Jim, thanks for the link. However, it's too bad you didn't actually read the article past the headline. The very first paragraph:

    "We've been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain's running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading."

    Dubious internet postings and mass e-mail messages.

    Let's get back to the point here, and see if you can follow. Here's the deal: The letter posted above calls out Governor Palin for her "divisive, sarcastic, and often deceptive address." Now Governor Palin, as you may recall, is running for VP. That is, as you may be aware, she's an actual candidate in this race.

    The article you link to does not even once suggest that either Senator Obama, or Senator Biden (ie. the actual candidates) are the ones spreading lies. In fact, it does quite the opposite, talking about "dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages" and even you don't contend that these lies are perpetrated by either Obama nor Biden, but instead you freely admit "These are from Obama supporters..."

    You're attempting to compare apples or oranges. McClaren is talking about the candidates, you're talking about people who aren't even running for office.

    It is too bad that some tiny number of Senator Obama's supporters have not heeded his call to discard the snotty, sarcastic, divisive and deceptive tactics from the Bush/Rove/McCain/Palin playbook, as he himself has done. I too hope that changes, on both sides. We've seen for months just how the Bush/Rove/McCain/Palin supporters have lied about Obama (um...secret Muslim, anyone? You really think you have any room to complain about how your candidates are being treated by random bloggers?? Puh-lease.)

    So again, I'll repeat myself, since you missed it the first time, "Oh and Jim, I'm still looking for the unfounded smears perpetrated by the Obama/Biden campaign. Can you provide direct quotes?"

    Nope, you can't. I find it hilarious that you're so partisan that you criticize Obama for using the common cliche about putting lipstick on a pig, suggesting that's "sexist." Apparently not only do Republicans not know common American cliches, but apparently any attack on the McCain/Palin ticket is an opportunity for you to play the gender card. In fact, that cliche has been around long before Ms. Palin entered this campaign, and is probably older than she is. And had you bothered to read the article, rather than the headline, you'd see that John McCain himself used the exact same cliche in reference to Hillary Clinton's health plan. That wasn't sexist either. It's just a cliche. Some folks need to grow up.

    As for the "fish" comment, again, if you bothered to read past the headline of the article you link to, you'd see that Obama was referring to the McCain/Palin claim that they're for change. Only the most partisan person could possibly attempt to construe that as an attack on Gov. Palin. They ARE running on a change, platform, aren't they? You REALLY think it's inappropriate to call them on that? You really think that any critique of such a ridiculous claim is "sexist"?

    Wow.

    Now maybe you missed Ms. Palin's acceptance speech, but she seems like a pretty tough person. As she said, a pitbull in lipstick (apparently she's a sexist now, according to you. You should let her know...I'm sure a strong woman like her would love to hear the views of some guy like you on "sexism.") I'm not sure she needs some man like you to sweep in and protect her from tough politics. First of all that IS sexist. Second of all, if she can't handle the rough and tumble world of politics then she should drop out immediately. The Democrats are handling it just fine and have done so for months. I'm sure once she has some experience with campaigning she'll do just fine too, and I doubt she needs you to help her across the street or carry her books for her.

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  18. ""The whole issue of faith and credit as applied to the law of domestic relations is difficult, "

    It's too bad that Mr. Keefer finds it so difficult. Let's try a thought experiment, shall we Rachel? If you're married in whatever state you live in, and you move to another, is your marriage recognized automatically in your new home state? Yes, yes it is.

    Thought experiment over. Next question? I hope Mr. Keefer didn't spend too much money on that "law" degree of his.

    I believe that gay marriages should be treated the same way. Ron Paul and Bob Barr do not. Seems like a pretty clear cut issue to me.

    "I am hoping that you are correct when you say that he is a "lifelong Republican who... has had a revelation and decides he's a libertarian?""

    Well, I'm glad you can believe that Rachel. I don't. I think it's an easy story to tell, probably one of the easiest lies he's ever told, and if people are persuaded by it then they may not understand politics.

    Oh! But not my candidate! He's telling the truth!!

    Yeah, right.

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. (Oops, sorry Jim, was that sexist? LOL)

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  19. Alan, I said I am interested in researching the gay marriage issue further. Give me time. Maybe I will come to the conclusion that RP is wrong on that issue. I am not your traditional family person either. I am not legally married and I am living with my partner of my son. I have been to churches where the preacher yells from the podium, "it's better to marry, than to burn". So I know what it feels like to be ostracized.

    I am mainly concerned about your stance on foreign policy. Do you agree with Obama/Biden? I mean do you feel that is the right path for the US and humankind? Here is an article that states that this type of foreign policy will lead to our destruction.

    If anyone is in the mood for some spirituality on the "mainstream" two-party system, here is a link to a great account by someone who attended the RNC convention last week. He says,

    "The two parties may talk slightly differently and have different “platforms,” but by their actions and the fruits of their labors, they reveal themselves to be the same. They choose the most minor (but divisive) molehills to blow into the most outrageous mountains. Members of each party then claim those mountains as their own, climb atop them and fling stones and arrows at the other side. It accomplishes nothing but ego gratification for the participants and a tremendous, draining, emotional distraction for the spectators in the peanut gallery who think they have nothing better to do but propagate the same arguments they see on TV within their personal circle of friends, colleagues and family. Serious questions and debate get thrown under the bus. "

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  21. "I am not your traditional family person either."

    Actually, I am. That's my problem with Paul, Barr & McCain, et. al.

    "I am mainly concerned about your stance on foreign policy."

    Could you be a little less specific? ;)

    See Rachel, I'm not stupid. You can keep linking to Ron Paul stuff, but it isn't as if I'm an idiot who is uninformed about Paul's ideas. Ultimately, his notion of governing is passing laws making redress to the court system illegal. It's is a gigantic executive power grab, making it impossible for the courts to check and balance executive power. His solution to nearly every social ill is to make it illegal to go to court, even if the government is clearly trampling on individual liberties.

    I disagree. But I don't disagree because I'm uninformed about his ideas. I disagree because I AM informed about his ideas.

    Consider: first you say your objection is about the Constitution, you like to some stuff, and I point out why I disagree -- not because I'm uninformed, but because I AM informed. Then you say, no, the real problem is the war. You link to some stuff, and I point out why I disagree -- not because I'm uninformed, but because I AM informed. Now you say the real problem is foreign policy. You link to some stuff, and I'll be happy to tell you why I disagree (even though we've already discussed foreign policy, if you remember.) Frankly, given all the links and the quotes, the repetition of the same points over and over, I'm beginning to wonder if you're here to actually discuss the issues, or just be a running commercial for Ron Paul.

    It all comes down to this, Rachel. You believe Bob Barr is going to do the things he now conveniently says he believes in, even though his entire record is 180 degrees in the opposite direction and has been for years and years and years. You're willing to believe him anyway. I am not. It's quite simple really. I think he's a liar and a bigot.

    So you can continue to link to Ron Paul literature, but it's hardly going to convince me of anything. I've known about them both for years, and I'm hardly going to change my mind now. Just like you wrote earlier, "You are living in a dream world if you think Obama will restore all of our civil liberties..." I would simply change the name to Ron Paul or Bob Barr or John McCain.

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  22. Speaking of offensive cliches...

    Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the McCain-Palin campaign, referring to the "lipstick" comment said, “Apparently, the buck never stops with Barack Obama.”

    Like most people, I would have believed that was simply a reference to a time-worn cliche. But thanks to more sensitive folks like Jim, I now realize that Rogers was using "buck" in another way: as an offensive term for a black man.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/buck

    Thanks, Jim, for keeping it real! ;)

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  23. "It all comes down to this, Rachel. You believe Bob Barr is going to do the things he now conveniently says he believes in, even though his entire record is 180 degrees in the opposite direction and has been for years and years and years. You're willing to believe him anyway. I am not. It's quite simple really. I think he's a liar and a bigot. "

    You might be right about Barr, Alan. There is all kinds of commotion over at the DailyPaul about him. You see, he was supposed to show up for the National Press Conference with Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, and Chuck Baldwin. The four of them signed a pact of things they agree on (see below). Barr didn't show up to sign it; he pretty much said it was hopeless. Screw Barr; I'm not voting for him now. I'll probably end up not voting at all, since no one else has been put on my ticket in Tennessee.

    Here is the Pact between Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and Chuck Baldwin:

    "We Agree

    Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

    Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties....

    The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt.....

    The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions...... source

    See the raw story

    Or read the raw story
    at the campaign for liberty

    Ron Paul does not support McCain. His record is clean. Quit comparing him to the corrupt neocons that run the country.

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  24. "Ron Paul does not support McCain. His record is clean. Quit comparing him to the corrupt neocons that run the country."

    Sorry Rachel, but he voted for DOMA, he's in favor of DADT, voted against SCHIP, didn't bother to vote on a bill that would have brought the troops home back in April (even though he says he wants to bring the troops home), voted against a minimum wage increase, and voted against implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, just to name a few.

    Care to hazard a guess how the "corrupt neocons" voted on those issues. Yup, Ron Paul voted with them on every one of those issues.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

    Too bad Barr wasn't there at the Ron Paul news conference today, though. When one includes the 3rd party candidates in the race calculus, according to the polls, Obama wins even more easily.

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  25. I guess it will just have to be my word against yours. I don't have a problem with DOMA and I'm not aware of the other bills, but I will do my homework.

    Peace out.

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  26. "I guess it will just have to be my word against yours. "

    No, not really, Rachel. Those votes aren't just "my word." They're part of the Congressional Record. You know, real, actual facts.

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  27. Okay Alan, I want to point out that I never made the claim that what you presented to me was not fact. I'm not just going to take your word for it; I will look into the issues myself. I hope you do the same with stuff I send you.

    I was referring to your claim that Paul is in line with McCain. That simply is not true on the issues I consider the most important. They differ tremendously on Foreign Policy issues and Corporate Bailouts.

    I have already looked into the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy. I'm okay with that too. Honestly, I can't reconcile it in my head that being gay is not a sin. Sorry, you will have to forgive me.

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  29. Alan,

    Thanks for continuing this dialouge. Let's try to reach some common ground. First of all I shouldn't have been so careless with my words.

    I agree with you 100% when you say that "(And you do realize that you're in the minority on this point, right? That is, almost no Christian denomination believe that *being* gay is a sin. They're problem is with gay sex, not with the sexual orientation itself.)"

    So the problem I have with homosexuality is not the love factor, but the sex factor. I just feel that it is wrong to publicize homosexuality sex. This is the part that I believe is a sin.

    Homosexuality is a complex issue, and I agree with Paul when he says, "to decide whether it's a sin or other problems with the way people are born. It's too complex to give an answer as simple as that."

    Alan you said,

    "But from a policy and not a personal standpoint, since when have we barred "sinners" of any kind from the military? On what strategic and/or tactical military basis do you think it's a bad idea to allow "sinners" into the military, and exactly where do you propose to find people without sin to join the military? And why aren't we kicking out everyone who is currently in the military, since according to the Bible, everyone is a sinner? And just how "libertarian" is it to make military policy decisions on the basis of one's religious view points?"

    These are very good points that you address, and they need to be cleared up. First of all, we are all imperfect and we all sin

    Ron Paul does an excellent job answering your question so to spare me the time I will just quote him:

    "PAUL: Looking it in protecting the military if they are going to perform the services, and they are imperfect -- because we're all imperfect and we all sin. If a heterosexual or homosexual sins, that to me is the category of dealing with their own soul. Since we cannot have only perfect people going in the military I want to separate the two because I don't want to know the heterosexual flaws, nor the homosexual flaws and that's why I got in some trouble with some of the civil libertarians because I don't have any problem with Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Because I don't think that, for the practicality of running a military, I'd just as soon not know every serious thing that any heterosexual or homosexual did, and those flaws have to do with all our flaws because each and everyone one of us has those imperfections."

    Links to Paul's interview on the DADT policy:

    Transcript

    Youtube video of interview

    To address your last question, LGBT's are allowed in the military.

    Just give this issue more time and I think people will be more open to it.

    I don't judge LGBT's. I just hate the media throwing the sex part in our faces. That's all.

    As for my "unmarried living situation", I don't know if it is a sin, but I guess I don't care either right now. What do you guys think, am I a sinner. To quote my old preacher, is it better for me to marry, than to burn?

    The truth is, I don't have a problem with LGBT's, I have a problem with the media turning it into a fab. It's as simple as that.

    I hope you will re-post you comment. The only way to get people to find common ground is through dialogue.

    Let's reach some common ground on this and then maybe move on to an issue that interests me, like U.S. foreign policy.

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  31. Since so much has been made of BHO's christian faith I can only assume the the Matthew 25 network will hold him to the same standards as Palin, and call him out when he behaves similarly.

    Oh, and did Joe Biden really tell his wheelchair bound freind to getup. Really???

    Since the pig saying is in bad taste I'll just say, you can't polish a turd. But Obiden is sure going to try.

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  32. So Obama is a "turd", Craig?

    Nice.

    Too bad McSame's supporters can't be nicer.

    ROFL.

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  33. "I hope you will re-post you comment. The only way to get people to find common ground is through dialogue."

    Thanks, but I don't believe people find common ground through blog comments and I deleted my previous comment (apparently not quickly enough) because I thought that a portion of it was hitting below the belt.

    You think gay sex is a sin (and one that inexplicably should keep someone out of the military), but heterosexual fornication is not. I believe just the opposite on both issues. There's no middle ground there.

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  34. "is it better for me to marry, than to burn"

    BTW, that's a misquote. Or rather, it's not quoting the entire passage.

    By burning, it doesn't mean "going to hell"

    The whole verse is, "But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

    Your pastor, if he meant "burn" as in "going to hell" is an idiot.

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  35. "You think gay sex is a sin (and one that inexplicably should keep someone out of the military), but heterosexual fornication is not. I believe just the opposite on both issues. There's no middle ground there. "

    Actually, we don't need to reach a middle ground because we agree on this issue. If you would just read my comment, that is not what I said. DADT is a decent policy. We are all sinners. Why not keep our sins to ourselves.

    Your right about my old pastor being an idiot. I only had to go to church there a few times to realize that. So technically he wasn't really my pastor since I wasn't a member.

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  36. "Actually, we don't need to reach a middle ground because we agree on this issue. If you would just read my comment, that is not what I said. DADT is a decent policy. "

    No, we really don't agree. DADT is an awful policy that has ruined the careers of hundreds of military men and women, has put our country at risk (by firing personnel in key positions, like all those Arab translators they booted out a few years ago, yeah great idea when we're fighting a war in the Middle East), has cost the country millions of dollars in lost training and in legal defense, etc. And, it singles out one group of citizens for discrimination, which is unConstitutional.

    Look at it this way Rachel. If a straight man in the military goes out on leave to a straight bar for a beer, there's no problem. If a gay man in the military goes out on leave to a gay bar for a beer, he gets kicked out of the military, loses his pension, and gets a dishonorable discharge that will make finding any other employment difficult or impossible.

    You think that's fair. You think that's a "decent policy."

    I don't. So no, there is no middle ground there.

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  37. Alan I agree with you. So the good ole Doctor might be wrong on this issue. That doesn't mean he is wrong on other issues. And he is much much softer on this issue than people like Lofton, McCain or Obama. Listen to how in-sincere and mis-directed Obama sounds in this video. He avoids giving a principled answer to the question that these people pose and just tells them what they want to hear. Obama video on gay marriage

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  38. "That doesn't mean he is wrong on other issues. And he is much much softer on this issue than people like Lofton, McCain or Obama."

    I honestly don't understand where you get your information Rachel. Actually Obama is for repealing DADT, Ron Paul is not. So if my "softer" you mean the exact opposite of that, then yes, I agree. Seriously, decoding your language is difficult.

    Obama is not for gay marriage. So? Neither is McCain. Neither is Ron Paul. Neither is Bob Bar.

    We've already had this conversation here once before, but I'll repeat my position anyway, just to refresh your memory. If all of the candidates have the same view on an issue, then it isn't a deciding factor for me. While gay marriage is an important issue in my life, I'm not voting for or against anyone because of their stand on the issue, because they're ALL the same.

    BTW, what actual concrete evidence do you have that Obama is insincere in his answer? I don't pretend to know where he really stands on the issue, and I do believe that most politicians lie when it's convenient to do so. However, I have met honest people who are very accepting of LGBT people, but they really, honestly are not there on the marriage issue yet. So maybe Obama is just lying too, but I don't have any evidence that's the case. You seem to think you do. What is that evidence?

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  39. Maybe Obama is sincere, but that guy did a good job pointing out that Obama's idea of civil unions is similar to the Jim Crow laws of 'separate, but equal'.

    I'm really just looking for some principles in regard to the issues of homosexuality. DOMA has principle because it lets the states decide whether or not they want same-sex marriage in their states. This to me is more Constitutional. If you want your state to legalize same-sex marriage then you go through the grass-roots process of convincing people, like we are doing now. That is what was done in the civil-rights movement of the sixties.

    I don't think we're going to resolve this issue in one day, and I need to lay off of it so I can get other things done. It's been good talking to you. I probably won't respond to your next comment, but keep on talking, that is how you open up people to your ideas.

    I hope you will look into the foreign policy issues of Obama and McCain because I believe those are the most pressing issues of our time.

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  40. "He avoids giving a principled answer to the question that these people pose and just tells them what they want to hear."

    By the way, Rachel,

    1) In reference to that video, I think I can say, without fear of successful contradiction, that telling 3 gay people at a gay forum that he isn't for gay marriage, but is for civil unions, was not at all what the people watching and participating in that forum wanted to hear.

    2) Why weren't Ron Paul, Bob Barr, or John McCain at the LOGO/HRC forum? I think that speaks far more about their candidacies, than Obama's possible equivocation on gay marriage, don't you?

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  41. "Maybe Obama is sincere, but that guy did a good job pointing out that Obama's idea of civil unions is similar to the Jim Crow laws of 'separate, but equal'. "

    I'm not in favor of civil unions either. But McCain/Bush/Paul/Barr aren't even for going that far.

    Is separate but equal worse than nothing? I'm not sure I'd agree that's true. While I do think civil unions are separate AND unequal, they may be a necessary stepping stone toward gay marriage. Maybe, maybe not. Massachusetts and California may be proving me wrong on that point.

    "DOMA has principle because it lets the states decide whether or not they want same-sex marriage in their states. This to me is more Constitutional. If you want your state to legalize same-sex marriage then you go through the grass-roots process of convincing people, like we are doing now. That is what was done in the civil-rights movement of the sixties. "

    DOMA is a pathetic end-run around the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution.

    And, first you criticize separate but equal, and now you're for DOMA?! Huh??

    So straight couples can get married in one state, and they're married in every state. Gay couples, according to you, should have to get married in all 50 states, one at a time, when and if that ever becomes legal. You don't see that as "separate but UNequal"? Wow. Once again, the inconsistency of your position is very confusing. You continue to avoid my question about full faith and credit, you continue to avoid questions of equality, and instead just keep saying "states rights" over and over. I suppose there are some that find such sloganeering persuasive. But as for me, I'd like real intellectual consistency behind such slogans.

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  42. "I hope you will look into the foreign policy issues of Obama and McCain because I believe those are the most pressing issues of our time."

    Done and done. I disagree with McCain, and mostly agree with Obama, and very much disagree with Paul/Barr/et. al.

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  43. Simple fact: there are alot of people in the U.S. who are still anti-gay marriage. I'm sure the people Paul represents in TX are mostly against a federal marriage amendment. I'm sorry but there needs to be more grass-roots effort. Reverend Shuck is doing that so dito to him.

    I can't speak for Paul, so don't know why he wasn't there.

    Not that it should matter, but did you know that Paul's biggest supporter and campaign manager, Kent Snyder, was gay? I wonder what it was about Paul's ideas that he liked? It's really sad that he died.

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  44. Here is the article from gaywired.com on Kent Snyder that I meant to send.

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  45. "Simple fact: there are alot of people in the U.S. who are still anti-gay marriage. I'm sure the people Paul represents in TX are mostly against a federal marriage amendment. I'm sorry but there needs to be more grass-roots effort."

    Just to clarify, I think you meant "for" a marriage amendment. The proposed Federal Marriage Amendment would outlaw gay marriage and any sort of civil unions as well.

    So Ron Paul is against gay marriage just because most people are, even if they're wrong? So much for a principled stand, and not telling people what they want to hear.

    Yes, there does need to be a larger grass-roots effort, but those efforts are already bearing fruit in California and Massachusetts for example. The problem, as I've noted over and over, is the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution, which requires states to recognize marriages performed in other states. DOMA is an attempt to do an end-run around the Constitution, which McCain/Bush/Paul support and Barr wrote, but Obama does not support.

    The differences are pretty clear.

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  46. Here is an artcle by Kent Snyder that says your interpretation of the Constitution is not based on the traditional constitutional republic our founding fathers intended for us to have.

    Why don't you just say that you don't believe in a constitutional republic and we can end it there.

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  47. Rachel, I honestly don't see what is so difficult about this:

    When a *heterosexual* person gets married in one state, that marriage is recognized automatically by every other state in the Union, and by the Federal government. That's the way it is. That's how it works.

    I'm sorry you disagree with that, but that's just the way things are here in the United States, and they've been that way for a good long time. What that has to do with being a Constitutional Republic is beyond me. It IS the way things are here in the United States.

    What part of that do you not understand? I'll try to explain it to you.

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  48. Woah... Now I see the problem. The article you link to actually makes the exact OPPOSITE point that you're trying to make. I would suggest you re-read it.

    The article you link to argues AGAINST a Federal Marriage Amendment, which as I noted above would BAN gay marriage.

    Now I see where your confusion lies. Hope my explanation helps.

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  49. Duh...

    I have been AGAINST a Federal Marriage Amendment the whole time.

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  50. "What part of that do you not understand? I'll try to explain it to you."

    Sorry, if you are not of Kent Snyder's opinion I think I will pass.

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  51. Yes. And you should be against, the Defense of Marriage Act, because it tells the states that, no matter what they decide regarding gay marriage, the Federal Government will refuse to recognize it.

    So, for example, let's say I got married to my partner in California, where gay marriage is legal. The Federal government will refuse to recognize that marriage for the purposes of hospital visitation, tax benefits, social security benefits, inheritance/estate taxes, property rights, etc.

    If YOU got married to your partner in California, the Federal government will automatically recognize that marriage and you will receive literally over one thousand special rights from the Federal government, including hospital visitation, tax benefits, social security benefits, inheritance/estate taxes, property rights, etc.

    How exactly does that situation respect "states rights" when it allows the Federal Government to refuse to recognize the decisions made by the states?

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  52. "Sorry, if you are not of Kent Snyder's opinion I think I will pass."

    So all your nice words about dialogue were just talk then? Because I don't agree with you, you're not interested in dialogue?

    That's pretty much what I said earlier, if you remember. ;)

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  53. Alan,

    Thanks for ignoring the substance of my comment. You are obvioulsy completely content with the double standard being applied in this situation. What the Obiden folks are trying to convince people to support is a turd. I don't know BHO well enough to determine his turdiness or lack thereof. I can only assume you have had your sense of humor surgically removed at some point. You take yourself way too seriously.

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  54. "You are obvioulsy completely content with the double standard being applied in this situation. "

    If there was one, I wouldn't be. But since there isn't, I'm not too worried about it.

    But if you're talking about a double standard, how about your double standard? You freely use words like "turd" to refer to one of our presidential candidates and you're complaining about what, exactly? ROFL. Hypocrite.

    Perhaps you should re-read the Matthew 25 statement and try to learn something from it.

    "You take yourself way too seriously."

    I love how you continue to presume to know me, even though we've never met. Honestly, I don't take school yard name calling like yours seriously at all. But thanks for the psychobabble advice, doc. ;)

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  55. Alan,

    After further thought I would like to point out the following.

    First I was not referring to Obiden as a "turd"

    Second, Since the pig analogy is off limits I had to go to the backup analogy.

    Third, I was referring to Obiden's campaign as the "turd" not Obiden themselves.

    Fourth, I beleive that I made it clear that I don't know Obiden well enough to make a determination about him personally.

    Fifth, At most is was referring the the Obiden camapign as a metaphorical "turd" not an actual turd.

    Sixth, If Al Franken can get away with blowing off the porn and "off color" jokes he has written over the years under some sort of "comedy/satire" exception, I think referring to one of our political CAMPAIGNS as a metaphorical "turd" shouldn't cause this much drama.

    I have read the Matt. 25 statement several times and the salient fact that keeps juming out at me is that they are singling out Palin. Thet do not address BHO's black liberation theology. (which is at least as divisive and as Palin's "pentecostal") If this to be seen as anything but partisan these folks would have to address the "christisnity" of all of the candidates (if they were really going for consistancy they wouldn't limit their criticsm to only the pres/vp candidates). Further, after several readings this letter could be reasonably construed as attempting to place some kind of religous/behavioral "litmus test" on one of the candidates.

    Finally, as I have said repeatedly I would never presume to "know" anyone encountered in this type of forum. I can however read what you have written and respond to your words and phrases. You have repeatedly ascribed motives to me that you would have no way of discerinig. I'm not sure what kind of "school yard name calling" you are talking about (jeeze our host has said worse thinsg about any number of people and you don't object), you yourself have used language that could be considered "questionable" . The problem with calling me a hypocrite (which presumes you know how I behave and live my life), is that you are presuming that I hold others to some kind of standard that I don't hold myself to. To be blunt, you are wrong, I have no illusions as to what I am. I am a hopless sinner saved by God's grace, who (despite all that God has done, and my own attempts) falls short every day. So feel free to name call all you want.

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  56. The media is totally lying about Palin. Palin is a woman of true character and integrity. Listen to what presidential hopeful, Democratic turned Libertarian, Mike Gravel, has to say about Palin. Here is the link.

    While I am definitely not voting for McCain or Obama, I think people should know the truth. And the truth is that Palin is a women of principle and integrity. I'm not sure you could say this about McCain, Biden or even Obama.

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  57. Rachel,

    Suddenly I like your option to vote for a third party candidate. Perhaps you could convince McCain/Palin supporters to go with your third party choice. I wish you well with that! Really!

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  58. John,

    Ron Paul has changed the hearts of more 2000 and 2004 Bush Republicans than you can imagine. Can Kucinich say the same about his supporters in relation to Obama and his foreign/economic polices which are essentially the same as McCain's?

    If Obama wins, and we have pretty much more of the same for the next four to eight years, how will you vote in 2012? 2016?

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  59. Craig...

    LOL. You need to lighten up. The fact you don't get the joke is proof enough of that. ;)

    xxxooo

    PS But really, lighten up.

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  60. Alan,

    thanks for the psychobabble, your powers of judgement dwarf all others and we bow to your knowledge;) There happy

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