Sunday, May 25, 2008


Memorial day weekend is a time when we remember all who have sacrificed their lives defending our country. This year more of us will stay home with the high price of gas, park ourselves in front of the television and watch men and woman race around ovals to capture the checkered flag. It is a time for us to celebrate the wonderful sport of auto racing!

Memorial Day weekend is when the world's most famous race, the Indianapolis 500, is run. It has been a calendar fixture for nearly a century. No other race in the world has the tradition, and is more well known. It is not the only show in town. Over the last decade, NASCAR's 600 mile race at Charlotte has drawn more TV viewers, and has become a regular Memorial Weekend Sunday event. The Coca-Cola 600 is a cap to a Sunday triple header of headline races, starting with the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

This year's Indianapolis 500 arrives with much anticipation. With the growth in popularity of NASCAR and the Indy/Cart split of 1996, the race has lost its luster over the past decade. Thankfully, the division between CART and the Indy Racing league has been reconciled, and this years race figures to be competitive. Dan Wheldon starts on the pole, and this is the deepest field in over ten years. Danica Patrick will be one of three women starting today. She IRL's most popular driver. With her first win under her belt, she is a legitimate threat to win today. Dancing With the Stars winner Helio Castroneves is looking for his third trophy at Indy. The Indianapolis 500 is primed to reclaim the Memorial Day Weekend dominance it had enjoyed for years.

The Coca-Cola 600 has no shortage of interest and intrigue. A new rivalry has begun this year. With three victories, Kyle Busch has torn up the ovals and is leading the point standings. One of those victories were the result of Busch sending NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., into the wall in the final laps. Adding to the drama is the fact that Busch was bounced from the Hendrick team to make room for Dale Junior. The fans call this a feud, and it is much more intense with them than the drivers. Kyle Busch has the pole for the Coca-Cola 600.

Die hard fans may get up early and watch Formula One's Grand Prix from Monaco on Sunday. The average American race fan may be surprised to discover that "The Jewel of the Formula One" is one of the most prestigious races in the world. It is considered one of three races of the triple crown of racing, along with the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Most Americans do not take well to this form of racing. One of the reasons is that there are no current divers competing in this series from the United States.

As New Years Day has college football and Thanksgiving Day has pro football, Memorial Weekend Sunday has always had auto racing. It is an American tradition. I will be watching, as millions of others will.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


For me, Democratic Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy stands for all that is wrong with the American Political System: The career politician. Most of our founding fathers did not intend our country's citizens turning political service into a lifetime occupation.

For almost 50 years, since 1969, Edward Kennedy has been representing Massachusetts in the Senate. This is far too long. The Liberal Democrat holds a lot of power in the Senate as chairmans of the Pensions, Education, and Health committees. He also serves on the Judiciary and Armed Forces committees, where he leads both the subcommittees of Seapower and Immigration. Power that significant can only come with over eight terms in the Senate. Only Robert Bird of West Virgina has served longer in the governing body.

Senator Kennedy has built up tremendous political clout in our Government. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was a bill where he played a major role in its creation. Behind the scenes he pulls strings and twists arms. Kennedy may be the the number one saint of liberalism, considering his longevity.

To liberals, the Massachusetts Senator is treated as royalty. As I believe most of our countries problems are a result of rampant liberalism, Kennedy is a symbol of the elite of big government, the monster bureaucracy and how government is grossly flawed. He is also a good reason why we need term limits.

Term limits will make a better republic. Constitutionally, we already limit the President to two terms, we should do the same for Senators and Congressmen. Eight years would be wonderful for everyone who serves office at any level. As Washington, Jefferson and Franklin may have envisioned, government service is a privilege, not a career.

Thomas Jefferson worried about the dangers of a declining democracy in serving too long. Benjamin Franklin advocated a rotation system to keep offices free of a single influence. George Washington set the precedent of stepping down as chief executive at the end of his second term. What noble men!

Would the United States be better off if Senator Kennedy was forced to retire in 1977? Absolutely! Just think of how much better we would be if a Business Leader, a Teacher, an Engineer, a doctor, a nurse or any member of a thousand different professions would take eight years away from their careers to serve for the people. What a wide variety of ideas we would have for solving problems and making government better. Political corruption would still exist, but on a much less scale.

I fear that all of what I am wishing for are just pipe dreams. It may never happen. The career politician has deep roots. They begin as lawyers, are elected to a local office and climb the ladder to Governor, Congressman, Senator and sometimes President. They sometimes come from elite political families, and there is no family that represents elitism and political power more than the Kennedy family.

Unfortunately, Senator Edward Kennedy recently suffered a stroke. I wish his family the best. He should resign because of health reasons. Edward Kennedy is the poster boy of term limits. His political service is the reason why the nation needs those limits. That will be his legacy when he finally leaves office.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


One year ago it was a foregone conclusion. The 2008 Democratic nomination was New York Senator Hillary Clinton’s to win. Not only was she the favorite for her party’s nomination, she was considered a shoe in for the White House, given the unpopularity of the current republican president. What a difference a year has made! As we stand today, after the Indiana and North Carolina Primaries, the New York Senator needs a near miracle to capture that nomination. With her victory in Indiana and loss in North Carolina she broke less than even for the night, and could not cut into Barack Obama's delegate lead. Obama now seems destined to the prize. The contest between the two threatens to split the party and it is likely that Clinton's intention to fight to the end will keep the Republicans in the executive office. What once were happy visions of a sweeping November victory have turned to worries and fears of defeat for the Democrats..

Leading in the polls and having raised the most money, Mrs. Clinton had a huge advantage as we began this year. Once people began to cast votes in the first week of January, she was knocked off her front-runner status with the Iowa Caucuses, where Clinton finished a dismal third to Obama and John Edwards. Barack Obama’s campaign took off, and at one time, he won thirteen primaries/caucuses in a row.

Was the average democratic voter tired of the Clinton name? Where they attracted to a new and fresh face that offer hope in their eyes? To most Democratic voters, the answer was 'yes.' Obamamania knocked Hillary Clinton down to earth, and we found she had some real weaknesses. She misspoke often, for example at a campaign rally in March, she told the crowd she was under sniper fire during a 1996 visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Weeks after her speech video footage proved it to be untrue, and the New York Senator had to eat her words. Consistently at her rallies Clinton often cites her time as First Lady as political experience for seeking the oval office. That tune falls on deaf ears to many voters.

His Super Tuesday victories launched Barack Obama on his way to the democratic nomination. But like the lady who he replaced as the front runner, Obama proved to be human and make some mistakes that threatened to derail him. At the top of that list is the Reverend Wright controversy.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright was Barack Obama’s Pastor for twenty years. The reverend married the Illinois Senator and his wife, and baptized his two children. Obama even titled his book from one of Wright’s Sunday sermons. Some of Wright’s sermons have been video taped, and they show him as an angry black man, making all kinds of outlandish claims. Among the things the Reverend believes is that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks and created the aids virus to eliminate the black race. One easily concludes that he does not like the United States very much.

That miracle Hillary is hoping for may not be not much of a long shot. Obama has not been quick to condemn Wright’s comments. In the minds of many Americans, the choice of a spiritual guide, such as a pastor, is very important. Many are correct to wonder if he may share some of the same opinions he does as he has been a member of Wright's congregation for twenty years. Clinton gained a little traction with her opponent's slip up. Is it still possible she could win?

He answer could lie with the superdelegates. Superdelegates were created by the Democratic Party to ensure democratic leaders a choice in the nominating process. The 796 superdelegates are officials in the party, such as senators, congressman and state legislators. They are not selected by voters in the regular primary or caucus process, and need not be bound to vote in a particular way. By the end of June, when all the states have chosen their delegates, both candidates will not have the required number to win the nomination. It is up to the super 796 to make the final decision. This gives Clinton, the wife of a former president, a bit of an advantage since her connections run deeper than Obama's in the party. The wish is to have those party officials perceive that Clinton is the better choice for the Democrats.

Barack Obama will be leading in the delegate count before the convention. Would the party be so bold to choose Clinton by the superdelegates? Given his recent weaknesses and Clinton's successes in the latest primaries, that reality is not such a long shot. If that happens there are sure to be near riots. The Obama supporters and the black community would never vote for Clinton in November. By the same token, how likely are Clinton voters going to be Obama supporters in the fall, if he is chosen?

Another issue that must be addressed before the Democratic Convention is the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegation. Both states broke party rules and moved their primaries to February. As a penalty, the Democratic Party has banned them from the convention, and will not seat their delegates. The decision was made at the time when Clinton was the perceived nominee, and the New York Senator would not need those delegates to win. But once the year got going and the Obama express was rolling, the Clinton Campaign keeps mentioning these states since she could use those delegates to cut the margin. Clinton won both states. Obama’s name was not on the ballot in Michigan. Those voters should be heard and seating them would give Clinton more hope, however, clearly, that would be unfair to the Illinois Senator. This dilemma will have to be resolved before choosing the nominee. It could be another factor in Clinton's favor if they were allowed in the convention.

Historically when there is a fierce battle between two candidates within the party, a split occurs, and the party will lose the general election. The longer the Democratic Nomination remains undecided, the better the chance Republican John McCain will be the next president. Twelve months ago democrats would never imagine that they are destined to defeat in November.

With their superdelegate rules and the all the candidates weaknesses the overconfident Democrats have slit their throats. Their whole system is flawed. If the superdelegates select the candidate that did not receive the most votes, it would be like why even have all the Presidential Primaries in the first place? Both Obama and Clinton have shown that they will have trouble appealing to all voters. They appear to be much weaker candidates than the party hoped for. The Democrats must reconcile, compromise, chose a candidate and unite right this second. Fortunately for John McCain and the Republicans that is unlikely since, given their egos, both Clinton and Obama will fight to the end. The Democrats will only have to look in the mirror for blame when they lose in November.