An Excellent Overview of Obama and McCain Tax Proposals
Oct13

An Excellent Overview of Obama and McCain Tax Proposals

So much gets lost in the sound bites and finger-pointing of presidential campaigns that it’s sometimes tough to know what the respective candidates really believe–or seem to believe–on various issues. This morning’s Columbus Dispatch has an excellent and readable overview of the McCain and Obama tax proposals. You can find it here. The last few paragraphs especially interested me: William A. Raabe, a tax...

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Memo to Senator McCain
Oct08

Memo to Senator McCain

MEMO To: Senator John McCain From: Mark Daniels Re: Unsolicited Advice It’s over, Senator. You know it and I know it. Karl Rove knows it and has fairly well admitted it. So does anybody who knows how to count. And the debate didn’t help. Bitter as the pill is for you to swallow, it is over. In 2000, you were downed by the scurrilous Bush campaign. This year, you’re being mowed down by a political phenomenon and, more...

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‘Consumer Reports’ Analyzes Obama and McCain Health Plans
Oct04

‘Consumer Reports’ Analyzes Obama and McCain Health Plans

The November issue of Consumer Reports, the publication of the independent Consumers Union, contains their analysis of the health care proposals of John McCain and Barack Obama. As the magazine points out, “both plans lack key details.” But, considering what the candidates have said and filling in the blanks with plausible speculation based on the state plans on which Obama and McCain have based their announced programs,...

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Quick Takes on the Biden-Palin Debate
Oct03

Quick Takes on the Biden-Palin Debate

Accolades: I’ve seen every vice presidential debate since they began. This was the best one ever. It was certainly the most substantive. While both candidates engaged in misconstructions of their opponents’ positions and records, neither was egregious in this. Sarah Palin Didn’t Crash and Burn: I admit that my expectations of Palin going into the evening’s debate were extremely low. I’ve said on this site...

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The Obama Campaign Had Nothing to Do With This…
Oct01

The Obama Campaign Had Nothing to Do With This…

…But I hope that they’ll speak against it. It absolutely creeps me out! The children are sweet, but what religious-like zeal drives adults to compose hymns to a presidential candidate, countenance the songs being taught to them, and watch approvingly? I know that many evangelical Christians meld their faith with their politics and I’ve often spoken against it, both as a Christian and an American. But this video finds...

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We interrupt this financial crisis…
Oct01

We interrupt this financial crisis…

…to tell the story of three preachers on a bamboo...

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More Than Fat Cats Responsible for Financial Crisis
Oct01

More Than Fat Cats Responsible for Financial Crisis

[This is a portion of the first part of a series I'm doing over on my own blog regarding the current US financial crisis and our grappling with it.] Only those willing to be seduced are seduced. Nobody persuaded into doing the wrong thing can credibly argue, “He tricked me,” or, “She jumbled my thinking,” or “The devil made me do it.” The evil all around may pull at us, but we are the ones who cave...

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Youth Vote Goes Conservative
Sep30

Youth Vote Goes Conservative

In Austria. But giving sixteen year olds the right to vote seems ill-advised. [See my personal...

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And Now for Something Completely Different: Big Ten Football Coaches Recruiting
Sep28

And Now for Something Completely Different: Big Ten Football Coaches Recruiting

This promo currently appearing on the Big Ten Network purports to show the conference’s head football coaches on home visits to high school recruiting prospects. I love Penn State coach Joe Paterno’s bit of intense thespianism at the end. Also love Jim Tressel’s, “You do know about our Buckeye leaves…” [Crossposted at my personal...

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McCain-Obama Debate Quick Takes
Sep27

McCain-Obama Debate Quick Takes

A few quick reactions to the McCain-Obama debate. “If you like this kind of book, this is the kind of book you will like.” That book review is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln. A paraphrase of it will do in talking about how the debate went on Friday night. If, before the debate, you loved Obama’s positions on the war and domestic issues, you probably still love them. And if you were keen on John McCain going into...

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Bailout Stalled: Cynicism Understandable, But Conservative Anger is Real
Sep25

Bailout Stalled: Cynicism Understandable, But Conservative Anger is Real

The skepticism of fellow The Moderate Voice blogger Polimom is understandable. All the pieces are in place for John McCain to, sometime tomorrow, be portrayed as the hero who brokered a resolution to the financial crisis acceptable to The White House, Congressional Democrats, and recalcitrant conservative Congressional Republicans. It seems so pat, so obvious, and it just might be true. But I don’t think so. Conservative anger...

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John McCain, Cliff Jumper
Sep25

John McCain, Cliff Jumper

The thing about a political stunt, I told my son last night, is that if you get away with it, it’s no longer a stunt. It’s bold leadership…keeping in mind that the first mark of a leader is that she or he has followers. John McCain suspended his campaign yesterday, attempting to at least project an image of leadership, if not enacting its substance. Is anybody following? Before giving the obvious answer to that...

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‘An Evangelical Voters Guide, Six Weeks Out’
Sep25

‘An Evangelical Voters Guide, Six Weeks Out’

That’s the title of a useful post written by Asbury Theological Seminary professor, Ben Witherington, on his blog. It may surprise those fed on a regular diet of wrong impressions created by some who claim to speak for all evangelicals or disinformation spooned out by some in the media regarding evangelicals, other Christians, and all theists. Witherington’s advice breaks stereotypes and is non-partisan. One might even...

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Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin: Funny Stuff…
Sep23

Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin: Funny Stuff…

No matter what your politics. Former President Bill Clinton was followed by Chris Rock on David Letterman’s show last night. [Here's the link to my personal...

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Mr. Obama and the “Ghost of Charisma Past”
Sep23

Mr. Obama and the “Ghost of Charisma Past”

The death of a young person is a tragedy that freezes their image in time and subjects it to romantic embellishments. The deceased becomes a template. On the morning of November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy had served as President of the United States for two years and ten months. He was poised to be renominated by his party in 1964 and would have likely defeated the presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, though...

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Anybody Else Have Whiplash?
Sep19

Anybody Else Have Whiplash?

My pension monies are split between five different funds, each comprising 20% of the total portfolio. On Tuesday night, I checked how the funds were going and found that I had lost a total of $19,000 since the start of the third quarter. When I logged back on today, I learned that because of the market’s response to the bailout initiative announced by Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, my pension had gained $6000 and I’m...

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Palin, Clinton, the National Guard, and National Security
Sep12

Palin, Clinton, the National Guard, and National Security

History repeated itself recently when John McCain suggested that his running mate, Sarah Palin, is an experienced hand when it comes to national security issues because the state she serves as governor, Alaska, is close to Russia and because she commands the state’s National Guard. It was reminiscent of a flashpoint in the 1992 presidential election. That year, attempting to respond to charges that he wasn’t prepared to...

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Politics Has No Place in the Pulpit
Sep10

Politics Has No Place in the Pulpit

[This is a piece I just submitted to The Logan Daily News, the local paper in the community I serve as pastor. It's part of a continuing series to which local clergy are invited to contribute. It is overtly Christian, not, I hope, as a means of pushing my faith down people's throats, but to (a) let non-Christians see that many--I believe most--Christians do not believe that the Church should be a political institution and (b) assure...

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Palin’s Swipe at Obama Hits People Who Do Important Work
Sep08

Palin’s Swipe at Obama Hits People Who Do Important Work

It was one of the most memorable lines in Governor Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech at last week’s Republican National Convention. Responding to accusations that her service as mayor of an Anchorage suburb doesn’t commend her for vice president, Palin referred to Senator Barack Obama’s work as a community organizer, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have...

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Memo to David Gergen
Sep04

Memo to David Gergen

David: Let me preface what I’m about to say by telling you that I am a fan. Your knowledge of public issues is encyclopedic and your insights into the major challenges facing the United States today are fascinating. Although partisan Republicans and Democrats may look askance at you for having served President Clinton after having served Presidents Reagan and Bush 1, I’ve always admired your willingness to use your...

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