Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Republican Debates, The Speech, Religion & Politics and The Very Unpopular Congress!!!

First of all, as a lot of you readers know, I wrote a short blog a few days ago to promote the blog I'm about to write tonight. I never know what's going to strike a nerve, but one of the things I wrote in that short blog resulted in a lot of very well thought out comments from you folks. I responded to all of you and in future blogs, I might mention some of the points you made.

Right now I have the Republican debates fresh on my mind.

President Obama's speech.

The 9/11 anniversary threat.

The U.S. Postal Service on the verge of going broke.

And another high profile presidential candidate who felt it necessary to allow himself to be "grilled, interrogated, rubber-hosed, etc." by religious leaders for five evening hours and then five hours the following morning about what his "beliefs" are and if his "beliefs" match their "beliefs".

Okay, I made up the "rubber-hosed" part, but...

What the hell is going on, folks? We have some never elected to anything lobbyist who has the power to force members of Congress to sign a pledge that states they'll never vote for a tax increase of any kind for anything and now we have hot shot radical religious leaders demanding that presidential candidates need to prove to them (the radical religious leaders) that the candidate(s) can "pass" their "religious TESTS?!?"

The most recent presidential candidate I'm referring to is Governor Rick Perry. This took place August 26 and 27 and among the radical religious leaders doing the questioning were, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, American Values president Gary Bauer and former Focus on the Family big boss, James Dobson.

Hmmmm....Separation of Church and State? Can you imagine the Holy Hell that would have been raised if a bunch of Catholic Bishops and or Cardinals had demanded that JFK submit to religious interrogations. First of all, JFK was a certified war hero and one is inclined to think he would have kicked those leaders out of his office if they had made a demand like that. I'm sure it would have been a gentle kick, but a kick it most assuredly would have been.

At this point, let me be very clear about something. I have no problem with God being on our money, people believing in God and hoping they'll be accepted into Heaven, saying the word "Christmas", going to churches, etc., etc. If people get comfort from believing a huge higher power is looking out for them, no one but no one should ever interfere with that.

Someone much smarter than me told me that stating your opinions about religion and politics is dangerous because more often than not, it will cost you friendships and or jobs even though the employer would never admit that.

As a (mostly) political writer, I'm going to write political opinions because that's one of the reasons people like you read my musings. While recognizing my bringing up the subject of religion in any kind of negative way can cause people to get big time pissed off at me, I feel it necessary to take a deep breath and challenge anything religion-related when it has to do with going against the "Separation of Church and State".

And there are at least two Republican presidential candidates who seem to think that Church and State should be embraced, policy wise. Uh, huh. You mean like what most Muslim countries do?

THE REPUBLICAN DEBATES:

Did you watch them? I did. Governor Rick Perry has run for office, what? 10 times? 11 times? Did you know that he has never LOST an election! To underestimate a guy like that is to do so at your peril. He took some "hits" on Wednesday night, but he delivered some, too. To me, Governor Perry seems like a guy you'd like to have helping you if you were outnumbered in a bar fight.

After the debates had ended, most of the pundits thought that Perry and Governor Romney had shined the most. A number of people think that Michele Bachmann's performance was weak and the same could be said for all the other candidates. I'm not a Michele Bachmann fan, but I'm not ready to write her off yet. There's one other Republican candidate who certainly has the smarts and the experience to make him a very serious candidate, but he's going to probably have to "go for broke" in the next Republican debate. I'm referring to Governor Jon Huntsman.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SPEECH:

As most of you know, the NFL's season opener was played tonight. With that in mind while also being mindful of the fact that President Obama hasn't shown serious passion about anything recently, he's been spending a lot of time giving in to Republicans who have been acting like Obama is their bitch-boy and he (Obama) hasn't been FIGHTING for ANYTHING..... Anyway, I couldn't help but think of that (late) Dallas Cowboys quarterback who went on to become (arguably) the most popular character ever on Monday Night Football and words that he would sing when things had gotten hopeless for one of the teams that was playing that night. Remember? "Turn out the Liiii-GHTS, the par-ty's OVER!"

Before President Obama delivered his speech, I was convinced that my headline for this blog was going to be those words that Dandy Don used to sing because of all the "negatives" I mentioned at the beginning of this subject.

In fact, I was also thinking it might be time for leaders of the Democrat party to try to talk Hillary Clinton into challenging President Obama for the 2012 nomination.

When President Obama's 32-minute speech ended, I found myself thinking what I would later hear Lou Dobbs say which was, "I think this was the best speech Obama has ever given!"

And yeah, as much as it might hurt people who hate this guy, the fact is, he wasn't "bitch-boy" today. I heard one of the pundits say that a lot of Democrat leaders are probably wishing that Obama showed this kind of passion a number of months ago. True, but if he continues to show this kind of passion and if what he said about his proposals being paid for can't be challenged, he then goes from being "Dead Man Walking" to very serious candidate for re-election status. On the other hand, if he wasn't being truthful about his new idea policies being (already) paid for, a future blog headline will be Dandy Don's words.

Oh....Did you know that as bad as President Obama's poll numbers are that the poll numbers for Congress are worse? A LOT worse!

TWO OTHER THINGS WE NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT:

Have you heard about this 9/11 anniversary threat? Serious, serious business, folks! Police and Homeland Security officials have descriptions of who two of the alleged bad guys are and by the time you read this, they will hopefully have been captured or killed.

Have you heard about the U.S. Postal Service problems? A 10-billion dollar net loss this fiscal year that could result in 120,000 workers having to be laid off, no more mail deliveries on Saturdays and thousands of local post offices being closed.

Sudden thought: Won't it be nice when we have some GOOD news again?!?

ENTERTAINMENT STUFF:

Eddie Murphy? The next Oscar host? Apparently so and we're also led to believe that Billy Crystal will have a major role as well.

Are you a Conan O'Brien fan? His ratings on TBS are down 60% since last autumn.

Films that are currently on the cable circuit I want to call your attention to:

"Maid in Manhattan", 2002 film that's on Encore. Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci and outstanding supporting players. I liked it in 2002 and I liked it again.

"Unstoppable", 2010 film that's on HBO. Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson and some good supporting players. Good popcorn flick.

"Color of Night", 1994 film that's on TMC. Bruce Willis, a very sexy Jane March and the always entertaining Leslie Ann Warren. This film isn't for everybody, but I liked it a lot.

"Country Strong", 2010 film that's on STARZ. Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and good supporting players in a film that to me was okay, but not terrific.

Three films that are still in your favorite Cineplex.

"Cowboys and Aliens". I don't consider this to be a great film, but you won't fall asleep. Lots of action and good performances from Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and a very good supporting cast. The Olivia Wilde role is bigger than I thought it would be and she played the role very well.

"Your Idiot Brother". Paul Rudd plays the "Idiot Brother" and he's so good at it, I wanted him to "back off" at times, but I guess if someone really is an idiot, "backing off" isn't in their genes. The women in the film are all good, Rudd is good, but the movie itself, to me, was just so-so.

"Columbiana". Zoe Saldana ROCKS in this film. This is not a great film, but it is a very entertaining film and the reason it's entertaining is because of Ms. Saldana, an actress who was also very entertaining as a "blue creature" in the film, "Avitar".

THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net. I will respond to you ASAP. If you write to the blog, there's no way for me to know your email address so I won't be able to respond to you. I respond to everyone except "Anonymous" writers. Those folks are ignored.

THE NEXT BLOG? I'm figuring Thursday, September 15 or Friday, September 16 unless something unexpected comes up.

Meanwhile, I hope that all of you have a very nice weekend, please think good thoughts for the 9/11 victims and let's also think good thoughts for law enforcement folks who are trying to track down those terrorists who have let it be known they'd like to cause us a little trouble this coming Sunday.

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