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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Day at the Races(4/18/14), Part 1

On Friday, I had the opportunity to attend two political meet-and-greets held around my area. The first one was hosted by Republican Congressman and US Senate candidate Phil Gingrey, and the second one was hosted by former Republican Mayor of Dalton, GA, and Gubernatorial candidate David Pennington, who is primarying incumbent Republican Governor Nathan Deal.

I arrived about a half-hour after the Gingrey meeting commenced, so I missed most of the introduction. The only thing I learned from those last few minutes of the introduction was what I saw from my seat, which was fairly close behind the speaker: That he dyes his hair black. After completing his introduction, he opened himself up to questions. The first serious question pertained to ObamaCare, which he vowed his every effort to repeal, and, on this subject and throughout the meet-and-greet, voiced his commitment to the rights of the states, local municipalities, and businesses to choose.

When asked about term-limits, he indicated his support for term limits, though expressed some question as to how many terms representatives and senators should be limited to, mentioning maybe 6 terms for representatives and 2 for senators. He also said that he is going to Washington to work, and if he has not worked in his first term, then he will go home. If he has worked, then, as he said "Lord willing," he might seek a second term. Asked about tax reform, he affirmed his support for the "Fair Tax."

The most pointed question asked was one regarding House Republican leadership and how they are not digging in against Obama. Gingrey started off by talking about the likable personality of John Bohener and what a nice guy he is, equating him with the popular kid at a college fraternity who all the kids want to be like. He emphasized the need for real leadership, citing Tom DeLay as an example. According to Gingrey, DeLay wasn't dubbed 'The Hammer' for nothing, and that sometimes you don't need nice guys on your team if you want to get things done. Gingrey also expressed both his elation over DeLay's recent exoneration and sadness for the fact that he is now broke and has to start his life over again.

Teeing off of his remarks alluding to college fraternities, he reminisced over his college days, talking about how he and some friends of his got to see then-Senator Barry Goldwater speak and how this was a political revelation for him. He added that while his Liberal professors may have flunked him for his views, they never tried to warp his mind. He also explained what kind of a candidate he would be. He would try to be honest and straightforward with the people. He emphasized where he stood on issues, and also joked about how various news and media outlets have misrepresented things he has said. He concluded by saying that politics is not about whining about how one is treated by the media, and that people must stand firm and fight.

Around this time, somebody who had a child with cancer and was fighting with her insurance company was brought in to tell her story and to ask Mr. Gingrey questions about ObamaCare. Mr. Gingrey expressed his sincerest sympathies to her, re-affirmed his commitment to repealing ObamaCare, and gave her his card(he is a medical doctor) in case she needed to see a doctor in the state. I roughly and perhaps vaguely summarized because I don't really feel right airing one's personal information in a public forum.

Mr. Gingrey was asked about the prospect of a Constitutional Convention and whether or not he thought such would be hijacked by un-Constitutional types. He stated that he was encouraged by what he was seeing out of the move to force a convention and that he would be supportive of such. He also expressed favourable sentiments toward Dr. Ben Carson.

A lady asked him about foreign policy, and he was pretty well schooled on the subject. She talked extensively about the Muslim Brotherhood and the many threats posed by that organization. Mentioned was the fact that the government has members working for and advising them on various matters, which would explain the government's labelling these military base shootings as being "workplace violence." Political correctness was also brought up, as well as the nostrums about Christianity and Islam co-existing together, which, for that to happen, would involve one religion fundamentally changing its principles to conform with the other. In responding, Gingrey acknowledged the concerns broached and emphasized the need to strike a fine balance between maintaining the civil liberties of Americans and taking necessary actions against the terrorists.

Soon afterwards, the meet-and-greet concluded, with Mr. Gingrey thanking all of us for coming out to ask questions. I picked up a few stickers and soon had the opportunity to shake Congressman Gingrey's hand. I asked him if it was OK if I quickly asked a question{I had been silent throughout so I could hear him speak and listen to his answering of questions(which narrowed my prospective questions down considerably)} He obliged, and I asked for his stance on the education initiative "Common Core." He stated his complete opposition to Common Core, emphasizing the need for local control of school curriculum. He also said students should spend at least an hour-and-a-half on homework. After answering my question, I wished him good luck and went on my merry way.

Before the meet-and-greet, I was firmly supportive of Paul Broun. After listening to Gingrey speak, I am giving the most thorough consideration to both men(I will not support Karen Handel, Jack Kingston, or David Perdue). Stay tuned for part 2, where I chronicle the David Pennington meet-and-greet, which was held later that day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

BIG NEWS: John McCain(R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham(R-SC) to Wed

In a big development which has shaken the political world to its core, Senior Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have announced their plans to get married, a move which culminates several years of intense courtship. The marriage is slated to take place on the dock of the San Francisco Bay on Easter Sunday.

"Always ones to glorify the Lord," quipped an excited McCain, having just come from breakfast at the Senate cafeteria. "This has been a long time coming, my friends, and I couldn't be happier. He's my true soul mate." Asked about his wife Cindy and how she was taking it, McCain took a moment to clear the air: "We both wanted to be in the White House, so we tied the knot. There isn't a whole lot more to it than that. I know it sounds bad, but everybody's doing it these days. Just ask my friends Bill and Hillary Clinton and Anthony and Huma Weiner!" Asked about the future of that relationship, McCain added that he had "politely asked for an open marriage." "I hear she and Senator Cruz(R-TX) are an item these days," quipped McCain before giddily leaving for a Senate meeting on nuclear arms warfare in the age of Putin.

When asked for a comment on the news, longtime McCain confidante and former US Senator Joe Lieberman(I-CT) issued the following statement: "Words cannot express my happiness for John and Lindsey, having both found love in their golden years. Having introduced them, I can tell you that it was love at first sight. From the intimate discussions about neo-Conservative foreign policy to the exhaustive discussions about fine wines and Napa Valley sunsets, there was a definite connection between the two. A certain chemistry, if you will. I saw how those two bonded over episodes of 'The Care Bears.' I was regaled with the stories of how John would carry Lindsey on his shoulders so that he could see the floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I heard those two sing 'Do ya, do ya want my love?' every Friday at the Congressional karaoke night. I saw how those two interacted when they were campaigning together in 2008 and when they were campaigning in 2012 for Governor Bionicle...erm, I mean Mitt Romney. Tee he he. Those two are just priceless. Again, I just cannot tell you how happy I am for them."

Former Congressman Barney Frank(D-MA), himself a gay man, had a few congratulatory words as well: "I always knew their socially Conservative talk was all just a bunch of bluster. Those two have something I wish more people had: Openness, honesty, and love. I wish that more of our Republican friends would come out of the closet. It really is a liberating feeling, and who knows, maybe with a little more gay liberation there wouldn't be so much congressional gridlock."

Vice President Joe Biden offered his support: "There is nothing that I've ever seen in these stone halls that is more beautiful than what I see coming from those two. Going against the grain of cruel, cold-hearted society, you see a man willing to risk everything in raining love down upon another man. Neil Young can talk about screaming and bullwhips cracking all he wants, but he's got nothing on those two!"

Senator Chuck Schumer(D-NY) dishes out the sordid details: "Let's face it: The gentleman from South Carolina always was John's boy lollipop. The things I have heard about those two! Their rooms are the absolute bane of the Congressional cleaning service. I once found myself in there around 1 AM one unfortunate Sunday morning. It looked like a dirty bomb had gone off in there! Numerous articles of clothing, candy wrappers, Wham! record sleeves, towels, and teddy bears strewn about all over the place. And people think we're all just a bunch of boring, uptight squares!"

Catching up with Senator Graham, this reporter noted an uncharacteristically sprightly vibe about the Senior Senator from SC. Waving me over, we talked about a few things on the Senator's mind on this important day. On the pen he carries in his hand: "This is something Johnny gave me. It's the same pen Bob Dole gave him just before he died. It is something which I treasure immensely." When asked about why he only just now decided to tie the knot with Senator McCain, he cited the recent decision by Jan Brewer, the Governor of McCain's adopted home state of Arizona, to veto legislation which would have granted businesses the right to deny services to gay couples. "This just seemed like the right time," said Graham. Regarding future Presidential aspirations, he stated "not until 2024, as Johnny and I are both ready for Hillary." Asked if his sexual orientation would serve as a hindrance to his aspirations, Graham opined "What you must remember is that some of the big figures within the Republican Party have been, in one way or another, the gay man's best friend. Just look at Ted Haggard, Joe Paterno, George HW Bush, Abraham Lincoln, and Larry Craig. These beloved Republicans have done more to advance the cause of gay liberty in America, so yes, I do believe that I can gain acceptance with the grassroots and the mainstream Conservatives and Republicans."

In another development, Senator Patty Murray(D-WA) used the news to announce her engagement to Congressman Paul Ryan(R-WI).