Is the Election for Obama to Lose?

Much hay has been made over Obama’s low poll numbers.  The July Gallop poll suggests that a generic Republican can beat Obama.  But is this really the case?  For as much as people are dissatisfied with Obama’s promised “change,” I’m not sure that “one-term presidency” is in the cards.  The problem for the GOP is that there isn’t a candidate that anyone particularly likes.  Yesterday, Perry launched negative ads against Romney.  Last month, Ron Paul launched a negative ad against Perry.  Cain picked some obscure issue about Perry’s ranch from about thirty years ago and made headlines.  Welcome to the GOP circular firing squad.  The quest for a candidate almost seems like a gang initiation.  To join, the potential invitee is thrown a blanket party.  Surviving that, the members rally behind the beat up and bruised candidate.  Love hurts.  And this is looking to be a very painful election process.

Any significant swings GOP debate tonight only mark the fluidity of the race.  At the very least, Perry will be worth watching.  He was heralded as the cat’s meow when he first announced his candidacy, and then he tried to debate.  And then  conservatives took a look at his immigration policy.  Amazingly, virtually all the popularity Perry lost, Herman Cain gained.  Herman Cain, has his own issues.  Jon Stewart makes well sure that everyone knows about those too.  While most people are not enthused with Romney, he only needs to focus on not pulling a Howard Dean.  I also wouldn’t joke about being unemployed either.

Listening to the radio on the way in to work today, one disenfranchised voter from New Hampshire didn’t really feel a whole lot of excitement toward any of the candidates.  With primary voters decidedly undecided, one is left to wonder whether the eventually GOP candidate will be received as enthusiastically as Sarah Palin.

Mental Fortitude in the Early Morning

Today the sun rose at 5:52AM this morning and I’m proud to say that I was up – well up before then.  Back in the day, which technically isn’t incredibly far removed – I would be running already – maybe have even completed a good portion of ten miles.  It was an incredible feeling when one could start and finish the workout before the the sun appeared over the mountains.  For me, I had already accomplished something – a workout, part of my training routine during the cross country or track season.

Yet it required a great deal of mental fortitude.

I’m not sure that that waking up early ever comes easily – with or without coffee.  It’s almost as if the heavy presence of tryptophan in the air continually pulls down on my eyelids until I wake up at the same time as of the sun.  Maybe this is as life should be.  In heaven.

But again, I’ve reverted to my early bird discipline – not with running in the morning (I’m only disciplined enough to work out in the evening), but with attempting to seize the day – err morning.  (How many of these blog posts are actually *written* in the morning?  Few).  In following with my last post, the morning time helps to re-evaluate and formulate my objectives in the short term.  I know, impromptu habit/discipline sounds like a New Years Resolution – which, in that case, it’s either overdue or premature.

I wonder how much Congress could accomplish by grabbing a cup of joe and hashing out the details of cutting a trillion dollars from the budget in the disjointed raucous of a heavily trafficked coffee shop in downtown D.C.  (or Phoenix) in the early morning.  My guess is that they may be able to accomplish more here than behind closed doors.  Sarcasm aside, I think the larger sentiment reflected by the myself and portion of the nation is that we are less than optimistic over any budget deals.

With the election battle lines being drawn, the economics the debt ceiling and sequelae  will be pushed back until at least December where a vote isn’t required until just before Christmas.

Until then, we can only hope that our government will possess the mental fortitude needed to place the nation ahead of politics.  And that’s a venti hope.

Remembering 9/11


I was a senior in high school eight years ago when I turned on the TV and witnessed the terrorist attack on American soil.

That morning, I had woken up early and turned on the television; this was a bit uncommon for me. On the screen, billows of greasy smoke poured from the first World Trade Center building. Shortly thereafter, smoke billowed from the second one too.

2,993 Deaths.

If there is ever something that touches the cords of my humanity, it is the death of innocent lives. Even though eight years have passed, I pray to God that I never forget or become dulled by passing time.

In its aftermath, America managed to project a clarion call: attacking freedom will not go unanswered.

Below is an exert from President Bush’s speech to Congress; it acknowledges that while grief will subside, America’s fight for freedom and justice will continue.

It is my hope that in the months and years ahead life will return almost to normal. We’ll go back to our lives and routines and that is good.

Even grief recedes with time and grace.

But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. We will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.

Some will remember an image of a fire or story or rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.

And I will carry this. It is the police shield of a man named George Howard who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others.

It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. It is my reminder of lives that ended and a task that does not end.

I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.

God Bless America.