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Obama May be the ‘Black’ John F. Kennedy

jfkobama-photo1

I was speaking with a colleague recently and asked him about the parallels between Obama and Kennedy.

The similarities are startling.

In 1960 Kennedy’s campaign staff knew that John F. Kennedy would defeat Richard Nixon, and it was confirmed just before their first televised debate – a debate where Nixon looked old and tired, offering the same tired solutions. Sound familiar?

The then Senator Kennedy, a Democrat, was a fresh face from Massachusetts, much like Obama from Illinois. Eventually, Kennedy’s solid performance in the debate boosted his standing in the polls. Moreover, the image of Kennedy we see is considered to be one of the most dynamic images in U.S. presidential history. Nixon, conversely, looked terrible during the debate. Nixon’s appearance cost him votes that night, despite a solid intellectual performance. Separate surveys later demonstrated this. Among those voters polled who watched the debate on television, a majority thought Kennedy won the debate. However, among those voters polled who listened to the debate on radio, a majority thought Nixon won the debate. The key here, as was the case with Obama and McCain, was that separation was achieved in the minds of the American people in favor of the younger, fresher, more appealing Democrat.

The question to ask now is whether or not President-elect Barack Obama is on the same political road as Kennedy. It may be too soon to tell, but the beginnings of a big change in American politics, and in public policy, seems afoot.

Obama attracted new voters in large numbers, primarily African-Americans and young voters ages 18-21. He also attracted young couples and young, urban professionals that became a twenty year base for the Democratic party.

Some elements of the answer are even more apparent: his high-toned oratory, his promises of reconciliation in a divisive time, a background in community organizing that suggests both idealism and a talent for problem-solving. When answering the charge that the Illinois senator lacks the record of achievement befitting a White House aspirant, Obama’s backers often stack him next to JFK. Obama is 44, they note, older than JFK was when he ran. Skeptics derided JFK, as they now do Obama, as callow and ill-versed in substantive issues. And yet Obama, similar to JFK, manages to inspire people with sex appeal, cerebral cool headedness, and a message of generational change. Maybe the most important aspect of Kennedy mirrored in Obama may be the way that JFK handled his Catholicism. In the 1960 campaign, Kennedy turned his religion from a liability into an asset. Obama did the same thing with his race.

We can only hope their presidencies don’t end the same way.

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Filed under Democratic Party, Election 2008, Politics

Your Morning Cereal – Man Tries ‘Wile E. Coyote’ Rocket Car Stunt

The Arizona Highway Patrol discovered a pile of smoldering metal embedded in the side of a cliff (I told you this was a ‘Wile E. Coyote’ stunt…and I wasn’t joking.)

The wreckage was first thought to be an airplane crash, but it was in fact, a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. Later, investigators finally pieced together the cause.

An amateur rocket scientist, and I do mean amatuer, had gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off), military rocket. These are used to give heavy military transport planes extra boost on short runways. He drove his 1967 Chevy Impala out into the desert, to a long stretch of road. He proceeded to attach the JATO unit to the car, and fire it. 

The results were unsuccesful for the driver.

It was determined that the driver ignited the JATO approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. The distance calculated by the scorched and melted asphalt at that location.

The JATO, reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, and a top speed of 350 mph, for a duration of 25 seconds. The driver, along for the ride and probably mercifully unconscious when the car hit the cliff in mid air, could only be identified by some scraps of hair and teeth recovered at the crash site.

The automobile did manage to stay on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles before becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff at a height of 125 feet.

Wile E. Coyote would be proud.

Read the full article at SlapHappyNews.com

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Ellen DeGeneres Marries Girlfriend in L.A.

Afternoon talk show host Ellen DeGeneres married her life partner, actress Portia de Rossi, at their home in Los Angeles this past Saturday. 

DeGeneres, 50, and de Rossi, 35, exchanged their own vowes at  small ceremony, after dating for about four years. During that time they have been open about their relationship.

DeGeneres announced her plans to marry de Rossi, on her daytime talk show in May after California’s Supreme Court overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage.

If you remember, it was DeGeneres who broke the ‘gay’ T.V. barrier in 1997 when her television character came out of the closet on her sitcom “Ellen.” Afterward, she disappeared for a bit from T.V., but has resurrected her career.

I say good for her, as this is more proof that love cannot be simply legislated away. People who think homosexuality is a conscious lifestyle choice made to impress people, are wrong-headed. In Ellen’s case, she is finally able to express here love for here mate, and vice-versa, the way all other people who are in love, choose to express it…through marriage. 

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An Interesting Post on One Man’s Rejection of Christianity

This post is re-printed from the ‘Top Stories Forum’ on Topix. We have only re-produced a snippet here. If you want to read all four parts (and I reccomend you do), follow this link.

Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part One

I was raised from my infancy by deeply religious people, surrounded by a family full of Baptist preachers, deacons and missionaries. I myself was baptized, as well as I can recall, at about the age of ten.

I can remember being struck by the fact that everyone around me at the time – and I do mean everyone – kept telling me that what I had just experienced was the most important event of my life, and that everything else I would ever do would shrink to insignificance alongside it. I was receiving the power of the Lord. It was a special time for me.

Well, I enjoyed all the attention, as any kid would, but I remember wondering: Why don’t I feel any different, myself? I thought about my attitudes, my perceptions, the circumstances of my life, and I couldn’t think of a single thing that was any different, now that I was one with Jesus. No matter how hard I tried to find something new and meaningful, there was nothing. It was a hollow, empty, and lonely sensation, and surprisingly so. It was not what I had expected at all.

I concluded after a time that I must not be doing something right. Everyone around me seemed so confident and secure in their faith and mine so tenuous in comparison, I felt left out. The shortcoming, I decided, must be mine. I must be missing something.

I resolved to try harder. I devoted myself to Bible study and prayer. I sensed that everyone around me would be horrified if I were to express any of these reservations I was feeling, so I kept them to myself. I suppressed them, and did my best to forget them altogether.

The years went by and I attended services regularly but somehow I never quite shook the uneasy sense, in the back of my mind, that I had never truly felt the presence of a transcendent being – Jesus, God, or anyone at all.

I remained outwardly compliant, but inwardly I began to feel isolated and as much as I tried to banish this feeling, it persisted. As I reached adulthood it intensified until I became aware that, despite my best efforts, it was not going to go way. More troubling still was the bulk of doubts I began to feel about matters of doctrine. I began to doubt, among many other things, the true value of grace.

Visit Topix at this link to read the rest…

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Filed under Christian Fundamentalists, Culture, Politics, Religion

Your Morning Cereal – An Effective Way to Protest

A throng of mostly bare skin bike riders protested the U.S. dependency on foreign oil in a public park in St. Louis.

 Hundreds of bicyclists, mostly nude, were a sight ot see for curious spectators in St. Louis’ Tower Grove Park this past Saturday. The event was billed as a 10-mile ”World Naked Bike Ride.”

Thank goodness it was warm out.

The ride has been staged in 70 cities worldwide since 2004 as a way for those concerned citizens to protest society’s dependence on oil.

Police were on hand to ensure the riders wore the bare minimum, which included thongs, pasties, loin cloths, bathing suits and body paint.

 Read full article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch

 

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Iran Escalates ‘War-Like’ Rhetoric Over Strait of Hormuz

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohammad Ali Jafari, has issued a warning that Iran could easily cut off a key Persian Gulf shipping route.

Iran’s unofficial state media claims Iran has tested a naval missile capable of destroying any ship within 190 miles.

“The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has recently tested a naval weapon with a 300 km range in which no vessel would be safe and would be sent to the depths…”

Iran is also reporting recent showdowns between US and Iranian ships.

“Enemies know that we are easily able to block the Strait of Hormuz for unlimited period”, Jafari said. “The strait and vessels are in range of our various weapons.”

“In view of the proximity of the Strait of Hormuz … to our shores, this distance is within the range of an assortment of weapons and its closure for us is very feasible and we face no limitations from the point of view of time,” he said.

Foreign policy analysts say such sabre rattling may be overstated given the Iranian claims surrounding a recent missile test were later revealed to be overstated.

Read the full article at RawStory

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Filed under Congress, Democratic Party, Economy, Energy, George Bush, Politics, Republican Party, War in Iraq

Is the McCain Campaign Just Plain Snakebit?

The McCain campaign can’t seem to do anything right.

Whether it’s microphones not working at a recent town hall meeting, to a reported flat tire on his campaign bus, “The Straight Talk Express,’ to money troubles, to needling Barack Obama to visit Iraq, then whining about the subsequent lack of media attention as a result of the trip, John McCain can’t seem to do anything right. And the conseqeunces are beginning to take their toll.

John McCain’s negative attacks on Barack Obama haven’t resulted in any traction whatsoever, so now his campaign has resorted to just making things up.

McCain’s latest charge is that that Obama is responsible for high fuel prices at the pump. Yet that snake venom is evident once again, as prices started dropping almost the day McCain made the remarks.

Maybe the McCain campaign is running out of gas.

All of this has resulted in a lack of media coverage for John McCain. In fact, major news stories about Obama outpace McCain by a margin of 4 to 1!  At least McCain is complaining for a good reason.

This was bolstered by Obama’s favorable media coverage of his trip to Europe and the Middle East, where he looked presidential as he rubbed elbows with world leaders and dignitaries, as if he had already won the presidency.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, McCain landed in New Hampshire and was met at the airport by a lone reporter.

That qualifies as a bad sign, I think.

McCain is whining that the media is ignoring him, but the fact of the matter is that his talking points are flawed and somewhat flat. Why would anybody want to pay attention? Maybe the media, and in fact the country, is finally realizing that that McCain and the Republican Party, have nothing new to offer, except more of the same.

Bad luck and blunders have a way of draining the life out of any campaign. McCain should thank his lucky stars that the media is still covering him at all! Even McCain’s major gaffes are ignored at this point. For example, the media has not called McCain out on his major foreign policy errors, including his belief that there is an Iraq-Pakistan border? CBS News edited out part of his interview with Katie Couric when McCain bungled the Anbar timeline. He also thinks Czechoslovakia still exists. Then there was the McCain’s trip abroad, when he didn’t know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite.

Whew.

A piece of advice for the McCain campaign: Sometimes you need to change what you are doing in order to manufacture some of your own good luck, and the media will follow. Stop trying to pick a philosophical fight about who has the most experience. McCain may be older and wiser, but Obama is winning the battle on who has better judgment. 

At this point, the only person the media likes less than McCain is Bush, and that’s not saying much. 

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Filed under Democratic Party, Election 2008, Foreign Policy, George Bush, Politics, Republican Party