OBAMA'S NUMBERS PLUNGE
LAST WEEK WE PROMISED TO FOCUS
ON THIS HEADLINE IN THIS ISSUE:
"OBAMA'S NUMBERS PLUNGE"
And that is certainly a valid issue for concern.
It is desirable -- in fact it has always been the
intent of the form of government which we
enjoy, as expressed from the earliest days of
our nation's Founding Fathers -- that the
administration in power should function within
the will and expressed desire of the American
But that is not the situation in which we find
ourselves today. Perhaps as clear a voice as
an expression of this concern is the reaction
of a retired US Marine General in commenting
last week on the heavy handed techniques of
the Obama administration in managing some
of the president's proposals before Congress:
"When will the general population catch on?"
And that is the real question. The encouraging
aspect is that the general population -- the voters
who helped put this administration into power --
are in fact beginning to catch on. As Senators
and Congressmen returned from the July 4 recess
they demonstrated strong reactions to what they
had learned from their visits back in their districts.
One long time Washington observer spoke of the
returning members of Congress as "shell shocked
from the citizen outrage in response to the 'cap
and trade' energy tax."
This has been called the "age of the poll."
And that has both good and bad aspects, but
overall it is helpful to understand just how people
feel about political candidates, elected officials
and government programs, for example. And
here is where we have begun to see some sharp
changes in the public's perception of those items.
Public opinion of various elements of our
national government are changing slowly --
but are deteriorating -- including approval and
disapproval ratings for the US Congress, for
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, for House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and most sharply of all,
for President Barack Obama. His daily approval
rating index has fallen from a high in the +20 or
higher range on Inauguration Day, all the way to
a -6 to -8 range at present. In other polls which
measure the president's performance in handling
the economy, a majority of the public -- more than
50% -- gave the president a rating of "C" or lower.
As for the nation's optimism rating on economic
prospects, it fell 9% during July to a low of below
50%. Just yesterday, this was the headline which
described the current USA Today/Gallup poll on
the president's approval rating: "Obama's Approval
In that poll the president's approval ratings have
fallen to a level which places him in 10th place
out of the 12 post-war presidents whose approval
was measured at the same point of time in office.
Included in the reasons for such major drops are
public disapproval of the health plan he is trying
to force through Congress, the excessive levels
of government spending required by his programs,
the growth of federal government interference in
their lives, and the apparently failed stimulus plan.
This very mild evaluation may be made:
regardless of the president's daily (at least!) TV
appearances, the American public is increasingly
unhappy with his administration's performance to
date -- and does not like what it has heard about
some of the new proposals being considered by
However, this may also be said: the approval or
disapproval of its performance by the American
public apparently means nothing to the Obama
administration which continues to devise new
programs to be forced through the Congress by
whatever means possible, ethical or non-ethical.
And although it is not immediately evident, the
answer to the Marine General's question is that
the time of "catching on" is coming and it is
hopefully not too late. One example is the
"hate crimes" bill which the Senate voted to
relabel as an amendment to the Defense
Authorization bill (no connection, of course).
In other words, Majority Leader Harry Reid
found a way to work around the rules and to
prevent an honest vote on a controversial bill.
In practice this new law can, for example, take
away the right of free speech by the nation's
pastors in preaching against , or even quoting
the Bible on the subject of homosexuality.
Whether this is our opinion or not, it is
certainly President Obama's opinion that his
proposed health care plan merits primary
attention in every form of news media. The
daily stories of this person or that organization
speaking in opposition to the concept are buried
in the "full court press" attack by the team of
Obama, Pelosi and Reid to force passage of a
Congress approved bill to meet the president's
demand to have one on his desk by August.
Rather than create a new clarifying explanation
of the fallacy underlying this matter, we here offer
as a "mini editorial" this summary from an IBD
Editorial which appeared last week:
"America has a health care crisis. No, we don't.
Forty-seven million people lack insurance. Of the
remaining 85% of the population, or 258 million
people, polls show high satisfaction with the
current coverage. Indeed, a 2006 poll by ABC
News, the Kaiser Family Foundation and USA
Today found 89% of Americans were happy with
their own health care.
"As for the estimated 47 million not covered by
health insurance, 20 million can afford to buy it,
according to a study by former CBO Director
June O'Neill. Most of the other 27 million are
single and under 35, with as many as a third
"When it's all whittled down, as few as 12
million are unable to buy insurance — less
than 4% of a population of 305 million. For
this we need to nationalize 17% of our nation's
$14 trillion economy and change the current
care that 89% like?"
We could not have said it more clearly.
A good and important question to ask:
We know that members of Congress -- Senators
and Representatives -- enjoy the finest health
care available anywhere in the world. Right now
when versions of the president's controversial
health care plans are being discussed, phone
your Senators and Representative, and ask if
the health insurance plan they are voting to inflict
on everyone in this country will also apply to
them. In other words, are they voting to give
the rest of us a form of health care rationing,
while they continue to have the absolute finest
health care available anywhere? Their phone
number is: (202)224-3121. Simply ask to speak
to your Senator or Representative.
Meanwhile, where is the church in all this?
There is so much news coverage of the "Mega
Churches," so much attention to the glamorous
life style their preachers demonstrate, that the
faithful pastors of small churches who serve
and preach to a few hundred members are
Marie Jon, writing in Renew America Newsletter
commented: "The evangelical mega-churches
have become entertainment centers where
God's Word is lost amongst the contemporary
music and the jokes that glibly roll off the
tongues of pastors who appear to be auditioning
for American Idol." On the same subject. Ray
Pritchard, writing last week in Church Leader
Gazette, asked: "If Christian fellowship is
considered to be shaking hands and asking
about your church friends' week and then
sitting down and singing and listening to
preaching and then going home, how is that
any different than going to the bar and seeing
familiar faces over a couple of beers?"
The point is that today the church has become
voiceless and powerless in being able to cope
with the challenges which the historic Christian
American way of life is being forced to face.
Part of the failure of the church may be seen in
a recent evaluation of the nation's "Mega Church"
pastors who are portrayed in the media as leaders
of the American Christian church. According to
the latest Leadership Network Survey, only 14%
of those who lead churches of more than 2,000
describe themselves as "pastor or spiritual guide."
Instead 81% consider themselves as "preacher-
teacher," with 51% claiming the "directional
leader" label. As for their actual ministry, 79%
consider their greatest gift as preaching, with
only 10% saying they are best as at "offering
counsel or spiritual direction."
Somehow we have got to get back to the way
Jesus spoke of the Church He was building, a
force so powerful that the gates of Hell would
not be able to withstand their attacks -- a Church
He conceived of as an aggressive irresistible
force, not merely a facility for entertainment and
Subjects we didn't discuss this week, but
probably should have: (1) Those 30 "Czars" in
the White House, under the best headline of
the week - "Czar 54, where are you?" (2) The
Middle-east story that created much attention,
where the president who says he doesn't like to
meddle the affairs of other counties, ordered
the State of Israel to cease construction of
buildings within the City of Jerusalem. (3) The
friendly, lovable Muslims with whom we are
urged to work together in common causes,
bombed Western hotels in Indonesia, a Roman
Catholic cathedral in the Philippines, and held a
major conference in Chicago with the theme.
"The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam."
(4) Al Gore's latest psychobabble defense of
his Global Warming theory, and (5) The proposal
for the US Congress in the midst of debates on
serious matters to adopt a resolution to honor the
life, music and dances of Michael Jackson. And
there were the hearings for soon-to-be Justice
Sotomayor -- not much of a controversy on this
issue; candidates could have been proposed who
were less qualified or more qualified. If a female
were deemed essential, TV's Judge Judy comes
to mind. There is apparently nothing wrong with
performing on TV as the main qualification --
comedian Al Franken made it to the US Senate.
A word for today from a Founding Father:
"As a man is said to have a right to his property,
he may be equally said to have a property in
his rights. Where an excess of power prevails,
property of no sort is duly respected. No man is
safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties,
or his possessions." -- James Madison, 1792
Some Random Afterthoughts . . .
Apparently you still enjoy them, so here
are a few more "one liners" we found this week:
"Chicago has its coolest July 8 in 118 years.
This is global warming?" (Chicago Tribune,
"We talk of the Second Coming; half the world
has never heard of the first." (Oswald J. Smith)
“The Fed, in my opinion, has zilch idea about
monetary policy.” (Marc Faber)
"The healthcare reform plan--as currently
written --would result in the largest expansion
of abortion since Roe v. Wade." (Tom Minnery)
"Franken, a clown for all seasons, arrives in
time." (Wesley Pruden)
What don't we know about Mr. Obama?
According to World Net Daily, some of the
documentation still unavailable includes: his
kindergarten records, his Punahou school
records, his Occidental College records, his
Columbia University records, his Columbia
thesis, his Harvard Law School records, his
Harvard Law Review articles, his scholarly
articles from the University of Chicago, his
passport, his medical records, his files from
his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois
State Bar Association records, any baptism
records, and his adoption records. To date,
every attempt to obtain such basic information
about the President of the United States has
been rejected -- often by courts. Can anyone
come up with a valid reason why such secrecy
about his life still persists? As American citizens
don't we have the right to know the basic facts
They have done it again! The American
Episcopal Church has taken what must surely
be almost the final step to remove it from any
semblance of orthodoxy -- by a huge margin
they have voted to revoke their previous intent
not to ordain any more openly homosexual
bishops and clergy. The new resolution said
in part that “God has called and may call”
gays and lesbians in lifelong committed
relationships “to any ordained ministry in the
Episcopal Church.” In addition to permitting
bishops blessing same sex marriages, it was
decided that a study should begin to develop
wording for prayers at such services to be
included in the Book of Common Prayer.
The radical actions took place despite the
statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury at
the opening of the convention, "I hope and
pray that there won't be decisions in the
coming days that could push us further apart."
In taking this action, the Episcopal Church has
displayed its determination to defy Scripture,
tradition, and the strong views of its fellow
churches in the worldwide Anglican communion.
Prior to the convention, presiding Bishop
Schori deplored what she called "the great
Western heresy -- that we can be saved as
individuals, that any of us alone can be in
right relationship with God." As membership
in the Episcopal Church continues on its down
trend, the new American Anglican Council will
doubtless be showing substantial new growth.
A new weekly feature might be in order:
We would title it "Whatever happened to."
The first nominee for this new feature could
reference the president's promise of earmark
reform. "It is easy to recall that in March, when
signing the Omnibus Spending bill, Mr. Obama
said: "Earmarks must have a legitimate and
worthy public purpose. Each earmark must
be open to scrutiny at public hearings, where
members will have to justify their expense to
the taxpayer." Thus, the new feature would
easily look like this: "Whatever happened to:
the president's promise of earmark reform?"
Imagine life without Joe Biden, (we have
already considered the dullness of life without
Al Gore). This week Joe produced another
memorable gaffe: "To those who say that our
economic decisions 'have not produced jobs,
have not produced and simply have not
worked' I say, take a look around...we have to
go spend money to keep from going bankrupt."
It must keep the president busy, just reversing
(if there are any he doesn't agree with) VP Joe's
A Founding Father's somber warning:
"In those wretched countries where man
cannot call his tongue his own, he can
scarce call anything his own. Whoever would
overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin
by subduing the freeness of speech."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1779
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