Chris Christie is not the Only Winner for the GOP

Earlier this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that he would not seek the Presidency in 2012.  Certain members of the Republican Party and other conservative mainstays like Ann Coulter are now disappointed.  Perhaps the most outspoken is Republican Strategist Bill Kristol who stated, and I quote:

"If any of them honestly thinks he could win the nomination and the presidency, and would be a better candidate and a better president than the rest of the Republican field—and if there are no show-stopping medical or family issues—doesn’t that public official have some obligation to step up to the plate?

"You don’t have to “feel deeply in [your] heart” that you’re called to run for president. You have to think you’re the right man for the job. And, if that’s the case, you have a duty to your country to step forward." (1)

Look, I think Christie would be a great candidate.  I like his frankness and I like his politics.  I think he would mop the proverbial floor with Obama in the general election.  However, I think other people would also mop the floor with Obama, including Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin.  There is no one person we need to beat Obama.

The question may be asked "who is that one person who can really baet Obama?"  The answer is, quite simply, a dyed in the wool conservative.  It doesn't have to be Christie. It could be Cain or Bachmann or Palin.  Obama is in a free fall and he is headed for a big loss in 2012.  As I said in May of this year, I Hope They Run Obama.  It's our chance to get a real conservative elected. 

Christie would qualify, by the way.  He's not as conservative as I'd like, for the record, he's in that Rockefeller Republican category with a conservative tilt.   That said, he has the huevos to do what needs done and the frankness to convince people to follow him. 

The reality, by the way, is that Christie would be the best thing that ever happened to Rick Perry.  He's not going to take Perry's voters, he'll take Romney's voters...the moderate Rockefeller Republican types, not Rick Perry's voters.  Perry is fighting for the conservative vote.

I like Christie.  I would be happy to support him, and if he changes his mind, he'll join Bachmann and Perry (and possibly Palin if she runs) in the battle for my vote.  He isn't the only guy who can beat Obama.  So many people could beat Obama it's staggering.  We could bring George H.W. Bush out of retirement and run him and HE could beat Obama.  I've said over and over again, Foghorn Leghorn could beat Obama.  Christie not entering isn't devastating to conservatives (at least one's not named Ann Coulter).

(1) It’s Not About You

what's your outlet?

(This was originally posted on May 17, 2010.)

what is your outlet?
you know, what you do to blow off steam and forget all your cares? 

that thing you do that you just lose yourself in. 

that thing that when you're doing it you can forget everything else - all your frustrations and cares and just get away from it all. almost to another world.

i heard some pastors talking about this over the weekend. their outlet was running marathons and that kind of crap and i was just like "you're crazy." but it was a good reminder to me that we all need our own outlets. something that works for each of us.

usually when i'm so frustrated or bummed or life is so crazy that i just need to "get away"... i can get away with just me and God. maybe just to a quiet room, to my porch swing, to some beautiful spot... and i can just pour my heart out to Him! it's beautiful. it's amazing. i can "cast all my cares on Him."

that's also what a good date night is for sometimes. i have an amazing wife. she lets me dump all my frustrations on her and she listens and comforts me and attempts to cheer me back up.

but neither one of those are really an "outlet". they are people. (which are probably better long term solutions.)
Sometimes nothing is really "wrong", we just need to blow off some steam. just get away from it all - to an outlet.

For me it's definitely soccer. as a kid and even a high schooler (and beyond) soccer was my "god". Not so much after i lost both my knees (cartilage). but i definitely still love the game. can't play it very well anymore but i love to play it so much. i can still lose myself in a soccer game. it's a beautiful thing. i get wrapped up in every facet of the game and lose myself in it.

So, i'm thankful to recognize it as a healthy outlet for me. i'm heading to my soccer game tonight in about 10 minutes. great timing too because i really need to blow off some steam and take out some frustrations. (i'm thankful i can do this instead of beating my dog... jk)

whoever woulda thought soccer can be so spiritual? but so can fishing or hunting or video games or reading or even running... or whatever your outlet is.

No, Governor Perdue, We Should NOT Suspend Elections

In case you've missed the latest liberal Democrat's lousy suggestion, Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina has suggested that we suspend Congressional elections for two years so that congress can just "get things done" without consequences.

The speech, which you can hear at the Daily Caller in it's entirety, was claimed to be "a joke."  Listen to the's absolutely not a joke. It's a serious recommendation from a Democrat governor which would cause our Founding Fathers to turn over in their graves. We have never suspended elections in case of war, or depression, so why would we suspend elections because of an economic downturn?

The answer is, of course, we absolutely should not ever cancel and election, and should only postpone under the most extreme circumstances...which we have yet to see.  To give you a stark example: Mayor Rudy Guliani's term ended three months after the September 11, 2001 after he did not run for a third term in November of 2001, feeling his serving of two terms was his personal limit.  They did not postpone that election or postpone his replacement's inauguration.  Anyone who would claim that our current circumstances are worse than 9/11 is nothing but a sophist.

The truth is the Democrat party and Governor Perdue are aware that the 2012 Congressional elections could make the 2010 Shelacking seem like a small loss.  Nothing at the ballot box has suggested otherwise, from the 2009 elections of Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia to the thumping in 2010 to the loss of Anthony Weiner's seat in Queens, NY, we see that the Left is on the run. 

This fact is the real shade of this comment.  "We're going to get shellacked know what...let's not have elections...that get things done and stuff...for the American people.  Yeah, that's it.  Get stuff done for the American people."

Bottom line: Our founders intended elected officials to be constantly under accountability via regular elections.  Especially the People's House, the House of Representatives.  Governor Perdue, we will not suspend elections.  You and your party better prepare yourselves for another electoral shelacking at the ballot box in 2012.

an observation

Crystal and i were in a child birthing class the past 2 weeks. about 30 people in my class and here was my observation that will blow your mind:

There were NO non-pregnant people in the child birth class.
Out of 30 people in this class, every single one of them were pregnant. (of course there were husbands there... but only husbands of pregnant ladies.)

i warned you that this observation would blow your mind, right?

OF COURSE there were no non-pregnant people in the class. that would be kind of weird. why would they take a child birthing class? That's not a class you take just to go ahead and be prepared BEFORE you get pregnant.

2 years ago... or even 1 year ago... or even 7 months ago if someone tried to get me to go to a child birthing class i would have looked at them like they were crazy!
but now... when we're pregnant - SIGN ME UP because i want to know this stuff.

it's all about timing. people don't take a child birthing class before they're pregnant because they don't need to know this stuff until they're about to have a baby.

this is the same observation my pastor has pointed out to me many times. it goes something like this. "People only learn on a need to know basis." they only pay attention and really want to know when the timing necessitates it.

like being pregnant necessitates some new knowledge... but i would have never paid attention to that before.

it's that way in all of life. people don't really feel like they need to know until they NEED to know.

so what could we do about that? how could we capture their attention before they feel like they need to know? 
when it comes to making some of the message of Jesus appear relevant (because it already is relevant) at certain times to people = is it kind of like trying to sell a birthing class to non-pregnant people?

and how can we sync the right people at the right time with what they need to know when they feel like they need to know it?

or maybe we just keep giving them the message and they'll come back to us when they feel like they NEED it. we can't predict the timing so we just set up systems to constantly give the message... so they know where to go looking when they feel like they need it.

i knew where to sign up for a birthing class.

"Racist" Tea Party Helps Herman Cain to FL Straw Poll Victory

The Tea Party is so racist, especially in the south, that they just helped a black man win the Florida Straw Poll...wait...what?  How could the "racist" Tea Party support a black man, if it's all about race?

While you ponder that statement, explain why the same "racist" conservatives (who would eventually form the Tea Party) do their best to defeat John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Lyndon Johnson, especially because all but Kerry were/are southern white men?

Of course, the Tea Party was never racist, and conservatives never opposed Obama because he was black.  Frankly, the people who expect others to support Obama and never criticize him BECAUSE he's black are the racist ones.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party and conservatives in general want candidates who support small government and original Constitutional values.  We will happily support a black man or woman, or a white man or woman, or an Asian man or woman, or a purple man or woman or a polka-dotted man or woman (provided he or she is meets the Constitutional requirements for the Presidency) if they have a) experiences that make them qualified to be President (public or private sector experience are both acceptable) and b) good ideas/values for governing.

Herman Cain fits those criteria.  He has executive experience running Burger King Corporation and Godfather's Pizza and he has good ideas/values for governing like his 9/9/9 plan. 

You know who didn't have experiences who qualified him to be President?  Mr. Community Organizer and Vote Present in the Illinois State Senate and U.S. Senate, Barrack Obama.  You know who didn't have good ideas/values for governing?  Mr. Obamacare, Keynsian Redistributionist, Government Spending can grow the economy Barrack Obama.

Congratulations to Mr. Cain, and thank you.  It shows once again how ad homonym and false the "racist" claims against us in the Tea Party continue to be.  Also, I may have to change my stock picks on Mr. Cain in my next debate response, as he's apparently now rising to the top. 

I'd love to see Mr. Cain run against Obama, if only because it would fly in the face of the "racist Tea Party" claims the Left seems loathe to retract.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'd love to see Cain on the 2012 GOP ticket.  Meanwhile, liberals, drop the "racist" claims.  At this point, you just sound like darn fools.

something that's always true of you

you are loved.

no matter who you are. no matter where you live or what language you speak.

no matter what you've done or haven't done.

you are loved by God no matter what.

just because you're His kid.

just because.

Ron Paul is Good for the Conservative Movement

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is running for President again, and you can pretty much guarantee he hasn't a snowball's chance in July of being the Republican nominee. It's an exercise we've been through once before in 2008.  We're going to see the same result in 2012.  That said, I'm glad Ron Paul is around, because he's great for conservatism.

I know, Ron Paul isn't a conservative, he's a libertarian. Libertarianism and conservatism are kind of cousin philosophies. In terms of fiscal policy, there is a lot of the same type of policies advocated (although often for different reasons).  In terms of size of government, libertarians also support small, unintrusive government, just like conservatism.  The place conservatism and libertarianism differ is either on social issues and sometimes defense.

I've said for some time now that I agree with Paul on about 80% of issues.  It's the other 20% where we start to differ...often greatly.  So how, pray tell, could Paul be so very good for conservatism?  I'll tell you the answer:  young people.

Ron Paul is getting college students and high school students and people in their 20s excited about small government!  They are getting excited about personal responsibility and government staying the heck out of their lives!  They're becoming enthralled with doing it themselves and not needing government!

It's a wonderful trend.  When I went to college, there were College Republicans, but finding true dyed in the wool conservatives was a much rarer occurrence.  Now we've got small government becoming cool, and we've got Ron Paul to thank for that.

I don't want Ron Paul as my President, but I am very happy to have him in my party.  Anyone who preaches small government and personal responsibility is good for America, and good for the conservative movement.  So thank you, Congressman Paul, for fighting for small government and personal responsibility.  We can keep disagreeing on 20% of issues, but as for the 80%, I'm glad to have you on our side.

when it was all gravy

"it's all gravy".

you know what i mean by that, right? when it's all "extra". when you got what you expected (potatoes) but then there's something extra on top of that expectation (the gravy).

it happens in life a LOT and i love it. i love the gravy.
for me the phrase is very similar to "Playing with house money."

just have fun & enjoy it because it's all extra anyway. it's above expectations. like when an underdog comes through. you didn't even expect them to be in the game, but they actually did well? wow. that was all gravy. OR the freshman kid who starts on Varsity = everything he does is all gravy.

when there are no expectations with people there are great opportunities for gravy. no expectations for that person to perform, but then they actually do... well, that was all gravy.

*I wish I could go back to 16 or 18 or 21 or even 24 and know what I know now… 

i wish i could go back to stages of my life when it was ALL GRAVY. because those were the days and i don't think i even realized it.
nobody really expected much from me because i was young. so if i did anything halfway decent it was like, "whoa". (spelled "a-l-l  g-r-a-v-y")

i've thought about it a few times. if i could just go back with what i know now... with the awareness of what i've figured out... with the little experience i've gained... that would be awesome. i could really pile on the gravy.

i've been reading a book this year (and a lot over the weekend) called The Pocket Guide to Adulthood: 29 Things to Know Before You Hit 30
reading it has prompted me to think about this a little more. because, in your 20s, in a lot of ways, there's still a lot of gravy to be had. but (from my perspective) not so much once you hit 30.
& this realization hit me - "dude, you're 28. 30 is hunting you down. forget the gravy. where's the actual potatoes? it's not all extra anymore. you just gotta bring it from now on. what have you been waiting on?"
i know it was this kind of thinking that contributed to my 4 month "mid life crisis" at the end of last year. so, i'm not dwelling on it. i'm not bummed by it. i'm just motivating myself with it. because i want to look back at 38 and see something drastically different than looking back at 28.

but still. "if only" i could go back in time... know what i know now... do it over... could be some serious gravy

but I can’t know what I know now without living these years/experiences. 
I guess that’s the whole point.

Letter Bag: Christianity is not Liberal Faith

Time for another installation response to a commentator on Biblical Conservatism!  Today, we have an anonymous comment from the post Republicans Should Block This Jobs Bill! Block it Immediately!.  In keeping with Biblical Conservatism tradition as it pertains to anonymous comments, I will be referring to our nameless friend as Chewbacca for the sake of this post. Now, to the comment:

"There is no such thing as a compassionate conservative. True Christians are liberals." - Anonymous

Wow, Chewbacca, just wow.  There's some great liberal civility on display, now isn't there? 

But seriously, Chewie, it seems to me that you define compassion as intention, and only applicable when doled out by government. This is where we differ. Conservatives are incredibly compassionate people.  For the record, I believe the typical Neighborhood Liberal is also very compassionate. The difference, however, is that conservatives expect results from our compassion, not just good intentions.

Government is notoriously bad at taking care of the needy. The statistic has been prominent for decades now that government spends only about $.35 for every $1 on care for the needy.  Private charities like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the like are able to give $.85 of every $1 on care for the needy.  Some private charities are able to give as much as $.95 on the $1 to the needy.  That's a staggering difference! 

The reason for this, Chewbacca, is twofold.  One, private charities operate largely with volunteers and that cuts their overhead.  Two, and more importantly, private charities can allow themselves to be taken advantage of, because they are giving charity, not welfare.  Private charities spend donations, not compulsory taken taxes.  Government cannot allow itself to be taken advantage of because they are spending other people's money, thus they have to put up red tape to prevent fraud (they fail miserably at it too).  Hence government is quite inefficient at caring for the needy!

Also, and this is even more important for you to understand, Chewie, compassion is not making poverty comfortable.  The problem with our system is it makes poverty a comfortable state, one that people are willing to kick back into poverty and just stay there.  Charity is about providing needs to those in poverty.  Compassion is not keeping people comfortable in poverty but giving them the means to meet their needs until they can lift themselves out of poverty. 

As far as "all true Christians" being liberal, I'm afraid you need to go read your Bible again.  Liberalism teaches that the government should care for the needy, and calls that compassion.  The Bible never says "give your money to the government, let the government care for the needy."  Ever.  The Bible tells people "you care for the poor."  It tells farmers not to glean the edge of their fields so that the needy can just walk up and help themselves to food.  It tells people to give alms to the poor as they are able.  Directly, Chewbacca, not via government.  YOU give to the poor. Then of course there's the part in the Bible that has a progressive tithing system, right?  Wait...the tithe is 10% across the board?  That sounds like a flat tax to me, doesn't it sound like that to you, Chewie, and isn't that a conservative principle?

I wrote an extensive treatment on this subject which I called Treatise on Biblical Conservatism.  I'd ask you to read it, as it contains direct scripture quotes to back my argument.

In short, Chewbacca, I do not doubt your legitimate compassion.  However I think your faith in government to care for the government is poorly placed.  Your heart is in the right place, my friend, I truly believe that, but your desires do not achieve compassionate results.  It only creates compassionate intentions.

Chewie, I would tell you that it is possible to be a liberal or a conservative and be a Christian, because God is not political.  However, His government for Israel was a localized, Federalist, conservative government.  I stand on the same premise I began this blog:  God is a conservative, and if God is a conservative, it's hard to say that Christians cannot be one.

Comments are always welcomed on posts, provided they are in line with the Rules for Comments.  Please note any comment may become subject matter for a future post, as my personal interest and news cycles require. 

an old talk that still affects me

(This is a repost from October 13, 2009.)
One of my favorite leaders and communicators is Rob Bell. I think he's the man. Me and Crystal even went to Mars Hill up in Grand Rapids ("the epicentre of progressive culture" as Rob would say) a few years ago to check out what God was doing there.

You've no doubt seen or at least heard of Rob's Noomas. I think they're brilliant and think more and more people should be exposed to them. He's releasing some revolutionary new "noomaesque" stuff that will be totally free soon. More on that in another post.
I've got all his books and love them. You may have read one - Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, or the most recent Drops Like Stars... which is also the tour Rob is currently on (came through Charlotte just 4 days ago!). (You can buy his books HERE.)
He had a talk prepared that I had actually listened to a couple weeks ago = "The Importance of Beginning in the Beginning." But he scrapped it at the last second feeling a leading to talk about something else. Something from his soul he had never talked about before in public.

Anyway, nuff said for the intro.
He started off his talk with the Q = Is bigger better? Of course we would mentally say “no,” but there’s something deeper that makes us feel differently. (We talked through some of John 6:22-66.)

"That’s not why we do things – because they’re popular. We do them because God’s doing them." Right on!

And I absolutely LOVED this = God won’t say to me “Why weren’t you more like him.” No, He’ll prolly say = “Why weren’t you more like YOU?” We all need to hear that and believe it!
He told us about a take on the 10 commandments that I guess is actually pretty old. It's what the Rabbis used to say... The 1st 9 of the 10 are externally measurable. But the last is different. *The Rabbis say the 1st 9 are commands, but the 10th is a REWARD. If I obey God (the 1st 9) then I won’t want anybody else’s life! (I won't covet.) It’s a reward. My life is just fine. I was fascinated by this thought. I'm not saying I buy into something like that the 1st time I hear it, but that's a pretty good take on it. I think it makes perfect sense.

This was a great and deeply internal searching for me = "Is there ever a deep, residing anxiety in me that I haven’t accomplished enough?" My answer would have to be Absolutely. God wants to set me free from that. Don’t let what I’m building and doing become a burdern/stress on me.
A subset of that question was "Is there any way I’ve been stressed about size?" 

I was struck by this comment Rob made = "There’s a difference in me walking a hard road and carrying a stress-inducing burden. Jesus may give us a hard road, but not a stressful burden…" I thought that was REALLY interesting considering how many pastors and leaders are probably stressed out right now! I think there's a thin line between the 2, but an important one not to cross. What I'm following God to do right now is hard, no doubt, but it shouldn't be constantly stressful for me.
That was the theme throughout the talk.

*Jesus wants to set me free to enjoy the work I’m in right now. And that is very freeing. He kept nailing it with these awesome questions he kept asking me...
"Is there anywhere or any way that I’ve neglected to take care of myself because I think I’m supposed to be going all the time?" [I’m think I’m getting better and better and figuring this out.]
Does my spouse get my very best? Or does she get what’s left over after I’ve given it all to the church. My spouse will be there the whole journey. Better keep my priorities straight.

*"Jesus wants to make sure that peeps like me who are proclaiming a gospel of peace and life are actually experiencing the peace and life of Jesus." profound.
I think it was awesome for many to hear him say "Let them have their more and you just do what God's put in front of you. Be free from the big… that’s good news."

It was an awesome talk! Definitely in my top 2 or 3 of the conference. (And awesome enough for Matt Chandler to say a couple times how good it was. Wonder what his big bro Driscoll would think of that?)
It was all great stuff for me to hear (and I'm guessing for thousands of others too). Thanks for sharing, Rob, and letting this be the first place you talked about it in public. We needed it!

What do YOU think of Rob's stuff?

for pastors tomorrow

i was struck by a comment my friend Jared left on one of my posts earlier this week. the post was about humility & part of Jared's comment said...

If many pastors were honest the prayer at the end of the sermon would sound more like this:
"Dear God,
That rocked just now.  That must have been one of the best sermons I've taught in a while.  I mean, even I was a little surprised by how well that went. Thanks for making me so awesome and for everyone getting to hear that.
In my name I pray,
The Pastor" 

whoa. i think that's a great comment to read on a Saturday night. may it be very different tomorrow morning all over the world.
we must be desperately humble. we are nothing without God's power. 
i get to speak a couple times tomorrow in a couple different environments. it will suck big time without God.
so, i just hope i can get out the way and let Him do whatever He wants to do.

no coke for half a life

When i was 14 years old i drank Coke every day. i drank Coke and Pepsi and Sunkist and Sprite and on and on and on...
all day long every day.

at every meal and in between every meal i drank sodas. loved them. never dreamed i would ever stop.

When i was 14 my whole soccer team decided to not drink any soda for 30 days. just during some big tournaments that were coming up.

i did actually feel amazing for 30 days. i felt free... like weights were lifted off.

but i couldn't wait to have a Coke when the 30 days were up. i could almost taste it.

on the 31st day i poured myself a BIG glass of Coke. Watched the fizz bubble up & then go back down. filled it up again to almost overflowing...

and then...

i took a big...





and it was...


it tasted horrible. i hated it. i think i forced myself to drink it and i felt awful the rest of the day. i felt like something was burning my insides. i burped all day long. that was not cool.

i tried for a few more days to like Coke again. or any soda. but i just didn't like it.

i had formed a habit - not drinking soda. i didn't like it anymore. and i felt amazing. i felt like i could run like the wind.

so i just went with it.

and now it's 14 years later. i'm 28. and i haven't had a soda for 14 years.

half my life.

for half my life - 14 years -  i drank sodas every single day. then i took 30 days to form a new habit. and now i haven't had another soda for these past 14 years.

habits are formed in 30 days or less. that's pretty crazy. and they could be STRONG habits that affect the rest of your life.

so what kind of habit could/should you form over the next 30 days?

Dissecting the Liberal Talking Points: Legal Tax Deductions Aren't "Loopholes"

Recently, President Obama has begun talking up his plan for reducing the deficit (hint: raise taxes as much as he can get away with, say words like "fair share" a lot).  Included in this is saying "closing tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires."  Inherent in the statement is the assumption that "tax loophole" equals "cheating."

The truth, however, is far less insidious (actually, it isn't insidious at all).  What Obama is calling a "loophole" is really a legal tax deduction that is written into the Internal Revenue Code that reduces a person's total taxes paid.  (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, I can't dumb that one down enough for you, I'm sorry, just click here for some alternate amusement.  I'll try to write on a simpler topic tomorrow.) 

Some of these so-called loopholes include deducting the interest paid on your house, writing off student loan interest, and tax-free investments like municipal bonds.  Another very popular deduction is a person can deduct any charitible donations on their taxes.  Others still include the ability to have certain payroll deductions taken before tax is assessed from each paycheck, such as employee contributions to medical and their 401k plans.  Wow, these are some horrible, evil loopholes, aren't they?

Here is my point:  Every single one of these deductions are 100% legal.  Their use is legal.  They are written into the Internal Revenue Code to encourage certain activities (like buying municipal bonds) and to make certain purchases affordable (like home ownership).  When Obama calls them "loopholes" he wants you to think it's cheating the government out of money owed.  By that logic, buying peanut butter with a coupon and paying less is cheating the store.

Now you're not cheating the store by buying your jar of Skippy with a coupon, nor are you doing anything wrong by using your save $1 on two jars coupon.  Wealthy individuals aren't doing anything wrong by taking deductions specifically allowed in the tax code either nor are they doing anything wrong by accepting tax credits that are also included in the tax code.  That's not a loophole.  As a matter of fact, I would personally call someone who chooses not to take whatever tax deductions that are legally allowed in the tax code an absolute fool.

Obama's playing the class warfare game with his lines about "loopholes."  He wants you to think these legal deductions are cheating, and that is a false suggestion.  Truth is these "loopholes" are better labeled as legal tax deductions and tax credits, and anyone who calls them anything else is just playing political games.  (See: Barrack Obama.)

Dissecting the Liberal Talking Points: Warren Buffett is the Exception, Not the Rule

In Monday's Deficit Reduction speech, Obama proposed a "Buffett Rule" based on Warren Buffett's paying less taxes than his secretary. There are so many issues with that claim, and I'm pleased that the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center crunched the numbers and found the falseness in the claim. 

First and foremost, there are the facts:  Individuals who make $1,000,000 will pay approximately 29.1% in taxes after deductions, while those making $50,000-75,000 will pay 15%.  These are the IRS numbers friends.   According to an AP article on this subject:

On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government. (1)

So the wealthy actually pay significantly more taxes, both in a percentage and in net dollars. And again, before the Left starts gumming about "fair share" the wealthiest 10% pay 50% of the taxes. The only people who don't pay their fair share are the people who pay 0% in taxes and receive the majority of the benefits that are coming out of taxes from the rest of us who do pay taxes, but I digress.

The entirety of this argument is based upon a misunderstanding of taxes and tax rates. Perhaps Warren Buffett doesn't pay his full tax rate, but that's because he's pretty good at using the legal system (note: they aren't "loopholes" they are legal deductions and tax shelters) to reduce his tax payments. For the record, nothing is stopping Buffett from sending more tax money. I know I said it about a month ago, but Mr. Buffett if you want to send more money to the government, the address is:

Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220

 This entire argument is centered around a fundamental misunderstanding of taxation. First off, Buffet's annual salary is currently $100,000 (2), well below Obama's $250,000 per year "millionaire." (Apparently the President has STILL not figured out how much money is $1,000,000 and whether or not $250,000 = $1,000,000. For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, $250,000 doesn't equal $1,000,000.) Secondly, there is a major difference between income taxes and capital gains taxes. 

Income taxes are paid on salary. Salary is guaranteed to an employee from their employer as payment for services rendered. The employee contracts with the employer to provide labor in exchange for those wages. The employer then fulfills their end of the contract with wages. Unless you work on pure commission, your salary is guaranteed. There is no risk. If you are in the top tax bracket, your tax rate on income is 35%.

Now we come to Capital Gains taxes. Now there are huge differences between Capital Gains taxes and Income Taxes. One, there is no guarantee of a Capital Gains situation (that's making money on an investment, for those of you from Palm Beach.) There is also a huge chance that you lose that money. With income there is no chance of losing your money, because a) you didn't invest your money and b) you are guaranteed your paycheck, or else your employer is in breach of contract. Two, and more importantly, that money was already taxed once! It was either taxed as income at up to 35%, or it was taxed as inheritance at either 50%, or at 35%, unless it was inherited in the brief period of time when the rate was 0%, and even if it was, that money was taxed as the deceased's income or capital gains! So any money in a capital gains situation was taxed previously, and then it's taxed again at an additional 15% for being successfully invested.

In conclusion: First of all, very few CEOs are not paying less taxes than their secretary, unless their secretary's salary is more than their own (which is highly possible, since many executive assistants of Fortune 500 CEOs make more than $100,000 per year). Secondly, Capital Gains taxes are different than Income Taxes. Please write this down. Thirdly, even if Buffet does pay less than his secretary, he is the exception, not the rule. And finally, once again, if Mr. Buffet feels he isn't taxed enough that address to send the amount he feels he has under paid is:

Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220


you can change the world without cartilage

this is a BRAND new perspective for me & it's changing everything. i hope it will for you too.

All of us have circumstances that suck. things that happen that aren't fun and we WISH they didn't exist. There is a broad spectrum of these things = from things out of our control to the bad decisions we have made that create crappy circumstances in our lives. ALL of them we wish we were rid of.
We all have people in our lives we wish we didn't have to deal with. we cringe when we see them coming. There is a broad spectrum of these people too = from people who have wronged us in the past to people who are straight up jerks to us to people who just simply annoy us.

think about those specific people and circumstances for YOU right now. what are they and who are they? walk away from this blog to the other side of the room for 1 minute to make sure you have this in mind then come back...

(are you a little bit riled up or stressed out now? sorry about that.)

i'm thankful for a lot of stuff and a lot of people. i think of myself as a pretty thankful person. but it seems ludicrous, backwards, and opposite to be thankful for the crappy things and the people who are crappy to me.

but this is the brand new perspective for me. Because humility is THE most IMPORTANT thing... because it's a pretty big deal, & because it's a must for changing the world... then i want it no matter what.

& as i look back on my life - the humility i have learned has mainly come from crappy circumstances and people who were crappy to me. hasn't it been the same for you? isn't that how you learn humility?

so here's my new perspective from the old school writing (all from different chapters) of Andrew Murray:

"But let us not be discouraged [when these crappy things come]. Let us look upon every person who tries or vexes us, as God's means of GRACE, God's instrument for our purification, for our exercise of the humility Jesus our Life breathes within us."

"Accept with GRATITUDE everything that God allows from within or without, from friend or enemy, in nature or in grace, to remind you of your need of humbling, and to help you to it."

"Accept every humiliation, look upon every fellow-man who tries or vexes you, as a means of grace to humble you. Use every opportunity of humbling yourself before your fellow-men as a help to abide humble before God."

that's hard to do. it feels very opposite of what i want to do. but, if humility is what i want most then i should be REALLY thankful for the "awesome" ways it is produced in me.
so thank you to all the circumstances and people that teach me humility. I see them as GIFTS... as "means of grace". i am genuinely excited about the man they are helping me become.

i'm confident that the reason there is no cartilage in my knees today is so that i could learn some humility. i can look back and see that losing the meniscus in my right and left knee was a crappy circumstance that would shred some pride out of my life... make me a little more humble.
it's very hard to be prideful about an ability that you no longer have. if you were prideful because you were an amazing singer and you suddenly had no more voice... it would be pretty hard to be prideful about the voice you don't have.
as many times as i've been bummed about having bum knees and all the limitations and pains... i look at that crappy circumstance with Gratitude. i want humility more than "menisci".

we should be thankful because without this humility we can't change the world. You can change the world without cartilage, but not without humility.

“Until a humility which will rest in nothing less than the end and death of self; which gives up all the honor of men as Jesus did, to seek the honor that comes from God alone; which absolutely makes and counts itself nothing, that God may be all, that the Lord alone may be exalted, -- until such a humility be what we seek in Christ, above our chief joy, and welcome at any price, there is very little hope of a religion that will conquer the world.” 
(Andrew Murray, over 100 years ago)

*Mr. Murray, i wish you were here these days... we need a revolution of your words, ideas, and passion.

Reactions to Obama’s “Deficit Reduction” Tax Hikes

Yesterday, the President gave a speech outlining his plan to reduce the Federal Deficit. In a move that was as surprising as bad jokes from Fozzie Bear, it involved raising taxes on the very people who own businesses and create jobs. I've outlined many times why this is a bad idea, namely the number of sole proprietorships whose business revenue is all considered personal income. It's a $1.5 Trillion tax hike, and it's bad for America, especially in this economy.

The plan, overall, is billed as $3 Trillion in deficit reduction. It claims $1 in cuts for every $1 in tax increases. Of course, it does involve liberal economic math, aka raises taxes now, cut spending someday in the future, "over ten years," but it's not actually required of future Congresses to do that. It's a bad bill, but who's surprised at this point, from Obama. It's the same liberal policies that have failed in the past and will fail again.

Also, the $1.5 Trillion in predicted revenue won't automatically mean $1.5 Trillion in new revenue. You see, unlike the expectations of liberals everywhere, when you raise taxes $1.5 Trillion; those who are now paying more taxes don't just absorb the increases while including employing the same number of people, and spending precisely the same amount of money. Of course, this never happens. Every action has an effect. Business owners invest their money with a profit margin that makes their financial risk worth the potential loss. By raising taxes, you're cutting into that profit margin, and that business owner is going to do something to recuperate that loss, likely by reducing their workforce and output, which means less income tax revenue from their employees and less corporate tax revenue from that business because of the reduced output.

Obama also repeated his request for the "wealthiest and most fortunate among us to pay their fair share." It's preposterous, of course, as I've displayed countless times, the wealthiest 10% pay 50% of the tax burden in this country. It's baloney from Obama. His real premise is "they can afford it so it's ok to confiscate their money." It's a crock, and its class warfare meant to divide Americans. Now, there are some people who will buy into that line from Obama, because they honestly believe that if the government takes money from other people their lives will be better. Except they don't ever become wealthier, the only entity that becomes wealthier is government.

Furthermore, we cannot trust government to spend that money wisely. Nothing in the modern history of the United States government lends us to believe government will be fiscally responsible with this money. The fact is the government spends too much. Raising revenue won't cause them to stop spending 140% of the money they have. History suggests they will spend 140% of the new revenues just like they're spending 140% of the current revenue. The real problem is that every cent of tax revenue the government takes in is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These three entitlements need reforming and now. Obama is ignoring this reality in favor of more class warfare that will not solve the problem.

We need two things to fix this deficit problem: Less spending and more revenue, but not in the form of raised tax rates, but if the form of new taxpayers. To cut spending we need to start at the source of the problem. We need to make serious reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security so that they don't take up every cent of revenue in our budget. Remember, it takes up 2/3 of the revenue, while all the other things that Obama and the liberals blame for the deficit, like the wars, the military in general, and anything else they can find, those items make up only 1/3 of the budget, along with every department of the government that's not Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. We have a spending problem, my friends.

The tax rates are already too high. With the top Federal rate at 35% currently, plus paying as much as 15% state taxes and as 8% sales taxes, putting that individuals rates at well over 50% of their income. Plus if a person has the audacity to get married, they pay a higher rate, plus if they die, after a lifetime of government taxing their money, they get taxed again, because they didn't pay enough in life. No, our tax rates are too high already. Obama wants to tax more, but if we cut those rates we'd see more jobs. It's happened time and again. We'd see more money in the pockets of business owners and in the pockets of consumers. That means consumers having more money to spend. When they spend that money, then businesses will find they can't keep up with the customers. Oh, and since they have more revenue, they'll be able to hire more people to keep up with the increased business. It just makes sense, doesn't it?

Of course, this doesn't fit into Obama's playbook. Obama is a rigid ideologue who only cares about advancing his leftist agenda. Actually, I don't think he even wants this bill to pass. Just like his Jobs Bill, I don't think the President expects this bill to pass at all. I believe he knows it's Dead on Arrival in the House of Representatives. I think he's presenting it fully expecting the GOP to block it, so he can say "I've tried to do things to solve the problem, but the Republicans keep obstructing me." As I said last week, they're stopping the President from doing damage, so while they're stopping him from "getting things done" they should be obstructed. Stopping a bank robbery is stopping the robber from getting something done too.

It's not going to work though. Nothing in the last three years has lead us to believe that the American people want this policy. In 2009, two states that Obama won in 2008 elected Republican governors, in 2010, Obama and the Democrats were "thumped" and two weeks ago Democrats lost Anthony Weiner's old seat in Queens, NY for the first time in decades. No matter how many cooked polls that the Drive-By Media puts out that claim that voters blame the GOP for the country's current problems, the voters aren't supporting that claim with their votes.

Obama's plan is bad, as usual, and it's nothing new. It's DOA in the House of Representatives and it ought to be, because it will cost jobs and, by the way, will ultimately not raise the same amount of revenue as predicted because less money in people's pockets do have consequences. It's a bad plan, and it won't fly. Thankfully, the American people have stopped buying what Obama is selling. Obama is already a lame duck President. I believe he is landslideable in 2012, and bad plans like this are the reason why.

Comments are always welcome, provided you follow the "Rules for Commenting."

that's dangerous (but i don't care)

i think the world can change. i think it should & it's supposed to. i think it's gonna. no doubt about that.
i would rather see it happen sooner than later.

i want my life to be about changing the world. i want to spend every day bringing the world-changing revolution. when i'm dead i want to look back on a life spent trying to change the world.

but i fully realize that is going to involve some dangerous stuff. dangerous on many levels.

a lot of things may be dangerous that we don't normally think of as dangerous OR they're not things i would have thought necessary in order to change the world.

like humility, for example. i've been writing about it a lot lately and i probably will be for a while.
humility isn't something that usually makes the top of the list when you are compiling necessities for changing the world.

but it is necessary.

without it there will be no world-changing revolution. not through us anyway. i'm convinced that humility is every bit as necessary (and even more necessary) than audacity to change the world. both have to be there. (i've already written on the uber importance of humility HERE, HERE and HERE.)

so, if that's the case then i want humility more than anything. because i want to see God's love and renown change the world more than anything.
so, i PRAY that whatever the cost God would help me be full of humility. MAKE ME HUMBLE. Shred pride from my life... every hint of it... until there is only humility left. DO whatever it takes to make that happen! because, 
unless it does = i will never be fully satisfied/overjoyed and i'll never be used like i could be to change the world.

but this is a freaking dangerous prayer and desire.

i fully realize that. and yeah, it's kind of the joke in some Christian churches - "don't pray for humility, or God might give it to you..." as in - God may have to BREAK you to humble you. so we think to ourselves - "don't pray for humility because the humbling process is... well, HUMBLING." (spelled P-A-I-N-F-U-L)
so, this is legit. if i want to be fully, 100% humble i know it's going to hurt.

but i don't care. and i don't mean that in a cavalier way at all. i'm a little scared. 
but i don't care as in i care MORE about being a humble man that it is worth the hurt and pain and humbling process that it will take to get there.

so, what if we all pray the "danger prayer"? what if we all went through whatever it took to be humble? what if we were just a whole bunch of broken, humble, audacious people?

i guess we might just change the world.

happy birthday Ridge!

it's hard to believe... another birthday for Ridge!

i can still remember the very 1st Sunday morning we ever met 3 years ago. it was exciting.
there was a buzz.

This morning was our 3rd birthday of meeting on Sunday mornings. 3 years... it's wild to think that it's been that long!

it's our 4th birthday overall as a church. and i can vividly remember that 1st ever Sunday night we met. there was a crazy buzz that night.
we started loading in at like 10am and got home around midnight. i'm nostalgic, but i don't miss those 14 hour days at all.

and it's crazy to think that very soon we'll be moving to our own permanent facility. it will be our very own. no load in or load out. we do what we want with it.
what a thought.
it hasn't really even sunk in yet.

the big deal... the main point of all this -- is that the last 3 & 4 years have been absolutely amazing. God has done some incredible stuff. He has changed so many lives in big ways. we've been able to bless our city and the world.

it's been an awesome 3 & 4 years, but i know the next 3-4 will be incredible and put the past to shame.
no doubt the best is yet to come.

stay low. go hard. we on a mission.

...on writing

I love to write.

But, let me be clear, I like to write when I like to write.

The trouble is, that if you want to be a writer, you have to write when you don’t feel like writing or else you don’t get to write when you do feel like writing.

(because if you're inconsistent, you don’t have a platform left to stand on for peeps to read when you want to write. *not that i necessarily want to be a writer by any stretch of the imagination.)

so, here's to this practice & discipline of writing when i love to write & writing even when i don't feel like it.

Actually, Social Security IS a Ponzi Scheme

Texas Governor Rick Perry has taken a lot of flack recently for saying that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme in his book "Fed Up!" a few years ago. I'm here to shed some light on that statement: Social Security is very similar to a Ponzi Scheme.

To explain it layman's terms, if a Ponzi Scheme began in January with its first round of investors, it would require new investors in March to pay the January investors, new investors in May to pay off the March investors, and new investors in July to pay off May investors, because there is no actual securities or other stocks being purchased that can gain or lose. The schemer must pay off the previous investors (after taking his cut) or else the scheme will fall down on him faster.

Social Security operates on this premise, albeit not maliciously. While the original intention may have been that we pay into our own accounts and then draw on them once we reach retirement age, which has not materialized. This is not what happened. This is for a couple of reasons. One, Social Security was never intended to be a widespread retirement plan. The reason the age of receipt of Social Security benefits was set at 65 years old was because life expectancy at its outset was 64 years old. It was, like all unemployment insurance and Medicaid, designed to be a safety net. Now, with life expectancy at ten years older, now significantly more people are receiving benefits. Originally there was an expectation that there be more people paying in than actually receiving benefits.

At one point there was a trust fund. There was an account of money that was used to pay out benefits. It was raided on more than one occasion to pay for other things, and now that account is empty. Now current benefits are being paid with yours and my payroll tax money. They are taking our investment and using it to pay the previous investors who were expecting to receive their investment back at retirement. That my friends, is a classic example of a Ponzi Scheme.

Now, we have a problem. The money required to pay out benefits is about to exceed new investors (that is, wage earners) as the Baby Boomers hit retirement age. There will not be enough current investors (taxpayers) to pay the previous investors (retirees). In short, not only is social security a Ponzi Scheme, it's one that is about to collapse.

Rick Perry was absolutely accurate in portraying Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme. It is funded the same as a Ponzi Scheme, and it requires new investors to pay off the previous investors, just like a Ponzi Scheme. It's about to collapse due to inability to pay off investors, like a Ponzi Scheme.

On second thought, Social Security isn't a Ponzi Scheme. Participation in a Ponzi Scheme is voluntary.

Letter Bag: The Difference Between Classical Liberalism and Modern Liberalism

I received an annonymous comment recently (for the sake of this post, we'll call that person Anny) on an a post on a post from a few weeks ago that I wanted to address it here.  The post was Dissecting the Liberal Talking Points: The Tea Party isn't Going Anywhere.  Here was the comment:

Liberalism: political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others; but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty. As the revolutionary American pamphleteer Thomas Paine expressed it in Common Sense (1776), government is at best “a necessary evil.” Laws, judges, and police are needed to secure the individual’s life and liberty, but their coercive power may also be turned against him." (and it continues...)

The Tea Party is therefore liberal.

It's an interesting point, Anny.  It's wrong, but it's an interesting point. What this individual doesn't recognize is the difference between Classical liberalism and Modern liberalism.  The definition given above is the definition of Classical liberalism.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, Classical liberalism is focused on liberty.  It supports small government, individual rights, and the Constitution.  When our nation was founded, it was a relatively liberal idea, which is to say it was to the left of the monarchy.  (Conservatism is to the left of monarch too, by the way.)

You see, in 1776 and 1787, Anny, the ideas that the Declaration of Independence and Constitution espoused were radical.  They aren't radical anymore.  Our founders created these values new, now we conservatives try to maintain them.

Modern liberalism is not about small government, it's about big government.  It's not about individual freedom, it's about group conformity and government telling you what's good for you. Modern liberalism does not recognize that government can pose a threat to sees government as the solution to problems. 

Modern liberalism is the polar opposite as Classical liberalism.  Classical liberalism is now known as conservatism.

What Anny said is a perfect example of an etymological fallacy.  For those of you who don't have degrees in Communications, an etymological fallacy "is a genetic fallacy that holds, erroneously, that the historical meaning of a word or phrase is necessarily similar to its actual present-day meaning." (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, that means believing that what a word originally meant is what it means today.)

Liberal doesn't mean what it meant in our founders day.  The same is true of many other words.  In 1776 if a man had a "gay kid" that meant they had a "happy baby goat."  Does it mean that now, Anny?  Of course not.  Few people think of a kid as a baby goat anymore, even though that is the origin of the word, and few people still think gay means happy.

In short, the Tea Party is Classically liberal, which is synonymous with Modern conservatism.  Sorry, Anny, but in our modern context the Tea Party is conservative.

Comments are always welcomed on posts, provided they are in line with the Rules for Comments.  Please note any comment may become subject matter for a future post, as my personal interest and news cycles require. 

it's a pretty big deal

it's a big deal because...
“Without this there can be no true abiding in God’s presence, or experience of His favor and the power of His Spirit; without this no abiding faith, or love or joy or strength.” 
humility is what i'm talking about, by the way. still on this humility journey and will be for quite a while.

so, Andrew Murray says that without humility there is no - experiencing God's presence or favor or power of His Spirit or faith or love or joy or strength.
well, that's a pretty sucky life without all those things. (i'll write more about this later but that's why i'm saying crazy things to God like - "do whatever it takes to make me humble." i can't see any other way to happiness.)

AND humility is a pretty big deal because: 
“the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure.” 

wow. that's a pretty big statement, Mr Murray. and if you're right, then how do we get/have humility? what do we do? what even is it?

“it is simply the sense of entire nothingness, which comes when we see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all.

those are the greatest words on humility i've ever heard. it's this yin & yang. us and God. we need to simply see ourselves like we really, truly are = NOTHING. and see God... even a glimpse... of Who He really, truly is - ALL.

boom. done deal. we'll never be the same. no room for pride then. pride is ludicrous. humility is the only thing for sane people at that point.
“humility is simply acknowledging the truth of my position as creature, and yielding to God His place.”

And just to remind us how big of a deal humility actually is (like we talked about in the previous post - "the most important thing")...
“Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others; it is the root of all, because it alone takes the right attitude before God, and allows Him as God to do all.”

anybody starting to see how crazy important this is?
i'm desperate to be humble and kick pride out. i wanna do whatever it takes.

but somehow - we, our culture, the Church, etc... talk and think about it so very very little.

maybe we just need to be reminded that it's a pretty big deal.

Republicans Should Block This Jobs Bill! Block it Immediately!

The President's same old regurgitated Jobs Bill has officially been sent to Congress. I'm happy to tell you that the bill is likely dead on arrival in the House of Representatives. It ought to be too, because it's a bad bill that will cost billions and do nothing to help create jobs. The Republicans are going to block this bill, and they should block it. To paraphrase the President, the Republican Party should block this bill immediately.

Reason #1 why the Republican Party needs to block the Jobs Bill: It's not really paid for, like the President claims. There's an IOU in the bill that instructs the Congressional Super Committee to find another $400 billion and change in cuts. That's not paying for the bill. That's like me buying a vehicle that I can't afford and then telling the dealer that it's ok, I'll ask my boss for a raise in the morning. For this bill to be paid for it would have required specific cuts included in the bill. This does not do that. It just promises imaginary cuts someday in the future. It's a lie. The Republicans should block this bill. Block this bill immediately.

Reason # 2 why the Republicans need to block the Jobs Bill: It calls for raising taxes. The President calls it "asking the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share," and of course, he defines "fair share" as "whatever liberals demand." It of course ignores that the wealthiest 10% already pay 50% of the taxes (that's five times their share, for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL). It also ignores the fact that $250,000 per year in salary is not a "millionaire." If you flunked math, $250,000 is ¼ of a million dollars. It takes four of those people put together to make Obama's millionaire. Finally, it ignores the fact that raising taxes on these people involves raising taxes on small business owners who file as sole proprietorships, thus taking investment capital out of the pockets of business owners. That will likely cost jobs. The Republicans should block this bill. Block this bill immediately.

Reason #3 why the Republicans need to block the Jobs Bill: The tax credits contained for hiring and giving raises to employees aren't going to do anything to encourage hiring. The President has shown, once again, how little he understands the decision of businesses. You see, business owners don't hire employees to get a tax credit and they don't hire because they have spare money. They also don't hire to be nice or to give a person medical benefits. See, what the President does not understand is that hiring an employee is an investment. A business owner performs a Cost-Benefit Analysis to decide if hiring that new employee will yield a sufficient profit. This may be because they believe that if they have more product to sell they can lower prices and undercut their competition and steal market share. However, the most likely reason for a business owner to hire is because they have so many orders that they can't keep up, and they need more employees to fill those orders. In short, businesses don't need tax credits to hire…they need customers.

There are instances, however, when government is intruding upon a business financially, say with tax rates that are too high (see Reason # 2) and businesses end up making due with less employees than they need. This usually means the business owner works more hours to not fall behind. However, tax credits don't make up for these government intrusions. Set tax rates will make a difference. Yet Obama failed to make the current tax rates permanent, which would have eliminated this barrier. The Republicans should block this bill. Block this bill immediately.

Reason #4 why the Republicans need to block the Jobs Bill: It squanders more taxpayer money on liberal pie in the sky "green energy" that is not sufficient to meet our needs. It's also not financially sound. Don't believe me? Solyndra, an American solar energy company, filed last week for bankruptcy. This company was given government money from the last Stimulus package. Even with government funding it's bankrupt. "Green Energy" is not sufficient to make a difference in our lives. The only type "green energy" that works sufficiently is hydroelectric, and we're already using every available source to its potential. If Obama was offering subsidies to promote further oil exploration that would be a solution, but continuing to peddle green energy subsidies is a joke and a waste. It's flushing money down the toilet, and it will not create jobs. The Republicans should block this bill. Block this bill immediately.

Reason #5 why the Republicans need to block the Jobs Bill: It won't create jobs. I believe I've outlined this above pretty well, but I'll give you one more reason; in 2009, Obama successfully passed into law over $1 Trillion in Stimulus spending. Do you know how many jobs we got? Answer: -1.9 Million Jobs. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, that means we lost 1.9 million jobs after Obama passed the Stimulus.) Unemployment went up by as much as 3% above pre-Stimulus levels. Remember, we were told that if we passed the stimulus, unemployment wouldn't go above 8%. It went above 10%.

Liberal have told us that the Stimulus failed because it wasn't big enough. Now let's set aside the erroneous logic of that statement for a moment, and ask our friends on the left to explain that if they needed more to succeed, how is half as much going to work? Answer: It won't work. If we're lucky, it'll only lose half as many jobs. Its predecessor, the Stimulus bill, cost $1 Trillion and lost jobs. Obama proved that this sort of Keyensian Stimulus could not create jobs. (I'm not just saying that as a devoted member of the Supply-Side Economics School.) History proved this doesn't work, and it's not going to work this time. The Republicans should block this bill. Block this bill immediately.

Reason #6 why the Republicans need to block the Jobs Bill: We've already proposed many bills that will help the economy. Cut, Cap and Balance, for example, which 66% of Americans wanted to see passed into law. We have passed the repeal of Obamacare, which would remove the huge barrier of its requirements of that law that cost so much that it cuts into the profitability expectations of a business owner's Cost-Benefit Analysis for hiring. The Democrats in the Senate have stopped the Republicans from passing these helpful bills. I am not saying don't pass the bill out of spite. I'm saying don't pass this bill because there are better plans to be put into practice than this lousy bill. The Republicans should block this bill. Block this bill immediately.

Ultimately, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Obama tried this once and it failed so miserably it belongs in a museum next to the Titanic, the Hindenberg, and the 2007 New York Mets in the huge embarrassing failure display. The Republican Party owes it to America to not let this bad policy see the light of day. We put the GOP back in power to stop Obama from doing further damage. Now they need to make it happen. The Republicans need to block this bill. Block this bill immediately.

Reaction to the CNN Tea Party Debate

Last night for the second time in less than a week, the Republican nominees met for a debate. This time it was the Tea Party Nation debate on CNN. This time, CNN didn’t insult our intelligence with “Coke or Pepsi” and “Scope or Listerine” questions. I also have to give them some credit…the debate wasn’t filled with gotcha questions. I was surprised. Wolf Blitzer did a pretty good job of being a legitimate moderator. They also did a pretty good job of spreading out the questions to give more equal time than the MSNBC Debate did last week.

Just like last Thursday’s debate on MSNBC, let’s talk about whose stock I’d recommend buying, selling, holding, and in a new addition, sold (already sold out and not buying back in).

Michelle Bachmann (Buy):
I still like Bachmann and I expected more out of her in this debate, especially because it was the Tea Party debate. Partially because the Media is pushing her out in favor of Perry and Romney, her star seemed to be on the downturn.

Last night, however, she turned it back around and stood on some strong conservative policies, like “The Federal Reserve needs to be shrunk down to such a tight leash that they’re going to squeak.” She really took a step forward going head to head with Perry on the HPV Vaccine issue and other issues. Bachmann remains in the hunt and I think she moved herself back into the top of the debate last night.

As of now, Bachmann is one of two choices for me right now in the field, when it comes time for me to cast my vote in the Republican primary.

Herman Cain (Hold):

Once again, I like Cain very much and I think he’s a very qualified candidate. However, I do not think he could win the nomination based on his poll numbers. He would make a great Vice President, and he’d also make an excellent Secretary of Commerce. He’s got a great chance to be in the Executive Branch in 2013, just not as the President.

Newt Gingrich (Hold):

Gingrich again is strong and does well in debates. He’d kick Obama’s butt in a debate, but he’s not going to get the nomination. He scores well in debates, but he doesn’t do well in polls. I’m leaving him as a hold for now, because there’s a small chance he turns it around, but for now I don’t expect him to go far. He is, however, another person who could find a place in a new Republican administration in the cabinet.

Jon Huntsman (Sold):

Seriously. Huntsman is a joke. He spent tonight quoting Nirvana songs and waxing intellectual as a biased moderate. I’m not even bothering making a joke about how much of a non-issue Huntsman is at this point.

Ron Paul (Sold):

It occurred to me since the last debate that, in the strictest sense of the term, Paul is a RINO. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, that’s “Republican In Name Only.”) Now, Paul isn’t the moderate, wimpy, half liberal sort of RINO. Not in the slightest. But Paul is a Republican by default, because the political term that most applies to him is Libertarian. Now that’s not a bad thing, my friends. As I’ve said before, I agree with Paul on about 75% of issues. However, he’s not in line with the mainstream conservative Republican party, and that’s why he won’t get the nomination.

Rick Perry (Buy):

Perry beat up on Romney last night, but got beat up on by the rest of the field. I think he kicked Romney’s butt on the “Social Security is a Ponsi Scheme” statement…because he’s right. He showed himself to be a legitimate conservative so far.

He did have a tough moment with the discussion of his HPV Vaccine executive order. I respect the fact that he admitted he was wrong. He let Bachmann back into the debate in a strong way last night, making it back into a three person race.

However, he was overall quite strong. The biggest thing I think Perry did was he pushed Romney out of the debate spot lead. Perry was debating with Bachmann as much as anyone tonight, and not as much with Romney. He really is establishing himself as the frontrunner. I, for one, am seriously considering giving Perry my vote when New York’s Primary comes, and I think I’m a very typical conservative.

Mitt Romney (Stock – Sell):

Romney is losing ground. With a candidate like Perry who has the ability to raise money on par with Romney (and for that matter Obama), who has Tea Party credentials and an honest, straight talk style that I think overshadows Romney’s overly polished style. He’s still the GOP Establishment candidate, and in a year where the Tea Party is going to choose the Republican nominee, it’s not going to be Romney’s year.

Rick Santorum (Sold):

Santorum is done. I’ve said it before. He’s just not strong enough. He’s a Washington insider and he’s just not standing out. Sorry, Rick. I like you as a person, and I’d gladly watch a football game with you. But I don’t want you as my President.

So far, I’d have to say the winners were Bachmann and Perry. I’m glad to see that, although it makes my decision harder, because, barring Sarah Palin joining the campaign, my decision is down to two people. (Palin enters my decision becomes a choice between three people.) To those who read Biblical Conservatism regularly, you read several months ago that the GOP field was not weak. Last night, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann proved it. We’ve got two serious, conservative candidates in Bachmann and Perry vying for the nomination and a third blue blood Republican in Romney. All three of them would be a better President than Obama.

Right now, all I can say is game on. It’s going to be a fun campaign, and in the end we’re going to have the best possible candidate.

humility - the most important thing

(i set up these Humility thoughts HERE but just now getting a chance to actually blog about it.)
just trying to think through (by writing) the ideas about humility that are rocking my world right now.

Andrew Murray sets it all up by saying that "nothing is more natural and beautiful and blessed than to be NOTHING, that God may be ALL."
and that's a great summary of this whole idea of humility. nothing and all. that's the essence. me becoming nothing. literally humbling myself, emptying myself, to the point that i am 100% dependent on God... which lets Him be the ALL that He already is.
if there is still something of me in me... God cannot possibly be ALL in me. that's a tough thing to humble myself to the point that i empty me of me. rid myself of every trace of pride. (is it even possible? but i think that's the only way for God to be ALL and truly do His thing.)
the main idea Murray threw at me is that HUMILITY is the MOST IMPORTANT thing. and at 1st i think "no way." no way that's the most important thing in my life.
but i think i'm buying into that idea.

this is all i've been thinking about the last couple weeks. and you don't normally think of something like humility as being revolutionary... but it IS. i promise. it's a radical thing.
to us it feels like a thing of the past... it doesn't seem sexy or like it allows for our swagger so we throw it out.
but i'm with Andrew... it's maybe the most important thing:
"Our chief care, our highest [good], our only happiness, now and through all eternity, is to present ourselves an empty vessel, in which God can dwell and manifest His power and goodness."

& humility is the place of ENTIRE dependence on God. it' s a great place to be. but i think we have to think of it as our 1st order of business... the most important thing we can be in our day, because it's the ROOT of everything else we can do for God's glory.

Murray says humility is "the ROOT of every virtue... and so pride, or the loss of humility, is the root of every sin and evil." + "evil can have no beginning but from pride, and no end but from humility."
WOW. those are BIG time words! he's not messing around.

i was way wrong when i picked up this dusty old book that used to sit on my grandmother's shelf. it looks so old and boring. i just thought it would be nice to read what some old guy said 100 years ago. i thought it wouldn't be all that relevant. maybe it would be a little pious. certainly not revolutionary.

but tell me that this doesn't rock your world:
"The truth is this: Pride must die in you, or nothing of [the Kingdom] can live in you."

"Could you see what every stirring of pride does to your soul, you would BEG of everything you meet to tear the viper from you, though with loss of a hand or an eye."

whoa. maybe you can get a sense of why this Andrew Murray guy is jacking me up. really wrestling hard with this humility thing. because i can see how revolutionary and ALL-ENCOMPASSING/ ALL-IMPORTANT it is.

is it really the most important thing? i guess if without it, God can truly not be ALL and get His glory... if the lack of it leads to every sin... if it is the root of every good God does through us... then yeah, it must be the most important thing.

even more mind-blowing stuff to come. lots more.
(just trying to process)