Poll Finds GOP Has Distaste For Tea Party

Ran across this poll result in Gerald Seib’s column tonight.

Just wait……this number will grow once the Republican Party understands the monster they created and paid for plans to bite them in the pants. 

And yes, some voters leaning Republican don’t like the tea-party movement. In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 13% of those who said they prefer Republicans to win control of Congress this fall also reported a negative view of the tea-party movement. Among those undecided on whether they want Democrats or Republicans to win this fall, a third had a negative view of the tea-party movement.

Devastating Details Will End Christine O’Donnell’s 15 Minutes Of Shame

I have watched political intrigue all my life.  I have felt just about every emotion that anyone can feel when following the political story of this nation, be it from the left or right.   But nothing….absolutely nothing….. has prepared me for the jaw-dropping moments I have encountered with the teabaggers that have slapped up against my sensibilities this year.  There is no level of incompetence that is not cheered by teabaggers simply due to the fact the person is not ‘a politician’.    What a way to place a benchmark for being a viable contender for public office!!  

I repeat….my sensibilities have been slapped. 

And yet I am chided when I say these cretins who want to change the political culture are just plain rednecks who know more about bigotry than the Constitution they all tout as their favorite read.  I get the feeling after seeing what these folks elected in Delaware that a fair amount of teabaggers favor reading beer bottle labels over constitutional literature.  Just saying.

There is just no other way to rationalize what happened there Tuesday.

The latest example for political theatre comes from Christine O’Donnell who is one of the biggest uneducated boobs yet to stumble onto the front pages of my morning newspaper.   (If Plainfield, Wisconsin is embarrassed over cockroaches at Tri-County School, can you imagine the shame felt in Delaware?) 

In a never-ending run of things that should embarrass Christine O’Donnell are the following reported by ABC News.  These are nothing short of politically devastating…..for the sane educated voter at least….of which will go to the polls in November to bring an end to this candidate’s 15 minutes of shame.

 In March, the IRS initiated an audit and placed a lien against her for $11,744.59 in taxes and penalties from the 2005 tax year. 

“They made up an accusation about an IRS tax lien,” O’Donnell said Wednesday on “Good Morning America,” hours after winning the primary. “The IRS said it was a mistake. They cleared it up right away. We gave my opponent and the Republican administration, showing them that the IRS had admitted to a computer error. They chose to ignore the truth because they don’t have a record to stand on.” 

Since 1994, Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey has sued O’Donnell five times for outstanding debts of about $5,000. 

O’Donnell claimed to have graduated from the school 17 years ago — and claimed to have a degree during her 2006 Senate campaign — but the school said she did not officially graduate until two weeks ago.

In previous interviews, O’Donnell said the school withheld the diploma because of the money. But a school official interviewed by Politco.com said the degree was not conferred because she had not completed her coursework. 

“It took me 12 years to pay off my college loans,” she told “GMA.” “I’m not a trust fund baby. Most Delawareans can relate to having to work hard to pay for their own college education. I was never dishonest about that.”

In a March interview with Delaware’s News Journal, O’Donnell admitted to living in a three-bedroom home with David Hust, a campaign staffer and Christian rock musician, and paying half her rent — between $1,645 and $2,020 a month — with campaign donations because she used the home as a campaign office, as well. 

“I am renting from the campaign,” she told the paper. “I’m an unconventional candidate because I believe that we have to make sacrifices.” 

O’Donnell, who previously owned a home, also was sued by her mortgage holder in March 2008 at the height of her campaign against then-Sen. Joe Biden.

The company secured a mortgage default against her for $90,421 and the house was to be foreclosed and sold at auction. Instead, O’Donnell told the News Journal, she sold the house to a campaign lawyer. She said she intended to buy the house back, but decided instead to run again.

When asked on “Good Morning America” about her financial past, O’Donnell said, “We’ve addressed all of this stuff on our website.” 

Anyone looking for that information on the site this week, however, would be unable to find it.

Visitors to the site were given just one option when they visited the site Wednesday, the chance to donate money. No other pages or information were available on the site except for the link allowing one to donate to the campaign.

Do We Own A Home Only For Investment Purposes?

This is sure to be one of those posts where I will come off as overly principled, or sound extremely naive.  I do not think I fit into either camp.   I just feel that Americans are out of whack on a matter that needs to be addressed, and I want to take a stab at illuminating it.

Three years ago yesterday James and I became homeowners.  At our kitchen table where we eat every day the papers were signed.  It was the event that evokes all sorts of imagery about the American Dream.  We snapped photos of the signing, and know that it was a real milestone.  But unlike lots of others who sign such papers there is a bit of old-fashioned rationale that goes into our thinking.

The news today that the American dream of owning a home has lost some of its luster has me thinking again about the reasons we own homes in the first place.  As we all know from years of news coverage falling home prices and foreclosures have made for an economic nightmare.   Now the news alerts us that a growing number of people no longer consider housing a safe investment.

A safe investment!

As the news today pointed out some think of home ownership as an “economic trap.”  While I would never suggest anyone enter into a home purchase without the ability of being able to pay the mortgage, I also would not steer anyone away from home ownership because it might not be a ‘good investment’.

In fact, I would argue that the investment view of home ownership is part of the problem we have had in this nation.  To many opted to make money with the purchase of a house.  Buy big and sell bigger was a theme that too many bought into.  Greed and more greed was somehow good.

I grew up with parents who became home owners after World War II.  The home they bought was not new, in fact, it was old and needed lots of work.  Over the years many projects were completed, including one that allowed for my brother and me to have a new bedroom off on the side of the house.  I have often joked that my parents were even smart enough to time our births so there was never a question my brother and I would have to share that room.  He moved out on his own just as I was needing to upgrade my living space.

For all the years I grew up in the family home there was never, not once, any word spoken about what that improvement,  or that addition, would do for the value of the house.  The value of any improvement was the day-to-day pleasures and conveniences it made for the family.  Nothing more, nothing less.

The family home where I grew up was not so different from all those in my community.  Inside were the favorites places to tuck away to read, the family kitchen where everyone gathered no matter how many folks there were or how small the room might be, and the favorite window to watch the snow pile up or the rain to fall.  The home was a place to live and relax.  It was a place to ‘be’.

In our nation’s recent past instead of thinking of a home as a place for treasured memories to be made and stored houses have become a mere stepping stone to a larger house.  The home became a mere house, nothing more than an investment.  A warm place reduced to a cold financial transaction.

That, to me, is sad.

As James and I watch HGTV we often see people who are making upgrades to their homes so in order to sell them for a higher price in order to move to a bigger and better place.  After the decorator has spent a relatively small amount of cash the owners will sometimes lament that ‘it looks so nice now I wish we could stay’.

What limited their ability to see the obvious before they thought of selling is never answered.  That after all is not the purpose of the show.  Tune it up, make more money, and move on is not only the theme of the shows, but the pattern of too many in the nation.

That is why I think the current economic woes have a definite upside.  Perhaps people will again look at housing in their price range, but also evaluate why they really want a house.  Having a place to come home, have a family, and ‘be’ are the reasons to own a house.

When James and I were making a series of improvements before we moved into our Victorian home, which included painting every wall in warm and bright colors, we were asked by lots of folks, “what about the resale value?”  After all there is no beige or sea-foam green so how on earth can we ever think about making money on the house?

We both had a stock response.  “The next move we make is going to be in a box.”  (As in being planted in one.)  “Others will have to think about what colors they like.”

After all a home is to be lived in.

America Evenly Split On Issues, Political Themes

For all the rancor and spin that everyone is talking about these days as the mid-term elections near comes more data to add to what we already know.  There is a deep and almost evenly divided electorate that is nowhere near coming together on anything.  Whichever party wins on Election Day will mean nothing but more intense political warfare.

Consider the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Respondents were asked which of two statements comes closer to their view: “Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people” or “Government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.” The result: 47% for the first and 47% for the second.

Asked in the same poll if they’d be comfortable with or enthusiastic about a congressional candidate who favored repealing the Obama-backed health-care law, 45% said yes, and 42% said no.

A recent Allstate/National Journal poll gave people three options, and got similar results. The choices: Government should cut taxes, as well as reduce spending and regulation, even if that means a bigger budget deficit (39%). Government should increase spending on infrastructure, education, research and the like even if that means a bigger deficit (33%). Government should reduce the deficit even if that means higher taxes and cutting spending on programs like Medicare and education (20%.)

President Carter Takes On Senator Kennedy Over Health Care

Senator Edward Kennedy laid it out very clear in his book “True Compass” the challenges he had with President Jimmy Carter.  It was a long tense relationship over politics and policy.  Therefore I am not surprised that President Carter felt a need to reply to what the late Senator penned.  And do so in a very blunt way.  History required this response, but I sure would love to have heard what Teddy would have quipped in response. 

While I very much respect Carter, I love Teddy.  So this is one of those stories that I wish was not needed to be commented on. 

I think President Carter is a bit petulant in this interview.  It also seems obvious that what happened decades ago has not been eased with time.  That concerns me. There seems a harshness in Carter’s words that makes it appear the wound is still raw.

I have always thought in relation to Carter that the notion of one door opening when another closed was most appropriate.  What the former President has done with his global initiatives and world dialogue is the result of not winning in 1980.  I can only imagine however what it is to lose a national election, and carry that along for the rest of life.  But there is also the truth of what Carter created out of defeat, and that is a most stunning and impressive record.

Though Carter thinks Kennedy to be responsible for his loss, there must be recognition that a sizable segment of the Democratic Party wanted a more liberal response to the issues of the day.  Kennedy was the outlet for that need.  I applauded Kennedy then, and I still do.

As one who has many of Jimmy Carter’s books on my shelves, and thinks he is grounded as a man on his principles, I hope that this blurb from the upcoming interview is truly a moment of distress finding a voice as opposed to where he lives day-to-day.  His writings suggest that he has moved beyond the past, and I truly hope he has.   

“The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy’s deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed,” he tells Stahl. “It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill,” says Carter. And Kennedy, who then ran against the president for the democratic presidential nomination, did it out of spite says Carter. “He did not want to see me have a major success in that realm of life,” he tells Stahl.

In a diary he kept during his presidency, Carter vents about Kennedy’s attacks and criticizes Kennedy’s own health care bill. The following entry is reprinted in Carter’s new book, “White House Diary.” “Kennedy continuing his irresponsible and abusive attitude, immediately condemning our health plan. He couldn’t get five votes for his plan,” Carter wrote.