A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a photo of a rainbow she’d seen. Rainbows are nice. (I always think of Genesis 9 and my mother when I see a rainbow.)
We don’t see many rainbows in Iowa this time of year. Right now (I just checked) the temperature is zero. The high today is forecast to be four degrees. (That’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius.) Yesterday the wind was a-howlin’ at the doors something fierce. The pictures don’t do it justice, but I took the photos so someone’s gotta look at them. Lucky you.
I had to drive to Le Mars from Sioux City to do some work for the Legion Riders yesterday, and I don’t seem to be able to drive a car more than five blocks without hanging my camera out the window for some reason. The last picture there is of Le Mars, IA, population 8,000. As you can see, there aren’t any rainbows in the photos.
Winter came early this year, and we’ve had no reprieve. There was an ice storm in November, followed by a snowstorm just a few days later. People are complaining that they still have the original ice and snow on their sidewalks; usually we get a “January thaw” where temps rise into the 40s for a day or two to melt off some of the snow and ice, but what little thaw we had this year was brief and chilly indeed. It’s hard to fathom that spring and summer exist. If I didn’t have photos of trees with leaves on them I wouldn’t believe such things are possible.
I caught myself spewing politics on a friend’s blog and realized that if political spewing should happen, it should happen here. (Spew. What a word. Spew.)
My political feelings at this point are: Gobama! Barack to the Future! Yay…
I still feel that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was the best candidate on either side of the aisle, and I hope he gets tapped for Secretary of State in the new administration, no matter who’s President. But Governor Richardson is no longer in the race, so I have to content myself in pontificating the virtues and foibles of the remaining five candidates, Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, Congressman Ron Paul, former Governor Mike Huckabee, and Senator John McCain.
Senator Obama (D):
He’s the top of my list, though mostly by default. The things I like about Senator Obama are that he’s a passionate speaker, he seems to be able to truly unite people (which is something we sorely need today), and he has a good grasp on domestic affairs, the economy, and foreign policy. He’s not the best-versed in any of those categories, but neither is he the most ignorant. I like his overall message.
I hope he can survive the mud that’s sure to be slung his direction. I’ve already seen about half a zillion e-mails come through my in-box claiming that the Senator is an Islamic Fundamentalist (false), that his name rhymes with “Osama” (like that proves something about his personality or qualifications), and that he doesn’t have the experience Senator Clinton has (like his six years in the Senate were somehow shorter dog-years than Clinton’s six years in the senate).
Senator Clinton (D):
Is the nation ready for a female president? Sure! Is Senator Clinton qualified enough to be an effective leader? Sure! Would she be a good president? Probably would. But she’s entirely the wrong person this time around.
Half the country rabidly hates Mrs. Clinton — often without really knowing why. She’s a divisive personality at a time when we need someone to bring the country back together. Whether it’s deserved or not, Billary has a reputation for pulling shady back-room deals, ruthlessly grabbing power, and generally being a bit thuggish in her ways. Republicans foam at the mouth over this, often overlooking the fact that she actually knows what she’s talking about. (And I will readily admit that I’m exactly the same way with President Bush. The man makes me apoplectic, and I really have a hard time giving his policies and ideas a fair shake.)
The nation is already split in half. The last thing we need is yet another “divider.”
Congressman Ron Paul (L — no, I. wait… R)
Of the Republican candidates, I like Congressman Paul’s stands the best, though to be honest I don’t know as much about him as I should. Unfortunately, he’s seen as a bit of a kook. Had he run as a Libertarian (which was his original party of choice) I would possibly have voted for him. Last I heard, he was more or less dropping out of the race to concentrate on his congressional primary in Texas.
Mike Huckabee (R)
I don’t like people running on moral agendas. I have my own opinions on stuff, thank you. I don’t really want a president making laws on what he thinks is best for me — I want a president making laws to keep me safe, and to provide me basic services, not preaching morality. I also think his foreign policy views are skewed, and his economic policy is flawed. Other than that, I think he’s a nice guy…
Senator McCain (R):
Senator McCain was the perfect candidate in 2000. Now, in 2008, I have my worries and doubts. I don’t often agree with his views on the economy. I’m happy that he doesn’t push his morality as much as other candidates on the Republican side have been known to do. (Please don’t legislate morality — instead make immorality unnecessary.) Senator McCain is running on his strength in foreign affairs, notably his insistence that we stay in Iraq “fifty years, a hundred years.”
This worries me.
Why are we in Iraq? We went there on the basis of faulty information (remember the weapons of mass destruction?) when, in my opinion, we should have been concentrating our forces on those who attacked us on September 11th — Al Queada and Osama bin Laden. We did invade Iraq, however, so we must needs deal with it. It seems to me that we won the war the minute we captured Iraqi leader and thug-in-chief Saddam Hussein. We’ve won. The Iraqi people are free. Let’s now get out of their way and let them get about the business of building their government — and let’s concentrate our forces on terrorism. Will terrorism flourish in Iraq if we shift our forces from Iraq to Afghanistan? Possibly. If so, we can go in again under the aegis of the war on terrorism, but for now Iraq poses no threat to the United States, while the terrorists DO pose such a threat. I posit the Iraq War is over. We won. Let’s move on. (I realize that Big Oil, Haliburton, and civilian contractors such as Blackwater are making a ton of moolah off the war, but we’re going to have to pull them off the corporate welfare teat called “Iraq” they’ve been sucking on the last seven years if we’re going to survive as a world power, lest they suck us dry.)
It seems to me that Senator McCain will force the United States to push all our assets into Iraq, ignoring other, more pressing concerns, such as terrorism abroad and poverty at home. What he’ll do as far as domestic affairs, economic concerns, etc. is a mystery — he really spends all his time talking about continuing the war.
I’m pulling for Obama. I’m still sore that Richardson didn’t get noticed much in the primaries, but whaddaya gonna do?