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Page 10 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 26, 2011 News Briefs (Continued from Page 1) political, it is not about pro- moting an organization ... It's about people calling out to God. I want God helping me, guiding me, giving me direction." One of the preachers at this gathering was Pastor John Hagee, who got into hot water back in 2008 when he seemed to be some- what anti-Catholic and John McCain dropped him like a hot potato. As a Roman Cath- olic, I know that evangeli- cal Protestants and Roman Catholics share much when it_comes to social issues. I did not find the gathering to be exclusive at all. If I lived in Texas, I probably would have been doing something else that day, but I certainly would encourage people to think about the direction our country is taking. As Governor Perry said, the event was designed to focus on God, "There will be folks who think it is some- thing else, that there are other motivations, but it's not about me. It's about Him." Meanwhile, the Republi- can Establishment can't help but take notice of this rising star from the Lone Star State. How Smart is Obama Liberals keep talking how smart our Teleprompter-in- Chief is? They keep throw- ing the 160 IQ number around. Is that his IQ or is it just some cerebral urban legend? You know, I've been told that Ronald Reagan's IQ was around 102, which would make him just aver- age smart. Actually, my IQ is 102 too. Hey, no one is saying Obama is stupid and he clearly is book smart but he clearly has little common sense or empathy. Obama has degrees from Harvard and Princeton. Reagan grad- uated from Eureka College in Illinois. Right now we could use some real smarts and leadership in the White House, and the Princeton- Harvard guy isn't the real smart guy now. Is He the Manchurian Candidate? Even in 2011, we still know little about President Obama before he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2008. We only saw him once before at the 2008 Demo- cratic convention in Boston, where he gave the keynote address before our U.S. Senator John F. Kerry won the nomination that year. We have never seen a president whose past is so cloudy. It is like he dropped from the sky into an Illinois State Senate seat. Most of his past is a mystery. Nobody remembers him from any- where. He gets coddled all the way up to the White House by his patrons. He might as well have been born on Mars rather than Hawaii as his bio says. His affect is limited mostly toward his arrogance. He seemingly holds no strong principles on anything. He is passionless. He can't identify with everyday Americans. He lacks leadership qualities. All he really has is his speaking ability which works best with a teleprompter. He remains blameless in both his own eyes and in the eyes of the liberal news media, which seems to love everything he says or does. He is far from clueless and is no President Jimmy Carter. However, he does share something with the peanut farmer. When things went wrong, Jimmy blamed it on the malaise of the American people. Obama blames everything negative on the funk the country is in. Malaise or funk to me is one and the same. Back in 1980, I spelled "malaise" C-A-R-T-E-R. Today, I spell "funk" O-B-A-M-A. Carter went down for the count in 1980; we conservatives have to make sure to support a good Republican in 2012. President Reagan turned America around with his leadership. We conserva- tives need a new Reagan- esque candidate to pull the country together again. I still wonder why we know so little about Obama's back- ground. Why nobody in his past seems to remember him. I also think of that 1963 movie "The Manchu- rian Candidate." Is our presi- dent another Sir Lawrence Harvey character? I hope that the election of Obama was an aberration and that we will get back to electing qualified presiden- tial candidates once again. China Condemns U.S. "Addiction to Debts" China, the largest holder of U.S. debt, lashed out at the United States saying we needed to "cure its addiction to debts" and "live within its means," hours before the S&P rating agency downgraded America's long- term debt. The commentary appeared in China's official Xinhua news agency. According to a NY Times news story, "Though Beijing has few options other than LETTERS POLICY The Post-Gazette invites its readers to submit Letters to the Editor. Letters should be typed, double-spaced and must include the writer's name, address and telephone number. Anonymous letters are not accepted for publication. Due to space considerations, we request that letters not exceed two double-spaced, type-written pages. This newspaper reserves the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste and to limit the number of letters published from any one person or organization. Deadline for submission is 12:00 noon on the Monday prior to the Friday on which the writer wishes to have the material published. Submission by the deadline does not guarantee publication. Send letter to: Pamela Donnaruma, Editor, The Post-Gazette, P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 to continue to buy United States Treasury bonds, Chinese officials are clearly concerned that the country's substantial holdings of American debt, worth at least $1.1 trillion, are being devalued. Quote to Note "I believe this is, without question, the Tea Party down-grade ... The real prob- lem for our country is not the short-term debt. We can deal with that. It's the long-term debt: It's the structural debt of Social Security, Medicare and Med- icaid measured against the demographics of our nation. -- U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass. My Quote to Note "Yes Senator Kerry, it is the long-term debt that wor- ries everyone. Entitlements are killing us as our popula- tion (demographics) receiv- ing them continues to grow. Social Security, thanks to government raids on the trust fund, has become an- other entitlement. More and more people are getting government checks and the taxpaying population can't keep up with that growth. Recently, Medicaid recipi- ents in California are suing the government in court over cutbacks in Medicaid. The world has indeed been turned upside down. So besides a cutesy sound- bite, what are you doing about this growing mess?" Bachmann Wins Iowa Vote, Ron Paul Second U.S. Rep. Michele Bach- mann, R-Minnesota won the Iowa straw poll on August 13 with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul com- ing in second place, but the biggest news was the entry into the GOP presidential race by Texas Governor Rick Perry. The frontrunner to date, Mitt Romney, by-passed the Iowa contest and with Perry's entry into the mix, Romney's frontrunner sta- tus took a big blow. Bach- mann said of her victory, "We see this as just the very first step in a very long race." Tim Pawlenty, a former Min- nesota governor, dropped out of the race after his poor showing. The last GOP Iowa winner was George W. Bush back in 2000. At this point, Romney can only hope that Bachmann and Perry divide up the Tea Party vote. Perry is a social and fiscal conservative and is well liked with evangelicals and Tea Partyers. According to Republican consultant John Laughlin, "If I were Romney, I would be significantly ner- vous now, Perry is a serious threat ... in that he can get establishment support that may not be available to Bach- mann ... he's also a more formidable conservative op- ponent. It just pushes Rom- hey further left." When it comes to foreign policy and national defense, the Perry doctrine is clear, "If you try to hurt the United States, we will come and defeat you." Bachmann may have been the latest big win- ner in Iowa but the GOP race maybe coming down to a Romney-Perry showdown. by bob morello Fac ax reviewing the best ~F~ii~,ii~ge#ing the rest ELI YOUNG BAND - LIFE AT BEST Republic Nashville It wasn't much of a sur- prise to fans of Eli Young Band when their lead single, "Crazy Girl," was certified Gold even before the release of their 14th song CD, "Life At Best." Powered by the tal- ented songwriting duo of Mike Eli on lead vocals and guitar and James Young on lead guitar, harmonica and background vocals. Deliver- ing superb guitar work and lyrics easy to identify with, their sound proves to be addictive. Get hooked on honest lyrics as, "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," the repetitive "Every Other Mem- ory," two cents of "On My Way," the soul baring "Skeletons," the romantic "I Love You" and hit the mid- point via the exhaustive "The Fight." The EYB has an impressive fan base that will grow larger with gems such as, "My Old Man's Son," the powerful "Recover," the insecurity of "The Fall- ing," the mind-searching "War On a Desperate Man," taking the easy way out with "Say Goodnight." This excellent album winds down with the pain of "How Quickly You Forget" and the tasty title cut "Life At Best!" JANICE FABER - CARRIED AWAY janicefaber.com Solo pianist Janice Faber captures a wide variety of emotions, images and mo- ment, all inspired by people, places and even different times of day. Faber's music is able to provide a mood of relaxation and the ability to escape the moment. Faber composes religiously, result- ing in tender moments that include the hopeful "Looking Forward" and "Tomorrow's Hope," covering her days with "Morning Prayer," "Nocturne" and "Night Music." The cre- ative "Imagining" opens the door to wonderful pieces as "Passing Through," plus the meditative "Peace Be Still," the tender "Gentle Soul," the comfort of "Steadfast" and the inspirat~t~al "Hero" -- a tribute to the last living American World War I vet- eran. Faber acknowledges the gifts of God through "Gift of Joy" and "GraciousGift." Her music is based on God- given gifts of life and ever- lasting life. Amen! PHINF_~$ AND FERB - ACROSS THE I~t and 2ad DIMENSIONS Walt Disney Records This soundtrack album to Phineas and Ferb "Across The Ist and 2nd Dimensions," features seven new songs, "Every-thing's Better With Perry," "Brand New Best Friend," "Summer (Where Do We Begin?)," "Taking Care Of Things," "Mysterious Force," "Robot Riot" and the end credit track "Kick It Up A Notch" the Phineas and Ferb collaboration with leg- endary guitarist Slash. That's just a small part of the "track," as included are 15 songs from the Disney Channel Original Movie "Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension," which premiered August 5TM on Disney Channel. Enjoy the musical mastery of the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz, Danny Jacobs, Candace, Isabella and, of course, Phineas among others. 22 catchy tunes in all, each one more memorable and entertain- ing than the last! JASON MICHAEL CARROLL - NUMBERS Cracker Barrel- Quarterback Talk about an unbeliev- able start to a career. Jason Michael Carroll worked wait- ing tables at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and emerged as the first artist ever signed by the company's exclusive music program. The rest will likely be his- tory as Carroll released his CD, "Numbers," a compila- tion of country songs about everyday life experiences, including his 2007 "Alyssa Lies" which hit #5 on the Billboard Country Chart. Carroll had a hand in the writing of most of the 11 new songs, and they show that he wears his heart on his sleeve. Enjoy slices such as, "This Is for the Lonely," the title cut adds up nicely on "Numbers," the inspirational "Ray of Hope," the pleasure of "Meet Me In The Barn," the questioning "Hell Or Hal- lelujah," and hits the half- way mark with "Can I Get An Amen," Carroll continues with emotional tracks as, "My Favorite," holding back with "Don't Know Why," the pleading "Let Me," the un- fairness of "Stray" and punc- tuates his collection with "Last Word." Carroll displays strong, baritone vocals that will quickly make his vocals the favorite of many! LEWIS BLACK "LIVE" A'I~CUTLER MAJESTIC THEATRE We~all can use a good laugh these days, and the man who can provide that luxury is stand-up comedian Lewis Black. Black will bring his In God We Trust Tour to the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston, September 9. The audience will enjoy Lewis' cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. Lewis yells so they don't have to. He is a passionate performer who is a more pissed-off optimist than mean-spirited cur- mudgeon while talking about the absurdity of our world. Enjoy!!!