Monday, December 26, 2011

DOJ Blocks SC Voter ID Law

Altogether this year, 20 states which did not have voter ID laws and 14 states that already had non-photo ID laws have considered legislation requiring citizens have a photo ID to vote, according to the latest figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those 34 states which considered voter ID legislation, six of them enacted laws: Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

The Voters Rights Act puts the burden on the state to prove that the change in voting isn’t discriminatory in purpose and effect. Section 5 — which requires certain jurisdictions to clear changes to their voting laws with the feds before they go into effect — only applies to two of the states which have passed voter ID laws: Texas and South Carolina. Both states are trying to convince the Justice Department that their laws don’t have the intent or effect of suppressing the minority vote.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Attack on The Grio

Stanley Crouch

In his December 19th op-ed in the New York Daily News, black conservative Stanley Crouch writes:
Black websites such as The Grio have become some of the most contaminated places on the Internet because they have licked the boots of disreputable people in every kind of career, seeming to believe that the hustling attitude is perfectly correct and nothing can ever be wrong about money.
Thus, minstrels like Lil Wayne came to be celebrated as heroes.

Honor Combat Veterans Home From Iraq

Quote of the day: "And in the quiet of night, you will recall that your heart was once touched by fire. You will know that you answered when your country called; you served a cause greater than yourselves; you helped forge a just and lasting peace with Iraq, and among all nations. I could not be prouder of you, and America could not be prouder of you." - President Obama at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, honoring combat veterans coming home from Iraq.

What lessons did we learn in Iraq? Why so little response at the war's end? How should we honor those who served?  Your thoughts?

Iowa G.O.P. Presidential Debate: More Debate Lies

2012 Republican Presidential Candidates

At the Iowa Republican Presidential Debate, Newt Gingrich asserted that he balanced the budget for four years as Speaker of the House. And in claiming sole credit for the achievement, he glossed over the facts.

NEWT GINGRICH: "I balanced the budget for four straight years, paid off $405 billion in debt — pretty conservative."

In fact, the government ran deficits in 1996-97 and surpluses in 1998-99, the four years Gingrich served as Speaker. Budgets are not a one man show, so Gingrich can't take credit or blame for deficits or surpluses. The statement was not true.

Michelle Bachmann has the worst record of accuracy of all the Republican candidates, as rated by PolitiFact and traced by others. Fully 73 percent of her statements checked by PolitiFact were judged mostly false or worse. Gingrich was wrong the next most often, 59 percent of the time.

Trump Quits G.O.P.

According to the Associated Press, billionaire businessman Donald Trump has changed his voter registration in New York state from Republican to unaffiliated.
A spokesman for Trump says the businessman and television host changed his affiliation to preserve his option to seek the presidency in 2012. Special Counsel Michael Cohen said Friday that Trump could enter the race if Republicans fail to nominate a candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama.

Cohen said Trump's commitment to hosting TV's "The Apprentice" will keep him from doing anything until May, when the show's season wraps up.

So for all the folks that missed Sarah Palin work the media with her on again-off again race for the White House, watch Trump garner all the free publicity that working the media brings.  What a waste of my time!

What do you think about Trump allegedly running for President?
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Congressman Calls First Lady Fat

You'd think the country has big problems that would command law-makers attention. Not so for a Wisconsin congressman who was caught talking "very loud" about the First Lady's anatomy -- "she lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself."

Jim Sesenbrenner was at a church auction December 10 when according to a 72 year old retiree he started taking shots at Michelle Obama. The witness told the events as follows: "He then talked about how different first ladies have had different projects -- Laura Bush and literacy -- and he named two or three others... And then he said, 'And Michelle Obama, her project is obesity. And look at her big butt.'"

Rush Limbaugh calls the First Lady fat all the time. Do you wonder why Limbaugh and other right wingers often disparage her in this way? Well, as always, things boil down to racial issues. Some blogger say the attacks are because the First Lady is black.  Some say that black women have "big butts" and claim that white women have "flat butts". Regardless, most agree that the congressman's comments were inappropriate and insensitive. I often wonder why I ever thought that the First Family would be treated with respect. Wishful thinking I guess.

Chicago Sun Times reporter Lynn Sweet reports that Sesenbrenner has sent a written apology to Michelle Obama.

Follow-up :
Akiba Solomon's article for The Daily Beast offers a relevant point of view on this story:
"Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and Rush Limbaugh make asses of themselves when they trash talk about Michelle Obama’s appearance instead of frankly addressing the issues she raises about nutrition and health care."                   
And that’s what’s scary to a paunchy, sexist trash-talker like Limbaugh. He simply can’t bear to see a woman be proud of what her body actually looks like when she’s eating nutritious foods, splurging occasionally without apology, exercising regularly, and sporting biceps that make his look like mammoth knees.
I also think Sensenbrenner, Limbaugh, and their folk are afraid of how this country’s first black First Lady is changing the centuries-old, dehumanizing scripts about women of color in media and beyond.
Every time Michelle Obama from Chi-Town jumps Double-Dutch with schoolkids, hits the hula hoop, teaches us how to dougie, shows Desmond Tutu how to do a proper pushup or does a record number of jumping jacks, she chips away at Ronald Reagan’s fake welfare queen, Hollywood’s jolly mammies, and Jackie magazine’s “niggabitch” with a “ghetto ass.”

Clearly, these petty, dirty old men have been gawking at the First Lady’s behind when they could have been studying and debating Let’s Move policies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

SCOTUS May Impact 2012 Election

(Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Aaron Blake, Washington Post, reports:
With its recent decisions to take up a trio of major cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled that it will become a major player in the 2012 election.
The court’s decision Monday to review Arizona’s controversial illegal immigration law was just the latest addition to what many see as its most important and politically charged docket in recent years. 
The court also said late Friday that it would review a contentious redistricting situation in Texas, and perhaps most importantly, a few weeks ago it said it would examine President Obama’s health-care bill.
...all three are part of an emerging picture of a pretty powerful and assertive court that will hand down rulings with political consequences for the 2012 election.
 Who will benefit from the court's decisions?

Tea Party Group Compares POTUS to a Skunk

Patriot Freedom Alliance, a Hutchinson, Kansas Tea Party group, is coming under fire for making a racially-tinged Obama skunk reference. An offensive illustration comparing President Obama to a skunk was posted on, the website of the group, with the caption: "The skunk has replaced the eagle as the new symbol for the president. It is half black, it is half white, and almost everything it does, stinks."

It was removed from the Patriot Freedom Alliance web site after being highly criticized for its racially charged message by the NAACP.

Local newspaper the Hutchinson News reported that Thomas Hymer, who maintains the web site, defended this message saying: "It's satire is what it is. Satire in a politically incorrect form."

Area NAACP president Darrell Pope told the paper that the caption attacking President Obama is "a blatant statement of racism[...] intended to be malicious."

Source: The Grio

Glenn Beck Calls Tea Party Racist

From Think Progress:

In a startling admission from a major Tea Party champion, former Fox News host Glenn Beck said Friday that race may be a motivating factor in the Tea Party's opposition to President Obama. In an interview with Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano, Beck said Obama and GOP front-runner Newt Gingrich are both "big government progressive[s]," so he doesn't understand why Tea Party members are supporting Gingrich. "If you're against [Obama] but you're for [Gingrich], it must be about race," Beck said:

BECK: And I issued a challenge to Tea Party members. ... [Gingrich] is a progressive. ... If you have a big government progressive, or a big government progressive in Obama, one in Newt Gingrich, one in Obama, ask yourself this, Tea Party: is it about Obama's race? Because that's what it appears to be to me. If you're against him but you're for this guy, it must be about race.

I'd love to hear your comments on this. I'm just speechless! What do I do now since I almost never believe anything Glenn Beck says  and I usually don't agree with him.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Senate GOP Block Cordray Nomination to Stop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Senate rejected Richard Cordray, President Obama's nominee to head the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There was little mystery to the vote -- 44 Republicans pledged in May to block his nomination. The final tally was 53-45, with Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine voting "present." Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, facing the bureau's inventor Elizabeth Warren, was the lone dissenting GOP vote.

Republicans don't like the agency, so they've fought to hamper it by refusing to approve any one as its Director.  Once again, they've made new rules and confirm they'll do anything to protect the rich and stick it to the middle class.

Some Democrats Waiver in Support of President Obama

Joe Manchin, Bernie Sanders, John Barrows (AP Photos)
Democrats Joe Manchin, independent Bernie Sanders and John Barrow aren't committed to Obama.    
A number of moderate Democrats like Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar and liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders are declining to give their unqualified support for the president, saying they’re either too focused on their own races or are calling on the White House to cater to their agendas before they will offer an endorsement.

It would never happen in the GOP.
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Political Games: Same Song-Different Day

The country’s facing serious difficulties. Unemployment is at 9 per cent, the housing market is tanking and Americans have lost confidence in the future. The President is fighting back and his Republican opponents are climbing over another to grab the brass ring.

The GOP candidates take every opportunity to criticize Obama, promising to make him a “one term president”. Romney went to Nevada where foreclosures are highest in the nation and promised to let the “normal market process” force owners out of their homes and allow the properties to be rented. The candidates have presented their financial proposals, including Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan and Rick Perry’s “flat tax” plan. The rich will get richer and the middle class and the poor will be adversely affected. Bachman and her fellows vow to repeal “Obamacare”, but offer nothing to replace it to solve healthcare issues.

Voters agree with the President and the Democrats on major issues such as ending the Bush tax cutas for the wealthy and preserving Social Security and Medicare. They agree with Republicans that the government should spend less, but seem to doubt that any of the GOP candidates would trim the budget in an intelligent and compassionate way.

Simply not being Obama is not enough. Calls to make Obama a “one term president” aren’t getting the same big response.  Many voters realize that Republican candidates are selling the same old policies-trickle-down economics and tax cuts for the rich. Funny, they don’t even try to change their rhetoric. I wonder if they know voters aren’t buying it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

American's Loathe Congress

 Chris Cillizza's The Fix Blog posted the following post along with the chart above:
It’s no secret that people don’t like — ok, loathe — Congress.
The latest Gallup monthly survey pegged Congressional approval at just 13 percent, the second straight month it has hit that all-time low.
“The 2011 average is on track to be the lowest annual rating of Congress in Gallup’s history,” wrote Gallup’s Frank Newport in a memo on the results.

Just in case you missed it, take a look at the chart that quantifies the American public's opinion of Congress.  It's a sad state of affairs when the popularity of Congress fails below the idea of the U. S. going Communist and ties with the popularity of Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president.  I wonder why Congress doesn't do something different.  Doesn't the poll indicate a lack of confidence in their ability to govern? I guess they think they'll be re-elected anyway, but time will tell.

Source: The Fix Blog; Washington Post; Ezra Klein's Wonkbook

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm Not Disappointed in President Obama

This 6-minute video is a MUST-SEE! This gentleman quietly, decisively, and succinctly sums up why President Barack Obama is the epitome of "Promises Made and Promises Kept" and why some progressives and liberals are misguided in their expectations and criticisms of the POTUS.

Thanks to BlackLiberalBoomer for sharing the information about the clip.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A "Lazy" Lie From Romney and Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry
Devin Dwyer, ABC News calls out Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Perry for his ad that distorts President Obama's comments:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry takes President Obama to task in a new TV ad for recently suggesting — in Perry’s words — that “Americans are lazy.”
“Can you believe that? That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy? That’s pathetic,” Perry says in the spot that’s airing in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The only problem: the full context of Obama’s remarks made Saturday during a meeting of CEOs in Honolulu indicates he wasn’t suggesting that at all.
Boeing CEO James McNerney asked Obama about his thinking on the perception by some countries of “impediments to investment” in the U.S.
Obama replied that “we’ve been a little bit lazy” about actively trying to attract private foreign investors to U.S. soil — referring broadly to American government and business sectors, not the American people themselves.

Obama’s comments in full:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Loose Lips Sink Ships-Sarkozy/Obama Quips

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and US President Barack Obama walk together during arrivals for the G20 summit in Cannes, France on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.

Yann Le Guernigou, Reuters, reports on the following incident from the G-20 Summit:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a liar" in a private conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week's G20 summit in Cannes.
"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.
"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Herman Cain-Another "High Tech Lynching" ???

Sharon Bialek and Atty. Gloria Allred
ZerIina Mawell offered an interesting perspective in The Grio about the Herman Cain sexual allegations,  his accusers, and history.
Four women have accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment but this is the first one to show her face publicly since Politico broke the story in October.
And her face is white.

Fourth Woman Accuses Herman Cain

Cain 's Fourth Accuser Sharon Bialek
A fourth woman has accused Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment--this time in public.
Holly Bailey, The Ticket, reported the details related by Sharon Bialek:
Sharon Bialek told reporters in a press conference Monday that Cain groped her and exhibited "sexually inappropriate" behavior toward her when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.
Bialek, a former NRA employee who worked for the association in between 1996 and 1997, said the encounter occurred shortly after she was laid off from the group's education fund in July 1997.
She said she had approached Cain for help in looking for a new job and had traveled to Washington, D.C., where she had dinner with the then-NRA head. She told reporters that upon her arrival in D.C. she discovered that Cain had secretly upgraded her hotel room to a suite.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clinton's New Book-Messages to President Obama

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton laugh together at the Kennedy Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011.

The 42nd president offers his observations on the state of the country in his new book “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.”
In addition, Clinton shares his views on the pluses and minuses of Obama's presidency to date.
The short version follows:
  • Clinton criticises Obama for the debt ceiling crisis indicating Obama should have raises the debt ceiling during his first two years when the Democrats had control of Congress.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Republicans Say No to Infrastructure Bill...Again

Democrats have been trying to move Obama’s American Jobs Act forward plank by plank, without much success, since the Senate blocked the package in its entirety last month.
The Senate shot down another piece of President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill Thursday, as a stalemated Congress goes through the motions of attempting legislation to spur economic growth largely as a mechanism to allow each party to blame the other for the failure to act.
The chamber failed to advance a measure to spend $50 billion on highway, rail, transit and airport improvements and another $10 billion as seed money for an infrastructure bank designed to spark private investment in construction. The vote was 51 to 49 in favor, but the measure needed 60 votes to proceed to a full debate.
All 47 Senate Republicans joined Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) in opposing the Obama infrastructure measure, which would have been funded with a 0.7 percent surtax on those making more than a million dollars a year.
“It makes no sense when you consider that this bill was made up of the same kinds of common-sense proposals that many of these Senators have fought for in the past. It was fully paid for,” Obama said in a statement issued by the White House.
The Senate had already blocked another element of the plan that would have provided $35 billion in aid to states to hire teachers and first responders. Democrats have indicated they will ask the Senate to vote on other pieces of the plan, including extending a payroll tax holiday for workers and benefits for the unemployed, and offering new tax incentives to businesses to hire veterans and the long-term unemployed.
Also Thursday, Democrats joined to block a separate Republican proposal to extend the government’s highway spending authority for the next two years and roll back some environmental regulations. A procedural motion to advance the measure was rejected 53 to 47. The current highway spending authority will lapse in February.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween at the White House


President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama offer treats to trick-or-treaters October 29, 2011 to celebrate Halloween on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC.
Trick-or-treaters from capital area elementary schools and children of military families enjoyed the Halloween decorations and festivities.Treats include White House M&Ms, sweet dough butter cookies baked by White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and a serving of dried fruit.

Children from military families also have been invited to attend a special Halloween party inside the White House on Saturday evening.

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Ann Coulter: "Our Blacks Are Better Than Their Blacks"

Politico drew swift right-wing fire for its Sunday article on Cain, which alleged that two female employees had accused him of sexual harassment in the 1990s. Ann Coulter continued the conservative criticism of Politico for its article on Herman Cain during an appearance on Monday's "Hannity."

Coulter brought things back to race, saying that some women had been quick to forgive Bill Clinton for his sexual transgressions, but were attacking Herman Cain. "If you are a conservative black, they will believe the most horrible sexualized fantasies of these uptight white feminists," she said.

Hannity wondered why liberals were, in his words, so "threatened" by Cain. Coulter was blunt in her response.

Outrage Over Republican Email With Obama Zombie Graphic

Top Republicans in Virginia are strongly condemning a Halloween-themed graphic circulated by a local GOP committee Monday that depicted President Obama as a zombie with a gunshot wound to his head.
The depiction of President Obama as a "zombie" with a bullet hole in his forehead was part of the illustration in email sent to members of the Loudoun County Republican committee asking them to help decorate a float for the Halloween parade in Leesburg. The image, featured on the email header, included photos of a disfigured House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and a throng of flesh-hungry zombie Obama supporters.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Has President Obama Lost His Youngest Supporters?

President Obama's American Jobs Act

In 2008, young voters, college students, and first time voters came to the polls in record numbers to cast their vote for Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. But, somehow those voters have lost their enthusiasm about politics in general and the current President in particular.  The question is "will they support Barack Obama's reelection"?  Better yet, "will these disenchanted first time voters even return to the polls in the next election"?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Radical Pastor Eyes White House Run

Radical pastor Terry Jones got his first fifteen minutes of fame when he called for a "burn-a-Koran" day on the nineth anniversary of 9/11. When he withdrew his original plans only to set fire to the Muslim's holy book in March, riots occured around the world, as well as other violence and deaths. Not bad for an unknown pastor of a flock of 100.

Now Pastor Jones is running for President under his " Stand Up For America Now " platform.  His conservative 7 point agenda includes deporting "all illegals", reducing military spending, balancing the budget and cutting corporate taxes. Jones authored a hate-mongering book, with the provocative title of “Islam is of the Devil”. He hopes to gain funding for his campaign from like-minded individuals, asking them to “financially support us as we continue our stand against radical Islam”.

Katerina Azarova, notes the following:
And for all his radical, controversial statements, his platform is not all that different from what the Republicans are running with. Whether that will eventually benefit the pastor and his burning passion, or the GOP, remains to be seen.
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Thousands of Detroit Students Waiting For Books

Students from Woodward Academy on August 8, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)

The 2011-2012 Detroit Public School year started on Sept. 6, with thousands of homes and streets all over the city adorned with signs that had the two-word slogan "I'm In" everywhere. Nearly two months into the school year, the one thing that is not in a lot of Detroit Schools right now are books.
"I know there is a shortage and there is an order and they are still sharing books," said Andrew Hayes, whose son is a third-grader at Fisher Magnet Elementary on the city's east side. "There are a lot of frustrated parents. They want the kids to have what they are supposed to have. At the beginning of the year, we were told that every student would have the textbooks. It's seven weeks into school."

Teachers at Cass Technical High School -- the city's largest high school -- say that they are short nearly 2,400 textbooks in all grade levels. According to the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the deficiencies range across all subjects including English, chemistry, geometry, Spanish, and U.S. history.

I read Jay Scott Smith's full story in the Grio, then looked at the bright eager faces in the photo by Wire Image.  These students deserve more. I felt so disappointed in the state of education in our country today. We need to do something and do something fast if we are to compete in the global economy of today. It's our choice.
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Once Again, Boehner Says NO!

(photo by Joshua Roberts - BLOOMBERG)   

I've never agreed with anything House Speaker John Boehner(R-Ohio) ever said until today. He said "“I do think it’s time for everybody to get serious about this,” . He was talking about the work of the the bipartisan 12-member panel "Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction", better  known as the "Supercommittee".

Beyond his statement about "getting serious", Boehner rejected a Democratic proposal to trim the country’s debt by $3 trillion through an equal mix of new revenue and spending cuts. I disagree with Republicans vowing to refuse any plan that increases taxes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

President Obama Announces Student Loan Relief

President Barack Obama greets the crowd before his speech about managing student debt during an event at the University of Colorado Denver Downtown Campus in Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon)

 President Obama announced a plan that seeks to lessen the burden of paying back student loans.  According to a paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as reported on by USA Today, total outstanding student debt has passed $1 trillion, more than the nation’s credit card debt, and average indebtedness for students is rising. Student loans are the second largest source of household debt.

Speaking at the University of Colorado Denver, the president recalled his struggles with student loan debt, saying that he and his wife, Michelle, together owed more than $120,000 in law school debt that took nearly a decade to pay off. 

"I've been in your shoes. We did not come from a wealthy family," the president said to cheers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

NPR Host Michele Norris Steps Aside

 NPR Host Michele Norris
National Public Radio's Michele Norris will temporarily leave her current position at week's end. Norris has co-hosted "All Things Considered" for almost ten years, alongside Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. Not only will Norris temporarily step down from her ATC hosting duties, she will refrain from involvement in any NPR political coverage due to her husband's appointment to the Barack Obama 2012 presidential re-election campaign.

Norris sent a email to the staff:
"Given the nature of Broderick's position with the campaign and the impact that it will most certainly have on our family life, I will temporarily step away from my hosting duties until after the 2012 elections."
"This has all happened very quickly, but working closely with NPR management, we've been able to make a plan that serves the show, honors the integrity of our news organization and is best for me professionally and personally. "

Norris did the same thing in 2004 when Johnson worked with John Kerry's campaign, but not in 2008 when he was an "unpaid adviser to Obama camp.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

GOP Says "NO" to Obama's Jobs Bill

Have you ever wondered why there's so much confusion about the politics of creating jobs and reducing federal spending?

President Obama is asking Congress to pass his American Jobs Act, but the GOP has been successful in using political manuvering to stop him cold. It looks like the Party of "NO" strikes again, stalling the economic recovery and frustrating 14 million unemployed Americans without possing any meaningful alternative.

Take a minute to answer the following questions with a single True or False. Then see where the American public lines up on these issues. You may find it interesting to see what your beliefs are as they relate to "creating jobs" and federal spending.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Warren Buffet-How to Fix Congress

I got this interesting email and decided to share it.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
for re-election.
 Here is “A Congressional Reform Act of 2011" which would be effective immediately when passed.

 1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they're out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

Friday, October 21, 2011

AZ Gov Jan Brewer's Law Suit Dismissed

AZ Governor Jan Brewer

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge Friday dismissed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's lawsuit that accuses the Obama administration of failing to enforce immigration laws or maintain control of her state's border with Mexico.
The dismissal by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton comes in a counter-lawsuit filed by Brewer as part of the Justice Department's challenge to Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law.
The Republican governor was seeking a court order that would require the federal government to take extra steps, such as more border fencing, to protect Arizona until the border is controlled.

President Obama Ending Iraq War

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end, for the sake of our national security, and to strengthen American leadership around the world. After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011.

...So today, I can report that as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over.

...Here at home, the coming months will be another season of homecomings. Across America, our servicemen and -women will be reunited with their families. Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.

...This December will be a time to reflect on all that we've been through in this war.

...So to sum up, the United States is moving forward from a position of strength. The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward. And our troops are finally coming home. As they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world.

And we welcome home our newest veterans, we'll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned.

This includes enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation, creating opportunity and jobs in this country, because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own, an America that sees its economic strength restored, just as we've restored our leadership around the globe.

Thank you very much.

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Disgraced Governor Mark Sanford Joins Fox News

Jim Rutenberg, The Caucus blog, reports the following:

Former Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina may have not have been able to run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination after his 2009 cheating scandal, but he will at least get to talk about the campaign on national television – as a paid contributor on Fox News, the Caucus has learned.

A network spokeswoman confirmed that Mr. Sanford, once considered a potential Republican presidential contender, has signed on with the network. While he is certain to appear prominently at the debate Fox News is holding in South Carolina in January, he will appear well before that and will stay on with Fox even beyond the general election.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anita Hill shares a vision of economic inequality in America

After delivering a speech at a conference marking the twentieth anniversary of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, Brandeis University professor, Anita Hill, gives an interview on the topic of discrimination based on gender, at Georgetown University Law School on Capitol Hill Thursday, October 6, 2011. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Read a few of the excerpts of Anita Hill's subject remarks:
"Americans," says Professor Hill, "are in need of a 21st Century vision of our country."
It says something about us as a nation when we spend nearly a trillion dollars to save the hides of Wall Street bankers who made billions betting against the housing boom they themselves created. It says something about us when we allow predatory lenders to take advantage of the least of these -- the poor, elderly and disproportionately people of color. It says something about us when we keep sending people to Washington whose only agenda is keeping their jobs when the unemployment rate continues to soar.

Owning and keeping a home has become increasingly difficult for people of color and single women. Specifically, African-American wealth, driven mostly by the housing market crash and scourge of foreclosures, has all but evaporated. Today, the black middle class is all but non-existent. Most of our wealth was tied up in the homes sold on the courthouse steps.

To hear Mitt Romney tell it, we should simply let the housing market hit rock bottom. And if you aren't wealthy or don't have a job, blame yourself, says Herman Cain. The market crash was three years ago, he quipped.

Today's public discourse is a sad stage of affairs, inhabited by a bevy of bad actors who have never known a day without bread -- in their mouths or their pockets. None seem to know the reality of a pink slip or a foreclosure notice. Cutting Pell Grants, and other means of access to opportunity, seems right and reasonable because they've never had to apply for one. It's telling when we elect people who are so willing to demonize poor, working class people while celebrating the top one percent. I am a capitalist to my core, but as Elizabeth Warren said, "nobody got rich on their own."
Read the full text at the Grio.

CNN Nevada GOP Debate

Yesterday CNN presented yet another GOP Debate of the Republican Presidential Candidates in Las Vegas. Most commentators say Mitt Romney, once again, came out on top. Herman Cain quickly found himself being pummeled even as his rivals preceded their punches with words of praise, and his “read my plan” defense was strikingly weak. But after those opening moments, writes The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz, it was Mitt Romney who took over the event with a series of toe-to-toe exchanges in which he stood his ground and refused to be talked over.

After listening to the verbal battle, I still didn't find a plan of action to help the middle class or to improve the economy.  I heard negative remarks about the current administration, but no clear path for change.  I heard the standard GOP cries against "big" government, regulation, and spending, but no clear plan as to how each candidate would govern. I heard no realistic approach to Immigration issues.  I heard commitment to repealing "Obamacare", but no plan for what would replace it or how each candidate would approach the health care issues.

Every time I listen to Republicans reply (or not) when asked about major issues that face America, I understand why they could never get my vote.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Ron Paul's " Plan to Restore America"

Representative Ron Paul on Monday unveiled an aggressive budget plan that would greatly shrink the federal government that he is seeking to run, eliminating the agency that oversees airport security, the departments of energy and education — and three others — while cutting all war financing.
Providing a stark vision of what a libertarian takeover of the White House would look like, the plan would slash the federal budget by $1 trillion in a single year and, Mr. Paul said, bring the budget into balance within three.
The federal workforce would be cut by 10 percent across the board. Aid to foreign nations would stop flowing altogether. And, reflecting the way Mr. Paul would shrink the very job he seeks, the president’s annual salary would be reduced to $39,336 from $400,000.

GOP Works on Anti-abortion Agenda, not Jobs

Dr. Beverly McMillan, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, left, thanks supporters at a prayer rally in Jackson, Miss., for their support on efforts to get a proposed "personhood" constitutional amendment offered to voters, on June 6, 2011. The amendment offers a definition of a person not now found in the Mississippi Constitution.

Republicans are not about getting Americans jobs.  They really are about their Pro-Life agenda.

A national effort to put abortion bans into state constitutions is looking for its first victory next month in Mississippi, where voters are being asked to approve an amendment declaring that life begins when a human egg is fertilized.

Supporters hope the so-called personhood initiative will succeed in a Bible Belt state that already has some of the nation's toughest abortion regulations and only a single clinic where the procedures are performed.

A War of Voting: Could Redistricting and Voting Law Changes Help Republicans Win in 2012?

I’m not sure if you’ve been paying attention to what the GOP establishment in concert with corporate interests have been doing; that negatively affects minority voters. After watching a segment on The Rachel Maddow Show which dealt with what’s happening in Denver and how it negatively affects minority voters I figured it would be a good idea to share the following information about as 5 million Americans who may lose the ability to vote in 2012.

The following is the summary of a report conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice, on the impact of new voting laws passed across the country.

Over the past century, our nation expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation. In 2011, however, that momentum abruptly shifted.
State governments across the country enacted an array of new laws making it harder to register or to vote. Some states require voters to show government-issued photo identification, often of a type that as many as one in ten voters do not have. Other states have cut back on early voting, a hugely popular innovation used by millions of Americans. Two states reversed earlier reforms and once again disenfranchised millions who have past criminal convictions but who are now taxpaying members of the community. Still others made it much more difficult for citizens to register to vote, a prerequisite for voting.

First Lady to Attend World Series Opener

First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, greet people outside the home of Army Sgt. Johnny Agbi's home during a Joining Forcers initiative event, Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are scheduled to attend the World Series opener in St. Louis on Wednesday night to honor military veterans.
Major League Baseball announced Monday that it has dedicated Game 1 between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals to veterans and their families.

The first lady and Dr. Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will participate in a pregame ceremony at Busch Stadium as part of MLB's Welcome Back Veterans program and Obama's Joining Forces initiative.

Pew Study: Media Not in Love With Obama

According to a new Pew Research Center survey of media over the past five months, President Obama gets far worse coverage than any of his 2012 Republican would-be rivals.
The center surveyed stories in 1,500 news outlets and found that stories in them about President Obama were consistently negative, by a four-to-one margin. Only nine percent of the news coverage in those outlets over the last five months was positive; 34 percent was negative.
The tone of Obama’s coverage on blogs, while still overwhelmingly negative, was slightly better for the president, with 14 percent rated as positive and 36 percent rated negative.
According to the survey, Republican presidential contenders have found a more mixed media reception.