Monday, January 31, 2011

FL Judge Rules Healthcare Bill Unconstitutional

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...Image via Wikipedia
A federal judge has ruled that the health care reform bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in March is unconstitutional.

Judge Roger Vinson, a Reagan appointee serving in Pensacola, Florida, ruled that key components of the law are unconstitutional and that the entire law "must be declared void."

In the decision, Vinson writes:

"... I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here.

Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void."

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Bristol Palin Dropped From University Sex Week Appearance

Uproar over Washington University's decision to pay Bristol Palin around $20,000 to partake in a discussion about "sexual responsibility" during the institution's annual "Sex Week" recently led the St. Louis, Mo., school to reverse its decision.

Students at Wash U have rallied against the selection, announced earlier this week, mounting protests, petitions and referendums, all aimed at overturning the decision by the university's Student Health Advisory Committee to invite Bristol Palin to talk about abstinence during the university's Student Sexual Responsibility Week.  Palin, now 20, became pregnant with now two-year-old son Tripp at age 17. Students protested, arguing they didn't want to pay for Palin to speak using student funds

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RNC $23 Million in Debt

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 14:  Wisconsin state ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
The Republican National Committee is deep in debt as it prepares for the 2012 election cycle, new Chairman Reince Priebus announced Monday. The committee's year-end financial report will show $21 million in debt through year end, but a more up-to-date total is closer to $23 million. That's about $8 million higher than previously reported.

The new chairman has reportedly asked for the resignation of Steele's senior staff and cut one third of the staff he inherited from previous RNC Chairman Michael Steele. He's named two powerful GOP operatives to lead his transition effort. Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a counselor to George W. Bush, will be named transition chairman. Nick Ayers, a strategist who ran the Republican Governors Association, will serve as transition director.

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The 2012 Republican Candidate Pool

Well you've heard about T-Paw, Mike Huckabe, Mitt Romney  and Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman...even Jim DeMint as potential Republican candidates for the Presidency.

Now I hear the Obama Administration's ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is considering a run for president.  Amid talk of a 2012 presidential candidacy former Governor of Utah Huntsman has resigned his post and is leaving his post April 30.

Huntsman is a fresh face, entirely unknown on the national stage. His China experience makes him the best versed Republican in the current field on foreign affairs. He is from a promenient Morman family. His father is a billionaire, the 937th richest man in the world. He brings some interesting cards to the table.

Could Huntsman split the Morman vote with Mitt Romney?  If his 2012 ambitions fail, is 2016 a viable option? Is he a possible for the number two spot on the Republican ticket? Is he the answer for conservatives looking for a "reasonable, respectable" candidate?

The water must be inviting, so expect others to follow suit. Ain't politics wonderful?

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tea Party's Response to SOTU

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 10:  Rep. Michele Bachma...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
After President Obama delivered his State of the Union message, the Republican spokesman Paul  Ryan responded.  Then something new happened...a second response was televised on CNN. Michele Bachman presented remarks on behalf of the Tea Party. On every channel and throughout the print media, serious questions were raised. 

As always, Bachman was a show in herself. Let's not mention that throughout her remarks, she failed to find the proper camera and therefore appeared to be staring off into space.  During her remarks, she managed to rewrite Civil War history and convince me that she did not understand the ins and outs of the financial crisis.  As always, she blamed Barack Obama for all the evils of the world.  She even had charts and graphs to prove it. Her closing with patriotic flim flam and mom and apple pie fell flat on my ears.

It will be interesting to watch the interaction of the GOP and the Tea Party and the resulting impact on America.  It's hard to take Michelle Bachman seriously, but I know better than to discount her.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

SOTU Republican Response: Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan (politician)Image via Wikipedia
After President Obama presented his State of the Union message, the GOP  response was aired. Just as the president gave a vision of what the future holds under his leadership, Paul Ryan offered the Republican view.

Highlights of Paul Ryan's Response  from FireDogLake's Live Blog include:
....Ryan is concerned about the crushing debate as a “parent.” Claims Obama engaged in a spending spree.

…All this failed spending “was sold as investment” (Republicans seem no interest in getting on board with Obama’s call for investment.)

 ...Claims Republicans will work for a great replacement for health care reform they voted to repeal (Seems like they had two whole years to come up with their alternative.)

…Ryan only says those “in or near retirement” will be protected by Republican entitlement reform.

... Ryan acknowledges that a “social safety net” is part of the job of a limited government.

…Spending cuts must come first.

…If we continue down this path we will end up like Ireland and Greece. which were forced to make big cuts. (Which is the justification apparently for why we must make big cuts.)

…Claims our system has down more to help the poor than any other system on earth. (I would say the poor in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc…. which are much better off than the poor in this country would care to disagree.)

Overall a strongly partisan speech

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"WTF" Moment-Aunt Sarah's Version

Sarah Palin in Savannah, Georgia, Dec 1, 2008 ...Image via Wikipedia
In his recent State of the Union message, President Obama shared his vision with Congress and the American people. This is America's "Sputnik moment", "We do big things" and "Win the Future" were important concepts forAmerica's political direction under his leadership. Overall his comments were well received by the majority of listeners.

Well, along comes Aunt Sarah Palin with her normal smarty pants remarks, low on substance and as usual sprinkled with inaccuracies by misplacing the US' role in the President's Sputnik analogy. Palin seems to be cautioning America against launching its own metaphorical Sputnik by warning that the USSR incurred so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union. Once again, wrong!

Palin's reference to Obama's "WTF" moment also alludes to the commonly accepted meaning of "WTF".  She probably thought it was cute to mix the president's meaning with the off color meaning.  As always, when she was challenged, she retreated and pleaded innocence.

And this person wants to be President. God Bless America.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

"We Do Big Things"- State of the Union

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...Image via Wikipedia

President Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress for the third time on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.  The speech drew 42.8 million viewers. The Nielsen Company reports that the audience was 11% smaller than the 48 million who watched in 2010. On February 24, 2009, shortly after taking office, the President address 52.4 million as he addressed that joint session of Congress.

Remembering the recent tradegies in Az and the injuries to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, an empty seat and a warm ovation told everyone that none were forgotten.  In addition, The President paid tribute to the men and women in our Armed Forces and their families.

Generally, the President gets positive reviews as he projected a more centrist viewpoint.  Many Congress men and women sat together, mixing Democrats and Republicans, listening to the remarks, which had been leaked to the press in advance of the presentation.  The President proposed a 5 year budget freeze on some government spending, a ban on earmarks which he promised to veto, and promised to work with Republicans on issues facing the nation. Congress strained to project a more civil manner after last year's incident where one member shouted out "You lie" in the middle of Obama's remarks.

The Supreme Court Justices were in attendance without Justices Alito, Thomas, and Scalia. Chief Justice John Roberts lead the six attending Justices including Justices Sotomayor, Ginsberg, and Kagan. Speculation had it that only the Democratic court nominees would attend. Some raise the question as to whether the Supreme Court Justices should be required to attend the session at all. Justice Alto was speaking st the University of Hawaii Law School. The other no-shows were Justices Scalia and Thomas, who rarely attend the speech.

I appreciated the President reminding the American people how things have changed in today's global marketplaace, the academic challenges we face in education, our crumbling infrastructure, energy issues, etc.
He called today our "sputnik moment" and reminded us that "we do big things".  What I remember most is him saying "it's what we do" (after the speech) that will tell the story.  Time will tell it all.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Killing of DJ Henry

Please watch the BET show "The Killing of DJ Henry" on 1/23/11 at 11p.m.

DJ was shot and killed by Westchester County, New York police on October 17, 2010 when he and his best friend Brandon Cox were driving away from a restaurant. Danroy Henry (DJ) was a student at Pace University and Brandon a student at Stonehill College and both were from the Town of Easton, Massachusetts. The two boys were best friends and played on opposite football teams. The two schools played a homecoming football came that day and the parents of both boys attended.

That night DJ was driving away from a restaurant in a white section of Westchester County when they were fired upon by police. DJ was killed and Brandon, who was a front seat passenger, was wounded by police fire. The young men were not fleeing felons. They had no guns on their persons or in the car. They had no drugs. They had no prior criminal records. They were two young black men who were leaving a restaurant after being out with friends (college students) at a restaurant.

For most of those from the Boston area this shooting and killing should have special significance. The fact that BET is doing this story signals that it has national importance, especially for the black community. On the legal side, Brandon is represented by Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School, John Abady of New York City and a long time family friend.

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Goodbye Keith Olbermann

Cropped headshot of Keith OlbermannImage via Wikipedia

It was a quick and abrupt goodby from MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann at the end of his show on Friday. As I watched, I wasn't sure whether Keith was signing off for the night or for forever.  Now it is a sure thing that the latter is true.

Rumor has it that the network paid Keith to leave his 4 year $30 million dollar contract which would be ending in 2012.  Alledgely, under an agreement,  the network continues to pay his salary and prohibits him from being on air until the fall.

Personally, I will miss the show and Keith Olbermann, but I'm sure he will show up elsewhere. Thanks for the ride Keith and the best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Lady at State Dinner (China)

First Lady Michelle Obama stopped traffic in a lovely red gown by Alexander Mc Queen at the recent state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao. 225  dignitaries and A-list guests attended. Among the guests were Barbra Streisand, Yo-Yo Ma, Michelle Kwan and Jackie Chan. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Beyer also attended. Of course, once again House Speaker John Boehner, third in line of sucession to president, was too busy too attend. The Republican House was voting to repeal the health care bill.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Michael Steel Out As RNC Chair

Reince Priebus-RNC Chairman

Wisconsin Republican party chairman Reince Priebus won the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee in the seventh round of voting, replacing his one-time ally Michael Steele. Priebus had served a general counsel to the RNC and promises to be a departure from the headlining antics of Steele.

Priebus has a tough job facing him. Samuel P. Jacobs of the Daily Beast reports the RNC faces a $20 million debt, the biggest hole in its history. The fundraising haul in 2010 was six times smaller than the total accumulated in 2006. According to a recent Washington Post analysis, major fundraisers are leaving in stampedes. The Wisconsin Republican will be entrusted with guiding the party against the Obama re-election machine, which is revving up to run a $1 billion presidential campaign.

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The Aftermath of Tucson Shootings

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...Image via Wikipedia
Gabrielle Giffords
 The media had a feeding frenze covering the recent shooting of U. S. Congressman Gabrielle Giffords ane the murder of six including a Federal judge and a nine year old girl. Controversy ran amuck with charges that the climate fostering this type of violence was due to gun related references from politicians, i.e. Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle. Naturally, Palin and Angle pleaded their innocence and Republicans and Democrats entered the fray to either defend or denounce each party. Naturally, Fox personalities Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck had their say on the issues.

Personally, I've always felt that the heated rhetoric spawned potential violence.  Warnings given over the past two years and during the 2008 presidential campaign go unheeded. Gabrielle Giffords spoke of confronting violent acts and death threats since Palin marked her with graphics resembling cross hairs on her SarahPAC web page. I also believe that while some Republicans have fully embraced this gun-toting language, some Democrats also are guilty of using similar verbage .

I agree with President Obama that it's time for a change and time to restore civility in our political discourse.  I don't expect this to happen beyond a few weeks, if at all, but I can remain hopeful. As always, time will tell it all. Meanwhile, let's send up prayers for the victims and their families during this difficult period.
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N. C. School Board Reverses Integration Efforts

Raleigh, N. C. school board, with the help of the Tea Party, advocates repeal of long standing policies to reverse discrimination. Once a leader in integration efforts, the Wake County North Carolina School Board is abolishing its policy on integration. The board's decision is being investigated by U. S. Dept. of Education.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Resume from the Past

None of us has had to experience the pain of separation or live with the disgrace and humiliation that comes with not being free. When you cast your vote for who will run our country, never forget your history and keep this bill of sale in mind. When we allow ourselves to forget our not so distant past, then we are destined to repeat these actions in our future. Stand for those who came before us and those who could not stand up for themselves. VOTE!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Things I Missed during Christmas Break

Michael Vick in a locker room interview follow...Image via Wikipedia
I love writing my blogs.  It gives me a chance to bring issues to those who missed them, clarify and provide additional information on subjects that interest me, and express my point of view on national issues. Sometimes I take a break and miss opportunities to comment on some of the current issues.

Here some quick comments about some of the issues occuring during my unofficial Christmas break:

Tucker Carlson Slams Michael Vick

Last week while filling in for Sean Hannity Tucker Carlson said he believed that Michael Vick should have been executed for his crimes against dogs. Carlson has taken heat from the left and the right for his over zealous comments. Carlson said “This is what happens when you get too emotional, I’m a dog lover, I love them and…I know a lot about what Michael Vick did…I overspoke. I’m uncomfortable with the death penalty in any circumstance. Of course I don’t think he should be executed, but I do think that what he did is truly appalling.” This is what happens when you when you want to create a soundbite. You overspeak and then you have to eat your words.

Excerpted from politics from the eyes of an ebony mom blog

President's Christmas Family Vacation

The Hawaii Reporter is reporting that the President’s Christmas break cost 1.4 million dollars. This quote is not based on any factual evidence, but rather is the reporter's guess as to what the vacation cost. Be that as it may, what I want to know is what's up with the media’s fascination with the cost of any trips that this first family takes. Why didn't past administrations receive the same kind of scrutiny? Makes you wonder.

Sarah Palin's War with the First Lady Over Desserts

I refuse to comment on this ridiculious ploy for media attention. Folks from the Right and the Left dismiss Palin's anti-Michele Obama stance on this issue and so do I.

Oprah Says America is to Smart to Elect Sarah Palin President

All I can say is ditto! (At least I hope so.)

Scott Sisters Freed in 2011

Two Mississippi sisters received life sentences for a robbery.  They spent 16 years in prison for an $11 robbery. The stipulation is one of the sisters must give a kidney to the ailing sister. Gov. Haley Barbour suspended their sentence with the stipulation that Gladys Scott, 36 must donate a kidney to her sister Jamie, 38. Is there something wrong with this picture?

See what happens when you take your hands off the wheel? You miss the good, the bad and the ugly!

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President Obama Signs Bill Limiting Gitmo Transfers

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...Image via Wikipedia
House Republicans appear to have won the first battle with the president over Guantanamo. President Obama reluctantly signed a defense appropriations bill into which Republicans had inserted provisions severely limiting his ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo. After signing the bill late Friday, Obama released a statement saying he intends to "work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future." Some Obama advisers had pushed for a repudiation of the provisions as an infringement on the president's rights, but White House lawyers disagreed. But acquiescing to them will make closing Guantanamo harder, and some critics, such as Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institute, would rather Obama just have said nothing: "It not only fails to make a constitutional objection, it does not interpret the provision. All it does is complain."

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20 Smartest People of 2010, As Ranked By The Daily Beast and the MacArthur Geniuses - The Daily Beast

Just in case you missed it, read the article below on the 20 Smartest People of 2010.  No my name isn't on the list, but sometimes mistakes are made.

20 Smartest People of 2010, As Ranked By The Daily Beast and the MacArthur Geniuses - The Daily Beast
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GOP Moves to Repeal HealthCare Law

DebbiewassermanschultzImage via Wikipedia
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was online at at 12:30 p.m. ET to discuss the new session of Congress and health-care repeal:

Still the party of no?: Republicans in the House have said their first goal is to repeal the entire Obama agenda. A vote to repeal The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is first on their list. Has there been a national outcry to repeal the entire bill? Is this the number one issue for voters?

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: On the contrary. In short, the number one issue for Americans right now is creating jobs. When people are asked if they feel that insurance companies should be back in the driver's seat on health care decisions, they say no. When seniors are asked whether they think we should restore the massive gap in their prescription drug coverage aka the donut hole, they say no. When people are asked if they think insurance companies should be able to drop people or deny them coverage for preexisting conditions, they say no. Americans support health security because it means economic security.

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Five myths about why the South seceded

"At his press conference today, Governor ...Image via Wikipedia

Five myths about why the South seceded

There are a variety of reasons cited for the South seceding  from the Union and beginning the Civil War. So that everyone is clear,  read the article linked above. The South left the Union over the issue of slavery. Southerners can put whatever spin on this subject, but the record reflects the truth.  Don't be fooled!

Haley Barbour, possible candidate for President in 2012, may not think that segregation in Mississippi "wasn't do bad" and other may try and shift the historic documentation of racism in the South, then and now, but facts speak for themselves.
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