Sunday, May 29, 2011

Meet Presidential Candidate Herman Cain

Herman Cain (born December 13, 1945) is an American businessman, columnist, and radio host from Georgia. He is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. He is a former deputy chairman (1992–94) and chairman (1995–96) of the civilian board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Before his business and economics career, he worked as a mathematician in ballistics for the United States Navy.  He has a BS degree from Morehouse College and a  Master's of Science degree from Purdue University. Cain's newspaper column is distributed by North Star Writers Group.  He lives in the Atlanta suburbs.

In January 2011, Cain announced he had formed an exploratory committee for a potential presidential campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and on May 21, 2011, Cain officially announced his candidacy.

Cain's position on the Economy is outlined on his website:
"Currently, the federal government taxes too much and too often. Meaningful tax reform should be implemented immediately to alleviate that suffocating tax burden placed on businesses and individuals in America. This means across-the-board tax cuts to provide long-term relief, including reducing the capital gains tax, suspending taxes on repatriated profits and permanently eliminating the death tax."

Cain believes that "Currently, the federal government taxes too much and too often. Meaningful tax reform should be implemented immediately to alleviate that suffocating tax burden placed on businesses and individuals in America. This means across-the-board tax cuts to provide long-term relief, including reducing the capital gains tax, suspending taxes on repatriated profits and permanently eliminating the death tax."

Cain supports alleviating excessive regulatory burdens
"Eliminating the burdens of cumbersome federal regulations would provide an immediate boost for our weakened economy. It would signal to businesses and investors that the federal government intends to get out of the business of over regulating. Where regulations are required the states will do their job. Consumers and investors do not need nanny-state federal regulations to save them from themselves."

Cain's stand on Immigration is detailed on his website as follows:
We must secure our borders, enforce our laws and promote the existing path to citizenship. Protecting our nation’s sovereignty should be a paramount concern of those elected to lead us, not an afterthought or a reaction once the problem becomes even worse. Further, taking a stand on the issue does not mean one lacks compassion, but instead, that one respects the rule of law and the importance of not becoming a lawless nation.

I learned Herman Cain's position on the major issues facing our country and I must say I would not feel safe if he reached his goal and became president.  His journey should be interesting to watch.

She's Back: Palin's Bus Tour Begins

Sarah Palin kicked off her "One Nation" bus tour at the Rolling Thunder ride in Washington, DC.
She joined thousands of motorcycles from across the country in the annual ride that draws attention to American veterans and missing troops.

Palin, who may run for president in 2012, received mixed reviews for participating in this years event because organizers say it is not meant to be a political event.
"We're here to honor our vets and remind Americans how extremely important it is to express our gratitude," Palin said when asked why she was at the event.

Her husband, Todd, and daughters Bristol and Piper also joined in the rally - all riding Harley Davidson bikes towards the front of the pack.

There's controversy about Palin's participation.  She says she was "invited".  Others say she wasn't. 

"She's not invited to speak. We're not endorsing her ... (but) we can't stop her from coming to ride, if she wants to ride," Ted Shpak, national legislative director of Rolling Thunder, told "Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Leave it to Palin to take her pubicity any way she can get it.
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

GOP Rep Walsh: Obama Elected-Articulate and Black

GOP Rep. Joe Walsh. IL 8th District, raged at Jewish Americans for not being sufficiently pro-Israel. Many Jews simply refuse to buy conservative falsehoods about Obama's stance on the 1967 lines, and the good Congressman finds this wholly unacceptable.

Today, Dave Weigel has published an interview with Walsh, in which he claims that Obama was only elected president because he is a "black man who was articulate":
"Why was he elected? Again, it comes back to who he was. He was black, he was historic. And there's nothing racist about this. It is what it is. If he had been a dynamic, white, state senator elected to Congress he wouldn't have gotten in the game this fast. This is what made him different. That, combined with the fact that your profession" -- another friendly tap of the bumper sticker --"not you, but your profession, was just absolutely compliant. They made up their minds early that they were in love with him. They were in love with him because they thought he was a good liberal guy and they were in love with him because he pushed that magical button: a black man who was articulate, liberal, the whole white guilt, all of that."
Joe Biden got in hot water for a similiar statement during the last presidential campaign. Let's see if any one calls Walsh's remarks out of bounds.

GM Adds 2500 jobs in Detroit

President Barack Obama, with Assembly Manager ...Image via Wikipedia
DETROIT (AP) - General Motors says it will add 2,500 jobs at a Detroit-area plant that now makes the Chevrolet Volt electric car.

The company plans to invest $69 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck (Ham-TRAM-ick) factory and add two shifts of workers so the plant can make the new Chevrolet Malibu midsize car and the Impala large sedan. Not all the jobs will be new hires. GM has about 1,300 laid-off workers waiting to be recalled in the U.S.

GM announced on May 10 that it would create or keep about 4,000 jobs by investing $2 billion in 17 factories in eight states. So far the company has announced expansion plans in Bowling Green, Ky., Toledo, Ohio, and Flint and Bay City, Mich.
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Federal Court Strikes Down Ban on Corporate Campaign Contributions

Supreme Court of the United States

Politico and The Daily Beast report that a federal court struck down a federal ban on corporate campaign contributions, arguing that companies ought to be able to give directly to political campaigns. The decision goes further than last year's Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations are entitled to free speech and therefore can spend unlimited sums of money on campaign advertising.

District Judge James Cacheris of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia ruled that, based on Citizens United, corporations can give up to $5,000 directly to candidates.
The decision will likely go to the Supreme Court, and challenges to the judge's limits on the size of contribution are expected. The decision came in a criminal case of two men charged with reimbursing their employees for $186,600 in donations to Hillary Clinton's campaign for Senate in 2006 and president in 2008.

Politico clarified the rulling as follows:
Citizens United stopped short of allowing corporations to give directly to candidates, but it did find that corporations are entitled to free speech rights.

District Judge James Cacheris ruled that, based on Citizens United, corporations should be allowed to contribute directly to candidates’ campaigns.“If human beings can make direct campaign contributions … and if, in Citizens United’s interpretation … corporations and human beings are entitled to equal political speech rights, then corporations must also be able to contribute within (the federal) limits,” Cacheris wrote in a 52 page decision.

Read more:

The Gospel According to Bill Maher

Thought you might be interested in this email I received yesterday:

On his HBO show Real Time Bill Maher posed the question to Republicans, “How many Muslims does a black guy have to kill in one weekend before crackers climb down off his ass?”

Bill Maher opened up with, “Now that it’s become clear that the Republicans, the fiscally conservative strong on defense party are neither fiscally conservative nor strong on defense, they have to tell us what exactly it is they’re good at. It’s not defense. 9/11 happened on your watch, and you retaliated by invading the wrong country, and you lost a 10 year game of hide and seek with Osama Bin Laden, and you’re responsible for running up most of the debt, which more than anything makes us weak.”

Maher continued, “You’re supposed to be the party with the killer instinct, but it was a Democrat who put a bomb in Gadhafi’s bedroom, and bullet in Bin Laden’s eye like Moe Green. Raising the question how many Muslims does a black guy have to kill in one weekend before crackers climb down off his ass? Let’s look at some facts. Now for you Fox News viewers feel free to turn down the sound until the flashing facts light at the bottom of your screen disappears.”

He then rolled out the facts, “When Bill Clinton left office in 2001, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that by the end of the decade we would have paid off the entire debt and had $2 trillion surplus. Instead we have a ten and a half trillion dollar public debt and the different in those two numbers is mostly because Republicans put tax cuts for the rich, free drugs for the elderly, and two wars on the layaway plan, and then bailed on the check, so so much for fiscal responsibility.”

Michelle Obama Wows UK

Michelle Obama seems to be pleasing both sides of the Atlantic with her fashion choices during the state visit to England.As the president's wife, Mrs Obama has also become a fashion icon and her outfits on the state visit have generally been well received. At the state banquet, she dazzled in a floor-length ivory gown by American designer Tom Ford and long ivory gloves.

As the Obamas prepare to run for a second term in the White House, their private chat with the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also do them no harm in the US.

America was fascinated by the Royal Wedding last month and any brush with Prince William and his new bride Kate will receive acres of positive coverage.

In the morning, while meeting the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace, the First Lady wore an icy blue brocaded a-line dress by California designer Barbara Tfank, which she paired with a purple bolero and a House of Lavande 1940s Hobe brooch. For Mrs Obama, it was a chance to connect with the younger arm of the Royal family after getting on so well with the Queen and Prince Philip in 2009.

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FLOTUS Shares Life Lessons

While President Obama was delivering a speech to the British Parliament on Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama used a visit to a prestigious girls school to give a rare glimpse into her life in the White House.

In prepared remarks followed by a Q&A at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, she talked with 35 girls about what made her attracted to Obama and how she raises her daughters--as well as Hillary Clinton and whether the U.S. is ready for a woman president:

Speaking in the Christ Church college dining room, the setting for Hogwarts Great Hall in the Harry Potter films, she said Mr Obama was "funny" and "low key" when they first met.

Sky's David Crabtree said it was an "inspirational" speech and recounted how she also sung the praises of her husband.

Mrs Obama was asked whether she thought her husband would "achieve great things"and made the pupils laugh by joking: "Absolutely not."

She told them: "Honestly, when I met him I knew he was special. I'm sharing secrets here. I knew he was a special person and it had nothing to do with his education, nothing to do with his potential."

She recalled how he impressed her by turning down the chance to be a clerk at the US Supreme Court because he wanted to do more with communities in church.

"He meant it, he wasn't trying to impress me. Those kind of values made me think: You don't meet people like that often. Couple that with his talent - and he's cute!"

If you have young people that you want to influence toward making positive choices, the articles below are good reads.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Glenn Beck Verbally Attacks Malia Obama

Even some of the most vicious criminals have a code of honor. No matter how much you hate your rival, you never attack his wife or children.The same can be true for most politicians and political commentators, who typically have enough decency to realize that your children have nothing to do with political combat.

Glenn Beck broke that code recently on his radio show when he decided to engage in an unprovoked attack on 11-year-old Malia Obama, the president's daughter, by mocking her inquiries into the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Beck ridiculed the education level of Obama's children. He even joked that Malia likely asked her father why he "hates black people." The routine went on for a while and apparently, Beck, his guests and Fox News producers thought it was amusing to make fun of an innocent child before a national audience. Sorry my friends, but it's not.
Beck's comments were disturbing, even in comparison to his colleagues, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. By making Obama's children part of his hateful dialogue, he has sunk to a new low and even made his conservative colleagues uncomfortable. I am not even sure if Rush or O'Reillly would have stooped to this, since only a complete coward would hurt a little girl.

The mistakes in Beck's attack were two fold: First, he got personal with Obama's family. It is one thing to criticize someone's policies, and it's another to attack the intelligence of your enemy's children. Second, he brought race into the discussion.
Given that some Fox News hosts already have a sordid history of playing with racial stereotypes (anchors once referred to the first lady as Barack's "baby's mama") and Bill O'Reilly recently said that black scholar Marc Lamont Hill looks like a cocaine dealer), this comment fits right in with the insensitive style of the network. I am not sure what corporate sponsor would want to be associated with a show like this one, given that Beck has gone out of his way to prove that he and anyone associated with him proudly carries the banner of unapologetic bigotry.

Excerpt Reprinted from The Grio Blog, Author Dr. Boyce Watkings (5/28/11)

MSNBC"s Ed Schultz Suspended

MSNBC suspended host Ed Schultz for a week on Wednesday after Schultz called rival pundit Laura Ingraham “a right-wing slut”.

Schultz apologized for the comment on his TV program, “The Ed Show,” on Wednesday night, saying he had used “vile and inappropriate language” in referring to Ingraham. “I am deeply sorry, and I apologize,” he said. “It was wrong, uncalled for, and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.”

Here's what Ed Schultz said on his radio show:

Rain, thunderstorms, winds getting whipped into tornadoes of horrific proportions. Hot weather, all of this stuff. And what are the Republicans thinking about? They’re not thinking about their next-door neighbor. They’re just thinking about how much this is going to cost. President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday.
But you know what they’re talking about? Like this right-wing slut, what’s her name, Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.

So much for "civility" that MSNBC hosts have harped on. What ever your political affiliation, if you are attacking someone’s politics, no need to be ad hominem. Just make your case.

Here'as Laura Ingraham's response posted on her Facebook page:

The crude comments made about me by Ed Schultz on his radio program: First, I was surprised to learn that Ed Schultz actually hosted a radio show. Is it only available online? Second, I have to get back to recording the audio edition of my new book “Of Thee I Zing.” Now I’m tempted to insert one additional zing–about men who preach civility but practice misogyny.

Like Rodney King said, "can't we all just get along"?

Here's something for us all to think about:
‎"What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the
end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do"
- John Ruskin

Related articles:
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Irish Welcome for President Obama

President Barack Obama paid a joyful visit Monday to the small Irish village where his great-great-great grandfather once lived and worked as a shoemaker, an improbable and memorable pilgrimage for America's first black president into his Irish past. The President is pictured above with Irish President Mary McAleese.

Along with first lady Michelle Obama, the president walked the thronged Main Street of quaint Moneygall, where his ancestor on his Kansas-born mother's side, Falmouth Kearney, lived until leaving for the United States in 1850 at the height of Ireland's Great Famine. Obama's roots in the town were discovered during the 2008 presidential campaign.

The president raised a pint of Guinness in Ollie's Bar, held up a baby and shook innumerable hands. He took a look at Kearney's baptism records — the documents that established his connection to the town — and even got to meet, hug and drink with a distant family member: Henry Healy, a 26-year-old accountant for a plumbing firm.

For the president, it was a quick detour from Dublin on day one of a six-day, four-country European tour that will involve working with allies on knotty problems of war, peace and economic growth.

Source: Associated Press
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Mideast Peace Hurdle

Benjamin NetanyahuImage via Wikipedia
President Obama's parameters for a new round of Mideast peace talks were designed to head off U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state based strictly on 1967 borders—which would be catastrophic for Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu's immediate rejection of the plan suggests he has no grasp of the real world, writes Peter Beinart in his Daily Beast article. 
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sarah Palin's Arizona Home???

Sarah Palin in Savannah, Georgia, Dec 1, 2008 ...Image via Wikipedia
The Atlantic Wire reports the followings:

Sarah Palin has deliberately left the question as to whether or not she will run in 2012 open. For those who believe a bid for the GOP nomination is still a possibility for her, The Arizona Republic provides some further evidence: after months of rumors, Palin may have purchased a house in Scotsdale, Arizona. A deal on a secluded, 8,000-square-foot home in far north Scottsdale was recently closed by Safari Investments LLC for $1.695 million cash. The terms of the deal hide the identity of the owner, and when the attorney listed on the property records, Alan Kierman, was asked if Palin was the buyer, his response was an intriguing "no comment."

According to the Republic, Palin has been rumored to be considering headquartering her 2012 White House campaign in Scottsdale, if there is a campaign. A anonymous source from her camp also told
Ben Smith at Politico that she would base a potential presidential campaign in Scottsdale, near where Bristol Palin recently bought a house in Maricopa. Palin has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl.
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Cornell West vs Barack Obama

Dr. Cornel West made the following comments about the president during an interview:
It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother.

Not only is President Obama lambasted as a Kenyan anti-colonialist by the likes of Newt Gingrich, he's also framed as a wide-eyed surrogate of "upper middle class white and Jewish men" by the likes of West. Some Americans question the President's citizenship while other Americans question his "blackness". What an interesting position for President Obama.

Reading Dr. Cornell West issues with the President, it appears he's angry that Obama didn't return his phone calls during the presidential campaign, the president did appear at Tavis Smiley's 2008 forum on the state of Black America, and West wasn't invited to the inauguration. Now a host of Black scholars, including Princeton Associate Professor Melissa Harris-Perry, spar over West's remarks against the President. Bloggers are in a frenzy on the subject.

Putting all the personal attacks aside, there are legitimate questions to be discussed,i.e. jobs and unemployment, the economy, the War in Afghanistan, the deficit, climate change, etc. These are the meaningful issues that merit debate far more so than "Obama blackness"..
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meet Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Jon Meade Huntsman Jr. is the 51 year old son of a billionaire businessman. His name has appeared on the lists of potential Republican nominees for the 2012 presidential election as early as 2008 and 2009.
Here are a few things I found interesting in reading about Huntsman: 

He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and a distant cousin of Mitt Romney. His net worth is estimated at $11–$74 million.
During the 1970s, he dropped out of high school and was the keyboard player in a rock band before eventually resuming his studies. He eventually received his G.E.D. He attended the University of Utah, where he became, like his father, a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He received a bachelor's degree in International Politics from the University of Pennsylvania after transferring to that school.

He spent time in Taiwan as a Mormon missionary and speaks Standard Mandarin Chinese fluently. He is also fluent in Taiwanese Hokkien (Minnan).
He served as U. S. Ambassador to Singapore (1992-1993), the youngest U.S. Ambassador to serve in over 100 years.

He served as U. S. Ambassador to China (2009-2011)
As Utah's Governor (2005-2009), he supported legislation that would have allowed Civil Unions for same-sex couples in the state and left office with approval ratings over 80%.

At the 2008 Republican National Convention, Huntsman delivered a nominating speech for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the party's nominee for Vice President.
Huntsman has eight brothers and sisters and over 60 nieces and nephews on his side of the family.

Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye Cooper have seven children, including an adopted daughter from China, and another adopted daughter from India.
Huntsman has been awarded six honorary doctorate degrees.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Predictible GOP Behavior

Official photo of Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN).Image via Wikipedia
GOP Presidential Candidate Tim Pawlenty
President Obama gave a speech on his thoughts on solving the conflict between Palestine and Israel.  This would entail returning to 1967 borders.

Surprise, surprise. GOP presidential hopefuls all condemned the President's suggestion and sided with the Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahur of Israel. Mitt  Romney said the President "disrespected Israel and threw Israel under the bus". Tim Pawlenty (T-Paw) said the President was "mistaken" and made "dangerous demands". Michele Bachmann tweeted that Obama had "betrayed our friend Israel".  Newt Gingrich said "no president had ever suggested a return to 1967 borders".  (Hey Newt.  George W. Bush suggested just that in January, 2008.)

The Christian Science Monitor reported:

That's been the general working idea for the last four US presidencies, including two Republican administrations. Yet not only was Romney striking out at Obama as having undermined Israel's "ability to negotiate peace" but others were reacting with outrage. Mike Huckabee complained of Obama's "betrayal" of Israel.

Huckabee also fell into a camp that apparently misunderstood what Obama said. He complained that Obama "made a grievous mistake by suggesting borders of Israel go back to pre-1967 borders." As did Tim Pawlenty, a fellow Republican presidential aspirant ("Obama's insistence on a return to the 1967 borders is a ... very dangerous demand.") As explained earlier, that's not what Obama said.

It's business as usual. Interesting that these Republicans never fail to oppose Obama.  Let's disagree with anything this President says, does, or thinks.  It's good for fund raising, vote getting, press coverage, etc.  I wonder what solutions they propose.
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Bachmann Moves Toward Presidential Bid

Michele Bachmann Official Photo circa 2007Image via Wikipedia
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann put out over 150,000 robocalls into Iowa and South Carolina in the wake of President Obama’s Middle East speech on Thursday, the latest sign that the Minnesota Republican is moving toward  a presidential bid in 2012.

After Mick Huckabee's exit from the race, Bachmann stands to gain his Evangelical supporters.  CNN has exclusively learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.
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GOP Lies Again:Blocks Vote on Lui Nomination

The U.S. Senate blocked the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the first rejection of one of President Barack Obama’s judicial choices. Once again, GOP politicians failed to adhere to their vow not filibuster and to allow judicial nominations to be voted upon by the full Senate.
With 60 votes needed to end debate on the University of California law professor’s nomination, the largely party-line tally was 52 in favor of proceeding to a confirmation vote, 43 against. Joining 51 Democrats voting to end debate was Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, while 42 Republicans and Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, opposed the motion. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah voted “present.”

The procedural vote came after more than a year of delays in the confirmation process stemming from Republican opposition to Liu’s selection.
Liu’s Democratic backers pointed to his years of scholarship and his background. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Liu is the son of Taiwanese immigrants. He attended public schools and went on to Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, a Rhodes scholarship and a clerkship for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The American Bar Association rated him “unanimously well qualified” to join the Circuit court.

At issue for many Republicans were comments Liu made during testimony to the Judiciary Committee opposing Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2005 by then- President George W. Bush. Liu said Alito’s record as a federal appeals court judge “envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse” and where “federal agents may point guns at ordinary citizens during a raid, even after no sign of resistance.”
Liu told the Judiciary panel this year he regretted the language he used.

Republicans, though, said Liu’s rhetoric was intemperate enough to disqualify him for the judgeship.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tom Huckabee Won't Run in 2012

Mike Huckabee giving a speech following the So...Image via Wikipedia
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced Saturday that he will not seek the GOP nomination for president in 2012.

Huckabee also failed to form a presidential exploratory committee, a critical first step in building a presidential campaign. He co-founded a company with the mission of teaching history lessons to children, and key 2008 aides moved to other campaign teams, including those of former Pawlenty and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. And with a successful television show, book deals and lucrative paid appearances, another presidential bid may be less desirable for the television and radio host - even though he's topped recent major national polls as the favored 2012 GOP candidate.

Huckabee ended speculation that he would run for president during his weekly Fox News Channel show saying, "All the factors say go, but my heart says no. And that's the decision that I have made."
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Thrump: Out of the Presidential Race

Don Trump announced today that he is out of the race for president.

TRUMP STATEMENT “After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the presidency.” “This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”
My Translation: Republicans, consider yourself punked.  You gave Thrump your votes in the polls while he worked on getting his TV show renewed. Pundits made loud noises about Thrump's "potential" and "the Donald" took all the free publicity showered upon him.  After all, who wants to be President of the United States of America when he can sign on to host two more seasons of Celebrity Apprentice?.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Newt Gingrich Enters 2012 Race

Newt GingrichImage via Wikipedia

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia formally entered the 2012 Republican presidential race today, announcing his intentions in a web video.“I believe we can return America to hope and opportunity,”  Gingrich said. “We’ve done it before, we can do it again.”

Gingrich’s long life in the national spotlight is both his strength and weakness in the 2012 campaign. He is universally well known and  well liked by Republican primary voters and is also widely respected in GOP circles as a "serious and innovative policy mind" according to The Washington Post's The Fix blog.

A former college professor, Gingrich was elected to the House in 1978. In the 1994 midterm elections, he spearheaded a Republican campaign that gave the party its first majority in the House in 40 years. In January 1995, when the new Congress took office, he became the first Republican House speaker since Representative Joe Martin of Massachusetts served in the post from 1953 to 1955.

In 1997, Gingrich was reprimanded by the House and paid $300,000 to settle claims that he had used tax-exempt organizations for political purposes and had given misleading statements during an investigation. He announced his resignation from Congress in November 1998 after the House Republicans saw their majority shrink in the second consecutive election.

Gingrich, 67, is twice divorced, and in the 1990s - while he was leading the charge to impeach President Bill Clinton in connection with his affair with a White House intern - he had an extramarital affair with the woman who became his third wife. Socially conservative voters influential in the Republican primary race could be turned off by that past, analysts say.

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Countdown With Keith Olbermann Returning

Michael Moore at the 66th Venice International...Image via Wikipedia
Countdown With Keith Olbermann returns to the air on June 20th at 8PM ET and today we're learning a bit more about who will be in the show. The contributors to Current TV's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" are a diverse lot.

Joining Olbermann will be filmmaker and provocateur Michael Moore, filmmaker/non-provocateur Ken Burns, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, and National Association of Free Clinics executive director Nicole D. Lamoureux. All will contribute occasionally.
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dick Cheney Undecided on Heart Transplant

Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States.Image via Wikipedia
The Associated Press reported the following:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he hasn't decided whether to seek a heart transplant.

Cheney tells "Fox News Sunday" that his health has improved since last year, when he was diagnosed with end-stage heart failure. He had an operation last summer to fit his body with a battery-powered device that helps his heart pump blood.

In his Fox appearance, Cheney spoke with a raspy voice and appeared less gaunt than he had in the months following the operation.

Cheney says he's working on a book and planning a fishing trip later in May. Asked how he could go fishing safely with an electrical device attached to his body, the 70-year-old former vice president quipped, "You're not supposed to fall in."
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Friday, May 6, 2011

NJ Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Carl Lewis Case

Carl Lewis at the "green carpet" for...Image via Wikipedia
New Jersey's Supreme Court said Friday that it won't weigh in on whether Carl Lewis is eligible to run for the state Senate, a decision that keeps the former Olympic star on the ballot, for now. A denial of certification signed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, said the key constitutional issue is already being litigated in federal court.

Lewis is running as a Democrat in southern New Jersey's Republican-dominated 8th District. The nine-time Olympic gold medalist -- one of the world's most decorated track stars -- is the only Democrat on the ballot. Incumbent Dawn Marie Addiego is unopposed in the Republican primary.

Lewis won one victory, which is enough to keep his hope alive. A federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday that his name must be included on the ballot for the June 7 primary. The legal case now rests with a federal district judge, who could possibly remove Lewis from the general election ballot, even though he's included in the primary.
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New DNC Chair Debbie Wasswerman Schultz

Debbie Wasserman SchultzImage via Wikipedia
Effective immediately, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the new Chair of the Democratic National Committee. President Barack Obama picked the four-term lawmaker from South Florida last month to succeed former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is seeking a Senate seat in his home state. The full DNC unanimously ratified Wasserman Schultz's selection on Wednesday, making her the first woman elected chair by the full body.

During the past year, I have watched the Congresswoman speak on behalf of the Democratic position on a number of controversial issues.  She is articulate, intelligent, personable, and fully capable of meeting the challenges of the next 18 months. She is the mother of twins and is a Breast Cancer survivor.
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