Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thoughts on Occupy Wall Street

It’s been a while since I last wrote, but that’s what happens when life gets in the way. A lot has happened in the last few months, from the fall of Libyan dictator Gadhafi to the joke that is the Republican field of presidential candidates, with the news of the pizza man Herman Cain suspending his campaign yesterday. However, there seems to be a story that takes precedence over all of this, Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.

Occupy Wall Street started on September 7 and has been going for 78 straight days. While the protestors will say they have no specific goals, they are protesting corporate greed and corporate welfare. They are protesting against the top 1% of wage earners holding almost one third of the wealth. When combined with the 19% below them, they control over 80% of the nation’s wealth, leaving just 15% to the other 80% of Americans. The movement has spread all over the country and world, to big and small cities alike, and even onto college campuses now.

OWS didn’t come without challenges though. All over the country protestors have been met with police using tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and even a sound cannon. By now you’ve seen the picture of 84 year old protestor Dorli Rainey after she was pepper sprayed by Seattle police,

and heard of Scott Olson, the Iraq war vet who sustained a head injury from a tear gas canister that was thrown at him from Oakland police. But why? Those protesting are being peaceful, exercising their First Amendment right to assemble and don’t even fight back against the police. The Tea Party rallies don’t get this kind of attention. Here’s why: much like the civil rights marches, the anti-war demonstrations against Vietnam and the student protests on college campuses during the 1960’s and 70’s, OWS is seen as a real and legitimate threat to the status quo. Congressman Peter King (R, NY) is afraid OWS will start shaping policy, much like the aforementioned protests of the 60’s and 70’s and that OWS must be stopped. Fox News is trying to downplay and demonize the movement saying that kitchen knives and hypodermic needles found during the cleanup Zucotti Park are evidence of violence and drugs in the camp. Let me clear this up, they had a kitchen/mess hall tent and a medical tent, making those items used not for what Fox was saying. Fox News is staffed by right-wing ideologues and moron, they have no clue what they’re talking about. Also the Tea Party is a joke and no one takes them seriously, so why bother with them.

But there is an uneasy side to OWS, and that is the amount of violence used against the protestors by police. Earlier I had mentioned the cases of Dorli Rainey and Scott Olson, but they aren’t the only ones. There is also the infamous picture from Occupy University of California at Davis where campus police in riot gear pepper sprayed unarmed students as they sat on the sidewalk protesting higher tuition at the school.

How much longer before OWS turns into Tahrir Square in Egypt with the police firing upon the protestors? How much longer until Occupy UC Davis or any other college turns into another Kent State and innocent students die at the hands of campus police or National Guard troops. It’s evident that the police mantra “To protect and serve” only applies to the 1%. Even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called the NYPD his personal army. I fear this will turn violent very soon and when it does, all hell in this country will break loose.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A very hallowed day

On this hallowed day in our nation’s history, we remember those who were lost when the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were hit by hijacked airliners, and the brave men and women who stood up and fought the terrorists on Flight 93, forcing it down in south western Pennsylvania, far from its intended target in Washington, D.C. We also remember those who gave their lives in the wars that have followed because of the attacks on this day ten years ago. To paraphrase President Franklin D. Roosevelt, September 1, 2001 is a day that will live in infamy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Liberal Rant

Ok, so I’ve sat back quietly for far too long as I watch and listen to the hypocrisy and stupidity pour out of the mouths of conservative pundits and the GOP presidential candidates. Quite frankly, I’m one pissed off progressive Democrat, and it’s time for some change, more than President Obama ever wanted. In fact, I’m close to disavowing my affiliation with the Democrats because they have spine than a jelly fish and won’t walk the walk despite talking the talk. So here we go.

First, let’s start off with the way the Republicans have screwed us during the debt ceiling debate. In the past, raising the debt ceiling was a common place act in Congress that was done with little challenge, hell it was done 18 times during the Reagan years. This is the same Reagan that is the darling of the GOP and you aren’t a true conservative if you don’t praise everything he did. But now it was somehow different, the Republicans in Congress felt it was necessary to hold our economy hostage and push it to the brink just so they could destroy entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security, the two sacred cows of the Democrats. Luckily, the entitlements have survived for now, but our economy did survive the crisis unscathed. Right after the “compromise” and debt ceiling raise was signed into law, the ratings agency Standard and Poors downgraded us from AAA to AA+. While S&P is not very reliable, the markets didn’t really care and the DOW Jones went on a rollercoaster freefall, dropping over 600 points one day, going up 400 the next, only to fall over 500 again the next day. And what’s even worse is that despite S&P specifically stating that it was the GOP’s refusal to include revenue increases in the deal that led to the downgrade, the GOP presidential candidates are blaming the president for the downgrade. Have they lost their minds?! (Although it’s hard to lose something they never had to begin with.) This comic published on the other day fits this perfectly, along with the economy as a whole:

Now, I mentioned the revenue issue with the GOP, and that’s my next topic to rant on. Why can’t the super rich pay more taxes, they have the money and have done it before. Under Eisenhower, the top tax rate was around 90% for the top earners in the country, and yet our economy still thrived. The 1950s were a boom era for us. Imagine if we even had the top tax rate at 50-60%, our deficit would be lower, our infrastructure would be better, and we might be even back on the path of paying off the debt. Instead we get the policy of George W. Bush who thought that having a budget surplus, essentially a savings account for the government, was a bad thing and evidence that people were taxed too much. So in foul swoop he blew the record surplus that Clinton left us and turned it into a record deficit by giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. And to compound the problem, in order to make up the shortfall, Bush raided the Social Security trust fund, putting that into a deficit. But of course, the GOP won’t take the fall for it, instead they pass the blame to the president, but I digress. I saw an ad for Lawrence O’Donnell’s show on MSNBC with a clip from one of his commentaries where he said the super rich need to bear some of the responsibility for putting the country that made them the super rich back on track, and that’s absolutely right. The wealthiest 5% are the ones getting a free ride right now, not the lower class and unemployed who are on welfare.

I mentioned how the Republicans want to slash entitlement spending, but in a very reckless manner. I agree too that we need to cut entitlement spending, but do so in a respsonsible manner. I see reforming and cutting entitlement spending like trimming a tree; you cut the dead branches and wild growth to keep the tree healthy, not chop off branches haphazardly, because that will kill it. The Republicans in Congress essentially wanted to make harsh cuts that could seriously damage Social Security and Medicare. Those cuts need to be discussed and worked on over a period time to evaluate their effect on the programs.

The Republicans talk about wanting to take the country back to its roots with small government and less intervention from Washington. That’s all well and good except that a small government will never be able to adequately run the United States. As time has gone on, there has been more and more need for a larger government to oversee the day to day business of the country and keep everything regulated and running smoothly. Sure President Jefferson wanted a small government, but he also wanted us to be a country of small farmers, not an industrial giant. If they want a small government so bad, why don’t they all go down to Texas, secede from the Union with Gov. Rick Perry and declare the Republic of Texas? They can try out their little experiment and see how well it works for them. Wait, didn’t that happen in the 1860s with the Confederate States of America? And also right after we won the war for independence with the Articles of Confederation? Yeah, I have a feeling the new Texas wouldn’t last very long.

Finally, what is so wrong with liberal ideas? What is wrong with wanting to have limiting the amount of toxins that factories emit into the air and wanting to keep the environment clean? What is wrong with wanting to help those that have hit hard times? What is wrong with bailing out the industry that is the backbone of our country? What is wrong with giving everyone the basic universal right to quality health care? What is wrong with wanting to make sure the food we eat everyday is safe and won’t make us sick? What is wrong with giving everyone the right, no matter race or sexual orientation, to marry whomever they want? What is wrong with wanting infrastructure that is up to date and safe? What is wrong with wanting to give a free fair and equal public education to everyone in the country? What is wrong with wanting to be the peace maker and not the war hawk? I can answer that with one word, nothing. There is nothing wrong with any of this because those ideas are progress, those are the agenda of the progressive movement, which incidentally was started but a Republican, President Theodore Roosevelt.

I’m going to leave you with this video from the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, Dylan is the kind of Democrat we need in Washington right now:

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Debt "Compromise"

Well, we haven't defaulted thanks to the last minute deal the President and Congressional leaders came up with over the weekend, but will it really help us? No, to put it bluntly. This deal will only further destroy the American Dream and further divide the classes. It puts no burden on the richest 2% of the country and will essentially gut the social safety net that keep ths middle class going. The president turned his back on the country and gavve the Republicans everything they wanted. The sacred cows of the Democrats (Medicare and Social Security) will be slaughtered while those of the GOP will remain untouched (the Pentagon). I have lost faith in this administration and in my own party. Only the Progressives held firm and refuse to vote for the "compromise". This could be the split of both parties now.

Keith Olbermann puts it far better than I ever could in the following Special Comment:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The birth of a nation: Libyan Repbulic

Last night, CNN reported that the United State has formally recognized the National Transition Council as the sole legitimate government of Libya (Link). Secretary of State Hilary Clinton made the announcement while in Turkey for a meeting of the Libyan Contact Group, a coalition of nations working on the Libyan crisis and a framework for a post-Khadafy world. This is a major step in our relations with the North African country as the civil war rages on and rebel led Libyan Republic continues to fight Khadafy’s forces. Clinton remarked that the rebels have continued to shown their legitimacy with their diplomatic dealings recently and that the United State felt the time was right. Not surprisingly though, Khadafy shot back. "Their decisions, meetings, recognitions and their statements are all under your feet -- trample on them. This is our answer to all the decisions they took against the Libyan people. You in America, Europe, Russia and everywhere, look! Look at the millions. Look at the Libyan people. More than 5 million people carrying the pictures of Khadafy are ready for jihad and for martyrdom." As for the rebels, Khadafy had this to say, "They must abandon their weapons and turn themselves in from Benghazi to Misrata to Zintan. We will not hold anyone who turns in his weapons accountable. If this does not happen, the march of millions will take place." This war will not end anytime soon, especially since Khadafy will fight to the death. This will not be like Tunisia or Egypt where the dictator stepped down after pressure. The rebels will need to make a serious assault on Tripoli in order to win.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The birth of a nation: South Sudan

Yesterday, we welcomed to the world our newest country, South Sudan, which officially ceded from Sudan after a referendum vote earlier this year that approved the measure. This effectively ends the civil war in Sudan between the Arab Muslims that control the government in the north and the African Christians and Animists in the south. There is still fighting about the exact borders, and the South Sudan faces problems such as a lack of currency and infrastructure, but to make up for it they sit on large oil reserves which will generate a lot of revenue for the country. Despite those challenges though, it is nice to see a new country form democratically in a region that is plagued by corrupt governments and dictators. South Sudan has been recognized by a handful of countries, including the United States and has alraedy opened an embassy in Washington. Sudan also recognizes the newly independent country by opening an embassy in the South Sudanese capitol of Juba. The United Nations will vote on the membership status of South Sudan later this month and the Arab league has offered full membership to the new nation. Salva Kiir Mayardit, a former leader of the rebellion against Sudan, was sworn as the new president yesterday after the new constitution was signed. I have to admit, I dig that guy's style with the black fedora. South Sudan, all of us here at The Young and Opinionated salute you and wish you nothing but peace and prosperity.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Debt ceiling nuclear option: the Constitution?

Oh the debt ceiling, the center of all political discussion and debate right now in Washington. But the strange thing is that was never the case in the past. When the debt ceiling was being reached before, Congress would just pass a bill to raise it. The Republicans had no problem doing it when they had control of Congress while Bush was in office, but suddenly since a Democrat is living in the White House, Republicans want to hold our nation’s economy hostage. They do this while threatening default unless some major cuts are made to programs that they hate, Social Security and Medicare and refusing to raise taxes on the richest 1%, despite the American people wanting to see taxes go up on the rich and even a group of millionaires wanting to see taxes go up for them (, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength). The president has set a deadline of August 2 that the deal must be passed in order to prevent the government from defaulting on its obligations, but is it really necessary, is the debt ceiling actually legal? Not according to some political and constitutionally analysts.

Known as the “Constitutional option”, some analysts are saying that if a deal doesn’t pass that the President likes, he can invoke 14th amendment declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional and just move on. It seems simple enough. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” In other words, nobody can deny the debt of the country or place limits on it that would force the nation to default on the debt. It’s a daring option to pull and will without any doubt face some backlash from Conservatives, although it’s ironic since the Tea Party wing of the GOP pushes for a strict interpretation of the Constitution and to always defend it. Basically, the Democrats were able to out-Tea Party the Tea Party by finding something legitimate from the Constitution to argue with.

As with anything with the Constitution though, there is debate over whether this nuclear option can be used. Some scholars argue that the interpretation Democrats are using is not what was intended. If that’s the case, what was the intention then? No one really knows since none of us were there when this amendment was written after the Civil War. However, the Constitution is a fluid document as we have come to find out; it’s meaning changing with the times. There is also the argument that the Democrats intention with this option is taking the 14th amendment too far and out of context.

Should this option be used? I don’t see why not. The worst that can happen is that the Supreme Court strikes it down as unconstitutional. The best that can happen is that it blows Republicans’ plan to destroy entitlements out of the water and gives a huge victory to the Democrats, making them look like geniuses for outmaneuvering the GOP. Will it happen? We’ll have to wait and find out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Fair and Balanced" my @$$

This morning at work, I was watching Fox and Friends on Fox News (not by choice, mind you, a coworker turned it on). I’ve been a strong critic of Fox News, especially since they claim to be “fair and balanced,” but I figured I would give them a fair shot before completely knocking them down. Fox and Friends tried to blend two different formats together, basically the feeling of the Today Show with the commentary of Morning Joe. It seemed pretty good, that is until after 15 minutes of watching Steve Doocy went in to a rant about how the media watchdog group Media Matters is “trying to take down Fox News” and should lose their tax exemption because of that. The evidence to support that claim is that Media Matters does thousands of stories about Fox News while only a handful about NBC, ABC, and CBS News. There’s a couple simple reasons behind that, it’s because Fox News isn’t news and their bias is so strong that nothing can be taken as truth over there and that the other three networks mentioned only do nightly news programs, so they have very little if any bias on the reporting. Granted NBC News does have MSNBC, but that network wasn’t mentioned specifically, same with CNN. Plus, MSNBC doesn’t try to pass itself off as a network devoted to news, especially since their slogan “The place for politics.” It’s quite obvious they’re a news AND commentary network.

I mentioned earlier that Fox claims to be “fair and balanced” which is far from the truth; Chris Wallace even admitted that it wasn’t true when he interviewed Jon Stewart. Wallace said that Fox covers the other side of the story, implying they have their own bias. Insert a big “duh”. All you need to do is watch Fox and Friends or anything in the primetime lineup like O’Reilly or Hannity to figure that out. Gretchen Carlson went on to defend the “fair and balanced” banner by saying that during 2008 presidential campaign, out of all the networks, Fox had the most even distribution of positive and negative comments about John McCain and Barack Obama. I highly doubt that’s true unless she was implying that for every good thing they said about McCain they said something bad about Obama. And granted, the other networks laid into McCain, but how could they not because as Keith Olbermann says about Palin, “that woman is an idiot,” but that’s a discussion for another day.

My point , or rather points, are that 1) Fox “News” needs to cut the “fair and balanced” crap out because it’s clear that they’re biased and their commentators even admit it and 2) they just need to grow up and quit complaining that a watchdog group is going after them. When you say something is fact and is then proven false, you need to own up to that and admit you were wrong, and not whine about it. Nobody takes a whiner seriously, except for other whiners. I hope to see the day that Fox “News” is completely exposed for the fraud that it is and is shut down. In the mean time, they should change their logo to this:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GOP candidates: Duke 2012

No, Beau and Luke Duke are not running for president. Rather, David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is mulling a run for president under the Republican Party, with Tea Party support. That’s right; a white supremacist wants to run against our first African American president. Coincidence? I think not. There is something sick about this that I can’t even put this into words. If Duke does announce his candidacy, this will turn the crazy dial up to bat-shit level. Once the formal announcement is released, I’ll do further analysis on this views and past.

Monday, July 4, 2011

We declared independence from Great Britain in 1776?

Every year Marist does a poll to see how much Americans know about the day we became our own country. And as is the current trend, Americans don't know jack about the history of their own country. When asked what country we declared independence from, 76% said Great Britain, 19% didn't know, and 5% listed a different country. When broken down by age, only 67% of those 30 years old and younger knew the right answer. When asked about the year we declared independence, only 58% correctly said 1776, while 26% didn't know and 16% gave a different year. When broken down by age, only 31% of those 30 and younger knew. This makes me worried and sick. This only proves that history needs more focus in school because as Winston Churchill said, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Happy Independence Day!

From all of us here at The Young and Opinionated, we want to wish you a safe and happy Independence Day. And for your enjoyment, here is the document signed 235 years ago that granted us freedom in the first place.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Say What?! Bachman economics

It seems like with this current field of GOP candidates, that I have infinite material to work with, and today proves no different. Michele Bachman, the woman who can’t get basic American history right is at it again, this time failing Economics 101. ThinkProgess reports that at a campaign rally, Bachmann made the ultimate in gaffs, saying that $1 today should be equal to $1 in 1911. You need to see this to believe this:

The shorthand way of describing to you what quantitative easing is is a license to print money without any value behind it…In the last two years of the Obama administration, if you pull a dollar out of your pocket, you have lost 14 percent of the value of that dollar. That means the federal government has stolen that money from you… They’ve been printing essentially valueless money and flooding it into the money supply. I don’t stand for that. A dollar in 2011 should be the same as a dollar in 1911. A dollar should be worth a dollar.

I seriously thought she couldn't get any dumber. As the article at ThinkProgress notes, because of natural inflation, $1 in 1911 equals $23 today. Even her argument to go back to the gold standard is null because gold prices fluctuate because of inflation, with prices being at record highs right now. And to blame the president for inflation is absolutely absurd. Inflation always happens, its part of the economic cycle. It happens based on market conditions, not because of one single person. If that was the case, don’t you think the president would change that?

The scary thing about Bachmann is that while she is an idiot when it comes to economics and history, she can make a very convincing argument and is very well articulated. People can take her seriously as opposed to Palin, who you can’t take anything she says seriously. Hopefully people can see through the smoke and mirrors and realize that Bachmann is as bad as Palin.

This isn't your grandfather's GOP

What’s this, two posts in one day?! That’s right, there’s so much good stuff to write on that I thought I would post more than once today.

We’ve all heard the phrase “this isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile,” the failed advertising campaign General Motors used in the late 1980s to revitalize Oldsmobile from its old-man image. The same can be said for the Republican party, it’s definitely not your father or grandfather’s GOP. With the current crop of presidential hopefuls, Congressman, and governors, the old stalwarts of the party are rolling in the graves. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln. But instead of embracing the great presidents such as Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, they like to put all their political stock in Ronald Reagan.

President Lincoln, facing fierce opposition from southern Democrats, put morals ahead of so-called public interest and freed the slaves, after fighting a fierce war to preserve the country after the south decided to secede and start a military campaign. Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist and outdoorsman, saw fit to preserve nature and established the National Parks system, so that everyone could experience what nature had to offer. Dwight Eisenhower, facing mounting debt from WWII and the Korean War, put aside his own ideology and kept Social Security in place, recognizing that while it went against his political views, it was a widely popular and successful New Deal program. He also saw the need to keep up with the rest of the world and authorized the formation of the nation’s first interstate highway system and the creation of NASA, so that we wouldn’t fall behind the Soviets in the space race.

Instead, what we have today is a GOP that doesn’t care about morals. They don’t care about giving everybody in the country affordable health insurance because they’re in the pockets of the health care industry and Big Pharm. They don’t care about saving the environment, as proof of the BP oil spill, fracking, and the constant pleas to continue drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and to open up the Alaska Wildlife Refuge and the Great Lakes to oil and gas drilling. All they care about is once again the money since they’re also in the pockets of the energy industry, mainly Big Oil. And they also don’t care about infrastructure or saving popular programs. Republicans have constantly stalled President Obama’s plans for a nationwide network of high speed rail lines that would rival the ones in China. This would enable people to travel across the country in record time and save money. They have also stalled the president’s plans to overhaul our interstate highway system, especially the bridges that are in dire need of repair. Finally, the Republicans are still trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Why is that? You guessed it, because they were programs started by Democrats, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson respectively.

If the afore mentioned presidents were still alive today, they would be shaking their heads at what their party has become. In fact, the party has changed so much since Eisenhower that my grandfather, a lifelong Republican, switched his affiliation to Democrat 5 years ago, unknown until recently to my family. So at 80 years old, my grandfather realized that the GOP didn’t stand for what it used and realized that while still conservative, the Democrats were his real party. If the GOP keeps this up, they won’t exist 50 years from now.

Election 2012: Thaddeus Who?!

In case you missed it this weekend, Thaddeus McCotter, Republican Congressman from Michigan entered the race for the Republican nomination to challenge President Obama next Fall. Who is Rep. McCotter? I asked that very same question when Rachel Maddow reported on this Friday night on her show. Take a look:

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This man has the personality of a kumquat, he makes Tim Pawlenty look like the most charismatic man on earth. And yet he is running for president. And what is with that comment on how conservatism is the absence of ideology? He can’t be serious, conservatism is an ideology, not the lack there of. In fact, reality has a known liberal bias, so conservatism is the opposite of that. As Rachel said, he will make an interesting addition to the field already filled with nut jobs like Michele Bachman, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich. It seems that with every new addition to the race, the front runner Mitt Romney looks better and better. In fact, with each new candidate that comes out from the fringe, Romney is closer to securing the nomination, without any primaries yet. As crazy as it might sound, with so many Tea Party and ultra-conservative candidates in the race, it will split that vote, leaving all the sensible moderate Republicans in Romney’s camp. Either this is pure genius, by putting so many fringe candidates into the mix it will give the nomination to the best candidate, or it’s pure stupidity, that all these people think they have even a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating a sitting president. As more about McCotter comes out, I'll keep you informed about him and the other candidates. I have a feeling we're not done yet with new candidates, something tells me I'll soon be writing about former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and/or Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy One Year Anniversary

That's right, this blog as been up and running for a year already, and it has been a busy one at that. It only stands to get better as the 2012 election cycle gets underway, so stay here for all your political coverage and commentary.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blagojevich convicted

The jury is out, literally. Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich today was convicted today on 17 of the original 20 counts against surrounding the allegations he tried to sell President Obama's Senate seat after the president resigned to begin the presidency. Blago is still claiming is innocence, but the writing is the on the wall, he'll be going to jail for a long time. The 10 counts of wire fraud he was charged with could lead to 200 years in jail alone. Being a high level person though, he'll only be jail for 10-20 years, if even that. When his sentence is revealed, you'll find it here.

Howard Dean 2012

That’s right, I’m proposing a primary challenge to President Obama. I feel that the president has betrayed his base by constantly kowtowing and compromising with the Republicans, especially on taxes, the budget, and healthcare. The problem is the Republicans haven’t kept up their end of the bargain and will vote against anything and everything the president puts forward. The president also backed down even though he had the numbers to pass whatever he wanted in the first two years of his first term. It’s time for someone to primary challenge the president to force him to go back to his base or else let someone better take the reins. And who better than Howard Dean?

Howard Dean isn’t a stranger to national politics and being an executive. He was governor of Vermont for from 1991 to 2003, ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 and was the chairman of the DNC during the successful 2008 presidential campaign, his claim to fame being the 50 state strategy of never giving up on a state. Since then he started the Progressive Democrats of America with Dennis Kucinich. Dean is the right man for the job. Let me know what you think in the comment section.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A victory for civil rights

Last night in the New York state legislature, a major victory was won for civil rights and the gay community; New York has become the largest state to legalize homosexual marriage. This is a major milestone that continues Martin Luther King’s dream of a country where everyone is treated equal, regardless of background.
Now, I realize this is a controversial issue, but it really shouldn’t be. As Keith Olbermann said on Countdown, this isn’t about politics, or morals, but about love:

Many people on the Right will argue that same-sex marriage should be illegal on the grounds of the morality of it placed in the Bible. That’s all well in good, except there is something they’re forgetting; Amendment 1 to the Constitution reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What do you know, it’s the establishment clause of the first amendment, stating that government and religion cannot intermingle. So, but that definition, to say same-sex marriage is morally wrong because it is shown negatively in the Bible holds no water. Laws cannot be made on the basis of religion. So any law on the books now that uses language connecting religious morals to banning same-sex marriage should be stricken down on the grounds that it is un-Constitutional. Also, banning same-sex marriage is akin to the laws of the 19th and early 20th century that banned interracial marriage. It’s just wrong. During the 2010 gubernatorial race in New York state, perennial candidate Jimmy McMillan said when asked about his opinion on same sex marriage that "The Rent Is Too Damn High Party believes that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you."

Let’s talk about the actual morals of it for a minute. Do I think it’s morally wrong for a man to marry another man or a woman to marry another woman? Of course not. They aren’t harming anyone else and besides, what happens in the home stays in the home. Many people argue that’s in the Bible that a man should not sleep with another man as if he were a woman. This is true, but there are many other laws in the Bible that are too ludicrous to follow today. Take for example the law saying that you shouldn’t wear clothes made of different kinds of cloth. Check you tags folks, you might be sinning. Or even crazier is the law saying you should kill those who follow a different religion. While radical Islam might follow that, mainstream Christians don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m Christian, but I also realize that the laws of the Bible are applicable anymore, including the one about homosexuality.

I’m sure they’ll be politically backlash since Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law. Conservative judges all across the state will petition it to the state supreme court. But this is the first big step in a movement that ramped up after the infamous Prop 8 passed in California. Will Congress pass a law to extend this right nationwide? Highly unlikely with the current political climate. The Republican controlled House of Representative would never pass such a measure, even with pressure from the President and the Democratic controlled Senate doesn’t have the backbone despite having the votes. Looks like this will have to be taken up by each state as a tidal wave of rallies for it sweeps across the country. I look for this to be first of a series of moves in the new civil rights movement that includes gay rights and rights for two growing new minorities, Hispanics and Muslims. I think MLK would be proud of New York.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Class action lawsuits.

The Supreme court happened to earn my ire this week. In the decision of Dues v Wal-Mart the conservative supreme court appointees once again showed a lack of independence. This should have been a relatively straightforward class action lawsuit in regard to sex discrimination. Though instead of actually making a decision on this matter, it was decided that the women that presented the case did not represent an actual class. This is a rather large problem. It is essentially a kick in the face for the working class against corporations. The problem is a straightforward issue of money. It is drastically more difficult for an individual to challenge a corpo in court when an individual cannot afford equivalent legal counsel. This is one of the most basic reasons for class action suits. Hopefully this decision will be reversed in the future.

For additional information on this case:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A scandal that should not have been

Ladies and Gentleman,

I have returned after another long hiatus. It seems that life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of writing.

I did wish to comment on the scandal of Anthony Weiner. Unlike many other politicians in recent memory, (including certain republican presidential candidates) Mr. Weiner did not have a physical relationship outside of his marriage. He did not father any bastard children. He didn't even receive a kiss for his troubles. He is simply a man that decided to flirt with women online and sent compromising images of himself along with online flirtation. Was this stupid? Perhaps. Was this a noteworthy scandal? Not really. However it is likely to be something that we hear more of as years pass.

A giant sucking sound: an update

If you remember a couple weeks ago, I reported how the top staff of Newt Gingrich's campaign resigned (A giant sucking sound). Well, it just keeps getting worse for the former Speaker of the House. Today, his finacial team quit as the campaign faces a $1 million debt, and the campaign barely started. He might as well quit while he's so far behind.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Guess who's back, back again?

Olbermann's back, tell a friend! That's right, Keith returned tonight to the airwaves with a beautifully revamped version of Countdown. The intro was like the old one, the music was the same, the segments were identical (except for Time Marches On because Oddball was a nod to Hardball, which is on his old network). He even had Worst Persons in the World and the tossing of the script. I was grinning from ear to ear the whole time because my favorite commentator is back and isn't holding back anymore. Current TV and Al Gore will be the best thing that ever happened to the show. I can't wait to watch it again tomorrow night.

Keith Olbermann returns tonight!

I will do a review and analysis of his first show back on air later tonight after the premier. Tune in to Current TV tonight at 8 pm to watch Countdown, then come here shortly after 9 for my take.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thoughts on Congressman Anthony Weiner

Some people have been asking me why I haven’t written anything yet about the scandal surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner. It’s quite simple, I really didn’t know how to respond to it at first and I was tired of the relentless coverage of a person’s personal life. But to keep the readers happy, here are my thoughts. While I don’t condone the actions of Congressman Weiner, I don’t think he should have resigned. Political scandals are nothing new, but they seem to become more noticeable in our information driven society where news is available instantly through 24 hour news channels (or ones that say news when they really aren’t) and the internet. Because of that, if a fly were to break wind halfway around the world, we could find out about it just seconds later. And because of the technology aspect, Weiner relied on that for his affair, which is a fatal error on his part. Once something is posted on the internet, it stays there forever.

But scandals are nothing new in politics; it’s just how they’re handled is what changed. We can look to the past for some great examples; President Kennedy supposedly had an affair with Marilyn Monroe, yet his short time in office was very effective. Another one from the Kennedy family left a bigger black mark, the incident at Chappaquiddick involving Senator Ted Kennedy. That was the worst scandal to ever hit a member of Congress and haunted Sen. Kennedy for the rest of his career. But rather than resigning, Ted pushed forward with his work and had a very productive last half of his career. It was in fact that incident that caused him to hit rock bottom and forced to reevaluate his life and get it back on track. President Clinton refused to resign after the affair and scandal with his intern Monica Lewinsky. On the other hand, Clinton is still a force to be reckoned with today, wielding power and getting attention wherever he goes. For those reasons, I don’t think Congressman Weiner should have resigned. I think he should be given a second chance to prove himself.

Has the media exacerbated the problem? Oh hell yes they have. This is a personal problem of Weiner’s and it should never have been blown out of proportion like it was. The unfortunate problem of being a politician is that nothing is private anymore, and that’s not right. The liberal media tried to play this off at first, but thanks to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Andrew Breitbart, it all blew way out of proportion. That’s part of the reason I never responded to this, because I felt it wasn’t my place to scrutinize someone else’s personal life.

There are various reasons why I don’t think Weiner should resign. One is the above, that he should be given a second chance just like others did. Another is that he should let the people he represents in Brooklyn decide and based on polls done there, they want him to stay. The leadership of Congress can express their displeasure with the whole situation, but they don’t have the authority to force him out. Lastly there seems to be a double standard with how these scandals are handled. The second the story broke, Fox News was calling for Weiner to leave office, yet they didn’t do they same when it broke that Senator Vitter (R) of Louisiana was involved in a couple prostitution rings or that Governor Sanford (R) of South Carolina disappeared to be with his mistress in South America. Both of those men are still in office and refuse to leave. Tell me there isn’t something wrong with that.

Now after reading all that, you might still be confused on my stance on all of this. Let me be clear, I don’t condone what Weiner did, but I don’t think he should have left office. But I’ll let you the readers decide what his fate should have been. Let me know in the comment section.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The countdown to Countdown with Keith Olbermann

You have got to be kidding me?! Rush Limbaugh

Everybody knows about global warming or climate change. It's the natural changing of the climate patterns on earth greatly enhanced by human contribution. This is something greatly attributed to Al Gore and his film "An Inconvenient Truth". It's considered a very liberal notion and conservatives and Republicans dismiss it as a hoax. That is until this week when Mitt Romney said he believes in global warming and that we contribute to it.
I believe the world is getting warmer. I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer -- and -- and number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don't know how much our contribution is to that 'cause I know there's been -- there have been periods of -- of greater heat and -- and warmth in the past, but I believe that we contribute to that, and so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing.

I see nothing wrong with this statement. I know I dogged Romney a couple weeks ago about the auto bailout, but this time around. He's absolutely correct. Romney is playing to the mainstream voter, especially the independents. He's pitching down the middle, which just like in baseball is how you win elections. But that's not how Rush Limabush sees it.
Bye-bye, nomination.

Bye-bye nomination.

Another one down.

We're in the midst here of discovering that this is all a hoax. The last year has established that the whole premise of manmade global warming is a hoax, and we still have presidential candidates who want to buy into it! Why? 'Cause in New Hampshire they obviously care about it. So you go to Iowa say and you say, "Hey, by the way, I'm all for ethanol subsidies." Then you go to the Florida and say, "Hey, you seasoned citizens, I'm all for never-ending Social Security!" Wherever you go, whatever they care about there is what you're for. I saw this... I couldn't believe this when I saw it. People in New Hampshire for some cockamamie reason want to believe in global warming. There was snow on the summit of Hawaii's biggest mountain, Mauna Kea, after a thunderstorm dropped inches of ice this morning.

In Hawaii!

(sigh) Believe climate change is manmade? This is like a throwaway. Then we see in this poll that all of a sudden Romney's on the top? So I guess Washington Post liked that answer and put Romney at the top. "This is what we want to hear of a Republican nominee!" This is what we want to hear.

We all know Rush is an idiot, but he has taken it to new heights with this. Why is that he and other conservative talking heads want to disprove science so much? And why is playing to the real voting block, the moderates, independents, and those with brains such a bad thing? We all know what's going to happen to Palin, Bachmann, and Gingrich; they won't even survive the first round of primaries. The Tea Party is too fringe to take any kind of hold in the mainstream of political thought. By not believing in science, it's a wonder that Limbaugh is even still alive. It's almost impossible to put into words how stupid this man really is. What's sad though is the size of his following and how many brainless souls are following him like lemmings off a cliff. To quote the pregame show for Monday Night Football on ESPN, "Come on man!"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A gaint sucking sound

You hear that? That's the sound of Newt Gingrich's campaign imploding and the vacuum it creating sucking everything into it. Breaking news reports have stated that Newt's top campaign staff have resigned, including his campaign manager, press secretary, and top advisors from New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina. Newt is brushing this off as nothing saying that his campaign begins anew next week, but this is troubling. The election season is still over six months away and already his campaign is falling apart. I see this as a turning point for Newt, but not a good one. I see this a trend starting with him, and if that's the case, he won't even make it out of the first few primaries. Good luck to him.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Say what?! Gun control

Today I am debuting a new segment to the blog, entitled "Say what?!", which will feature something outrageous in politics today that is completely unbelievable but unfortunately true. To kick off this segment, I found a doosy last night while watching The Rachel Maddow Show. Here's the segment in it's entirety:

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That's right, you can be on the terrorist watch list and still be a gun. And when a bill was brought to the floor of the house to close this loop hole, it was defeated on party lines. The Republicans believe that their endorsement by the NRA is more important than keeping guns out of the hands of potential terrorists. It's hard to believe though that the NRA would actually be against this sort of common sense law. Keeping guns out of the wrong hands helps secure the right of others to have their own guns. It would only take one incident for the president to declare marshall law and outlaw all guns. Wouldn't the NRA rather have that kind of security rather than be bullheaded and say "guns for all, no matter who you are." It's nuts if you ask me. This sort of stupidity and bullheadedness is sickening, because it shows how much our country is going downhill fast. We should have learned after the Arizona shooting that we need to keep guns out of the wrong people's hands, but the phrase "gun control" is like poison to the Republicans and NRA. It's time the GOP and NRA grew a brain and realized that something needs to be done before we have another tragedy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

You have got to be kidding me?! The Palin rebuttal

I wrote yesterday about Palin's gaffe involving Paul Revere's famous Mignight Ride. Well, it only gets better. Today Palin appeared on Fox News Sunday and host Chris Wallace brought up the subject of her gaffe, pointing out that she's wrong about it. What Palin said next will make you shake your head with shame.
You know what? I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. Here’s what Paul Revere did. He warned the Americans that “the British were coming, the British were coming.” And they were going to try to take our arms so got to make sure that, uh, we were protecting ourselves and, uhm, shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take them.

But remember that the British had already been there — many soldiers — for seven years in that area. And part of Paul Revere’s ride… And it wasn’t just one ride. He was a courier. He was a messenger. Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that, “Hey. You’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not gonna beat our own well-armed, uh, persons, uh, individual private militia that we have. He did warn the British.

And in a shout-out, gotcha type of question that was asked of me, I answered candidly. And I know my American history.

This dumbfounds me to no end. Palin, you are wrong. You don't know crap about history. I'm a historian, and I can tell you that you are wrong. As Think Progress points out, Revere's ride was to warn the Patriot leaders that the British were coming and to warn the leaders of the local militias. Revere needed to be stealthy as to not draw any attention to himself from the British. Also, Revere was not a courier, he was a silversmith. All Palin had to say was that she was a little confused on her facts and correct herself. Instead she does what she knows best when she screws up, she blames the "lamestream" media, saying it was a gotcha question. What?! It was a not a gotcha question, Palin was commenting about being at Paul Revere's house. GAH! As a history teacher, this scares me because soon people will believe the garbage revised history coming from Palin's mouth. She just needs to shut up.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

You have got to be kidding me?! Sarah Palin

I know, I know, I could use so many things about Sarah Palin in this, but this week she said something so stupid that I just had to write about it. Palin has been hit with the GOP curse of completely screwing up history. First off was Michele Bachmann when she was speaking in New Hampshire making a reference to "the shot heard around the world" at Lexington and Concord, referring to Concord, NH rather than the real location of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. Bachmann also said that the Founding Fathers, including John Quincy Adams, fought tirelessly to end slavery. The problems with that statement are that the founders died before slavery ended and John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father, he was a young boy during the Revolution. Then there was Hernan Cain confusing the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence and Tim Pawlenty referred to the Iraq war as the Iran war. But Palin's stupidity takes the cake. She visited Paul Revere's house this week and this is what she had to say about the famous Midnight Ride
He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.

Where to begin? First off, the Midnight Ride was to warn the colonists that the British were coming, not to warn the British that they wouldn't take the guns of the colonists. Second, there weren't any bells or gunshots; Paul Revere went to the town to warn the militias by hanging lights in the church tower, one if by land, two if by sea. To make this kind of mistake is not only ridiculous, but it's completely unacceptable. Palin wants to be a force to be reckoned with, a personality that no one can touch. But when she continues to prove how stupid she is, it makes it harder to take her seriously. And the fact that she has become such a personality for the Republicans and Tea Party movement, it makes it harder to take either of those groups seriously also. If the GOP knew what was good for them, they would ditch Palin, NOW!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Playing politics with disaster relief

By now everyone is familiar with the disaster that unfolded with the terrible tornado that ripped through Jolpin, Missouri over a week ago. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, that is except from the federal government. Eric Cantor is playing politics with the legislation being put forth for the relief effort in Joplin. He is holding the bill up saying that no federal money can be used for relief unless there is a spending cut to offset it. Seriously? The highest death toll in a single storm, and the relief money is held up for political reasons? Had this been a Democrat proposing this every Republican and Fox News would be calling for his resignation, but since it's a "fiscally responsible" Republican, it's suddenly perfectly OK? Absolutely not! This double standard that has been set up making the Democrats out to be the bad guys but letting the Republicans off without so much as a warning needs to be brought to an end. Cantor needs to resign now, he doesn't deserve to be in Congress.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Detroit is back!

On Saturday I started a new segment on here (You have got to be kidding me?! Mitt Romney) talking about how Mitt Romney tried taking credit for the auto bailout working. Well, the bailout did work and the sales numbers for the month of May prove that. However, note that the earthquake in Japan in March did have an effect on sales too as Honda and Toyota took a huge hit with factories being down and supplies running low. For the month of May, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler took the top three spots for sales, the Detroit Three are once again the Big Three. General Motors sold 221,192 vehicles, Ford sold 192,102 vehicles, and Chrysler sold 115,363 vehicles. GM and Ford led the all important segments of compact and midsize cars with the Cruze, Focus, Malibu, and Fusion. It's hard to tell whether Chrysler can keep it up once Honda and Toyota get back up to full production. But for now, we can celebrate our auto industry.

On another note, Detroit is still adding jobs, as shown by the chart below the White House released today.

The article went on to say:
In the year before GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy, the auto industry shed over 400,000 jobs. Had President Obama failed to intervene, conservative estimates suggest that it would have cost at least an additional one million jobs and devastated vast parts of our nation’s industrial heartland. Since GM and Chrysler Group emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009, the auto industry has added 115,000 jobs – the fastest pace of job growth in the auto industry since 1998.

Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009, they have announced investments totaling over $8 billion in their U.S. facilities, creating or saving nearly 20,000 jobs. Additionally, in the first quarter of 2011, the auto industry reached an important milestone when all three Detroit automakers posted positive quarterly net profits – for the first time since 2004.

Needless to say, the auto industry is back in full swing again and if the president hadn't intervened and bailed them out, it would have had devestating effects on our economy. Unlike the banks, they truly were too big to fail.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Election 2012: GOP Candidates, Really?!

Well, we're almost halfway through 2011 and the field of candidates for the 2012 presidential election is starting to shape up for the Republican party. So far, the Republican ticket is looking more like a joke than a list of serious contenders. Well, let's see how they are and I'll let you judge.

First we have our front runner Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts. He could be a serious contender, if he actually held his ground and wasn't afraid of the backlash from the extremes of his base. He is having to back away from the healthcare reform he put into place and apologize to Rep. Paul Ryan for tearing into Ryan's plan to end Medicare as we know it. The man could be a interesting candidate if only he had a backbone.

Next is Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota. He is the most moderate of the candidates, and is also the most boring. He even admitted that when he said his campaign is all about the facts rather than the show, which isn't a bad thing, but it might only hurt him than help him. We'll have to see how he does.

The we have former Speaker of the House Next Gingrich. This man has been out of politics for so long that he is way of out touch and is so far right that he won't stand a chance. His record in Congress is spotty, especially after forcing the government shut down in '94. Plus, as a self proclaimed "family values" man, his two divorces might come as an issue.

Next up is Ron Paul, congressman from Texas. The perennial candidate for the Libertarian and Tea Party strains never seems to give up, but he does it more for the message he's sending rather than actually winning. I give Ron Paul a lot of credit, he's the true Tea Party person, not like the crazies who attach themselves to the movement because they think it's cool.

Then we have our out there candidates that nobody has heard of, like Herman Cain and Fred Karger, or people that just can't be taken seriously, like Jimmy McMillan, the perennial candidate from the Rent-is-Too-Damn-High party (pictured left.)

Lastly are those that have been getting the attention, but haven't said anything yet. The biggest attention getter was Donald Trump, who kept egging us on only to say he wouldn't run. Fast forward to now and he keeps saying that he might change his mind. This guy is a joke. Same goes for Sarah Palin, the half-term governor from Alaska who resigned because she couldn't the pressure. If she can't handle being governor of a small, in terms of population, state, then how can she handle being president. Michele Bachmann has been eluding to it also, which is scary because she doesn't even understand basic history, thinking that the battles Lexington and Concord that started the American Revolution happened in New Hampshire, rather than Massachusetts.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

From all of us here at The Young and Opinionated, we would like to honor and remember all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend this country and those who continue that fight today. Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

You have got to be kidding me?! Mitt Romney

It has been a while since I have posted on here, but with school, graduation, and job searching behind me now, I'm able to get back to this. I'm going to do a special segment every Saturday called "You have got to be kidding me?!" about stupid things Republican politicans do or say. For this inaugural edition, Mitt Romney gets the award.

Earlier this week, Chrysler announced that it backed all of it's loans earlier, with interest. This is great news for the auto industry, since GM paid back their loans last year and went back on the stock market earlier this year and by year's end, Chrysler is poised to be back on the open market also. It was also anounced that Fiat is taking more ownership of Chrysler, possibly up to 57%, giving it majority control. Now all of this is great news, until a certain GOP presidential hopeful chimed. Mitt Romney is now trying to take credit for the auto bailout working, after saying back in 2009 that the Detriot Three should just go bankrupt. Granted General Motors and Chrysler did declare bankruptcy, but it was a structured form of Chapter 11, which let new companies formed by the old ones and the government take control of the assets. What Romney was pushing for was Chapter 7 liqudation, which would have opened the doors for foreign companies, especially the Chinese. Now this would have been horrible for our economy, especially considering the condition it was in at that point in time. But this seems to be a trend with people in the GOP, not just Romney. President Obama will make a controversial decision, the GOP will give him heat for it. The decision proves to work, the GOP will somehow take credit for it, even if they voted against it. And the success of the bailout more than proved the GOP wrong and vindicated the president. GM has retaken the top spot on the sales chart in the US, Ford (while not taking any government money) has benefited from GM's resurgence, and Chrysler is bouncing back greating after two horrible previous owners.

Mitt Romney has no shame. He can't run on his own success because it's controversial in the eyes of the Republican base. In case you don't know what that it is, I'm talking about Romney-care, the health care reform law Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts. The base sees this as socialism, so Romney needs to create his own success. Maybe his next fake success will make a future edition of "You have got to be kidding me?!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Keith is back!!

I am so happy that it will be a couple months before the voice of reason and all that is good in the world will be back on air, and better than ever. You can never keep a good man down, and you can't keep Olbermann quiet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The budget and the debt

It seems that the GOP like to turn anything into a budget battle. In Wisconsin, the governor tried making stripping union rights a budget issue while Republicans in Congress thought defunding Planned Parenthood was a budget issue. Seriously?! You have got to be kidding me. But there is a method to their madness, you make everyone mad at you and therefore everyone will vote for the Democrats...wait, WTF?! They're plan is to spell out their own demise? I guess they really are that stupid, but I digress. So instead of tackling the real debt problems, they're trying to polarize themselves by picking minute issues.

However, I have a couple ideas on how to solve the debt problem we are facing in this country, something so brilliant that even John of Orange Boehner would never think of, nor would he approve. First off is cut the salary of members of Congress to the average salary of the United States worker. Members of Congress are currently paid $174,000, while the average American worker is paid only $32,000 a year. That’s over 5 times the amount while doing significantly less work. With 538 members of Congress, the savings would add up to $76,396,000. While that is a drop in the bucket, it’s a start and this only includes the actual members of Congress, not their staffers. The average salary of a congressional chief of staff makes $120,000 a year, and since they do more of the grunt work for Congress, they would have a salary cap at $40,000. This would add another $43,040,000 in savings. Figure in deputy chiefs of staff, district directors, and deputy district directors, there would be an additional $75,858,000 in savings. That is close to $200 million in savings every year. Secondly, cut the defense budget and pull our troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, and anywhere else they might be stationed. I have said before, we are not the world's police, so we should scale back to peacetime numbers. But the war hawks in the GOP will never allow this. So we'll continue to drive ourselves deeper into debt for the sake of the military industrial complex.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crazier than Glenn Beck? And Beck leaving Fox

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We all know that Glenn Beck is bat-shit crazy, so how is it possible that there is a level above that? Apparently Donald Trump found a way to trump Beck. That's right, Trump trumped Beck. Never thought I would see that coming, plus Beck actually was the voice of reason in that interview, saying that the GOP needs a serious candidate, not just a crazy person spewing all these conspiracies. This comes out shortly before we find out that Beck is leaving Fox to persue other opportunities, or so we're told. The real reason is that Beck is too crazy for Fox News now, with most of his advertisers pulling their ads from his show. It's too bad though, because he is the favorite target of liberals. Back to Hannity and Rush now I guess.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Natural Gas drilling is more important than education?

Last week I posted a handful of comics depicting what the wonderful governor of Pennsylvania is planning on doing with the state, mainly turning us into the Texas of natutal gas at the expensive of our education system. It's been known that the governor cut fudning in half for all state run colleges and universities and slashed funding for school districts. While all that outrage was going on, he also slipped under the radar cutting the entire funding for kindergarten programs, but not pre-k. WTF?! Corbett is turning us into the Mississippi of public and higher education. Potential college students used to flock to this state because of the quality of higher education, especially teacher training. Now we're going to be a joke. Corbett needs to go.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Are you smarter than a middle schooler?

I've discovered reecently how blantantly ignorant some people are about political facts and how my 7th and 8th graders have a better grasp of current issues than they do. It's astounding, depressing, and reassuring all at the same time. I'm astounded that at such a young age they actually get, depressed because people their parents age don't get it and reassured because these are our future leaders and will be the people running the country. It's also frustrating because as a history major I have spent 4 years studying what has happened in our country and around the world and people somehow claim I'm ignorant about what's going on. What did Churchill say, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Well, I've learned from the past and I'm pointing out how it's being repeated while others are telling me to shut up and that I'm way wrong. Take for instance tax cuts and trickle down economics. It has been proven that this plan failed under Reagan and failed again under Bush, but what did we do, we let those tax cuts stand because somehow higher taxes kill jobs. Once again, history has shown us the opposite with the boom era of the 1950s under another Republican, Eisenhower, where the top tax rate was near 90%, and the economy was growing. Another grand notion is smaller government, which was tried under the Articles of Confederation during the 1780s and once again was a failure. And let's not forget states' rights, which was settled during the Civil War, but somehow southern Republicans still think they can leave the Union. Speaking of unions, how about Wisconsin and Ohio where workers' rights are being taken away. Remember what happened in Europe when workers were oppressed? REAL socialism and communism took hold because they stood for the working man. See how much trouble could be avoided if politicians, especially Republicans, paid attention during history class. And yet 13 and 14 year olds ask me, "why are they (politicians) so dumb?" All I can say is "because they think about themselves instead of the people who voted them into office." While the present might look bleak, at least I have hope for the future.