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:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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.