Day: December 30, 2009

Tragic News At Washington Times: Conservative Alternative Cutting Back Drastically!

It is indeed sad news when the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, is losing its major conservative alternative to the Washington Post, the Washington Times, as a fully competing entity.

The news today that there would be more than 40 percent cuts in staff, and the earlier announcement of no Saturday or Sunday editions anymore, is a sign of the times in print journalism, but it seems likely that this attempt to resuscitate the competitor to the Post will ultimately fail in the long run.

While no one would compare the Times to the Post in quality, it was still a good thing to have the alternative approach to national and international news, and competition is good in any industry, particularly one dealing with information and knowledge.

The Post once before had lost its competitor, when the Evening Star went out of business in the 1970s, to be replaced in 1982 by the Times. It is hoped that somehow the cutback paper will survive as another editorial voice!

Good Move To Abolish Power Of “Super Delegates” In Democratic National Convention

The Democratic Party is moving toward eliminating the power of so called “Super Delegates”, party leaders and movers, who became the center of controversy during the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary season.

The argument is that the office holders should vote in the national convention in lockstep with the party members who have voted in the primaries or caucuses, so that the will of the people is obeyed.

The power of super delegates to affect the result of the nomination battle was a source of friction during the Obama-Hillary Clinton nomination battle, and it is not too soon to bring that unfortunate controversy to an end.

A final decision will be made by the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee sometime early in 2010.

The Most Inspiring Ten In American Politics In 2009! And Ten Others!

Now it is time for the top ten most inspiring figures in American politics in 2009!

I will work my way down from Number Ten to Number One!

TEN: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a carryover from the Bush Administration, who has been very even handed and cooperative, and has been a real asset to the Obama Administration!

NINE: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who has proved to be one of the rising stars in the Senate in her third year in the upper chamber!

EIGHT: Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, who has proved to be a great leader of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, a key figure in the health care debate!

SEVEN: Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Presidential nominee in 2004, who has worked out very well in his crucial role in the upper chamber!

SIX: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has done a good job in her post, and has become a loyal team member in the Obama Administration!

FIVE: Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has fought the good fight as the one “true” Independent in Congress, taking the most leftist view on most issues and making others use their conscience when considering what we are doing on changing the direction of American internally and overseas!

FOUR: First Lady Michelle Obama, who has been graceful and appropriate in her role, and has become extremely popular with the American people!

THREE: Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, my favorite Senator in the present Senate, who has always stood for principle and goodness, much like Bernie Sanders!

TWO: Vice President Joe Biden, who has been very successful in having input in the Obama Administration, and has elevated the Vice Presidency’s image from what it was under Dick Cheney!

ONE: Obviously, President Barack Obama, who has transformed the office in his first year, with his initiatives in economic, social and foreign policy! While much of what he has done is not yet possible to assess long term, a great start has been accomplished!

Again, I invite commentary on my selections, but let me add ten more people to the list in no special order: Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida, CNN National Correspondent John King, MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann, and MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow.

Finally, I wish to pay tribute to two people who had a great role in American politics for many decades, and who passed away this year: CBS Anchor Walter Cronkite, and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts! May they both rest in peace!

The Outrageous Ten In American Politics In 2009! And Ten Others!

As the year 2009 nears its end, it is time to reflect on which people in the public spotlight stood out as the most annoying, most outrageous, most despicable in the politics of 2009.

I will work down from ten to one on this list! This is no easy task! 🙂

TEN: Senator John Ensign of Nevada, who became embroiled in a sex scandal with a woman on his staff, and had his parents pay “hush money” to her in order to keep it quiet, which it failed to do, and has refused to resign. A fundamentalist Christian who is shown to be a total hypocrite!

NINE: Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who also became involved in a sex scandal with a lady from Argentina, talked too much about it, and has been considered for impeachment, but is still there and refusing to leave. He is another very devout fundamentalist Christian who has proved to be a hypocrite!

EIGHT: Governor Rick Perry of Texas, facing a tough re-election battle against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison next year, and promoted the concept of “secession” this past year, and became embroiled in a scandal regarding the state Pardon Board. He has served longer than any governor and is hopefully to be retired next year!

SEVEN: Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Minority Leader, who promoted total obstruction and lack of cooperation with the Obama Administration as a basic principle. He did not add to his stature by so doing!

SIX: Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who became more and more annoying and ridiculous as the leading critic of climate change, and made a fool of himself at the Copenhagen summit .

FIVE: Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who became the leading conservative of all in the Senate, and called for creating President Obama’s “Waterloo”. He has presidential ambitions for 2012, but hopefully will go nowhere!

FOUR: Radio Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh, who made many wonder about his sanity this year, and promoted division and hate on his three hour daily talk show. He had nothing positive to contribute to the debates of 2009, and showed himself to be totally self serving!

THREE: Radio and TV Talk Show Host Glenn Beck, who became the most controversial talk show host of all, ranting and raving in an insane fashion, with wild accusations and hints of hallucinations if one paid attention regularly to his commentary. Many might think of him as a total joke, but unfortunately, like Rush Limbaugh, he has his devoted fans who fail to see how crazy he is!

TWO: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who milked her Vice Presidential candidacy for all it was worth this year, but in so doing, made a fool of herself and showed total incapability to address any important issue with facts and truth. She was proof that an ignorant, very ordinary person could be a factor in politics since she appealed to those like herself, a scary thought for the upcoming election year of 2012!

ONE: The honor, or lack of it, for being Number One goes to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who proved to be the most divisive public figure of the year 2009, with his constant attacks and accusations against the Obama Presidency. Never before had a former Vice President been so public after leaving office, particularly ironic since when he was in office, he was very elusive and secretive!

I welcome commentary on this list, but let me add honorable mentions to this list in no special order: Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, and Radio and TV talk show host Sean Hannity!

New Right Wing Mind Control Attempt: Not Just Evolution But Now American History!

It is well known that right wing conservatives have been working for a long time to promote religion over science, as is most evident in their denial of evolution and promotion of “intelligent design”, which is a new title for “creationism”. This has permeated many educational systems across the country, most notably in the state of Kansas.

But a new move by these right wing extremists is to attempt to change the story of American history–that is to promote that America is a perfect nation with no weaknesses nor faults nor mistakes in its past, and that it is far superior to all other nations on the globe. Also, that all children should learn about significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, but no equivalent liberal groups or persons. This perception of the American past was attempted years ago in Lake County, Florida, until fortunately the school board that had decided on this propagandistic approach, was defeated, and sanity returned to that county’s educational curriculum.

This right wing promotion is a denial of the massacre of native Americans, the racism and degradation of African Americans during the era of slavery and since, the discrimination visited against various immigrant groups in American history, the mistreatment by corporations of the American working force, the second class citizenship for a long time of American womanhood, the denial of civil liberties on a regular basis in America’s past, the manipulation of public opinion which has often led us into many wars and overseas adventures, and the role of dissenters in taking a moral stand against many injustices throughout our nation’s history.

It is not the issue of “badmouthing” America’s past, as there is much to applaud and praise in the experiment of our American republic. But students need to learn the entire “truth”, good and bad, rather than a sanitized version.

This conservative attempt to propagandize their version of American history is taking place in Texas, the state of Rick Perry, the governor who spoke about “secession” this past spring. The problem is that Texas, along with California, have the most students, and so if the state educational curriculum is slanted in favor of textbooks that promote a right wing view of history, most publishers will be forced, by pure percentage of students in that state, to divert their resources to a view of the past that will sell their textbooks to public and private schools across America, to avoid loss of profits.

The realization of what is about to happen early in 2010 must be brought to light and fought intensely, as the future threat of propagandizing America’s students is facing us, just at a time when the Obama Presidency offers new hope of a different internal and external vision of America after the tragedy of the Bush years!