Day: June 17, 2010

Interesting List Of Books That Have Impacted Congressional Action In Past Century!

An interesting article by a reporter for Congressional Quarterly, Elham Khatami, for the website, lists the most influential books that have been published in the past century and had impact on Congressional action!

All five books are of historic importance for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

The first chronologically is Upton Sinclair’s novel, THE JUNGLE, published in 1906. It was read by President Theodore Roosevelt, and it led to quick action on federal legislation on meat, food and drug inspection and protection. It was the beginning of government on the national level taking responsibility for the health and welfare of its citizens!

Next published was THE GRAPES OF WRATH, a famous novel by John Steinbeck, which portrayed the problem of poverty during the Great Depression, specifically in relation to farm workers. It led to covering farm workers under labor laws for the first time, during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt!

Next was Michael Harrington’s nonfiction work, THE OTHER AMERICA, published in 1962, describing the wide extent of poverty in America, and not only of minorities, but also of rural whites! It spurred the movement toward the War On Poverty thought of by John F. Kennedy, and passed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson!

The fourth book was also nonfiction and also published in 1962, Rachel Carson’s SILENT SPRING, which dealt with the dangers of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which were shown to pollute the soil, water and air. It led to the beginning of action under John F. Kennedy, continued under Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, and led to the passage of environmental laws and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970!

The final book, also nonfiction, was Ralph Nader’s UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED, published in 1965. Dealing with automobile safety, it helped to lead to mandatory safety measures, and the creation of the Department of Transportation under Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission!

All of these significant books, and the reaction by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon, occurred during “progressive” periods of American history, and are a further repudiation of those, such as Glenn Beck, who constantly attack “progressivism”, despite its many contributions to the creation of a better, more humane America!

Revelation: George W. Bush’s Daughter, Barbara Bush, Backs Obama Health Care Law!

An interesting piece of news is that Barbara Bush, one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush, has made public her support of the recently passed Obama Health Care legislation!

Despite the fact that the GOP resisted and fought against the Health Care law, Barbara Bush indicated her belief that it was good that the legislation passed, and that people who have lower income should have the same access to health care that rich people have!

Hooray for Barbara Bush, who is the leader of the Global Health Corps, a group that promotes global health equity! She is proving that she is a young woman of decency and good principles, and makes many in the Republican party look very hard hearted and selfish in their opposition to everyone being entitled to health care!

Exaggeration And Fabrication: The Cases Of Richard Blumenthal And Mark Kirk

What is it with politicians that they cannot run for office based on truth and honesty, on their real record of accomplishments or talents? ๐Ÿ™

We have the cases of Democrat Richard Blumenthal, running for the Senate in Connecticut, and Republican Mark Kirk, running for the Senate in Illinois!

Blumenthal has been the distinguished Attorney General of Connecticut for 22 years, and is attempting to succeed Democrat Christopher Dodd in the Senate. He is heavily favored, but the NY TIMES has uncovered the fact that he has lied about military service in Vietnam in the late 1960s, when he never did such service!

Mark Kirk has been a GOP Congressman for ten years, and is considered a moderate Republican with a good chance of defeating his Democratic opponent, in a race to succeed the appointed Democrat to Barack Obama’s Senate seat, Roland Burris. But he has fabricated his teaching experience, which was very minimal to none, for no reason that makes any sense!

It seems to me that Blumenthal claiming military experience in Vietnam is much more egregious an offense than Kirk claiming teaching experience, but the question is WHY it is necessary to fabricate, exaggerate and lie about one’s background! ๐Ÿ™

How could either candidate really believe that they would get away with lying over time, if not immediately caught in the story making? It boggles the mind why such behavior seems more commonly used, therefore causing further disillusionment toward politicians by the American people! ๐Ÿ™

BP And “The Little People”: Insulting And Condescending! :(

The Chairman of the Board of BP yesterday, after meeting with President Obama, and agreeing to a $20 billion escrow account for victims of the Oil Spill Crisis, spoke to the media outside the White House, and managed to show total lack of sensitivity about the ordinary Americans hurt by the crisis!

He said that BP wanted to demonstrate that it cared about “the little people”! ๐Ÿ™

Is there anything more insulting than to call other human beings “the little people?” ๐Ÿ™

That is an indication of what wealthy people tend to consider those who serve them, or those who just work for a living, rather than having obscene salaries and wealth! ๐Ÿ™

It is totally outrageous and condescending to use such language, and has rightfully angered many people living on the Gulf Coast who are victims of the BP Oil Spill! ๐Ÿ™

Unfortunately, people who have major assets tend generally to act this way, and it is a disgusting practice that needs to be condemned to the extreme, and BP should apologize for such poor use of language! ๐Ÿ™

Congressman Joe Barton: Favoring BP Over Victims! :(

Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas, at the beginning of the committee hearings today with BP Chairman Tony Hayward, was highly critical of the Obama Administration for gaining a $20 billion “slush fund” and “shakedown” from BP yesterday in the Oval Office! ๐Ÿ™

What an outrage, for Congressman Barton to be more concerned about a corporation which has caused so much economic and environmental damage in the Gulf Coast, destroying the livelihoods of fishermen, small businesses of all kinds, and the shorelines of four states dependent for a lot of their state income from tourism! ๐Ÿ™

The Obama Administration has already issued a denunciation of Barton, well deserved repudiation of his greater concern with big business, rather than the average American harmed by the BP recklessness! ๐Ÿ™

Barton is following a trend begun by Michele Bachmann, and rapidly being voiced by conservative talk show hosts and other Republicans and Tea Party activists! ๐Ÿ™

This is good news for the Democrats and President Obama! Let conservatives and Republicans and Tea Party people continue to denounce what President Obama has accomplished, as that can only help sustain the Democrats as the party of the people, concerned about average Americans and ready and willing to make corporations be held accountable!

It is hard to imagine in November that being critical of the government and for BP is going to be a winning campaign for Tea Party favorites and Republicans! So, go right ahead and dig your own demise, is what progressives and Democrats should be encouraging right now!

As sad as this crisis is, it is an opportunity to show the true colors of the GOP and their allies! ๐Ÿ™

Analysis Of Barack Obama’s Speech: Was It Too Complex For His Audience?

A language expert has done a full analysis of President Obama’s Tuesday night speech, which was criticized by pundits on the Left and the Right, but upon later developments on Wednesday–including the agreement of British Petroleum Corporation to set up an escrow account of $20 billion without a cap–second thoughts on the effectiveness of the speech have emerged!

It is disturbing, however, that the language expert believes that the President’s speech was “too professorial for his audience!”

What is too professorial? Apparently, speaking at a 9.8 grade level is such, which is quite a commentary on the educational level of the American people! That is the end of the freshman year of high school, nearing the sophomore year!

Also, having four sentences on the average per paragraph, with about 19.8 words per sentence, is too complex for those listening! Apparently, the way Obama spoke was “aloof” and “out of touch” with his audience!

This speech prevented an emotional connection to the American people, according to the language expert!

Obama’s “best” speech, apparently, was his 2008 “Yes We Can!” victory speech, which comes in at a level of 7.4, early part of the seventh grade reading level!

If after all of the educational opportunities that have been offered in recent years, the best we can get is early high school as the level required to communicate with an audience, then we are indeed in sad shape educationally in this country!

But then again, is there anything new about that assertion? ๐Ÿ™