Day: April 21, 2012

The Intellectual Prowess Of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Melissa Harris-Perry, And Chris Hayes

MSNBC may not have a very large audience base, as compared to Fox News Channel, but that is not the only way to judge media.

After all, the New York Times has lower readership than the New York Daily News, for instance, but that does not make the Daily News a newspaper of quality, and the same goes for cable television news.

Quality and intellectual challenge are what makes journalism outstanding, and in that regard, Fox News Channel is no comparison to MSNBC.

And the author is not referring here to the traditional talk show hosts–the Reverend Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, and Lawrence O’Donnell in the weekday evenings, although all are enlightening.

And he is not referring to Morning Joe, or Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Martin Bashir, Dylan Ratigan, Alex Wagner, or others on the weekday daytime, all of whom are great, but not what he wishes to emphasize.

Rather, the author is referring to three true intellectuals, Rachel Maddow, on at 9 pm eastern time during the week, and Melissa Harris-Perry and Chris Hayes, on for two hours each on both Saturday and Sunday.

Rachel Maddow, 39 years of age, has degrees from Stanford University and Oxford University, an earned doctorate, and was the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship. Anyone who watches her or reads her new book, DRIFT, cannot help but be impressed with her pure intellectual brilliance. She is also a delight on a personal level, with a great sense of humor!

Melissa Harris-Perry, 38 years of age, is an African American professor of Political Science at Tulane University, and formerly taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, earned a Ph. D. at Duke University, and is the author of two books. Her two hour show on both Saturday and Sunday is extremely enlightening, and her pleasant personality comes through on a consistent basis!

Chris Hayes, 33 years old, is married to Kate Shaw, an Associate Counsel for President Barack Obama, is an editor at large of The Nation magazine, and has a show called Up With Chris Hayes for two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes called the male Rachel Maddow, Hayes comes across as an intellectual on the level of Maddow and Harris-Perry, and he possesses a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

His show, as with Maddow and Harris-Perry, is extremely enlightening and stimulating to viewers who appreciate good intellectual discourse! His book Twilight Of The Elites: America After Meritocracy, will be published in June, 2012.

Anyone who reads this blog should make it a habit to watch these three brilliant talk show hosts–Rachel Maddow, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Chris Hayes!

The Unusual Nature Of The 2008 Election, In More Ways Than One!

2008, the year of the economic collapse in America, unrivaled since the Great Depression of the 1930s, was a very unusual election year.

This was the first time we had an African American Presidential nominee, and he won the election, despite a majority of white men voting against him.

The country had both candidates for President born off the mainland of America–John McCain in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, and Barack Obama born in Hawaii in 1961.

The country had the greatest gap in age between the two Presidential candidates in American history–a difference of 25 years between McCain and Obama.

The country had the first college professor (although part time) winning office since Woodrow Wilson 96 years earlier, in 1912.

Barack Obama was the first President from Illinois since Abraham Lincoln 148 years earlier, in 1860.

Barack Obama was the first Northern President elected since John F. Kennedy in 1960, and is the only Democrat to have at least 51 percent of the total vote since World War II, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

The year 2008 saw the first Republican woman nominee for Vice President, Sarah Palin.

John McCain became the second Arizona Senator to lose the Presidency, after Barry Goldwater 44 years earlier, in 1964.

So the 2008 election was a path breaking election in more ways than one!

Seven Factors Which Could Defeat Barack Obama In 2012

Despite all of the evidence that Barack Obama has a great advantage for re-election in 2012, there certainly are factors which could lead to his defeat.

These include:

If the economy has another backslide of notable proportions, and gasoline prices continue to rise.

If a war breaks out in the Middle East or elsewhere, and the President is seen as handling the foreign crisis poorly.

If the Republican attempt in many states to limit the vote by discriminatory voter registration legislation succeeds in cutting voter registration and participation down dramatically.

If the enthusiasm of voters for Barack Obama is toned down, because of disillusionment that he has not been able to solve all of the problems he faced upon taking office.

If the effects of the growth of SuperPACS, encouraged by the Citizens United Case of the Supreme Court in 2010, are able to propagandize enough with less informed voters who react to negative commercials.

If a major political scandal erupts that undermines faith in the President’s leadership, with the opposition already starting to blame Obama for the Secret Service scandal.

And finally, the issue of race, as electing the first African American President is a path breaker and milestone, but re-electing would be an even more path breaking milestone, with the constant reference to race by right wing extremists, conservatives, and a majority of Republican officeholders, all designed to instill fear, panic, and conspiracy theories into the heads of white working class voters in Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

So there is no guarantee, and six months is an eternity in American politics!

Earth Day, The Environment, And Republicans From TR And Nixon To James Inhofe And Mitt Romney!

The Republican Party under Theodore Roosevelt a century ago promoted conservation and growth of national parks.

The Republican Party under Richard Nixon promoted the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and expanded on the air and water pollution legislation of Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Republican Party under Ronald Reagan, despite his wish to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency, and having a terrible record on the environment, possibly the worst of modern times, actually came to realize the dangers of global warming, which became part of the national security agenda in 1985 and after.

The Republican Party under George H. W. Bush, and then Democrat Bill Clinton, continued to deal with the issue of global warming.

It seems clear that once Al Gore, an environmental champion before, during, and after serving as Vice President under Bill Clinton, lost the Presidential Election of 2000 in the Supreme Court, it became the clarion call of those who would deny global warming and climate change, to push against any such crusade, and to condemn environmentalists on principle, much of it based on fake science promoted by right wing Evangelical Christians, with their leading champion being Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, but certainly joined by others in the Republican Party in both houses of Congress.

So we have even Mitt Romney now straddling the fence, refusing to take a strong stand on the environment, global warming, and climate change, and about to give a commencement speech next month at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia, where denial of environmental crisis, and even of evolution, runs rampant.

Look how far the GOP has fallen from the time of TR and Nixon to the present–a true national tragedy playing itself out, and certain to have a negative impact on the future of this country and the planet!

The All Crucial Hispanic-Latino Vote And The Presidential Election Of 2012: The Doom Of Mitt Romney

There are many Anglo Americans (non Hispanic and Latino) who wish to imagine that their population will continue to control voting power and election results into the long term future.

That is an illusion, a fantasy, out of touch with reality!

The facts are that Hispanics and Latinos are the largest minority group in America, and combined with Asian Americans and African Americans, will tip to the majority of population, by estimate of the US Census Bureau, in about 30-35 years, by the mid 2040s.

Nothing is going to stop this, and it will influence all Presidential elections and Congressional elections more and more as the years go by.

So the facts about the Hispanic-Latino vote are worth noticing.

We have 50.5 million people of Spanish ancestry, one of every six Americans in 2010, a 13 percent increase since 2000. By 2030, it is expected that there will be a 21.8 percent increase to 78 million Hispanics-Latinos. By 2050 projections, there will be 27.8 percent of the population of this ancestry, about 111 million Americans.

More than six of every ten Hispanics-Latinos were born in America, with Mexicans being nearly two thirds of all people of this heritage, almost 32 million out of 50.5 million, and with Puerto Ricans, (who are automatically citizens), being the second largest group with 4.6 million, over 9 percent of the population of Hispanics-Latinos.

Cubans are third with 1.8 million; Salvadorans a surprising fourth with 1.6 million; Dominicans fifth with 1.4 million, Guatemalans sixth with about one million; Colombians seventh with about 900,000; Hondurans eighth with 600,000; Ecuadorans ninth with about 550,000; and Peruvians tenth with about 525,000.

In order, there are smaller numbers of Nicaraguans, Argentinians, Venezuelans, Panamanians, Chileans, Costa Ricans, Bolivians, Uruguayans, Other Central Americans, and Paraguayans.

51 percent of Hispanic-Latino registered voters are Democrats, with 31 percent Independents, and 18 percent Republican. But only 11 million are registered, and the push is on to register more Hispanic-Latino voters, particularly by the Democrats.

About two thirds of Hispanic-Latino voters have gone for the Democrats in their voting behavior in the past ten years, with the high point for Republicans being George W. Bush in 2004 with 44 percent, dropping to 31 percent for John McCain, and at the moment, 14 percent for Mitt Romney, who has taken a very hard line backing Arizona and other states which have passed discriminatory profiling laws.

If that 14 percent vote holds, or only goes up a bit, then the projection is that Barack Obama will win about 55 percent of the popular vote against Mitt Romney, what could be termed a landslide, since it insures that Obama would win all Hispanic growth states, including Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, and get a larger percentage of the vote in Texas, Arizona and Georgia, all states that over time would trend Democratic in future elections. This does not include other states that are certain to go Democratic in 2012, including California, New York and Illinois.

If Mitt Romney won John McCain’s percentage of Hispanic-Latino votes, he would still lose the popular vote by 54-46, and if he won the 44 percent that George W. Bush won in 2004, he would still lose by 53-47 under typical simulations.

When Mitt Romney said last weekend that if he does not improve his percentage of Hispanic-Latino support, he is finished, he was absolutely correct!

But it is also the Independent and women’s vote that is crucial, plus the issue whether Evangelical Christians, who think of the Mormon Church as a cult, will be willing to come out and vote for Romney, when he is so much a chameleon, hard to believe what he says, whether he has any principles , and whether he can be trusted to keep his present right wing views.

If Romney attempts to modify his right wing views on immigration, he would be likely to lose those conservatives who are unhappy with him, while not winning anywhere near the percentage of votes of John McCain or George W. Bush!

So Mitt Romney is in an impossible position electorally in 2012!