It was much more heated than the town hall debate against Mitt Romney. “It’s not gonna happen because 90% of republicans voted against this idea” seemed to spew out of his mouth with venom and vitriol. I have never seen President Obama, or any President for that matter, as angry as he was on April 17th, in the White House Rose Garden, speaking about the Manchin Toomey Amendment to expand background checks.
Though Patriotslog has always been opposed to gun control because it does not work, we have always been in favor of expanding background checks; why would we not want to know who possesses deadly firearms? But that is not the point. By far, most Americans support expanding background checks, so I would be wasting my energy typing a few paragraphs to add to the tsunami of voices calling for their establishment. Rather, I would like to set aside a few paragraphs to talk about the politics around gun control–because they are repulsive.
In the same speech President Obama spend a few good minutes to make sure the voting people heard his message that they needed to vote against that 90% of Republicans who did not support an expansion of background checks. The entire speech was designed as a “them versus you” expose. The only positive sentence in the entire speech was telling us that 90% of Democrats voted for the bill–there was no other mention of the four Democratic Senators who voted against it. This was a clear political move for the President, and more importantly, for the Democratic Party. At no other time has President Obama taken to the podium so swiftly to rage against a failed amendment to a bill. Why now? Why with Gabby Giffords and victims of Newtown present? Well, he told you. He wants you to vote against Republicans.
Most left wingers have joined in the campaigning. It takes some real homework to find a mention of the four Democrats who voted against the amendment. But if you want to know who the Republicans are, just ask Gabby Giffords. The other day I heard a radio ad by her Super PAC Ameircans for Responsible Solutions telling me that Mitch McConnell does not listen to the people of Kentucky because he voted against expanded background checks. I took special interest in this because I was born and raised in Kentucky and I have seen all the things Senator McConnell has done for my state. Is he my favorite politician? No. However, he is not the monster Americans for Responsible solutions would have you think he is.
So I looked into these ads; as it turns out, they are being run against Republicans who voted against expanding the background checks. I have to emphasize Republican because as of my writing this sentence, there are no ads from Americans for Responsible solutions running against the four Democrats who opposed the measure. If passing the Minchin-Toomey amendment was really what Americans for Responsible Solutions wanted, it would not just be a campaign against republicans.
Of course, none of this means Republicans are noble and gallant. The right wing politics on gun control are just as gruesome. For them it all comes down to re-election as well. For many Republicans a primary election is their biggest concern. Though nearly 90% of Americans support expanded background checks, that certainly does not mean they are willing to picket Pennsylvania Avenue to get them. In many polls I have analyzed much of the 90% who support it do so passively–it is not a driving issue for them. For this reason it is much easier for a Republican to tell voters in a general election that they were defending the Second Amendment than it is for them to try to tell primary voters–typically much, much more radical than the general population–that they voted for expanded background checks.
But the gun lobby is still the elephant in the room. They may play the biggest factor in any general election. Not as powerful as it once was, the gun lobby can leverage the diminished influence by playing to the fears of radical conservatives during a primary. In 2012 alone the gun lobby spent well over $30 million. If every penny of that was spent to defeat Republican Senators up for re-election next year in their primaries it would total well over $1 million per primary: a massive amount for a primary race! Despite the limited success of gun rights groups in the general elections, cash like that would make a monumental impact in primaries. Now, the fact that the nation’s second largest gun rights group supported the expansion of background checks means not all of that would go toward defeating Senators who voted for expanded background checks, but the impact would still be enormous. These same Senators would much rather have this money spent on them and for them rather, not against them. With the likes of President Obama and Americans for Responsible Solutions trying to defeat them they will take all the help they can get.
Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican you ought to be disgusted that your party would act in so manipulative a way. Unfortunately, we have put the entire political system in the hands of two private parties whose sole purpose for existing is to gain and maintain power, no matter how manipulative their propaganda. I am not saying that there are not politicians out there who truly want expanded background checks, there certainly are, and I believe they sincerely do. I am just saying that when it comes to expanded background checks, background checks take second place.
29 April 2013
I suppose it is unavoidable now because the Supreme Court is set to hear two cases this week that may ultimately pivot history and decide the fate of gay marriage in our nation. Tuesday and Wednesday the highest court in the land will hear arguments for the famous–or infamous, depending on your point of view–California Proposition 8 defining marriage between a man and a woman, and the Defense of Marriage Act stating that a homosexual union in one state need not be recognized by another.
I have avoided writing about gay marriage for as long as possible simply because of the ferocious passion on each side of the debate. I have no problem taking a stand in the face of vehement opposition, that is actually why I started writing. The problem is that both proponents of and opponents to gay marriage believe they are on a righteous quest, and, like jihadists do, they will settle for nothing less than complete and utter annihilation of their enemies. It is impossible to have a civil discussion about gay marriage with either side—disagreeing means you are insane. But with the hearings this week so many friends and readers have asked what if think of gay marriage, so I guess it is time to attempt a civil discussion.
So what do I think about gay marriage? It doesn’t matter. The lines of right and wrong intersect with gay marriage. To some, homosexuality is wrong, and a sin, and therefore gay marriage must never be considered. To others it is wrong to privileges or rights away from real people because of sexual orientation. This is exactly why the Constitution does not legislate right or wrong; they are fluid concepts relative to the perspective of the citizen. Slavery used to be viewed as right, as did burning witches, stoning adulterers, and abandoning babies with birth defects.
The argument against gay marriage is desperate at best. Most people who oppose gay marriage do so holding the belief that homosexuality is a sin. This argument lacks integrity because sins are decided by God, not the government. Is being married a sin? Most people would say no. So if marriage is not a sin, than two gay people being married is not a sin. It is being gay, not getting married that is a sin. Marriage does not make homosexuality any more of a sin than it otherwise is. So opposing gay marriage on those grounds is frivolous.
Many others say gay marriage poses a threat to traditional values, to which I ask, what are traditional values? If traditional values are a mother, father, kids, dog, minivan and church on Sunday than 2013 is a much bigger threat to traditional values than gay marriage. Divorce is not just common, it is practically expected. Single parent households are normal, and the statistics on children raised in these single parent homes are frightening. Most couples live together without being married, even if they are married later on. I find it very ironic that open marriages, swinging, and one night stands apparently pose less of a threat to traditional values than people who actually want to get married. Is a lasting, loving marriage between two men or two women really more destructive to the institution of marriage than Kim Kardashian? It seems gay people are the only ones fighting for marriage.
But Gay marriage is much more than just religious morality versus human rights. Marriage itself is recognized by the government not for religious reasons, but for civil reasons. A married couple expectedly will raise a family–a function any government has a vested interest in because of is necessity for a nation to survive–therefore, a married couple is given special tax consideration. They are allowed to file jointly, and their income bracket is raised. Because it is biologically impossible for two people of the same sex to conceive a child it is a valid question to ask whether or not gay marriage ought to be recognized by the government on basis of equality. Oddly ironic to argue against gay marriage using equality, I know, but it is clearly inequality to grant the same civil consideration to homosexual couples given that they cannot grow the population. This would be similar to granting every citizen the same consideration members of the military receive despite the fact they do not defend our country.
A predictable rebuttal to this would be that gay couples can always adopt, and, any special tax consideration given to adopting heterosexual couples would also need to be given to homosexual couples, but adopting does not grow the population. In regards to adoption I have heard many people say children raised by a gay couple face developmental hindrances, and so this should not be allowed. The science is still out on the subject; it is not yet clear if or what hindrances children might consistently face. Then again, would it be any worse than a single parent household? If marriage were simply just a name on a paper then the gay marriage issue may be as simple as a state’s vote–the way the 10th Amendment tells us to decide these issues.
Either way, the question is not what is right or wrong, but what is legal, and what is Constitutional. That is what the Supreme Court will consider this week. Proposition 8 was overturned (meaning marriage could not be defined as being between a man and a woman) by a federal judge on the basis of discrimination. Whether or not it is ruled discriminatory may well hinge on the arguments already made. Does or does not the 10th Amendment provides the freedom for citizens to decide such matters?
The Defense of Marriage Act case will be equally as gripping. Currently states are required to give ‘full faith and credit’ to the legal documents of other states, meaning that if you have a driver’s license in California you can drive to Miami and it will still be valid for spring break. The DOMA essentially states that this does not apply to a same-sex marriage, meaning a gay couple married in Massachusetts can move to Tennessee and the state does not have to recognize that marriage. The question up for debate is whether or not this violates the Constitution, or if a state has the authority to make this choice? One might immediately think “how could it not violate the Constitution to not give full faith and credit to a marriage certificate?”
The clause is written very vaguely, leaving for a lot of room for interpretation. “Public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings” does not really pin anything down. Currently a permit or license for a firearm or concealed weapon is issued in state A, and not valid in state B unless state B specifically lists it as being so. Permits to practice law, medicine, real estate, and insurance are currently not recognized across state lines. If these do not violate the full faith and credit clause why would a marriage certificate? Perhaps a better question is whether or not a state can refuse to acknowledge a heterosexual marriage? If a state can only choose to refuse same-sex marriages than this is clearly a discriminatory practice.
So where will the Supreme Court rule? Given their record I doubt they will overturn a ballot initiative like Proposition 8, especially considering the Constitution, in the 10th Amendment leaves to the decision of the states of the people any issue not delegated or prohibited by the constitution. I expect the Supreme Court will leave it up to each state to decide whether or not to legalize gay marriage. The more interesting question will be whether or not other states must recognize this decision in the DOMA ruling. Might the Supreme Court rule DOMA unconstitutional, thereby forcing one state to recognize another states’ marriage–whether gay or straight? If so, will they rule on how a same-sex marriage is to be treated by the IRS? Will they rule that states have the right to determine their own welfare, as they do with other licenses not recognized nationwide? Perhaps this week will be a perfect example of why Patriotslog feels the Supreme Court is the most powerful body in government.
I hope that in reading this you have realized that gay marriage is not a right or wrong issue. It is not a morality versus human rights issue. Most importantly I hope you understand that what I, or any one person, thinks of gay marriage does not matter. It is not a question of whether or not it is good for society, moral for our culture, or needed for human rights. Individually these may be our greatest concerns, they may be our driving force to oppose or support it, but whether or not it can reasonably be granted or denied on solid legal and constitutional grounds is what will determine the outcome. The Supreme Court is standing at histories’ crossroads. Either way, the controversy is not going away after they make their decision.
25 March 2013
John Kerry, John Brennan, Jack Lew, Chuck Hagel. Do you notice anything odd about these names? The media definitely has. These four nominees for the second term Cabinet of President Obama all happen to be white men. A recent picture run by the New York Times shows a potential staff for the second term. In it are one woman, one non-white man, and a herd of white men. This has many in the media–and therefore, many in America–up in arms. I guess nobody gave President Obama his binder full of women after he won the election.
Amid all the implications of sexism and inequality being thrown around by feminists, and the predictable war on women cry from angry conservatives one very important point of view is being ignored; the President’s. We are asking Barack Obama to perform one of the hardest jobs any human being could take on. Under ideal circumstances being President is enough to drive many people clinically insane. Throw in trillion dollar deficits, two wars, a collapsing, then fragile economy, a near default, a credit downgrading, a fiscal cliff, another near default sure to come, an ambassador dying in a terrorist attack, the mass shootings under his watch, and a Congress determined to make him fail and it is impressive he has it together at all! The last thing he needs is grief about the people he has chosen to be closest to him to help him get through it all and come out the other end with a stable nation.
I understand the opposition to Susan Rice, or any other nominee for that matter, on grounds of competence or judgment or anything of that nature; however, to throw a fit because there are too many Y chromosomes is just one more sour vegetable the president should not have to eat. I have made it perfectly clear that I did not think President Obama deserved a second term, but America disagreed with me. As a nation we re-elected him for his vision of our nation, a vision which he cannot achieve without help. Now we want to criticize him for choosing the best help?
Calm down feminists; let’s not get up in arms. I’m not saying women are not qualified to work in the cabinet of the President. Hillary Clinton worked harder as Secretary of State than anyone in a generation. Women can certainly do these jobs, the fact is that is not who the President wants this time around, and that should not be an insult. There is more in question than competence for a top aide. If the ability to do the job was the only qualification there would be no such thing as a “short list”, the President would be taking applications. To be a top aide the president has to consider how respected you are in politics, both nationally and internationally. He has to know that he is on the same page as his aides, that he can trust them because he cannot micromanage them. He has to know that they will make a decision as he would. He knows what life, business, and political experience he needs to bring to the table. With the debt negotiations he has to know aide s will be willing to strike a deal–a deal he would strike–and know when to stand firm. He needs to not only trust their judgment, but agree with it. In the world of politics there are often many ways to judge a situation, none of them more wrong than the other; so the president needs to be comfortable with their outlook.
He also needs different perspectives. People who will disagree with him, challenge him, and make sure he does the best job possible. In his four cabinet nominations so far this term, the people who best fit these needs happened to be white males. If we are ever to reach true equality we cannot have a problem with this. There were certainly females and minorities who fit these needs, but not in the way the President wanted. It is not a coach’s job to use the best players; it is their job to build the best team, no matter who those players are. That is what the president has done. We elected him to build a team; it is time to stop questioning that team on grounds of gender. Would we want the president to feel like his cabinet is missing a key piece for the next 4 years just because he needed to fill some affirmative action quota? That is no way to run a country.
This country–our media–has to stop digging for stories where there are none. No female or minority has any less of an opportunity than a white male. In fact, with affirmative action, they have more of an opportunity. Racism or sexism is singling someone out and treating them different on the grounds of race or gender; programs like affirmative action do this. If racism and sexism are bad for our nation they are bad the whole way around, not just in the negative. Equality is not a measurement of how many females or minorities are in the cabinet or in Congress, it is a question of whether or not anything stops them from running for Congress. The best candidates, the best employees, the best soldiers, and the best students should be the ones to earn the spot, no matter their race, religion, gender, or any other category. Equal Opportunity should mean exactly what it says.
The Supreme Court has nobody to represent the largest demographic in the nation—white protestants. Is anyone making a fuss about this? No, nor should they be. But if our highest judiciary body had no women, feminist groups would declare a revolution. We have reached a point where the white middle class male is the most discriminated against person in the nation. This is not equality. Equality does not have a bubble for race or gender on an application. Only if we reach this point do we stand by two of the most defining phrases in our history; that all men are created equal, and that we will only be judged by the content of our character. Or am I a chauvinist because men made both those statements?
43% of President Obama appointees have been female. He has been very fair and very consistent. It is amazing to me that the media has made a bigger story out of this than the fact that President Obama has just re-nominated 33 judges for federal positions, (about half of whom are women by the way) some of whom the Senate has already refused to confirm. That a story worth covering. The gender of his cabinet nominees is not. The only thing he owes to women is the same thing he owes to the rest of the nation. Run the country the way he truly believes is best. No women in the White House? No problem.
10 January 2013
It was never 1980. Barack Obama was not Jimmy Carter and, of all the uncertainties in this election, one thing was always certain; Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan. People liked Reagan as a person. As a person, Romney was very unpopular, he was not trusted, and he was generally viewed as out of touch. Republicans told themselves it was “1980 all over again” to provide hope. When I heard this become a common phrase in right wing political circles I know the GOP was fishing in the dark for something to keep their supporters enthusiastic. It was never 1980; that was clear to anyone that looked below the surface. In 1980 winning 62% of the white male vote (60% of the overall white vote) meant almost a certain victory; Mitt Romney won that demographic, and was not nearly enough. The demographics continually shift against the ultra-conservative base of the Republican Party. Regan had a history of raising taxes; Romney said out right, the rich need to pay less in taxes.
The Republican Party is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. If someone does not step in, they will bleed to death. There are already whispers that Mitt Romney lost the election he was not conservative enough . This is just the bitter excuse of a party that is becoming irrelevant. The national elections show that, if anything, the Republican Party is to blame for the defeat of Mitt Romney; Mitt Romney is not to blame for the defeat of the Republican Party. While the wild swing of the base of the Republican Party to the right won House seats in the 2010 election, the nation has now seen the fruits of the tea party; and it is a bitter drink. There was more dysfunction from this last Congress than any time since the Civil War era. The nation has seen that the Tea Party does not govern, they just protest and oppose.
The Republican Party did not fix anything after the 2010 election, and their blatant opposition to everything pushed them out of favor in the national scene. If Ronald Reagan were to run today he would not even make it out of a Republican primary. The base of the Republican Party has forced politicians to become more and more conservative in order to run. Mitt Romney, a middle of the road politician for his entire political career, had to shift so far to the radical right in his primaries that rather than highlight his inconsistencies and flip flops, the Obama campaign decided it would be more effective to paint Mitt Romney as a far right extremist. This was not an asset to the party, it was a liability. For the GOP to insist they need a more conservative candidate is to plunge the dagger back into their own belly.
For evidence we can first look at Indiana and see the most obvious example. First it must be made clear: Indiana is a lock for Republicans. It was sure from the beginning that Romney would win Indiana, and the President did not even campaign there. So logic would dictate it would also be a lock for Republican Senate. Six months ago the Democrats would not have even hoped to win; Dick Lugar was a 36 year senator who had been instrumental in many major events in recent United States history, including winning the Cold War. But nobody voted for Dick Lugar on Tuesday. Why? Richard Murdock, a tea party candidate now infamous for saying that a pregnancy resulting from rape is the will of God. There is sound logic in that, if one believes that God chooses when a woman gets pregnant; however, the comment was interpreted as cold and chauvinistic. The radical right wing elected Murdock as their candidate when they defeated Lugar in a primary. How did the independents and sane republicans reward the tea party for this? By electing a Democrat to a Senate seat that has been 36 years Republican. Murdock was so far to the right wing that the rest of Indiana could not see fit to vote for him.
While Richard Murdock lost because of his right wing extremism, his rape comment was at least understandable. Todd Akin is a different story. In Missouri the Republicans expected to pick up an easy senate seat; first time Democrat Claire Mccaskill had become hated for her antics, which included the use of a private jet which she tabbed to the tax payers. Then Missouri heard Todd Akin speak. He stated that if a woman is “legitimately” raped, her body can shut down the reproductive system, and keep her from getting pregnant. You cannot make this stuff up. Patriotslog has wanted to ask Mr. Akin, if somebody is “legitimately” shot, does your body have a way to shut that down so you will not bleed? Needless to say, if his recent medical discoveries did not cost the Republican Party the election, his ultra-right wing mentality did.
Scott Brown, the Senator from Massachusetts who won the special election in 2010 during the Tea Party honeymoon also lost his race to challenger Elizabeth Warren. The Tea Party momentum that swept him into office in a rigidly Democratic state had become his burden. Moderates that have seen the effect of the tea party on government voted for Elizabeth Warren, and the GOP lost another Senatorial Race.
In Utah, gerrymandering had so thoroughly negated the Democratic vote that it was widely assumed Mia Love, the far right candidate in the Utah 4th district, would be able to finally unseat long time sitting Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson. Matheson’s previous district had been spilt into thirds, all heavily offset by Republicans in their new district. Salt Lake, the only remotely Democratic area in Utah was now voting in three separate districts; Love had good reason be optimistic. In the end, she too was too conservative for even Utah voters (many Republicans, and most independents voted for Matheson) and Matheson is once again representing Utah.
Throughout the entire nation citizens largely voted their disapproval of the Tea Party and the ultra-conservative Republicans. Rep. Joe Walsh (R, IL), former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, Rick Berg in North Dakota, George Allen in Virginia, and Josh Mandel in Ohio are among the many seats the republicans had hoped to pick up or maintain this election. It was being too conservative which cost them the Presidency, and possibly the majority in the Senate. If the Republican Party decides their problem is not being conservative enough, it will diminish into total irrelevance. If their base continues to put unqualified, radical candidates into the general elections the nation will continue to reject them. In a nation where less than half of Democrats approve of Obamacare; in a nation with higher unemployment than on this day four years ago; in a nation that is statistically recovering from a recession at a pace slower than the great depression; in a nation $16 trillion dollars in debt; in a nation headed toward a fiscal cliff, Republicans still could not make any gains on election day because the voters clearly do not approve of the radical conservatives the GOP had to offer.
For the Republican Party to have a chance in the future they need to make three distinct shifts from their ideology. First, they must agree to raise taxes. The assertion that we do not need to raise taxes to balance the budget is asinine and ignorant. A majority of Americans would support higher taxes because they are logical enough to see that, while spending is the majority of the problem, our historically low tax rates also contribute significantly. Second, they must be first to immigration reform. Patriotslog predicts that President Obama will propose immigration reform that will be rigidly partisan and hardly beneficial to the nation, intentionally designed have a hard time passing. This is because he broke his promise during the first term, when he had a Democratic majority in Congress, and now can blame a failure of immigration reform on the GOP House.
He will design the bill to fail because not having immigration reform actually helps the democrats. They make immigrants believe the Democrats are on their side, because Republicans talk tough on immigration, but Democrats do nothing to help immigrants. If the GOP proposes an immigration bill before Obama, and heavily press the message that they are the party to reform immigration, thereby ensuring immigrants do not work below minimum wage, live in overcrowded housing, and can have healthcare outside of the emergency room, while the President lied to immigrants and did not help them and deported record numbers of immigrants, they can make huge strides in the changing demographics. Third, they must nominate Reagan style candidates, not Paul Ryan, for president.
The best hope for the Republican Party is the politician a most similarly resembles Reagan in policy: someone like former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. Because of his policies Utah has been named the best managed state in the Union. Because of his policies Utah was among the states least affected by the recession. Because of his policies, a state that ranks about 30th in population is now 7th in financial services assets. Utah is rivaling Wall Street. If the Republican Party continues to insist on radicalism they will die. Unfortunately, most of the party will not realize this, or they will refuse to believe it. Biased talking heads worshipped as idols in the conservative world like Shaun Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the Fox Propaganda crew will feed the fire of unyielding conservatism, insisting Mitt Romney lost for being too moderate. If the party does not turn off their propaganda, they will die. Remember, it was Reagan, not Carter, that raised taxes and granted amnesty.
8 November, 2012
Patriotslog makes no secret of the low regard we have for Fox News and MSNBC. Skim through our blog for just a few minutes and it becomes clear we have as much respect for these scum bag propaganda stations as we have for Bernie Madoff, Warren Jeffs, and Benedict Arnold. Fox and MSNBC are not news stations, they are propaganda hubs. The biased information coming out of these stations would make fascists proud. Big Brother cannot do a better job at brain washing. Patriotslog will continue to run a column on the ramblings of these useless stations. Not only are they the two the least informative “news” sources in the nation, they are constantly negative, and only function to divide the nation.
This week, it almost felt like I was watching Will Farrell cut a scene from Anchor Man with raw sewage that spews from their mouths. It probably would not surprise anyone to hear Fox propaganda say that President Obama knew about Hurricane Sandy for days, and did nothing to stop it. At least no one has made the ridiculous accusation that he owns a weather machine, or he hates white people…yet. With these stations one never knows the lies they will conjure up to keep their junkies inebriated.
This week, in their continued attempt to blame the Benghazi attack and subsequent tragedy of Ambassador Stevens’s death on President Obama, the Fox and Friends mourning crew essentially said that there did not need to be an investigation into the attack! Of course, this makes sense…why would we need to know what actually happened? As President, it is the civic duty of Barack Obama to ignore the facts and that he was responsible for the attack, and even admit he wanted this to happen. The facts do not matter, and no matter what they are they do not change the fact that everything in the world that goes wrong is to be rightfully blamed on President Obama.
To even make the asinine suggestion that we do not need an investigation into the Libya attacks illustrates perfectly the lack of credibility Fox should have; unfortunately, like a dog to its vomit, conservatives return to this time and again. But of course Fox would not want an investigation, the facts point to the President actually doing the right thing in Libya. Patriotslog has made no secret of our opinion that President Obama does not deserve a second term, but that does not mean he was responsible for the failures in the Benghazi attack. The saddest part of all of this is the bigger picture of just how far from the American dream propaganda channels like this have taken us.
Fox actually wants the President to be responsable for this. They have divided the nation so thoroughly that they have made people actually hope the Commander in Chief is conspiring against the success of his own nation, his own government, his own people, and his own friends. They have created such a hatred that they have made people think it is a good thing, because it might help their ideological battle, that the President is killing his own citizens and friends. We need no investigation, we need no facts; Obama is guilty because Fox wants him to be. Then they have the nerve to call themselves patriotic. Disgusting.
MSNBC is no better. According to the propaganda channel that tells us it is bad to be rich, to be successful, to work hard to earn the American dream and provide your kids privileges you never had, it is also bad to help people. Believe it or not, MSNBC had the gumption to go on air and say what a bad person Mitt Romney is for helping people. When Mitt Romney sent his campaign bus into the path of destruction left by hurricane Sandy, MSNBC criticized him. When he and his campaign organized relief efforts, providing much needed food, clothing, hygiene supplies, and blankets to thousands of victims displaced by the hurricane, MSNBC tried to tell their viewers how awful he is for not following the Red Cross guidelines for relief aid. Watching the video you would have thought he had given them the small pox blankets that were once given to Native Americans, and that he was doing this all in an effort to cut the Liberal base down in the north east, steal a state, and win the election.
Never mind the fact that the Red Cross is not a government organization, and only has the authority to issue guidelines, not rules; never mind the fact that Mitt Romney and his campaign did everything in their power, taking personal risk along the way, to help disaster victims. Mitt Romney is a terrible person because he chose not to do exactly what the Red Cross suggested, and went ahead and helped people. MSNBC has divided the nation so thoroughly that they have brainwashed their viewers into thinking that helping people is a bad thing.
I have even heard liberals suggest that Mitt Romney is a bad person because of the amounts of money he gave to charity. It was pointed out that Mitt Romney gave a large portion of his charitable deductions (which by note, were more last year than President Obama has given in his entire life) to the Mormon Church. The suggestion was made that Mormons only help Mormons, so his charitable giving does not actually reflect his character. Patriotslog has made no secret of the fact that we are not big fans of Mitt Romney, but it is ridiculous to make the suggestion that giving to charity is bad. There are a few facts that need to be addressed about giving money to the Mormon Church: 1. Nobody gets paid. Unlike other churches, giving money to the Mormon Church will not be paying for a new Cadillac for the pastor; the church uses all of the money to help people. 2. There are two different funds for charitable contributions to the Mormon Church. The first is called tithing; the church members are asked to give 10% of their income to the church to help with functions such as building churches, sending out missionaries, and helping other Mormons. The second is called fast offerings; members are asked to give as much as they can possibly afford to fast offerings. This money goes directly into providing relief from hunger, war, and natural disasters for anyone in need. 3. Studies have shown that the Mormon fast offering program is one of the most efficient charities on the planet. While even the best charities can only guarantee around 85% of donations go to relief, almost every penny of Mormon fast offerings go to relief. If you want to make a charitable donation that has the most impact, go find your closest Mormon church, and give the pastor money for fast offerings.
Fathom a nation where half of the citizens actually hope their President conspired to kill his own people because they believe if he did, it will be good for the nation; move to Syria, then tell me this would be a good thing. Picture half a nation that actually hopes their President is guilty of treason. Fathom a nation where the other half of citizens disdain a rich man for using his riches to help other people. What he does is not important; if he is rich he is evil. It is a bad thing for a man to give to charity. Sadly, this is the nation Fox News and MSNBC are trying to create.
5 November, 2012
The title alone is going to be enough to make some people angry; this is the climate in our nation. Is a sex change a legitimate medical surgery? Or is it merely a cosmetic procedure to make a person more comfortable with their own body? Is there even a correct answer? Surely somebody who feels they are stuck in the wrong body; that their mind and body do not match gender, is not in any medical danger which would require surgery. Then again, when I nearly severed two fingers and had to have all major structures repaired in surgery, one could argue that I was not in any medical danger. If I cleaned and bandaged up the wounds, or just cut off the little remaining skin there was, I could live without being in medical danger minus two fingers. Then again, a sex change is elective, whereas cutting my fingers off was not. Moreover, with my fingers there was a chance for major blood loss and infection.
As if a sex change surgery alone is not controversial enough, my next question only intensifies the debate. Should a convicted murderer be allowed to have a sex change surgery in prison, paid for by tax payer dollars? That is exactly what U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf has done in Massachusetts for a convicted murderer in Massachusetts who sued for a sex change. A man–at least for now–in a Massachusetts prison strangled his wife to death, and was convicted with a life sentence. Now Michelle Kosilek will have a sex change surgery, and you and I will pay for it. Read the rest of this entry
Mitt Romney has promised that if he is elected he will create 12 million jobs; ironic considering he insists government cannot create jobs, but that is beside the point. 12 million is a huge goal; to date, President Obama has only created about 4 million. 12 million would almost eliminate our current unemployed. Of course others have stopped looking for jobs, but if the work force stayed as is, Mitt Romney claims he could almost completely rid our nation of unemployment. Mitt has given no time frame, so because he is comparing economic production to one Obama term, we assume he is giving first term creation numbers.
Aiming so high almost certainly sets the stage for a pass/fail Presidency; there is not much room for middle ground with this promise. Then again, President Obama has shown that a President can run a campaign while completely avoiding their record and promises made. Either way, Mitt Romney has set his own standard, and has given us a plan–or at least a few aspects of one. The campaign has put the energy sector first and foremost on their economic platform, and for good reason. Mitt Romney has set a goal to be energy independent by 2020; if that is done, millions of jobs will be created by consequence.
At the base of Mitt Romney’s plan is domestic fossil fuel production. Little known to most people is the fact that many of the western states have public lands largely owned by the federal government. This does not make sense to me either. Counties and municipalities have to walk though federal bureaucratic red tape in order to even access their land. Some counties are as much as 90% owned by the federal government! I have a friend in Utah who wanted to trade a large piece of unusable land for a smaller piece of accessible land which he could use to graze horses; it took the government–and I am not kidding–about 20 years to approve that trade! If jobs are available now, why would we waste 20 years of bureaucratic B.S. accessing those when the average American family has lost $4,000 in income? Mitt Romney wants to cut through tape, and give local governments access to this land. It makes sense; someone living on or near the land ought to be the manager of the land. A Washington bureaucrat rarely even sees the land they control.
States like Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Alaska are energy rich, but are not producing. States like North Dakota are energy rich and are booming. Unemployment in North Dakota is only 3%! Reports are that you cannot even drive through the state without being offered a job. If that is a possibility for other states, 12 million jobs may be within grasp. The United States has huge oil reserves. I know that topic is up for
political debate because of the technical definition of the word “reserves”, but Patriotslog does not care for semantics. The fact is there are vast amounts of oil available to the United States, and even by the most conservative estimates, the amount of oil keeps growing. We may have as much as 200 years of oil available to us–or more.
Many people scoff at the idea that the United States could be completely energy independent by 2020, but it might not be so farfetched. Last year, for the first time in over 60 years the United States exported more oil than it imported. Obviously, to be independent we need more crude oil, but drilling on federal lands and in the oceans could produce that, and we may not need as much as you might think. The United States also is using less petroleum now than in times past. Moreover, new laws have been passed to double the average fuel efficiency in a fleet of vehicles. Patriotslog heavily doubts this is achievable by the 2025 goal, but any improvement will help. Fleets reaching an average of 50mpgs are about as likely as our presidential candidates telling the truth, but if we get to 30 or 35 that will still make a significant impact. To be energy independent we may also need more refineries, but that would be more jobs on top of the production jobs. All of these factors can combine into an energy independent United States. By 2020, this is much more reachable than many realize, and it actually is plausible.
Of course Mitt Romney’s plan is not perfect. In fact, it makes a lot of people unhappy. One argument Patriotslog has no patience for is that increasing drilling will contribute to global warming. Calm down, I am not suggesting global warming does not exist, but here are a few facts to chew on. Carbon emissions are lower in the United States than they have been in decades, and they are still going down! I know liberals hate to hear this, but we do not need the EPA. Regulations are not needed to clean up our emissions. It is clear that if consumers are offered cleaner options that are affordable and practical, we will regulate ourselves. If we become aware of the issues we have shown we will use our education to make a difference. These carbon emissions continue to drop despite the highly controversial fracking and natural gas productions that continue to grow. Clearly, we have developed safe and clean ways to produce, refine, and use oil. More drilling does not necessarily mean more emissions. Moreover, the more we drill the smaller the demand on other areas of the world to drill; therefore, the less they drill. Because we have cleaner and more efficient ways to do this, we may actually see carbon emission decrease with more drilling.
While emissions are not an issue, alternative energy is. Of course clean energy will produce no emissions, which is better than the drilling, but one way or another, we cannot–and with the price of gas, we should not–rely on coal/petroleum energy forever. The Romney plan, most likely in an effort to cut spending, will end the clean energy tax credit. Funding will no longer be available for alternative energy development. Patriotslog thinks this idea will work out as well as eliminating a core education subject in public school. Individual innovation creates most technological and medical advancements, but very often, the research is subsidized by the government. Things like the nuclear bomb and the internet have produced millions and millions of jobs, and would most likely not exist without the government research and development funding. Of course Solyndra was a bust, but not even Mitt Romney can claim they have never made a bad investment. Just like at Bain Capital, you are hit and miss with investments. Solyndra was a bigger miss than a Kardashian marriage, but that does not mean the government should stop funding research and development. Look at the huge strides in the battery market in just the last decade. There could be vast potential none of us are even aware of right now in the battery market that may never be reached without funding–funding Mitt Romney would cut. Just because it is a good idea to develop the oil potential in our country does not mean it is a good idea to stop developing all other forms of energy.
The biggest reason to continue other research is the price of gas. Energy independence may not mean lower gas prices, because petroleum is a global industry. When the Libyan civil war broke out the price of gas rose by a higher percentage in Canada than in the Middle East. Independence could make a difference here, but research shows it is not likely.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Romney plan would only produce $7 billion in new revenue; but that may not tell the whole story. That number is highly disputed, but either way it does not take into account the taxes from jobs created in the industry. If Mitt Romney can achieve 12 million jobs, the revenue will be substantial. While the trickle-down effect works about as well as a Hollywood actress transitioning to a singer, the ripple effect does work. All the new jobs created by energy independence will ripple into the economy. Not only does it mean less government spending for welfare with the unemployed, but it means more consumers spending. More consumer spending means more sales taxes, more income taxes, more economic growth, and more jobs created. This effect is then repeated over and over. Energy independence is not a perfect plan, but it can go a long way to economic growth.
7 September, 2012
It has been five years now. In case you have recently woken up from a coma, five years ago a deregulated Wall Street (yes, it is already obvious to tell where this is going. We deregulated Wall Street as if we thought they cared about the livelihood of the American people, and might actually act ethically) bundled together some ridiculous, high risk loans and sold then to investors around the world in order to make a profit on the booming American housing market. Investors thought it was a win-win to buy in on the flaming hot real estate enterprise, not knowing that the banks had bundled together the most dangerous assets to sell them. In many cases this was illegal, and in every case this was unethical, but now it is what it is. So during your coma the political sphere has been endlessly bickering like spoiled homecoming royalty about how to rebuild our economy. Buckle up, because for all the energy and attention given we are recovering at great depression speeds! Five years later we still have 44 out of 50 states with rising unemployment. Likewise, consumer confidence is barely above 60%; that is a good number for a president’s approval rating; in fact, if that was his approval rating, I would probably not need to write this article, but for consumer confidence, that number is disparaging. Read the rest of this entry