Archive for the Politics Category

Macho Sauce Productions: Examining Black Loyalty to Democrats

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on July 17, 2010 by raingeg

HT: Viral Footage

Federal Gov. Pays for Deads Heating and Cooling, Woman Keeps Corpse for 11 Years

Posted in Economy, Humor, Politics with tags , , on July 7, 2010 by raingeg

It wasn’t too long ago that I watched the movie Psycho for the first time, I know, I have no excuse as to why it took so long. You ask yourself after that movie if anyone really does keep dead people around like that. Apparently they do.

AP:

A 91-year-old woman found living with the corpses of her husband and twin sister will be allowed to keep them if she installs a mausoleum or crypt, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Its not just one corpse, its two! I guess the weirdest part about this story is the fact that her husband died in 1999! So for the last 11 years she has been tending to her dead husbands body.

State police have been investigating the bizarre case since the corpses were discovered in mid-June. Authorities found the body of James Stevens on a couch in the detached garage and the body of June Stevens on a couch in a spare room off the bedroom.

This sends shivers down my spine.

I actually feel kind of bad for the lady, she is lonely and apparently claustrophobic and didn’t want to think of her relatives stuck in a coffin. To that I say, there’s always cremation. But, really, you must be asking some of the same questions that I am.

In other news, the federal government has no problem sending money to dead people.

CNS News.com-

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government helped pay the home air conditioning bills for more than 11,000 dead people, 1,100 federal employees, and 725 convicts in fiscal year 2009.

The payments were made by a $5 billion program known as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is designed to provide federal assistance, administered by the states, to help people pay the energy bills to heat their homes in the winter and cool them in the summer. The funds are disbursed by the Department of Health and Human Services and are distributed based on a formula that takes into account a state’s weather and the size of its low-income population.

“Our analysis of LIHEAP data revealed that the program is at risk of fraud and providing improper benefits in all seven of our selected states,” reported the GAO. “About 260,000 applications–9 percent of households receiving benefits in the selected states–contained invalid identity information, such as Social Security numbers, names, or dates of birth.”

Now, the obvious question is why, with today’s technology, is there not some sort of system that the applications could have been run through to make sure that nothing fraudulent was going on. Better yet, why not just use the system that the GAO is using, whatever that may be.

“The identities of over 11,000 deceased individuals were used as applicants or household members for LIHEAP benefits,” reads the GAO report. “Our analysis matching LIHEAP data to the SSA’s death master file found these individuals were deceased before the LIHEAP application date.”

Every time I call my bank and talk to a rep from customer service I have to verify who I am, generally using the last four digits of my social security number, what’s even more impressive is that they can tie that social security number to my identity, all in about three minutes. There was one application lacked any proof of identification like a social security number or a drivers license number. These are the people you’d like in charge of you health care.

HT: Memeorandum

The End of the GOP?

Posted in Immigration, Politics, Religion with tags , , , , on June 28, 2010 by raingeg

According to an article at FiveThirtyEitht.com last week by Tom Schaller, author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, the Republican party is on its way out if it doesn’t make some serious changes.

The article titled “The Emerging Republican Minority” sounds a bit more like a Democratic wish list and than it does anything that will help Republicans in the future. For many on the left everything revolves around the leftist trinity of race, gender and class. So, naturally they are going to look at the Republican party through that prism and it just doesn’t work.

FiveThirtyEight:

The Center for American Politics’ Ruy Teixeira, one of the top political demographers in the country, has a new paper out in which he examines the two major party coalitions, with a focus on the current and future prospects of the Republican Party. For the GOP, says Teixeira, things look grim, in large part because the country is becoming less white and more educated. He provides specific data showing how college educated voters are growing, and non-college educated shrinking, as shares of the electorate; likewise for the growing non-white v. shrinking white populations.

“The Democratic Party will become even more dominated by the emerging constituencies that gave Barack Obama his historic 2008 victory, while the Republican Party will be forced to move toward the center to compete for these constituencies. As a result, modern conservatism is likely to lose its dominant place in the GOP,” he writes, adding that “the Republican Party as currently constituted is in need of serious and substantial changes in approach.”

Basically, the Republican party is a bunch of white and uneducated people, and since whites are a dying breed then Democrats automatically have an edge. I don’t know what else to get out of this article than that. This furthers the idea that people on the left only look at the world through their leftist trinity.

Teixeira has some recommendations to the Republicans:

Move to the center on social issues.

The culture wars may have worked for a while, but shifting demographics make them a loser for the party today and going forward. A more moderate approach would help with Millennials, where the party must close a yawning gap, and with white college graduates, who still lean Republican but just barely. The party also needs to make a breakthrough with Hispanics, and that won’t happen unless it shifts its image toward social tolerance, especially on immigration.

The breakthrough with Hispanics is more likely to come from cultural issues because Hispanics are overwhelmingly religious Catholics. But its hard for Conservatives to make a breakthrough with American Hispanics with lefties calling them “bigots” “racists” and “xenophobes.” Coupled with Democrats pretty much bribing Hispanic immigrants by selling them the lie that the American dream is given not earned. Its like their hanging a carrot in front of their faces, letting them get a bite that barley suffices and then pulling the carrot away after an election and giving the individual a bite again only after he once again votes for the guy or gal holding the stick.

Pay attention to whites with some college education and to young white working-class voters in general.

The GOP’s hold on the white working class is not secure, and if that slips, the party doesn’t have much to build on to form a successful new coalition. That probably also means offering these voters something more than culture war nostrums and antitax jeremiads.

Another demographic target should be white college graduates, especially those with a four-year degree only.

The party has to stop the bleeding in America’s large metropolitan areas, especially in dynamic, growing suburbs. Keeping and extending GOP support among this demographic is key to taking back the suburbs. White college graduates increasingly see the party as too extreme and out of touch.

The Republican party is too extreme and out of touch? Current polling would greatly go against this finding (here and here). Now I realize that Teixeira is focusing more on the future of the GOP, but I have to point out again that this is all predicated on the idea that non-white highly educated people are all going to swing in favor of the Democrats, and there’s no guarantee that this will happen. Current data would seem to put that point into question too! The Republican party is a party that is becoming more and more “diverse” (as the lefties like to call it). Now, do I really care about what race an individual is? No, not nearly as much as the left cares about the race of their candidates and those who represent their party. I care far more about what they believe and how they intend to do their job as a servant to the people.

But, for the record, lets look at how “diverse” the Republican party is today! Niki Hailey is a Republican and an Indian woman running for Governor in South Carolina. Marco Rubio is a Republican from Florida who’s parents who came to America from Cuba. Tim Scott is a Republican and a black South Carolinian Congressional candidate. Don’t forget about Bobby Jindal who is also Indian and is the Governor of the state of Louisiana. And since gender matters so much these days think of the women that were just elected in primary races in California, Carly Fiorina who is running for the Senate and Meg Whitman who is running for Governor.

In the long run the GOP has to have serious solutions of its own that go beyond cutting taxes. These solutions should use government to address problems but in ways that reflect conservative values and principles. Antigovernment populism is something the party is clearly comfortable with— witness its evolving line of attack on the Obama administration. But it’s likely not enough to just denounce the other side and what they have done or propose to do in populist terms.

I agree with Teixeira on this one, Republicans need to address problems and in ways that “reflect conservative values and principles.” But the irony of his statement is that all of the suggestions he lays out prior to this are not conservative and do not reflect conservative values. That’s because his suggestions are riddled with leftist cliches and pejoratives. “Anti-tax,” “social tolerance” and “anti-government” are all ways the left sees the right and not the way the right would prefer to be represented.

Schaller writes:

What’s interesting to me about most of Teixeira’s suggested changes is that the GOP is either not doing them, or doing something close to the opposite. If anything, the opposite is happening. Indeed, the single biggest storyline of the past year for conservatives and the Republican Party is the rise of the tea party protest movement.

On immigration, if anything the GOP has taken a turn toward anti-amnesty, fence-building xenophobia. The Republicans may have eased off the gas pedal somewhat on tax-cutting, but the conversational shift to deficit reduction and fears of growing government size still carries strong and familiar anti-government overtones.

This seems to be a bit perplexing to Schaller. They are not pushing left-wing positions and they are winning! Could it be that what the left says about Conservatism and Republicans and what they really are is not accurate? Could it be that the politics of the country is not quite as easy to sum up as those on the left think it is? And could it be that college educated non-whites will vote for Conservative candidates instead of leftist Democrats?

HT:  Memeorandum

The Politics of the Border

Posted in Immigration, Politics with tags , , on June 23, 2010 by raingeg

I sure hope this doesn’t turn into one of those blogs that only talks about border issues. Its a problem, I know that, but its not the only problem. Politically speaking, its a problem for President Obama’s administration and the Democratic party in Arizona.

There is a part of me that wants to say that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer calculated this out and understood the political ramifications of the passage of SB 1070, some have speculated that that might be the case. Then there’s another part of me that has pretty much warmed up to the idea that it might have just been what it looks like, a state that could no longer sit on its hands and wait for federal action, with a hint of an attitude that says help us out or we’ll do it ourselves.

I hope that doesn’t give you the impression that I think the passage of SB 1070 will magically fix the border problem, it won’t. Its obviously going to take more than just SB 1070, its going to take real action from the federal government, but I’ve pointed out before what that action should look like. And it can’t be what President Obama calls “comprehensive” immigration reform.

But back to my original point. I’d like to bring your attention to two articles, one by Sean Miller at The Hill and another by Byron York in the Washington Examiner.

The first one brings to light to political ramifications for Arizona Democrats because of the lawsuit proposed by the Obama administration.

The Hill:

Arizona Democrats facing tough reelection races are distancing themselves from the Obama administration as it prepares to file a lawsuit against the state over its controversial immigration law.

Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) on Monday sent a sharply worded letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to sue.

“I believe your administration’s time, efforts and resources would be much better spent securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system,” the two-term congressman wrote in the letter.

“Arizonans are tired of the grandstanding, and tired of waiting for help from Washington. … [A] lawsuit won’t solve the problem. It won’t secure the border, and it won’t fix our broken immigration system.”

“Congresswoman Giffords wants more federal agents on the Arizona border, not federal lawyers in court arguing with state lawyers about a law that will do nothing to increase public safety in the communities she represents,” C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for the congresswoman, told The Hill.

Kirkpatrick likewise said the administration should focus on border security.

“I am calling on the president and the attorney general to abandon preparations for a lawsuit against Arizona, and to recommit to finding a national solution to fixing this national problem,” the freshman lawmaker said in a statement released Monday. “The administration should focus on working with Arizona to put together a long-term strategy to secure our borders and reform our immigration policy.

… The time for talk is over, and the time for action is here.”

The three Democrats have also directed their energy to lifting the Arizona boycotts that various groups and local governments around the country have started.

So right now you are seeing Democrats at the state level pitted up against Democrats in the White House. As the article points out, “Another way the suit could be problematic for Arizona Democrats: It could make it more complicated for them to appear with Obama at a fundraiser or campaign with him in-state.”

I need to hurry, since I’m running out of time and I need to leave for work.

Now on to Byron York from the Washington Examiner. Last weekend Sen. Jon Kyl basically told us that President Obama, one-on-one meeting with Kyl, in a roundabout way told him he’s not going to act on the border. He doesn’t want to do anything until comprehensive immigration reform is on the table. Later on a spokesman for the White House came out and said Kyl was lying.

Byron York:

Now, in an interview with KVOI radio in Arizona, Kyl says his account of the Oval Office conversation is accurate.

“What I said occurred did occur,” Kyl said.

“One way you can verify the validity of what I said is that that’s exactly their position,” Kyl continued.

“Some spokesman down at the White House said no, that isn’t what happened at all, and then proceeded to say we need comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border.

That is their position, and all I was doing was explaining why, from a conversation with the president, why it appears that that’s their position.”

After Kyl’s radio interview, a Kyl spokesman sent a note emphasizing the senator’s point. “There were two people in that meeting and [spokesman] Dan Pfeiffer was not one of them,” spokesman Andrew Wilder said.

“The White House spokesman’s pushback that you must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Kyl’s account.”

So this makes for interesting politics. You have Arizona Democrats distancing themselves from the White House and sounding almost like Republicans when it comes to action on the border. And you have the White House ready to sue Arizona and hurt the Democrats running for reelection in the state. Not to mention that if the White House continues on their current path it further validates Kyl’s claim that the President is not after anything but “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Learning to Listen

Posted in Life, Politics with tags , on June 22, 2010 by raingeg

Often times I now find myself staying out of political discussions with people I don’t know or people I’ve just met. I suppose I’m slower than I once was to vocally announce my values to the world, or to people I’m meeting for the first time. This probably comes from my desire to learn about people before I get into a knock down drag out fight over abortion or torture or even boring subjects like the value of a voucher program in the educational system.

Before, when I was younger, it was more about winning arguments than it was about engaging in meaningful conversation with another human being. It was more about converting, sans a desire or willingness to be converted. But, as I grow older, I’ve found that I’m more willing to look at the issues, desiring to understand why a person believes what they believe, rather than thinking a person is bad for believing what they believe. I’ve become more willing to stand in complete ambivalence on some issues and not mind at all. And believe me, as a person who likes to have an opinion on everything, ambivalence is a hard position to take.

Don’t get me wrong, I have opinions, and most people that know me know that I’m not afraid to share them with you. I’ve just become more accustom to listening and observing. I’ve also come to realize that just because I don’t agree with a person on everything doesn’t mean everything they say is void or lacks incite. Far too often we throw people into a box and say that because they believe X then Y and Z can never be looked at and that person must always be defined by X, a mindset I find appalling.

In politics today we are always on the look out for the hypocrite or what is known now as the “flip flopper.” I can see someone being disgusted with a person like Arlen Specter, who for one reason, to keep his political career going, switches parties. The guy is a creep and doesn’t deserve to be a servant to the people. But we have to be careful that we are not pinning the hypocrite label on someone that just simply changes their mind.

This post is geared more to those young people that want to get involved with politics, the best thing you can do is listen. Form opinions, and don’t try to convert people, just understand them. Let people know that you understand their point of view and make sure they understand yours.

Obama to Kyl: Won’t secure the border

Posted in Immigration, Politics with tags , , , , , on June 20, 2010 by raingeg

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl reveals President Obamas border plan at Tempe town hall.

Red State:

On June 18, 2010, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl told the audience at a North Tempe Tea Party town hall meeting that during a private, one-on-one meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, the President told him, regarding securing the southern border with Mexico, “The problem is, . . . if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’” [Audible gasps were heard throughout the audience.] Sen. Kyl continued, “In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’”

Sen. Kyl also said he reminded President Obama that the President and the Congress have an obligation, a duty, to secure the border.

And here’s the video from the town hall meeting.

HT: Red State and Memeorandum

Kid Falls Asleep During Pres. Obama Speech

Posted in Education, Humor, Politics with tags , , , on June 10, 2010 by raingeg

I have a tendency to fall asleep like this, so I could see this happening to me one day. This really has nothing to do with president Obama, it could have been anybody speaking and the kid would’ve probably fallen asleep, its just funny. Then again, if this speech was anything like some of the questions we’ve heard the president answer at town halls, I could see it getting a little boring.