Saturday, February 2, 2008

Explain, please?

Something's wrong with our government.

The U.S. military is not prepared to meet catastrophic threats at home, and it is suffering from an "appalling gap" in forces able to respond to chemical, biological and nuclear strikes on U.S. soil, according to a congressional commission report released yesterday.

The situation is rooted in severe readiness problems in National Guard and reserve forces, which would otherwise be well-suited to respond to domestic crises but lack sufficient personnel and training, as well as $48 billion in equipment because of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves.

Even though it's true that we haven't had any at home catastrophes, I guess this means we'd rather fight to save Democracy in Iraq than protect our citizens at home.  Bad call, Mr. President!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Berkeley Dejavu

Berkeley protesters have made history.
They are the first city in the nation to label the Marines as "unwelcome visitors"
On Shattuck street, protesters blocked the doors for 7.5 hours until the police made arrests and allowed people to enter the Marine Corps recruiting station at 2:30 pm.

Republicans have responded, drafting legislation to cut $2.1 million dollars of federal funding that goes to the school district, ferries, and nutritional education in an effort to curb the Berkeley outburst.

Freedom of speech. Is it wrong to block people from enlisting as a marine? Or should the Marine Corps just leave the liberal bubble they are in because the city encouraged their departure..

Sound like the 60's much?

More info here

Thursday, January 31, 2008


In Kenya, theres more important things besides who's going to win their next primary. They already had their election on December 27, where they were told that with democracy came safe freedom of speech. But they thought wrong.

The Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer used the term "ethnic cleansing" to describe the situation. 250,000 people have been uprooted from their homes. On January 28 a reported 64 people were killed in 4 days of fighting. Overall, in a feud between the Kikuyus and the kanenjins in Rift Valley has resulted in over 850 deaths.

Could this be the start of another Darfur? The U.S. considers Kenya an important ally in fighting terrorism in Africa, and it give Kenya $700 million a year to combat AIDS and other diseases.

This is one of those situations where, if the U.S. does intervene, it will be seen as asserting too much influence in National Affairs, but if we don't, isn't that just morally wrong? To me, this looks like the start of a problem with no answer in sight. Therefore, I think that the U.N. should be intervening, and they are.

Click here for more info.

And Then There Were Two

In case you missed it, the Democratic Debate in California was at 5 pm. The two candidates discussed a variety of things including health care, immigration, and the war on Iraq.
I thought the number of times each candidate mentioned Edwards was notable becuase both are desperately trying to claim is supporters. I was also happy that the candidates seemed civil and kind; there was no more finger pointing and husband backup-ing.
On whether or not the runner-up candidate would become a vice presidential candidate, I thought that was really, really awkward. Both candidates dodged around a concrete answer to the question which I believe is smart. Can you imagine Clinton and Obama running together? I can't - universal healthcare just doesn't seem to blend too well with any other plan.
But towards the end everything blurred together. They're both disdainful towards Bush's policies, they both want to help the uninsured, fix the immigrant problem, and a withdrawel of troops from Iraq.
And then I had an epiphany (well sort of). Fifty years ago, the Americans living in the houses that all looked alike would have probably never EVER forseen this: a black man and a woman running for president. In fact, about fifty years ago, many in the South were fighting Brown v Board of Edu, and other cases involving segregation and racism. And on the other side, women were regarded as the home makers whose function was to raise children and be homemakers.
All in all, as this was the last debate before Super Tuesdays, I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one who is still undecided or even apathetic to which democratic candidate wins. All I know is that there will be CHANGE.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Superbowl.. ads

There's two types of Super Bowl watchers. There's the people who sit and watch the game (go Patriots!), and the people who only watch the game to see the ads. This year, there were 63 commercial spots, with some of the priciest ads going for over $3 million dollars. Fox has sold out of spots, with over 90% of ads selling out before the writers went on strike on November 5th. $3 million is a lot of money; however, last year, 93.2 million viewers watched both the game and the ads.

It would make a lot of sense for Romney, or any other candidate, for that matter, to spend a fraction of his money in to Fox News to score his own 30-second slot, where he could capture the attention, and possibly vote, of millions of voters around the country. With Super Tuesday coming 2 days after the big game, For nominees, $3 million to advertise to over 90 million viewers is well worth the dollar.

But what's stopping them? Fox news has declared that it would NOT sell ads to campaigns. But that's not fair! 1,678 Democratic delegates and 1,038 Republican delegates are at stake in the following two days, and if it's sports that can get the average American interested in politics, or even to vote, then why not? Fox claims that they are adhering to FCC guidelines, because they cannot guarantee equal ad time to all candidates... hmm.

Suprise! The Poor Will Save Us.

Maybe it's just me, but the economy has definitely hit nearly center stage in politics. With the tumultuous stock market, the housing bubble pop, and US cutting interest rates, the future US economy is looking pretty hazy.

But who's going to save the day? According to some economists, mostly Democrats, it's the middle and lower class. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke testifies that a successful plan would be to give to those who need the money so that they will immediately spend it.

This makes sense. For those who are well off, receiving a few extra dollars probably won't tip their spending budgets. But for those who aren't so well of, it may well just be a whole different story. The Senate Finance committee today discussed raising the amount given to individual tax payers to $500 while reducing the amount given to higher income tax payers by $100.

Moody's found that "for each $1 in 'accelerated depreciation' resulted in just 27 cents of increased economic activity". Good new for the economy! Good news for mid & lower classes, and good news for the economy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For Thought...

Ex-Republican Nominee Giuliani will announce his endorsement of McCain tomorrow.

AHHnold Shwarzzeenager, aka the Terminator, is praising (but not endorsing) both McCain and Obama.

What ever happened to Ron Paul? and why hasn't he dropped out yet? He only has three more delegates than Giuliani's one...

In only seven days, more than 1,000 delegates will be dispersed throughout both party hopefuls!

What would be better..
McCain / Obama? or McCain / Clinton?
I'm really basically seeing one or the other.

In with the new, out with the old.

So I'm pretty sure that nobody really paid attention to the State of the Union, because for everyone except our marathon runner, Bush, we're ready to move on.

For the Republican nominee - Today was a big day.
If exit polls are correct, Rudy Giuliani's campaign is over. Which is probably good because true, he did stand strong and courageous during the 2001 September 11 bombings, but a lot has happened since then.
Also, projected polling [44 precints] shows from today's primary that John McCain has 35% of the vote, and Mitt Rommey 32%. Giuliani and Huckabee were left in the dust, struggling to stay in the game. The winner in Florida's Republican-only primary will receive all 57 delegates.

For the Democrats -
Yay for Hillary, she won in the Florida Primary. But, too bad, there weren't any delegate votes to win there. As Obama described it as a "beauty contest" primary, he's pretty much right. No Democratic candidates campaigned there, but Hillary still showed up for some allowed fundraisers on Sunday. Interesting, no?

But what now?

Hillary has the leading edge becuase she has lead in the big states, national lead, delegate lead (for now), the brains, the money, the experience, and the popular husband, but is that enough?
Obama has the endorsements, from not one, but both Kennedy's, youth, great charisma, and a great rush of support around the nation and especially among recent primaries.

Only time will tell..

Monday, January 28, 2008

Apparently Not All Writers are on Strike!

Tonight marked the 218th State of the Union Speech as guaranteed by article two, section 3, clause of the United States Constitution.  The president eloquently spoke for 53 minutes about our current State of the Union.  In case you missed it, here's a Reader's Digest version [which I wouldn't read unless you didn't see it]:

1. Economy: It's shaky right now and we need to pass legislation that reduces taxes so that by 2012 we will have an economic surplus.  
2. Education: "No one can deny it's results".  UNDENIABLY [hah hah], there have been remarkable results of No Child Left Behind.  African and Hispanics are at an all time high of success in school and yet we still need to allocate $ 300 million in Pell grants to "liberate poor children in trapped public schools". 
3. Trade: We need to open up new markets overseas, especially in Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
4.Energy: There is strong support for clean energy technology such as coal power and renewable fuel.
5. Research: While enormous bounds have been reached in biotechnology ( because we can now create embryos from skin cells), we still need to adhere to moral boundaries because all life has dignity.
6. Immigration: It is of extreme importance to stop illegal crossings by doubling the number of patrols and a lawful way for workers to support our economy is needed.
7. Foreign Affairs: We have made enormous and uncharted strides towards establishing liberty in many nations.  We have fought terrorists and extremists with great success, especially in Iraq.
8. Etc: We need to re-approve his wire-tapping and save companies' liabilities who conspired with him in the wiretapping. We will fully defend the Persian gulf, 20,000 troops are coming home, and, we will help our own wounded soldiers upon their home-coming.  We also hope to aid African countries in regards to disease such as Malaria and AIDS. 

As to my own conclusions, I strongly believe that President Bush delivered a very well written speech compared to his own standards of "ums" and "uhhs".  I was enveloped in pride as he claimed we were a "beacon of hope", a "most beautiful nation", and "the most dynamic nation".  

Although the speech itself was captivating, the room represented the changing times themselves.   First of all, it is only Nancy Pelosi's (right side behind the president) 2nd year as Speaker of the House.  The new Democratic majority sat on the right (from the President's view) and the Republicans on the left.  

In the 53 minute speech, I counted clapping 66 times.  That's right, I counted.  Apparently, Bush's policies, proposals, and evaluations of the country sat quite well with congress.  But I'm not generalizing - the Democratic side didn't stand or clap nearly as much.  On multiple occasions, Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama was seen not standing and not clapping, but rather frowning.  

But is this speech just a curtain to cover up all of the president's woes?  According to the American Research Group, Bush's Januaary 2008 poll ratings are at 59% disapproval, meaning that (obviously without complete accuracy), three out of every five Americans probably aren't clapping too hard either. 

Either way, I enjoyed watching the speech.  I saw Tatu Msangi, a nurse and single mother from Tanzania, who would most definitely benefit from Bush's proposed $ 30 billion proposed aid to AIDS relief in Africa over the next 5 years, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and an optimistic outlook on the state of America.   I agreed with his proposal to allow soldiers to transfer unused education credits to spouses and children, his commendation of men and women today fighting for our country, and most of all, his vow to stop famine by leading the fight on disease in African Nations.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Poll Site
The site gives alot of information gathered from different polls conducted. I thought the site was pretty interesting. They asked "If the next election for president were held today, and [see below] were the Republican candidate and [see below] were the Democratic candidate, for whom would you vote?" in the poll and did the poll periodically over a period of time. You can see in the results how people change their ideas about the candidates.

I forgot to add the link to the article in the last post about the Supreme Court ruling so im putting it here.;_ylt=Auzenlot4ubQsT7khF7Hq3yyFz4D

Supreme Court Rules Against Muslim Inmate

I just saw this article about a Supreme Court decision that happened on Tuesday. The case was a Muslim inmate, Abdus-Shahid M.S. Ali, who wanted to sue officers who he suspects had taken away his Quran and prayer rug, among other possesions.

The Supreme Court decided that he can't sue the officers because they are immune from lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The decicsion was a close 5 to 4.

Abdus-Shahid M.S. Ali says he lost about 177$ worth of belongings when he was transfered from one prison to another, and says that he's being harrased everywhere.
"He added that because he has "practiced his faith to the fullest" he has
been subjected to prison officials repeatedly confiscating and destroying
his legal and religious property.Ali said he has been harassed for his religious
beliefs "year after year" in both the District of Columbia Department of
Corrections and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons."

I think that if the prison officers really did take away his Quran and prayer rug then the inmate should be able to sue them because now he can't pray or practice his religion, which means he had his religious rights taken away.