Hurricane Katrina – Fifth Anniversary

August 29, 2010

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. There remains much to rebuild and much debate about who was responsible for the failure to address humanitarian needs leading up to and following the storm. The reality is accountability rests with folks from various levels of government, members of both parties, and partially individuals.

Here you can watch Meet The Press video from this morning on the aftermath and what progress has been made. Louisiana’s U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and her brother, New Orleans Mayor, discuss the issue.

I have only one thought to add to the coverage we have seen over the last five years. It may be that overt racism, prejudice, or negligence is not to blame for the aftermath. However, in addition to laying bare our poor preparation for disasters nationwide, it may have exposed the blatant disconnect among sections of our society. It perhaps was that disconnect and lack of awareness of what life was like for the folks on the ground with little means that directly resulted in the lack of humanitarian support before and after the storm. And I think that is the real underlying story of Hurricane Katrina.


Changes Coming…

August 27, 2010

Soon The Political Panorama will have some changes including a looser format where authors will post without a schedule, allowing for more posts per day, more news, more opinion. New authors may be added over the coming weeks and readers are welcome to email thoughtful articles to the address in the right margin and their articles will be posted shortly thereafter.

Thank you again for reading The Political Panorama and please continue to join us in discussion!

Vice President Hillary Clinton?

August 22, 2010

As the 2010 election approaches, speculation has already begun about who will run in 2012 – and not just on the Republican side. Some suggest the far-fetched notion that Hillary will challenge Barack for the nomination. Let’s be clear, that simply will not happen for many reasons.

More recently, a very intriguing idea has been toss around by Hillary supporters and the media. That rumor is that Obama may replace Biden on the ticket with Hillary, potentially making a direct swap that would result in Biden becoming Secretary of State and Hillary running for Vice President. Normally, I would be tempted to dismiss such a rumor as rubbish, but there are reasons not to dismiss such speculation out of hand:

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Obama Weighs In – The Mosque at Ground Zero

August 15, 2010

As many have heard, some want to build an Islamic Center near ground zero in New York City. Contrary to what reports would have us believe, there already exists a location for prayer. The goal is to expand the facility and create a center that would focus on building peaceful relations between Muslims and the West. I will admit that before reading more on the topic, I tended to lean against the construction of the facility near ground zero because I felt they could build it elsewhere.

Then in steps Obama. When I first saw he was getting involved in a controversial local issue which he did not need to get involved in, I was frustrated and could not begin to fathom why he would insert himself and risk public fury. Then I continued reading and began thinking. Beyond the initial knee-jerk reactions, I began to see the significance and wisdom of getting involved. It was indeed an issue of national importance too, not merely a local issue to be written off for political expedience. Obama did, after all, promise a new kind of politics and decision making that would rely on our fundamental democratic values rather than political maneuvering.

It was actually Michael Bloomberg’s quote in the article linked above comparing Obama to George Washington that got me thinking: “Two hundred and twenty years ago this week, the Father of Our Country penned his famous letter to the Jewish Community of Newport Rhode Island or, as he called them, ‘the Children of the Stock of Abraham.’ President Obama’s words tonight evoked President Washington’s own August reminder that ‘all possess alike liberty,'” Bloomberg said.

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Federal Aid To States Signed Into Law

August 14, 2010

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would provide aid to states’ budgets and is predicted to save thousands of teaching jobs. President Obama signed the bill into law as well, providing relief to state budgets that are facing in all over $120 billion in shortfalls for the upcoming fiscal year.


I feel very conflicted by this bill. I understand and can see why Congress wants to pass aid to the sates. However, at what cost? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge budget hawk. I think we need to cut more, find new revenue sources, and even change the structure of how we tax our citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

Ben Quayle’s Ad, Worst President Ever Comments

August 12, 2010

Ben Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle is running for Congress in Arizona. He recently released an advertisement calling President Obama the “worst president in history.” You can watch the ad here . This ad is the perfect example as to why I get so frustrated with Washington D.C. politics.

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Turning Point – Justice Elena Kagan

August 8, 2010

This will be a brief post to note a turning point in American history. Much like the election of Barack Obama as President, it is difficult to completely appreciate the historic nature of the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court in the same way that it will be appreciated decades from now. But the nomination of Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court is a moment in American history worth noting. Prior to her nomination, women were often nominated to the court as a token selection. Typically only one or two females have sat on the court over approximately the last twenty five years. Barack Obama has nominated two females to fill the first two Supreme Court vacancies of his presidency and, in doing so, he changed the selection of female nominees from a token political move to a normal occurrence. There have now been four women to have served on the court and three are serving currently, making up one third of the nine justices. While she represents the status quo and lack of diversity in terms of her ivy league education and her religion (Judaism), it is nonetheless a good day in this democracy in that the way female nominees to the court (and perhaps in the legal profession generally) has been forever changed.