What is “States’ Rights”?

August 6, 2010

In Missouri, Proposition C passed on Tuesday.  Part of the language in the ballot initiative, which passed with 71 percent of the vote, went like this:

“Shall the Missouri Statutes be amended to….Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services?”

With this, as well as the striking down of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 by a federal judge, The Political Panorama decided to look at the concept of states’ rights this week.

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Jan Brewer: The new Sarah Palin? At what cost?

August 2, 2010

For those that do not know (and you may have been residing under a large rock if you do not), Jan Brewer is the Governor of Arizona.  She is a Republican.  She also thinks that people with darker tans than normal should be questioned on the street simply because they appear to be “illegal”.

She is also a hot commodity in Republican primary circles.  Next to former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska), she is the next highly sought after endorsement in the land right now.  For anyone seeking to appear tough on immigration (even if you happen to live in a state like Georgia, which is only a border state if you consider South Carolina to be a foreign republic), Gov. Brewer is the endorsement du jour.

The funny thing is, though, the Republican Party is losing touch with the same voters that they will need to, you know, win elections:

“A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday indicates that on the question of which party cares more about people like you, Hispanic respondents pick the Democrats over the Republicans by 27 points. And when asked which party agrees with you on the issues that matter most to you, Democrats hold a 25 point advantage among Hispanics.”

SB 1070 did that.  Former President George W. Bush was popular (enough) with Hispanic voters.  He did a lot of ads in Spanish, had a muscular Latino outreach organization, and had a mildly humane immigration policy.  Contrast this with the likes of Brewer, and it is no question why Republicans are losing the votes of America’s fastest growing minority group in droves.

Not that, as a Democrat, I am upset by this or anything.


What should we make of ethics in today’s politics?

July 30, 2010

This week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was charged with 13 counts of ethics violations by a House subcommittee.  Corruption is nothing new in politics, and the team at The Political Panorama decided to discuss the issue of ethics in politics.

Douglas

I stated at my personal blog earlier this week that Charlie Rangel had to step down.  However, ethics has very little to do with it.  In fact, I think that there has been too much of an effort on “good government” in recent years.  People say that they want to be able to “trust” the person that represents them.  Well, would you trust someone that you do not know personally to, say, housesit for you or babysit your child?  Of course not.  So why do we ask that much more of our elected officials?

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Colorado Goes Crazy!

July 26, 2010

For those of you that do not know, that is a take from a headline in the Boston Globe in 1935.  That year, the Alberta general election saw the Social Credit Party of Alberta rout the governing United Farmers of Alberta to the extent that the UFA was left without a seat in the upcoming Legislative Assembly.  They would never return to government in Alberta, and left politics altogether; the UFA is now a major cooperative.  Will something that epic happen in Colorado this year?  No, of course not.  However, it is pretty amazing to see the Republican Party completely implode in a race that was thought to be a likely flip.

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), considered.

July 19, 2010

Well, he’s in.  West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin will run to succeed U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd in the United States Senate.  Byrd died in June at age 92.  Gov. Manchin recently appointed his former chief of staff, Carte Goodwin, to be the placeholder until the election can be held.  The special election will be on August 28th, and the general election will be held on November 2nd.

In order for legislation to pass which set the date of the special election, Manchin and Democrats in the West Virginia House of Delegates had to make a concession: the law will allow people to run for more than one office at a time.  This was to open up the possibility for U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to run for the seat as well without giving up her House seat.  Capito will make a decision on whether she will be a candidate later on this week.

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I hate blogging about Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)…..

July 12, 2010

….but this particular statement that she made has me so incensed that I feel like I have to put my opinions on the matter on this blog.  At the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, she stated that Barack Obama, a man that garnered 53 percent of the popular vote, which equals 69,456,897 votes, is turning America into “a nation of slaves”.

You know, never mind that Bachmann and her ilk would know nothing of slavery, since her skin pigmentation would clearly denote that her lineage has never experienced slavery of any kind.  Never mind that President Obama is a Black man.  Never mind the fact that this is coming from a woman that has previously stated that then-U.S. Sen. Obama harbored “anti-American views”.

When someone like this manages to sneak into office under some facade of respectability, it is one thing.  However, the fact that she is now in her second term in office speak more to the district and the country that allows someone like her to continue in a public office in a nation that is supposed to be the world’s most advanced.

When we will wake up and put people in office that actually do things for the good of their constituents?  I figure that will be a long time coming.  Shame on Rep. Bachmann and shame on the people that continue to send her there.


Schwarzenegger’s last failure.

July 5, 2010

In case you had not heard, because the state of California is running a huge deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, the salaries of public employees in California are now being reduced to the federal minimum wage.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) is able to do this because of a court decision that allows this action when there is no fiscal year budget in place.  Because the fiscal year has just begun as of July 1, there is obviously not a new budget that is on the table yet.

This episode should take the whole “pro-family” mantra that the Republican Party and completely throw it out of the window.  The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour.  If you multiply that by 40 hours/week, you get $290.  If you multiply that by 52 weeks, you get a grand total of $15,080 in wages for a year.  And this is before taxes, which would take around $3,000 away from that gross total.

This situation will obviously not last for a year, and to assume that would be engaging in hyperbole.  However, there are other things that Gov. Schwarzenegger can do to facilitate the passing of a budget quicker and raise the revenue that is needed to prevent this sort of calamity in the future.   Read the rest of this entry »