Thursday, September 27, 2012


Rachel Bennett, a television columnist at, wrote some honest and thoughtful analysis on what is happening with NBC.  It is a really good read and it's one that I find myself in complete agreement.

Right now, Revolution has the ratings to be considered a successful hit.  It's got the J.J. Abrams pedigree and was created by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.  It had the best ratings for a drama debut in 3 years.  For a 10 PM show, it also had the best ratings at that hour since a January 2010 episode of Private Practice.

While some moves this season have been questioned, especially moving Community off of Thursdays, it's too early to tell just what kind of fall season that NBC will have.

I've watched the pilots for Go On, Animal Practice, Partners (CBS), and Ben and Kate (FOX).  I can tell you that out of those four pilots, Ben and Kate is the best one by far.  NBC passed on a Sarah Silverman pilot.  I would have been interested in seeing what that was like.

NBC can get back to the heyday of the 1990s but what really hurt them was giving up on the 10 PM drama in 2009 by placing Jay Leno there.  Also, by going unscripted for a while, they lost viewers to other channels.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quote of the Day

“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem.”
--Mitt Romney, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2012

Hat tip to Think Progress for this quote.  There are days when I feel that Think Progress headlines are being ripped from The Onion.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Winners

Here are the winners for the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented for the 2011-12 television season on September 23, 2012.

Outstanding comedy series: Modern Family
Outstanding drama series:
Outstanding miniseries or movie:
Game Change
Outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie:
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Outstanding directing for a miniseries or movie: Jay Roach, Game Change
Outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie:
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Outstanding writing for a miniseries or movie:
Danny Strong, Game Change
Outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie:
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
Outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie:
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Outstanding variety series:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding directing for a variety special: Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards
Outstanding writing for a variety special:
Louis C.K., Louie C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series:
Claire Danes, Homeland
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series: Damian Lewis, Homeland
Outstanding directing for a drama series: Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Outstanding writing for a drama series: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Homeland
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Outstanding host for a reality show: Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Outstanding reality-competition program: The Amazing Race
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Outstanding directing in a comedy series: Steve Levitan, Modern Family
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series: Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Outstanding writing for a comedy series: Louis C.K., Louie
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Book Review: Our Divided Political Heart by E.J. Dionne

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (May 22, 2012)
E.J. Dionne is at his best with this book.  In 279 pages, the columnist takes a long look at what has happened to both liberalism and conservatism since the country was founded.  Like several books out this election season, it's a must-read and a real eye-opener.  It's brilliant, in my opinion, and he breaks down exactly what has happened through thoughtful analysis.

What E.J. argues in the book is "underlying our political impasse is a lose sense of national balance that in turn reflects a loss of historical memory."  He shows how the political atmosphere is being poisoned.

America is a "nation of individualists who care passionately about community."  America is not a nation of radical individualists.  It's shown through which parties have shown a communitarian approach to their politics.

E.J. takes us on a rousing trip through history from the Founding Fathers to Henry Clay to Abraham Lincoln and both Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Dionne looks at Populists, the Progressives, and the New Dealers.

E.J., in this book, challenges the Tea Party movement's views by looking back at American history.  It's fascinating to read his argument.  There's a myth that Americans have been "one-sided individualists."  Dionne disproves that idea.  Dionne believes that we can end this divisive era by "rediscovering the balance between our core values."

It's fascinating to see just how far the Republican Party and conservative movement have gone to the right in recent years.  The following excerpt comes from page 248 of the text:
What needs to be recognized is how far Republicanism and conservatism have strayed from their own history and their own past commitments. They have chosen--on principle, it could be said--to make middle-ground politics impossible. They have done so by jettisoning their own communitarian commitments, by adopting a highly restrictive view of the federal government's role, and by advancing (in the Supreme Court no less on the campaign trail) a view of the Constitution that would prohibit or restrict activities that the federal government has undertaken for a century or more. In the process, they have chosen to rewrite the American story and unsettle the American balance.
I think, when all is said and done, we will be seeing the rise of a strong third party that covers the center.  There's really no room for moderates in the Republican Party and this book shows that.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ted Koppel talks to media personalties

Ted Koppel has always been a great newsman. Working for NBC News now, Koppel has a great story on what has happened with cable news.

42 Trailer

Here is the trailer for 42, the real life story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford and Alan Tudyk. Also in the cast are Nicole Beharie, Lucas Black, Christopher Meloni and T.R. Knight. The film was written and directed by Brian Helgeland. 42 is due out on April 12, 2013, just 3 days prior to the 66th anniversary of Robinson's debut in the majors. The film was shot on location in Alabama, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tenn., where Engel Stadium stood in for Ebbets Field.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The West Wing reunion

Cast members of The West Wing reunited to film an add for Bridget Mary McCormack, a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court. She's the older sister of both Mary and Will McCormack. Mary played the Deputy Nat'l Security Advisor in seasons 5-7 and referenced herself in the short film as noted in this article.
The script, written by Mary McCormack’s husband, is a reasonable facsimile of the rapid-fire, sardonic dialogue that was the show’s signature. It has a few light moments as well, including one in which Mary McCormack describes the candidate’s “whip-smart and incredibly hot” sister Mary McCormack.
From CNN:
The video, titled "Walk-and-Talk-the-Vote," opens with Joshua Malina (Will Bailey) throwing a ball against his office wall. Soon he's joined by McCormack and Janel Moloney (Donna Moss) who then "walk and talk" their way to meet the rest of the cast including Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg), Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman), Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler), Melissa Fitzgerald (Carol Fitzpatrick), Lily Tomlin (Mrs. Fiderer) and the President himself Martin Sheen (Josiah "Jed" Bartlet).
John Spencer died and Dule Hill was out of town during filming.

GOP goes hard after Romney

Prominent conservatives in the past week have distanced themselves from the 47% comments that Mitt Romney made.

Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert has brought back his Atone Phone!

NSFW: Must watch video of comedian

Anthony Griffith is "a comic must earn his living as a clown while suffering the ultimate heartbreak."

This 9 minute video includes some language that is not safe for work but it's emotionally moving.

Republicans vote against jobs bill for Veterans

The Republican Party is turning me into the second angriest man in America...second only to Lewis Black.

Stop doing this to America.  Just stop it.  All it does is boil our blood pressure.  It's not good for you and by golly, it's sure not good for me.

Cut the crap, please.  Tell us how you really feel.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Afternoon notes

Dr. Robert J. Shapiro offers a must-read on how Mitt Romney isn't ready to be president.  Shapiro is the co-founder and Chairman of Sonecon, LLC.

Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in The Onion.

Tax Cuts for rich lead to income inequality

A new report in the Wall Street Journal shows that tax cuts for the wealthy do in fact lead to income inequality.
“The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how the economic pie is sliced,” according to the CRS report, circulated on Friday.
The report appears to give a lift to Democrats’ calls for the Bush-era tax cuts to lapse next year on incomes above $250,000. Democrats say that low taxes on the rich merely exacerbate income inequality. Republicans say that higher taxes on big incomes would hurt the economy by damping the after-tax income of small-business owners who pay taxes through their individual returns.

The top individual tax rate for high earners has generally declined since World War II, and is at 35% currently, down from 94% in 1945, the report noted. Although capital gains tax rates have been more variable, the current 15% rate is the lowest in more than 65 years. The capital gains rate was 25% before 1965.

The government researchers found that “the top tax rates do not necessarily have a demonstrably significant relationship with investment.” The researchers also said that the correlation between economic growth and the top tax rates “is not strong,” and that any links “could be coincidental or spurious because of changes to the U.S. economy over the past 65 years.”
 This report shows why Congressman John Yarmuth supports "a fair, responsible tax system that works for everyone and helps ensure a strong middle class."

In Mitt Romney news, he's favoring fundraisers over rallying voters.

Romney on Israel

I have always said that I would support a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians if it meant having peace between the Jews and the Arabs.  That said, there is a part of me that does feel as if the Palestinians don't wish for peace.  They have had time and time again to accept an agreement with Israel but Yasser Arafat walked away from the table and rejected a deal.

The video containing Mitt's comments on the conflict can be found here.  The transcript is below the jump.

Mitt Romney's campaign for president is over

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ran for president in 2008 and lost.  He decided to run again in 2012 and won this time.  Unfortunately for the Republican Party, to paraphrase a line from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, this is not the presidential candidate that they wanted but the one that they had.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Rosh HaShanah is Hebrew for I have no writers today."
--Conan O'Brien, Conan, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quote of the Day

"We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country.  We will never have the elite, smart people on our side."
--Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, speaking to an audience at the Omni Shoreham hotel, September 15, 2012

Since I'll be offline the next few days for the Jewish holiday, here's a bonus quote of the day from failed Delaware senate candidate Christine "I'm not a witch" O'Donnell:
I think I owe that to my supporters, to at least consider a run. People sacrificed. Not only came out of their comfort zone -- sacrificed to work hard in order to win the primary. And I think that I owe it to them to give it every consideration.

Netanyahu on Meet the Press

This morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on Meet the Press with David Gregory.

I thought the prime minister held his own with David Gregory especially when Gregory challenged him when it came to the American political calendar and whether he thought a President Mitt Romney would be good for relations with Israel.

Netanyahu refused to endorse any particular candidate and stayed out of the presidential race.

There was a point, during the interview, when Gregory called Netanyahu the "leader of the Jewish people," which is as far from the truth as it could be.

Gregory later apologized on Twitter (1, 2) saying:
This am I called Israeli PM the leader of the Jewish ppl. Better to say he's leader of Jewish state.  Didn't mean to imply all Jews believe he represents them.
At least, David Gregory was wise enough to correct himself.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Some humor...

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell probably has Time Warner Cable like I do...

Also, this school typo is AWESOME. Not even spell check could catch it!

Mitt believes the middle class makes $200,000-$250,000. I think the former governor is high or something. The median income is $50,000.

Israel and more...

Over at the Forward, J.J. Goldberg pens an editorial on the fiasco that happened in Charlotte with the Democratic Party platform.
There are several lessons here. First, Jews still matter as a political constituency. Experts say Israel is mainly an evangelical Christian issue, that Jews are too few and divided to matter. Not so. The Christian right doesn’t figure in Democratic planning, yet Democrats scramble for Jewish backing. It’s simple math.

Second, Israel matters to Jewish voters. It’s true that surveys show only a fraction of Jews ranking Israel their top concern. When you ask their top three concerns, though, Israel looms large.

Third, Arab and Muslim Americans are emerging as a political constituency. Until now, pro-Israel activists could press Israel’s case without serious pushback. That’s wearing thin. In the coming era, American Middle East policy will have to be negotiated. The Charlotte convention was a taste of what’s ahead.
The Israel-Iran debate comes to America as we are in the closing weeks of the election season.  There are opposing views on the matter.  Some argue that the Obama administration isn't doing enough.

Would Mitt Romney have prevented attacks?

Richard Williamson, a foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney, is coming off as a real idiot.  Listen to what he said in an interview with the Washington Post.  I hate to break the news to the Romney campaign but I honestly believe, based on news reports, that this was an attack that was planned on the embassy.  Would a Romney administration have beefed up security?
“There’s a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you’d be in a different situation,” Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, said in an interview. “For the first time since Jimmy Carter, we’ve had an American ambassador assassinated.”
Nobody knows what situation we would really be in under a Romney administration and I refuse to get into any of the hypothetical scenarios.  Just like nobody knows whether a President Al Gore would have prevented the 9/11 attacks from happening.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More violence against American embassies

There is more violence and protests taking place against the American embassies in the Middle East and North Africa.

The New York Times reports new cases of protests and violence taking place in countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia.

In Egypt, Morsi has broken his silence.

The Libyan ambassador to the United States has spoken and feels shamed.

Egypt "not an ally"

President Barack Obama sat down on Wednesday with Telemundo anchor José Diaz-Balart, host of Noticiero Telemundo.  Portions of the interview aired during The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

I think that what happened in Libya was much different than what happened in Egypt.  What happened in Libya was a terrorist attack against the American embassy.  It was a group of people that did not speak for the Libyan government as evidenced by what Libyan leader Mohammed Magarief did in apologizing to the United States and condemning the killings.

We are dealing with a very different Egpyt than in years past.  The Muslim Brotherhood is not a peace partner and is most definitely, in the president's words, not an ally of the United States.  Are they an enemy?  It depends on what they do in response to the attack on the American embassy in Cairo.

The President told Diaz-Balart:
"Certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is that (the Egyptian government is) responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected, and if they take actions that they’re not taking those responsibilities, as all countries do where we have embassies, I think that’s going to be a real big problem."
It's a much different language than when Anwar Sadat was in charge or even when Hosni Mubarak was in charge of Egypt.

The Cable looks into the public relations disaster that happened on Wednesday as a result of what happened in Cairo at the embassy.  It was what happened there that led to Mitt Romney having his John McCain moment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mitt Romney shows he's not ready to serve

What Mitt Romney did this morning was absolutely disgraceful.  Even when he knew that the Obama administration did not approve a series or tweets by the American embassy in Cairo or a statement released by the administration in Cairo, Romney said that the administration is responsible for every word that is said.

Romney bit himself in the ass with his comments.  He has been slammed by the conservative editorial page of The Washington Post.  The editorial board offered a strong rebuke to Romney's comments.

NBC News shows a complete timeline of everything that went down yesterday and today, including the fallout from the Romney press conference.

What we now know is that the attack on the American embassy in Libya is that it was planned.

Also, according to Jeffrey Goldberg, this Sam Bacile character isn't Israeli, nor is that his real name.

Former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge spoke to Think Progress and said that he doesn't think the president sympathizes with the attackers.
No, I don’t think President Obama sympathizes with those who attacked us. I don’t think any American does. I’m not going to question the strength of his words.
Romney did not find that many backers from the Republican side according to Salon.  Outside of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, the only notables that backed Romney were Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.  All of those in Congress released statements that offered their thoughts and prayers to the fallen Americans.

BuzzFeed's Ben Smith got the reaction of numerous foreign policy voices in the Republican Party.  Some are going as far as even comparing it to John McCain's moment in 2008, when he canceled on David Letterman and said he was going to return to Washington, DC to fix the economy.  Instead, he chose to go on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
"They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up," said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an "utter disaster" and a "Lehman moment" — a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.
With less than two months before the election, it will be interesting to see how this hurts Romney's prospects.  My honest thoughts are that President Barack Obama has clinched his re-election.

American ambassador killed in attack on embassy

An American ambassador is dead after yesterday's attack on the embassy in Libya.  My condolences to the friends and family of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as to those of the other Americans killed in yesterday's attacks.

I'm not going to get into the politics of what led to yesterday's events.  I'll let ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper tell you all about that.  We know that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, put out a statement that was not approved by the White House.  This led to Mitt Romney and other Republicans slamming the administration.

As it turns out, according to NBC News, Mitt Romney's campaign looks worse by releasing a statement before all the information came out.  After all the information came out, the Romney campaign stands by it's original statement.

We also now know that Gainesville pastor Terry Jones was one of the financial backers of the film that outraged those in Libya and Egypt.  Jones had planned an "International Judge Muhammad Day."

I did not make any comments here yesterday on the matter because I needed more information on the issue at hand.  I was not in a position to rush to judgement.

While the White House Briefing Room is not updated with statements released, the Secretary of State's website is.

The first statement by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton dealt with the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi:
I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.

This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation.

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.

In light of the events of today, the United States government is working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide.
The second statement dealt with this morning's news that Ambassador Stevens and others had been killed in the Benghazi attacks.

The interim president of Libya, Mohammed el-Megarif, has offered an apology to the United States of America.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama, Netanyahu talk over the phone

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did speak after all.  They did so over the phone this evening according to JTA.
"The two leaders discussed the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, and our close cooperation on Iran and other security issues," said a statement issued Tuesday night by the White House. "President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed that they are united in their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and agreed to continue their close consultations going forward."

The statement comes amid more frequent reports of tensions between the two governments, with Netanyahu demanding from Obama clearer red lines that could trigger military action against Iran, and the Obama administration refusing to outline these.
Apparently, Netanyahu never requested a meeting in Washington.
"Contrary to reports in the press, there was never a request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama in Washington, nor was a request for a meeting ever denied," it said.
I don't know if it's a case of he said-he said but the two leaders did speak.

President Obama unable to meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu

I don't have all the details outside of the statement that came out today.  Since the Haaretz article is premium only, I'm linking to the JTA one instead.

I'm not sure exactly why President Barack Obama is unable to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the PM comes to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly in a few weeks.  Outside of logistics, that is.

I know that the president is going to be busy campaigning and prepping for the debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  That goes without saying.  I'm hoping that is the reason why the president is unable to meet but I cannot say with 100% accuracy that that is why.  It's a guess at best.

Here is what we do know according to the statement released to Jewish media.
“The President arrives in New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Sept. 24th, and departs on Tuesday, Sept. 25th. The Prime Minister doesn’t arrive in New York until later in the week. They’re simply not in the city at the same time," Tommy Vietor, National Security Council spokesman, said in a statement released Tuesday. "But the President and Prime Minister are in frequent contact and the Prime Minister will meet with other senior officials, including Secretary Clinton, during his visit."

A White House official told JTA that Obama's schedule is packed and that he is not scheduled to have any bilateral meetings at the General Assembly.
All of that now said, tensions relating to Iran are getting heated at the moment.  I don't blame the PM for being upset.  I honestly don't.  At some point, the United States will have to press the international community for a deadline.  The USA cannot just sit idle on this.  The leadership has to step up to the plate.

Everyone has their eye on Iran.

NBC Fail

NBC failed to display the official moment of silence this morning as The Today Show was speaking with Kris Jenner also known as the mother of all those Kardashians that refuse to go away.

NBC News released a statement to the New York Daily News:
“The `Today’ show dedicated a considerable amount of time to September 11th coverage this morning throughout the entire show,” said NBC News spokeswoman, Megan Kopf.
Throw this in with their NBC Olympics failure when it came to airing the big events live in the USA on television.

You have to love the comment from a Good Morning, America insider:
“It’s so typical,” sniffed a “GMA” insider. “Obviously they are more concerned about their ratings then anything else, but this just takes it to a whole new low.”

Some NYT articles

Kurt Eichenwald had a powerful and startling column in today's issue of the New York Times.  Say about it what you will but the Bush administration has not declassified many papers from the 8 years in office.

Paul Krugman wrote a an op-ed over the weekend that points out how the Republicans obstructed bills to relieve the economy and have since gone on to exploit what they did.

Revolution: My thoughts on the new NBC series

Now last night, before watching the end of the Colts-Bears game on the DVR, I watched the pilot of Revolution, the new NBC series from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, since it was being offered online and I knew for a fact that next week would not be a great week due to Yom Tov. While I don't exactly love what the producers did to the great city of Chicago, it kept my interest and I would go on to say that it lived up to the hype unlike last fall's Terra Nova.

Let's get one thing straight though. Placing this series after The Voice probably will not be the best idea. It's two different audiences. By playing up the survivalism concept of the show, NBC is appealing to that teen audience that fell in love with The Hunger Games. If it can hold it's own against Monday Night Football, Castle, and Hawaii 5-0, I think the series will do well enough to get a second season. It should have better luck than Alcatraz in my opinion.

I would have liked to have seen more of Elizabeth Mitchell but Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Once Upon a Time) is a main cast member and after his performance on BB, I think he should draw viewers alone to see his performance.

The way that the pilot ends, I have some questions but with a show from Bad Robot Productions, I've come to expect that.

I expect Revolution to be heavily serialized. I also expect it to be the show that The Event was not. For NBC's sake, they should not place the series on a three month hiatus to air another program. I didn't work with The Event and against other hit programs at 10, it won't work with this show, either. I know that Smash is on board for the midseason so this could have 13 episodes and no back nine but at the same time, they could always move it to Sunday nights after football season but that's just speculation on my part!

Remembering 9/11: 11 Years Later

A poem written by Jack Buck

Since this nation was founded under God
More than 200 years ago

We've been the bastion of freedom...

The light that keeps the free world aglow.
We do not covet the possessions of others,
We are blessed with the bounty we share.

We have rushed to help other nations...

War is just not our nature...we won't start
But we will end the fight.
If we are involved we shall be resolved to
Protect what we know is right.

We have been challenged by a cowardly foe
Who strikes and then hides from our view.

With one voice we say, "There's no choice
Today, there is only one thing to do"

Everyone is saying the same thing
And praying that we end these senseless
Moments we are living.

As our fathers did before, we shall win
This unwanted war

And our children will enjoy the future,
We'll be giving.

Written by Jack Buck
September 14, 2001

Monday, September 10, 2012

The NCAA and the ACC

I'm throwing this up here because these are my thoughts.  They do not represent that of any other website.  They are my own.  With that out of the way, let's begin.

Is Adam Edelen running for Governor soon?

The Kentucky Democratic Party has several rising stars.  One of which is current State Auditor Adam Edelen.  Names being thrown out there for the 2015 governor's race include Crit Luallen, Central Bank Chairman Luther Deaton and Attorney General Jack Conway.  Is Adam Edelen interested in adding himself to the list?  Maybe.

As cn2 reports, he made the rounds during the DNC.

Edelen, as cn2 notes, did not quite answer the question about Conway being scared.

Mitt Romney killed Bin Laden?

Wait, what?  Mitt Romney killed Osama Bin Laden according to 15% of Ohio Republicans.  In what is astonishing to people that actually watch the news, we have idiots that vote.

I have no words to describe how so many people could be idiots.  Mitt Romney did not approve the strike team that killed the #1 terrorist on this planet.  Mitt Romney was not up day and night in 2011 to make the decision on doing what is right.

Mitt Romney is not the Commander-in-Chief but yet, according to polls, Romney is responsible for killing Bin Laden.
According to a PPP poll of likely Ohio voters, 15 percent of Republicans in Ohio think Romney is “more responsible” for bin Laden’s death than Obama, while 47 percent of Republicans are “not sure” whether Obama or Romney deserves more of the credit.
I originally looked at the crosstabs for ideology as opposed to political party registration, which is where my original thoughts reacted to (and have since rewritten).  This is hard to fathom, 15% of registered Republicans  who responded believe Mitt Romney deserves the credit for killing Osama Bin Laden.

This is the same Mitt Romney that said in April 2007 that  "it’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."  He later backtracked, as he always does, by saying during a GOP debate: "We’ll move everything to get him. But I don’t want to buy into the Democratic pitch that this is all about one person — Osama bin Laden — because after we get him, there’s going to be another and another."

Moreover, 47% are not sure whether to give credit to President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?  I don't know how they are not sure.  I honestly don't!

Mitt Romney does not deserve any credit just as former President George W. Bush does not deserve any credit for the killing of Bin Laden.

It makes zero sense to give Mitt Romney credit.  As for those who responded not sure, what the hell were they thinking?!?

Phones on Yom Tov?!?

I'm sorry but from every angle that I look at it, this is just plainly wrong.  How can one truly be observant of the High Holidays when they are posting on facebook and tweeting during services?!?
But congregants at a Miami Beach High Holidays service for young adults will be asked to use their cellphones to send text messages to the rabbi during parts of the Rosh Hashanah evening service this year.
Unless one is a medical doctor on call, they have no reason on earth to have a phone with them!  It's wrong.  How many times do I have to say this?  On Shabbas, we are to refrain from using any form of electricity.  This includes our phones as well.  It's because using them would be a violation of the the 39 melachot--the things that we are to refrain from doing or using on the day of rest.

How will sending a text message to a Rabbi make praying to G-d more meaningful or holier?  It simply will not.  It distracts you from the service.  This is why schmoozing is inappropriate during davening.  If one prefers to schmooze, please go into the hallway and do so.  Please do not do it in the Sanctuary.

It's not just mind-baffling.  It's flat out disgusting.  You want more bad news?  Please, keep reading.
The unusual service is just one way that technology and social media are changing Jewish observances in certain communities. While an increasing number of synagogues are offering real-time Internet streaming of services for those unable or unwilling to participate in person, some shuls have begun to incorporate social media into the congregational experience.

At Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, Calif., also a Reform temple, Rabbi Paul Kipnes has tentative plans to encourage congregants with smartphones to use Facebook to reflect on the shofar after it is blown for the second time during the service.
No! Do not live stream the service on the Internet!  Why don't you just add a band to the lineup if you are going to disgrace the holiest days of the year!

Do not incorporate digital media during Shabbas or High Holiday services.  Please refrain from doing so.  It goes against everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, those holidays stand for!

Sid Caesar in new documentary

Comedy legend Sid Caesar will be appearing in a new documentary.  The comedian is not working much these days but he never misses a lunch at the age of 90.

Smartphones and Politics

ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper hung out at the Google Hangout at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions over the last two weeks.  He takes a look at how the American landscape has changed, especially how smartphones are changing politics.

One-third of American voters did not watch television in the last week.  One-third!

Eighty-three percent of voters own a smartphone.

What does this mean for the future of television ads?  Will they be microtargeted instead of blanketed ads on television and radio in swing states?  I don't know.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Blame Mitch

Michael Tomasky is spot on with regards to the economy.  I've been saying this for some time now.  When Senator Mitch McConnell said that his number one priority was to defeat the president, he turned his back on the United States of America.

McConnell, in his "moment of candor" as President Bill Clinton described it, said: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Of course, President Clinton addressed these comments by the senior senator from Kentucky: "Obama also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn’t work out so well. Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their No. 1 priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work. Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to keep President Obama on the job!"

McConnell and the Republicans had no interest in a jobs bill, in getting this economy back to where it should be, or anything that is in America's best interest.

The Democratic Party should take Gov. Deval Patrick's advice to heart and grow a backbone this fall.  Go all out against the GOP and call them out on issues such as this.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Book Review: Domestic Affairs by Bridget Siegel

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Weinstein Books (July 31, 2012)

In her first novel, Bridget Siegel has done a fantastic job at showing what the campaign life is all about.  She should know.  She's a veteran of campaigns at the local, state and national levels.

Friday, September 07, 2012

The August Jobs Report

The new jobs report is out and the numbers could honestly be better.  Unfortunately, they are not.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich offers his thoughts on the matter at hand.
Look, I desperately want Obama to win. But the one thing his speech last night lacked was the one thing that was the most important for him to offer — a plan for how to get the economy out of the doldrums.[...]

But the President could have offered more than the rejoinder he did — suggesting, even in broad strokes, what he’ll do in his second term to get the economy moving again. At least he might have identified the scourge of inequality as a culprit, for example, pointing out, as he did last December, that the economy can’t advance when so much income and wealth are concentrated at the top that the vast middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to get it back on track.
The overall numbers in the August Employment Situation Report shows that 96,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added in August.  As a result, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% but this is nowhere close to the 125,000 that analysts had predicted.

The 8.1% does not take into account the number of people that have given up on the job search.

Where are these so-called job creators that the Republicans keep talking about and why are they not out there creating jobs?

KY-22 Road Improvements

It's pretty saddening that it has taken a fatal crash to get people talking about improving the stretch of KY-22 by between Barbour Lane and Avenue of the Woods.  This is something that should have been taken care of a long time ago.
David Rodger has lived in the area for 14 years and witnessed dozens of crashes. He says something needs to be done to prevent anymore tragedies.

"People are going too fast, it's a sloppy street and it's blind curves. It's a terrible combination," said Rodger.

LMPD says there have been 47 crashes in the past three years. That includes eight injuries and this fatal accidental. Officers say rain causes oils to rise to the surface. Add to that sap from trees in the densely wooded area. A slick combination.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says there was no high friction pavement where the accident happened. Friction pavement is a dark gray color compared to regular pavement which is lighter gray.

Traction grips and more abrasive surfaces were created for better tire control east of Springcrest Drive in 2009. After Davis died, officers agree with neighbors that more safety measures need to be made to the state highway administration to help save lives.

"Additionally we'll look at slippery when wet signage and anything to warn motorists of a challenging situation up ahead," said Lt. Seelye.

Stop invoking the Shoah

I'm with the ADL on this one.  That's really all I am going to say about it.  This goes for both parties.

Politicians and party officials need to start thinking before the words come out of their mouth.

An excerpt from their press release follows.
Earlier today, South Carolina State Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian reportedly evoked Eva Braun when discussing Gov. Nikki Haley's press briefing from a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  Harpootlian was quoted as saying, "She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun."

"This analogy to Eva Braun only serves to trivialize the Holocaust and is deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.  "I have said this repeatedly, but it bears repeating again that inappropriate Holocaust analogies simply have no place in politics.  The Holocaust and Hitler should not be part of the discussion over which party is best equipped to lead this country for the next four years.  Politicians and their supporters and surrogates should stop invoking Hitler and trivializing the memory of the six million and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust."

Barack Obama accepts Democratic nomination

In a 40 minute speech in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party's nomination.

The president's speech concluded a night that featured a much different John Kerry from what people saw in 2004.

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm addressed the crowd and she delivered an energizing and hard-hitting speech, including the line: "In Romney's world, the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft."

Other prominent speakers this evening included Carolina Kennedy, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Sorry, Chris Hayes...

I'm sorry, Chris Hayes, but you are dead wrong on this issue. Completely wrong.

TRANSCRIPT: President Bill Clinton's 2012 Democratic National Convention speech

Below the cut is the transcript of President Bill Clinton's nomination speech as delivered last night at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Via Political Wire, we learned that the president's "prepared remarks last night were 3,136 words but his speech as delivered was a whopping 5,895 words."


This is a must-read related to the fine city of New Orleans, Louisiana.  Some of the language is harsh for the residents that live down there.  It's not a pretty read but it talks about the realities that do exist in this day and age.
This is happening because you live on a sinking, shrinking delta smack in the middle of a hurricane zone. Storms like this are to New Orleans what blizzards are to Chicago and heat waves are to Phoenix. Get used to it -- or move.

Places that never or seldom flooded in past storms are now taking water because the sea is rising due to global warming while the land mass you live on is sinking. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority says the Gulf could be more than 3 feet higher along the southeast Louisiana coast in 100 years. If you thought this Cat 1 was a villain, add 3 feet to the water that ran down your street and into your house. That's your future.

Levees and floodwalls can offer temporary protection. But remember, it takes billions of dollars and a decade to build a decent system for your cities. And if global warming isn't addressed, the structures you build today will leave your children and grandchildren vulnerable.

The best things you can do are adapt to live sustainably in this reality -- and demand the people you send to Baton Rouge and Congress address the causes of your peril.
Go read it.

The race for 2016

I touched on this the other day but the race for 2016 has unofficially started.  This week, politicians have met with the Iowa delegation.  This does not meet that all of them will be running for president.

Those meeting with Iowa's delegation include Virginia Senator Mark Warner, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  On the schedule for Thursday include Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Booker is an interesting figure.  As a presidential candidate, he is limited to local political positions on his resume.  That would be fine if he were, say, the Mayor of New York City.  But he isn't.  I'm sure he's a fine person but when it comes to a mayor running for president, my guess is that the three cities where they would make great presidential candidates are New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  He has the executive experience but there's no statewide experience or foreign policy experience.  Now, like with other candidates that get the nomination, the lack of foreign policy experience can be made up for with someone from Congress or even a strong Secretary of State.

What I do find surprising is that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick did not meet with the Iowa delegation.  He gave one of the most passionate speeches on Tuesday night.  Is this to say that he has no plans to run in 2016?  I don't know.  His gubernatorial term expires following the 2014 election.

This is the first indication I have heard of either Klobuchar or Gillibrand potentially running for president.  The same goes for Mayor Villaraigosa.  As for Governor Schweitzer, I have not heard any rumors previously.

Regardless, until Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton states once and for all that she is not going to be a candidate, all this will continue to be talk.  A Clinton run would take a bulk of the candidates out of the race.

Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to speak to the Iowa delegation but his staff decided to cancel the appearance.  If he runs, it would be his third race for the presidency.

Of all the potential candidates, Governor O'Malley is doing all the right things that signify that he is running.

Time will tell but one thing is sure: FOCUS ON 2012!

Will John Kerry be the next Secretary of State?

Senator John Kerry will address the Democratic National Convention tonight during the primetime hour of 10 PM.  Rumor has it that he will address the president's record on national security.

There is some speculation on The Hill's part that he could be the next Secretary of State.  It's possible that it could happen.  He's currently the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in early 2009 following Joe Biden leaving the Senate.

I think Kerry would make a great Secretary of State.  He has the leadership abilities required for such a position.

The Jerusalem factor

I have heard mixed reports about the booing on the floor after the votes were passed but in any event, the Democratic Party has voted to add Jerusalem back to the party platform.

The platform committee met earlier on Wednesday according to JTA.
"They are returning the language to the 2008 situation," Robert Wexler, a top Jewish surrogate for President Obama's reelection campaign and a drafter of this year's platform, told JTA. "The president directly intervened to make sure this amendment happened."

"Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel” appeared in the 2008 document, along with the caveat that the matter should be left to final-status negotiations.

A Democratic National Committee official also confirmed the reinsertion.
Why it was removed is beyond me.  In any event, it has been rectified.

Make no mistake that Democrats in Congress were upset with the removal from the platform.

What is interesting is that the Republicans are being hypocrites for attacking a toned down platform when their platform is toned down when it comes to Israel.  They can't hold the Democratic Party to a double standard when they, themselves, are doing similar things!
The Republican platform changes included removing the adjective “undivided” from references to Jerusalem, and cutting the sentence supporting the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The 2008 platform included the sentence “We support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and moving the American embassy to that undivided capital of Israel.”

In the 2012 platform, that sentence is missing, with the only reference to Jerusalem – “Israel with Jerusalem as its capital” – lacking the word “undivided.” Support for moving the embassy to Jerusalem is excised entirely.
Although, to be fair, every single president has signed the waiver every 6 months when it comes to moving the embassy to Jerusalem, citing security purposes.

Bill Clinton addresses 2012 DNC

President Clinton spoke for nearly 50 minutes.  This is not 1988.  In 1988, they applauded the moment he said "In conclusion."  This is 2012.  Bill Clinton has rock star status in the Democratic Party.  Only a guy with rock star status like the former president would have been able to speak for nearly an hour.

It's not how long he spoke but not only did he defend President Obama, he spoke policy.  There was more substance in his speech than the entire Republican National Convention.

Politifact fact-check the job numbers that the former president cited and he was correct.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

2012 Democratic National Convention: Night 1

What a wonderful night of amazing speeches that have me fired up for the election in November.

The best speeches in my opinion in order of when they were delivered:
Ted Strickland, former Ohio Governor and a 1980 graduate of the University of Kentucky
Deval Patrick, current Governor of Massachusetts (term expires in 2016)
Martin O'Malley, current Governor of Maryland (To be fair, he had the tough act of following Gov. Patrick's passionate speech)
Julian Castro, current Mayor of San Antonio
Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America

The First Lady's was not just powerful but personal. The Obamas are just as human as the rest of us are. She really killed it tonight.

Joe Kennedy III did a great job talking about his uncle, Ted Kennedy, before the moving video tribute that followed.

Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago and former presidential chief of staff, spoke this evening and did a good job. It was not anywhere as close to the big speeches or even the most passionate speeches of the evening.

Former Congressman Robert Wexler spoke about Israel. Someone had to do it, right?

Families like the Lihns would suffer if the health care law were to be repealed.

Overall, there were more mentions of Mitt Romney tonight than during the entire RNC if Twitter and convention analysis is to be believed. Heck, there was more diversity this evening than during the four nights in Tampa.

Thank you, C-SPAN, for offering a library of convention speeches from this week in Charlotte. Transcripts are not yet up anywhere.

I started out by watching MSNBC at 7 PM but once I realized that they would offer more commentating than speeches, I soon turned it over to C-SPAN, which is not offered in HD by Insight. That said, I did flip back but only after the Kennedy video tribute when Andrea Mitchell tweeted that she would be interviewing Ted Kennedy, Jr. and Patrick Kennedy. After that, it was back to C-SPAN until after Governor O'Malley's address to the delegates. He was supposed to speak for 5 minutes but ended up speaking for closer to 9 minutes. After that, it was back over to MSNBC until probably close to 1 AM following Hardball with Chris Matthews.

The sad thing was that tonight was only the first night and it brought the house down. That's without President Clinton, Vice President Biden, or President Obama speaking.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Legacy of Ted Kennedy

The following aired tonight at the Democratic National Convention after Joseph Kennedy III spoke about the late Ted Kennedy, one of the greatest senators of all time.

Democratic Platform drops mention of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

According to CNN, Jerusalem is not mentioned anywhere in the Democratic Party's platform.

The party platform in 2008 had the following phrase:
Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.
In 2012?  Not so much.  There is no mention of Jerusalem but it does maintain the support for a two-state solution.
The President's consistent support for Israel's right to defend itself and his steadfast opposition to any attempt to delegitimize Israel on the world stage are further evidence of our enduring commitment to Israel's security.
Also omitted from the platform is any reference to Israel as the "strongest ally in the region."

This is not going to be pretty at all.  Not one bit...

Update: The NJDC has released a statement.
“Jewish Democrats know full well that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. We—like President George W. Bush before and leaders of both parties for decades—also know that the final status of Jerusalem will have to be formally decided by the parties. This should come as a surprise to nobody.

“This Administration has the most pro-Israel record of any on record; the facts speak for themselves. From record aid to Israel to unsurpassed supplemental missile defense to heightened military cooperation to an unprecedented perfect voting record at the United Nations to gathering a global coalition against Iran, President Barack Obama has tirelessly worked to strengthen the special partnership between the United States and Israel. Meanwhile, those who are loudest today were silent for eight years when the Republicans ran the executive branch; at the time, President Bush signed waivers 16 times to avoid moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. At the time, President Bush said the future of Jerusalem ‘will be ultimately determined by the interested parties.’ The hypocrisy is stunning, but not surprising.

“As the Democratic Convention gets underway here in Charlotte, Republicans will do everything they can to shift the conversation away from talk of choice, Medicare, marriage equality, and the laundry list of issues on which American Jews overwhelmingly line up with the Democratic Party. But it won’t work.”

Some thoughts on conventions, etc.

I've spent some time watching David Gregory chatting with Tom Brokaw from the Meet the Press Press Pass.  Some interesting thoughts from the former news anchor, who has been covering political conventions since 1968.  He thinks that they should be a one day affair.
Brokaw, whose first convention was in 1968, thinks week-long political gatherings are unnecessary in today's political environment. He argues that it's time to "rewrite the script" on traditional conventions and reduce them to one day.

"Do that one big night and then have that by satellite transmitted around the country to football stadiums in Chicago, and Denver, and Seattle, and have big get-out-the-vote rallies." This will "re-involve the American people" in the process, he believes.
 It's an interesting thought for sure.  The extra days do help some lesser known politicians get their names out there.  Plus, the smaller meetings with state delegations do help potential candidates with networking for the next go-around.  I guarantee you that potential candidates like Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is doing all the right things this week.  Having said that, we have to stay focused on this election at the same time.  I'm focused on 2012 but am keeping my eye on 2016, too.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer told Politico that he does not believe a single Democratic incumbent will lose their Senate races.  I agree with the Senator, who I had the pleasure to see in person back in 2004.

While Democrats are defending 23 seats compared to 10 for Republicans, Schumer pointed to five seats currently held by Republicans he said Democrats have a solid chance of taking: in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Indiana and Arizona. Of seven Democratic seats vacated by retiring senators, Schumer argued, his party is well-positioned to hold on to most of them, including in Republican-leaning North Dakota.
And he predicted that no Democratic incumbent would lose — even in red states like Missouri and Montana and swing states like Ohio and Florida.
I'd have to agree with those predictions.  A lot has changed since the Tea Party tidal wave in 2010, mainly the fact that they are not allowing anything to get done in Washington.  They are blocking any kind of real progress, or compromise, for that matter.

Candidates for 2016 include Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley

While we are still focused in on the 2012 elections, the National Journal has brought up some names to keep an eye on for the 2016 election.  What's really interesting to see in the list is that practically all of the potential candidates are governors.

One name in general, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, will see a primetime speaking opportunity in Charlotte tonight.  Currently serving as the chair of the Democratic Governors Association, O'Malley previously served two terms as the mayor of Baltimore.  I've been a fan of his for over 8 years now and think he would make a damn fine presidential candidate.

Politico profiled Gov. O'Malley in July and here's an excerpt.
“Our party will do increasingly better if we keep foremost and in the forefront our theory of the case — the larger story, if you will — of what are the things that we need to do … to restore our country as a great job-generating and opportunity-expanding entity,” he said.

If that sounds a little like the language of a 1990s, Clinton-style moderate Democrat, there’s good reason for it.

In 2012, O’Malley slings the kind of rhetoric that pleases the Democratic base. At times, he cuts the figure of an old-school Democratic pol — a former big-city mayor from the East Coast with a photo of JFK and a portrait of the Irish revolutionary Michael Collins in his office.

Vice President Joe Biden will be 74 in 2016 so I really do not see him making a third run for the presidency.  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has consistently said that her current job will be her last in public service.  I don't see her running again.  I wish that was not the case but it's likely what will be happening.

Other big names to keep an eye out for include New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Senator Mark Warner (a former governor).  As for names that could see some interest sparked this week from speaking at the convention, they include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

O'Malley is at the top of my list of candidates in 2016.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Some links to pass on

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital by Matt Taibbi

The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney by Tim Dickinson

Political Fiction: Murder on the Campaign Trail by Jon Methven

Former Senator Marlow Cook talks Republicans

Marlow Cook, a former Senator who represented Kentucky from 1968 to 1974, recently spoke to cn2 about the Republicans and this year's election.  Hear what he had to say.

Empty Chair teaches class, students get As!

As was noted last week in a press release by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clint Eastwood's empty chair has the authority to teach a class and give students passing grades.

The university noted the following:
Based on the joint review, UNC and the NCAA staff concluded there were no violations of current NCAA rules or student-athlete eligibility issues related to courses in African and Afro-American Studies. As a result, the NCAA did not add any allegations or include this issue during the University’s appearance in October 2011 before the Committee on Infractions.
As a result, the empty chair can legally hand out passing grades to students.

It's perplexing, isn't it?  We know for a fact that this academic scandal dwarfs what happened at Florida State University, which led to several players being suspended prior to the 2007 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl presented by Bridgestone.  Try saying that three times fast.

Between injuries and the scandal, 34 players did not play that game in 2007.  Of course, we now know that Florida State had to vacate all of their wins in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Book Review: It's The Middle Class, Stupid!

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Blue Rider Press (July 10, 2012)

Political pollster Stan Greenberg and Democratic strategist James Carville teamed up to bring us just one of many books to be released during this election season.  This one is different.

Carville and Greenberg make the argument on what needs to be done to rescue and restore he Middle Class to prosperity.  It's the working people that help make the American economy what it is but workers are out of jobs due to the failed policies of the Bush administration.

In writing this book, they found that the Middle Class is working 200 more hours a year than they did in 1979.  While working more hours, they have not really seen an increase in pay.  The top 5% of wage earners worked 93 less hours in comparison.

Both political parties will tell you that the country is in decline.  It's true and at that, they found that 66% of this country believes the country is in decline.  The question is:  Who will listen to the solutions that they put forward?

They remind the elite that the Middle Class is "smarter than you think."  It does not take an idiot to point out what is happening.

They also point out that the rich have won the "class warfare" argument but also manage to cut through the political fog.  No matter what the GOP may argue, taxing the wealthiest 1% of Americans remains popular with the Middle Class.  It's not about blaming the Tea Party.  It's about this:
That Democrats must forget about the past and the financial crisis and recognize:  The story is not the recovery, but a set of powerful ongoing realities: a middle class smashed and struggling, American jobs being lost, the country and people in debt, and the nexus of big money and power that leaves the common people excluded.  The story is the middle class.
It's backed up by responses of Americans interviewed in focus groups, whether they are college graduates or non-college educated.

If the candidates choose to focus on the Middle Class rather than the economy itself, the country might be able to "break out of its dysfunctional politics."  Greenberg's polls have revealed that voters prefer the Democratic approach to rebuilding the middle-class as opposed to the GOP's priority to reduce  the deficit and size of the government.  It's a 14 point margin at that!

They offer ideas for getting money out of politics in addition to the offering proposals for a balanced budget, restoring fiscal health, and restoring the middle class.  It's this book that should be setting the agenda for November and the next Congress.