Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Politicians get World Series Tickets for Less

It's good to be Congressperson. You get the best of everything. And the people they represent get left out. Getting elected to Congress is basically a lifetime gig, despite the pretense of democracy. Money rules, especially in politics. The politicians give our money away to bankers and stick us with the check. The least they could do is raffle off some of those tickets to a veteran who lost a limb in a pointless war they started.

in reference to:

"World Series tickets are hard to come by for average baseball fans (assuming they could even afford them in the first place) but some members of Congress and their staffers are having no problems getting into the big games. Major League Baseball sells seats to federal lawmakers and their aides at face value, hundreds of dollars less than the going rate, the Wall Street Journal reports. So far during the series between New York and Philadelphia, MLB has sold about 75 tickets to a total of 15 congress members and members of their staffs. A league spokesperson declined to say exactly who purchased the tickets. Because the tickets are bought, not gifted, no congressional rules are broken. But ethics groups say the purchasers are exploiting a loophole. "Anytime you have access to something that regular people don't have, it should be considered a gift," Melanie Sloan, executive director of the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told the Journal. "Regular people can't call the Major League Baseball office and get tickets.""
- Pols Score World Series Tickets -- Politics Daily (view on Google Sidewiki)

10 Failed Doomsday Predictions

We've all heard predictions, especially after the fact, about some cataclysmic event. Always some vague prediction. Why don't these people ever give you a specific date or place before it happens. Okay. Here's your chance. Predict the next disaster. I dare you. Date and place, please. At least Robertson had the effrontery to make his ridiculous prediction.

in reference to:

"With the upcoming disaster film "2012" and the current hype about Mayan calendars and doomsday predictions, it seems like a good time to put such notions in context. Most prophets of doom come from a religious perspective, though the secular crowd has caused its share of scares as well. One thing the doomsday scenarios tend to share in common: They don't come to pass."
- 10 Failed Doomsday Predictions - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Newark anti-violence activist killed in shooting crossfire

This man should be a national hero. Instead he will be forgotten. His work will have gone to waste. All because we sit back allow our cities to be over run by the lawless. Worst of all, politicians whom run this country don't have one iota the courage Shabazz exhibited during his lifetime.

in reference to:

"After getting arrested for dealing drugs as a teen, Yusuf Shabazz turned his life around by getting into anti-gang and -violence activism and warning other young people from a lawless life on the street. But the chaos the Newark resident warred against claimed the 22-year-old’s life this morning after a barrage of gunfire fatally wounded him and injured another man at a city apartment complex."
- Newark anti-violence activist killed in shooting crossfire | New Jersey Real-Time News - - (view on Google Sidewiki)

High mortality rate of U.S. babies blamed on premature births

This is a statistic that should be cited every time a Republican talks about the evils of government controlled health care. It's a disgrace.

in reference to:

"Premature births, often due to poor care of low-income pregnant women, are the main reason the U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than in most European countries, a government report said Tuesday. About 1 in 8 U.S. births are premature. Early births are much less common in most of Europe; for example, only 1 in 18 babies are premature in Ireland and Finland. Premature births are the chief reason the U.S. ranks 30th in the world in infant mortality, with a rate more than twice as high as infant mortality rates in Sweden, Japan, Finland, Norway and the Czech Republic."
- High mortality rate of U.S. babies blamed on premature births - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Dem Health bill to get AARP backing

The White House and Democratic leadership are running out of excuses. If they can't pass any meaningful health care reform, the Democrats should all be kicked out of office.

in reference to:

"In a coup for House Democrats, AARP will endorse sweeping health care overhaul legislation headed for a history-making floor vote, officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday. An endorsement from the seniors' lobby was critical when then-President George W. Bush pushed the Medicare prescription drug benefit through a closely divided Congress in 2003. House Democratic leaders are hoping it will work the same political magic for them as they strive to deliver on President Barack Obama's signature issue. An announcement from the 40-million member group is expected Thursday, said officials with knowledge of the group's decision. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the endorsement is not official yet."
- AP: Dem Health bill to get AARP backing - (view on Google Sidewiki)

South Korea Taxi Drivers Can Watch TV Despite Crash Risks, Judge Rule

And I thought the judges in this country were lenient. This is crazy:
"Cab drivers in South Korea can continue to have televisions on their dashboards, despite the risk of crashing, a court has ruled"
- source:

GOP senators talk of boycotting climate bill

Both parties are tool of big business. But the Republicans have decided they will do nothing but do the bidding of the corporations. They have adopted a strategy of subverting the government, and using race to attack this President. It is pure demagoguery. They believe that if things get worse in America they will benefit from. So they want to help it along but undermining a piece of legislation proposed by this President. And they are probably right. America is going down the toilet. And its happening because the Republicans want to pick up the scrapes that are leftover. Just like vultures. After all, they have nothing to offer but failure.

in reference to:

"A threatened Republican boycott of a Senate committee's consideration of climate legislation is exposing the sharp partisan divide over a Democratic proposal to combat global warming. Republicans for the most part plan to stay away from a meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday as the panel begins deliberations over legislation that would cap greenhouse gases from power and industrial plants and curb the use of fossil fuels. Democrats have a 12-7 majority in the committee and enough votes to advance the measure to the full Senate. But GOP members are demanding additional studies on the cost and job impact of the bill, arguing that an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency was inadequate. The EPA study projected it would cost average households no more than $111 a year."
- GOP senators talk of boycotting climate bill - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

U.S. settles suit with Muslims in post-9/11 abuse

This case is another argument against torture. The Bush administration has done irreparable harm to America's standing in the world. We are now viewed as a country like any other which violates human rights.
in reference to:
"The U.S. government will pay $1.26 million to five Muslim men detained for months without charges after the September 11 attacks who sued for unlawful imprisonment and abuse, their lawyers said on Tuesday.
The men claimed they suffered inhumane and degrading treatment in a Brooklyn detention center, including solitary confinement, severe beatings, incessant verbal abuse and a blackout on communications with their families and attorneys. Rachel Meeropol, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights who brought the case in Brooklyn federal court, said it was the largest settlement so far for claims of abuse in the United States following the attacks of September 11, 2001."
- NewsDaily: U.S. settles suit with Muslims in post-9/11 abuse (view on Google Sidewiki)

Same-Sex Marriage Repealed in Maine

The people have spoken again. Marriage should be between a man and a woman.

in reference to:

""Maine voters overturned the state’s same-sex marriage law yesterday, delivering a potentially crushing blow to gay-rights advocates after a year when their cause seemed to be gaining momentum with legislative and legal victories in four states. As the ballot counting continued well past midnight, the margin continued to grow -- with 52.7 percent of voters in favor of the repeal -- and the Associated Press called the contest in favor of gay-marriage foes shortly before 1 a.m. The 'people’s veto' came six months after Maine’s law was approved, and one year after California voters rejected gay marriage by a similar margin.""
- ME: Same-sex marriage repealed - First Read - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Body Count Hits 10 at Ohio Rapist's House

How does anyone get to kill 10 people in plain site without no one noticing. This is another example of a failed criminal justice system. It is also shows how we, as a society, do not care about our neighbors.

in reference to:

"The number of bodies found in and near a rapist's home rose to at least 10 on Tuesday when authorities unearthed four corpses from the backyard and found a skull in a bucket in the basement. Cleveland police stopped searching for victims for the night and planned to continue on Wednesday. They have extended their efforts to boarded-up homes in the neighborhood where residents complained for years of a stench that one even said "smelled like a dead body." Some in the community want an investigation into why it took so long to trace the grisly source."
- Body Count Hits 10 at Ohio Rapist's House - CBS News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Afghan policeman kills 5 British soldiers

The government in Kabul cannot be trusted. Nor should we fight alongside the Afghan army. NATO forces should go it alone.

in reference to:

"An Afghan policeman opened fire on British soldiers in the volatile southern province of Helmand, killing five before fleeing, British and Afghan authorities said Wednesday, raising concerns about discipline within the Afghan forces and possible infiltration by insurgents. The attack Tuesday afternoon came a month after an Afghan policeman on patrol with U.S. soldiers fired on the Americans, killing two. Training and operating jointly with Afghan police and soldiers is key to NATO's strategy of dealing with the spreading Taliban-led insurgency and, ultimately, allowing international forces to leave Afghanistan. Attacks such as these will heighten concern about the effectiveness of the Afghan forces."
- Afghan policeman kills 5 British soldiers - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Election Results a Victory for Independents, Defeat for Two Party System

The headlines roared:

  • CNN: "A big night for the GOP"
  • MSNBC: "Election '09 tests don't bode well for Obama"
  • ABC news: "Election Night Lesson for Obama?"
  • NY Times: "Republicans Sweep Top Races in Setback for Obama"
  • FOXNews: "Wins Give GOP Hope...Election of Republican governors in Va., N.J. could mean trouble for Obama"
  • Republican Chairman, Michael Steele: Victories in New Jersey and Virginia show "a transcendent party"
But a look at the exit polls show a different story. In Virginia where Republican, Bob McDonnell, won decisively, voters by 2 to 1 said their vote had nothing to do with President Obama. The same happened in New Jersey. The NY Times concluded that it was neither a win or a lose for Obama. In fact both states have "long histories of electing governors from a political party opposite that of the president." Republican "George Allen was elected in 1993, one year after Bill Clinton won the presidency. Democrat Mark Warner won in 2001, a year after George W. Bush's first presidential victory."

The Conservative Republican right will attempt to paint last night Governorship gains as proofs their message is resonating. In New Jersey, the winning candidate, Chris Christie, is considered a moderate. He won with less than 50% of vote against an unpopular Governor, who is also a wealthy Wall St. investor. His business skills were obviously not much use in running New Jersey. The Independent candidate in that race got 6 percent. President Obama "campaigned for Corzine three times, most recently this past Sunday."

In New York City, the Independent incumbent Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, won with only 51% of the vote despite spending an estimated $100 million, and the commonly held perception that he is someone who gets things done. The voters of New York (where I live) were angered by the Mayor's overturning term limits and his original support for it. Bloomberg changed his allegiance from the Republicans only recently. The Democrats in NYC haven't won the Mayoralty, despite having overwhelming registration advantage, in the last 5 elections. Voters here don't think much of either party.

The 23rd Congressional district in NY dealt the Republicans a major defeat yesterday. Despite having endorsements from heavyweight Republicans, the Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, lost to the Democrat. No Democrat had held this seat in over 100 years. The Republican candidate was forced out of the race in favor of Hoffman. But the fact that a third party candidate did as well as he did, is a message to the Democrats and Republicans.

Clearly, the biggest winners were Independent voters. In the 23rd, Independents won it for the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens. In Virginia, "independents opted for McDonnell over Democrat Creigh Deeds by an astonishing 65 percent to 34 percent."

Yesterday election results were a repudiation of the two party system.