What I see on the face of the President is a man who is being forced to face his own (political) vulnerability. Up until, scandals seemed to roll off of the President like droplets of rain off of an umbrella. The man was invincible, politically speaking, dodging scandal after scandal with an arrogance and lack of realization that was highly frustrating to those of us who thought him much more vulnerable than the public at large. With the recent IRS scandals, the overt ignorance regarding Benghazi, and the AP oversight (if you will… bugging of phones if you won’t), the President is looking more than just incompetent but utterly confused that his (failed) hope and change lines aren’t continuing to distract the public.
The President has never been truly challenged in the media. He has failed to address critiques by using the old tagline that it is the Fox News viewers that are distorting the true issues, which his admirers gobbled up like turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. Now, it is found out that the IRS scandal may or may not have been known to him without a quick response or action taken. Benghazi has been this football he kept punting down the road to the next guy, or the next, rather than being the leader he should have been. Now, he has turned on a friend and angered a supporter in the bugging of the AP and phone tapping of those who write many favorable reports on his behalf.
This is what we critics of the President feared: A Chicago style political approach that hearkened back to the days of the big political bosses of yesteryear. The President scoffed at accusations that he would be anything but a “uniter” or a post-partisan President. He can no longer run from his own vulnerability but is being faced with it time and again. He is being challenged and feels less control over his public image and I think this, not the issues at hand and of importance, are truly ticking him off. No longer is he the golden child but a politician that is facing mutiny both in his non-lemming and thinking public as well as the media. It was bound to happen, sir… maybe now you can realize you have to do more than campaign and blame Republican officials but actually lead.
Reports are swirling, though absent from many media outlets, that Kermit Gosnell was not the only one practicing his horrendous approach to medical services to women. In Texas, another man is under scrutiny with whistleblowers saying he performed disgusting and brutal late-term abortions (births with subsequent murder as I believe). Allegedly, babies were born and then quickly had their spinal cords cut and even were decapitated as a way to end their minute long life. Toes were wiggling then suddenly stopped. Chests were pounding with working hearts that were quickly silenced. Women were treated like cattle shuffled in and out with blood dripping and aftercare scarce. Saddest of all, this is not the only other case that is likely to be found and it will not be the last time we hear of such heinous acts.
What does this say about our culture as a whole? Why are more people not standing up and saying something about the grotesque practices that are killing the innocent of this generation in a silent holocaust that could have rippling effects for generations to come? The reason, I reassert, is that this issue has become more of a political keystone rather than a moral one. It is Republican v. Democrat instead of good v. evil and that is our saddest tragedy of all.
It is time we stopped looking at the Kermit Gosnells of the world as anything related to the issue of abortion. We need instead to look at them as monsters and murderers who are grotesquely maiming women and brutally murdering the youngest members of this community. It is time that we as a nation said enough is enough. Partial birth abortions that require disgusting and inhumane acts as this are removed from the “medical” community. This will be a true advancement in women’s rights and human rights, not a gun ban from international organizations that have no bearing on our current situation.
There is an old joke about communism muses about what would happen if the desert ever became communist. The answer is, “nothing for a while, and then there would be a shortage of sand.” Communism and Socialism have failed spectacularly every single place they’ve been implemented and yet there remains a school of thought that government can run economies better than markets can.
Today’s example of a failed government command economy is found in Venezuela. This Latin American country sits on vast reserves of one of the hottest commodities in the world right now – Oil. The world runs on oil. Demand for this commodity causes people to go literally to the ends of the earth in search of it. Find yourself a patch of oil to sell and there will be buyers lining up at your door with barrels.
So, one would think that a country sitting on such wealth would have enough cash to provide basic necessities for its population. I don’t know about you, but one thing I never buy off the discount rack or bottom shelf is toilet paper. It’s a basic necessity of life. TP is right up there with alcohol, cigarettes, and booze in the hierarchy of things to hoard in the coming Zombie Apocalypse.
But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, Venezuela. There’s a nationwide shortage of toilet paper. That’s right, Dear Reader. Toilet paper.
The laws of supply and demand are not subject to the whims of government price controls. I submit that the demand for toilet paper is about as elastic as a steel rod. People want what they need and they need toilet paper in Venezuela.
President Nicolas Maduro, successor to Hugo Chavez, is now getting a lesson in basic economics. He blames “anti-government forces, including the private sector” for causing the shortages in an effort to destabilize the country.
Somedays I almost feel sorry for Attorney General Eric Holder. Then I remember that he’s Eric Holder and the feeling quickly goes away.
One of the myriad responsibilities of the head of an executive branch agency is that of going up to Capitol Hill and explaining your agencies conduct – or mis-conduct as the case may be – to the people who pay the bills. Those people are commonly referred to as the US Congress. I believe it was the late William Buckley who mused that he’d rather be governed by the first 535 names in the phone book than by the US Congress, but as that’s the system we have we get to live with the Congress we have.
One of the main complaints I hear emanating from the White House is that about the increasing coarseness of political discourse. As a student of history I dismiss this complaint as unfounded. That said, one would expect those representing the Executive Branch to set an example of class and good behavior when on the political stage.
Unless you’re Eric Holder.
Today Mr. Holder took his seat before Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA). His job there was to answer questions posed by the committee. Sometimes these exchanges can get quite heated and today was no exception. Issa took the opportunity to lambaste Holder for the Department of Justice’s penchant for “ purposely and repeatedly keeping information from Congress.” Bear in mind that this assertion is not in dispute. The DOJ’s cooperation in regards to the Fast and Furious scandal has been nothing short of reprehensible – and that’s just one example of many.
Now, instead of taking his licks like a man, Holder let loose with a personal attack the likes of which I cannot remember. Said the sitting Attorney General to Chairman Issa:
No, that’s what you typically do. That is inappropriate and is too consistent with the way in which you conduct yourself as a member of Congress. It’s unacceptable and it’s shameful. (Video Link)
Say what you want about Issa, the man took a shot at the head of an executive branch agency about the behavior of the agency. That’s a Congressman engaging in congressional oversight of the Executive Branch. That is his duty as a member of Congress. Holder’s job is to answer for the actions of his agency. Instead of doing that he attacked the committee chairman on a personal level.
Eric Holder is not charged with being the arbiter of what is “inappropriate”, “unacceptable”, or “shameful” with regards to the US Congress. He is charged with running the Department of Justice in an appropriate and acceptable manner – something he has yet to do.
It is an absolute failure of leadership that this man continues to hold the title of America’s chief law enforcement officer. Do I expect the President of the United States to hold the Attorney General responsible for his disrespectful actions on Capitol Hill? No. if past behavior is indicative future actions, Obama will find out about this next week on the evening news.
Mark Sanford is back! The former governor who was embroiled in scandal has run for, and successfully won, an election for a seat in the House representing the state of South Carolina. The man that disgraced his family and the office (though, not the first and certainly not the last) is now a member of the U.S. government and will be bringing his opinions to Capitol Hill. Oh… the SNL skits are writing themselves.
Self-admitted, I am a conservative, Republican-leaning individual. A person who is pro-gun, pro-life, and pro-small government, I tend to like seeing more conservative voices head to the Hill. It would work in my opinions favor (or at least help stack the deck). But that is not all I am. I am an individual who believes in the redemptive spirit, in morality, and that government should contain individuals who are trustworthy and respectable (I know… naÃ¯ve but in an ideal world…). I believe in forgiveness. I believe that someone can act out and receive God’s grace and that lives can change. I am not one to judge whether Sanford has received this eternal pardon or not. Yet, his impression on the Sunday talk shows and in interviews is more smug than regretful and this I have a problem with.
Sanford makes an almost joke over his victory, as if he himself cannot believe it. I cannot believe it myself. As aforementioned, I believe in the power of forgiveness. I even believe in self-forgiveness as well. But, to make an almost joke out of what he did, is problematic. What we need on Capitol Hill is not more men or women that view themselves as invincible or untouchable. We need not more men that see themselves as above the laws of morality and of consequences. That is, what I fear, Mark Sanford exudes and that is truly terrifying. There goes another ego to Washington, but, maybe, that is where they all belong. At least the character assessment is more readily made.
There needs to be an admission of failure. Somewhere, someone messed up… and they messed up big time. Whoever denied the extra security at the consulate in Benghazi and whoever chose to pass up the opportunity to aid our officials in the region when they so desperately needed help need to face the music, for lack of better terminology. Mothers have lost their sons, children have lost their fathers, and there is this need to protect politically above all else. It truly is sickening and no where does the division between Republican and Democrat fit in this equation. No where.
I know it will be said that this happens on both sides, and it does. But does that make it right? NO. It is time that the American people became involved and spoke up. We want the answers. We want the truth. We want to know what happened and why. Why is there a man in jail taking blame for the video that was not the cause of the deaths of our American citizens? Why did a memo go through multiple revisions before it reached the public’s ears? Why did we turn our backs when help was needed and the military so desperately wanted to correct the situation?
There are no simple answers to these questions. And, though I myself am guilty at times, we must step back from viewing this in any way as a political issue. Yes, there will be political fallout. That is a given. Yet, looking at it that way will only cause the muddying of the waters to the point that no one will be able to see the truth. It is time that those who messed up step forward and takes their punishments. That would be the most respectable, most commendable, and most appreciated move of all. Still, though, the consistent shift of blame happens with those with political futures running scared. It is pitiful. It is inexcusable. It is wearing thin.
The Internal Revenue Service is under fire this week as news reports have surfaced that show that they were involved in illegal activities. Specifically, individuals in the IRS are said to have taken a more than close look at the taxes of those in the Tea Party, or assumed to be associated with patriot groups. Sources are now saying that top officials at the IRS had knowledge of the close examination of Tea Party related groups and that the chain of responsibility extends high up into the agency, a problem that goes far beyond just a mistake. Democrats especially need to be aware of the concerns that this poses.
The IRS taking a closer look at any political group is extremely problematic. First, it appears to be part of a greater fear and paranoia about a group that has been downplayed by the current administration. Though, at this point, there is no (known) connection between the President and the actions of the IRS, the idea that a group such as the tea party movement can cause such fear or anger that increased investigation is thought to be necessary shows that there is an inherent concern. Why investigate if the group posed no political threat or concern? In investigation, there is legitimization.
Another reason that this is problematic (especially for the current administration) is that it has given Republican officials and supporters a chance at another political play. There is the obvious political fodder and that should alarm liberal officials. Democrats will, inevitably, have to run again for President and, though frustrating, they have a chance at winning. Moments like this should cause them alarm because it is something else to use against them in the upcoming election… (notwithstanding Benghazi).
Further, the other major problem and the one that should strike fear in Republicans and Democrats alike, is the idea of Big Brother extending its grubby hands. The IRS looking into the lives of certain groups, political or not, can create a larger problem of consistent oversight that simply need not be. If it can be done when a Democrat is in power, what stops a Republican administration from doing the same? It is the idea that the government should target specific groups and engage in increased examination of citizens that should alarm all individuals. There is a hesitance that permeates when it pertains to radical Muslims but not the average citizen or organization that has done nothing wrong. This is problematic, frightening, and a reminder that we are only one more release of personal freedom away from losing this nation as we know it.
Heckling may not be the most effective way to express an opposing opinion, but at least there’s a glimpse of hope that not everyone buys into the valueless words coming out of the President’s mouth.
Obama faced a heckler again this week with an uncanny response. “This is part of the lively debate we talked about,” was the President’s remark. He hasn’t fooled me, but the President has zero success for positive outcomes from debate. The reason being, he simply doesn’t absorb, listen, consider, or acknowledge any thought, opinion, or idea different than his own. This is the main ingredient in the recipe for the disaster this country has endured for nearly 5 years.
Check out the video here.
Republican Mark Sanford defeats Democrat Elizabeth Colbert in the South Carolina Special Election today. There hasn’t been a Democratic congressional representative in the district in decades, but there were certainly concerns leading up to the election. A win is a win, and former governor Sanford won. We’ll take a Republican victory anywhere we can get one.
Senator Marco Rubio requested a study regarding job creation as a result of immigration reform. The Social Security Administration found that the immigration bill could potentially create 3.22 million jobs by 2024.
And this just in; Some Democrats are concerned Obamacare will fail because not enough people will sign up. Yes, that is their concern.
Chances are that if you are living in the United States and have some connection to popular culture, even in the most distant of ways, that you have heard of the hit television program Duck Dynasty. The wildly entertaining foray into a Southern family’s life is more than just funny and quirky. It is a glimpse into morals and values that at sometimes I fear have been long forgotten.
Duck Dynasty tells the tale of the Robertson Clan who, starting from an idea for a duck call, have developed a multimillion dollar company. Yet, along the way to their place in the popular culture, the sense of family and God was never lost. They continue to promote on their show family values, Christian beliefs, and respect for (as they would call it) ‘kin’.
Social media erupts on Wednesdays when the show airs in discussions of what Uncle Si said or what Willy is wearing. There is cross-cultural and socioeconomic sharing of laughter over this show. Politically incorrect at times…I mean who openly discusses God in the public forum without fear of backlash or heads out hunting and fishing without worrying what the anti-gun contingencies or PETA might say…it hearkens back to a time when all was not right but it was well and there were solid foundations that could not be shaken.
There is hope in what the Robertson Clan has put on the show. They do not profess to be Democrat or Republican in their beliefs. They do not promote a sex-driven lifestyle or hard partying. No, not the Robertsons. Instead what the show demonstrates is a sense that America, I believe, is yearning for the Andy Griffith mentality (as Phil Robertson himself said in an interview with Fox 411) and that call back to a time when God and family were number one and money was secondary. These men are millionaires, have stunning wives, and children that could have stepped from the pages of a GAP advertisement. But, that is just upon first glance. What these men really have is a sense of humility and charity, wives that are equally as beautiful as they are smart and supporters of their husbands, and children who are well-rounded and loved (whether through biological connections or adoptive roots). There is something beautiful that transcends the Duck Dynasty movement and I, for one, see a glimmer of hope from yesteryear that may just not be gone forever.
Bill Ayers, a self-admitted member of the Weather Underground, has recently been thrust in the news once again. A Barack Obama friend, Ayers has been the subject of controversy for the President since the moment that he became a contender for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Republican officials and Clinton supporters alike took note of the man that seemed close to the President and questioned how morality blended into the complex relationship. To this day, he remains a proverbial thorn in the President’s side… or at least he should be seen that way.
Ayers has been on the defensive lately, after the comparison was made between his radical group and the Boston Bombings. He has adamantly denied the juxtaposition of the two incidents, arguing that all that his group participated in was property damage. The cause that the Weather Underground hid behind, arguably, is a cause that may have had validity: ending the Vietnam War. Yet, the group he was tied to chose to create explosive devices and place them at military and police stations, where people would potentially be. During the creation of these explosives, members of the group themselves were killed. This year, this (vile and unrepentant man) was a keynote speaker in a remembrance event for the victims of the Kent State shootings… really?
What is most frustrating and mind-boggling, as well as overwhelmingly moralistically challenging, is not the relationship between the President and this domestic terror. Though that is obviously of concern, what is most problematic is the embracing of such a man in both academic circles and the mainstream culture of this country. A man like Ayers has distanced himself from what he did without truly feeling remorseful of his actions. He has continued to separate himself from what he appears to think he did from what occurred. During the craftsmanship of his group’s plot, individuals did die. It was not simply property damage. He was speaking on behalf of a cause, maybe, but what he chose to do was take violent and radical steps in so doing, not much different than the radical Islamists who put firepower behind their ideological perspective. When we continue to embrace a murderer, an unrepentant man at that, it goes above and beyond politics. It speaks to the heart of a disjointed culture that is becoming morally confused. That is the scariest of propositions.
On January 22, 1973, during the problematic President Richard Nixon Administration, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. The decision, which basically asserted that women could receive an abortion in the earliest trimester without intervention of the law and in later months of the pregnancy with certain restrictions, was a seemingly legal end to the debate, or so they might have thought. The fact remains, though, that the issue of abortion continues to remain a hot topic both politically and socially, with camps well entrenched on the pro-life and pro-choice side and most Americans floating somewhere in the middle.
There are several reasons why the issue of abortion remains a hot topic in politics. First and foremost is the salacious nature in which the debate is framed. Political pundits and stiff-minded party officials have closed off the debate in many ways. Pro-life Republicans and Presidents, for example, have said their peace and remain consistently concrete in their positions, with pro-choice liberals just as hardened on the other side. What this does, in its essence, is stop the discussion before it begins. There is nothing wrong with holding a position, not at all, and I respect those who have strong and established beliefs, especially on an issue of such importance as abortion. But, when there is a lack of a respect or at least open-to-hearing (not to changing), there is no room to discuss and, therefore, no resolution or real progress.
Further, in a world where definitive are wanted, the medical community has not yet fully provided an answer to a question: when does life begin? It would be somewhat relieving to many to say at X amount of weeks, a fetus is a life and before that, it is not. Now, for those with a position that is not open to changing, this fact would not matter. But, the truth is that the majority of Americans are pro-choice but with many limitation. They are right of center on the issue but they are not fully as entrenched as pro-lifers who believe in all circumstances that an abortion should not be legal.
Finally, the issue of abortion has been made into a debate about abortion clinics, confusing and conflating the issue with figures rather than the core of the issue. I believe that individuals like Kermit Gosnell (doctor title revoked due to his immense lack of respect for humanity and apparent refusal to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath) and the devious and disgusting nature of Planned Parenthood have muddied the issue. Most will agree (and rightfully so!) that what these institutions have done to women throughout the country is both degrading and disgusting. The preventive care that Planned Parenthood has provided to many women is coupled with an inherent racism, socioeconomic bias, and overall disregard for women when it comes to the availability of abortions and the inhumane treatment of babies that prevents the reality of the bad to be hidden by any perceived good.
I have a strong position on abortion, as many do. I am unwilling to compromise but I am open minded in hearing another view. Without my view being challenged, I will never know what I stand for or who I stand behind. When it comes to abortion, there NEEDS to be a discussion, however. Both sides of the issue have emotional and real world realities behind their positions. We need to have a discussion with clarity and openness if there will ever be peace provided to this issue… my hope and my want is that we finally do. This is an issue about governmental control, small and innocent lives, and morality as a whole. Not about hyperbolic figures and political banter for electoral gains.
Do you think there will ever be a conclusive answer to abortion? Will there be a happy medium in policy or will there continue to remain this debate? Does the debate on abortion deserve to be front and center at all or at any time in American politics?
Though, for the average citizen, the Presidential election of 2016 is years away, Washington insiders, political partisans, and the great machine that is American political parties in the modern era are well aware of the closeness of the election. Leave no doubt that in backrooms on both sides of the aisle there is a consistent discussion of who is going to be the most promising candidate to bring a third victory to the Democrats or change the course of the Republican success rate in the past two elections.
Former Senator and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is, arguably, the most prominent front runner for earning the Democratic nomination in 2016. Her common and popular image among many in the electorate is of the strong wife who stood by her husband and helped propel him to victory, when (as a woman not a Democrat… I can say this) leaving would have been completely understandable. She has continues to remain a poster child for the Democratic Party (to the obvious frustration of one Mr. Obama who continues to see her as a thorn in his side in a “What Would Hilary Do?” sense), especially among women voters, and has some cross party appeal.
Though it appears the Democratic nomination may be somewhat defined (unless a new Barack Obama steps up and steals her thunder once again), the Republican Party appears to be a bit more disjointed and problematic, leaving some Washington insiders concerned. Not having a frontrunner already poses a problem to those prepping for a future win. I would argue that this is because the Republican Party is more diverse than those in the media and social circles want to portray. There is a diversity of opinions, positions, and beliefs. From gay rights to gun control, the Republican Party is not a homogenous group…of white, middle-aged men, but a growing Party that is consistently struggling with the old vs. new dynamic.
This disjointedness is both disconcerting and exciting. First, it opens the potential for electoral options that appear less boxed in and predefined. Simultaneously, it creates a problem in that it opens the potential for electoral options that appear less boxed in and predefined. Yes, the benefits and the problems are tied to the same issue. Not having a candidate front runner means that the party has no fearless leader but leaders for different demographics. This is promising in that the right candidate can bring in new peoples to the party and thus, propel electoral success of the Republican Party in 2016. It also means that there can be an issue of face and name recognition, as well as an alienation in the party that allows a less than ideal candidate such as Senator John McCain to take the nomination.
What say you? Do you believe that there is a front runner for the Republican nomination and if so who? What or who do you see as the future of the Republican Party and how will this impact the party as a whole?
On September 11, 2012, a terrorist attack occurred at the American consulate in Benghazi. During the attack, US Ambassador Chris Stevens and an additional three Americans doing work in the country were killed, while the Obama Administration and US State Department watched without action. Releases of data and investigations have shown that there were requests from those on the ground for additional support and protection and that fears of an attack were prominent. The Obama Administration, including the President himself, have done their best to avoid discussing the issue and avoided direct answers on whether or not they dropped the ball in this foreign issue. Though the ebb and flow of popularity in this case and foreign security lapse continues, it simply will not go away, much to the President’s dismay.
Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has complicated the issue a bit in recent weeks with her testimony in front of Congress. The question of what she knew and when she knew it has been crucial to many foreign policy focused individuals and those that are interested in finding the answers to questions of responsibility. Secretary Clinton angrily referred to the case and her role in it with confusion and, arguably, an attitude of incoherent anger at why scrutiny has fallen to her. Records show that the Secretary signed off on a memo noting the need for more security, though she has been confusing at best at defining her role.
Some will disagree but it appears that the most intense speculation regarding Benghazi has come in light of electoral politics and how this will play out in future elections. There was, of course, the presidential debate of yesterday where semantics seemed to be at play more than the actual root of causation into the attacks. Now, Secretary Clinton appears to be hedging her bets as to where and when to admit guilt in her failings. A 2016 Presidential run is likely and she has, in many polls, been seen as the front contender for the Democratic nomination. It is likely that she is avoiding straightforward answers as a way to protect this nomination and decrease her potential liability as a candidate, though nothing seems to stop the Clinton Machine.
Only time will tell whether or not the Former Secretary and Senator will be impacted by her role in Benghazi, but, it should. If a US consulate requests aid and is not given it, the answer of why should be expounded upon quite readily. These are individuals doing work that is important to national security and need to be treated with the utmost respect and protection. The fact that we failed these individuals, including Ambassador Stevens, is a slight to American Foreign Policy and must be met head on with a demand for answers, no matter how they may impact future elections.
In the glory days of the 1980s and 1990s rock and roll hair band era, Guns ‘N Roses blazed a trail of musical genius and behavioral debauchery matched by few and survived by even less. The exploits of Axl Rose, Slash, and Company made for endless tabloid fodder at each and every destination on a series of world tours.
In November of 1991, it was announced that GnR guitarist Izzy Stradlin had “left the band”. While conflicting accounts exist as to the reasons behind this exodus, the event did cause noted American philosopher Dennis Miller to wonder what exactly a guy had to do to get kicked out of Guns ‘N Roses. (WARNING – the Miller standup routine is not safe for work, children, or those of the fragile eardrum persuasion.)
I was reminded of Izzy’s exodus when I read of the numerous accounts of Russian intelligence services (KGB, GRU, etc) repeatedly contacting their CIA and FBI counterparts to warn them of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s status as a potentially radicalized Islamic terrorist.
One of the most prevalent arguments about what was missed in the build-up to 9/11 was the stark realization that the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the United States government failed to “connect the dots” required to get a picture of a potential attack before it happened. Promises were made to close this gap. The Chinese wall between the CIA and FBI was allegedly torn down in order to facilitate information sharing amongst sister agencies. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
So, we have Russians telling us Tsarnaev is a bad dude worthy of watching. Here’s my question: how bad of a reputation does a guy have to earn in order for the Russian intelligence services to deem him worthy of passing on to the CIA/FBI? I’m not an expert in internal Russian conflicts, but I can hazard a guess that Tsarnaev was a problem child in Russia too.
It would be different if this was the first time the US had missed a warning about a specific individual who subsequently carried out a terrorist attack on American soil. Anyone remember Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab? Oh, yeah. His father dimed him out to the US Embassy in Abuja about one month before he lit his shorts on fire in an attempt to bring down a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas Eve 2009.
To be ignorant of a threat because of a lack of knowledge is excusable. To be ignorant of that same threat despite a wealth of indications and warnings cannot be excused under any circumstances. To paraphrase an adage from the Revolutionary War, “Learn Or Die”.
There’s No Flip-Flopping in Politics
In an interview this week with the Fox Business Network, Republican Senator and CPAC straw poll winner Rand Paul of Kentucky left many of his supporters shaking their heads in confusion with a single statement. With words uttered in an off the cuff interview, Paul also provided those on the left a bit jubilant over a perceived flip-flop of position. Paul asserted, when asked about the immediacy of a threat in relation to drone usage that, “I never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or policeman kills him.” The poster child for the effort to push for recognition of civil liberties over drone usage and a critic of the Obama Administration’s position on these weapons of war and surveillance, this change seemed completely out of character and disappointing to many.
Paul himself has spent most of the subsequent post-interview hours working to negate the impact of his statements. He has continued to assert that his position has not changed and that his comments were misunderstood rather than an actual representation of his mindset and beliefs on the usage of drones (a common and go-to phrase for those politicians and public figures back tracking). Rand Paul reiterated his filibuster tested drones position in several statements, both from his own mouth and through spokespeople. He argued that in normal crime circumstances, a drone should never be used on controlling crime. Rather, the only time such a device should be initiated is when there is large, imminent, and serious national security threat.
Senator Paul, like his father, Ron Paul has become an almost niche market political icon in the Republican Party and a man perceived as a strong adherer to the U.S. Constitution. His aforementioned thirteen hour filibuster on the issue of drone usage by the Obama Administration developed into a virtual poster child for younger conservatives and some libertarians alike. It is no surprise, then, that this same group was a bit disturbed and deflated by his change in position.
No one will fully understand whether or not Senator Rand Paul simply misspoke regarding his position or changed a solid foundation of his political relevance, as no one’s true beliefs can be ascertained from the statements that they make. Yet, for many, this is another example of a political figure that promised a different kind of hope and change of the Republican variety to disappoint a grown constituency. Further, it is a testament to the media’s impact on politics and technology’s influence on the perception of our leaders. In an instant, Paul released a sound byte that will most likely haunt him for years and races to come. Nothing can be taken back in this highly technology driven world, and a reputation can be built or decimated in a short time span, right or wrong. Only time will tell how much of a detriment this statement will be to any political efforts, but chances are this is not the last we hear of it.
What do you think about Senator Rand Paul, drones, and the overall tone of the debate? Do you think his statement was a misstep or a tested political belief?
This picture literally cries out for a caption contest.
The issue of abortion is a contentious one and virtually everyone who has come across the issue, even at a base level, has an opinion. Regardless of whether you are a strong pro-choicer or an avid pro-lifer, Republican or Democrat, the recent case of Dr. Gosnell out of Philadelphia should astound, frustrate, and shock you. For many, however, the mention of Dr. Gosnell may not achieve an emotional relevance at all. Rather, it will leave many asking ” Doctor who?”
Dr. Kermit Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia that has been likened to a shop of horrors rather than a place for medical treatment. Women allege that Dr. Gosnell would perform induced abortions, often late in pregnancy, and deliver babies that he would then end the lives of. Women were not treated with respect or dignity, but as if they were animals. He has been accused of using improper medical techniques in both the abortion and the subsequent aftercare, if there even was any administered. Past patients suffered infertility issues, infections, and some even died from the lack of care that they received. Currently, the 72 year old doctor is being charged with murder of a woman and attempted murder, both serious charges that carry with them the extreme weight of the law.
Women, both black and white, were treated by Dr. Gosnell at his Philadelphia abortion office. They were not, however, met with the same approach. Past patients alleged that black women were ushered into a dark and dingy room where respect was at a premium. White women, in contrast, were said to be taken into an office that was substantially better, though not great. When abortions were performed, it was alleged that many of the children were born alive, moving their arms and reaching out for comfort. It was then that the Doctor and staff would heinously break necks, twist limbs, and cut spines in order to end the life of the little being.
What is appalling about this case, aside from the graphic nature, is that there has been such a lack of coverage. Both Republican leaning news outlets and those that may have a liberal agenda have both failed the American public in covering this issue. At its basis, yes, this case is about abortion and when it is right or morally wrong to end the life of a fetus, or baby, through medical means. But, at the heart, this case is about racism, the treatment of the poor, and the loss of empowerment of hundreds of women who want to Dr. Gosnell to end their pregnancy.
Cases involving abortion, or the topic itself, are definitely a moral one but the media need not assess their own position in covering the topic. It is as if there is a perpetual agenda at both Republican and Liberal news outlets that there can be no coverage on abortion without taking a side. Wrong. To not cover a case as major and vital, as well as gruesome, such as this trial is disturbing in that it highlights the weaknesses of a media that may not know how to cover without bias. Liberal outlets fear that they may be weakening their argument with a sick and twisted abortion doctor while Republican stations fear the mention of the Gosnell’s African-American ethnicity may backfire and make them appear racist rather than pro-life. The result has been a virtually silent media who choose cases like Jody Arias, the media-buzzing defendant of the week, rather than this heinous man. The case against Dr. Gosnell, then, is equally about abortion and murder, as it is about the failure once again of a well-entrenched, agenda-driven media. All who are not covering, for whatever reason, should truly be ashamed.
These suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings entered this nation and received asylum: one with permanent residency, the other with citizenship just last year. The irony of the circumstance is baffling to anyone who isn’t an utter sociopath.
This opens a big can of worms because of the latest efforts and thoughts for establishing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but will these conditions alter the way we proceed? It should.
There are many LEGAL immigrants in the United States such as students, working professionals, family members, etc. who have done everything right. They filled out the paperwork, paid their fees, some even pay taxes, and stay out of trouble. When or how did it become a good idea to put illegal aliens in front of contributing members of our nation? And this is before we even get into the financial drain they are on our government.
Back to the drawing board, but where do we start? And where do we draw the line?