Thursday, August 30, 2012

Associated Press: Andrew Taylor: 'Fact Checking Representative Paul Ryan's RNC Speech'

Source:Associated Press- U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (Republican, Wisconsin) 2012 Republican Party nominee for Vice President.

"Laying out the first plans for his party's presidential ticket, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took some factual shortcuts Wednesday night when he attacked President Barack Obama's policies." 

I think Representative Ryan's 2012 RNC speech highlights the need to distinguish the differences between a news briefing or news report and a partisan meat lovers convention speech. 

When you give a news report or you are briefing public officials about key situations that they have to make key decisions about, to paraphrase Sergeant Joe Friday: just the facts, ma'm or sir. Maybe a little analysis about what should be done about the facts and evidence at hand, but you are there to report on whatever new information and facts are now available. 

When you give a partisan meat lovers speech, especially at a convention, you are there to hit the other side and to get the audience to like you. I wouldn't say facts don't matter or be dammed, but you are there to hit the other side and to make yourself look good in comparison, if you can. And that means not just stretching the truth, but saying things that simply aren't true or be disingenuous. Which is what Paul Ryan did at the Republican National Convention.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Associated Press: 'Today in History for August 29th'

Source:Associated Press- Today in History.

"Hurricane Katrina blows ashore in southeast Louisiana." 

This post is just another example of what it's like to blog on a slow news day. The seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in American history, that turned a somewhat big city New Orleans which before this storm was a city of around 450K people, in an area of around 1.5M people, into a smaller mid-size city of 150K people almost overnight. Because the Federal Government, Louisiana and New Orleans, were caught completely off guard by this storm, didn't understand the aftermath of it and what this storm could do, caught completely off guard by it. 

Houston, a large city of 2M people in an area of 5M people or so, became a much larger city almost overnight. Because hundreds of thousands of people were left with no place to go and live, even ending up having to stay on the floor of the Louisiana Superdome, a football stadium/convention center.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Associated Press: 'Today in History for August 28th'


Source:Associated Press- Today in history.

"Highlights of this day in history:  Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech; Clashes mar the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; Black teen Emmett Till abducted and killed; Prince Charles and Princess Diana granted a divorce." 

Today marks the 49th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech. The speech where Dr. King laid out exactly what the vision of civil rights is. Sort of  like when a President lays out for Congress and the rest of the country what he intends to get done that year. But if anything the I Have a Dream Speech was so much more powerful and Dr. King was able to communicate this message to so many other people. 

A million people physically showed up to this speech at the Washington Mall and this is a speech that's remembered forty-nine-years later and if anything more powerful today than it was in 1963, because the vision of civil rights movement is still this speech: 

"I have a dream that one day my children will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin". The ultimate color-blind speech, that all Americans should be judged as individuals, not as colors or members of races.

Dr. King laid it all out there for over a hundred-million Americans, now at best maybe half of the country agreed with him at the time. Not even everyone in the African-American Community agreed, but there it was the vision of what Dr. King was trying to accomplish. 

Dr. King laid out the vision of what he was trying to accomplish with this speech and he was telling his supporters ,as well as President Kennedy and Congress: "This what we are trying to accomplish, that all Americans are entitled to live in the United States in freedom. Not just the special few, that all Americans have constitutional rights, that deserve to be enforced, not just the special few. 

Dr. King was saying that racist Southerners shouldn't be allowed to deny African-Americans, or anyone else their constitutional rights based on color or race. This is what this speech was about. Someone that the Millennial's should be listening to and studying, that I believe a lot of my generation already gets and why things like interracial and inter-ethnic dating, is now mainstream. 

As far as the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois: if you want to know what reality tv really looks like and not what TV producers try to create with supposedly ordinary people and a look into their daily lives, look at the 1968 DNC, because that it was chaos. It had all the violence and cursing, and people going crazy, as any supposed reality TV show, except that it was spontaneous and happening in real time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

America Experience: The President's- Jimmy Carter

Source:American Experience- Jimmy Carter.

Source:The Daily Press

"Jimmy Carter's story is one of the greatest dramas in American politics. In 1980, he was overwhelmingly voted out of office in a humiliating defeat. Over the subsequent two decades, he became one of the most admired statesmen and humanitarians in America and the world. Through interviews with the people who know him best, Jimmy Carter traces his rapid ascent in politics, dramatic fall from grace and unexpected resurrection, including Carter family home movies and a rare film sequence of Carter's final hours in the Oval Office, when he and his advisors waited in vain for the release of the Americans who had been held hostage in Tehran for 444 days.

Carter was the first president to confront the challenge of militant Islam, then embodied by the Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Iranian revolution. Carter was also the first president to embark on what would prove to be the excruciating road to peace in the Middle East. But in the end, his presidency was undone by his failure to secure the hostages' release and by a plummeting economy. Yet the memories of his presidency — gas lines, inflation, recession, the Iran hostage crisis, an ineffectual and fractured administration, and the so-called national malaise — would be eclipsed, finally, by his post-presidential successes as a peacemaker in the world's most troubled areas, and his emergence as a champion for the poor in his own country." 

"American Experience: Jimmy Carter. Airs Tuesday, June 25th at 8pm on PBS 6." 

Source:Arizona Public Media- American Experience Jimmy Carter.
From Arizona Public Media 

Had it not have been for 1974 and the Watergate scandal, Jimmy Carter doesn’t get elected President of the United States, at least in 1976. He probably runs for reelection for Governor of Georgia in 1974 and probably gets reelected and waits for 1980. And looks at his options then. Jimmy Carter, basically was in a time that was perfect for someone like him, after Watergate and President Nixon resigning in 1974. Americans were looking for decent honest person to lead the country.

Gerry Ford was, a good, honest man, but American voters were also looking for an outsider and a new voice that was not from Washington. Not a cabinet official, or someone in Congress, but a breath of fresh air, someone who wasn’t an elitist and someone who spoke their mind and could take the country on a different course. And perhaps end the gridlock in Washington and to a certain extent. That’s what President Carter brought to Washington. He was able to pass a lot of legislation out of Congress.

Yes, President Carter, had a Democratic Congress with large majorities, including a 3-5 majority in the Senate his first two years. But he was also able to get a lot of Congressional Republicans to vote for his legislation, because he worked with the Republican Leadership in the House and Senate. He probably actually had more Republican allies in Congress, than Democratic allies. He had problems with Congressional Democrats. The Democratic Party in Congress (especially in the House) was not the Democratic Party that John F. Kennedy had in the early 1960s. 

National Democrats were moving way to the left and looking more for a George McGovern Democrat, than a Center-Left Democrat (which is what Jimmy Carter was) to lead them. Which made it difficult for President Carter to work with his own party in and outside of Washington. 

Former Senate Republican Leader Robert Dole (Republican, Kansas) said that Jimmy Carter was the smartest President that he ever served with. Senator Dole was in Congress during the entire Carter Presidency and served as Ranking Member of the Finance Committee during that time, but the reason why Senator Dole became Chairman of the Finance Committee in 1981, is because Ronald Reagan defeated President Carter and Republicans win back the Senate in 1980. 

Jimmy Carter had a great feel for policy and issues and was very intelligent, but he didn't have much a political touch and vision to take the country in. He was better suited running a cabinet department, than leading an entire administration and country in a certain direction.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lifetime: Jessica Savitch- Intimate Portrait: The Queen of Nightly News

Source:Pearl Guthrie- Intimate Portrait Jessica Savitch.

Source:The Daily Press

"This show about Jessica Savitch [1947-1983] aired in 1995. 

Almost Golden_ The Jessica Savitch Story Almost Golden_ The Jessica Savitch Story Almost Golden_ The Jessica Savitch Story. 

Jessica Savitch goes on a tirade. Don't know if she's totally in the wrong though, after all the anchor is the one that ends up looking silly, even if its everyone . 

Here's a mostly complete NBC News Digest with Jessica Savitch. This is notable for being one of her last appearances on television before her untimely and . 

By request: Jessica Savitch's three appearances on Late Night: 1. February 22, 1982: for three segments. 2. August 11, 1982: for one segment (sorry about the...

"Jessica Savitch accomplished her goal of becoming a network anchor by the age of 30, but at tremendous personal cost. A long-term abusive relationship, a brief, loveless first marriage, and a melodramatic second marriage that ended in her husband's suicide are some of the traumas with which she dealt. Meanwhile, she skyrocketed through the ranks of broadcast journalism when women were practically nonexistent in the field. This 45-minute video, augmented by interviews with Savitch's sister, biographer, and several coworkers and by much broadcast footage, makes the argument that Savitch's troubles began long before the start of her landmark career. As Savitch's drug use spun out of control, so did her career, culminating in the famously disastrous footage (included here) that led to her firing from NBC. Her accidental death shortly after ended her unrelentingly tragic trajectory. The contrast of Savitch's broadcasts with early black-and-white home movies makes for a hauntingly visual telling of this pioneer's story." 

Source:Amazon- Intimate Portrait Jessica Savitch.

From Amazon

This is from the cover photo of the Lifetime Intimate Portrait documentary about former NBC News anchor Jessica Savitch. But the video that this photo is from is not currently available online.

Source:Lifetime Network- Intimate Portrait Jessica Savitch.

Jessica Savitch before she tragically died in 1983, was the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News. Only behind Tom Brokaw at NBC News as far as their anchors and when she died was considered the most trusted news anchor in America. Essentially replacing Walter Cronkite with that title. 

Jessica was both gorgeous and adorable, but very intelligent and worked very hard at her craft. A true news junky, which is what you almost have to be to be a successful news anchor, as well as a political junky. All traits I love as someone who shares these same traits and she picked up these traits very early on in life, as being the daughter of a news and political junky her father, who she was very close with.

I wasn't born until 1975 so almost everything I've seen from her have been old news footage of her, actually a lot of it on YouTube. And she became a star in network news by the late 1970s, a very turbulent time in America with an energy shortage, a weak economy, with high interest, inflation and unemployment rates, the Jonestown tragedy in 1978, the Iran Hostage Crisis, America seeming to be in decline by the summer of 1979 and Jessica Savitch was covering all of these stories.

Jessica Savitch was ahead of her time, because she made it to the top, or very close to it by the late 1970s. When network news was still dominated by men and when women were still coming up in this business and had she not died in 1983 tragically, maybe she's the lead anchor of one of the network newscasts for 15-20 years. Like Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, or Dan Rather. She was too big and too good to the weekend anchor indefinitely and could've gone a lot further, if she just had the time to do it. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Hill: 'The Hill’s 50 Wealthiest Lawmakers'

Source:The Hill Newspaper- left to right: U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, U.S. Senator John Kerry, and U.S. Representative Darryl Issa.

"Republicans dominate The Hill’s annual rankings of the 50 wealthiest lawmakers for the second year in a row, with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) retaining the crown as the richest member of Congress.

This year’s wealthy list tilts decisively once again toward the right side of the aisle, with 31 of the 50 richest coming from the GOP. Thirty-one of the lawmakers on the list are from the House, with the remaining 19 coming from the Senate.

{mosads}Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), at No. 37, is the only GOP leader to make the top 50. The Republican Party’s fastest-rising star, GOP vice-presidential candidate and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, comes nowhere near making the list, having a net worth of at least $2.2 million, a modest sum among members of Congress.

McCaul reported a minimum net worth of $290.5 million for 2011, a more than $3 million jump from 2010 that kept him nearly $100 million ahead of his nearest challenger, Democratic Sen. John Kerry (Mass.).

The Texas Republican’s wealth stems from several family trusts. His father-in-law, Lowry Mays, is the founder of the radio broadcasting giant Clear Channel Communications.

Kerry, the runner-up, reported a net worth of at least $198.8 million for 2011, much of it coming from wife Teresa Heinz Kerry’s ties to the Heinz Ketchup fortune. The senator is the richest Democrat in Congress by a sizable margin, and topped The Hill’s Wealthiest lists in 2009 and 2010 before being dethroned by McCaul last year.

The Massachusetts senator reclaimed the No. 2 spot on this year’s list from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who saw his minimum net worth fall by almost $80 million. Issa, a powerful House chairman who made his fortune in car security systems, had at least $140.6 million in 2011, placing him third on The Hill’s list.

Issa listed four liabilities on his financial disclosure form, including $75 million in loans that he reported paying off in early 2011. Every liability that is reported on a lawmaker’s yearly disclosure report is counted against his or her wealth under The Hill’s methodology.

This is the first time The Hill has published its rankings in the midst of a presidential election year. The race between Republican Mitt Romney and President Obama has been dominated by a debate over wealth and how it should be taxed, with Obama calling for higher taxes on the wealthy.

The Hill reviewed lawmakers’ 2011 calendar year financial disclosure forms to develop the rankings. Lawmakers do not have to report exact figures for their assets and liabilities on the forms, instead providing the values in ranges.

To calculate the wealth of each lawmaker, The Hill uses the low figure in the value range for each asset and liability. The liabilities are subtracted from the assets to reach a minimum net worth.

Some lawmakers chose to provide exact figures for their holdings, often by attaching bank statements to their disclosure forms. In those cases, The Hill used exact figures when possible to calculate a lawmaker’s wealth. 

A new wrinkle for this year’s Wealthiest list was that lawmakers had to disclose mortgages on their personal residences for the first time. That was required by the STOCK Act, in response to the Countrywide scandal in which lawmakers and congressional aides received preferential treatment on their mortgages.

This year’s list includes a few newcomers.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine) clocked in at No. 12 after coming nowhere near the top 50 in 2010. Her net worth skyrocketed from at least $500,000 to $31.8 million last year after her marriage to hedge-fund manager Donald Sussman.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), meanwhile, returned to the list at No. 22 with a minimum net worth of $14.5 million. His spouse’s holding in the famed Strand Book Store in New York City jumped from a minimum value of $1 million to being worth at least $5 million. His wife, Nancy Bass Wyden, helps run the store.

Other lawmakers posted impressive gains.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) solidified his status among the very wealthiest lawmakers with a net worth of at least $80.1 million in 2011 — a spike of almost $25 million from 2010. The former Connecticut state attorney general stayed in the top 10, coming in at No. 6.

One of Blumenthal’s Senate colleagues, Mark Warner (D-Va.), also had a good run last year. His wealth increased by more than $9 million to $85.9 million, placing him fourth on the list.

Some lawmakers didn’t fare as well, and reported substantial losses.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who was cleared in July by the House Ethics Committee of misleading Congress about his finances, slipped out of the top 10 after reporting a drop of more than $5 million in his net worth. The congressman’s $36.5 fortune ranks him 11th, just behind freshman Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), who was worth at least $36.7 million in 2011. 

Due to the limitations of the forms, it’s likely that some lawmakers are far richer than The Hill’s list indicates.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), as owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is certainly one of the richest members of Congress. But his status as a NBA basketball team owner only counts for $50 million under the value ranges given on financial disclosure forms. Fortune magazine estimates the team is worth nearly $270 million.

Coupled with some substantial liabilities, Kohl ends up having a minimum net worth of $10.1 million for 2011, placing him at No. 32 on the list.

Rachel Leven, Julie Ershadi, David Kaner, Lydia Nuzum, Gunnar Sidak and Jennifer Smola contributed to this report.

Update: This story was corrected on Friday, Aug. 24 to show that Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has a minimum net worth of $72.2 million. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this story." 

From The Hill

The Hill: Alexandra Jaffe: 'Todd Akin Vows to Stay in Race As GOP Amps Up Pressure On Him'

Source:The Hill Newspaper- reporter Alexandra Jaffe.

"Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) vowed to stay in Missouri’s Senate race on Tuesday as a number of former Missouri senators, led by Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, called on him to exit.

But Akin told conservative talk radio host Mike Huckabee he’s staying in the race.

“We are going to continue with this race for the U.S. Senate,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

{mosads}But Blunt and former Missouri Sens. John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent — all prominent names in the state — released a statement Tuesday calling on Akin to withdraw.

“We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race. The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside,” they said in the statement.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a strongly-worded statement after Akin’s radio interview, encouraging him to step aside.

“It should not be lost on anyone that some of the only voices not calling for Congressman Akin to do the right thing and step aside are Claire McCaskill and the leaders of the pro-abortion movement.  Senator McCaskill knows that the only way she wins re-election is if Todd Akin is her opponent in November,” NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said in a statement.  “We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake — if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC.”

Adding to the pressure on Akin, late Tuesday afternoon presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney released a statement calling on the lawmaker to drop out.

““As I said yesterday, Todd Akin’s comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country.  Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race,” Romney said.

Calls for Akin’s removal from the race have escalated since comments he made on Sunday, that pregnancies from “legitimate rape” are rare because the female body has biological mechanisms to prevent such an outcome, caught fire across the nation, causing a number of prominent GOP lawmakers and candidates to distance themselves from his remarks.

GOP leadership has expressed concern that Akin could cost them one of their most likely pickups in November and, consequently, the majority in the Senate. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who said Tuesday she wanted Akin to remain as her opponent, was considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators but Akin’s comments changed that perception.

Akin’s campaign made a nearly $150,000 ad buy on Tuesday for an advertisement in which he apologizes for his remark, and has repeatedly said he will not drop out of the race.

He has until 5 p.m. to drop out of the race without further cost to his campaign." 

From The Hill

Monday, August 20, 2012

CBS News: '1968, A Year That Changed America'

Source:CBS News- from a CBS News documentary about the year 1968.

Source:The Daily Press

“1968 A Year that Changed America with Harry Reasoner. A look back on the year 1968, produced by CBS News in 1978.”

From Bob Parker 

“Time Magazine January 11 1988 1968 The Year That Shaped a Generation ”

Source:TIME Magazine- cover about the year 1968.
From Amazon 

I think one thing that separates America and makes us stronger than anyone else is that we can go through a year like 1968 and get through it and survive it and still remain one country. Unlike other countries that tend to go through such division between the people and their government and overall establishment of the country in one year and you see them come apart. With the government falling and perhaps even leading to some type of civil war. Egypt comes to mind pretty fast and what is going on in Syria and Venezuela right now are other good examples.

Having said all of that, it’s hard to find anything good about 1968 other than maybe the music and the fact that we started to get along better as far as race relations. Where racism and other types of bigotry started to really go out of style. And bigots were left to hide their bigotry or pay serious prices for it. But other than that 1968 was one big disaster after another. A year full of violence with murders and assassinations, the President of the United States deciding not to even bother running for reelection because there were so many people who literally hated him in both parties.

And that is just about the domestic scene in America, but then you go to the Vietnam War itself with Americans finally figuring out that we are not just losing the war, but it is probably lost. And we started seeing all of those dead American soldiers coming home from it.

I guess one good thing about 1968 is that Americans finally woke up and figured out that their government not only doesn’t always tell the truth, but they even lie to their people. The Johnson Administration saying that they were making progress in Vietnam when they knew the opposite was true and that Communist Vietnam was getting stronger.

1968 represents the 1960s as well as it could possibly be. A year of revolution, protest, violence, people coming together from multiple races to be part of the same movement. Where millions of Americans became free to be themselves and no long feel like they had to live a certain way of life in order to fit in or even be good people.

1968 was a shakeup of the entire United States and perhaps was something that the country needed. Even with all the violence and the lost of lives in that decade so Americans would know about the problems in the country, but also what could be done about them. And what also makes us great as a country which is our freedom and diversity. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

David Von Pein: 'The Zapruder Film is Shown on Goodnight America With Geraldo Rivera- MARCH 6, 1975'

Source:David Von Pein- Geraldo Rivera, host of Goodnight America, in 1975.

Source:The Daily Press 

"Assassination of John F. Kennedy, mortal shooting of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, as he rode in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. His accused killer was Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who had embraced Marxism and defected for a time to the Soviet Union. Oswald never stood trial for murder, because, while being transferred after having been taken into custody, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, a distraught Dallas nightclub owner." 

From Britannica 

"This is a segment from Geraldo Rivera's late-night ABC-TV talk show "Good Night America", where Abraham Zapruder's famous home movie depicting President John F. Kennedy's assassination in graphic detail is shown to an American audience for the very first time. Robert Groden is one of Rivera's guests... 

From David Von Pein

I don't believe there is any question who assassinated President John F. Kennedy. That man is obviously Lee Harvey Oswald. He had the access, the motive, the ability, his gun was the gun that killed President Kennedy, his fingerprints were on the gun. If he ever made it to trial he would have had to pleaded guilty to have any shot in hell (where he's currently residing) to have any shot in hell of avoiding the death penalty. 

That is not the question as far as who actually killed President Kennedy. And for anyone who disagrees with that, you really should treat them as if they're mental patients, or liars like Roger Stone (to use as an example) whose probably made millions from his books with his own JFK assassination conspiracy theories.

The only question for me is did anyone else put Lee Oswald up to the assassination  and then used him as their patsy. Knowing he was going to get caught and probably given the death penalty as a result, but Oswald agreed to do it anyway. 

Jack Kennedy, had a lot of enemies in Texas and Dallas perhaps especially both on the Far-Left where Oswald represented as a Marxist. But on the Far-Right for his support for civil and equal rights for African-Americans. And for his economic liberalism and wanting to use government to create new economic opportunity for people who needed it. 

Organized crime in Dallas especially the Italian Mafia, because of his administration's crackdown on organized crime. Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald had organize crime connections as well. Which just ignites the organize crime theory behind the JFK assassination.

We know, at least anyone who both has a brain and is sane at the same time (which is an accomplishment unfortunately for too many Americans) who assassinated President John Kennedy. The question was there anyone else involved or not. Was this something that was just put together by a highly intelligent and sharp man who was also deranged and a loser all in the same person. Or did he not only have help as far as actually pulling off the assassination with a second shooter and have people behind them that put the hit out and hired them to do it. 

Was Oswald the lone shooter, but was hired by others to assassinate the President. These are the questions that I at least and a lot of other intelligent sane Americans don't have the answers to yet. Which is why speculation in this case still goes on. And how the Roger Stone's of the world make their money.

Friday, August 17, 2012

History Day: 'Iran Hostage Crisis Documentary 4th in State'

Source:History Day- James E. Carter (Democrat, Georgia) President of the United States (1977-81) 
Source:The Daily Press

“The Iran Hostage Crisis: Successes and Failures of American Diplomacy
individual documentary
junior division”

From History Day 

What a crazy time for America and Iran. The Iranian people were fed up with their dictatorial authoritarian government that they had in Iran under the Shah that both the United Kingdom and United States backed for almost forty years and even installed in Iran. So what you had was a bunch of Islamic theocratic revolutionaries under Ruhollah Khomeini decided to stand up and the Shah knew he no longer had the authority to lead his country and decided to leave his country. Which left a power shortage in Iran with a new Islamic theocratic government under Supreme Leader Khomeini coming into place.

And because America had backed the Shah for so long and President Jimmy Carter saying that the Shah was such a fine leader and good man for Iran, these Iranian revolutionaries decided to take out their frustration and anger on what was left of American involvement in Iran which was our embassy there. And took about hundred American U.S. embassy employees hostage. Which is how the Iranian hostage crisis started. Which was essentially the end of Jimmy Carter as a strong leader in America, or even having the potential of being a strong leader of the United States. Because now America looked weak compared to a third-world country and was held hostage. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Associated Press: Paul Ryan: 'Bring On Medicare Debate'

Source:Associated Press- U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (Republican, Wisconsin) 2012 Republican Party nominee for Vice President.

"Republican vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan tells a crowd in Ohio that President Barack Obama is running a campaign based on frustration and anger, and that the Republicans welcome a debate on the future of Medicare. (Aug. 16)" 

From the Associated Press 

I know that the job of both the Vice President and the vice presidential nominee, is to be what then Senator Walter Mondale called in 1976 (referring to Senate Bob Dole) the hatchetman. Or the official attack dog for your boss whose either the current President running for reelection, or running to be President of the United States. But if that's what you are going to do with your time running for Vice President, you should at the very least, especially when campaigning for votes, is to at least try to sound factual. 

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (also known as ObamaCare) didn't raid 716 billion-dollars from Medicare, to pay for the ACA. What it was fully fund the Medicare Advantage plan from 2003, that Representative Ryan voted for in the House, that wasn't paid for and added 700 billion-dollars to the budget deficit and debt. But Representative Ryan (assuming he bothered to read the ACA before voting against it) already knows this. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New America Foundation: 'U.S. Representative Paul Ryan: Budget Villain or Visionary?'

Source:New America Foundation- I believe this is Noam Scheiber from New America.

"Last summer's discussions on the typically routine and mundane task of raising the nation's debt ceiling became so heated Washington nearly ground to a halt. This election cycle, taxes, the deficit, and budget cuts are still looming issues. As the United States teeters on the edge of a fiscal cliff, Congress remains at an impasse and voters are increasingly wary of the politics of the federal budget. Why can't policymakers reach a compromise? And how did this legislative tradition devolve into a vitriolic partisan sideshow?

Join New America for a conversation with policy analysts and politicos for an inside look at the federal budget impasse. Marc Goldwein, senior policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Noam Scheiber, a New America Schwartz Fellow and senior editor of The New Republic, and David Wessel, the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, will explore what Americans should know about budget politics, how we veered so far off the path of fiscal responsibility, and what the real-world impact of this highly politicized battle could look like.


David Wessel
Author, Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget
Economics Editor, The Wall Street Journal

Marc Goldwein
Senior Policy Director, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Formerly served on the Fiscal Commission and the Super Committee

Noam Scheiber
Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow, New America Foundation
Senior Editor, The New Republic; Author, The Escape Artist" 

They're talking about U.S. Representative Paul Ryan's (Republican, Wisconsin) deficit reduction and balanced budget plan and talking the Medicare reform package in his plan. 

If you are familiar with Representative Ryan, you know he's the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. If you are not familiar with Paul Ryan, that's probably because you have a life and you are not a policy and political wonk that's common in Washington. Or, because you spend too much time to staring at your phone and laptop, as well as watching reality TV and follow the celebrity and tabloid news, to care about little things like the state of the American economy and our long-term economic and budget outlooks. Only you can know the answer to this question.

I'm all in favor of free choice when it comes to Medicare, as well as health care and health insurance in general. At risk of shocking no one: I'm not some big government Socialist who thinks the national government has all the answers to every problem known to man and can solve everyone's problems for them. And that people are too stupid anyway to run their own lives themselves. But the key word in Medicare reform and health care reform in general when you are talking about choice, is choice. Shocking, I know. 

The problem with Chairman Ryan's plan is that it eliminates choice for about 70 millions seniors in this country. And depending on how you define the Baby Boom Generation, another 70 million seniors over the next 20 years or so. 

What the Ryan plan does, is it forces 10s of millions of senior citizens to dump their current Medicare coverage and get a private plan instead. Republicans, especially Conservative Republicans, are supposed to be in favor of choice, at least when it comes to the economy. But I guess not when it comes to Medicare, where they would take the option of choosing Medicare away from people who already have it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Theodore White: The Making of The President (1963)

Source:Amazon- from Theodore White.

Source:The Daily Press

“In the 1960s, writer Theodore H. White changed journalism forever by putting the campaign for the White House under a microscope. The first of his bestselling series on presidential elections, The Making of the President, 1960, earned a Pulitzer Prize and became a TV documentary that won four Emmys®, including program of the year. This collection brings together three television adaptations of White’s influential books for a full, in-depth account of presidential politics during the tumultuous 1960, 1964, and 1968 elections.

Produced by Oscar® nominee David L. Wolper (Roots), these programs feature White’s insightful scripts and rare film footage that reveal the winners and losers in unguarded, behind-the-scenes moments. All the backroom deals, convention-floor drama, and campaign strategy come alive again in three historic races: Kennedy-Nixon, Johnson-Goldwater, and Humphrey-Nixon-Wallace. From preprimary jockeying to the final vote tally, these spellbinding narratives dissect the inner workings of our democracy and trace the path to power.

Journalist and author Theodore H. White served as China bureau chief for Time and as correspondent and editor for The New Republic, The Reporter, and Colliers. He won numerous writing awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and two Emmys.”

From Amazon 

“David L. Wolper’s documentary film “THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT 1960”, narrated by Martin Gabel, gives viewers a close-up look at the inner workings of the 1960 campaign for President of the United States, a hard-fought struggle which was won (just barely) by Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy.

The film made its debut on ABC-TV on December 29, 1963, just a month after JFK’s death.

Directed by Mel Stuart, who also helmed another very fine David Wolper-produced film about President Kennedy — 1964’s “Four Days In November.” 

Source:David Von Pein- from Theodore White.

From David Von Pein

ABC News broadcasted this Theodore White documentary about the 1960 presidential campaign on the ABC Network in 1963 and then the A&E cable network re-showed this documentary in the 1990s, perhaps 1995. And I believe that's the documentary that this photo is from.

Source:A&E- I think this is from A&E. But it might be from ABC News.
The 1960 United States presidential campaign was one of the best ever, because of who ran for President. The Democratic Party nominated the best person they had in Senator John Kennedy and the Republican Party nominated the best person they had in Vice President Richard Nixon. It was literally the best vs the best. Two men that represented the now and future of their party, who were the leaders of their party. It gave American voters a clear choice in who to select to be the next President and who to be the next President early in the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

The 1960 election gave people another choice as well:Do we want to continue to do what we were doing as a country, have the Federal Government stay the course and not make any big changes, or do we want to try a different path. Senator Kennedy tried and I believe was successful in making the argument that America was stagnating not moving and advancing as fast as it could. And that Vice President Nixon represented this conservative approach of not moving real fast, staying back and seeing how things develop. Where Vice President Nixon tried to make the argument that America wasn’t ready to chart a different course.

Dick Nixon didn’t want to chart a course with a somewhat young and inexperienced Senator that had never been an executive before. Thats the choice that America had for President in 1960. What Jack Kennedy represented for the country was a true vision of where he wanted to take the country and how we would get there. Making the argument that America was sitting still in the 1950s under President Eisenhower who was somewhat conservative. And that the country wasn’t advancing fast enough. And sitting still and even falling behind.

The recession of the late 1950s helped Senator Kennedy make the case that it’s time to move again. And Dick Nixon President Eisenhower’s loyal and influential Vice President represented the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Vice President Nixon I believe didn’t do much to counter this Democratic argument or defend himself. But what he did instead was try to make this campaign about Jack Kennedy’s youth and inexperience. Even though they both came to Congress the same time in 1947 to the House and were friends there. And remained friends when Nixon became Vice President in 1953 and Kennedy was elected to the Senate the same year. And Nixon was only four years older and we’re in the same generation, both men were also Irish.

One difference between Jack Kennedy and Dick Nixon, was that Kennedy did offer the country a change of course, that would finish off what was created in the 1930s with the New Deal. But in a different way, focusing on health care, civil rights and tax cuts. Making the case the country was overtaxed.

I believe Nixon didn’t have what’s called the vision thing, at least in 1960. He developed that by 1968 when he was elected President. But 1960 for him was: “This is what’s been working, so let’s continue what we’ve done.”

Friday, August 10, 2012

ICNA Chicago: 'The Life of Malcolm X'

Source:ICNA Chicago- from a documentary about Minister Malcolm X.
“America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem.” Malcolm X

Islamic Learning Foundation* Presents:

Taught By: Imam Siraj Wahhaj

Saturday February 3rd ~ 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: Islamic Foundation 300 W. Highridge, Villa Park, IL 60181
Register: or
Registration Fee: $10 Student, $20 Adult
Includes course materials, multimedia presentations, lecture, food, interactive web forum, and articles.

Details: Covering the life of Br. El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X), with special emphasis on his last years and some of the many lessons we need to extract from his life.

S p o n s o r e d b y :
-Islamic Learning Foundation
-Young Muslims
-ICNA Chicago:

“I am and always will be a Muslim. My religion is Islam.” Malcolm X
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

*Islamic Learning Foundation is a department of ICNA and Young Muslims”

Malcolm X, represents to me many ways what the American Dream and what that is and should be. Someone who started from very rough beginnings, essentially came from nothing and worked his way up in life. And got so far, that people actually saw him as a threat, or his message of freedom and responsibility, not just for African-Americans, but for all Americans, as threats.

By the time Minister Malcolm died, he believed that people should be judged as people. Who moved towards Dr. Martin King when it came to civil rights. By the time he died, even as a young man he was in prison and at one point was even a racist who saw all Caucasians as racists or “White Devils”, and not just as people and not just the people. And not just the racists, but all Caucasians.

But once Malcolm left prison and left the Nation of Islam, he got himself educated and started hanging out with Caucasians that weren’t racist and believed in similar things. And learned better and that perhaps he could work with them so they could all accomplish the same things. That all Americans should be treated equally under law and not be held down because of their race.

I wrote a post arguing that Malcolm moved to believing in racial tolerance a few months ago. But Malcolm X’s message was about freedom and responsibility, that people shouldn’t expect to be given things, that if we wanted to achieve anything in life and be successful, that we had to go out and achieve those things and not settle for failure.

Malcolm believed that people, shouldn’t settle for poverty, or anything else. That the way to avoid these things, we’re to go out and get ourselves educated, work hard and be productive. Rather than expect government, or anyone else to hand us those things. Which is why I believe if Malcolm X were alive today, he would be a Classical Liberal Democrat or Conservative, not exactly registered to either party. But he would have that mindset, that people shouldn’t expect government, or other people to take care of themselves. But they needed to be able to do that for themselves, if they expected to be successful in life.

Had both Malcolm X and Martin King lived a natural life (meaning they didn’t die at a young age and lived into their senior years and not have been murdered, or killed, but died through natural causes) America would be a much different country and not just for African-Americans. Both of them would’ve helped a lot of people who weren’t free to live their own lives. Be able to achieve those things for themselves by preaching the message of individual freedom and personal responsibility through education. 

You can also see this post on WordPress

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on WordPress. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on Blogger.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

VOA News: Tala Hadavi: 'For Freed Inmate, Painful Memories of Life on Death Row'

Source:VOA News- Shujja Graham now a free man.

"Nearly 1300 people have been executed in the U.S. over the past 36 years.  But during that same time period, more than 130 have been exonerated, freed because of lack of evidence, or found innocent after being re-tried.  Tala Hadavi, of VOA's Persian News Network, tells us about one man who still bears the psychological scars of life on Death Row." 

From VOA News 

"Voice of America (VOA or VoA) is the state-owned international radio broadcaster of the United States of America. It is the largest[3] and oldest U.S.-funded international broadcaster.[4][5] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 48 languages[6] which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by a non-American audience.

VOA was established in 1942,[7] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103–415)[8] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[9] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[10][11]

While Voice of America is seen by some foreign listeners as having a positive impact,[12][13] others consider it to be a form of propaganda and a mouthpiece for the US government." 

From Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

VOA News: Henry Ridgewell- 'Kurdish Gains in Syria Rattle Turkey'

Source:VOA News- A little look at life in Syria today.

"Voice of America (VOA) is an American international broadcaster. It is the largest[2] and oldest U.S. funded international broadcaster.[3][4] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[5] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103–415)[6] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[7] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[8][9]

While some foreign audiences have a positive view of VOA,[10][11] others consider it to be a form of propaganda." 
"Tensions in heavily Kurdish areas of Turkey are highlighting how the nation's decades-old 'Kurdish question' remains unresolved. Turkey's prime minister says the government has given Turkey's Kurds unprecedented freedoms. VOA's Scott Bobb says most Kurds, however, say they continue to suffer discrimination and alienation." 

From Wikipedia 

"Kurds in the north of Syria say they have taken control of most of the region's major towns and cities from government forces. And as Henry Ridgwell reports, Turkey fears the twin threats of the Syrian civil conflict spilling over the frontier along with a potential escalation of its internal war against Kurdish separatists." 

Source:VOA News- the battle of Syrian Kurdistan.

From VOA News

What’s going on in let's call it Syrian Kurdistan is bad news for the Assad Regime. As Kurdish Syrians are now able to police and govern the communities there. What’s supposed to be the national government of Syria, better known as the Assad Regime, are now unable to govern parts of their own country, including a significant border area with Turkey. A large country of 70M people, as well as a democracy and a country that also has a Kurdish community. Kurdish Syrians like the Syrian rebels want their country to move past the Assad Regime and set their own course in life.

The Syrian rebels want their country back and move Syria forward. Not have to worry about being arrested because of who they are hanging out with, what they are saying, what they are reading, where they work, how they practice religion and so-forth. According to the Kurdish Turk in this video, they aren’t even looking for their own Kurdish state in Turkey, but to live in Syria in peace and in freedom. And since they are now governing this community and with the Prime Minister of Syria now defecting to the Syrian Opposition, they may soon have that opportunity.

This is all evidence that the Assad Regime is not only losing grip on this country, we already knew that. With the Syrian rebels occupying key parts of the biggest city in Syria in Aleppo. Including setting up their own hospital and prison. But that support for the Syrian rebels is not limited and that Kurdish Syrians now support this effort. As well as former members of the Assad Regime and hopefully this movement will only get stronger. For the Syrian people to be able to finally govern themselves they are going to have to be united against the Assad Regime. And work together to bring it down. 

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Associated Press: Sandy Kozel: 'Today in History for August 6th'

Source:Associated Press- African-Americans voting in the 1960s. Perhaps for the 1st time ever, since they were denied the right to vote because of their race previously.

"Highlights of this day in history:  The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II; LBJ signs the Voting Rights Act; Pope Paul VI dies; Scientist Alexander Fleming born; Funk singer Rick James dies." 

I'll take a couple of the stories one at a time and go from there. 

1065 Voting Rights Act:

The photo for this post is probably the most important, at least as it relates to the United States. Every American citizen whether they are native-born or immigrated to this country, has always had the right to vote, at least after their 18th birthday. And in African-Americans case, they've been in this country at least as long as the Europeans, simply because they were brought to America has slaves in the 16 and 17 hundreds. 

It's not like African-Americans weren't allowed to vote in America pre-1965. It's that they were denied the right to vote by Southern Neo-Confederate government's in the South, primarily. The 1965 Voting Rights Act makes it illegal for any government in this country, to deny any Americans whose at least 18, the right to vote simply because of their race, ethnicity, or gender.

President Harry Truman dropping the bomb on Japan in 1945: 

When you are at war with another country, which is what America was with Japan, after Japan attacked Hawaii in 1941, it literally becomes a you against them situation. Doesn't mean you take out innocent lives simply to do that or to win, but without the bomb, (not da bomb) that war perhaps goes on for another 2-3 years, costing America, as well as Japan, a lot more military personal, money, as well as innocent lives. Obviously a horrible call to have to make because of the damage that it did to Japan and the Japanese people. But it was the right call to make. It ended that war and Japan has been a thriving liberal democracy and developed country, almost every year since 1945.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Criterion Collection: Chris Hegedus & D. A. Pennebaker- The War Room (1993) Documentary

Source:IMDB- the cover of The War Room film.

Source:The Daily Press 

“The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House—and changed the face of politics in the process. For this thrilling, behind-closed-doors account of that campaign, renowned cinema verité filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker captured the brainstorming and bull sessions of Clinton’s crack team of consultants—especially James Carville and George Stephanopoulos, who became media stars in their own right as they injected a savvy, youthful spirit and spontaneity into the process of campaigning. Fleet-footed and entertaining, The War Room is a vivid document of a political moment whose truths (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) still ring in our ears.” 

“The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House—and changed the face of politics in the process. For this thrilling, behind-closed-doors account of that campaign, renowned cinema verité filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker captured the brainstorming and bull sessions of Clinton’s crack team of consultants—especially James Carville and George Stephanopoulos, who became media stars in their own right as they injected a savvy, youthful spirit and spontaneity into the process of campaigning. Fleet-footed and entertaining, The War Room is a vivid document of a political moment whose truths (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) still ring in our ears.”

Source:Pennbaker Hegedus- James Carville was Bill Clinton't 1992 presidential campaign manager.

From  Pennebaker Hegedus 

In 1991-92 I guess was the time that I started getting into politics to the point that I was actually following the news about it. I was 16 and a sophomore in high school and I saw a speech I believe on C-SPAN. I became a political junky pretty early in life and I was actually watching C-SPAN and saw a speech from then Governor Bill Clinton from Arkansas and he was talking about how we could make college more affordable in America, an issue we are still talking about twenty-years later.

And Governor Clinton was talking about an idea called AMERI-CORE, where people would get tax credits, or be able to go to college at no financial cost to them, if they serve their country. They work in community service, join the military, become a teacher, work in law enforcement, become a doctor etc. In other words, be able to go to college if they give back and serve their country. And this program that was enacted shortly after he became President in 1993 and he was able to inspire thousands if not millions of Americans to volunteer for their country and in return would be able to go to college. And when I heard this speech, it gave me the sense that Bill Clinton was a winner, a Democrat who could actually get elected President of the United States. 

Listening to Bill Clinton’s speech and following his presidential campaign, gave me the idea that Bill Clinton was a different Democrat. Someone whose called a New Democrat, someone who doesn’t just believe in growing the Federal Government and raising new taxes to pay for it and by doing this, that would automatically solve whatever problem the program was intended to solve. But that you had to make the Federal Government work and be able to reform or eliminate things in the Federal Government that wasn’t working. 

That Clinton’s presidential campaign was about the people not government. How do you make government work for the people, so it empowers the people who need to be empowered. Not growing government to take care of people but using it in a way so the people who need it can take care of themselves instead, which are two different concepts. Americans were looking for a change in 1992, that’s clear with a bad economy, lack of economic and gob growth. 

Americans saw President Bush as out of touch and not up to the job of turning the country around and were looking for a change. But weren’t sure they were ready to turn it over to the Democrats. People who have been stereotyped as big government tax and spenders and weren’t interested in seeing new tax hikes, but wanted to go back to work and take care of themselves. And what they got from Bill Clinton was a new Democratic voice, someone who could talk about progressivism and communicate it in a way that made it about people and not government. 

Bill Clinton had this saying that people who collected public assistance will no longer be able to get it for free in a Clinton Administration. That people on public assistance were going to be expected to use that time to prepare themselves to go to work and serve their communities. 

Bill Clinton’s political hero is Jack Kennedy, same as mind along with Bill Clinton and a few other people. And of course one of President Kennedy’s famous lines is, ask not what government can do for you, but what you can do for your country. And I believe Bill Clinton took that to heart and made that a big part of his presidential campaign and a bigger part of his presidency and it worked very well.

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