Archives for April 2013

Race for the Virginia Governor’s Office: Choices

Many of us pay attention to national elections and our local political races. It’s often a challenge to get people to pay attention to elections that don’t have impact them directly. One political race, however, is receiving widespread attention: the Virginia governor’s race.

The recent fundraising e-mail sent by the Democratic Governors Association is a reminder of the stakes :

Friends,BREAKING: A new Roanoke College poll on the Virginia governor’s race shows radical Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli beating our Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe, 34-29.[Read more]

Sandy’s Anniversary: More homelessness to come?

Six months ago, Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast. As Sandy’s forceful winds blew and lifted waves in its path, entire neighbourhoods were torn apart as homes and lives blew away.

Since then, we’ve seen the best of government: New York and New Jersey’s respective governors, Andrew Cuomo (D) and Chris Christie (R) working hand in hand with President Obama to survey the damage, form assessments and get the wheels turning to expedite aid to displaces families.… [Read more]

Washington Stitches

One has to have a sense of humor to be President of the United States. We saw with Tricky Dick Nixon how anger becomes paranoia, and “All The President’s Men” turned  into a gaggle of bumbling cat burglars out of the Marx Brothers or the Three Stooges. Has-been conservative firebrand G. Gordon Liddy probably has an understandable aversion to dining off metal trays from his inmate years.… [Read more]

Wrap-up: Being President – a job that requires a large funny bone

Did you miss last night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner?

White House Correspondents Dinner: President and Mrs. Obama with Conan O’Brien

In terms of a little background, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) is an group of journalists who cover the U.S. President and the White House. According to WHCA, the organisation was founded in 1914 by journalists in response to a rumour that a Congressional committee would select which journalists could attend press conferences of President Woodrow Wilson.… [Read more]

Review: North Carolina’s senators on background checks

I’m from North Carolina, home of state legislators who want to legislate a state religion, declare Islam a terrorist organization, require drug tests for some public benefits, and other craziness such as the U.S. Constitution not counting here in the Old North State. So, in an effort to get away from name-calling (NC state republicans deserve it), I’m going to write about how our two senators voted on the Manchin/Toomey background check measure.… [Read more]

Money

Money is on the mind today. Perhaps it’s because we’re moving beyond the trauma caused by filing our annual tax returns a couple of weeks ago, or maybe it’s because we heard the money-related news about how Congress moved to end the sequester only in an area which directly affects them; they quickly passed a bill to end Federal Aviation Administration furloughs right before they fled Washington to go on recess.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Can George W. Bush rehabilitate himself?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

I’ve been busy trying to keep my family alive and in a house for so long, I’ve forgotten why everyone hates George W. Bush!  Except, you know, those swell people he knew and changed laws and regulations for, so that they could make so much money that I almost don’t even recognize us as members of the same species any more.… [Read more]

Lobbying Part II: Where’d the money go?

K Street—the lobbying capital of our country. If you want something done, no matter what it is, you’ll be able to find someone on K street to lobby Congress on your behalf. But, is this a benefit to our political system?

It depends. If you’re a senior citizen, you probably belong to the AARP and like it that the AARP lobbies on issues concerning senior citizens.… [Read more]

Terror in Tiny Town

The human rights maestro

You can always count on Canada to provide black comedic relief when it comes to how terrorist threats ought to be blunted. We – unerringly – take an American legislative excess and give that delightful, north of the 49th insouciance to make it our own. Remember ‘extraordinary rendition’ in the wake of 9/11, a dark Rumsfledian Star Chamber vision administered by charming Syrian prison officials?… [Read more]

CISPA Update: Senate v. House

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed in the US House of Representatives by a vote of 288 – 127. As a refresher in government 101, the bill would have had to pass the Senate and get President Obama’s signature before it could become a law. To update, in a nutshell the case is closed.… [Read more]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau still in limbo

Remember back in January of this year when President Obama had to renominate Richard Cordray to the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau position? The same CFPB that many hoped now Senator Elizabeth Warren would lead as a champion for the middle class but she was effectively derailed by Republican senators before she had an opportunity to get started.… [Read more]

Spinning Hate: The New KKK

On April 24, 1867, the Ku Klux Klan held its first national meeting in a bid to organize and build structure among their many disparate often groups. In 2013, one hundred forty six years later, the klan still exists.

On Wednesday I spent the entire evening surfing through Ku Klux Klan affiliated websites. I read their literature, watched videos, and scanned through a ton of pictures.  … [Read more]

Deadline for commenting on genetically engineered ‘Frankenfish’: April 26

Many scientific advancements benefit society; there’s no doubt about that. Some issues, however, fall into that fuzzy area of ‘is it progress or will it do harm even if the intentions are good?’ One of those issues is modification of the food supply at its very core: on the genetic level.

Very soon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may approve commercial sales of the first genetically engineered (GE) food animal; GE salmon may soon be sold at a grocery store near you.… [Read more]

Part I-The business of lobbying

Whether we like it or not, lobbying is part of our government. If it’s an issue that we like (education?) or one we don’t care too much about (taxes?), the fact remains that there is probably a lobbyist working on the issue. But, how big and pervasive is the business of lobbying? I know it’s a stupid question, but I get to ask it anyway because this is my post.… [Read more]

Keep talking, Rand Paul…We’re Listening

Rand Paul (R-KY) wants to be President of the United States. He also wants African-Americans to believe that he is not a bigot. During his recent outreach visit to Howard University he  relayed to the students of the elite, predominantly African-American institution that he has never been against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and that he does not have a bigoted bone in his body or a racist feeling in his heart.… [Read more]

Animal Rights: Saving Andalusians

Known throughout their centuries-long history as the Horse of Kings the Andalusian was prized for their kind, intelligent and courageous nature. They were war horses, tools of diplomacy and trusted companions of novice riders. Today they are the most elegant of dressagers. Now they are also known as dinner.

In the economic boom years of Spain breeders increased their herds as demand for this elegant horse skyrocketed.… [Read more]

Going Postal

Don’t worry, ‘Merca. You’ll still get your mail on Saturdays. For now, anyway.

About a month ago I turned on my local news like I always do while I made dinner for my family. They were reporting on the controversy over whether or not the United States Postal Service would end Saturday delivery to save money.… [Read more]

Intelligence and the Pursuit of Justice

In the aftermath of the recent Boston Marathon bombing, Republicans now complain  why we “ignored” warnings from Russian intelligence about the alleged culprits. How times change. Just as the Reagan Administration cozied up with the Taliban as “freedom fighters” as long as they were killing Russians, offshoots such as al Queda went from “partisans” to pariahs when the sponsored attack dogs started biting the hands that fed them.… [Read more]

Our Constitution and Treaties (yes, even U.N. treaties)

This item on Sulia.com piqued my interest because it was so misleading. Actually it aggravated me a great deal. People who should know and understand our Constitution and laws write or broadcast erroneous information that other people then accept as the truth without attempting to verify the accuracy of what they read or heard. This is wrong, so wrong!… [Read more]

Campaign Launched to Help Victim of Injustice in Michigan

Overstepping the values of good judgment and turning a deaf ear to public outcry, a Monroe County court in Michigan in December 2012 killed four boxers labeled “vicious” by the local animal control. The dogs were let out by strangers who opened the door to the house while the owner, Tim Iocoangeli, was away. The dogs, defensive over newborn pups in their home, bit a teenage girl who was reportedly trespassing on the property of the owner.… [Read more]