Archive for May, 2008
May 31st, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
It’s almost 11am and the RBC (Rules and Bylaws Committee) would be taking a break trying to decide how to sort out the conundrum that is the Michigan and Florida delegates. Senator Clinton wants the delegates seated completely and allocated in accordance with the rules because she took majorities in both states. The problem as outlined by Martha Clark:
“How do you recognize the people who didn’t vote and how do you recognize the people that did vote and how do we at the same time maintain the integrity of the process?” said Martha Fuller Clark, a DNC Rules Committee member from New Hampshire and Obama supporter. “And there are no easy answers.”
The Clinton camp has been continuously repeating that every vote should count but many people in both States did not vote but are invested in this election, how do we count their votes? In yesterday’s post I found a comment by someone who had relatives in Florida who did not go out and vote because they knew it would not count. Senator Clinton’s logic does not simply hold up, therefore I believe that Senator Clinton will not receive her wish but neither will Senator Obama. Instead we will all be waiting for the magical solution to solve this problem, and it will certainly have to be magical in order to appease people in both sides.
The Clinton camp is also talking about the demoralization of the Democratic Party if Florida and Michigan are snubbed in some way. I think in an ordinary election year this would be true but democrats across the country realize that conservative policies do not work and have not worked for this country over the last 8 years therefore mass desertions seem highly improbable. Of course, a certain small percentage of the population will be unhappy but the majority of voters want to take a stab at liberal policies to see if the Democrats can bring change. Finally with a Democratic controlled House and a President to support them, I can only imagine sweeping changes that will be good for America.
Lastly, on a personal note; Senator Clinton would be a strong presidential candidate and would mostly likely win the upcoming general election in the traditional electoral methodology. My argument here is that the American people and Democrats want the right person to be in the White House in 2009 rather than the candidate that could win the easiest. The easy way may help many liberals in the short term but many Americans are looking for a long-term change of direction with the economy and Iraq, can Senator Clinton deliver that?
Senator Clinton is a liberal, I cannot argue that point but she has many centrists view that almost lean towards the right as demonstrated by her Iran comments:
On April 29, answering a question on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sen. Hillary Clinton warned that if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons, “we would be able to totally obliterate them.”
I want the candidate who is willing to negotiate and understands that military force is the last resort and not the first. I want the next President to be smart, well-educated and understanding of the world and the inter-play of forces that create human society. I want America’s future leader to reform American foreign policy to realize that America and its traditions must change in the wake of the new world order. In order for America to remain competitive, we need change.
May 30th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
No, this is not some excerpt from the Highlander but rather a look at some of the comments and press surrounding the Rules and Bylaws committee meeting. Public tickets to observe the meeting have already been taken according to Stacie Paxton, a spokesman for the DNC. This is going to be good and bad for the party because whoever wins, one side is going to come out angry. I feel very sorry for the members of that committee at this moment, if they side with Senator Clinton and her “bus loads” of supporters then they risk alienating the youth, African-American and college educated voters. If they side with Senator Obama, than they risk losing Senator Clinton’s valuable base of white-working class voters, older people and Latinos. What’s that old saying again? “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” I am the worst person when it comes to remembering such colorful phrases but I am sure you can all think of something appropriate to say at this moment. I wanted to look at the impending meeting from a different perspective and look at some of the comments on the published articles online. The first article is by Christi Parsons of the Baltimore Sun entitled: Clinton camp: DNC lawyers ‘incorrect’.
It seems that Obama and his supporters are lacking in principles.
It is a simple matter for Obama to agree to the fundamental bedrock American, democratic principle to count every vote and be done with the controversy.
Obama’s wanting to disenfranchise FL and MI voters who want their votes to count is no “change to believe.” That is more the modus operandi of Obama as a ruthless, slick, sly, devious Chicago politician.
Another commenter TL sums up what I have found out with regards to the voters of MI and FL (Not Everyone Voted):
I have lots of relatives in FL and quite a few did NOT go vote since they KNEW it didn’t count. By conting them at all, Clinton is DISENFRANCHISING all those that did not vote KNOWING it wouldn’t count……but this is no different then her DISENFRANCHISING 9 caucus states in her popular vote count or all those in MI in her popular vote that would of voted for Sen Obama…Her FAKE, popular vote count says NOONE in MI voted for Sen Obama LOL OK……..And she already disenfranchised all those Harlem voters….Remember the ones where not a single vote was cast for Sen Obama? in Harlem???? LOL….enough of this bogus crap. Sen Clinton is OVER and thank goodness….As a registered Independent I will be soooooooooo glad to say BYE BYE Clintons…..AND Sen Clinton you may want to start worrying about your Senate seat, I will be personally helping ANYONE that plans to run aginst YOU
Maya Ayazi writes:
Guys, your comments are proof that we need a woman in the White House. You sound like you’re playing slot machines at Las Vegas. What a headache. We’re not playing games here. We’re talking about people’s votes. Why aren’t you bashing the stupid idiots who made the candidates sign pledge cards in order to run for president. What do you call that? The difference between Hillary and the other candidates, is that she understands that you can’t deny people a vote. She never took her name off the ballot in either Florida or Michigan. Barack Obama, on the other hand, was interested in playing Bridge. That’s why he pulled his name off the ballot in Michigan, and tried to do the same thing in Florida without success. Let’s get it clear, Hillary is the person on the right side on this issue.
There were rebuttals to this argument but Senator Clinton is right that every vote should be counted but rules exist for a reason and it was Senator Clinton’s people who created them. Senator Clinton may be morally right but the primary process was never about the people, but who played the best game, clearly that has been Senator Obama. My prediction for tomorrow is that there is an even split of the remaining delegates of Florida and Michigan between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton.
May 29th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
Senator McCain recently called for Senator Obama to come to Iraq and view the actual situation with him on the ground. Of course Senator Obama cannot do that until he firmly has the Democratic Nomination in his hands but apparently there are plans in the “works” for him to visit Iraq at some point. I think there is no need to visit Iraq because we know a few undeniable facts:
- The American presence in Iraq has strengthened Al-Qaeda due to the increase of anti-American sentiment worldwide as well as in the Middle East.
- The situation in Iraq has not improved and no one has a strategy for how it could be improved on either side of the political divide.
- Beyond these two simple issues, the most pertinent fact is the number of American and civilian casualties. People whose lives were lost for no tangible reason.
American Casualties In Iraq:
Civilian Casualties In Iraq:
The facts on the ground are this Senator McCain, most of your Republican colleagues as well as the majority of the Democrats realize we need to get out. That is all Senator Obama needs to know and hopefully when he becomes President, he will refocus American troops where they are needed most.
May 28th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day in Massachusetts and the conversation went something like this (My Friend):
My dad has been out of work for over a year and elects to pay the health insurance fine because it is actually cheaper than paying for health insurance in Mass.
I was immediately skeptical of this statement but upon further research I discovered that the fine can be as high as $912 if you stay uninsured for the whole year in 2008. The problem emerges when you are looking for health insurance as a single male in Mass. with BlueCross BlueShield for decent health insurance, you would be paying $202.52 per month. Using the MA Health Connector Site, the cheapest plan I could find is for $119.50 per month.
I am a bit split on the decision for mandatory health care because apparently if people can get away with just paying the fine then the purpose of having mandatory healthcare is defeated. Overall I agree with the principle of mandatory healthcare because it ensures that everyone is covered for basic health insurance even though some of us may suffer with regards to waiting periods for certain conditions. I know this next statement sounds awfully like something from Star Trek:” but is it not better for the needs of the many to outweigh those of the few? There are nearly 47 million Americans without health insurance in a population of 301,139,947(July 2007 est.); this means that 15% of the population have no health insurance.
What really bothered me is that my friend’s dad found it cheaper to pay the fine than pay for health insurance. This proves that there is something seriously wrong with the insurance industry if people have to pay that much for something that they may never use. During the course of my research, I have found the relevant health insurance data for Ireland and France in order to compare it to the cost in Massachusetts.
Let’s use the example of myself: 25 year old male with no pre-existing conditions (non-smoker)
- If I was living in Massachusetts, according to the BlueCross BlueShield website, I would be paying $202.52 per month for fair health coverage.
- If I was living in Ireland, according to the Vivas Health web page, I would be paying €52.04 per month which translates into $81 using the current euro-dollar exchange rate as of today.
- If I was living in France, my health insurance would be covered by the state but if I still wanted additional health insurance for complete coverage, I could pay €42.15 per month which translates into $65.
You can see as Americans, we get the short end of the stick when it comes to health insurance. I know many people won’t agree with me on this and there are many negatives when you consider a socialized healthcare system. My simple argument is that it is better for everyone to have some level of health insurance than a select few to have health insurance and other people to have nothing.
1. The BlueCross BlueShield Website
2. The Vivas Health Website
3. Conversation with Frenchmen on MSN
5/28/2008 7:44:17 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo hey quick question, how much does health insurance cost in france for a single gent like yourself
5/28/2008 7:44:17 PM Ch@rlo no worries
5/28/2008 7:44:36 PM Ch@rlo well it depends
5/28/2008 7:44:44 PM Ch@rlo what do you mean by
5/28/2008 7:44:50 PM Ch@rlo health insurance
5/28/2008 7:44:53 PM Ch@rlo
5/28/2008 7:45:12 PM Ch@rlo because in france
5/28/2008 7:45:19 PM Ch@rlo you got free health care
5/28/2008 7:45:27 PM Ch@rlo you just need another small insurance
5/28/2008 7:45:35 PM Ch@rlo and mostly everything is free
5/28/2008 7:45:37 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo how much is that small insurance?
5/28/2008 7:46:08 PM Ch@rlo but in order to understand everything you have to know that we also pay taxes on our income for the free health care
5/28/2008 7:46:16 PM Ch@rlo then it means that it’s not free at all
5/28/2008 7:46:22 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo relatively free
5/28/2008 7:46:31 PM Ch@rlo abd the insurance depend of how much you earn
5/28/2008 7:46:35 PM Ch@rlo for me for example
5/28/2008 7:46:44 PM Ch@rlo I got 30 to 33k a year
5/28/2008 7:46:49 PM Ch@rlo before taxes
5/28/2008 7:47:01 PM Ch@rlo and I pay about ……
5/28/2008 7:47:14 PM Ch@rlo let me have a look
5/28/2008 7:47:18 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo thanks man
5/28/2008 7:47:24 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo I am writing an article on health insurance
5/28/2008 7:47:27 PM Ch@rlo I go to get my payslip
5/28/2008 7:47:37 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo going to compared american to ireland and and france
5/28/2008 7:48:07 PM Ch@rlo ok….
5/28/2008 7:48:09 PM Ch@rlo then
5/28/2008 7:48:15 PM Ch@rlo let’s rock dude
5/28/2008 7:48:28 PM Ch@rlo for a single man who earn 29k per year
5/28/2008 7:48:42 PM Ch@rlo (because 4 k are extra)
5/28/2008 7:48:56 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo ok
5/28/2008 7:49:38 PM Ch@rlo I pay 42.15 euro a month
5/28/2008 7:49:44 PM Ch@rlo and my boss the same for me
5/28/2008 7:49:49 PM Ch@rlo about the small insirance
5/28/2008 7:49:52 PM Ch@rlo insurance
5/28/2008 7:49:56 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo nice
5/28/2008 7:50:00 PM Ch@rlo and for the taxes related to the health care
5/28/2008 7:50:07 PM Ch@rlo it’s about…..
5/28/2008 7:50:53 PM Ch@rlo 18.96 euros from me and 285.54 euros from my boss
5/28/2008 7:51:01 PM Crian - research Ch@rlo man I wish I was french now
*”Crian - research” is me, “Ch@rlo” is the French person in question, this was pasted from MSN’s messenger history so apologies for the format.
May 27th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics, Book Reviews |
I finished The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter a few days ago and was quite surprised at the amount of negative facts an author can include about the presumptive Republican candidate in 150 pages. The book is pretty short and took me 10 days to finish it from beginning to end. I expected more of the same in terms of content; similar to what Suzanne Goldenberg wrote in Madam President, but I was pleasantly surprised. Cliff Schecter has done what most authors tend not to do, get right to the point from page two:
If it is not political calculation on McCain’s part to tell the evangelicals what they want to hear, then what is it?
When I read at night, I often have some sticky notes close by so that I can mark important passages in the book. Initially I started off marking about the first fifty pages before I realized that Mr.Schecter has managed to include every negative substantive fact about Senator McCain in this book. Senator McCain has denied the contents of the book because Mr. Schecter mentions using anonymous sources at several places in the book however in an interview with BuzzFlash he mentions Senator McCain’s reaction to the book:
He did, and he denied it. And I guess that’s the point I’m making is that he denied the charge [of assaulting Renzi], and that’s been proven. Because he said that I had anonymous sources and I was making it up. But now, of course, he’s had to admit that it did happen, and try to say, well, it happened, but it didn’t happen exactly the way I said. But that’s the newest line out of the McCain camp.
I enjoyed this book for the most part but chose to read it over an official autobiography of John McCain because as a liberal I don’t know how much republican rhetoric I can stand to read before I go to bed at night. I enjoyed the book because it was clearly well researched but it got quite boring towards the end because the endless negativity (not in a bad way). It is a definite must read for any liberals or independents who are debating on whether to vote for John McCain.
The overall conclusion I drew from this book based on the facts presented is that Senator McCain is the typical personification of a politician. He says what he needs to say to please the crowds and the people who support him. It is impossible to know what he truly stands for because of his changing nature but I believe this kind of politician cannot exist in the 21st century but we will have to wait to see whether the general election proves this statement. If I were talking a rating out of 10, I would give The Real McCain 6 out of 10 for being enlightening but far too negative for a book of only 150 pages.