August 15th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
Senator McCain has been hemorrhaging republicans of late with a few GOP members actively supporting Senator Obama:
The group, called Republicans for Obama, is led by two moderate Republicans — James Leach, a former U.S. representative from Iowa, and Lincoln Chafee, a former U.S. senator from Rhode Island — along with Rita Hauser, a prominent fund-raiser for President George W. Bush.
This is no surprise to some politicians and conservatives who have experienced the complexities of Senator McCain’s flip floppishness in the past. You might ask what of PUMA? They are allegedly millions strong who will vote for Senator McCain if Senator Obama is nominated however thanks to the excellent investigative journalism at the DailyKos we find out the truth:
The truth? The overwhelming and unstoppable PUMA coalition that Bowers and other selected-not-elected leaders have repeatedly claimed numbers in the 2-2.5 million members range could only get together sixty people for the “conference” and, because they didn’t meet the 250 registrant requirement imposed by the Wardman, they had to move the conference to … get this … the Country Inn next to Dulles Airport in Sterling, VA. Is it any wonder they got way secretive and polished up their double agent decoder rings before this monumental event? Their “conference,” which was scheduled to be held at a picture-perfect symbolic location in the heart of our nation’s capital (the press woulda loved it!), had to be moved due to poor attendance numbers to a crappy, middle-of-nowhere airport hotel located approximately 30 miles away from D.C. proper.
This little excerpt does not do the whole article justice but do head over there if you have been worried about the PUMA’s like I have been. Now that I am less worried about Senator Obama’s problems with a minority of the Democratic Base, what about Senator McCain, how is he going to convince conservatives that he is really conservative? Yesterday I wrote about the USA Today game in which you could match your opinions with the respective candidates however the key thing to note is that Senator Obama and Senator McCain have similar policies on 3 issues.
- Same-Sex Marriage
- Global Warming
It could be argued that Senator McCain effectively leans progressive on the issues of Global Warming and Immigration upsetting a lot of conservatives. I am not going to make that argument given the time constraints tonight but it can be said without hesitation that these stances reflect the big pool of independents in the general election. If Senator McCain can win these independents decisively then he just might take the election though the likelihood of that happening is slim at best. Rachel Maddow has the politicians take on ditching McCain:
July 27th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics, Book Reviews |
I finally finished Eric Alterman’s Why We’re Liberals on Friday and I am sure some of my readers will be surprised that I have done two book reviews in two days. I often keep a normal book next to my bed side for reading at night but during the day when I am heading into Dublin, I often listen to audiobooks of some kind on my cellphone or PSP. Today’s book review is going to be different because I have not read a single page of this book, instead I have listened to the 10 Cd’s and roughly 230 mp3 files that comprise this audiobook. Initially I will admit the book starts of in a very lack luster manner which made me lose interest immediately however after forcing myself to finish the first CD, I actually started to enjoy the book.
The book is read by Malcom Hillgartner who is a fairly popular narrator from my quick amazon search. He speaks clearly and concisely without speaking too fast as some narrator’s tend to do in other audiobook’s. Mr. Alterman is an academic and this book is written in a style you might expect to read in a post-graduate thesis. There are lots of references to sources, which makes for a very factual read but at the same time given the “heavy” nature of the subject matter, can lead the average reader to become quite bored. However upon listening to the second CD, the structure and style of the book starts to shift into place so that the listening becomes much easier and more entertaining.
If I had to sum this book up into once sentence, I would say the author’s main focus is to debunk some of the popular myths about liberalism. Beyond this focus, the author does manage to discuss how conservative logic has failed America in recent situations over the last decade:
…Echoing William Kristol, Richard Perle suggested that the U.S invasion had the potential to transform the thinking of people around the world about the potential for democracy. Even in Arab countries where people have been disparaging of their potential, the cynicism of the administrations policy was revealed in the summer of 2005 when investigative reporter Seymour Hirsch exposed the right-wingers plot after all their rhetoric about democracy to subvert the Iraqi elections. A Pentagon consultant who deals with the senior military leadership, acknowledged that the American authorities in Iraq did an “operation” to influence the election…
My intent when listening to this book was to discover more about the concept of liberalism however upon finishing the book, many of my questions were unanswered. This book is mainly for liberals who want to discover why conservatives are wrong and conservatives who want to discover the arguments behind liberal attitudes. It is an excellent book once I got passed the first CD, I would not hesitate to give it an 8 out of 10. It can be purchased from Amazon.com on Audio Download for $18.35.
June 28th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics, Book Reviews |
I first decided to purchase this book when I heard about its imminent release on crooksandliars.com however there is a distinct shortage of books focusing on the political situation in America in Ireland. That is not too hard to explain given that there are only 4.4 million people in Ireland and it is simply logic to only sell the books that people want. Needless to say I was forced to order this from amazon.co.uk for about 15 pounds which is close to $30. I know that sounds a bit pricey to pay for a hardcover but I believe that books are slightly more expensive in Europe.
The title of the book is “Right Is Wrong” written by Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, I don’t think many people have not heard about her but she runs the biggest online newspaper in America. The Huffington Post is the bane of many Republicans but the best place to read liberal news if you are a liberal like myself. The book has received mixed reviews on amazon.com with 9 people giving it a 5 star rating, 1 person giving it a 4 star rating and the other 6 people giving it below 3 stars.
The book is 331 pages in length divided into 15 chapters and took me just over a month to read. It is well researched with the occasional generalization that is blatantly obvious but helps drive the point home. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any liberal or independent who is debating about which party to support in the general election. The author touches on some valuable points with regards to immigration and healthcare with the last chapter focusing on Senator McCain.
Some of you may immediately think that this is another Republican/GOP bashing book but a startling fact that I found out while reading this book is that Mrs. Huffington is a former Republican and has actually travelled on the straight talk express. She knows John McCain and would actually have supported him if he had not “lost his soul” as she claims while courting the radical right. If you support John McCain, I would encourage you to purchase this book just for the last chapter where she compares the old John McCain to the new one and I have to say I would have supported the old Senator McCain after reading that chapter.
That being said, the new Senator McCain is not what America needs but I believe I have hammered this point home in earlier posts. The book is filled with valuable content so it is hard to choose one favorite passage but here is the best of the best:
The Right is wrong on immigration because they favor continued tough talk over policy reform. One suspects that a hidden reason the Right is wrong on immigration is their need for a scapegoat to divert attention from their massive failures in domestic and foreign policy. There’s a simple way to transform all these jobs American’s don’t want to do into jobs Americans would love to do: raise the wages for them. At a certain price, anyone would clean a toilet.
Out of all the politically inclined books I have reviewed on this site so far, this is by far the longest and the best. It is not everyone’s cup of tea but I would still give it an 8 out of 10 for excellent content but not 100% factually correct on some issues.
June 14th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics |
I do feel a little bad(seriously) for Senator McCain recently, because with inflation on the rise while wage increases remain minimal, he is feeling the heat with regards to wanting to extend the bush tax cuts. The problem as suggested by the Democrats and liberals like myself is that these tax cuts benefit the rich but do nothing for the largest portion of Americans a.k.a the middle class. Senator McCain is ignoring this issue and is beating the same old national security “drum” in the hopes that the American people will fall for it again however General Clark explains how very little relevant experience Senator McCain actually has:
June 14th, 2008 -- Posted in American Politics, Irish Politics |
The Renewable Energy and Job Creation act of 2008 was recently rejected in the Senate this week with 50 yeas and 44 nays. The vote embodies the typical democrat and republican divide with republicans wanting to preserve the benefits of business while democrats want to redistribute those benefits to the people through the form of taxation. The nays were exclusively Republican while there were 3 Republican Senators who voted yes. What are the Republicans fighting for? Do companies provide tangible benefits through the tax breaks and incentives they receive? The U.S does not have the lowest tax rate in the world yet 5 of the world’s biggest 10 companies are based here.
The very word ‘incentive’ implies that it is optional; a company is not required to execute an operation upon the receipt of the incentive therefore the logical conclusion leads me to believe that the Republican segment of the Senate is out of touch with the average citizen. This is where “change” arrives; politics has always run as described in the first paragraph but how about introducing legislation that taxes positively? Why can the Republicans not realize that giving company’s free reign is not good while Democrats realize that redistributing income is just going to make companies move to the Moon.
People assume that the reason a company chooses a location is because of the lowest tax rate however that may be a large factor, there are also smaller factors like the labor pool, environment, education system, political system etc… A low tax rate does not guarantee economic success as demonstrated by Ireland whose GDP dropped by 2.9% from 2007 to 2008. There is also the problem of many American companies moving production off shore yet unsurprisingly, the Republicans are going to wait for the Democrats to create incentives for companies to keep jobs in America:
At issue is the U.S. tax code’s treatment of profits earned by foreign subsidiaries of American corporations. Profits earned in the United States are subject to the 35% corporate tax. But multinational corporations can defer paying U.S. taxes on their overseas profits until they return them to the USA - transfers that often don’t happen for years. General Electric, for example, has $62 billion in “undistributed earnings” parked offshore, according to recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Drug giant Pfizer boasts $60 billion. ExxonMobil has $56 billion.
The U.S currently taxes companies on profits earned in-country and overseas which provides significant income for the treasury. My suggestion (slightly different to the bill) is that we should raise the tax rates at home for companies with over $1 Billion dollars in assets located overseas encouraging companies to shift these assets to the United States to keep their tax liability low. Taxation can be a positive aspect in any economy as long as it is utilized as a gentle push rather than a shove. The Republican Senate prefers we not push at all which has only increased the number of corporate scandals in the last 8 years while big companies continue to expand their operations overseas at the expense of the American market.
I recently found this video on YouTube when I was searching for stories related to Corporate Tax Breaks, I found the presenter quite entertaining given the seriousness of this issue: