Sunday, November 30, 2008

Retailers singing the "blues" on Black Friday

The nation's retailers offer deep discounts during the holiday season in hopes that shoppers will come out in full force to salvage a dismal year of sales in a struggling economy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The case against the automotive bailout

The CEOs of the top three U.S. automakers (Ford, General Motors [GM] and Chrysler) recently met in Washington DC before lawmakers to lobby for an industry bailout plan that would cost an estimated $25 billion. Their claim is that a failing automotive industry spells disaster for the U.S. economy, which will eventually have a ripple effect in the global markets. President-elect Obama supports the bailout plan and believes immediate action should be taken to prevent a major meltdown of the U.S. economy......but I have an opposing point of view on this.

OK, let's cut to the chase. First, it was $700 billion to bailout the corporate hot shots that were (and still are) gambling our savings and 401(k) money away in the Wall Street casino. Now, the millionaire, Cessna jet-flying automotive CEOs want a piece of the pie. When Michael Moore predicted back in about 1990 that GM could go "belly-up" within approximately 20 years, his predictions were viewed as blasphemous and "unpatriotic", but as we now see, he was right on the mark. Moore was recently on CNN - Larry King Live blaming the automotive industry crisis on inefficiencies, greed and overall disregard for consumer choice and concern. He said they should not get one red cent of this bailout money and I totally agree.

The automakers had an opportunity in the past to produce a more fuel-efficient line of vehicles, but chose not to pursue this product line in favor of mass producing gas-guzzling pick-up trucks and SUVs. Not surprisingly, soon after this, the cost of fuel at the pump began to creep up and eventually skyrocket recently reaching a national average of over $4.00 a gallon. Makes me wonder if the automakers and big oil companies were in cahoots, but that is merely speculation. When you add on top of this years of fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement, you end up with the big mess we are currently facing.

Bottom line: whose fault is this? The automakers themselves; not the U.S. labor workers who watched their jobs get shipped overseas in favor of cheaper labor which resulted in a lower quality product and not the consumers who were force-fed certain vehicle product. But, it's the U.S. taxpayers who would foot the bill of this massive bailout plan of the automotive industry. Now does this sound fair? I'll let you be the judge.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The "Rush" to Judgment

Some members of the media are putting undue pressure on President-elect Barack Obama; blaming him for events he cannot control and questioning his selections for his administration.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Democrats ride Obama's coattails to election

President-elect Barack Obama (D-Ill) catapulted himself to the White House with the support of a strong, well-organized ground campaign and a solid, well-versed political platform. Obama was also the beneficiary of several external factors such as a deteriorating economy and an unpopular President who continues to support an unpopular war. The American people had more confidence in Obama to fix the economy, settle the war, and bring overall unity to the country as a whole. America right now feels that the Republicans are not as committed to these objectives.

Now, as far as the rest of the Democrats elected, I believe Mr. Joe Mavretic (former NC House Speaker) summed it up best when he said, “The Democrats will ride Obama’s coattails into office.” Reason: after selecting the President, it appears many voters just voted a straight party ticket instead of taking the time to vote for each office individually. I believe this hurt some more qualified candidates like Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory who seemed better versed on the issues and ran a much better campaign than Lt. Gov. (now Governor-elect) Bev Purdue. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) had her race won and then just killed herself with that controversial “Godless Americans” ad campaign and ended up losing to now Senator-elect Kay Hagan.

Elections are very crucial to the futures of our cities, states, the country and most importantly our children. We should invest some time in researching all candidates running for public office and not just rely on what we see on the nightly news. Remember, the TV news is only going to focus on what they feel will get ratings - they will not cover everything. We need to do our homework to make sure we are putting the right individuals in office that will best address the issues of concerned citizens and will do so in a fiscally responsible manner. Merely showing party loyalty does not ensure this. One thing is certain: North Carolina and the nation will be under new management in 2009 and let’s see if we will be better off in 4 years than we are now.

Friday, November 7, 2008

McCain urges for support of President-elect; supporters boo

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) delivered a gracious, well-versed concession speech after losing to now President-elect Barack Obama Tuesday evening. McCain acknowledged the difficulties currently facing the country and pledged his support to President Obama. But, when he asked the crowd to offer their support to the new President, McCain was met with loud boos and very negative remarks. In contrast, when Obama admitted that John McCain was a formidable opponent during the entire campaign, the huge crowd in Chicago applauded to show their respect.
That brings me to my point: that crowd in Phoenix to me showed a total lack of respect to the new President-elect of the United States. They have had things their way for the past eight years and they anticipate sweeping changes that may impact their lives for what they think will be for the worse. Some of them are still playing on all the ignorant rhetoric perpetrated by the radical right-wing media (there is another eight-letter word for "rhetoric" I wanted to use but I will keep the blog as vulgar free as possible). And, of course, you have those who just don't like the idea of a non-white male President.
Without question, all this negativity from the McCain-Palin supporters is absolutely deplorable and condemnable. However, let me make this clear: Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) did not directly sow any seeds of hatred and division during this campaign. (This is where I disagree with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).) They did not create the climate that caused this manifestation of negativity and borderline racism from their supporters. I blame the radical right wing radio talk shows and biased cable TV news shows that could not find legitimate flaws in President-elect Obama's political history and chose instead to focus on his character flaws and questionable associations. Seeing so-called "Americans" react this way to the election of the first African-American man as President of the United States tells me that we have a long way to go before we totally heal the wounds of racial division in this country.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Palin becomes scapegoat for McCain loss

After taking a major electoral vote whooping during Tuesday night's election, the McCain camp looks to pass blame and identify the source of failure. Lately, it seems like all fingers are pointing to Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK).

Now, let me get this straight, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) hand picks Sarah Palin to be the Vice Presidential candidate of the ticket and the McCain camp annoints her as the trophy queen to be the savior of a struggling campaign. She injects some much needed energy into the campaign at the Repulican National Convention and is immediately elevated to rock star status (similar to Sen. Obama) drawing huge crowds at the rallies. Sounds like a winner so far.

Then came the infamous Katie Couric interview. That is when we really learned some stuff about Sarah Palin. Repeated gaffes after that raised some serious doubt in the minds of the voters, notably McCain supporters about Palin's ability to be President (in the event something should happen to a 72+ year-old McCain). Despite all the trickery and reported voter machine problems, Obama supporters showed up in force at the polls and in a virtual landslide elected the first African-American President in U.S. history.

Here is my message to the McCain camp: The McCain-Palin ticket goes down in defeat and you wanna blame Palin for your incompetencies and inability to run an effective campaign? Are you just mad that you didn't win and didn't get your way this time? How is it that Sen. now President-elect Obama was able to raise more than two times the money for his campaign? Why don't you guys just go find Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the rest of the right-wing extremists and all of you can have yourselves a big old pity party. Leave Gov. Palin out of this. I don't blame her for lashing out at the media, the McCain camp and even members of her own camp for these outlandish allegations. She is poised to come back in 2012 and become a formidable Presidential candidate after getting some more much needed "executive experience".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama becomes first African-American U.S. President; Murtha re-elected

President elect Barack Obama just put the beat down on Sen. John McCain in the electoral vote count on Tuesday and can now start measuring the drapes for the White House. Soon-to-be former President George Bush can start calling the U-Haul truck, pack up all his stuff and start making his way back to the ranch in Texas. Looks like we're gonna have fried chicken, collard greens and blackeye peas at the Presidential Inaugural dinner. The American people have spoken up for change and actually made their voices heard at the polls. Demographics that traditionally have not had very good voter turnout showed up in record numbers and put Obama in the White House. Let us soak all this in and cherish the moment and pray that our country can get back on the right track. Congratulations to President elect Barack Obama!

Now, here is something else I was really excited about Tuesday night. In another article below in this blog, I mention Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and his controversial remarks made about western PA residents being "racist and redneck". CNN gave an objective report in this video:

Of course, radical right wing media outlets like FOX News jumped all over this implying this could give John McCain an advantage. See video below:

So, how dare Rep. Murtha call his constituents "racists and rednecks"! They are not really like that.....are they? Well, you make the call by watching this video of a McCain-Palin rally in Johnstown PA:

Now, after watching all this you would have thought old man Murtha would have gotten the boot, right? Well, the voters have spoken and Rep. John Murtha has been re-elected to represent the 12th Congressional District in Pennsylvania. This voting logic affirms that the residents in this area are indeed "racist and redneck" and proud of it! Congratulations to Rep. John Murtha!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Voting machine problems and trickery resurfacing

You would think after all the problems with hanging chads and the problems incurred with electronic voting machines in the past, the election this year would go much smoother. However, once again, various problems with voting machines are being reported in several states. See the following CNN articles for complete details:

On top of the potential issues posed by electronic machine issues, there are several reports of trick robo (phone) calls going out like ones telling likely Democratic voters that due to long lines predicted on Tuesday, November 4, that Democrats are to vote on Wednesday, November 5. There is a flyer circulating in Virginia and people in Missouri are receiving text messages making the same claims. Of course, these statements are absolutely false but cannot be traced to any particular campaign committee source. To clarify, if you decide to vote on November 4, you must already be registered and you must be in line to vote before the polls are scheduled to close in your area. If you owe child support or have outstanding parking tickets, you will NOT be arrested when you go to vote. Even if you or someone you know is a convicted felon, you may still be eligible to vote. Check the laws in your local area.

If you notice any voting irregularities or problems, please report them to your local Board of Elections. But, by all means, PLEASE GO OUT AND VOTE!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Electoral vote count closer than being reported

If you believe the polls being reported by the media, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) has a commanding lead over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the race for the White House. One source I have been using to track the electoral vote count is on this website: 538 electoral votes available; 270 needed to win. As of October 27, they show the count as Obama 375; McCain 157, almost a landslide. This is why Sen. McCain claims that Sen. Obama is "measuring the drapes" for the White House although Obama has made no such claim of apparent victory and warns voters not to get complacent urging them to get to the polls.

Now, according to my unscientific method and analysis, there are several factors in play that I predict will make this race to 270 much closer than the experts think. Let's briefly look at the history of some key battleground states. In 2000, you had the recount debacle in Florida with the "hanging chads", misreporting of data, and the premature end to the recount by partisan forces resulting in a victory for George Bush by about 325 votes (out of almost 6,000,000 votes cast). In 2004, talk of a slew of voter irregularities plagued the Ohio vote which caused delays as well, although nowhere near as bad as Florida in 2000.

This year, both Florida and Ohio will once again be pivotal to watch. However, I believe this year the state to watch that will determine who wins the White House will be Pennsylvania. Historically, Pennsylvania along with many other states in the Northeast favors Democrats. But, there have been some interesting developments in Pennsylvania in the past few months that could make a difference in the outcome. First, take Sen. Obama's comments about blue-collar individuals in Pennsylvania communities that "get bitter and cling to their guns and religion" in hard times. Second, the recent comments made by Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) that residents in Western PA are "racist and redneck" gave the radical right-wing media fuel to ignite a firestorm of discussion amongst these communities in Pennsylvania that in my mind have been racist, redneck and gun-clinging since day one. In other words, these people wouldn't vote for a black president no matter who is on the ticket - Democrat or Republican, which gives validity to Rep. Murtha's comments and somewhat diffuses the argument made by the right-wing extremists.

Now, let's break down the battleground states and see which areas favor which candidates. In Pennsylvania, McCain should do well in most of the state except for the city of Pittsburgh and in the Philadelphia city and surburbs (Montgomery and Bucks County) where Obama is the overwhelming favorite. In Ohio, Obama should do well in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland area), Franklin County (Columbus area), Lucas County (Toledo) and Montgomery County (Dayton). McCain will do well in the rural areas, but the key area to watch will be Hamilton County (Cincinnati area). In Florida, Obama should carry Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Leon County (Tallahassee) with McCain carrying the areas more populated by retirees.
Current early voting trends indicate record turnout for this election with the majority of new voters registered as Democrats. The experts predict this favors Sen. Obama and he should have no problem winning the election on November 4. However, with the potential of the "Bradley effect" coming into play as well as several other factors such as voter suppression and voter discouragment due to long lines at the polls, this election is far from over and has the potential to be another nail biter that could drag through the night.
PLEASE make your voices heard and make your vote matter this historic election year!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rep. John Murtha calls Western PA residents "racist and redneck"

It is a travesty how the radical right wing media has totally spun the comments of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) out of context. The truth of the matter is there is very much still a racist and redneck mentality amongst residents of Central and Western Pennsylvania. I went to Penn State University and have witnessed first-hand the racism and prejudice that exists in the region. I totally understood what he meant when he made those comments.

The fact of the matter is those right wing radicals do not want to admit that it is the truth because it is not "politically correct" to do so; but it does seem to be OK to attack a political figure who refers to "Americans" as "racist or redneck". (I thought it was OK to be a "redneck"?) Where's Jeff Foxworthy when you need him? Besides, HE (Murtha) is the representative of the people there and live in the area. Wouldn't he know best what the general mentality is of the people there? Even Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) has been quoted saying that his state’s white electorate was not prepared to vote for a black presidential candidate. The smear tactics of the right wing extremists are just mind-boggling!

I totally support Rep. Murtha, applaud of him for his honesty and wish him well in his bid for re-election!

All points of view are welcome and encouraged on all my blogs. Thanks for your comments!

Sean Hannity Whines About Obama "Attacks"

This is for fans (or haters) of FOX News: Why is Sean Hannity such a cry baby accusing Sen. Obama (D-Ill) of attacking him? Well, gee, if someone was talking about me being associated with an "Anti-American" pastor and a known admitted terrorist every night for 7 months, I think I might have something to say about that myself. That guy has some nerve! Somebody help Sean Hannity change his diaper and tell him to stop whining so much! And what is with these cupcake interviews with Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK)? Sean Hannity has his hand so far up her skirt it is ridiculous.

Anyway, all this anti-Obama rhetoric can be summed up best by my good friend Rush Limbaugh: "It's all about race." Enough said! Please go vote!

All points of view are welcome and encouraged on all my blogs. Thanks for your comments!