Author: JanF

Evening Focus: This Week’s News and Views – August 27, 2011

This Week’s News and Views looks at news stories from the past week with added commentary and perspective. Today is T(ampa) Minus 366 in the countdown to the 2012 Republican National Convention and the ongoing saga of the GOP 2012 Presidential Nomination Contest continues. “None of the above” has now changed overwhelmingly to “Rick Perry” and despite the “efforts” of Karl Rove, Sarah Palin cannot be enticed into the fray. Even George Pataki, who no one can remember asking, decided to give up his White House non-run. Mitt Romney wants everyone to look closely at the other candidates and Jon Huntsman agrees saying “Look at me … I’m different” although “moderate Republican” may not mean what you think it means (is “less crazy” a good campaign slogan?). Other disasters were in the news this week. Reality based? The story of the economic disaster that is still being called a recovery has some good news and some bad news. Polling shows that while people generally don’t blame President Obama for the economic crisis, they do blame him for not fixing it and the-only-stimulus-bill-he-could-possibly-get-passed-in-2009 is now being called “not enough” by those who refused to do anything. Since understanding how a constitutional democracy functions is hard work, no real blame is assigned to the co-equal branch of government, although Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had harsh words mild admonishment for Congress saying...

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Campus Question – August 19, 2011

Tonight’s question, greetings, and social banter here. (More) Tonight’s Campus Question   Professor Elizabeth Warren launched an exploratory committee to look into a run in the Massachusetts Senate race in 2012 and launched the website ElizabethforMA.com. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is already fundraising against Professor Warren painting her as a carpetbagger while he is taking in over $10 million from his friends on Wall Street. What do you think Professor Warren’s exploratory committee will find?   Good evening and fist bumps! (but feel free to ::hugggg:: amongst...

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Evening Focus (Quick Take): American ‘Exceptionalism’?

The Republicans like to talk about American Exceptionalism and their policies are certainly changing our rankings in the world. (More) A recent study showed that child poverty has risen in 38 states over the past decade: Nearly 15 million children, or 20 percent of America’s juvenile population, were living in poverty in 2009, according to a child welfare study released Wednesday.[…] [T]he report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which noted that the child poverty rate grew about 18 percent over the past decade. “This is really troubling because we had made so much progress in the 1990s in reducing the percentage of children in poverty,” said Patrick McCarthy, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Essentially the recession has put us back to where we were in the early 1990s.” What happened in the last decade? A Republican president took office in 2001 and Republicans won the majority in the Senate in 2003 giving them control of both houses of Congress. Democrats regained majorities in Congress in 2007 but had to share control with a Republican President until 2009. Power rested in the hands of a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President for only 2 years of the last decade. American Exceptionalism defined: American exceptionalism refers to the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other states. Although the term does not necessarily imply superiority, many neoconservative writers...

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Campus Question – August 18, 2011

Tonight’s question, greetings, and social banter here. (More) Tonight’s Campus Question   President Obama has signalled his intent to run against the ‘Do Nothing Congress’ and is planning to submit more initiatives to Congress in order to highlight their do-nothingness. If multiplication of any number by zero is still zero, is a ‘Do Nothing Congress’ raised to the nth degree larger than one whose common denominator is trying to make President Obama a one-term president? Do not use imaginary numbers in this calculaton.   Good evening and fist bumps! (but feel free to ::hugggg:: amongst...

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Evening Focus (Quick Take): Pay per View or Cash for Clunkers?

Recently, congressional Republicans have started limiting constituent access by appearing only in venues where a fee is charged. (More) It is not surprising that Republicans do not want to meet with their constituents. After their performance during the debt ceiling votes where Americans watched in horror as the tea party wing of the Republican party decided they wanted to see what global economic chaos looked like up close (ooh, cool!), the approval rating for congress is now at an all time low in two separate polls. Just last week in North Carolina, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R) got an earful when he spouted off about the “red ink in Washington”. He was then asked by a constituent to “explain how your voting record has in any way helped the working people in this room.” (Hint: Votes on raising the debt ceiling do not create jobs). So it is not shocking that three congressmen decided that the best venue was one where people had to pay to meet with them. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) decided to limit his constituent access during the current recess to a single event with a $15 cover charge: It will cost $15 to ask Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) a question in person during the August congressional recess. The House Budget Committee chairman isn’t holding any face-to-face open-to-the-public town hall meetings during the recess, but like several...

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