Every four years, the two major political parties choose their nominees for President of the United States. The Republican and Democrat standard-bearers, like the political parties themselves, then represent the opposing sides of the political divide between conservatism and liberalism — or so we are told. In truth, though the major-party standard-bearers certainly appeal to different constituencies, the substance of what they would do as President is much more similar than their rhetoric suggests.
For too many years, regardless of whether the occupant in the White House is a Republican or Democrat, the President has generally pursued a course of more socialism at home and more interventionism abroad. Consider the TARP bailout of the big financial institutions: GOP Senator John McCain and Democrat Senator Barack Obama both voted for the TARP legislation prior to the 2008 election — an election that supposedly pitted an opponent of redistributing the wealth (remember how McCain embraced “Joe the Plumber”?) against an advocate of socialism. Despite the rhetoric, if McCain were elected President in 2008, he could have been expected to continue supporting socialist bailouts, just like the last GOP President, George W. Bush, did.
After much networking, private fundraising, and even some preliminary campaign staffing, Texas Governor Rick Perry finally tossed his Stetson into the GOP 2012 presidential ring. Now conscientious voters around the nation will want to examine his record.
Beginning his political career as a Democrat, Perry was elected a State Representative in 1984, garnering favor with some liberal Texas lawmakers, and serving as Al Gore’s Texas campaign chair in 1988. Becoming a Republican in 1989, he served as Texas Agriculture Commissioner until elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998; he then moved into the Governor’s mansion in 2000 when George W. Bush resigned to become President. Many conservative Texans, however, know that although Perry has consistently positioned himself as a conservative, his public record reveals considerable inconsistencies. For instance, in the 2008 election, he first endorsed pro-abortion and pro-homosexual “marriage” Rudy Giuliani for President, before endorsing John McCain when Giuliani withdrew — though in terms of substance McCain’s positions on key issues varied little from those of Barack Obama.
As if the AFL-CIO does not have enough political clout, it has announced its initiative to launch a super Political Action Committee in order to raise money. According to The Blaze, the effort is “part of the federation’s goal to build a year-round political organizing structure instead of ramping up and down based on election cycles.”
The initiative was discussed earlier this month at an AFL-CIO executive council meeting. The proposal is still subject to approval, and will be open for discussion for the next few weeks.
Supporters tout a number of benefits, especially the impact such a committee could have on struggles over state legislation, where unions have been particularly entrenched in recent months.
For example, unions invested millions of dollars this year into the Wisconsin recall elections, which challenged those state legislators who voted in favor of legislation that minimized collective bargaining for public employees. The AFL-CIO alone contributed $5 million to the effort.
At a meeting in Toronto earlier this month, the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association (ABA) voted to urge Congress to reject all legislative attempts to alter the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and its grant of “citizenship birthrights.”
Given that over half of the 535 members of the Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) are attorneys, the opinion of the ABA is persuasive. Add to that statistic the fact that the organization, founded in 1878, has for decades set the standards for the practice of law to which all attorneys must “voluntarily” conform and its ability to influence legislation and legislators in compounded.
The particular resolution (one of many passed at the confab) is number 303 and reads as follows:
Dear Tea Partier,
These are indeed exciting times. Not much more than two-and-a-half years ago, the movement to which you have given life was nonexistent. Since its birth, you have succeeded in arresting the attention of the entire country while acquiring a well deserved reputation for being the most formidable grassroots entity in contemporary politics. At this juncture, at any rate, everyone — Republicans and Democrats; conservatives, libertarians, and “liberals”; “independents” and “moderates”; rightists and leftists — knows that you are a force with which they will have to reckon.
In the summer of 2009, you bombarded the establishment with shock and awe with your “town hall meetings” and massive demonstrations. Considering the ecstatic reception with which Barack Obama’s substantial victory over John McCain was greeted by over half of America, no one, least of all the president and his fellow partisans in congress, could have had any inkling that they would have to contend with such relentless opposition to his gargantuan socialistic schemes.
Chances are it has already played at a theater near you, though you may not have noticed. The Undefeated, the Sarah Plain bio-pic, has not been a box office success, grossing only $175,000, according to "Washington Whispers," a political column in U.S. News and World Report. A few dozen have seen it in Iowa, a state Palin has visited a lot lately, just to sort of, you know, reconnect with the grassroots in America's heartland. But the documentary could still be useful as means of introducing the former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate to voters if, as appears likely, she has decided to run for President. On the other hand, if there are any Americans still unaware of Sarah Palin, they are probably living without electricity or portable radios in areas so rural and remote that the mail can't reach them with the videos anyway.
After all this time and all her media exposure, pundits are still reading the tea leaves and perhaps even studying the entrails of owls in trying to determine the political intentions of the inscrutable Palin. She is like the woman in a once ubiquitous TV ad for a product called Lady Clairol. "Does she or doesn't she?" the narrator asked a few dozen times each day, inviting viewers to guess whether the lovely hue and texture of the lady's hair was the gift of Mother Nature or Lady Clairol. "Only her hairdresser knows for sure."
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is most distinguishable, on the debate stage alongside fellow GOP contenders, for his opposition to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya. Texas Congressman advocates the withdraw of U.S. troops from not only Afghanistan and Iraq, but also elsewhere in the world, such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
Rep. Paul has also distinguished himself from other candidates in his consistent statements and beliefs. Unlike most other candidates, he has not flip-flopped — saying now what he has been saying for decades.
Once considered as one of 12 potential leaders of the conservative movement after the age of Reagan, according to the March 1983 issue of Conservative Digest magazine, Ron Paul is now regarded as the Godfather of the Tea Party movement. Still, despite his popularity on the right, and among libertarians, independents, as well as disenfranchised Democrats, Paul is attacked by many due to his foreign policy stance.
Taxpayers in Chicago must cough up at least $30 million and the Chicago Fire Department must hire 111 blacks pursuant to a lawsuit the city lost on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleged that the city’s written firefighting test was unfair and resulted in discrimination against blacks because whites scored much higher than blacks, the result being that few blacks landed jobs with the department.
The decision could mean a pile of cash for some 6,000 applicants who took the test but didn’t make the fire department’s standard, which was to hire only “well qualified” applicants.
According to NBC Chicago,
A court order, finalized on Wednesday, instructs the Chicago Fire Department to add 111 black firefighters by March 2012.
The order, presented by U.S. District Court Judge Joan Gotschall, stems from a civil rights case that has made its way through trial and federal court. The lawsuit alleged that the Chicago Fire Department used discriminatory practices in its evaluation of scores for a 1995 entrance exam.
While the debate over the raising, lowering, or demolishing the debt ceiling is new(ish), the fact that the federal government’s financial house is in disorder is a situation that has existed for over a century. The last few Presidents (of both parties), in collusion with an all too compliant Congress (regardless of which party was in the majority), have spent money on a scheme of government expansion that would drive any nation into the abyss of fiscal desolation in which America now finds itself.
For example, Democrats, whether in the White House or on Capitol Hill, zealously protect their core bloc of voters by throwing themselves in front of any legislative attack on any of the myriad entitlement programs that assure their electoral success and support.
Republicans, on the other hand, are equally vigilant in their watch over the corporate welfare that lines the pockets of their big oil, big bank, military industrial complex-connected cronies. Some of this money, they rightly assume, will find its way into their own campaign coffer, thus perpetuating the cycle of deceit and destruction.