Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

So Far, It’s Liz’s To Lose

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 19, 2019

Biden Struggles To Reverse Fall

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/466515-biden-struggles-to-reverse-fall

“Biden has consistently cast himself as the candidate best positioned to defeat Trump in 2020, and electability has always been at the center of his message.”

—//—

It’s helpful to recall that Biden was the creator of the “electability” argument.

Think about it: Why would ANYONE make such an inane argument?

Such a matter or concern has never before been made.

Candidates and POTUSes have always been (and will continue to be) elected based upon their appeals to voters who think they’ll do the best job.

Vice President Joe Biden, Official Portrait 2013

To express concern for “electability” (defined as “who can beat candidate _X_?”) is to Read the rest of this entry »

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Elizabeth Warren in Three Charts

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

MA Senator Elizabeth Warren -D

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is steadily rising as the Democratic Party’s favored nominee for President.

As of October 1, 2019, aggregate polling averages from Real Clear Politics indicated that she was within 4.2 percentage points of tying with former VP Joe Biden in public approval to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for President.

Today’s aggregated average polling (10-2-19) shows that Warren has gained 1.4% points from yesterday, while Biden has slipped 1.1%.

Polling: 10-2-19

At this rate – given her candidacy’s current trajectory and trend, the current conditions, and barring unforeseen circumstances – by the end of the week, Elizabeth Warren will very likely tie with Joe Biden by the week’s end, and establish a commanding lead over Biden in popularity no later than 30 days (by the end of October 2019) early-to-mid January 2020.

Clearly, her message is increasingly, and rapidly resonating with voters.

In comparison, former Vice President Joe Biden’s ratings are largely flat-lined-to-declined, having started out at 29.0% on December 9, 2018, moved through a high of Read the rest of this entry »

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2020 Democratic Trends… and Pocahantas

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren

Who’ll get the nod?

My money is on Warren.

Why?

She identifies a problem, lays out a case, and states a solution. She’s a mom, teacher, an attorney, a law professor, and now, a politician – a small-town Oklahoma girl who made good, despite the odds against her.

She gets it.

Despite the Current White House Occupant’s attempt to slap a derisive nickname on Senator Elizabeth Warren (ironically defaming Native Americans in the process), Senator Warren has done exceedingly well.
For those unaware of American history, Pocahontas was a Algonkian indigenous American, and daughter of Chief Powhatan, a princess who fostered peace among the Jamestown, Virginia English colonists/settlers.

She may be most renown for saving Captain John Smith’s life after he was captured by her father’s men.

Later, she converted to Christianity, was baptized as Rebecca, and accepted a marriage proposal by prominent settler and tobacco farmer John Rolfe, and was wed April 5, 1614.

“The Baptism of Pocahantas,” by John Gadsby Chapman, Artist; Oil on canvas 12′ x 18′, 1839; placed 1840 Rotunda U.S. Capitol

So the history is a dignified, and marvelous story, despite the Idiot-Ignoramus in Chief’s attempt to use a good name to defame her. It only shows what kind of miserably pitiful character he is.

But, more to the point.

The Marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe

If you’ve ever read a prospectus for any financial or investment vehicle – either stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. – you’ve probably read the following disclaimer:
“Past performance is Read the rest of this entry »

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Reading Democratic Tea Leaves III

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 31, 2019

In keeping with the “Who will be the Democrats’ 2020 Presidential nominee?” theme, I present the following for your perusal.

According to the trend lines, barring any unforeseen events, Elizabeth Warren will overtake Joe Biden in average public support polling within the next couple months. And by July 13-16 – dates of the Democratic National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI – she will be within “striking distance” of becoming the presumptive nominee by being only 5 points below Biden in average polling popularity.

That is, of course, if “Sleepy” “Uncle Joe” Biden’s continued demonstration of foot-in-mouth disease, and discovery of his other troubling and long-time political faux pas and other problematic voting track records – such as being the father of the “Gun Show Loophole” by being instrumental in, and voting for the 1986 Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) which the National Rifle Association (NRA) called “the law that saved gun rights” because it rolled back numerous regulations.

The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) created the so-called “Gun Show Loophole,” rapidly accelerated popularity of gun shows, allowed firearm sales via the U.S. Mail, and the Internet, allowed “straw purchases” of firearms, over-ruled at least 33% of the hundreds of lower court rulings interpreting the Gun Control Act, and undid at least 6 Supreme Court rulings.

Joe Biden, as Ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committe was not merely a proponent of, and voted for the FOPA, he significantly helped advance it by unanimously voting it out of committee. So realistically and ultimately, he bears significant responsibility for the increase in mass shootings and gun violence in America.

“I give credit to Senator HATCH and the National Rifle Association for their willingness to compromise and develop a revised bill that would strike a fair balance between unnecessary restrictions and regulations on lawful owner-ship of rifles and handguns and the legitimate interests of law enforcement in carrying out their responsibilities. I believe the compromises that are now a part of this bill have resulted in a balanced piece of legislation that protects the rights of private gun owners while not infringing on law enforcement’s ability to deal with those who misuse guns or violate laws. During my 12% years as a Member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or Federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control. In my opinion a national register or ban of handguns would be impossible to carry out and may not result in reductions in crime. … However, on the whole, I am satisfied with the revisions to the bill made in committee, and I believe this bill makes improvements to existing law. ”
– Delaware Senator Joe Biden, July 9, 1985 in Congressional Record – Senate, p18229

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CRECB-1985-pt13/pdf/GPO-CRECB-1985-pt13-4-2.pdf

Note that when other candidates’ support declined, Warren’s increased – as seen by Read the rest of this entry »

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Democratic Tea Leaves II

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 11, 2019

In a recent entry dated August 8, 2019, entitled Reading Democratic Tea Leaves I noted one, or two very fine, somewhat minor points overlooked by most pundits.

One, that like most other Democratic nominee candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden’s support has largely stagnated – even though it has been higher than most other candidates.

Vice President Joe Biden, Official Portrait 2013

And second, only two other candidates have had any SIGNIFICANT INCREASE in their level of support (as defined by polling) since the inception of their candidacy: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Since the announcement of his candidacy as the Democratic nominee for President, former Vice President Joe Biden’s support has gone from 29.0% to 30.8%. That’s an increase of only 6.21%.

October 26, 2016; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg

In sharp contrast, “Mayor Pete” has gone from 1.0% and is now (August 10) at 6.5%, and has polled as high as 8.4% from April 20 through May 2. That’s an increase of 550% to date. If fluctuations are considered (low to high), that’s 740%.

Senator Warren, however, has gone from 5.3% and is now at 18.3% – her highest ever polling. That’s an increase, and fluctuation of 245.28%.

Senator Sanders started at Read the rest of this entry »

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Reading Democratic Tea Leaves

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Democratic candidates’ field is as great for the upcoming 2020 General Election as the Republicans’ 2016 was – and, that may, or may not be a good sign.

The 2016 GOP clown car was populated by, among others, Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Aside from them, there were 10 others who withdrew before the primaries, so say it was a crowded field, was a gross understatement.

Now, it’s the Democrats’ turn.

The 20-candidate field has not yet been winnowed, per se – at least not by prospective primary voters.

Among them, is one of the last candidates to join that field was former Vice President Joe Biden, who had the advantage of name recognition among all voters, and potential voters.

Because of his name recognition advantage, Biden’s “popularity” within the massive field has led the next closest competitors – which are Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren – sometimes by double digits.

A notable game-changing exception was made following the first Democratic debate at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, with NBC Moderators Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart on Night 2 (June 27) when California Senator Kamala Harris took former Vice President Joe Biden to task for his opposition as then-Senator from Delaware to busing to remedy and resolve the problem of segregation in California pubic schools.

Up until that time, Harris was polling 7.0%, while Biden was at 32.0%. After that night, support for Harris doubled to 15.2%, while Biden experienced a corresponding 6-point drop to 26.0%.

Since that high, Harris has continued to fall, and as of August 7 was polling at 8.3%.

Up until then, Sanders, the next-closest competitor, had fluctuated from 16.5% to 24.0% (his highest), to 14.0% (his lowest), and as of August 7, was polling at 15.8%.

Biden’s polling has been as high as Read the rest of this entry »

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The GOP Hopes That You Keep Sleeping

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

America has become like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, which has slowly, but steadily, increased in temperature to the point that it is boiled alive without realizing it.

As the story goes, if the frog were dumped into boiling water, it would immediately jump out.

But, since the water’s temperature was initially comfortable, even pleasant, and only slowly increased, the frog gradually became acclimated to it, and therefore was, in effect, desensitized to the inevitable, impending danger, and died slowly.

For the past nearly 50 years or so, and more specifically, within the last 38, America has swooned under the siren song led by the GOP, which in part started off with the not-so-oblique condemnation that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” (As Brian Gurney, a private citizen from California, noted: “You can’t govern if you don’t believe in government.” But set up a straw man, and beat it to a pulp – demonize the Constitutional effigy.) And to sweeten the deal, and help matters along, a little bit of “They’re individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life,” was thrown in for good measure (“a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” you know).

In order to facilitate that destruction, first was an appetizer of dessert – across-the-board personal income tax rates were cut 23%, which made the majority of working-class Americans and families very happy.

But then, calling them “job creators,” (veritable sacred cows which should be left alone to wander about in traffic and poop anywhere they desire) another round of personal income tax cuts came around, this time for the elites, and personal income tax rates upon the very wealthiest Americans was dramatically slashed to less than half the former rate – from 70% to 28%.

And then, there came cries and demands for liberty, and freedom from the tyranny of genuine governmental slavery in the form of, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” And truly, who could disagree? But that was quickly transformed into efforts to squelch personal liberty as healthcare decision-making in the most intimate of, and deeply personal matters involving reproduction, by providing opportunity for nosy neighbors (government) to tell others how they ought to run their lives according to the dictates of others’ religious convictions, all under the auspices of government.

Dissatisfied with that aspect of control, they sought to again meddle into the private lives of others – despite the fact that their private liberties were not encroached upon – and the sanction of committed legal relationships in the civil sector were forbidden to select individuals… just like it once was with ethnic minorities. And when in indignation they invited the SCOTUS to step in and rule (hopefully to their advantage, though contrary to their own religious writings), which ruled against their religiously-motivated (no religious test), publicly-sanctioned governmental discrimination (equal protection under law), they loudly cried ‘FOUL!’

And then, when more of their hand-picked, fair-haired children ruled against them, that rights were not absolute (D.C. v Heller), that not just anyone had a right to own, possess, or brandish any firearm, anywhere, at any time, they couldn’t stand it any more, and falsely accused the SCOTUS of partiality and of siding with their opponents whom they continuously maligned, despite the fact that they were ruled against by one of their own most staunch hard-liners.

Feeling emboldened, their most powerful, yet little-known instigator went public and said in part that, Read the rest of this entry »

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Watch Democrats Debate in Detroit

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tonight – Tuesday, 29 July – at the Fox Theater in Detroit, MI, the first night of the second round of debates among the Democratic presidential primary candidates will start at 7PM Central Standard Time, and conclude around 9:30PM CST. The debates will be held two days, 29 and 30 July, beginning the same time both nights.

The debates will air live on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español at 8 p.m. Eastern each night.

They’ll also stream live, without requiring log-in to a cable provider, on CNN.com, CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, and Android TV.

The moderators for the CNN debates will be Read the rest of this entry »

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Joe’s Gotta’ Go… Home – to Bake Cookies in Scranton

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 29, 2019

Bye bye, Biden!

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a 36-year career politician as United States Senator from Delaware, has historically been instrumental in establishing many laws which now trouble our nation, which have also proven costly economically, injudicious, racially divisive, and degrading to the moral social fabric of our nation – the family.

Senator Joe Biden (DE) as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when he helped write the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, which created the “Gun Show Loophole.”

Unbeknown (or, more accurately, forgotten) to many, he also helped create the so-called “Gun Show Loophole” – a specially-carved-out niche in Federal firearms legislation (the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act, FOPA) that allowed firearm and ammunition sales via the Internet, and forbade background investigations for firearm purchases at gun shows, which in turn not only popularized the modern gun show, but significantly contributed to mass shootings.

Perhaps he should be called “Gun Show Joe.”

–//–

Cory Booker, United States Senator from New Jersey

Senators Kamala Harris (CA) and Cory Booker (NJ) have signaled the beginning of the end for the Biden campaign by first acknowledging Biden’s historical opposition to busing, and now with Booker’s July 23rd Tweet acknowledging Biden’s support for mass incarceration, which has disproportionately harmed Blacks and Hispanics, both racial/ethnic minority communities, and exacted enormous taxpayer borne tolls – “It’s not enough to tell us what you’re going to do for our communities, show us what you’ve done for the last 40 years. You created this system. We’ll dismantle it.

Senator Kamala Harris fired the first proverbial shot across the bow of the SS Biden by mentioning that Biden, as Senator from Delaware, opposed school integration by busing.

Now, Senator Booker has proverbially lobbed a grenade – if not fired a mortar round – into the Biden camp.

Biden’s aspirations will be proverbially shot down in this Tuesday and Wednesday night’s debate, July 30, and 31 in Detroit, and the aircraft of his once-flying-high candidacy to be the Democratic party’s 2020 Presidential nominee – and by extension, as President – will go down in flames. One only wonders at what point he’ll parachute from the burning craft, in order to save his own life – which in allegorical and metaphorical context, is his reputation.

Kamala Harris, United States Senator from California

Simply put, Joe’s gotta’ go.
Go home to bake cookies in Scranton, where he belongs — NOT in the White House.
His very own track record will be his political demise.
—//—
Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris Ready For Showdown On Race In Debate
“He described Biden as an “architect of mass incarceration,” when speaking with reporters last week at the annual NAACP convention in Detroit.
“Booker was referring to Biden’s role as a champion of the controversial 1994 crime bill, which critics and some experts say led to a disproportionate number of African American men being imprisoned.

“”I’m disappointed that it’s taken Joe Biden years until he was actually running for president to actually say that he made a mistake, that there were things in that bill that were extraordinarily bad. For him not to have a more comprehensive, bold plan to deal with this is unacceptable to me, especially because he is partially responsible for the crisis that we have now.“”

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Republicans’ Wet Dream

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Abolish all “social safety net” programs along with all Progressive, New Deal, and Great Society eras’ legislation, agencies, and bureaus, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Clean Air Act of 1970, Clean Water Act of 1972, including reversing Roe v Wade, and repealing the 17th Amendment.

Return America to the “good ol’ days” of a dog-eat-dog, wild-wild-West, unmitigated, unregulated free-for-all.

Face it, many – if not most – GOPers think FDR a pariah, a veritable scion of the dread “socialism,” and LBJ as traitor to the “Lost Cause.”

The GOP is winning – hands down – the rhetoric game. And they’ve allowed it to be ratcheted up to 11 with the 45th president. And if things continue as they have been, he’ll cruise to re-election just as handily as he did before.

Most everyone in the world who has been paying even the least bit of attention, knows full well what he’s capable of saying… er, scratch that. He’s a loose cannon, and as unpredictable as a bull in a china shop, who’ll literally say anything, for any reason, at any time. Just be assured it’ll be an utter wreck by the time he leaves. And he’ll deny he ever did anything.

And the people are completely stupefied and stymied – frozen, like deer in the headlights – by the proliferation of it all. The multiplication of mass media, their advertising-funded talking heads – network, or not – are concerned exclusively with eyes on the set, and website click-bait revenue, and nothing more. It drives ratings, and increases the price they can ask for advertising.

For them, it’s all about the green.

Money.

And that’s the game the GOP plays… in part.

Fear is the other.

Simply let some GOP sycophant say something like “those illegal-alien loving, socialist Democrats are gonna’ take away your jujubees, make harvesting honeycomb illegal -and- raise your taxes!,” and POOF! Just like that, the lemmings are running off… to the voting booth, with a voter guide published by some coalition of religious fanatics who have jumped on the exploitation of victimization bandwagon and falsely claim that the “Big Bad Wolf” of Washington is going to take away their religious freedom, and force their children to be sacrificed to Molech.

But instead, they’ve only laid out their genuine imitation faux sheepskins to be fleeced by the wrong god – the one whose hair they comb every morning. Their shepherds are simply wolves in sheep’s clothing, living in multi-million dollar mansions, flying in their privately owned jets, and living the high life, all financed by the impoverished, and laid upon the broken backs of those whom they claim to heal – all while paying no taxes.

If the Democrats would simply STOP responding to every vacuous, puerile comment made by the pablum-puking infantile Idiot in Chief, and were to take command of any debate on matters of public policy, and explain to the people how they will either be harmed, or positively helped in very concrete ways, they would quickly gain the confidence of many disaffected registered voters who now sit on the sidelines stewing in silent disenfranchisement.

But the sway of stupidity, and the siren song of public opinion, drives the ever-shifting winds of change. And the sands of time fall through the hourglass just as timelessly as it has marched on for the last 50 years and more.

I can understand the immense sense of frustration which was the motivating animus that propelled Trump into the Oval office.

However, I cannot understand how so many completely Read the rest of this entry »

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Economic Fundamental

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 5, 2019

California United States Senator Kamala Harris

There is something FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG in a nation when its largest supermarket chain by revenue – which is also the second-largest general retailer and the eighteenth largest company in the nation – finds it necessary, and plans to Read the rest of this entry »

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Br’er Trump & Br’er Biden

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

If you’ve ever heard of the Uncle Remus story of B’rer Rabbit, popularized by Walt Disney’s movie Song of the South, you’ll recognize the line he utters to Br’er Fox saying, “Please Br’er Fox don’t throw me in the briar patch!”

And then, Br’er Fox, thinking he’d do significant harm to him, and even kill him, threw Br’er Rabbit in the briar patch. But Br’er Rabbit pops up unscathed and laughingly mocks Br’er Fox as he exclaims, “I’se born and bred in the briar patch!”

The current White House occupant has said “I’d rather run against, I think, Biden than anybody.”

Of course POS45 wants to campaign against “Sleepy Uncle Joe” Biden!

Why?

Just like the trickster character Br’er Rabbit, he was Read the rest of this entry »

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2019 Democratic Debate: Night 1

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 27, 2019

The clear leaders for the first night were Massachusetts United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, and New Jersey United States Senator Cory Booker.

Here’s some analysis.

Historically, Senators have been better poised to win the White House than Representatives, with 16 having become POTUS, while 18 Governors have become POTUS.

The United States Senate website writes this about Senators:
“To date, 16 senators have also served as president of the United States. Three Senators, Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.”

That’s 16/45, or 35.5%, of all POTUSes who were ever a Senator. And 3/16, or 18.75%, were elected as POTUS directly from the Senate.

The House of Representatives website states this about Representatives who later became POTUS:
“Since 1789, 19 Members of the House have served as President of the United States. Four Members — John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Gerald Ford — were never elected to the Presidency, having succeeded a President who died or resigned. Only Gerald Ford was never successfully elected as either President or Vice President, though he served in both positions.”

For the House, that’s 19/45, or 42.2% who later became POTUS. However, only 1 – James Garfield – ever went directly from the House to the White House, and that’s 1/45, or 2.2%.

Since 1901, the Read the rest of this entry »

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Biden: When I started in the Senate, I got along with racist White Supremacists.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 22, 2019

Vice President Joe Biden, Official Portrait 2013

Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate – among the 20-plus wanna’ be’s – campaigning to be the party’s 2020 Presidential nominee, has recently taken flack for his waffling, wavering, moving-target positions on women, abortion, and civil rights.

Once, he supported the Hyde Amendment.

Now, he opposes it.

Once, he got along with racist bigots.

Now… he apparently still does.

Biden’s wishy-washy, ever-changing positions are nothing new.

In an appearance Tuesday, December 6, 2016, on “The Late Show” with host Stephen Colbert, Mr. Biden said in part, that “I’m a great respecter of fate. I don’t plan on running again. But to say you know what’s going to happen in four years, I just think is – is not rational. I can’t see the circumstance in which I’d run, but what I’ve learned a long, long, long time ago, Stephen, is to never say never. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Hell, Donald Trump is going to be 74. I’ll be 77 and in better shape. Who knows?”

Now, he’s announced his candidacy to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for President.

And in 1968, then a newly-minted lawyer, having earned the Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law, for six months, Mr. Biden clerked for a Wilmington, Delaware law firm led by William Pickett, who was a prominent local Republican, and said that he “thought of myself as a Republican.”

That same year, Mr. Biden also staunchly opposed forced school busing to combat segregation, and called it “a phony issue which allows the White liberals to sit in suburbia, confident that they are not going to have to live next to Blacks.”

Most recently, Mr. Biden has come under fire for his remarks made at Read the rest of this entry »

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2020 Democratic Crystal Ball

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Biden, Bernie, Warren, Buttegieg, Harris…

Let the winnowing begin!

Much is being made about former Vice President Joe Biden’s candidacy to be the Democratic nominee for President. Pundits point to polling showing him with narrowing leads over Senators Bernie Sanders (VT-I), and Elizabeth Warren (MA), respectively, all whom have double digit support, while South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and California Senator Kamala Harris are contending runners-up, in that order, with single-digit support among those polled.

However, since Biden announced his candidacy – he was the last Democratic candidate to announce, and did so on April 25, 2019 – detractors within and without the party have noted several weaknesses of his, including his historic ham-handed touchy-feely behavior with women, his shifting position on abortion vis-à-vis the Hyde Amendment – which forbids the use of Federal funds to pay for abortion, except in cases to save the life of the woman, or in pregnancy arising from rape, and/or incest – and perhaps most ignobly, his handling as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the matter concerning Anita Hill, who testified under oath that Clarence Thomas, then a nominee for Supreme Court Justice to replace the seat being vacated by the impending retirement of Thurgood Marshall, had sexually harassed her while her supervisor as Assistant Secretary of Education in the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, and then again as the Reagan-appointed Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where he later fired her.

Critics have noted that other female witnesses, all interviewed by the FBI, were prepared to substantiate Hill’s testimony, but were not called because of a private compromise between Biden, as the Committee Chair, and Republicans, who feared their corroborating testimony would sink the 1991 George H.W. Bush nominee.

Additional criticism of Biden’s candidacy revolves around his ethnicity, and the increasing concerns that Anglo candidates – even in the Democratic party – historically have not had the best interests of racial/ethnic minority communities at heart.

Then, there’s the matter of his age – now 77 – which, if elected, would make him even older than the current White House occupant, who was aged 70 when elected. But, consider also that Bernie Sanders is one year older than Biden, and that the majority of POTUSes – 39 (86.66%) – have been aged 45 to 64, while 25 (55.55%) were aged 50 to 59.

Essentially, Biden, perhaps more so than any other Democratic candidate, represents Read the rest of this entry »

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Could “Uncle Joe” Biden become POTUS?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 16, 2019

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) official portrait

Joe Biden (D), official VP portrait

Much is being made about the impending Sanders v Biden match-up in the Democratic party for the 2020 General Election.

Detractors of the Democratic party say that Biden has a better possibility of being the party’s nominee because – as one Republican pundit wrote – “Biden, and others running for the Oval Office, are terrified that Hispanics and blacks – who reliably vote Democratic – might be swayed by rising wages or better job prospects, to vote for Trump.”

News writers, who are supposed to have (one hopes) some degree of objectivity, seem to have also fallen prey to the Biden 2020 siren song, and have written remarks like “Mr. Biden’s advantage with black voters not only helps him amass delegates ahead of the Democratic convention, but helps counter the widespread perception that he is a candidate running on a bygone appeal to the white working class.”

Recently, a Quinnipiac University Poll published May 15, 2019 found that in Pennsylvania, “former Vice President Joseph Biden is over the 50 percent mark in a matchup with President Donald Trump, leading 53 – 42 percent.” Quinnipiac University is “a private, coeducational university in Southern New England” with campuses “in Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut.”

Overall, the poll found that “Trump leads 90 – 7 percent among Pennsylvania Republicans. Biden leads 93 – 6 percent among Democrats and 51 – 37 percent among independent voters.”

Other top Democratic contenders matched up against Trump as follows:
• Senator Bernie Sanders (I) VT 50% – 43% Trump
• Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 47 % – 44% Trump
• California Senator Kamala Harris 45% – 45% Trump
• South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg 45% – 44% Trump
• Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) 44% – 46% Trump

In stark contrast to assertions by GOPers and other naysayers of the Democratic party that economic conditions are favoring the GOP and Trump’s re-election, Mary Snow, a Polling Analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll said that “More than half of Pennsylvania voters say they are better off financially than they were in 2016. But the economy isn’t giving President Donald Trump an edge in an early read of the very key Keystone State.”

Other general detractors to the Democratic party note with some sense of disdain that Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has called himself a “democratic socialist,” and seek to add credence to their argument by noting that some national-level GOP elected officials and others have said that “If we can run a race against a person that’s an out-of-the-closet socialist and promoting socialist ideas, it’s a great contrast for us.”

Donald Trump

Yet the poll also found that among respondents, 53% said “it is more important for a presidential candidate to be a great leader” while 38% said “it is more important for a candidate to have great policy ideas.” And that sets up an immediate turn away from policy to personality – a veritable cult of personality.

In the modern sense, the term “cult of personality” refers to a scenario in which Read the rest of this entry »

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Make America Great Again: A How-To Guide

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Jim Cooper, a Democrat, is the US Representative for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

Jim Cooper, who represents Tennessee’s 5th Congressional Distict, and is a Democrat, is also a Rhodes Scholar (economics & politics, Oriel College), and Harvard JD grad, after earning the BA in economics from UNC Chapel Hill.

He’s a fiscal conservative, and has long said that, because our government uses a cash accounting system (which is ILLEGAL for businesses to use), our government’s debt is very likely much larger than is estimated.

For that reason, he’s also long advocated changing the accounting method the United States government uses.

TN CD5 is essentially Davidson County (metro Nashville), and includes the adjoining Cheatham & Dickson counties to the WEST.

See:
https://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/cong_dist/cd113/cd_based/ST47/CD113_TN05.pdf

Oh… and as you might surmise, cutting taxes is NOT how to stimulate the economy. It is by government spending. Which is also why cutting taxes is a very bad idea, since it kills the goose that laid that golden egg. (This Internet thing came about by government spending, which has created an entirely new economy, and billionaires… and, it began as a DARPA research project. Just like GPS.)

As I continue to maintain,

our government is NOT “too big,”
it is MUCH TOO SMALL to be
either efficient,
or effective.

Think about what it’d be like going to a restaurant with a 100-seating capacity, finding it filled with patrons, and only one waiter and one cook. No one would get any service, and they’d be a fool to think otherwise.

That’s what has happened, and is continuing to happen to our government.

With very nearly 329,000,000 people, we are the THIRD LARGEST (most populous) nation on Earth – China ( 1,419,124,987) and India (1,365,986,094) are 1st & 2nd, respectively.

The GOP’s “starve the monster” approach to governance, i.e., kill/reduce/eliminate the source of the “monster’s food,” e.g., taxes, and you’re well on your way to a privatization scheme the likes of which neither our nation, nor the world has ever seen. Hopefully, that won’t happen. But, that’s what you get when Grover Norquist has said, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”
– from an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, May 25, 2001. Read the rest of this entry »

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Healthcare, Marijuana, Medicare For All, Voting Rights, And More

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 1, 2019

This prospective legislation (linked below) is “…an indication of the overall appetite for progressive policies in the 2020 Democratic primary race.”

And, it’s about damn time!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders -I

I’m sick & tired of hearing folks say that there’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. And face it… if it weren’t for Bernie leading the way last General Election cycle, we very likely wouldn’t be hearing this kind of talk. Seriously.

 

And, while Sen. Kamala Harris exceeded Bernie’s 2016 fundraising “haul” by raising $1.5M in the first 24 hours following announcement of candidacy, Bernie outdid himself this time by raising $6M in 24 hours. THAT is SIGNIFICANT! And, it says that the number of those who believed in him last time, have increased. Plus, he already has the campaign people and mechanisms in place, whereas others – including Harris – do not.

California Senator Kamala Harris -D

I think it’ll be interesting to see how all this shakes out.

Of course, Joe Biden’s likely to be tossed into the mix, but while polls show he has “favorable” ratings with many, including Republicans, Read the rest of this entry »

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“I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America’s children.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 3, 2019

Having just been administered the Oath of Office for an historic second time, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi D-CA12, gavels the House to order saying, “I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America’s children.”

“I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America’s children.”

Nancy Pelosi of California, a Democrat from that state’s 12th District has made history again not only as the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, but as the first woman to have ever been twice Speaker of the House. She further joins an even more rarefied group – 7 Speakers who were re-elected to the position, i.e. having served nonconsecutive terms.

The 116th Congress is historic for several other reasons, not just because of Read the rest of this entry »

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Congress’ Revolving Door, Part II

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 30, 2018

TheHill.com is reporting that, once again, outgoing Congress critters are migrating to their Corporate Masters on K Street… the well-worn thoroughfare for lobbyists, and “think tanks” who seek to influence Members of Congress decisions for the benefit of their Corporate Masters, not for for the benefit of “We the People.”

That is not a new phenomenon, has occurred, and continues occurring in the Democratic, just as well as in the Republican camp. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Government Shutdown is Democrats’ Fault

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 30, 2018

… and other lies.

Just like it’s the Democrats’ fault that Trump screwed around on his wives.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in part that, “Shutting down the government is something that’s widely disliked by virtually every American and I don’t think we’re going to do it.”

But on Saturday, November 17, 2018 Trump said in part that, “If I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security — when you look at the caravan, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in. This would be a very good time to do a shutdown.”

Then, on December 11, 2018 in the White House Oval Office, in front of teevee cameras, and worldwide press, speaking to Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) in the Oval Office, Trump said: Read the rest of this entry »

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History Repeats Itself: How Alabama’s Anti-Crossover Voting Law Violates the Constitution

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 10, 2018

Alabama Political Reporter news writer Brandon Mosely wrote in a story headlined “Alabama secretary of state releases updates on crossover voting,” and published December 7, 2018, that “the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday that it has discovered 398 violations of Alabama’s new crossover voting rules in the 2018 election cycle.

“At the conclusion of the 2017 United States Senate Special Election Run-off, the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office reviewed a formal, routine election report indicating that 140 individuals had been given credit for voting in the Democrat primary election on August 15th and then voting in the Republican run-off election on September 26. This action, termed crossover voting, is an action which would violate the State’s new crossover voting law (Act No. 2017-340).

“… under Alabama law it is illegal to vote in both a party primary and then vote in another party’s primary runoff. In the general election, voters are allowed to vote for candidates from both parties and/or independent or minor party candidates. 66 percent of Alabamians straight party voted in the 2018 election. Alabama does not have party registration, so any voter is allowed to participate in the party primary of their choice.”

He cited Act No. 2017-340, which as summarized on the state legislature’s website as, “Act 2017-340, SB108, amends Section 17-4-2.1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to voting, to allow the Secretary of State to use electronic poll books instead of printed lists of qualified voters.  The act also prohibits any voter from voting in a primary runoff election unless the voter voted in the preceding primary election of the party for which the runoff election is being held.”

A PDF image of the actual document, which was signed by the Governor Kay Ivey, May 22, 2017, 1:30PM, may be found here>http://arc-sos.state.al.us/PAC/SOSACPDF.001/A0012111.PDF.

The act, which originated as SB108 (Senate Bill) and was sponsored by Senators Tom Whatley, Cam Ward, Clyde Chambliss, Tripp Pittman, Bill Holtzclaw and Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh – all Republicans – states in part that the law will “prohibit a voter from voting in a primary runoff election unless the voter voted in the preceding primary election of the party for which the runoff election is being held.”

The purpose of the bill (now law as Code of Alabama 1975,17-4-2.1(9)) was ostensibly to Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Formerly titled, “With Trump WYSIWYG: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?”

African leopard, Panthera pardus pardus, near Lake Panic, Kruger National Park, South Africa, 31 December 2013
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), Derek Keats, https://www.flickr.com/photos/93242958@N00/19448654130M

One either loves, or loathes, Donald Trump.

One does not simply “tolerate” him.

He is a divisive political figure.

He is starkly contrasted to former POTUS George W. Bush, who in a May 6, 1999 interview with David Horowitz of Salon magazine, famously said, “I’m a uniter, not a divider.”

Trump is a divider, not a uniter.

For Trump, e pluribus unum means nothing, even though we are the United States of America.

And for those who voted for him thinking he’d change, that he was merely spouting hollow campaign rhetoric, they might as well have asked a leopard to change it’s spots.

With Trump, WYSIWYG.

Specifically, I mean to refer to him in his executive Presidential capacity.

And yet, strangely enough, he has coalesced support from diverse, divergent sub-groups within, and without the GOP. The importance of that feat cannot, and should not be underestimated, glossed over, or minimized, because understanding it is key to political success, especially for Read the rest of this entry »

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Arch Conservative Woman @MonaCharenEPPC Booed @CPAC

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 26, 2018

Rape is is legally defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) as, “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” That definition is used by the FBI to collect information from state and local law enforcement agencies about reported rapes and applies to males and females. Rape is a crime of VIOLENCE perpetrated upon the genitals. It is NOT one of sexual gratification by the perpetrator.

Recently, Mona Charen, a well-respected Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and writer for National Review (a well-known publication founded by late arch-conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. 1925-2008), was booed by the audience which she addressed at the Conservative Political Action Conference. CPAC, as it’s known, is an annual conference of political conservatives which is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU), which itself is a political organization promoting conservative causes.

About her experience there, she opined in the New York Times, Sunday February 25, 2o18 that, “But on Saturday, after speaking to this year’s gathering, I had to be escorted from the premises by several guards who seemed genuinely concerned for my safety.

“What happened to me at CPAC is the perfect illustration of the collective experience of a whole swath of conservatives since Donald Trump became the Republican nominee. We built and organized this party — but now we’re made to feel like interlopers.”

It has been many years since I first remarked that the GOP is a band of radicals. And it is even more evident now, than before. Those who are the “Johnny-come-latelys” of the GOP are the result of Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting Participation Rates: A Steady Decline… Or Not?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 26, 2017

As of today – Sunday, March 26, 2017 –  we are less than 100 days into President Donald Trump’s term in office, and his approval ratings – so far, a low of 37% –  are practically subterranean. According to Gallup, his highest approval rating thus far has been 46%, which was a three-day average shortly after he was inaugurated, from January 23-25, 2017. An average of all presidents from 1938-2017 at this point in their presidency (first year, first term) is 53%. Two-term Republican Dwight David Eisenhower (previously former Supreme Allied Commander during WWII) was the highest with a 74% approval rating in March 1953. Oft-maligned Democrat President Jimmy Carter had a 72% approval rating March 1977, and JFK had 73% in March 1961. A reminder that JFK was later assassinated November 22, 1963. More recently however, Barack Obama had a 62% approval rating March 2009.

A reminder also that the 2018 Election (aka “Midterm”) is arriving quickly, and for many, it will be one of THE MOST SIGNIFICANT elections in a lifetime, because ALL 435 seats in the House of Representatives and Read the rest of this entry »

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Note To @TheDemocrats & Other #NeverTrump-ers: To win in 2018, STOP THE AD HOMINEM!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

To be certain, I find Donald J. Trump to be a contemptible person, truly grotesque, and undignified in every manner. That being said, he holds the office of the Presidency of the United States, and regardless of the personality in it, the office is worthy of respect.

Some have found Trump’s occupancy of the office to be onerous, and his candidacy repugnantly contemptuous, and aside from discussions regarding ancillary matters such as Russian meddling in our electoral process, there very well may be significant merit to the arguments made supporting such accusations of his character flaws. However, I wish it to be made clear that there is, and must be, a separation from the personality of the man, and the policy ideas he promotes.

To illustrate the matter, consider the following online dialogue:

A: “The time for trivial fighting is behind us”. …. says the one who perpetuated the birther lie for over 8 years causing serious buildup of hate groups and encouraged barbaric behavior among the populace . ..and who led angry mobs in chanting “lock her up” … only lame minds can take this pervert seriously.

B: I dunno’. He said some things that sounded good, but then again, that’s every politician’s job… and he is one now. We’ll see how Read the rest of this entry »

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Original Russian Tea Recipe

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Holiday season is again upon us, and many folks – particularly Southerners – are familiar with a tasty warm beverage known as “Russian Tea.”

Exactly how and where the recipe developed, and how it came by that name is somewhat unclear, but “the font of all knowledge” – and I sarcastically refer to Wikipedia – cites an article entitled “Russian Tea is Favorite Recipe in the South” by Cecily Brownstone in the November 27, 1976 issue of Kentucky New Era newspaper in Hopkinsville.

Interestingly, the story which is perhaps the newspaper’s most renown is the August 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville Alien Encounter, which may also be known as “Kelly Green Men Case,” or the “Hopkinsville Goblins Case.” It’s a precursor of sorts to a “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” type story in which five adults and seven children reported to Hopkinsville Police that “little men with big heads and long arms,” presumably alien creatures, were attacking their farm house, and that they’d held them off with gunfire “for nearly four hours.” It all started around 7PM when one of the men went out of the house to get a bucket of water, and lasted until 0330 – that’s 3:30AM.

Who knows? Maybe they’d had too much Russian Tea. Anyway, I don’t think you’ll be doing any hallucinating, or discharging any firearms after drinking this, so it’s pretty tame stuff… unless you start adding Kentucky Bourbon or other liquor to it.

Anyway…

Spiced Tea infusion recipe in Joy of Cooking, p40

Spiced Tea infusion recipe in Joy of Cooking, p40

However, as seen in the image herein, the Read the rest of this entry »

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Can @realDonaldTrump this?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Day 5: The standard has been set… by a Black man.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – the huge government bureaucracy established by Executive Order 13228 under President George W. Bush on October 8, 2001 – and it’s subsidiary bureaucracy the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), from 2009-2015, President Barack Obama has deported over 2.5 Million illegal immigrants… more than the George W. Bush administration.

Statistics for this year (2016) are not ready, because… the year hasn’t ended. Duh!
So, there are more to be added to the “we kicked you out because you broke the law” rolls.

Really? Obama deported more illegals than Bush?

Yup.

He’s deported so many illegals that he’s been nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief.”

In fact, he’s deported MORE than any other administration in history.

MORE than Reagan.

MORE than George H.W. Bush.

MORE than Clinton.

MORE than Carter.

In fact… MORE than ALL OF THEM COMBINED!

Oh yeah.

Ouch… that’s gotta’ smart!

The Office of Immigration Statistics (a subsidiary of the Department of Homeland Security), says Read the rest of this entry »

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The Great Unknown… Or Not: Separating #Fact From #Fiction: @realDonaldTrump’s First 100 Days – Realistic, Or Idealistic?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 12, 2016

November 11, 2016
Day 3: Still thinking

Yesterday, President Obama met with Donald Trump at the White House. It was the first time either of them had met. According to brief remarks made to the Press afterward, their collegial meeting lasted about one and a half hours.

The erudite will recall that “the first 100 days” is taken from a radio address given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term in office, in which during his first 100 days , and modeled after his plan to get Americans back to work, protect their savings and create prosperity, provide relief for the sick and elderly, and get industry and agriculture back on their feet.

Having read Trump’s goals for his first 100 days in office, it seems to me that there are some ideas I can support. Yet, there’s some pure bluster and ignorance designed for purely emotional appeal. I’ll separate fact from fiction, and we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.
See: donald-trumps-contract-w-american-voter

Trump’s objectives are in bold, my comments follow.

—/—

First: Constitutional Amendment for Congressional Term Limits – I have long supported that idea. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R), however, opposes them – as, presumably, do some others. Whenever their income source or security is potentially challenged, they’ll fight. Which is probably all the more reason it ought to enacted. A Lifetime Limit of Eight terms in the House of Representatives (2 years x 8 terms=16 years), and a Lifetime Limit of Two terms in the Senate (2 terms x 6 years=12 years) for a combined total of 20 years Lifetime Total ought to be enough for anyone.

Second: Federal Hiring Freeze, to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health) – I can understand that, and could go along with that for a period of time. Realize also that whenever any public action is required to be taken – such as “extreme vetting,” it is done by Federal Employees. So if their numbers are reduced, as a natural result, expect slow-downs and delays in any actions undertaken.

Third: Require that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated – That’s unrealistic, and impracticable. It may be nice to think about, but as a blanket statement, it’s simply unrealistic.

Fourth: A 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

Sixth: Lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government – Totally in favor of, and the ban should extend to ALL former Federal Employees.

On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:

FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205 – I have long advocated for changes to NAFTA, and other Free Trade deals to which the United States is a party.

SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator – Some say “yes,” some say “no,” but there is no disagreement China has bought American currency on the FOREX (Foreign Currency Exchange Market), and has purchased American indebtedness (T-bills, and other bonds). Mr. C. Fred Bergsten, Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, put it this way: “Currency manipulation occurs when Read the rest of this entry »

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Hillary & Trump: Two Deeply Flawed Candidates

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

By many accounts, the 2016 Presidential Election year is a complete campaign in the ass. Two deeply flawed candidates manipulated and exposed deeply flawed processes in both major political parties, not the least of which is for the GOP, how to vet their candidates more thoroughly, and have the ability to remove them from official party candidacy, and for the Democrats, how to maintain candidate neutrality, and prevent party officials from influencing candidates of the top officials’ choosing toward nomination. I predict many much-needed changes on the horizon for both parties… following the November General Election.

—/—

by Gary Cosby, Jr.
Used with permission

WARNING:  This is a long post. It is also my final political post before the election.

I am not an editorial writer but today I am going to play one on Facebook. First, let me say, everyone is welcome to comment; however, if your comment uses foul language or is abusive to anyone else, your comment will be deleted. One of the great problems we have today is our lack of ability to disagree and still have civil discourse; therefore, we will practice it or be censured. Keep in mind, this is my opinion and you do not have to agree with it. Thank your First Amendment rights for that.

By now, we all know this presidential election cycle has presented us with the two poorest candidates in memory, perhaps in all of American history. Certainly there have been poor candidates running for one party or the other throughout our history but not facing one another in the same election.

They have turned the presidential debates into bad Saturday Night Live skits. In fact, I doubt the writers of SNL would have been able to dream up anything this hideous. The American political scene will never be the same and Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Hillary Clinton’s State Dept Quid Pro Quo Pay-To-Play Is A Corrupt Practice

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 28, 2016

Formerly titled “Why @HillaryClinton’s @StateDept Quid Pro Quo Pay-To-Play Is A Corrupt Practice”

Accountability is what remains once responsibility has fled. The citizens of the United States must demand higher standards from their public servants, and officials, and severely punish violations of the same.

—/—

Bill and Hillary Clinton, Meet Jozette Berry, Alisha Cole and Lashonda Smaw

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 28, 2016
Used with permission.

Former Jefferson County, Alabama revenue clerks Lashonda Smaw, Alisha Cole, and Gazette Berry (pictured from left to right). They engaged in the same unethical conduct that is involved in the Hillary Clinton "cash for prioritized access" scandal. Each woman was investigated, criminally charged with felony ethics violations, and convicted in court. Their total take in gratuities was $120. The total gratuities involved in the Clinton scandal is $156 million, and nobody is under a criminal investigation.

Former Jefferson County, Alabama revenue clerks Lashonda Smaw, Alisha Cole, and Gazette Berry (pictured from left to right). They engaged in the same unethical conduct that is involved in the Hillary Clinton “cash for prioritized access” scandal. Each woman was investigated, criminally charged with felony ethics violations, and convicted in court. Their total take in gratuities was $120. The total gratuities involved in the Clinton scandal is $156 million, and nobody is under a criminal investigation.

In 2013, Jozette Berry, Alisha Cole and Lashonda Smaw were Jefferson County, Alabama revenue clerks who worked in the downtown County Courthouse and the Center Point Satellite Courthouse. These low-level public servants accepted cash gratuities for cutting people to the front of the 4-hour long, slow moving, car tag line. Cole was caught accepting $20 on two occasions in August 2013. Berry and Smaw were caught accepting $40 on a single occasion in April 2013.

After a local Fox TV news team publicly exposed this criminal conduct, there was immediate and widespread condemnation of the women’s actions. It made national news. This was declared an ethics violation on the part of each woman.

In December 2013, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Berry, Cole, and Smaw for using their public office for personal gain, which is a felony in Alabama and an ethics violation as well. Each woman faced 2 to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

These women did not have friends in high places. They were not connected to the Obama White House, or the U.S. Attorney General, or the Director of the FBI. They did not hold any political office. They did not have New York spin-doctors or high-powered lawyers to argue that they had done nothing wrong. In short, they had no one who could “fix” their criminal case, or make it go away.

Jozette Berry and Lashonda Smaw, who are black, eventually pled guilty. Alisha Cole, who faced two felony counts of ethics violations, went to trial and was convicted. Berry received a sentence of 12 months of hard labor in the county jail. Imposition of Berry’s sentence was later suspended and she was placed on 2 years of unsupervised probation. After her conviction, Cole received a three-year suspended sentence and two years of unsupervised probation. Smaw’s sentence for her ethics violation is unknown at this time.

The guilty pleas for Berry and Smaw and guilty verdict for Cole ended a multi-year joint criminal investigation by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Public Corruption and White Collar Crimes Unit, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and the Birmingham Police Department. After the criminal cases ended in May 2015, the local DA proudly released the following statement: “We are grateful to have partners in law enforcement who are Read the rest of this entry »

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Racism & Bigotry Abounds in the #ALpolitics State Democratic Executive Committee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 12, 2015

racist: rāsəst:
A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

bigot: A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

As a noun, racism is “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.”

Yesterday – Saturday July 11, 2015 – the State Democratic Executive Committee of the Alabama Democratic Party met in Montgomery. The ostensible purpose of that meeting was to elect members to fill vacancies in the party.

Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley

Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley

Things didn’t go well.

But then again, things haven’t gone well for the Alabama Democratic Party for quite some time.

The reason why is quite simple, and can be summed up in one word: Mismanagement.

Chairwoman Nancy Worley, former Secretary of State, and former teacher from New Hope, in Madison county (in the northernmost part of the state, bordering Tennessee), has Read the rest of this entry »

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How Much Could Alabama Save By Not Paying Legislators?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 30, 2015

UPDATE: Sunday, 14 June 2015 – Found following main body

Today (Thursday, 30 April 2015) the Alabama State Senate knocked off at 11:30, and reconvened 1PM. It’s also the final day of the Legislative Session for the week – they only work three days each week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

An hour and a half – that’s a nice, long lunch break for a wealthy man, a powerful man – not a working man. It’s pretty cushy for someone who works three days a week, only 30 days a year. Reckon how your boss would respond if you asked for a three-day work week and a 30-day work year?

How long do you get for lunch?

Most folks get 30 minutes.

The Alabama Senate gets THREE times longer than most working folks.

But then, excesses in Alabama state politics is nothing new.

Recall that – by law – the Alabama Legislature is limited to work <30 days/year (in a 105 day period) & for that privilege, citizens & taxpayers fork over $50K+/yr in pay & compensation to them – 35 in the Senate, and 105 in the House.
TOTAL=140 men (mostly) & women.

In stark contrast, New Mexico’s State Legislators are a Volunteer Legislature (they’re elected, yes, but unpaid), and during Session, by State Law receive a Daily Federal Per Diem, and Two-Way Mileage once during a session EXCLUSIVELY.

Legislative pay in Alabama has been a hot-button issue, particularly in recent years – and, it’s unnecessarily complicated. By State Constitutional Law, their “official” pay is Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Political Prophesy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 12, 2015

As we wind down the final two years of President Barack Obama’s second term, speculation is arising concerning who will become the GOP’s Presidential nominee. At this point, there is much less speculation among Democrats about who will contend for the race, although Hillary Clinton does seem to be positioning herself early for a run at the Democratic party’s nomination.

Given the increasing inoperability of the radicalized GOP (even though they have wrested solid control of the House and Senate, but not enough to override a presidential veto), and their tendency toward government shutdown, brinksmanship, and extremism, some have said they would prefer to see a Democratic presidential successor, though there may be little evidence to support the notion such a thing will occur.

Some have said “That doesn’t help the Democrats” and that, “a Republican president doesn’t help anyone but corporations.” While there may be merit to both statements, it should be observed that a spirit of cooperation has become eroded to the point that there seems little chance that statesmanship and compromise for the good of the whole will occur… even given the Republican majority in the House and Senate. The radicalized GOP’s infighting even has Speaker Boehner up in arms, and not merely for his impotence and inability to control the party now hijacked by Right-Wing Extremists.

Which is where we begin the prophesy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Prison System Teetering on Federal Takover

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 7, 2014

Every single word in this OpEd is spot-on.

Alabama is on the verge of a complete takeover of it’s prison system. That is a VERY sad indictment, and fact. Further, most Alabamians are COMPLETELY unaware of the dangers the state faces.

Alabama is a state in crisis.

Fiscal crisis from a failure of long-term management, unwise, unsound policy, unnecessary prolonged and costly legal battles at the state and federal levels over inane laws which have had no positive effect upon the state, from policies and procedures which have only burdened the people, tax giveaways to corporations, funded corporate welfare, an inequitable personal income taxation system which has hampered and hamstrung state growth, and further placed the state’s citizens into poverty.

Face it folks… I don’t give a damn about what political colors you wear, or how or what you describe yourself as politically in Alabama… if everything were peaches and cream in the state, then why in the Hell is the state’s poverty level 18% – 4 percentage points ABOVE the national average?

Why is the state sick in their persons? Of all states, Alabama continually ranks high in rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., even among CHILDREN!

Why does the state have a high crime rate?

Why are Alabamians largely “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”?

WHY?

WHY?!?

WHY!?!

***
***

Why Alabama Cannot Wait on Prison Reform: Guest Opinion

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (center), speaks  speaks to media members during a tour as Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (left) and warden Carter Davenport listen at the St. Clair Correctional Facility Fri., March 16, 2012 in Springville, Ala. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (center), speaks speaks to media members during a tour as Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (left) and Warden Carter Davenport listen at the St. Clair Correctional Facility Fri., March 16, 2012 in Springville, Ala. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)

Guest opinion By Alabama State Senator Cam Ward
August 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated August 06, 2014 at 9:05 AM

By Cam Ward

Prisons are an issue that would never rank high on any list of priorities for the people of Alabama and understandably so.  With unemployment hovering near 7 percent and many schools in need of repair, people ask me why prison reform should be a major subject at this time. The answer is simple – because our failure to maintain a good corrections system is going to push over a fiscal cliff that we may never recover from.

For years as our corrections system became more crowded the political leadership in Montgomery turned their eyes to issues more palatable to the voters during election time. The general feeling for decades has been “let’s wait and deal with that when we have more money.”

As we waited our system grew to 192 percent capacity and despite this incarceration rate our state has the 8th highest violent crime rate in the country. Both of these statistics point to a failing system of corrections.

In addition to allowing for a broken system to continue down a path of inefficiency we have also created a fiscal nightmare of the likes our state has never seen before. While we spend Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Secretary of State Errs in Poll Watcher Guide: Photo Voter ID Law Disenfranchises Elderly Voters in June Primaries

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 3, 2014

{Tuesday, 10 June 2014: Update/Annotation/Correction noted in response #2. Ed.}

Today (June 3, 2014) in Alabama was primary election day. It is a day the party faithful – Democrats and Republicans – went to the polls to cast ballots for the candidates of their choice.

In Alabama, citizens cannot vote for candidates of their choice in both parties. They must choose either/or. Only in the November General Election can they “split the ticket” and vote for Democrats and Republicans.

In my way of thinking, that is a shame… and a crime, because it disenfranchises those whom would vote by requiring them to identify – against their will – as a member of a political party.

As I write, the polls have closed (they’re open from 0700 – 1900… or if you prefer, 7AM – 7PM), and already, there have been reports throughout the state that irregularities have occurred. Some voters – specifically, the elderly – have been denied the right to vote.

Voter fraud? 92-year-old great-grandmother’s expired driver’s license unacceptable for voter ID

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/06/voter_fraud.htm

AL Ballot Security Manual

Photograph of the “Alabama Ballot Security Manual: A Practical guide for Poll Watchers, Alabama Primary Election, June 3, 2014

93-year-old black man disenfranchised by Alabama voter ID law

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/voter-id-law-disenfranchises-93-year-old-black-man

As well, there are inconsistencies in official information produced by the Secretary of State specifically for the purpose of Poll Watching & Voter Identification.

In a document entitled “Alabama Photo Voter ID Guide” available on the Alabama Secretary of State’s website Read the rest of this entry »

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Congressional Budget Office: Offshore Corporate Tax Havens Cost each Citizen $1259

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 17, 2014

Historically, our nation has prospered when tax rates on the ULTRA wealthy and corporations were highest.

In the period following World War II, under President Dwight David Eisenhower – a Republican, and former Supreme Allied Commander / 5ive Star General – Corporate Tax rates have continually declined.

Now, during the Obama administration, they are at the LOWEST they have EVER been.

Corporate Income Tax Rates have continually declined

Corporate Income Tax Rates have continually declined the peaked during the Eisenhower administration. The formula is: b/(a+b) Where (a) Corporate Profits After Tax (without IVA and CCAdj), Billions of Dollars, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (CP); And (b) Federal Government: Tax Receipts on Corporate Income, Billions of Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted (FCTAX)

Tax Havens Leave U.S. Filers $1,259 Tab Each, Report Says

U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.

Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law -– all supported in one way or another by tax dollars -– but they avoid paying for these benefits,” U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes.
ref: http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/picking-tab-2014

“Instead, ordinary taxpayers end up picking up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt,” it said.

In total, the U.S. loses $150 billion in federal revenue and another $34 billion in state revenue annually because of money parked in tax havens, the Boston-based consumer advocacy group concluded.

That’s almost Read the rest of this entry »

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Analysis – Examining the Record: Is Alabama Governor Bentley a “Jobs Creator” or a Drag on the State Economy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 12, 2014

When campaigning for the office of Alabama’s Governor, Robert Bentley – a retired dermatologist physician who at the time was an elected representative from Tuscaloosa County – promised if elected governor that, “I will forgo a salary as state representative for the rest of my term and will not accept a salary as Governor until Alabama reaches full employment.”
ref: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/06/robert_bentley_extends_no-sala.html

When pressed on the matter, he later defined “full employment” as having state unemployment somewhere around 5%. It is a promise to which, as of the date of this entry – 12 April 2014 – he has kept. In other words, Alabama has NOT reached “full employment,” and he has not been paid a salary. He has, however, been compensated for out-of-pocket expenses (the governor’s office has a budget, so why would he personally have any such expenses for work in an official capacity?), though he has received – as legislator, a legally-mandated $1.00 per month salary. Since his election to the governorship, he has not received a salary.

Let’s examine Governor Bentley‘s employment record.

During Governor Robert Bentley’s watch, International Paper – the large paper mill formerly known as Champion Paper, in Courtland, and the largest employer in Lawrence County – closed and cost the area economy & state 1100 jobs. Those jobs were Read the rest of this entry »

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In Defense of #Infrastructure Spending

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 22, 2014

At the federal level, TEApublican types have decried our national deficit, much – if not most – of which came about as a result of placing the price of a decade of warfare on a proverbial credit card. I refer, of course, to the Persian Gulf War, Gulf War II, Operation Desert Shield/Storm and the invasion of Afghanistan, etc., all of which occurred during the previous administration.

Compounding that problem was that corporate and personal income tax rates upon the wealthiest was cut, while simultaneously, the veritable house of cards was crumbling, having been built upon the miry, sinking sands of Wall Street deregulation & greed gone wild.

Nevertheless, as our nation has struggled and clawed its way back to some semblance of fiscal sanity, there have been voices arising whom assert that the federal government’s “bailout” of banks & other large, corporate enterprise has been a gross mistake, and that such a bailout should have never occurred. And, while there will doubtless be volumes written, and debates held about the good and the bad of the ordeal, what’s been done, has been done, and it’s practically all over, but the crying. So the only thing we can do now, is live & learn, and move on.

And yet, respecting one underlying problem which arose corollary to the matter, is the loss of jobs here at home. Again, it was complicated by ‘globalization,’ which – good, bad, or indifferent – is Read the rest of this entry »

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Senator Jeff Sessions REFUSES to give up part of his salary for sequestration

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 27, 2013

Be sure to ask Sen. Sessions if he is going to voluntarily give up a portion of his Senatorial salary since the Senate last month passed a measure urging their members to forgo 20% of their salaries as part of sequestration.

Kudos, however, to Sen. Bob Corker R-TN, who has NEVER pocketed any of his Senate salary.

Why?

He donates it ALL to charity.

Why?

He’s worth over $19 Million.

Few senators sacrifice pay amid cuts

By Russell Berman – 04/03/13 05:00 AM ET

Only a few senators are planning to forfeit a portion of their salaries to charity or the U.S. Treasury while sequestration is in effect, according to a survey conducted by The Hill.

The Senate last month passed a measure urging members of the upper chamber to forgo 20 percent of their salary during sequestration. Most senators, however, are keeping quiet on whether they will follow through.

During a marathon session of budget votes, the Senate approved by voice vote an amendment from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling on lawmakers to donate 20 percent of their pay to charity or return it to the U.S. Treasury.In his floor speech, Graham noted that about 500,000 to 600,000 federal employees will be furloughed because of sequestration and that senators should “feel what other people are feeling.”

Yet in a survey of Senate offices by The Hill, only Graham and Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) have indicated they would give up some of their take-home pay.

In a recent press release, Begich — who is up for reelection in 2014 — said Read the rest of this entry »

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Would President Obama privatize TVA & Kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shoals: Privatizing TVA is ‘a bad idea’

By Mike Goens
Managing Editor
Matt McKean/TimesDaily
4/21/13

Anglers fish below thousands of feet of power lines that run from TVA’s Wheeler Dam turbine systems. Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. Matt McKean/TimesDaily

Anglers fish below thousands of feet of power lines that run from TVA’s Wheeler Dam turbine systems. Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. Matt McKean/TimesDaily

If President Barack Obama needs help orchestrating an effort to privatize TVA, he shouldn’t expect much support from the Shoals.

Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. They fear a privately owned TVA will lead to higher electricity rates, job cuts, more flooding problems and navigational issues on the Tennessee River and other waterways under TVA’s jurisdiction.

“The first questions you need to ask are what’s the gain for government and what would be gained by the community,” said Steve Hargrove, manager of Sheffield Utilities. “If the purpose is to make things better and there is reason to think it’s possible, I would be the first one interested in sitting at the table and talking about it. I just don’t see advantages of privatizing at this time.”

Obama brought the issue to the table through his 2014 budget proposal, which was released last week. He said selling TVA should be explored as a means to increase revenue by as much as $25 billion, money that could reduce the federal deficit and pay for other government services.

Hargrove has a unique perspective to the debate, having worked at TVA for 33 years before retiring as plant manager at Colbert Fossil Plant. He became manager of Sheffield Utilities in December.

His department purchases electricity from TVA and provides power to about 19,000 customers in Colbert County.

“I am a believer in the private sector, but I would fear their mission would be different than TVA’s,” Hargrove said. “The mission of TVA is not to make profit, and the mission of the private sector is to make a profit. They have to answer to a board that wants to maximize profits. When your primary goal is to make a profit, that becomes a higher goal than helping the community.

“TVA has had its problems, and bad decisions have been made, but its mission is good and they are an established part of the communities.”

Hargrove said residential rates for TVA customers in the Southeast are among the lowest 25 percent in the country and Read the rest of this entry »

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How out of touch with reality is the GOP?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 23, 2013

The GOP recently acknowledged that, among other aspects of their party’s alienation from the American mainstream, they need to modify and change not merely their image, but their appeal to Hispanics, which have largely voted for Democratic candidates.

The irony of their acknowledgment is that they want to do the very thing they’ve demonstrated why and how they’ve alienated themselves from the American mainstream… hire a Mexican to do their work.

As reported in VOXXI, by Grace Flores-Hughes on March 19, 2013, “The Republican National Committee plans to hire political directors from the Hispanic, Asian, African American communities as well as from women’s groups.”
Read her story: “The ambitious coming out of the Republican Party”

The numbers prove it: The GOP is estranged from America

By Andrew Kohut, Published: March 22

Andrew Kohut is the founding director and former president of the Pew Research Center. He served as president of the Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989.

In my decades of polling, I recall only one moment when a party had been driven as far from the center as the Republican Party has been today.

The outsize influence of hard-line elements in the party base is doing to the GOP what supporters of Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama’s Republican Legislators take over State’s Schools… even though they’re not failing.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 10, 2013

The lack of news outlets in the states three major newspapers all which publish only three editions weekly (Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, and the Huntsville Times, now known as “Alabama Media Group” which newspapers are all owned by the same privately held mega-firm that owns Sports Illustrated & Conde Nast – Advance Publications, aka Newhouse News) has – in my estimation – contributed to the demise of public involvement in governance, and to a great degree, influenced voters from participating in their own governance by keeping them ignorant.

However, that does NOT mean that there is no news, nor does it mean that there is a news blackout. What it means is that in those three major cities in the state, there is a dearth of reporting of state events.

For example, the Montgomery Advertiser reported recently that in an email message to his staff, Governor Robert Bentley “demanded that his cabinet members and the state employees who work for them not discuss with state legislators any concerns they might have with a proposed overhaul to state law enforcement agencies.

““I do not want any cabinet head or any member of their department to lobby against this. Tell your employees to contact ONLY Blaine Galliher if they have any questions or concerns. NO ONE is to talk to members of the House or Senate in opposition to this legislation,” Bentley wrote in an email sent to cabinet members by his executive assistant on Feb. 12.””

Governor Bentley is showing his true face… that of a tyrant.

The year Alabama legislators took over schools

by Wayne Flynt
Special to The Star
Mar 10, 2013
Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in Montgomery last week. Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in Montgomery last week. Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press

My father grew up poor and never finished high school but was incredibly resourceful. He could “figure things out.” He did his own plumbing, wiring and construction. But on occasion, Dad’s chief asset became a liability. So confident was he in his ability to fix anything that he refused to admit that he didn’t know everything.

That is a good description of the new Republican Legislature. They were elected for good reasons: The hubris, arrogance, excesses, patronage abuse, corruption and demagoguery of Democrats. But the 2013 Legislature reminds me lots of the Democrats they replaced.

Republicans, who hold all state offices and a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, have decided that they know better than anyone how to do everything.

Take education, for instance. Three successive reform-minded state school superintendents — supported by a business community concerned about the loss of one-third of Alabama manufacturing jobs since 2000 and fearful that schools were not producing a labor force skilled enough to compete in the global economy — began reforming education.

They introduced model early childhood programs, world-class math and science curricula, a reading initiative widely copied nationwide, tougher graduation standards, and took over failing schools and malfunctioning systems characterized by patronage politics and financial profligacy (think Birmingham).

Education reformers organized A+ Education Partnership and joined this battle. Their hugely successful “best practices” center and life-changing college-readiness program that enrolls record numbers of students in demanding advanced placement courses constitute instances where Alabama set national standards rather than followed them.

So what does the new Republican Legislature do? Read the rest of this entry »

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What will President Obama do in his next four years?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 26, 2012

Obama and the Road Ahead: The Rolling Stone Interview

In an Oval Office conversation with a leading historian, the president discusses what he would do with a second term – and his opponent’s embrace of ‘the most extreme positions in the Republican Party

by: Douglas Brinkley

Obama on Rolling Stone 20121023-obama-1169-306x-1351006174

Photo by Mark Seliger

Barack Obama can no longer preach the bright 2008 certitudes of “Hope and Change.” He has a record to defend this time around. And, considering the lousy hand he was dealt by George W. Bush and an obstructionist Congress, his record of achievement, from universal health care to equal pay for women, is astonishingly solid. His excessive caution is a survival trait; at a time when the ripple and fury provoked by one off-key quip can derail a campaign for days, self-editing is the price a virtuoso must pay to go the distance in the age of YouTube.

Viewed through the lens of history, Obama represents a new type of 21st-century politician: the Progressive Firewall. Obama, simply put, is the curator-in-chief of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society. When he talks about continued subsidies for Big Bird or contraceptives for Sandra Fluke, he is the inheritor of the Progressive movement’s agenda, the last line of defense that prevents America’s hard-won social contract from being defunded into oblivion.

Ever since Theodore Roosevelt used executive orders to save the Grand Canyon from the zinc-copper lobbies and declared that unsanitary factories were grotesque perversions propagated by Big Money interests, the federal government has aimed to improve the daily lives of average Americans. Woodrow Wilson followed up T.R.’s acts by creating the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission and re-establishing a federal income tax. Then, before the stock market crash in 1929, the GOP Big Three of Harding-Coolidge-Hoover made “business” the business of America, once more allowing profiteers to flourish at the expense of the vulnerable.

Enter Franklin Roosevelt, a polio victim confined to a wheelchair and leg braces. His alphabet soup of New Deal programs – the CCC and TVA and WPA – brought hope to the financially distraught, making them believe that the government was on their side. Determined to end the Great Depression, Roosevelt was a magnificent experimenter. Credit him with Social Security, legislation to protect workers, labor’s right to collective bargaining, Wall Street regulation, rural electrification projects, farm-price supports, unemployment compensation and federally guaranteed bank deposits. The America we know and love today sprung directly from the New Deal.

For the next three decades, the vast majority of voters benefited from Roosevelt’s revolution. And every president from FDR to Jimmy Carter, regardless of political affiliation, grabbed America by the scruff of the neck and did huge, imaginative things with tax revenues. Think Truman (the Marshall Plan), Eisenhower (the Interstate Highway System), Kennedy (the space program), Johnson (Medicaid and Medicare), Nixon (the EPA) and Carter (the departments of Energy and Education). Whether it was Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy going after the Mob or LBJ laying the groundwork for PBS, citizens took comfort in the knowledge that the executive branch was a caring iron fist with watchdog instincts that got things done.

It was the election of Ronald Reagan that started the Grand Reversal. Reagan had voted four times for FDR, but by 1980 he saw the federal government – with the notable exception of our armed forces – as a bloated, black-hatted villain straight out of one of his B movies. His revolution – and make no mistake that it was one – aimed to undo everything from Medicare to Roe v. Wade. Ever since Reagan, both the New Deal and Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Geography: Alabama & Mississippi – Two very solidly Red(neck) states

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 12, 2012

To be certain, this ain’t your daddy’s Republican party.

It’s a party hijacked by radicals – genuine radicals – whose solitary bent is the destruction of government. Tear down this, destroy & eliminate this, that and the other, shift responsibility to the states for various programs, knowing full well that they do not, and will not have the ability to fully or appropriately fund them because tax rates continue to decline… it’s a “Starve the Monster” approach which has been taken – quite literally.

We have experienced already the devastating effects of it – significant tax cuts and a 10-year long war which has driven up the deficit, a BIG BUSINESS Bailout resulting from financial deregulation, which has cost jobs, houses, increased homelessness & bankruptcies, and off-shoring of American manufacturing.

And all this is predicated – so they purport – to be symptomatic of “a welfare state” that rewards so-called “welfare queens” who have children precisely to obtain more welfare money (a genuine misnomer if ever there was one)

But the biggest question is: What’s for dessert?

I don’t think we want to know.

FiveThirtyEight – Nate Silver’s Political Calculus
October 11, 2012, 6:24 pm

Solid South Reversed, but Still Divided by Race

By MICAH COHEN

We continue our Presidential Geography series, an examination of each state’s political landscape and how it’s changing. Here is a special two-in-one look at Alabama, the Yellowhammer State, and Mississippi, the Magnolia State. FiveThirtyEight spoke with Marvin King Jr., an assistant professor of political science at the University of Mississippi; Natalie Davis, a professor of political science at Birmingham-Southern College; Jess Brown, a professor of political science and justice studies at Athens State University; and William H. Stewart, a former political science professor at the University of Alabama.

One recurring theme in the states we have profiled so far has been the exodus of Southern whites from the Democratic Party, yielding a striking transformation. The Solid South — so named for the regional hegemony of Democrats — has been reversed, and states that were once Democratic from top to bottom are becoming (or already are) equally Republican.

The evolution has progressed particularly far in the Deep South, but Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas are all at different stages.

Arkansas is Read the rest of this entry »

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Necessary but Not Sufficient: Why Taxing the Wealthy Can’t Fix the Deficit

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 4, 2012

NOW OR NEVER | SEPTEMBER 2012

Necessary but Not Sufficient:
Why Taxing the Wealthy Can’t Fix the Deficit

By David Brown, Gabe Horwitz, and David Kendall

In this paper we shatter the myth that taxes on the wealthy can come close to solving our long-term budget problem. We readily acknowledge that raising taxes on top earners is necessary, but it is not sufficient to solve the looming fiscal crisis. And we make clear that if entitlements are left on autopilot, burdensome middle class tax hikes become inevitable.

Even a 50% tax rate on the wealthy can’t fix the deficit.
Even 50% taxe rate on wealthy can't fix deficitThis is the first in a pair of papers that demonstrate that purely ideological fixes will not sufficiently address our fiscal issues. Our other report, Death by a Thousand Cuts: Why Spending Cuts Alone Won’t Fix the Deficit, proves that a cuts-only strategy cannot solve our budget woes without severely compromising our safety, security, and economic growth. Together, these papers make the case that a big and balanced fiscal package is the preferred way to avoid the fiscal cliff, prevent deficits from exploding in the future, and allow our economy to grow.

To stabilize the debt and create a positive economic climate for U.S. growth, most mainstream economists agree that annual deficits must be reduced to 3% of GDP. The question is: how do we get there?

In order to demonstrate that taxes alone cannot solve our budget woes, we explore three budget scenarios, all of which rely solely on Read the rest of this entry »

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Transcript of Bill Clinton’s Speech to the Democratic National Convention

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012

Transcript of Bill Clinton’s Speech to the Democratic National Convention

The following is the full text of former President Bill Clinton’s speech on Wednesday from the Democratic National Convention.

September 5, 2012

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now, Mr. Mayor, fellow Democrats, we are here to nominate a president. (Cheers, applause.) And I’ve got one in mind. (Cheers, applause.)

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before his election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression; a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs that he saved or created, there’d still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside — (cheers, applause) — but who burns for America on the inside. (Cheers, applause.)

I want — I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American Dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, but education and — yes — by cooperation. (Cheers.)

And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama. (Cheers, applause.)

You know — (cheers, applause). I — (cheers, applause).

I want — I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.) And I proudly nominate him to be the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party.

Now, folks, in Tampa a few days ago, we heard a lot of talk — (laughter) — all about how the president and the Democrats don’t really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everybody to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

This Republican narrative — this alternative universe — (laughter, applause) — says that every one of us in this room who amounts to anything, we’re all completely self-made. One of the greatest chairmen the Democratic Party ever had, Bob Strauss — (cheers, applause) — used to say that ever politician wants every voter to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself. (Laughter, applause.) But, as Strauss then admitted, it ain’t so. (Laughter.)

We Democrats — we think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it — (cheers, applause) — with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly share prosperity. You see, we believe that “we’re all in this together” is a far better philosophy than “you’re on your own.” (Cheers, applause.) It is.

So who’s right? (Cheers.) Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats, 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private sector jobs.

So what’s the job score? Republicans, 24 million; Democrats, 42 (million). (Cheers, applause.)

Now, there’s — (cheers, applause) — there’s a reason for this. It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. (Cheers, applause.) Why? Because poverty, discrimination and ignorance restrict growth. (Cheers, applause.) When you stifle human potential, when you don’t invest in new ideas, it doesn’t just cut off the people who are affected; it hurts us all. (Cheers, applause.) We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, there’s something I’ve noticed lately. You probably have too. And it’s this. Maybe just because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never Read the rest of this entry »

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DoD says Climate Change is National Security Risk

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 7, 2012

Here’s an item from our “Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Climate Change file.

While there continues to be much frothing about the mouth from conservative and libertarian types about climate change, there remains no doubt of its existence.

Some – mostly Republican & Libertarians – continue to assert that climate change is as much a hoax as the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Great Pumpkin. However, to be certain, there is no doubt that change has occurred, and continues to occur. The reason(s) why, and causes of the same are subjects of valid scientific debate and research. But there is no disagreement that change has, and is occurring.

The United States Department of Defense, Read the rest of this entry »

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