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Tag Archives: President

A Viewpoint on How We Elect the President

Many people don’t realize (despite taking Civics in high school) that the President of the United States is not elected via the popular vote.  Instead, we use the Electoral College.  In a nutshell, we use the vote count in each state and territory to determine which candidate gets the the votes from that state.  Some say this should remain the way things are done, while others say the electoral college should be abolished.  Here is an interesting video on the subject.

My Support For Herman Cain is Dropping Faster Than…

There are so many analogies I could use, but my friend Rev. Ken reads these and I don’t want to get called to the Rector’s office on Sunday.

When Herman Cain announced he was running for president, I smiled.   I’ve listened to his radio show on WSB in Atlanta often enough, and I was happy to find out we’d have a candidate in the race who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.  Plus, I wanted to see how having a Black candidate in the race–but coming from the Right–would affect all the “you just hate him because he’s Black” rhetoric.  Here we had a man who had actually run a business running for POTUS!!

Alas, my joy is fleeting.

Cain is on some type of anti-Muslim kick.  Yes, it is true that the folks trying to do us harm are Muslim fanatics.  But it seems that Cain has taken things to a different level.  Previously, he stated (and clarified during the first Republican candidate debate) that he would basically test any Muslim who wanted to be in his administration to make sure they were loyal.  That was dumb enough.  But now, he’s backing the notion of communities banning mosques.  Why?  Because Sharia Law is going to take over the US!

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Sunday that communities have a right to ban Islamic mosques.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO said protests and legal challenges to a planned mosque in Tennessee city are an example of local residents pushing back.

Cain said his view doesn’t amount to religious discrimination because he says Muslims are trying to inject Shariah law into the U.S.

So, Cain’s reasoning is that the Muslim’s are using the mosques as cover, and that any member of the mosque could be shadow agent for the Sharia movement. Let’s all run in fear.

I don’t find myself agreeing with Eugene Robinson all that often, but he hit it on the head:

Let’s return to the real world for a moment and see how bogus this argument is. Presumably, Cain would include Roman Catholicism among the “traditional religions” that deserve constitutional protection. It happens that our legal system recognizes divorce, but the Catholic Church does not. This, by Cain’s logic, must constitute an attempt to impose “Vatican law” on an unsuspecting nation.

Similarly, Jewish congregations that observe kosher dietary laws must be part of a sinister plot to deprive America of its God-given bacon.

If Mr. Cain keeps this up, the word in front of “candidate Herman Cain” won’t be “longshot.” It will be “fringe.”

From Contributor “ODA3”: Why I am less qualified to be President than President Obama! – 10 Red Flags

In the midst of all of the Birther nonsense, I decided to look at my own “Birth Certificate” to see if I would be eligible to run for the Presidency of the United States. To my surprise, with the information I know about our President’s birth certificate I think I might receive even more scrutiny than he has.

First off, there is a lot of controversy over “Birth Certificate” vs. “Certificate of Live Birth”. Well mine says “Copy of Record of Birth” (RED FLAG 1). Oh boy, I get the feeling the Birthers would have a field day just with that alone! The date on this copy is April 1990. I’m sure my mom needed it to get me a passport or something and most likely lost the original somewhere between moving up and down the east coast. It has a raised seal and most of the information seems to be in order.  My full name is spelled out. Date of Birth and Place of Birth as expected. Time of Birth: BLANK (RED FLAG 2). Sex: M. Good. Color: BLANK (RED FLAG 3). Wait, what’s going on here? Surely the people at the hospital knew when I was born and that I was Black. And why haven’t I noticed all of this earlier?

Now here comes the good stuff.

Understand my parents were not married when I was born. They were married 3 days later. But that’s okay. To my knowledge I was born in a hospital. But when I look at the Copy of Record of Birth, I noticed that my mom’s name is written with my father’s last name and her maiden name in parentheses. I would have expected to see her name with her maiden name last or her previous married name (RED FLAG 4). Not so. How did that happen? And what’s this: Date of Original Record July 18. I was born in June (RED FLAG 5)! Date of Amendment: BLANK (RED FLAG 6). So the record was generated a month after I was born. This wouldn’t be likely if I had been born in a hospital. Was I smuggled in from Canada?

Officials in Hawaii have certified that not only does the long form of President Obama’s certificate exist, but there are both typed and hand-written notes in the file from the doctor who birthed him, as would be expected. My Copy of Record of Birth doesn’t say what time I was born, what color I am, and…what’s this? How did I miss this before? THIS IS MY MOTHER’S HANDWRITING!!!!! No doubt about it! The majority of this form was written by my own mother! I’m sure of it (RED FLAG 7). The only think not is the signature of the Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics who official swears by the facts for the Department of Public Health. So maybe the process was: you fill out the document and the registrar verifies and signs it? Yes that’s it. Interestingly, there’s a grease stain right on top of the signature (RED FLAG 8). It must be to cover up the white-out I used on the signature.

I talked to my mom about this Easter Sunday. It turns out I was not born in a hospital as I have been telling people for 30 years. It was a women’s clinic (RED FLAG 9). It wasn’t Planned Parenthood but I’m sure that’s what the GOP do-gooders are thinking. My mom and dad took me and the information to the proper agency to get my birth certificate, and at the same time, they also changed my older sister’s last name (which had been my mother’s previous married name). It all sounds plausible. But where is the proof that I was born in the US? Not that it matters, both of my parents are US citizens. My mom has never left the country in her life.  None of those facts would matter to a Birther though. Facts are simply annoyances to them.

So maybe there’s nothing for a Birther to be worried about. After all, my Copy of Record of Birth was good enough to get me a passport, why not a ticket to the Oval Office. Oh, did I mention that my mom used to work for the US Passport Office? Yep. Didn’t even have to wait in line! And I’m sure that in no way had any effect on the scrutiny that my application received (RED FLAG 10).

So Much for Transparency…

One of the pledges made by then-Senator Obama on the campaign trail was a new era of unprecedented transparency.  And in some ways, he has kept that promise.  But a recent article puts a dark mark on that record:

Caught between their boss’ anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obama’s aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds — and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.

It allows the Obama administration to keep these lobbyist meetings shielded from public view — and out of Secret Service logs kept on visitors to the White House and later released to the public.

Read more: Lobbyists: White House sends meetings off-site to hide them

Reagan is Conservatism’s Patron Saint But Would Never Get Elected By Today’s GOP

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan

Image via Wikipedia

Aside from Feb. 6th being Super Bowl Sunday, it was also what would’ve been President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday.  As Reagan is considered a hero by many on the right, there have been remembrances, dedications, shout outs, flashbacks, and countless other looks back on Reagan and his legacy in the last week.  Of course, folks on the left are having none of that, understandably choosing to focus more on those “accomplishments” that they feel did more bad than good.

I (as is often the case) am in the middle on Reagan.  I wouldn’t call him a hero, but then again, I wouldn’t try to back over him with a MARTA bus, either.  But I’m pretty convinced that based on his overall record, if an exact Reagan clone popped up today and attempted to run for President saying he would do exactly as Reagan did and be exactly as Reagan was, he wouldn’t even make it out of the primaries.  Why?  Simple.  Reagan doesn’t fit the mold of today’s Republican.

First, there is his track record on taxes.  In 1981, Reagan signed the The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 also known as the ERTA or “Kemp-Roth Tax Cut.”  The top marginal rate for personal income taxes went from 70% to 50%, and the bottom rate dropped from 14% to 11%.   In general, the Act lowered marginal tax rates on average 23% across the board.  He also lowered taxes in 1986.  After that, the top marginal rate was 28%.  While tax revenues decreased over the short term, over the long term there was not only an increase in the amount of tax revenues to the government, but also a long period of economic growth.  But, that’s not the entire story.

As the budget deficit grew, Reagan knew something had to be done.  So, he signed into law legislation that, in essence, were tax increases.   Bills signed in 1982 and 1984 closed tax loopholes and increased the tax base by making more transactions taxable.  The 1986 reform bill eliminated many deductions that high income earners had been allowed to use, increasing their tax bills.  In the end, his tax increases actually increased tax revenue to the government and offset much of the revenue lost from the earlier tax cuts.

In 1982, Reagan led efforts to privatize Social Security.  Not only did it not work, but (as is usually the case in midterms) the GOP lost many seats in the following elections.  In 1983 he signed legislation that bailed out Social Security.  Pricetag:  $165 billion. Results of the bailout included higher  payroll taxes for higher income earners and the self-employed, expanded the system to include federal workers, and made Social Security benefits taxable.

These tax increases are rarely mentioned.  In today’s environment, once it came to light, the Reagan-clone would get skewered for ever considering tax increases as fiscal policy.

The national debt also tripled under Reagan.  It went over $1 trillion during his first year, and was $3 trillion when he left.  Of course, that was a bipartisan effort, as the House was under Democrat control all 8 years of his presidency, and the Senate was for 2 of his 8 years.  But evidently, veto wasn’t an option.  Of course, many will say that much of the spending was to counter the Soviet Union.  But SOMEONE has to account for the money vacuum that was SDI, which never worked.

Among other things that are rarely mentioned:

  • Reagan promised to reduce the size of government, in part by eliminating the Departments of Energy and Education.  Instead, he added a new Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • There was little done in the way to reduce government spending over Reagan’s 2 terms.
  • Many will always repeat Reagan’s call to Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” and say “see?  you have to be tough!”  In actuality, Reagan and Gorbachev nearly agreed to eliminate ALL nuclear weapons from each country’s arsenal.  Plus, to help Gorbachev enact reform, the US reduced defense spending in the latter part of Reagan’s second term.  How’s that for “peace through strength?”

Finally, the the proverbial straw that would bring our Reagan-clone’s hopes to an end–and yet one more point rarely mentioned–is immigration.  In 1982, Reagan signed a bill that allowed any illegal alien in the US before that year to be eligible for amnesty.  Yep, blanket amnesty.  In today’s environment, that would be a big no-no.

In the end, Reagan gains sainthood by default.  For those keeping up with conservative politics, there is no one else that can take his place.  Nixon resigned.  Ford was considered weak.  Bush I lost his reelection bid despite removing Saddam Hussein from Kuwait (taxes played a role in his defeat).  Bush II had two terms, but many on the right don’t consider him conservative enough.  So who is left?  No one but the Gipper.  But he’d never make it today.

“Bush Screwed the Working and Middle Class.” How?

I was in a discussion where someone stated “Bush screwed the middle and working class.”  My reply was to ask exactly how he screwed them.  We then got into a discussion about corporations, tax breaks, and outsourcing.  But it really made me wonder:  do people know the difference between when something the government does puts them in a bad situation, vs when they themselves do it?  When they hear that a policy or program is bad, or doesn’t benefit them, do they actually do the research to find out why?  Or do they simply believe what they hear and don’t research for themselves?

Its apparent that many people don’t bother to find things out for themselves.  We are a nation of people who tend to enjoy being led around by the nose, trusting others to tell us what we need to know instead of finding out for ourselves.

In the end, I didn’t get an answer as to how Bush screwed the working and middle class.  I’m sure someone has an example.