Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cardinal Newman Society: Hypocritical Advocates

Former NY Governor George Pataki is pro-choice on abortion. That is fact. Furthermore, Gov. Pataki is getting an honorary Fordham Doctorate this Saturday at Commencement.

The reasonable belief is that the Cardinal Newman Society has come out as pro-choice (or "pro-abortion") politicians speaking at Catholic schools. Even more so when they are getting honorary degrees. Yet, the CNS is silent on Gov. Pataki getting an honorary degree.

I myself, on my personal Twitter, have called out CNS about it. They have not yet responded in any fashion as of yet.

So President Obama (a Democrat) gets an honorary degree from Notre Dame and there is a huge uproar while Gov. Pataki (a Republican) gets an honorary degree from Fordham and there isn't even a press release about it?

I call on the Cardinal Newman Society to be consistent on their pro-life message and not play partisan politics on the issue of abortion (which it seems they are doing).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Republican Budget Cuts: A Cynical Look

House Republicans have come out with their list of spending cuts, which amount to $2.5 trillion.

Many of the cuts are to programs with which Republicans have traditionally had problems. Some of these cuts include:

$445 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS and NPR)
At least they are staying true to their word after the uproar over the firing of Juan Williams. Besides, 50% of Americans find PBS to be the most trusted name in news and we need to make sure that Fox News gets back their rightfully copy-written slogan.
$1.565 billion from Amtrak
It's not like any Yankees use it anyway.
$95 million from beach replenishment
This will hurt anyone living near the shore (including my family in the summer). Plus, many beaches in the northeast which are Federally protected wildlife preserves becase they are natural breeding grounds for the Piping Plover (an endangered species of birds) and are, thus, required to have a certain amount of beach size. (For further comments I have made on this, see: http://fordhamdems.blogspot.com/2009/07/why-i-do-not-get-tea-parties.html.) But that is what people and animals get for living and mating near a beach.
$2.5 billion from Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants
This a nice heave-ho to the metropolitan capitals of the nation that need trains for their commutes. We want to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, yet our federal budget is pushing us to all get cars that run on foreign oil. It all makes perfect sense.
$900 million from "Obamacare"
Of course, besides the CBO is filled with liars.
$318 million Title X Family Planning
We must prevent family planning because it is against God's will. As the immoral Department of Heath and Human Services puts it:
Over the past 40 years, Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals and others. In addition to contraceptive services and related counseling, Title X-supported clinics provide a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. By law, Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning. (source:http://www.hhs.gov/opa/familyplanning/index.html
Funding for testing for STDs and breast and cervical cancer is against everything we stand for as a Judeo-Christian nation!
$1.27 billion from Applied Research at the Department of Energy
Republicans hate both DOEs and we must not find any solutions to ending our dependence on foreign oil! Republicans have made that abundantly clear.
$293 million from Economic Development Administration
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Republican plan to end the economic recession, as shown here, is to cut funding to the groups that would help us. It makes perfect sense!
$52 million from the Energy Star Program
By this point, it seems that the Republicans have made it abundantly clear that we must consume as much energy as possible. "Drill, Baby, Drill," perhaps?
Repealing the Davis-Bacon Act, which will save $1 billion annually
The Davis-Beacon Act, simply, requires that established wages, overtime, and benefits for all federal public works projects are to be paid. It has to be repealed, this bill is overtly socialist.
$150 million from subsidies for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
D.C. residents can be taxed, but don't deserve a vote in Congress and most certainly do not deserve any form of public transportation.
$210 million from General Assistance to District of Columbia
Again, DC residents deserve to be taxed without anything in return. That is why they are not a state.
$420 million from the Legal Services Corporation
Because no one deserves a fair trial no has the right to an attorney, regardless if they can afford one.
$530 million from Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization
God created the weather so we could be forced to have to endure it. Weatherization interferes with His plan.
$27 million from the Ready to Learn TV program
Educational television for young children is just plain old wrong. Besides, what has Sesame Street or Barney taught anyone?
$167.5 million each from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities
Because the belief that investing in arts and sciences go hand-in-glove is poppycock. Da Vinci never made any contributions to science and Gustave Eiffel never got the idea for his tower in Paris by investigating the structure of human bones. Believing either would be preposterous.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/20/house-gop-gets-specific-on-cuts_n_811557.html

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not Placing Blame on A Tragedy

We all have heard about the recent tragedy in Tuscon, AZ and how the many are placing blame on violent political speech as the cause. I will not be discussing it. Last night on "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart discussed the matter in a way that I wanted to share.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In Case You Missed It

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address


Transcript can be found Here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Updates on the Zadroga Bill


As you already know, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Bill is close to my heart. (Yesterday, I chose to read the Congressional Record in order to see what the stated opposition to the bill was. Other than the tax on foreign companies, there was concern that money would go to illegal immigrants. Of course, I took exception to that. The heroes of 9/11 didn't ask the people they saved if they were legal or not; we should not do the same to them.) That is why I was concerned yesterday when I heard that the President will be staying on vacation in Hawaii until January 2nd.

Once a bill is passed by both Houses of Congress, the President has 10 days to sign, veto, or do nothing to the bill. If he does nothing, after 10 days, the bill automatically becomes a law. However, if a session of Congress expires before those 10 days expire and the President fails to take any action, the bill does not become law. This is called a "Pocket Veto."

The Zadroga Bill passed Congress on December 22. The 111th Congress expires at the beginning of the new year. Thus, I was concerned when and where the President would sign the bill.

Thankfully, this morning, I read this tweet by White House New Media Director (and one of my idols, in full disclosure) Macon Phillips:

Have a ? for @whitehouse Spokesman Robert Gibbs? *** Reply to @PressSec ***, w/your Q & he'll answer what he can over the next half hourless than a minute ago via HootSuite



So, I tweeted:

@PressSec When will President Obama sign the Zadroga Bill (because he only has 7 days to do so and he's in Hawaii until 1/2/11)?less than a minute ago via web



White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded:

On signing 9/11 bill, we haven't decided yet when it will be signed - President might do it from Hawaii @SeamusCampbellless than a minute ago via web




I was relieved to know that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Bill will become law.

As a side note, this is our 100th post. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jimmy McMillian Is Back!

Remember Jimmy McMillian (aka the "Rent Is Too DAMN High Guy")? Well, he's back.

Last night, he announced on Revolution Radio that he will announce in January or February that he will run for the Presidency of the United States. Furthermore, he has switched his party registration to Republican. (Interesting factoid: though he founded the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party and ran on it's line, he was a registered Democrat. The Rent Is 2 Damn High Party actually had only 3 registered party members.)

Below is the video of his announcement. McMillan begins his announcement at the 49-minute mark. Enjoy.



And for old time's sake:

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Cannot Find Words to Describe This

I literally had to pause the video several times in order to face-palm myself.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why Is There Opposition to the Zadroga Bill?

The other day, on Facebook, friend of mine asked a mutual friend "How is it that the Daily Show is now beating out respectable news outlets in their investigative reporting?" This was in response to this video from Monday night that I posted on my Facebook on Tuesday morning:


I truly do not understand why anyone would oppose a bill that helps those who helped us on September 11th. This bill is the least that we, as a country, can do to help those men and women who went down to Ground Zero and worked day and night to save lives and bring closure to the friends and families of the men and women who died that day. Oh, and guess how much this will cost you and me? Nothing. The bill will be paid for by increasing taxes on foreign companies. Yet, some fiscal watchdogs in Congress think $0 is too high a price for the American People.

On October 17, 2008, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out are they pro-America, or anti-America. I think people would love to see an expose like that." While doing research for this post, I looked at the House vote for the Zadroga Bill. Guess who was in the "Nay" column? You guessed it: Rep. Michele Bachmann. I am not calling her "anti-American" and I understand that she is very fiscally conservative. But this is helping some of the most pro-American people that have ever lived in the country with funding from sources outside this nation's borders.
Last night, during dinner with my parents, we discussed the Zadroga Bill. My mother asked why the 9/11 first responders were not getting worker's compensation. I proceeded to go to my bedroom to get my laptop and load up an episode of The Daily Show.
This past Thursday night, Jon Stewart continued his crusade for the passage of the Zadroga Bill.

Part 1

Part 2

Like Stewart, I, for no certain reason, want to apologize to those first responders for how this bill has not yet passed.

As a side note, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) also agreed with Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) that it is wrong to have to consider so many bills just around the Holidays. "You can't jam a major arms control treaty right before Christmas. What's going on here is just wrong. This is the most sacred holiday for Christians. They did the same thing last year - they kept everybody here until [Christmas Eve] to force something down everybody's throat. I think Americans are sick of this." Notice how he called Christmas "the most sacred holiday for Christians." I'm guessing, then, Easter and that whole Jesus resurrecting from the dead thing has no importance to Christians. Oh wait. It is the foundation of the whole belief structure for Christians.

I do have good news. Two pieces of it, actually. The media is starting to pick the story (as I am typing, ABC's World News Tonight is reporting on the story). Also, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Zadroga bill will come to a vote next week. Still, there is some opposition. Senator John McCain said on the Senate floor, while debating the New START Treaty (my emphasis added), "This is one of the really seminal aspects of whether the United States Senate is going to ratify this treaty or not. To have a time agreement after all of the fooling around that we've been doing on DREAM Act, on New York City, on all of these other issues that's taken up our time." I guess time will tell.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Food Safety Is An Issue?

It's 5:42 AM as I begin writing this post. I'm watching last night's Daily Show. Jon Stewart just went over the criticism over a new food safety bill that just passed the Senate. I cannot help but literally shake my head. I just do not understand why there is so much objection to us having safe food to eat.

In September Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) objected to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that said Americans were not eating enough fruits and vegetables. He said
Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said people in America are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. They want all the power of the federal government to force you to eat more fruits and vegetables. This is what the federal, CDC, they going to be calling people and finding out how many fruits and vegetables you eat (sic) today. This is socialism of the highest order! (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvpCIjFuwXE)
I guess the Congressman does not understand the need for a healthy diet and how it directly correlates to disease control. The saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is not for mere amusement. The CDC's role is to find the sources of viruses and prevent them (look at the name!).

Last week, Sarah Palin attacked First Lady Michelle Obama for her anti-obesity campaign on Laura Ingraham's radio show:
I think she has got a different worldview and she is not hesitant at all to share what her worldview is. And I will take heat again for saying it on your show Laura but she encapsulated what her view of America is, I believe, unless she has evolved and things have changed in the last two years, but she said it on the campaign trail twice that it was the first time that she had been proud of her country when finally people were paying attention to Barack Obama. I think that's appalling. We can think of this infinite number of reasons to be proud of American exceptionalism and it baffles me that anybody would have that view and then allow that view to bleed over into policy.

Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat. And I know I'm going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back, and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track.

Now there is this food safety bill. All it is saying is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has more power to inspect our food and force recalls when necessary.

I realize that Rep. Gohmert and Gov. Palin are talking about telling us what foods we can and cannot eat. My question is how do they feel about the banning of Four Loko in many states? Actually, let's take it up a notch. Do they still want mercury to be present in our medicine? We have the FDA and the CDC in order to make sure that we stay healthy and the treatments for any illness (whether it be an aspirin or chicken broth) is safe to ingest.

I understand the belief that inspecting our food is big government. However, how many parents are going to actually trace the entire history of every piece the food they eat? Unless that food is home grown or made in-house, I will guess not many parents will.

First Lady Obama's campaign regarding anti-obesity is related to other pieces of health. Obese people are more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure to name a few. It is not her saying that the average American is dumb. It is her trying to prevent a health crisis!

If Gov. Palin and Rep. Gohmert are so strung up on this anti-big-government-that-is-taking-over-our-food-supply mantra, why did they not protest New York City's ban on trans fats in foods? Actually, I will go one further: why have they not called for the dissimulation of the Food and Drug Administration? It makes one wonder.

I realize this post has been all over the place. But it all ties in together. If you eat healthy and exercise, you will be in better shape and be more able to ward off a plethora of diseases.

Remember kids: eat your fruits and vegetables! I leave you with Mr. Jon Stewart's take on this:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Food, the Bad and the Ugly
www.thedailyshow.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Leaky Pipe of Information Known as 'Wikileaks'

As a reminder, the views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the College Democrats of Fordham University, Fordham University, the College Democrats of New York, the College Democrats of America, or the Democratic National Committee.

Wikileaks is at it again. They published a series of internal wires with State Department officials. Obama Administration officials fear that the 250,000 documents released will irreparably harm U.S. foreign policy and relations. They also had the same belief about a series of documents released about the War in Afghanistan.

I posted the paragraph at the top for a reason. What I am going to say is not a popular opinion. It is my own and I take full responsibility for it.

I don't think these leaks are necessarily a bad thing.

There, I said it. You can start sending the angry letters now.

Now, I have to defend my stance, don't I?

I will begin by saying that there are many documents that I will be the first to say should NOT be put into the public eye. I will also say that there are many documents that really won't harm us that much.

With both the Afghanistan and the State Department leaked documents, you have to ask yourself: what real harm has come from these documents? In my opinion, not much. The most damning part of the Afghan ones was how Pakistan wasn't as close an ally in defeating Al Qaeda as we once thought (big surprise there). The new ones do more of the same with our foreign allies while also using some less-than-appropriate terms for many of their leaders (of which, I am certain, are nicer than what many bloggers have said of the same foreign leaders).

Also, all that these documents really do is solidify things we already believed to be true. (Warning, I am about to go computer nerd on you all.) The best example I can give you is the report that China hacked Google for their codes. (Most techies already knew for months now.) I will give you the story of Google and China in short-form.

Google sets-up base in China. China says Google must comply with censorship rules. Google agrees. In early 2010, Google says they will no longer censor their search results in China. In retaliation, China hacks into Google's systems. Google sees this breach and then installs a program that "shadows" each of the users that accesses it's servers. (Think of it as a private investigator program. A user accesses a Google server and the PI sees it and then follows the user's activity. It literally is a computerized PI.) Guess where the results of the hack went to? If you guessed "China," you are right.

Guess where and when I learned of all of this? If you answered Wikileaks, you are wrong. If you answered "Computer Security Systems" taught by Dr. David Chen in the Spring Semester of 2010, you are right.

Get this through you: I knew the facts of a story that was leaked Wikileaks ALMOST A YEAR BEFORE IT WAS LEAKED.

Coming back to point, why are leaks bad? I have never gotten that. Does the government think that they are smarter than us? Do they think that we cannot 'handle the truth?' What is so wrong about knowing the activities of our tax-payer dollars?

People think that releasing classified documents is treasonous. Frankly, I have never understood why. The public has the right and the responsibility to know what is happening on their behalf as a nation. If the government is refusing to do so, they will take the "democracy" out of our political process. Many people have ridiculed me for saying (half-jokingly) that were I to be elected President, the first thing I would do is declassify all information regarding Area 51 and extraterrestrials. (This is neither the time nor the place to have a discussion on other forms of life in the Universe, so, please don't comment below about it; it's just off topic.) Why would I do this? It's not because I think there are aliens out there but because a responsible government would be as open as possible.

I tell people that I hate both Fox News and MSNBC, not because of the political message, but because they have commentators work as reporters. That is why I prefer ABC and CNN because they report the news first and primarily. They only add commentary when it helps supplement a story. They let US come to our own opinions.

People say that the health care debate was by no means transparent. That is false. These past two years have been the most transparent in American History. What was not transparent were the discussions that happened in congressional offices. But, almost all of the floor debates and committee hearings were public. Furthermore, the White House has taken proactive steps to make government data open to the public. The White House, in particular, has posted all visitors to on its website as well as open-sourcing many modules it built to power the website.

Transparency is accountability. I am not saying that I condone or endorse the leaking of classified information, personal correspondences, or personal opinions to parties that have no business in knowing that information. What I am saying is that why does government have to be so secretive? Why does information have to be kept so secret? I do believe that the American Public is intelligent enough to come to opinions by themselves. But they cannot even come to an opinion without facts. An informed public is essential in keeping a responsible government. If we know our foreign policy and we do not agree with it, we can express our feelings and make our government change. But we cannot change government to fit the vision we want unless we know what is in need of fixing in the government.