Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Shamefully Plays the Role of Victim of the Oklahoma City Tornado Tragedy

Sheldon Whitehouse

I’ve heard some silly rants given at exactly the wrong time by politicians in Washington DC over the years, but the callous, shameful nature of RI Senator Sheldon Whitehouse‘s rant today in the middle of the Oklahoma City tornado disaster is one of the worst cases of poor judgment I’ve ever heard of from anyone.

The Senator utilized precious time in the midst of a tragedy to push his political agenda. What’s worse is that he did so from the perspective of being the victim of events that have happened in Alabama, Texas, and now Oklahoma. “When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover,” he said.

Wow. Talk about bad timing. Talk about insensitivity. Dead bodies were still being pulled out of the rubble in Oklahoma City when this disgraceful, petty man thought it necessary to complain about the economic impact it would have on his home state. At the moment that mothers were crying over the bodies of their dead children, Sheldon Whitehouse felt it was the ideal moment to complain about how it all affected him, how he was one of the victims of these tragedies, how it was the evil Republicans and their position on climate change that was creating events that caused his state financial troubles.

Shame on you, Senator. Shame on you for being opportunistic. Shame on you for attempting to draw attention away from the people of Moore, Oklahoma, who just had two schools leveled, who were desperately trying to find an entire third grade class while you maniacally ranted about federal aid for natural disasters somehow induced by the Republican minority in the Senate. You would be a fowl American if you were an American at all, but it is impossible for me to classify someone as an American when they use disgraceful political tactics like that.

Here’s a section of his rant from the Daily Caller:

“So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.”

Whitehouse went on to condemn the current Republican position on global warming, citing economic, environmental and diplomatic damages.

“You drag America with you to your fate,” he continued. “So, I want this future: I want a Republican Party that has returned to its senses and is strong and a worthy adversary in a strong America that has done right by its people and the world. That’s what I want. I don’t want this future. I don’t want a Republican Party disgraced, that let its extremists run off the cliff, and an America suffering from grave economic and environmental and diplomatic damage because we failed, because we didn’t wake up and do our duty to our people, and because we didn’t lead the world. I do not want that future. But that’s where we’re headed. So I will keep reaching out and calling out, ever hopeful that you will wake up before it is too late.”

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We Don’t Have a Tax Problem or a Debt Ceiling Problem. We have a Spending Problem.

Paul Krugman

It’s a mantra of fiscal conservatives across the country, but one that can never be repeated enough. The tax system, broken as it might be, does not have a problem with generating enough money to operate the US government. The debt ceiling is not too low; many would argue that it’s way too high. No, the problem that this country has at its most fundamental financial level is that we simply spend way too much. Any arguments to the contrary are moot.

This isn’t even debated by most of the liberals in Congress. They readily admit that the underlying problem is spending. Basic math tells them that. Their argument, whether they want to admit it or not, is that spending cuts need to happen on the next person’s watch. If given a healthy dose of sodium pentothal, politicians on both side would admit it. They don’t want to tackle the cuts necessary to save the country because it would mean cutting off blocks of voters. If you pull it from the military, soldiers will remember. If you pull it from Medicare, seniors will remember. Whoever tackles the problem will be labeled heartless. They will not be remembered fondly. They will not be re-elected.

That’s the beauty of being fiscally liberal. You don’t make anyone today, the voters, upset. You hurt the children and grandchildren of the voters dramatically. You might even hurt the voters themselves if the actions result in a cataclysm, something that’s not as far fetched today as it used to be. But, as the President and many members of congress proved in the last election, fiscal irresponsibility wins votes.

Cutting spending dramatically is the only path towards a prosperous future of the country. It’s the only way to make sure the country can even survive when looking on the scale of decades. That’s the key to the internal arguments in congress – decades. They see the problem with crystal clarity but are unwilling to be the bad guys who pull the plug on non-essential spending. It’s the frivolous spending that has gotten us to where we are today, but it’s also the type of spending that buys votes.

Our problem is with this spending. It must stop. It must be fixed immediately or we’re going to be facing complete destruction of the way of life that has been built over the past two centuries. It doesn’t take an economist like Paul Krugman to understand this. Unfortunately, even Krugman is unwilling to admit the failures of the current economic direction publicly. It doesn’t fit his agenda.

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Is Obama Trying to Distance America from Israel with Appointment of Hagel?

Obama and Hagel

Chuck Hagel is a republican, but he went against his party over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He is friends with liberals, but has been known to disparage the homosexual community, including saying that Bill Clinton’s appointment of ambassador to Luxembourg, James C. Hormel, was “openly, aggressively gay.” If and when his appointment is announced on Monday, he has only one thing really going for him in the Barack Obama’s eyes. He has been open with his criticism of Israel.

According to Politico:

Neoconservative Republicans have rallied against Hagel. More damaging in the Democratic-controlled Senate, pro-Israel groups and gay-rights groups have marshaled opposition.

This appointment will send a message to the world that we the US will not be beholden to Israel when it comes to defense. As Secretary of Defense, he will accelerate the removal of troops from the Middle East and continue the administrations subtle but clear distancing between the US and Israel. Is that the President’s intention? One would think that having such a battle on his hands coming from both sides of the aisle would be detrimental to the President’s other goals, that he could make a bigger and faster impact domestically and abroad if he picked someone that his own party could rally behind and that the republicans would be less likely to oppose.

This is meaningful to Obama for some reason. Is that reason Israel? There doesn’t seem to be another explanation.

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It’s Time to Rebuild the Republican Party with Conservative Values

Half Mast

This was going to be a lengthy post, but I decided to keep it short. The signs are clear. History has pointed us in the right direction. For the country to head in the right direction, there can no longer be a leaning towards the middle. It simply doesn’t work.

At the state and congressional level, moderates can do well. There needs to be a mix of conservatives, liberals, and moderates to make sure that all people have someone standing up for them in government. At the executive level, this simply isn’t the case.

Let’s look at the GOP nominees over the last 3 decades:

  • 1980 – Reagan – Conservative – Victory
  • 1984 – Reagan – Conservative – Victory
  • 1988 – Bush – Moderate – Victory against a weak opponent and coming on the tail of a successful Reagan era
  • 1992 – Bush – Moderate – Defeat
  • 1996 – Dole – Moderate – Defeat
  • 2000 – Bush – Moderate, but ran on a conservative platform – Vicotry
  • 2004 – Bush – Moderate, but still ran on a conservative platform – Victory
  • 2008 – McCain – Moderate – Defeat
  • 2012 – Romney – Moderate – Defeat

The Bush presidencies were the only ones that were able to win as moderates. What is missed is that G.H.W. Bush won because he was Reagan’s VP. G.W. Bush won because he pretended to be a conservative.

The people want a strong conservative in office. That doesn’t mean that any strong conservative can win, but it takes extreme circumstances such as 9/11 or false pretenses to get  moderate into the White House. The Republican party has been partitioned for some time. The Tea Party and other conservative organizations are forced to push so far to the right because the perception of the leaders of the republican establishment always push too close to the middle.

For this country to thrive in the coming years, it’s necessary for moderate republicans to lean to the right. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone needs to push into ultra-conservative land. They simply need to emulate Ronald Reagan. It should be a rallying call. Whenever a politician or an individual needs to make a decision, they should ask themselves what Reagan would do. He wasn’t so far right that he put the country into deadlock turmoil, but he was conservative enough to keep the values upon which the country was formed at the forefront of his policies.

This is the future of the party. It’s the future of the country.

Obama vs Romney: The Tale of the Twitter Tape

Twitter Logo

Depending on who you ask, social media may play a huge role in the outcome of the presidential election or it may be an insignificant venue through which supporters declare their allegiance but do not get swayed by others. Mitt Romney is hoping it’s the latter based upon how he fairs on Twitter versus President Obama.

Then again, the study below by Mashable and PeekAnalytics does give some hope to the GOP hopeful. On the surface, the numbers are tremendously on the President’s side, but digging deeper reveals that Romney isn’t as bad off as some may think.

Here’s the graphic.

Obama vs Romney Twitter

(Hat Tip: Chicago Toyota)

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Mathematically, Santorum Has Easier Road to Beat Obama than Romney

Barack Obama

Something has been really weird about this GOP primary season. It’s easy to understand why the Republican Establishment has supported Mitt Romney from the start based upon their support of previous moderates like John McCain and Bob Dole. What hasn’t been as clear is why the Obama campaign team has been working on helping Romney get the nomination through their actions (or lack of actions in many cases).

Conventional wisdom would say that it would serve the Obama campaign to prolong the GOP primary season for as long as possible, allowing the candidates to soften up each other through attacks and drain the money that will eventually be pointed at Obama. The fact that they have not started to attack frontrunner Romney in full force in hopes of casting doubts on his abilities and extending the race has been viewed as a mistake by many analysts.

It has not been a mistake. They simply noticed something that the Republican Establishment, mainstream media, and GOP voters hadn’t: Rick Santorum is more popular than Romney in swing states.

Despite public perception, the winner of the presidential election is determined by a relatively-small number of states. Fourteen states are solidly Democrat and have voted such in nearly every election since 1988. Nineteen states are solidly Republican, with Indiana being the only one that Obama was able to pull in 2008. The other 17 states are up for grabs.

Among those are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota. Assuming that Santorum wins Ohio and Pennsylvania, these are states that Obama won in 2008 that would more likely swing to Santorum (Pennsylvania is guaranteed) than they would to Romney. Romney brings New Mexico, Nevada, and Michigan.

Romney’s victory in Florida is the toss up, but Marco Rubio as the Vice President for either candidate will help win that state regardless of whether it’s Romney or Santorum. If anything, Romney might make the mistake of bringing on a more conservative VP, giving Florida to the Democrats again.

If Santorum wins the Republican states and pulls the five above plus Florida, he would only need to win the right-leaning Indiana (which Obama won in 2008) OR one of the three other swing states that George W. Bush won in 2004 (Virginia, North Carolina, or Nevada) to defeat Obama in November. Romney’s road to the White House would require more unlikely victories to become a reality.

In that scenario for Santorum, it would very likely be another case as with George W. Bush where he would receive fewer votes overall but would win the right states to take the presidency.

Mathematically speaking, Santorum is the tougher candidate against Obama. The Republican Establishment has failed once again at basic math.

Republicans vs Democrats: How Each Party Views the Role of Science

Science and Politics

As Florida, one of America’s hubs for scientific exploration through NASA, goes to the polls today to decide on their choice for the GOP candidate, let’s take a look at how each party as well as Independents view science.

In this graphic by AssayDepot, we learn some things that most assume but there are surprises in there as well. For example, while Republicans have the strongest view of the positive effects of science on society, fewer are willing to consider the government’s investment into research as “essential.”

Click to enlarge.

Political Parties and Science

(H/T: Chevrolet Humble Texas)