Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Local Example of Media Fixation With Palin

Former Massachusetts governor and one time presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in Norwood (Cincinnati suburb) yesterday doing a book signing. What is the headline and focus of the first paragraph of the story about his visit to town? Would you guess Sarah Palin? You betcha!
Romney crowd pales with Palin's

NORWOOD - Former and probably future GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney didn't draw even half as many people for his book-signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers here Thursday as potential rival Sarah Palin did last fall.

I'm not a Romney backer, but was it necessary to make the comparisons between the crowds the leading focus of the story?

I don't know if either politician is planning to run for president in 2012. Currently, I'm much more likely to support Palin than Romney. However, that is due to their individual policy positions. The size crowd they draw to a book signing event will have no bearing on my preference between the two.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Random Thoughts and Links

It is funny how the meaning of words change over time. Take the word "extremist." Lately, I've heard that people who think that those entering our country should do so legally are "extremists." Sorry, but no that is perfectly reasonable position to take.

If you want a valid example of extremists consider this article.

The Braves have scored 13 runs during their current 8 game losing streak. Suddenly, the Indians offense is not quite as awful as I thought, comparatively.

Considering the lunacy of some on the left side of the political spectrum people say Democrats aren't playing with a full deck of cards. Recently, it seems they are down to just one card - the "Race Card." The latest example of this propensity to make everything about race (especially when losing the underlying argument) is from New York:

It started as an angry blow-up, and then it escalated. A state senator with a history of anger management issues says his race-based rant was part of his fight against the "evil of white supremacy."

Brooklyn State Senator Kevin Parker is a well-documented hothead, and on Wednesday he took to the airwaves to unapologetically defend his latest shouting match.

"It's par for the course for what we have to do in Albany – fighting the forces of evil," Senator Parker said. Parker shockingly identified the "enemies" he's fighting as other senators. "These long-term, white supremacist, you know, Republican senators," he said.

That followed a free-for-all shouting match in Albany Tuesday where Parker heatedly objected to the questions asked by a white senator, John DeFrancisco of Syracuse, of a black nominee to the New York State Power Authority.

"John, you are totally out of order, you are out of order," Parker shouted. "How dare you? You racist people in here."
Like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, crying racism when inappropriate will in time mean the cry will be ignore when it is appropriate. People of Parker's ilk are actually hurting legitimate victims of racism.

I misread the political tea leaves after Scott Brown was elected U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. I wrongly assumed President Obama and the Democrats in control of Congress would temper their drive to re-make this country out of fear of the November elections. Instead, Brown's victory and ugly polling numbers have spurred the Democrats to double down their bets and ramp up efforts to weaken this country through health care "reform," the Cap and Trade global warming tax scam, and a renewed push for amnesty for illegal immigrants. Instead of fearing loss of their jobs they are assuming massive losses and rushing to get unpopular legislation passed before they lose control. Best proof that they are anticipating massive losses in November? They already voted for no congressional pay raise for the next congress.

In the Florida Republican primary pitting Gov. Charlie Crist against state Sen. Marco Rubio people have been focusing on whether the faltering governor will drop out of the primary and run as an independent. What people are not discussing much is why did the national Republican party establishment back Crist in the primary? I have no problem with big names within the party endorsing a candidate in a primary. However, I have a major problem with the RNC, RSCC or RCCC financially backing a candidate in a primary. Save that money for the general election. Additionally, in recent years the Washington establishment Republicans have leaned towards picking candidates based on their perceived electability rather than because the candidate shares our conservative ideals. A great example is Lincoln Chafee. How'd he work out for us?

Speaking of the Florida primary and the news that Crist is going to run as an independent, there is something wrong about that process. I think you should not be able to run as an independent in the same election cycle where you competed for a party's nomination.

Am I the only one who wasn't thrilled with the NFL draft starting on prime time on a weeknight and being dragged out over three days?

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pride of Michigan - Carl Levin

The senior senator from Michigan, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) while grilling an executive from Goldman Sachs used an expletive eleven times in four minutes. I'm no prude and I'm not offended to hear that word. In a couple decades in the Navy I heard every swear word imaginable a few hundred times. I'll admit to using some a few times. However, Levin is not some 19 year old deck seaman. He is a 76 years old adult who has been in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. One would think an elected official would have sufficient vocabulary to express himself in a congressional hearing without resorting to a string of swear words. Before someone mentions it, yes I am aware he was using it because the word was used in an email to describe an investment deal. He was demonizing the company by using one persons coarsely worded negative opinion of the deal in an attempt to prove they should have known those investments were going to go south. Ridiculous! As big as Goldman Sachs is you will find someone at the company on both side of every investment idea. All investments have risks. Some have lower risks and a lower potential payoff and some have higher risk and a higher potential payoff.

Additionally, if anyone brought before one of these congressional hearings started repeatedly swearing they would be cautioned about it and held in contempt if they continued to do so.

Lastly, most of these congresscritters are bullies towards anyone brought before them and installing cameras to the chamber just caused them to behave worse as they now play to the impress those watching at home instead of asking legitimate questions aimed at finding the truth.

Hey, Michigan! Is Levin really the best you can find to represent you in the Senate?

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Most Disgusting Example of Government Waste

If this doesn't make you nauseous, then nothing will.
At a time when the American taxpayer is on the hook for trillions in current and future federal spending—when the Congressional Budget Office warns that the current rate of federal spending is “unsustainable”—liberal Democrats in Congress have earmarked over $68 million of taxpayer dollars for a Boston shrine to the late Senator Edward Kennedy.
If the fools in Boston want to put up a shrine to the recently departed drunken fool they can get contributions from individual fools instead of stealing it from the taxpayers in hidden earmarks.

Here is a link to the original Boston Herald story.

My position on this is not just due to my negative feelings over the miserable wretch the shrine is being built to honor. Even if a shrine is being built for a decent human being I'd want it to be funded by private donations. Also, this is not comparable to buildings, highways, airports, being named for politicians. A stretch of highway named for Ronald Reagan or John Glenn have a legitimate purpose beyond just glorifying a politician.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Obama Assisted in Enforcing Immigration Law

Yesterday, Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer signed into law an immigration enforcement bill despite objections from President Obama. So why does the title of this post give Obama credit for an assist in this matter? Because without his appointment of the former governor, Janet Napolitano, to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security this legislation would not have been signed into law. Here is the money quote from Obama:
Earlier Friday, Obama called the Arizona bill "misguided" and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal.
That sounds like a better comment to make about his massive health care takeover.

Gov. Brewer's comments make much more sense:
"We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," Brewer said after signing the law. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who Cares How a Quarterback Treats Women?

The title of this post is intentionally provocative. It, of course, refers to the rumors that the Pittsburgh Steelers are shopping troubled quarterback Ben Roethlisberger due to his recent behavioral issues that led the NFL to suspend the player for the first six games of the 2010 season. Reading comments on various websites most Browns fans are opposed to acquiring Roethlisberger either because of the excessive demands of the Steelers, dislike of the player who has been the face of a hated division rival, or most frequently disgust with his treatment of women. I could understand and agree with all those reasons for not wanting the Browns to trade for Roethlisberger. However, there was also a lot of folks who strongly disagreed. I can't understand all their reasons. Some asserted how awful the Browns have been over the last decade. Can't argue with that one. Some lamented the crappy quarterbacks currently on the roster. I wouldn't argue that point either. However, quite a few expressed the sentiment of the title of this post "If he can play football who cares how he treats women?" Well, there are several reasons to care. First and foremost, the quarterback is the public face of the organization and automatically a team leader. Picking up a player with his recent history sends the message that the Browns endorse and accept his behavior. A lot of the team's fans are women and the rest have mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters. Right or wrong, many of us would feel the team was excusing Roethlisberger's actions by picking him up.

Separately, from a football standpoint it would also be a suspect move. Everyone mentions his two Superbowl rings as evidence of his greatness. Nope, not buying it. The rings can be evidence of team greatness, but on their own are not necessarily indicative of individual greatness. Also, they tell us about the past not the future. His main positive is his strength and ability to take a hit without going down. However, he has also had a few injuries and has shown poor judgment both on and off the field.

Bottom line: There are many reasons to oppose the notion of overpaying for an overrated player that is suspended for a quarter of the upcoming season and could be suspended for good if he screws up again. He may go on to have more success in the league, but you don't bet your team's future on the slight chance that Roethlisberger will suddenly start exercising good judgment.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Politics of Sexual Blackmail

The Other McCain links to an article by Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly deploring someone opposed to Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) position on immigration alluding to Graham allegedly being gay.

McCain's post dealt with the hypocrisy angle of a leftist decrying the outing of an allegedly gay Republican since the left hasn't hesitated to out gay Republican politicians when it suited their purposes.

In my opinion, the underlying issue is much more problematic. I don't really care if boys decide to like boys or if girls decide to like girls. However, it becomes a potential problem when one is in politics and attempts to lead a secret life. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) can't be coerced into changing a position or vote based on a fear that the voters will find out he's gay. If the people of a state (say, South Carolina) elect a senator based on a belief he is relatively conservative they expect that senator to vote a certain way. If some people in Washington, DC find out that a supposedly conservative, straight, male, senator has a boyfriend it doesn't take much imagination to think that information would be used to influence his stance on key issues.

It may be naive of me, but I believe politicians have a moral obligation to ensure they can not be subjected to sexual blackmail. You can NOT be blackmailed about something that is NOT a secret.

For clarification purposes, let me unequivocally state I have no knowledge of whether Sen. Graham is gay. I also have no idea whether he has been unduly influenced to take ridiculous positions on cap and trade or if he really believes in the goofy global warming scam.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

National Day of Action

April 15th is commonly referred to as Tax Day since it is the deadline for filing federal income tax returns. Hopefully, in time it will become a nation day of action. I'd propose renaming 15 April as National Beat a Congressman Until They Support Tax Simplification Day! I know it is a little longer than most holiday names (Labor Day, Columbus Day, etc.) but I think it will catch on in time as people get in the spirit. I could recommend a couple congressmen for initial beatings, but spontaneity is important so pick one you feel is particularly adding to the problem. This is not a rant against paying taxes. There are some vital government services and funds need to be raised to pay for those services. I do believe there is excessive spending and a lot of government waste, but that is a subject for another day. Today I'm only complaining about the incredibly bloated and complicated tax code. Go to a flat tax or better yet a national sales tax.

I'm not normally an advocate of violence. However, our representative are no longer responsive to the populace they represent and at some point people will decide they have had enough.

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