Sunday, September 28, 2008

What We Could Be ...

Throughout our history as a nation we have grown, wept, and matured together. Under the tyranny of a distant ruler our people willingly spoke out against that king so much as to dissolve all bonds between them. We defiantly came to war with the most formidable opponent of the time and won. From the bottom up we became a nation based on the principles of equality, justice, and liberty. We struggled to find our own in the early stages of our birth but came out strong in the end and grew into something that had not been seen in the history of the world, a government chosen by the people for the people and ruled by the people.

As time went on we faced many challenges but we never backed down, always looking to tomorrow to be a brighter day knowing we had control of our own destiny. Be it slavery, war, poverty, or injustice we as a nation did our best to right the wrong and provide a better future for those who will come after us. Our own Constitution speaks of this right from the beginning stating that "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union". This job is not done and will never be done. Striving for perfection is something which must be on the mind of all Americans when dealing with the affairs of our country. No one will be perfect but we must always be willing to step up to the plate and do something in the words of President Kennedy "...not because they are easy but because they are hard."

The reason why I have recited this rhetoric of history is based on the fact that I have not given up hope in America yet. I look at where we are with a slumping economy, war costing billions and much more in human sacrifice, and a loss of hope within the people of this country for a better future and I manage to still see a better day ahead. The past few decades of our history have made us lose our path from what we meant to be as a nation 232 years ago when our forefathers wrote "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." We have that chance every time we pick up a ballot. We must be willing to take our government back to the people because it is our empathetic duty to care for our fellow man. If we empower ourselves to be active in the process of making our country what it should be for the next period of time then we continue to strive for that more perfect of unions. We must make our choices based solely on our own terms off of our own intuitions.

I personally refuse to give my country up and let stormy seas chose where she will float to. I will not let a select few invoke fear on those who are already fearful. I cannot sit by and let what is collectively and rightfully the people's democracy be torn into a bureaucratic heap of what used to be the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And as one president of this nation said on the killing fields in southeastern Pennsylvania, "...the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, the the government by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama and McCain go head to head

So, in case you haven't heard....Obama killed the debate. For those of you who didn't attend the ISU Dems debate party, let me tell you how it went.

This topical debate was centered around foreign relations, however, in light of the current economic crisis, the moderator, Jim Leher, found room for some relevant economic questions(Obama ruled with poise over these questions.)

As the debate surged forward, what was suppossed to be McCain's shining night, turned out to be a rude awakening of his poor understanding of the issues and realistic solutions for them.

Signature McCain moves used throughout the night:
-The awkward smile
-The awkward laugh
-The irrelevant historical reference
-The pointless name drop of numerous political figures

One would think, naturally, that with moves like that you could not lose...but you can....and he did. On an unfortunate note, CNN (my savior of network news programs) spun the debate to make it seem as if it was some sort of neck and neck fight. We heard things like "McCain held his own" and "McCain was on Offense"...I am not sure if we actually watched the same debate.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Check your voter registration status!

Wow, it actually works! Make sure you're registered!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Palin Baby Name Generator

With children named Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig, it makes you wonder... if you had been born a Palin, what would your name be?

If I were born to Sarah Palin, my name would be Flex Gunship Palin.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Plain-Gibson interview

In her recent interview, conducted by Chalie Gibson, Palin put to rest any doubts...that she was the wrong person for the job.

Gibson asked Palin some top notch questions covering topics from the engery crisis to a prospective Israeli attack on Pakistan. Palin, without blinking, answered these question with the articulation of a senior in high school. I was blown away at the shallow, elementary answers given to some of Mr. Gibson questions. For intstance:

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?
PALIN: His world view.
GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation.

This, of course, is just a small excerpt, but I assure you that a multitude of her answers were worded in similar fashion.

If Palin expects the American people to fall for her as a legitimate political figure, she better throw away the hockey stick and pick up a book and figure out what it is she actually wants to reform.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More stains on Gov. Palin's record

I just received a link to this article, published by the NY Times, which uncovers some details about Palin's work in the Alaskan is quite interesting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Boston Globe reports another lie from the McCain-Palin camp

More "clarification" of details that they originally insisted were fact. They call it clarification, I call it backtracking.

Sarah Palin and John McCain lied about Palin's foreign travel experience. She has officially ventured outside the borders of North America once - to visit a total of two countries. Originally, the McCain team said she was visiting Alaskan National Guard troops in Kuwait and Germany, and also stopped in Iraq and Ireland. Turns out, she never actually crossed into Iraq, she just chilled at a border crossing for a while inside the Kuwait side. (As if setting foot inside Iraq really counts as "visiting" anyway.) And Ireland? That was just a refueling spot for her plane.

These are not the kind of statements that are due to misspeaking or gaffes. These are outright fabrications, stretching the truth to the tenth degree. The McCain-Palin team LIED ON HER RESUME that they showed to the American people.

When you apply for a job at McDonald's to pay for college and textbooks, if you fudge the truth about working an extra few months at Burger King when you really got fired for dropping a burger on the floor after three weeks, they will immediately disqualify you from the candidate pool for that job. But if a potential leader of the western world flat-out lies to the entire American public about her experiences, we let it go as long as they "clarify" and sound like maybe this time they're telling the truth.

America has a responsibility to ask more from our politicians and not to settle for this kind of lying, cheating, deceptive politics any longer. Hold your elected officials accountable, and more importantly, don't let these rotten apples in in the first place.

I'm fired up.

I'm voting republican

McCain's lies refuted

Here is a video I found on Daily Kos that looks at the recent lies the McCain camp has been using against Obama and lays out the truth for each.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Matt Damon on Sarah Palin

As much as I do not like celebrities being overly political, Matt Damon has a point.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

State Treasurer Giannoulias at ISU

Today at 3pm, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias spoke at a press conference in regards to new legislation to protect students from the deceptive practices of credit card companies. Making reference to specific practices like free frisbees, t-shirts, and food, Giannoulias is looking to make these companies more accountable for the way in which they approach students. Here are the main points of this legislation:

  • Ban credit issuers from offering any gifts when marketing credit cards on campuses;
  • Prohibit the selling or transferring of student names and personal information by colleges, universities, their foundations and alumni associations to credit card lenders;
  • Call on state colleges, universities and their affiliates to disclose marketing agreements with banks that target students;
  • Require colleges and universities to conduct financial literacy education for freshmen if the schools allow marketing or advertising of credit cards to undergrads.
Stating that this is the most comprehensive legislation on its kind in the nation, Giannoulias also stated that it is not bad for students to have credit cards, since they help build credit, but when irresponsibly placed in the hands of students, it can become payday for the banks, and lasting debt and financial problems for students.

ISU College Democrats President Katie Boundy spoke at the event speaking about how her parents taught her responsible behavior when it came to credit cards. Unfortunately for some students, fiscal responsibility is something that is hard. Take me for instance. 2 years ago I had nearly $3,500 in credit card debt. I was laid off from Best Buy and I had numerous school bills to pay. Credit cards were that answer for me at the time. It took me a year of not buying anything other than gas and the essentials to pay off that debt. In the end I spent nearly $4,000 counting interest. They were way too accessible for me and with parents who want me to learn by doing, I nearly failed.

So I tip the proverbial hat to you Treasurer Giannoulias for finally taking a stand against these companies and the easy money us college kids can be to them. Now I want to hear your opinion (or story). You can either post a comment, or we have a new poll to the right.

Monday, September 08, 2008

College Republican Leader Said What???

So, I was scanning some of the news headlines this evening when I came across "College Republican leader forced to quit over Obama remark" . Obviously, being a leader with the College Democrats, this grabbed my attention, so I took a look. The article can be found here:

21 year old Adam LaDuca who was the executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, wrote on his Facebook page a couple of months ago that Obama has "a pair of lips so large he could float half of Cuba to the shores of Miami (and probably would.)"

What an asshole! But I digress. African-Americans have been stereotyped for their lip sizes for quite a long time in American history. In fact, many Americans claimed that Babe Ruth was black due to his full lips. Reference to the lip size of African-Americans has often been derogatory. Any reasonably educated person would know this fact.

Laduca is no stranger to controversy. He has been quoted as saying Martin Luther King Jr. was a "pariah" and a "fraud,". He also created controversy protesting affirmative action by holding a bake sale in which whites were charged more for cookies than blacks (Where can I buy?).

Laduca later said that "it was just a dumb move saying something like that in public." But I'll do him one better. I would like to say that it is a dumb move to say something like that in private as well. It's ignorant, intolerant, and just plain disrespectful and I'm offended. And the Republicans wonder why they have a problem with the African-American vote.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Students for Barack Obama Canvass Trip #1

First let me say thank you to everyone who came out today to make the trip to Terre Haute, IN. Between ISU and IWU students I know we made an impression on the campaign office in Terre Haute. I am going to tell you my story from the canvassing route and what this area means to the campaign in my eyes.

I began my journey by dropping off 2 different pairs of volunteers (who were awesome by the way, Adam, Rollin, Teresa, and Lisa) and then made my way to my first stoping grounds for the day. It was a working-middle class neighborhood where plenty of children were playing. I stopped my car, got out and went to my first home. As I started I began to realize what kind of area I was in, McCain country.

I honestly felt discouraged right away and wondered what the next person would bring. I went up to the simple one story house with toys in the front yard and rang the doorbell. A woman came to the door an appeared to be my contact opn the list. She was and I told her who I was and who I was with and she then stated, "Oh but im a Republican and definitley voting McCain." Oh great another one. But then I asked her what issues were important to her this election. She stated gas prices, the economy, and education. I attached right away to education being a history ed major and told her how I was studying to be a teacher and what education meant to me and why I supported Senator Obama when it came to education. I was then able to tie in the economy and gas prices and told her all the great things the senator was planning on doing.

Her reply was something which makes me think for the rest of the neighborhood ( and the other "red" neighborhoods I visited). "I did not know those were his stances on those issues. I am going to have to take a real good look at him again since those match up with my thoughts." Was it really that simple? Did they just need to be educated? Why were they not finding out the truth of Obama's plans? While I do not know these answers it gives me hope to what these canvasing trips could bring. Each vote counts in an election like this and if her vote is that one vote, I can know I heped make a difference.

What I am trying to say here is this. Be smart. Know what the truth is and find it out yourself because politics has turned in to a massive game of telephone where information gets distorted untill the truth is lost. Get involved. The more people that are out there speaking to potential voters and informing them on the issues at hand, the better chance we have. I was able to turn a definite McCain vote into an undecided voter today. Is it a vote for Barack? No, but right now the seed of truth was planted for that young woman and hopefully it can flourish into a supporter who wants to get the truth out herself.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Obama on O'Reilly

As some of you may have seen, Barack Obama appeared on the O'Reilly factor last night to fulfill a promise to O'Rielly that they would have an interview. The first half (approx. 7 min) of the interview was aired and the rest will be shown throughout the next few episodes.

The interview began, as you would assume, with a mature and respectful greeting between both Obama and O'Reilly. Quickly, the interview turned towards the issues, beginning with "terrorism."

At first, O'Reilly and Obama seem to be on the same page...they agree that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are terrorist groups; they also agree that Iran is a prospective threat and that it is unacceptable for them to have control of nuclear weapons. It is not until the two begin discussing the path which the US should take towards Iran that things go south.

As Obama has repeatedly said,

It's sufficient to say I would not take the military option off the table and that I will never hesitate to use our military force in order to protect the homeland and United States interests.But where I disagree with you is the notion that we've exhausted every other resource.

With this being said, O'Reilly quickly retaliated by claiming, "Maybe. But that's just all hypothetical." Hearing this, I quickly yelled at the screen, nearly the exact words which Obama used to respond,...
"EVERYTHING IS HYPOTHETICAL." This meaning that anyone could say, "what if diplomacy doesn't work and Iran tries to invade the US" or "what if we use military force and the rest of the world disagrees with us, and this eventually leads to a very secluded, weakened, and allyless US." The point is, is that anyone can make up a situation which would counteract any particular solution to said situation.

Going forward, as one would expect, the interview turned towards our current situation in Iraq. Surprisingly, O'Reilly admitted that "
I think history will show it's the wrong battlefield, okay. And I think that you were perspicacious in your original assessment of the battlefield." (I would be lying if I said my jaw didn't literally dropped when I heard that.) To hear O'Reilly, as I am sure you all know Bill O'Reilly's stance on the war, say that Obama was correct in his original assessment of the prospect of a continuous campaign in Iraq really speaks to his character...well, it did...until I heard the rest of the interview.

When the surge is brought up, Obama, like a civilized candidate, explained that he thought that the surge had done well in lowering the violence and helping to extinguish Al Qaeda's presence. The conversation continues and...well, here is a segment of the interview which I think sums up how Bill O'Reilly was going to act for the rest of the interview:

SEN. OBAMA: Well, look --

MR. O'REILLY: No, no, no, no.

SEN. OBAMA: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

MR. O'REILLY: If it were up to you, there wouldn't have been a surge.

SEN. OBAMA: No, no, no, no. Hold on.

MR. O'REILLY: You and Joe Biden -- no surge.

What Obama was trying to explain, was that when voting for the surge you would of had to taken into account the way the war had been managed by the administration thus far...needless to say, it has not been well. Keeping this in mind, a vote in favor of the same administration would have seemed like national me at least.

Also, sure we have lowered the violence, but the Iraqi people still depend on the US; and we are still spending money. If we continue to be the crutch for Iraq and its government...their legs may never heal to allow them to stand on their own.

The interview ended with a pretty heated discussion about potential military force against Pakistan (it ended pretty abruptly, given that only half of the interview was shown last night.)

To give a quick overview of my own thoughts on the interview. I thought it was brave of Obama to go on such a notoriously right wing show, where O'Reilly is known for badgering people who are not of his political persuasion. And, from where I am sitting, it seemed like Obama really blew O'Reilly out of the water.

If you want to check out the interview for yourself, go to the link below:

Community Organizing

So apparently, the occupation of community organizing was the butt of many jokes at the Republican National Convention (aka Hypocrite Convention or White People's Party Convention) this week.

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities."
-Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential Candidate for the Republican Party

I found this rather interesting and perplexing. I tried and tried but I just could not find the humor in the joke. Perhaps it's my liberalism that is distorting my sense of humor. Afterall, we did learn from the Republican Convention that liberalism is the source of every problem you can imagine. Nevertheless, it got me thinking. So, I did some research and I wanted to find out more about community organizing and the individuals who have been involved in this occupation. I found that they make very low wages and the work is heavily demanding often requiring long hours. Just imagine trying to organize a community to come together and build up their economic infrastructure. Not easy work. I also found that a lot of recognizable people organized their communities. Here is a brief list of some people who have community organized.

Founding Fathers of the United States
Martin Luther King jr.
Mother Theresa
Jane Addams
Saul Alinski
Betty Friedan
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Barack Obama
Martin Luther
Al Sharpton
Malcolm X
Paul Wellstone
Jesse Jackson
Mahatma Ghandi
Cezar Chavez
Nelson Mandela
Susan B. Anthony
Harriet Tubmannand
10's of thousands more that go unnoticed.

I guess according to the GOP, all of these people are clowns.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin Accepts GOP Nomination for VP

Tonight Sarah Palin accepted the Republican National Committee's nomination for Vice-President. She spoke of John McCain's desire to stick up for what he believes in, her own family's call to serve this country in the military, and a life story speaking to small towns (making reference to Democratic President Harry Truman).

But she lost me when she stated that a community organizer does not have actual responsibilities compared to mayor. Are you kidding me Sarah Palin? I have worked on the individual level doing volunteer work and many people in low-income, under-serviced areas depend on that help from community organizers. If a church volunteer group no longer has that food pantry, where do they get supplemental food? If an organization that is training people to get back into the job market leaves, who will help them learn to get back on their feet? Community organizers play a much more important role in the lives of everyday people more than a mayor to many people. In cities and towns across the country you see this on all levels.

She also made mention on how if you are on the outside, people do not appreciate you. You are not the only person still in this campaign trail who has been tested by the media. Your opponent Barack Obama had been criticized from day one for many of the same things you are being criticized for, like experience and personal life. It is a part of national politics unfortunately, and it is a life of get tough quick. You appear to be strong, but do not make yourself seem like the only person who was been looked at critically this election season.

Here are a few of her own talking points she stated about Republicans and Barack Obama:
"Leave this nation better than we found it"

Ok, Sarah Palin. Let's look at how your party will be leaving our nation when your party leaves the White House. A war on two fronts, one of which was waged under false pretenses. A slumping economy with $4 a gallon gas when in 2001 when the GOP took office gas was $1.46. Hmm, just on that it looks like America is doing much better than before. Next point.

Sarah Palin is against using foreign supplies of oil. I agree with this since we are helping fund nations who support Islamic extremists, but the answer is not more oil, it is new technology which I will get into later in this blog. But if we need oil, where will we get it. Alaska? But if we did that wouldn't that interfere with your staunch ethics stance against personal gains. I would think this would be a great asset to your home state of Alaska.

"Two memoirs, yet no reform or laws in Senate"

This is an outright lie. First, one book was a memoir. The second was a political theory book looking at what needed to be done and how to do it. Barack Obama passed one of the most sweeping ethics reforms in decades in the Senate as well as working across the aisle to pass a bill to keep nuclear arms out of the hands of terrorists and keeping all accounted for.

"Take more of your money" WRONG! See below with taxes.

"Against producing energy"

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been for creating new "Green Collar" jobs working towards alternative sources of energy including building new nuclear power plants.

"Terrorists are looking for nuclear weapons, and meeting leaders without preconditions"

See above with Obama working to pass a bill to keep nuclear arms out of the hands of terrorists. And when it comes to speaking to world leaders, without conversation all you have is ignorance. And when you don't speak what happens is a war like Iraq. We have a VP candidate who called Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal to his face. Talk does not mean weakness, sometimes it takes much more strength to say something to an enemy than to never speak at all.

"Raise taxes" WRONG!

Apparently Sarah Palin was not watching last Thursday where Barack Obama stated he would LOWER taxes for 95% of Americans. He would tax windfall profits of big oil, and create incentives for the creation of small businesses.

So, now I guess comes my conclusion of what I saw tonight. I could not tell whether is was ignorance or an attempt at stand-up comedy. So many points Sarah Palin brought up were not only false, but outright lies. Stating a community organizer does not have responsibility was a statement from someone who has lost touch with their surrounding community. Organizers do have a responsibility at the same level you did Gov. Palin to your community. As you stated, politicians get involved to make their communities better, the same way organizers work from the bottom up to change their communities, and I will still do what I can to help change the communities I live in, even if I do not have any responsibility as you stated tonight.

I shall return with my reaction to Senator John McCain's speech tomorrow.

A Quick Word

Firstly, I want to say that the prospect of this reemerging blog is an exciting one.

Secondly, and on a more politically relevant note, I want to drop a quick word about the poll to the right of my know, the one about the candidates children. Well, I just wanted to justify my vote (which was "no".)

I am a server at Ruby Tuesday, on a daily basis I am forced to interact with the fowl mouthed and disrespectful youth of the Bloomington-Normal area. This experience has aided in making me a firm believer that children, especially at a young age, are susceptible to the poor tactics implemented by their parents/guardians. With this being said, I think it is completely acceptable to analyze the offspring of a candidate, especially the candidate of such an important office as....I don't know...let's say...President of the US.

I am not advocating the revocation of a child's privacy simply because their parent is in the public eye. What I am suggesting, is that a look at a candidate's child may give us, the voters, a look at their executive experience behind closed doors. I hate to write in callous terms...but children are an excellent metaphor for a corporation.

I would like to know if anyone else shares, or opposes, my justification...feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Welcome Back to the ISU College Democrats Blog!

As you can tell from our last post date, we have been gone a while. While this is just a quick, "We're back!" entry we want you all to please keep checking back here for more updates as we continue to work at bringing our page back up to date. But for now, there is a new ISU Dems Poll you can take on the right side of the page regarding children in campaigns. Dems '08!