Politicallysavvy's Blog

Politics and random musings

Style Over Substance

Following last night’s debate the social networking world was ablaze, of course not with what actually was discussed but concerning the future of a large yellow bird known as “Big Bird.” The natural reaction to this was immediate and swift, many viewers discussed their disdain for Governor Romney’s proposal to slash funding for the Public Broadcasting Station.

Is this not telling of a debate so highly toted as the most important day leading up to election 2012? There were few highlights within the debate that many have taken from last night, other than those that were not exactly pertaining to the actual events. However there are many things one should take away from last night:

  1. Speaking loudly and aggressively is NOT debating: As a former member of my high school’s debate team, this is 101.
  2. Talking over the moderator is NOT a characteristic of a model participant: Governor Romney’s abrasiveness illustrated a privileged persona, one that continues to rumble through rules/regulations.
  3. Facts were wholly absent from Governor Romney’s statements. According to more than 5 media outlets, Romney told more than 27 lies in less than 40 minutes. A few of the inconsistencies: Claims he does not have a $5 trillion tax cut, he is not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people, will not raise taxes on middle-income families, claimed President Obama has put in place as much public debt as all other presidents combined, claimed his healthcare plan would mean no change for current retirees and near retirees to Medicare, stated there are some parts of Dodd-Frank he would keep-after he has repeatedly called for a full repeal, claimed Obamacare would cause 20 million people to lose their insurance, claimed he didn’t raise taxes when he implemented Romneycare, claimed pre-existing conditions are covered under his plan

While the media has taken its ‘polling’ of Romney’s victory on last night there is one fact that is being overlooked. The triumph for Romney was that style won over substance. Romney repeated falsehoods with assertiveness and a style that can only be described as privileged bravado.

Finally, there was a conversation missing in its entirety from last night’s debate. Women’s reproductive rights, immigration policy, workers’ rights were all left untouched, this is where my outrage lies… sorry Big Bird.

Transcript from last night’s debate

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October 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Night One, DNC: First Lady Michelle Obama

The DNC officially kicked off events on last night in Charlotte, NC. Supporters, pundits, reporters, and fans alike all waited anxiously for the night’s key address, by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The night showcased strong leaders –and up and coming leaders- within the Democratic Party such as former Governor Ted Strickland, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Illinois Congressional Candidate Tammy Duckworth, and the keynote address by San Antonio (first Latino to hold the position at the DNC) Mayor Julian Castro. Each speaker spoke on the importance of re-electing President Obama while touting his achievements and need to continue to ‘move the country forward.’

The highlight of the night was undoubtedly First Lady Obama, her speech was pegged as ‘tugging at the heartstrings’ and even dubbed by the president as ‘making him choke up a little’ when he first heard it. As she stepped out onto the stage, the crowd erupted. The cheers and adoration was evident, it took several minutes for Michelle to begin:

“Over the past few years as first lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country.”

The speech encompassed bits from Michelle’s childhood, the hard work and selflessness exhibited by her father. The pride and love was evident as Michelle stated, “But despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever missed a day of work. He and my mom were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only dream of.”

Also addressed within the speech were her thoughts and experiences meeting and dating her husband. A man she spoke on with kindness and love, affirming that, ‘”When people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband, I can honestly say when it comes to his character and heart; he is still the same man.”

It was during this moment that the crowd began to connect with the First Lady, her sincerity and love of family and her position within the American public unfolded. Her story resonated due to the passion that was evident as she choked up, discussing the world her daughters would live in if we failed (as voters) to ‘work like never before.’

The stark difference between the speeches of Michelle Obama and Ann Romney (if being compared) was the content. Michelle spoke from the heart, her goal was not to humanize her husband, her goal was to continue to stand within their message. Her speech has been dubbed as one to follow yet her role has undoubtedly changed, she is the heart of the campaign and party. Her words sparked inspiration because they encompassed the stories of many Americans.

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

State of the Union 2012

Last night President Obama delivered his 3rd State of the Union (SOTU) address to the nation. Many eyes were on the president as the country has now experienced a few highs (unemployment rate at a 4 year low of 8.5%) and a few stumbles (homeowners are yet feeling the crushing blow of historic market downturn). With the GOP in full election mode and the tide of political rhetoric becoming nastier at each venue, how would the president soothe the nation while offering a sobering yet hopeful glimpse into the state of our union?
Before the president began, I logged into my twitter account- @PoliticlSvvyPhD (shameless plug) and gauged the reaction of many. Excitement was evident and a few expressed their desire for the president to ‘campaign style’ his critics, namely the GOP presidential contenders.

My initial thoughts as the president began his speech was his ability to not further divide or nod for a reelection, but a need to ensure Americans that his core beliefs-those that identified us all as Americans, had not wavered. His unapologetic stance towards clean energy to ensure a better tomorrow received riveting praise from many in Congress, as well as many social networking sites. His commitment to businesses that prosper within this nation and loyalty to American workers also resonated. At a time when jobs have become more difficult to secure, the president spoke on the need to invest in companies willing to insource, an idea that should prove popular to all. The need to reform tax cuts so that the wealthiest of Americans (incomes above $250,000 which accounts for less than 10% of all Americans) pay their fair share.

The State of the Union speech will be criticized (as there was a Republican response less than 5 minutes after, following that a Tea Party one) but as the president said:

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took
with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their
names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that
doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation
Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush’s
defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.
All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about
politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men
involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for
the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member
of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that
spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the
compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the
fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the
mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each
other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and
danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your
back.

I am yet hoping, hoping for a return to civility and common sense. I know that the upcoming election must be fought hard and will be fought long, but I know that our country is only as strong as its citizens. The State of our Union is solid but we must continue to understand the commitment and hard work that allows it to be so.

January 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

President Obama’s ‘Teddy Roosevelt Speech’

Today President Obama gave a rousing speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. It is being coined as one of his best yet and for good reason. The president went on the defensive but this was not concerning just any political matter, it surrounded his continued fight for the middle class. While there were many points that resonated, the area that stood out most was the passion in which the president exuded.

The last few months President Obama has been dragged relentlessly through the circus that is the Republican Party. Each debate offered anecdotes on what candidates would do, most surrounding what the president is “not.” President Obama has continued to push through and allow his focus to remain on the economy. Earlier this month it was reported that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6%, an obvious sign of improving times but this too has gotten lost in the fray of Donald Trump and talks of “poor kids” getting jobs.

Today proved different. The president spoke with the need for urgency, “Inequality also distorts our democracy. It gives an outsized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists and unlimited campaign contributions, and runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder. And it leaves everyone else rightly suspicious that the system in Washington is rigged against them – that our elected representatives aren’t looking out for the interests of most Americans.”

The need to redevelop our middle class, an issue that that has gotten lost in the Republican scrimmage as they attempt to move further to right was highlighted. The president is working hard not just for the rich or corporations, he is working to improve the lives of every American.

So I won’t mention the debacle that is the Republican contenders/party. As they prepare to have yet another debate this time hosted by a reality t.v. star, it is painfully obvious that the only adult in the room is not fighting with the children; his focus remains on more pressing issues.

The full speech in its original content can be found here:
http://news.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/obamas-teddy-roosevelt-speech—full-transcript.php

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Why we MUST vote for Obama in 2012

We are well into the campaign season and while the GOP hopefuls have produced dozens of embarrassing sound bites, the lack of intelligence concerning both foreign and domestic policy has been astounding. Even more upsetting (if there is a litmus test available) are the reactions from the audiences. The booing of an American soldier that happened to be gay, cheering the death of an uninsured cancer patient, or cheering the execution of 234 death row inmates, many of whom may have been innocent…

While this all makes for interesting blogging, the issue here remains simple. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the most BASIC of policy issues from the GOP contenders. On numerous occasions Republican candidates have proven themselves completely unfit for public office, let alone the American presidency. Debates have been marred with social discussions that fail to answer any solutions regarding job creation, viable stimulation of our economy, social security, health care, foreign policy or the dying middle class. What is discussed? Water boarding being used as a method of interrogation, how we must go to war with Iran in order to ensure we are safe, gay marriage, the need to NOT tax millionaires, and the lack of leadership from our current leader.

Instead of continuous blogging I will allow the following videos to produce a much stronger message. A message of urgency, we must vote for Barack Obama in 2012 because if not… well the consequences will be much greater than we can imagine.

November 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Justified outrage?

I have attempted to stray away from the media circus surrounding the Casey Anthony trial and public condemnation of the family. The fervor over receiving justice for little Caylee became a pastime for many Americans as they sat, watched, waited and some, praying for justice.

My concern ran deep for the little girl, staring sweetly into the lens of the camera. Her picture circulated the nation and captivated every audience. Has her death somehow been vindicated due to the trial, presentation of evidence, and ultimate decision of the jury? That falls beyond my scope of expertise, my concern has always been with the fascination that has surrounded THIS particular case. Caylee Anthony’s body was found in 2008, how many children have gone missing, killed, or exploited since then?

While my goal within this case is not to condemn those for being fascinated and disheartened with the aspects of Caylee’s death, my confusion does arise at the lack of concern for children in similar capacities. Browsing websites for the missing and exploited children and my heart grows heavy, my blood boils. The amount (averaged at 795,000 a year) of children that are missing and exploited each year is astounding, yet this fails to make front page headlines, 2 cases a week are barely mentioned within national television spots.

Remember the 3 year old boy in Mississippi that was burned alive by his mom when she placed him in an oven? No? I am not surprised; the story was played within the local outlets but never saw the light of day outside of the state. What about the parents that starved their child to death in Alabama? Still not familiar?

It is no surprise that these stories are absolute horrifying, even more devastating is the blatant disregard the media/public has shown. No pictures are placed up of children such as these on Facebook profiles-I saw friends do this for little Caylee today. There were no national vigils, no screaming protestors outside the courtroom of the none-televised trials, and no Nancy Grace… screaming at the injustice of it all.

The argument is not whether one should be outraged concerning the death of a little girl, the concern lies in why is the outrage limited to merely one?

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Outrage?

I went to see “Hangover II” and was thrilled because I enjoyed the first one so much. The theater was packed, which was expected due to it being opening day, and I was in high spirits. I looked over to my husband and whispered (while the credits were rolling) “I bet this is going to be so funny!”

Funny? Yes. Original? Hardly. However, this is no review of the movie, this is a direct strike at a mere 5 second bit in the movie I found to be outright deplorable.

While running around and attempting to piece together an eventful night, the men question one of the more memorable characters in the movie, Mr. Chow. As he attempts to help the befallen, he plays a message from his cell with a very drunken line that refers to his comrades as “niggas.” When the word was uttered I looked around to ensure I had not been wrong in my translation, before I made it through the end of my row, the word was said again (by the character known as Alan). I sat in stunned silence for what seemed to be an eternity and finally looked at my husband; he too stared at the screen, mouth agape.

To voice my disappointment seems hollow. To use such an offensive word, even in “jest” hardly seems necessary given the pranks that the characters seemed to fall in, most being laughable. To the benefit of the audience only a few chuckled when the words were uttered, to the distaste of me, a few still chuckled.

The producers, directors, and actors of the movies should be ashamed. To make a joke of a word so detestable illustrates a lack of concern for so many. To utter the word is NEVER okay, I will clarify, NO ONE has the right to say it.

My regret? Not knowing that this word would rear its ugly head in the strangest of places, a group of men attempting to piece together an adventure in Bangkok, Thailand.

It should be added that when searching for articles of outrage, “explanation” and a sense of responsibility, I found one.

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

President Obama vs Professor West

Cornel West on the Ed Show: “I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men … When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them.”

When President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, it appeared people of every background scrambled to attend what was to be a historic election and inauguration. Videos were shown of celebrating nations and more historically, civil rights leaders rejoiced as to what was being heralded as a “new era in politics.”

This of course has simmered down and criticism of the president has progressed. While politics is the name of every game our nation has taken a turn for a bleaker era. What was a voice of disagreement concerning policies has altered into criticism of the personal. Dr. Cornel West has recently become more vocal concerning the presidents “lack” of concern for the African American community. His criticism, while not new, illustrates a trend that fails to engage the president in policy but merely critical personal attacks.

Cornel West has made the following remark in the past, ““I couldn’t get a ticket [to the inauguration] with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange. We drive into the hotel and the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration… We had to watch the thing in the hotel.”

It should come as no surprise that Dr. West is a good friend of Tavis Smiley, a man that has made no alterations of his disdain for the president’s “snub” of him and his conference in 2007.

So the criticism of the president from black intellectuals is that he is not progressive enough. Not only is this completely unfounded but a blatant attempt to undermine the president. While the anger for the struggles of a community is respected we must first realize that the president is NOT the president of African Americans but the president of America.

My personal analysis is that the words that spew from the mouths of men such as West are not due to ideological differences, these feelings are due to bruised egos. Dr. West failed to offer a claim regarding the president’s policies merely his personal upbringing. If this is what leadership within our community offers I fear that we must look elsewhere.

May 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

How should we feel?

Unless you happen to live under a rock, you know by now that Osama Bin Laden has been killed by American Special Forces. The president informed the nation late Sunday evening of the demise of the world’s most elusive man.

What is still up for debate is the appropriateness of emotions. I have been bombarded with the following (via social networking sites): Pure outrage of the “celebrating” many Americans are currently exhibiting, sadness that Americans are even in fact “celebrating”, fear that this will be the beginning of the end for western civilization as we know it, anger that President Bush was not considered the actual hero, anger that the president is taking all the credit and not distributing it to the actual men/women responsible, and finally, outraged that this would surely eclipse the disaster relief efforts in the south.

It is first imperative that we put in perspective the seriousness of the situation. A very bad man was apprehended and assassinated. The importance of capturing/assassinating Bin Laden cannot be stressed enough due to the crimes in which he committed, the depth of his influence within Al Qaeda, and the symbolism of finally destroying a vestibule of terror.

What reaction would the naysayers permit others in having? Of COURSE people are happy due to what this symbolizes within a broader scale. Does violent beget more violence? Well, of course this is yet being debated and concrete evidence has yet to be produced. There is no evidence that Bin Laden would have gone into custody willingly, heck, he even used others for his bidding, even in his final hours on earth.

As for those that believe Bush should be given credit, this is not the blog for this sentiment. President Bush failed to capture Bin Laden and even discover those long forgotten WMDs. As far as President Obama taking the credit, I cannot eloquently write my disbelief at this. I have decided instead to attach the transcript as it cannot be altered.

Transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-dead

The emotions Americans feel at this point derive from the pain that we felt so many years ago on Sept. 11. The fear it seems has been replaced with joy. Not joy at the demise of a man, joy at what his life represented while he walked this earth. Of course terrorism can never be killed; it is an ideology that exists on the realm of all we know.

So before you write a status that reads, “How can we celebrate a death?!” Remember the nation that stood in utter disbelief as the Twin Towers fell, remember the innocent victims and more importantly, remember the feeling of hopelessness that has finally given way to a glimmer of hope.

May 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Long live the Pharoah

Egyptian President Mubarak appeared on tv and after what appeared to be 5 hours, stated he would stay in office until September. His reasons were long drafted that offered few solid explanations. Many (especially the Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square) thought this was the concessional speech. Instead, he insisted that these were Egyptian matters and that due to “outside” influences, the people were coerced into revolution. His vagueness continued as he stated that he would lift the state of emergency…down the road…sometime when the time is right. This act has been enforced since his tenure as president.

To add insult to injury Vice President Suleiman appeared on television less than an hour later and reiterated what had previously been stated by the president. The speech both men offered is not only condescending it offered no reprieve for the people of Egypt. This illustrates the aged mentality of the current Egyptian leaders and the resolve of people that have illustrated patient democracy.

What happens now is up in the air. I have a strong hunch that the protests will gather more steam as they wage through disappointment after disappointment. Violence is sure to follow as the president continues to try to hold on to powers that he no longer has.

February 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments