Posted in GOP, Mitt Romney, News, Newt Gingrich, Obama, Politics, Presidential Campaign, Rick Santorum, RNC

Romney- Curse of the Moderate Mormon

I was initially concerned when, last Tuesday, we saw Rick Santorum kick Mitt Romney’s patootie in the caucuses in CO and MN, as well as Missouri’s Primary.

I thought, “Really? My state prefers SANTORUM?!”

Later, however, I started to laugh.

Truly, Romney’s defeat in these three states is both hilarious and, much as I can’t stand Santorum, positive.

Well, positive if you’re a Progressive, anyway.

Most political pundits- regardless of party affiliation- agree on one thing:

The only man in the GOP race who has what it takes to give Obama any sort of challenge is Mitt Romney. Santorum cannot beat Obama, nor can Gingrich. These two men may be the darlings of the ultra-right, but they definitely do not speak for the masses- even the conservative mass.

Most Republicans, believe it or not, don’t want to outlaw birth control, a la Rick Santorum.

Similarly, most PEOPLE, in general, cannot stand Newt Gingrich. Not to be crass, but no, we have not forgotten his rabid attack on Bill Clinton, managed between sessions of screwing his mistress in the backseat of his car.

It’s bad enough to be a jackass- we’ve come to expect that from our politicians- but a hypocritical jackass?

Now that’s just too much!

This leaves Romney (because as entertaining and cute as little Ron Paul may be, he ain’t winning the nomination for anything, let alone President of the United States).

Romney has a lot of challenges. He’s stinkin’ rich, he has an avid dislike of the poor… but his biggest challenge stems from the fact that he is, in fact, a moderate (oh, the horror!).

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney supported various pro-choice bills, and of course, we can’t forget Romneycare (I know it’s old news, and quite tired, but I still have to say it- Romney was for Universal Healthcare before he was against it).

Oh- and let’s not forget, because it’s really important to some- Romney is a devil worshipper Mormon. What’s a political race if it doesn’t include a little bigotry, right?

I digress.

While Romney’s past as governor may put sane middle-of-the-road folks at ease, it has become a huge thorn in the side of the GOP. Rather than rally behind the guy, understanding that he’s the best shot they have at winning the White House, the party has become splintered, full of factions of varying-degrees of conservatism. Romney has found himself in a position where he must fight liberals and conservatives. His middle-of-the-road past, something most voters prefer in a politician, has become one of his biggest challenges.

It’s reminiscent of the Democrats’ woes, during the epic battle of the Barack Obama vs. Hilary Clinton days of yore. The difference is, during the Obama/Clinton showdown, there were only two participants in the ring.

This race seems a bit more crowded, no?

Regardless, the Republican Party needs to come to an understanding:

Mitt Romney is their guy.

Period.

Allowing silly distractions like Gingrich and Santorum into the equation does nothing but sidetrack the Republicans from their only chance at winning this thing. If the fringe keeps feeding the egos of Gingrich and Santorum, they will make Obama’s run for re-election a simple one- and a slam-dunk victory.

After all these months, after all the millions paid to PACs and Super-PACs, new suits, speechwriters…

… One would think the GOP would have gotten a little more serious by now.

The fact that by February, in an election year, states are still reporting Rick Santorum as the front-runner in anything truly is…

… Well, hilarious.

On second thought, keep up the good work!

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, La Raza, Liberal, News, Newt Gingrich, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

Sotomayor, Supreme Court and Spindoctors

One of my readers hipped me to “La Raza”, while commenting on my recent post on Judge Sotomayor- stating that she is a member of this particular group.

I didn’t know anything about the organization, and promised to research both the group and the judge’s alleged ties to it.

What I learned, not surprisingly, is that what’s often thought to be common knowledge isn’t always accurate information.

How dangerous misinformation can be.

First of all, let’s talk about that which cannot be disputed. La Raza is a Latino organization that currently operates in the U.S., and is active in 41 states. It’s a relatively large group, with over 300 local-level affiliated groups that are under the La Raza umbrella.

Officially known as the National Council of La Raza, its website claims that as “the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, NCLR works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans”. To meet its objective, La Raza gives a latin prospective via applied research, focusing on five areas: assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health.

Founded in 1968, the group claims to be a private, tax-exempt, non-partisan organization that is headquartered in Washington, DC.

Now, on to a couple of misconceptions.

Some people have a lot of negative feelings about this organization, as obviously, being hispanic in nature, there is the perception that La Raza is an open-borders advocate, or a lobby group for illegal aliens. The organization has been bastardized, based on inaccurate data.

An opinion is an important thing to have, and as free-thinking Americans, our opinions will not always gel with one anothers’.

It is inconscionable, however, to base one’s opinions on something that isn’t even true.

La Raza, according to its website, does not support a United States of America that has open borders. They absolutely recognize- and support- this country’s right, as a sovereign nation, to control its borders. In fact, in 2005, the National Council of La Raza supported, in partnership with such Republicans as John McCain (R-AZ) , Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. This bill, among other things, provided for the stronger enforcement of labor and immigration laws. It was to help secure our borders while keeping America safe in the process.

The organization certainly supports immigration reform, but it just as fiercely advocates for a strong enforcement program as well. The group has never condoned the act of illegally crossing the United States of America’s borders.

Another misconception about La Raza is its name, and what it translates to mean. Many people claim the name means “The Race”, which understandably makes quite a few folks uncomfortable. A white organization would get ten different kinds of hell, were it named “The Race”, most especially if a Supreme Court nominee were rumored to be a member.

*Shudder*

Can you imagine?

La Raza, however, does not mean “The Race”- this is merely a loose and factually inaccurate translation- but rather,  “The People” or “The Community”. Certainly “The People” has a much less Hitler-esque tone, and suddenly, the group doesn’t seem quite so threatening anymore.

Hispanics, if we are honest with ourselves, do not have an easy time in America. Obviously it is not impossible to be both hispanic and successful, much like one can be black and successful, but like many other minorities, Latinos do face a certain amount of bigotry, unfair stereotypes and all-out hatred. La Raza tries to make these speedbumps a little more manageable, fighting to make sure Hispanics are afforded the same opportunities as non-minorities (translation: white people).

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, is a memberof the National Council of La Raza.

Some people act as if we should be shocked by this, but realistically, looking at Sotomayor’s history, along with La Raza’s stated mission, it all becomes quite understandable.

Not only that, but it isn’t a negative thing in the least.

Sonia Sotomayor, daughter to Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in New York- in the Bronx- in a public housing project. She knows poverty and discrimination first hand, as the recipient of what amounted to two strikes against her- being both poor and hispanic. This did not make for an easy go of things. Yet she chose not to use her economic status (or lack thereof) or her race as an excuse to fail. Instead, she chose to thrive, putting herself through college and law school- Ivy League, no less- ultimately graduating from both Princeton and Yale, serving as editor of the Yale Law Review to boot.

Keep in mind, this was no trust fund baby. She did it the old-fashioned way, with her own blood, sweat and tears.

Learning of Sotomayor’s background and the adversity she has managed to overcome, it is anything but surprising to learn that she is a member of an organization whose entire purpose is to protect the civil rights and improve the quality of life of Latinos throughout America.

After law school, Judge Sotomayor went on to become the Assistant Attorney General for the city of New York, ran her own private practice for several years, and (due to then-President George H.W. Bush’s nomination), served on the bench for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Clinton Administration later nominated her to sit on the federal bench at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District.

The woman is on fire, and has managed to successfully navigate not one, but two Senate Confirmation hearings, after having been nominated for bench positions by two different presidents- both a Democrat and a Republican.

Recently a group of Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, have accused Judge Sotomayor of reverse discrimination, claiming she’s racist, and therefore should not be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Their claims are based on a something the judge said in 2001, while speaking to The University of California Berkley’s School of Law. She said at that time, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Apparently, the fact that Sotomayor admits that she believes her personal life experiences make her a better judge, is offensive to some. The hypocrisy lies in the fact that Justice Samuel Alito, during his own Supreme Court confirmation hearings, said the same exact thing– only about himself, of course- and these same Republicans didn’t bother blinking an eye.

Of course, when Alito said it, we called it “empathy in judging”.

With Sotomayor, it’s racism.

I guess it’s only a problem when the statement is made by a liberal.

The GOP  wasn’t terribly concerned about her qualifications when they confirmed her in the past- twice- but now, suddenly, she’s a racist.

Ah, hypocrisy at its finest.

Though without it, I would have nothing to write about, so onward we go.

I’m not saying we should all welcome Judge Sonia Sotomayor with open arms. Legitimate questions still need to be asked, more information needs to be had. I stated in my previous post, for example, that I am a little leary of her Catholic background and how that may (or may not) translate to her decisions on such topics as abortion, gay rights and stem cell research.

In many ways, the jury is still out.

None of that, however, lessens the importance of committing to forming educated opinions based on fact. My ultimate opinion of President Obama’s nominee may or may not be a popular one, but I take comfort in knowing that my decision will be based on fact and not fear, conjecture or rumor.

Hopefully, all of you will be able to say the same, when that time comes.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Capital Punishment, Catholic, Conservative, Current Events, Death Penalty, Democrats, Gay Rights, News, Newt Gingrich, Politics, President, Religion, Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, Barack Obama and the GOP

Obama has made his decision, nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the new Supreme Court Justice.

From a purely political standpoint, I think this is a genius move on the president’s part.

The GOP, already somewhat hampered due to the stink they made over filibusters during Justices Roberts and Alito’s confirmation hearings, can only complain so much- regardless of whom Obama names- because they don’t want to look like complete hypocrites.

During the Bush Administration, they wanted a simple up-or-down vote for judges… and… well, now they have the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.

Normally, especially in politics, hypocrisy would be par for the course- something the Republicans need not think twice about. Currently, however, they stand to lose even more than they can afford to, considering that the GOP’s already critically injured.

Their party is on life-support.

The GOP needs the support of the Latino community… which is exactly Judge Sotomayor’s background. How can they justify fighting to exclude a woman who is Catholic, Latina, and more experienced than either justices Roberts or Alito were at the time of their confirmations?

I don’t think they can.

Gingrich can scream that Judge Sotomayor is racist all he wants to… that seems to be his current plan of attack… but really, no one’s listening to that nonsense.

Personally, the thought of another Catholic on the bench- we currently have 5, not including Sotomayor- makes me a little nervous.

Catholics typically don’t support a woman’s right to choose, gay rights or stem cell research… all things that are very important to me. Sotomayor has not had the opportunity to rule much on those issues, so we don’t really know for sure where she stands.

Hopefully, if confirmed, she will keep her religious beliefs off the bench, ruling instead to preserve the rights of all people- recognizing that the freedom to make individual decisions for ourselves is a bigger priority than exulting her own beliefs from on high.

The greater good and all that.

On the flip side, Catholics tend to be adversaries of the death penalty, and that’s something I would love to see abolished… so who knows…

It would have been nice to see a good lesbian, protestant judge nominated, but I do realize we don’t yet live in a country where such an individual’s confirmation would have been possible.

Still… a person can dream, right?

Posted in C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, News, Newt Gingrich, Politics, Republicans, Torture, War on Terror

Newt Gingrich, Nancy Pelosi and Torture

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi engaged in a “despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort” when claiming to know little about the use of waterboarding and other CIA-sanctioned “enhanced” interrogation methods.

She lied to the House of Representatives and to the American public.

That’s what Newt Gingrich says, anyway, while trying to justify his belief that the House should open an inquiry to investigate her claims that the CIA never briefed her about the use of torture on terror suspects.

The “despicable, dishonest” part of his quote sounded familiar somehow, so I immediately got to researchin’.

Lo’ and behold…

… I found what I was looking for.

How about this

The House ethics committee recommended last night that (the) House Speaker face an unprecedented reprimand from… colleagues after concluding that inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented “intentional or . . . reckless” disregard of House rules.”

Huh.

I bet your average Pelosi-hater will read that and begin foaming at the mouth… nodding their heads in agreement… “Yup-yup, that’s right… they’re gonna recommend a punishment for her? That’s great!!”

… Except that the quote’s not referring to Nancy  Pelosi at all. 

See, Newt Gingrich knows a thing or two about lying to the House of Representatives and unethical behavior himself.

In January of 1997 the House Ethics Committee voted, 7-1, to reprimand then-House Speaker Gingrich, as well as fining him $300,000 in additional sanctions. This action concluded the investigation against Newt Gingrich for illegally using tax-deductible money for political purposes, and for lying to investigators.

The above quote was said about Newt more than 12 years ago.

Gingrich, in fact, holds the distinction of being the first-ever, and to this day, only House Speaker to ever receive an official reprimand by the House of Representatives.

Yeah. I said ever.

In the meantime, he’s going off on Pelosi every chance he gets. He says she only has 2 defenses with regards to this CIA waterboarding fiasco… she was either dishonest or incompetent.

I wonder which defense worked best for him?

The dishonesty defense? Or the incompentence one?

Unfortunately, Gingrich, who never had that much credibility to begin with, simply sounds ridiculous right now.

He’s unusually rabid with regards to Speaker Pelosi, and knowing his own history as Speaker of the House, it simply seems he’s being over-zealous for the wrong reasons.

He just wants someone else to join him in his rare distinction of “Reprimanded House Speaker”.

Poor guy’s gettin’ lonely.

Gingrich himself does not support torture, and for that I congratulate him. His is not a popular position within the Republican Party right now, and I applaud him for taking a stand.

His motivation for calling for Pelosi to be investigated may, perhaps, seem more genuine if he would back off a little from the rabid-attack-dog act, and hold off until all the facts are known.

I sincerely hope the rest of us will do the same, waiting until all the facts come to light before condemning Nancy Pelosi to Newt Gringrich’s ‘hood.

Personally speaking, if it does turn out that Speaker Pelosi knew that our soldiers were torturing people and never did anything to either bring the behavior to light or stop it, and then turned around and went on a media-blitz after Bush left office, condemning him for knowing about torture, supporting torture, and not actively working to end torture, I will not only be calling for her to be reprimanded, but impeached entirely.