Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VIDEO: Why We Still Like Ike


[VIDEO] Last October on reason.tv, Tim Cavanaugh sat down with LA Times editor Jim Newton to talk about our nation's 34th President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Before becoming President, Eisenhower had been a five-star general well known for serving during the Second World War commanding forces in the European Theater. He is mostly known for the D-Day invasion of the French region of Normandy.

He served as President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 and this interview largely looks at Eisenhower's administration during that time. Eisenhower didn't want to perpetuate crises he sought to calm the nation down. He also believed in fiscal responsibility.

Also discussed here is his record on civil rights. During Eisenhower's administraion the US Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education. Eisenhower even used federal forces to desegregate a Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

This is an approximately 11 minute interview.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Higher education bubble update: Morris Brown edition

I should've figured that this news would find it's way onto Instapundit. For those of you who read my blog this shouldn't be such a big surprise, Instapundit readers only got this news today!

The link is pointed towards College Insurrection a site similar to its parent publication Legal Insurrection that has the narrow focus on conservatism at our nation's universities. Of couse it seems their interested in the state of our universities as well.

Also I can see how Morris Brown College could fit into the narrative of the higher education bubble. Certainly the issue of financial mismanagement, taking advantage of students, and ultimately the loss of their accreditation. It's a real unfortunate story for one of our nation's oldest HBCUs.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong, 1st man to land on the moon passes away



[VIDEO] Posting that 9 minute video above that showed highlights of the Apollo 11 mission. This was the mission that saw Neil Armstrong who was mission commander land on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Armstrong died today at the age of 82:

Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who became first to walk on the moon as commander of Apollo 11, has died. He was 82 years old.

Armstrong had heart surgery several weeks ago, and a statement from his family said he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.

"Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job," his family said. "He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. ... He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits."

On July 20, 1969, half a billion people -- a sixth of the world's population at the time -- watched a ghostly black-and-white television image as Armstrong backed down the ladder of the lunar landing ship Eagle, planted his left foot on the moon's surface, and said, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Box office update: Anti-Obama doc '2016: Obama's America' headed for mainstream success



[VIDEO] What you see is a trailer for 2016: Obama's America billed as an anti-Obama documentary directed by conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza. You can read more about this film over at Wikipedia.

In any case over at Newsalert, there is an article about how well it's doing so far:
A politically charged documentary called 2016: Obama’s America turned heads last weekend when it grossed a whopping $1.24 million out of just 169 theaters.

The $2.5 million independent film, which is being distributed by Utah-based Rocky Mountain Pictures, premiered in Houston six weeks ago and has recently enjoyed some extremely uncharacteristic box office behavior.

You see, normally, when a film’s theater count increases, the amount of money it’s earning in each theater decreases. This is the standard performance pattern for a limited release and follows common supply/demand logic.

Here’s how things have gone for 2016: Obama’s America, though: Three weekends ago, 2016 earned $34,133 out of 10 theaters, which gave it a per theater average of $3,413 — not all that remarkable for a limited release. When it expanded into 61 theaters the next weekend, its per theater average did a funny thing: it jumped up to $5,202. Last weekend, the film experienced an even bigger expansion, into 169 theaters, and again, its per theater average substantially leapt up to $7,365.

Let’s be clear: this almost never happens.
You know I would be curious about this movie now. Though many surely would reject this film because obviously this maligns President Obama. Then again this movie asks questions that were already asked about him by many conservatives. Although to me sure, hopefully they don't touch the issues of whether or not he was actually born in the US or if he's a Muslim. As for who influenced the President in his more formative years, that's as much fair game as any!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vodkapundit: Wargaming the Electoral College

Stephen Green continues to theorize about potential results in this years Presidential race:
This should be easy to read. Dark blue is safe for President Obama, while light blue states are his leaners. Dark red is Mitt Romney country, with light red leaners. Uncolored states are the toss-ups.

Three surprises this time around, one of which you might already be pointing and laughing at: “He has Illinois is a leaner? What a maroon!” Very likely, yes. But the only poll I’ve seen out of Illinois showed Obama with only 49% — in Cook County, home of Chicago. Any Democrat running statewide in Illinois needs to run up the numbers in Cook, because they’re going to get slaughtered downstate. Now, I don’t really think Illinois is in play, but until I see some other indicator, I’m putting it in the leans column. It might even stay there long enough for me to finish writing this paragraph.

Missouri got downgraded to leans Romney, thanks to the heroic jerkiness of one Todd Akin. Women will turn out in droves to vote against this guy. Missouri, once safely red, is now a state to watch. You can’t hear me, but I’m saying very bad words right now.

And Colorado lost its blue tint for the first time ever on a battleground map. I thought my home state was going to be a tough nut for Romney to crack. He underperformed here during the primaries, I thought, and our state GOP has been in a circular firing squad for the better part of a decade now. You’d think they’d have run out of ammo, but no. Anyway, the last Rasmussen poll gave Romney a nice edge, with an R+5 sample. Colorado was R+1 in 2008 (when Obama was the Messiah) and R+9 in 2004 (when it went heavily for Bush). So R+5 sounds about right, as Colorado tilts back partway towards its historic norm.

And I stand by my year-old prognostication that Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are in play. Some recent polls bear this out, too.
You may want to refer to the table for all those states that are either leaning/safe for Obama or leaning/safe for Romney over at Vodkapundit. And yeah Green is probably surprised because of the recent poll noted here!

BTW, he mentions an app that's worth playing with at least until the election in November!

Via Instapundit!

Newsalert: Chicago Way of Racism

The Newsalert blog takes aim at a former suburban police chief and a powerful Chicago Alderman who helped but him back on the city of Chicago payroll! There's even a racially motivated murder involved. Read more there!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AJC: With foreclosure looming Morris Brown College on the brink

Morris Brown College has been chronicled here on this blog in the past. It looks like their struggles are getting much much worse!
For more than a decade, Morris Brown College has clung to life as it struggled academically and financially in the face of growing debt and dwindling support.

Now, one of the country's oldest black colleges, which at times boasted an enrollment of more than 3,000 student, is now down to about 50, and all but dead.

Morris Brown is facing foreclosure next month, after investors called $13 million worth of bonds tied to the college. An auction of assets, including the administration building, is scheduled for Sept. 4.

"This is heartbreaking and not only a sad day in the life of Morris Brown, but in black academia," said former Atlanta City Councilman Derrick Boazman, a 1990 graduate of Morris Brown. "The school is needed now more than ever."

The school is planning to have a prayer vigil on Saturday, where they will 0ffer a plan to move the school forward.

While not going into specifics, Benjamin Harrison, a spokesman for the 6th District African Methodist Episcopal Church, which oversees the school, said officials will talk about reorganizing and restructuring as well as finances.

Calls to Morris Brown President Stanley J. Pritchett were not returned Wednesday, but Harrison acknowledged that while efforts are being made to find money to settle the debt the going is tough.

"There is the need to raise millions of dollars to counteract that deficit," Harrison said. "But if that money is not raised, the school is in jeopardy."
Here's hoping Morris Brown gets their funds to stave off foreclosure!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recovery plan chart...

Click for larger resolution!
The chart above is what this election is all about. The Romney campaign will use the economy as an attack against the President. Here we see where Obama expected the unemployment rate to be with the "Recovery plan" passed during his administration and then also charted are expected unemployment without the Recovery plan and the actual unemployment rate.

It was provided by the AEI Ideas blog and was shown on Instapundit today.

FTR, I try to believe that a President can't truly effect the economy by his own administrations policies. No President can truly be responsible for the economy as it may take years before his policies have an impact. However, it is possible that the President can effect policies that could affect the economy. Will this could go for any executive in this nation who knows that in order to bring in revenue for their particular level of government you have to be business friendly.

Then again the question is whether or not Obama's administration is business friendly. What do you think?

Shock poll: Obama could lose Illinois, Romney leads in Chicago suburbs

When I saw this I couldn't believe it! Of course I try not to pay too much attention to polls. My theory is still that this will be a close election this year and that Obama could still win Illinois but if this poll is any indication Obama can still win this state, just that it will be a close election here anyway.
A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago. That puts him ahead by a far thinner margin than expected in a county he should be winning handsomely.

Cook is the most Democratic leaning county in the state. It is also the most populous.

Those numbers do not bode well for the president.

“He has to come out of Cook County with a big lead or he’s gonna have problems downstate,” explained McKeon, who said that based on the numbers he had seen, Obama polled only in the forties in downstate Illinois.

“It’s not like his policies are very popular downstate,” McKeon said. “He’s viewed as more part of Chicago than he is part of Illinois.”

According to the poll, which surveyed 629 registered voters last week, Obama’s problems are not in Chicago proper, but in suburban Cook County.
Another point to note:
Illinois is not considered a swing state by any means; it is seen as solidly blue, and has been for the past two election cycles. But McKeon pointed to the 2010 gubernatorial race when Republican Bill Brady came within a single percentage point of now-Gov. Pat Quinn because Brady won most of the downstate counties. That is a feat Romney could repeat this year, leaving Obama vulnerable if he cannot expand his lead in Cook County.
Well Quinn is a different example from Obama. Quinn doesn't have the qualities Obama had in 2008 and still does now. Quinn one the race in 2010 barely, but Obama on the other hand time will only tell what the results will truly be.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Marathon Pundit: Newsweek bails on Obama

Conservatives seem to attack the "mainstream media" as being liberal. It's often contended that the media shows their bias very easily in the various media such as movies, TV, or even print. In that vein many will say the liberal mainstream media will often show their support for President Obama no matter how the nation may actually view him.

Besides once upon a time how did Americans get their news? For a long time there was no internet, but there were newspapers, news-magazines, TV, or even radio. That is radio before the advent of talk radio. And that certainly leaves the ability of the mainstream media to show who they support.

Anyway Marathon Pundit reports that President Obama has even lost Newsweek. Newsweek I'm sure is considered part of the mainstream media and as such this is certainly big news. The thing is the article referred to by John Ruberry on his blog is actually written by an advisor to Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The question here is whether or not this is news because the author writing this piece about Obama is a Republican or that Newsweek actually allowed this article to be published in the first place? If it's the latter, this is certainly big news and shows how high the hurdle for the President to win this election.

Ruberry offers one final point: "Newsweek is first. More liberal bastions will follow."

Time will tell!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back-to-school...

It's back to school season. A new class is entering Morehouse College right now and it gets me thinking about when I had been 18 or 19 years old.

In my senior year of high school I hadn't been confident enough to make that step. Even if my grades back then had buoyed me and would have me coast to the next step. When it was time for me to register at the local City Colleges my confidence wasn't up at all!

During that period I wasn't even confident enough to fill out college application which were at that point in time still free at certain Illinois universities. What was wrong with me back then?

Today, I envy the young people who are making their moves out of the high school and towards a university. And unlike my high school class these young people should be leaving my high school (GO FALCONS) with a lot more support from their schools than I had back then. They should be seeking out help to achieve whatever goal they seek especially if it means going to school.

It was one of my failures back then. While the support didn't seem to be there it was also possible to seek out some answers from a variety of sources and it never occurred to me.

Now I wonder what if I had just went away to school. My theory is, if that had actually happened back then it probably would've been a failure in the worst way. It was better for me to slow down and take some courses at a city college until it was time for me to move forward. And that gave me time to look into Morehouse.

Anyway, it's all about the what ifs. Now, I think in terms of what can we do for those who are capable but just aren't motivated? How can we support them? That should be the subject of another post.

Now I just want to give my best wishes to the class of 2016. That goes to the freshman class of any university in this nation!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sooo, the Chicago GOP marched in the recent Bud Billiken Parade

Really now? The Billiken Parade is an ongoing Chicago tradition started by the Chicago Defender, a prominent Black newspaper and it's a back-to-school parade. Historically politicians have marched in this parade primarily to be seen whether Republican or Democrat.

Recently I discovered a post at the Chicago GOP's official website and they share a link to an album of nine photos. They contains scenes of the parade and then other pics are of other GOP committeemen and GOP candidates for office. In fact one pic are of children holding up nail files for Republican state treasurer Dan Rutherford.

BTW, the pic above are of two GOP committemen Adam Robinson on the right and Percy Coleman on the left.

ALSO, in future I suggest the city's GOP hire a professional photographer to take more pictures of these events also identify who's who when they upland and save the mobile phone pics for a Twitter pic or a Facebook post.

Goof of the day: Obama edition

Goes to our Gov. Pat Quinn who at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield gave a speech and the following was reported by Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax:
Gov. Pat Quinn inadvertently made news today when he said during a speech to Democratic Party leaders that “Obama is dead.” A bit later he corrected himself and said “Osama is dead,” admitting he “goofed that one up.”

Oy.
Oy, indeed. Was this a serious slip?

EDIT: NBC Chicago has more on Quinn's bad day including the quote above. It wasn't getting better for him was it:
He made a gaffe that drew some attention, too. Quinn, attempting to rally support for Obama's reelection campaign, said "Obama’s dead and the American auto industry is alive."

He quickly realized: “Osama bin Laden ... Guess I won’t use that one again,”
Yeah, he was also booed by union protestors as well during governor's day at the state fair.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

VIDEO: Olympic Champ Gabby Douglas Deserves Better From the Media


[VIDEO] Gabby Douglas is a young black teenaged girl who won gold at the recently concluded Olympics in London as a gymnast. I've been hearing a lot about her performance in the gymnastics competition and other controversies such as her hair. Yeah, amongst Black women at least hair is at times an issue. Although discussion of Ms. Douglass' hair I've seen very little about other than on chatter via Twitter & Facebook.

Anyway, one thing I have read into more are attempts by the women of Spelman College to recruit her to their own illustrious ranks. It would be a find addition surely, getting a gold medal winner. Although it has also been said that Spelman is expected to shut down their athletic department. They may want to re-evaluate that decision if they want Ms. Douglass.

In any event, Alonzo Rachel of PJTV makes a very politically charged video about Gabby Douglass. Douglas is young yet and has a lot to learn about politics I'm sure. Rachel makes sure to note that the ones who not only talk about this young lady's hair, but her Christianity aren't her friends and are Democrats. He also blasts Republicans for not doing more to reach out to her.

Also I think he's right, there are Republicans who know very little about reaching out beyond their own general ethnic group. The perception, Republicans are mostly white and they may have a tough time reaching out to other racial and ethnic groups outside of their "core constituency". Besides there is an unfortunate perception that they never reach out to "minority" communities and they will need to do so now more than ever. As always, it's all about their message and it must go beyond - for example - Blacks used to be Republicans once upon a time.

I wonder if Ms. Douglas will receive this commentary and then start the Spelman College chapter of College Republicans. :P

BTW, Morehouse College has a chapter of College Republicans as seen on this listing of College Republican chapters in Georgia. 

What our schools need? A few good men

I couldn't agree more! As I saw in another 60 Minutes story years ago, "where are the men?". Some statistics:
Despite some inroads by men, teaching remains a female-dominated profession. This is especially true for younger children. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2% of pre-K and kindergarten teachers and 18% of elementary and middle-school teachers are men.

The situation is more balanced, but not evenly balanced, in secondary school, where 42% of teachers are men.
And then why we need men in our K-12 classrooms:
First, men represent an underutilized talent pool. If we could attract more males to teaching, school districts would have an easier time hiring outstanding individuals. The point is not that men are better teachers, but that highly qualified men are far less likely to apply for teaching jobs.

Second, boys in particular benefit from the presence of male role models in the classroom. As Stanford University professor Thomas Dee has documented, in a study of more than 20,000 middle-school students, boys perform better when they have a male teacher, and girls perform better when they have a female teacher. If we want to do something about boys' often sluggish classroom performance, more male teachers could be a useful step.

Third, we especially need black male teachers in the classroom. As Education Secretary Arne Duncan has argued, "All of our students benefit from having a black male in the classroom. But particularly our young black males." Yet black males represent a mere 2% of the K-12 teaching workforce. If this were to change, we might begin to see better educational outcomes and life outcomes for young black males.
That third point is very important I think. Young Black males are struggling and they get into the most trouble. If only they saw someone who looked like them in the classroom and helping to build them up!

Read the rest! And worth a cross-post to the unofficial Shedd School blog.

Via Instapundit.

What does a Paul Ryan pick mean for "minorities"?

This is something worth exploring, the response of our nation's "minorities" to the newly minted GOP ticket for President. Not a whole lot of meat here, but something that may continue to be discussed as time goes on.
On some key domestic issues important to communities of color, the selection of Ryan probably won’t get Romney much backing from blacks or Latinos.

Under a Romney-Ryan win, the Medicaid system would likely be overhauled, CNN Money reports.

For blacks and Latinos, Medicaid has been a considered a “lifeline,” especially since these groups are disproportionally affected by chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma and by certain cancers, yet are less likely to have private health insurance.

Ryan, according to an earlier CNN story, has said he would cut Medicaid spending by $810 billion over a decade. Under his budget plan, the federal government would give states money in the form of block grants.

A 2011 joint report by health and minority organizations showed that Medicaid covers one in five blacks as well as one in four Hispanics with cancer; by comparison, less than one in eight whites is covered by Medicaid.

Under Ryan’s vision for food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would also become a block-grant program and would require beneficiaries to work or enroll in a job-training program, according to the CNN article.
...
In one editorial in Colorlines.com, Ryan is described as a “nightmare” for the poor and people of color. “For progressive and people of color, it’s hard to imagine a worse choice. Romney and Ryan make a telegenic pair, but the reality of their policies and philosophies is downright ugly,” the article said.
Hopefully, there will be more on this. Would "minorities" be resistant to the Romney/Ryan ticket?

Hat-tip Electronic Village.

Hot Air: Romney, Ryan play offense on Medicare in 60 Minutes appearance

I didn't get to watch the broadcast of the latest edition of 60 Minutes that you can watch here on this blog. But apparently something was amiss:
According to the ever-accurate E-Mail Outrage Sensor, CBS edited this clip when the Romney/Ryan interview went to air, although I wouldn’t know.  I didn’t watch 60 Minutes last night because … well, I don’t watch 60 Minutes at all (and I suspect that’s also true of most of the e-mailers).  However, if it’s true that the show didn’t use the last part of the clip, maybe they were saving it for the network news tonight, or for their morning show today?  After all, Schieffer isn’t a correspondent for 60 Minutes, so I assume the use of excerpts of this interview on last night’s show was as hastily arranged as the interview itself, and perhaps meant to promote a bigger platform.
Hot Air blogger Ed Morrisey further states that "This is the part that readers claim was edited out of the broadcast, which if true would be journalistic malpractice".

Here's the clip below [VIDEO]

Hat-tip Instapundit!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tribune: Paul Ryan's early numbers worst since Dan Quayle

You know if Ryan's numbers are the worst since the naming of Dan Quayle as George HW Bush's running mate in 1988, then this may bode well for Romney/Ryan. Time can only tell:
Mitt Romney picking Paul D. Ryan as his running mate may have sparked new interest in his campaign and invigorated the Republican base, but more Americans than not have a less-than-stellar opinion of the Wisconsin congressman.

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll found that 42% see Ryan as a “fair” or “poor” choice, compared with 39% who rate him as “pretty good” or “excellent.”

The only vice presidential nominee who has polled worse following an introduction to the public is Dan Quayle, who in 1988 was seen as “fair” or “poor” by 52% of Americans.

Seventeen percent of adults say that Ryan’s candidacy makes them more likely to vote for Romney, slightly less than 18% of Americans who said the same for John McCain following Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination in 2008. Thirty-six percent of Republicans polled are more likely to vote for Romney following the Ryan unveiling though, 6 points greater than the Palin boost for McCain in 2008.

60 Minutes interview with the Republican ticket...


[VIDEO] This aired last night. With CBS Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer. We see the first interview the day after the announcement of the completion of the Republican ticket with former Massachusettes Gov. Mitt Romney choosing Wisconson Congressman Paul Ryan. I haven't watched it yet, but we can watch it together now can we!

FORGOT TO NOTE: I watched O'Reilly tonight and he called this interview a "softball". Who thinks otherwise?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pick for VP: It's Congressman Paul Ryan!



[VIDEO] This is really old news, but this blog needs to get in on the action right now. We now know who Romney chose for his pick as Vice President in this year's election. The video above is from C-Span and the article below excerpted is from Washington Post
Republican Mitt Romney reset the race for the presidency as a battle over the size and scope of the federal government Saturday, choosing as his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the architect of the GOP’s plans to slash spending and overhaul Medicare.

In a risky and surprising move to give his campaign a jolt of momentum, Romney chose the 42-year-old congressman over several contenders considered safer bets. The selection seemed destined to shift the tone of a campaign that has become mired in petty squabbles and force a debate over how to tackle the nation’s fiscal challenges.

In tapping the conservative star, Romney inextricably tied himself to Ryan’s controversial vision for erasing the country’s red ink — a revamp of Medicare, deep domestic spending cuts and a restructured tax code that would lower all rates, even for the wealthy.

Romney announced his selection in dramatic fashion Saturday morning, with each man stepping down the deck of the USS Wisconsin — a World War II-era battle ship named for Ryan’s home state — to the soundtrack of the movie “Air Force One.” And at a trio of packed rallies across Virginia, Romney praised his new partner as a servant of America’s working classes and a citizen of integrity, character and vision.

“He’s never been content to simply curse the darkness,” Romney said of Ryan. “He’d rather light candles.”

Friday, August 10, 2012

NY Times: Male Couples Face Pressure to Fill Cradles

Excuse my ignorance, but since when did society expect gays/lesbians to have children? They may be gaining marriage rights in some parts of the nation, but how did children enter into that picture. Where did that come from?

BTW, I also know that there are quite a few out their who already do have children. This article however seems to point to the questions asked of homosexual couples who don't expect to have children or don't want children.

Hat-tip Newsalert!

Ald. Burnett compares his job to that of a priest...

I think it's a stretch but then if I ever desired a political career being an Alderman wouldn't be the position of choice. From a Sun-Times article:
Despite the $73,280-a-year expense allowance and an annual salary of $114,913 for those who accept annual cost-of-living adjustments, Burnett candidly complained to the students about the abuse he has to take and the bile he has to swallow while dealing with angry constituents.

“I went to a block party Saturday [with] every next person I talked to asking me for something, complaining about something. You have to have a thick skull to deal with that,” Burnett said, apparently intending to say skin—not skull.

“Sometimes, they even accuse you of not doing something when they don’t know what you did. Dealing with the public, you can’t just respond like you normally would [by saying], `Who you talking to? You lying.’ You can’t say all of that. You have to be like, `Okay, ma’am. We’ll look into it,’ or, `That’s not true. But, let me show you what I did do. Give me another opportunity to fix it for you.’”

Burnett, chairman of the City Council’s Special Events Committee, cautioned students who might be considering a run for elected office that they need “a lot of tolerance and a lot of patience” to succeed.
That last paragraph good advice to any aspiring leader. And surely that doesn't just go for the constituents but for any policy goals as well.

But to compare being a Chicago alderman to the priesthood though. This article made sure to note that 31 aldermen past and present have been sent to prison for corruption.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

"Sussing the Competition"

Well, I think this is one example of how the job market operates currently: "No matter how much you want this job, there are 652 other people who want it, too." That is how many responses to a fake Craiglist ad posted by another frustrated job seeker and all 652 during the course of a 24 hour period. More jobseekers than jobs out there right now and this fake ad was a cruel prank, but still it illustrates a point.

Found this article via Instapundit who added this comment: "Employment during the era of hope and change". No doubt a dig against the Obama economy.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Althouse: "In 1964, JFK is reelected, with LBJ as VP. The GOP does not yet do its big shift to conservatism..."

Got to admit how much I like going through hypotheticals. What if JFK hadn't been shot in Dallas and runs for re-election in 1964? What if Barry Goldwater became the Republican nominee in 1968 (instead of 1964)? What if Goldwater wins two terms? What if RFK replace Jimmy Carter and still was defeated by one Ronald Reagan? What if George H. W. Bush had Jack Kemp as a running mate? What if Clinton/Gore still had two terms and Bush/Cheney had two terms? What if Romney became President in 2008?

Well read the scenario over at Althouse. Still there's more to it that who runs for what and when. There's much larger implications that I thin are interesting.

Mayor Emanuel wrote an op/ed in the Sun-Times recently

I had just became aware of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's op/ed in Tuesday's edition of the Chicago Sun-Times:
The strategy behind our success is clear: We are investing in our infrastructure and in the skills and education of our workforce. At the same time, we are putting our fiscal house in order. We are investing in what works and what makes Chicago more economically competitive while reforming what doesn’t. By making the tough choices, we have cut our projected budget deficit in half for 2013. In the next budget, we will finish what we started and eliminate the structural deficit.

When we see Chicago leading the country in job growth and the growing confidence of companies in Chicago across the economic spectrum, we can have greater confidence in the choices we are making as a city. We are not yet where we need to be, but we know we are on our way and pointed in the right direction. Chicago is a city on the move.
I found this via Jammie Wearing Fool who said:
The Mayor, who’s the same guy as the columnist, goes own to pump himself up in the most self-serving fashion possible.
And I became aware of that posting via Instapundit who referred to that column as "hard-hitting media".

Not sure what to say, although how many are aware of what's being said on Chicago's Municipal TV Network. He definitely is playing up the jobs angle in addition to the many other initiatives listed in his recent column.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Hill: Obama campaign downplays fundraising gap, but some donors are nervous

Found this on Instapundit this morning and will sharing one more article from there as well, but only after you read a bit of this excerpt from The Hill:
“We know we will be outspent — that’s just the reality, ” Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, told reporters as the president traveled to Connecticut for two high-dollar fundraisers — including one by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein — estimated to bring in $2 million.

Psaki said the campaign’s focus is on having the resources and tools needed to “build the biggest grassroots campaign in history,” and downplayed any disadvantages Obama’s campaign might suffer from weaker fundraising.

But some donors for President Obama’s reelection bid expressed frustration on Monday, saying that the campaign needed to be more competitive.

“I keep telling people we need to step it up a bit,” said one longtime Obama donor. “Now’s the time. Not two months from now.

“We’re still winning in the overall game, but we can’t be complacent,” the donor added. “We need to keep throwing in more money.”

The Romney campaign raised $101.3 million in July, topping the Obama campaign’s $75 million haul. It marked the second straight month that the GOP standard-bearer had passed the $100 million mark.
I don't pay attention to polls in general but I though this Gallup report was interesting:
Eighty-six percent of voters who say they voted for Barack Obama in 2008 are backing Obama again this year, a smaller proportion than the 92% of 2008 John McCain voters who are supporting 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Nine percent of 2008 Obama voters have switched to supporting Romney this year, while 5% of McCain voters have switched to Obama.

The results are based on July 23-29 Gallup Daily tracking with more than 2,000 registered voters who reported voting in the 2008 election. Of these, 48% said they voted for Obama and 42% McCain, with the remaining 10% saying they voted for another candidate or not disclosing their vote choice. However, the six-percentage-point advantage in reported voting for Obama is similar to the actual seven-point edge he had over McCain in the final 2008 returns, 53% to 46%.

Obama and Romney have been tightly matched so far this year, with the two generally tied or one having a slim one- or two-point advantage among registered voters in Gallup Daily tracking.The results are based on July 23-29 Gallup Daily tracking with more than 2,000 registered voters who reported voting in the 2008 election. Of these, 48% said they voted for Obama and 42% McCain, with the remaining 10% saying they voted for another candidate or not disclosing their vote choice. However, the six-percentage-point advantage in reported voting for Obama is similar to the actual seven-point edge he had over McCain in the final 2008 returns, 53% to 46%.

Obama and Romney have been tightly matched so far this year, with the two generally tied or one having a slim one- or two-point advantage among registered voters in Gallup Daily tracking.
Now I can only wonder how many of those 2008 Obama voters will switch to Romney this year. If they did a poll in September or October, where would those numbers be then?

Also it's interesting to see how much of a factor money is but to be sure even if Obama is losing in that department he surely isn't hurting for cash. Besides he probably still have just enough money to get his message out and also he has the power of the incumbency.

Monday, August 06, 2012

REPOST: Springfield Race Riot of 1908 from the Illinois Channel



[VIDEO] Back in 2007, I posted about this Illinois Channel segment about the Springfield, Illinois race riots of 1908. This week it can be seen on TV again especially if you're watching CAN-TV channels 19 (on Sunday) & 21 (on Saturday). This riot we don't often hear about these days and well it will be noted in this segment.

I repost this now because now this segment is available on YouTube!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Amtrak: Losing Money on the $10 Hamburger



I post this because I generally support passenger trains. It's my preferred mode of travel to either the bus or the airplane. In fact my goal is to take a long-distance train to California in the near future. Perhaps do it in style the way this guy did in a [VIDEO] on YouTube.

I found this article via Instapundit that took a shot at meals on Amtrak:
Only a government subsidized operation could sell hamburgers for $10 each and lose money. People who use Amtrak know that the food is overpriced and not very good. But, hey, it’s a captive dining audience, right? The dining car should be a way for Amtrak to recoup some of its losses from running its expensive trains. Instead, the food system is so badly managed that somehow it also loses a lot of money, apparently because of theft, bad management, high labor costs, and other problems.

All the same, to be honest I don't have a lot of experience with the Amtrak dining car meals. Usually I travel with my mother and she doesn't want to bother with them primarily because of cost. Also she doesn't make a habit of going from car to car even for food.

Furthermore I generally don't like what's available in the lounge car. If it requires heating it's done so in a microwave and the results aren't that great. Otherwise you probably could just buy a danish or some potato chips or what not in addition to candy or be sure to bring your own food.

Well when it's time for that vacation similar to the one I took in 2005 to LA, we shall see how the food is then!

Friday, August 03, 2012

WBEZ: Record number of families choose college based on cost

This is a good thing for sure, you can shoot for the Ivy League but you still need Ivy League money. I'm sure costs is one reason why students and their families may choose either a state institution or do two years of undergrad at a community college. Of course, that's in general.
A new national report from Sallie Mae, one of the nation’s top student loan providers, shows more students and families are choosing colleges related to how much they cost.

In fact, a record 69 percent of American families say they rule out schools that are too expensive. That’s up from 64 percent in 2011, according to the report.
...
Other key findings from the Sallie Mae report:
  • Students are footing more of the bill for college—about 30 percent, up from 24 percent four years ago.
  • Parents are covering less of the cost of college—about 37 percent, down from 45 percent four years ago.
  • 13 percent of parents borrowed funds to pay for their child’s post-secondary education.
  • Fewer parents “strongly agree” that college is an investment in their child’s future—77 percent this year, compared with 83 percent in 2011.
  • More than half of all students live at home while going to school, about a 9 percent increase from 2011.
  • Fewer parents say they would send their child to college for the experience—just 19 percent, down from 24 percent last year and 33 percent in 2010.
Sadly I didn't learn half of this years ago. I would say if we expect our young people to go to university financing their education is one thing that they should be briefed on. This will separate the ones who are serious from the ones who aren't.

Obama’s Education Initiative Is a Game Changer for Black Males

This story about an Obama administration initiative comes from soros.org. Apparently Open Society Foundations is a George Soros involved entity. Of course, that's not to be dismissive of the intent here:
The White House's new Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which addresses the alarming under-performance of African-American students, is a game changer for millions of black students. Black males, who continue to lag behind their peers, will be particularly helped by this Initiative.

The strategy for the Open Society Foundations' Campaign for Black Male Achievement has always been to ensure black students, particularly young black males, receive an education that fully equips them to excel academically, graduate from high school and college, and be career ready.

The White House initiative affirms our support of organizations and projects like The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, Eagle Academy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Young Men's Initiative, and others working to provide black male students with high quality education through equitable access to effective teachers and principals and positive school climates. It also validates our support of work to increase the capacity of higher education institutions that serve large numbers of African American students, including community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, predominantly black institutions, and others.

We hope the announcement will encourage others in philanthropy and in the public and private sectors to seize this opportunity to work together locally and nationally to improve the educational outcomes of African American and all students.
Excuse me for writing the intro before the quote. Depending on who reads this blog, George Soros is a controversial figure.

All the same, attention is definitely needed for Black male youths in this nation. It's very important that we set them up for success and certainly not gear them towards failure. By failure, I would certainly mean that we fail if they enter into a life of crime and violence. It ought to start in part with getting a good education, although it may need to go further than that!

California: Going out of business?

[VIDEO] PJTV's Bill Whittle discusses - the video above runs 7 mins - the situation California is in currently. For innovation most Americans will look to California because it seems the trends will start there no matter where the trend lies. These days, they have to face a dire economic and fiscal climate. On FOX News Channel the Mayor of San Bernandino, California discussed why his situation was forced to declare bankruptcy. Then essentially said Gov. Jerry Brown had a solution to out of control pensions that seems held up in that state's legislature.

Whittle notes businesses seeking a brighter future are moving to other states such as Texas. Although California has been reportedly seen people move out of that state for years. Perhaps they move to Nevada or Arizona or just simply to Texas as noted in this video.

All the same, if California doesn't do well then that doesn't bode very well for the rest of the nation. Could any other state measure up to the "Sunshine State" who is often considered the 8th largest economy in the world?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

An assault weapons ban in Illinois...

In noting an attempt by Gov. Quinn to use as amendatory veto powers to slip in an assault weapons ban in Illinois, Rich Miller yesterday accused him of pulling a media stunt. The underlying bill's purpose:
The governor used his amendatory veto authority to rewrite National Rifle Association-backed legislation that had passed overwhelmingly last spring to permit Illinois gun owners to buy ammunition from in-state manufacturers or retailers and have it shipped to their homes.
Miller explain why he considers this a media stunt:
The Senate bill in question is sponsored by Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, a southern Illinois Republican. As the sponsor, he controls the bill’s fate. And there’s no way Luechtefeld will ever move to accept that amendatory veto. Not gonna happen. Not even if Hell freezes over.

This amendatory veto is merely a way to get the governor’s name in the headlines yet again. Nothing more, nothing less.
Click for larger resolution
Today he writes a post asking for comments about whether or not this proposed AV would affect a friend of his who just so happens to own an assault weapon specifically an AR-15 (pictured to the right). Miller asks:
So, for those of you who support the concept of an assault weapons ban and a ban on big bullet clips (if not the actual way the governor has gone about it), I’d like you to explain to me why Rob, specifically, should be prohibited by law from buying another rifle or clip like the ones he already has.
My two cents: well it seems sometimes those who are in favor of gun control likes to overthink the people. If one law-abiding citizen has a gun that means a pyscho can get one too. Thus the pyschos will make it hard for everyone else. And ya know I understand that we need to protect pyschos from guns but the answer isn't necessarily keeping guns away from law abiding citizen.

This means either assault weapons or handguns. I suppose background checks before the purchase of a gun. As a matter of fact in Illinois we have a FOID card. Let's say before you get a FOID card you get a background check to see if  you've either had a mental evaluation or a felony record. Hopefully that will solve the problem of psychos getting guns. Then again if someone is determined to have a gun they will find a way to get one whether there's a law in place or not. Or whether they get a background check or not!

All the same if Miller's buddy wants to own an AR-15 and shoot it on his property using in-animate objects for target practice, that shouldn't be a problem. It should be a problem if he elects to use such a weapon to commit murder.

19th century letters depict African-American lives

The Historical Society says the 27 letters include news of the Watson and Robinson families about health, activities, church, births and deaths, slavery, the farm and freedom. Besides Kentucky locations, the letters also mention Mississippi City, Miss.; Brandon, Miss.; and Williamson County, Ill.

The society purchased the collection, which has been catalogued and digitized. It's available online at http://www.history.ky.gov . At that site, click on "Search our Collections," choose the KHS collections catalog and search for "Watson and Robinson."
It would be interesting to read some of these letters.