Weekly Musing 5-25-14
Memorial Day: A Time of Remembrance
The last Monday in the month of May, Memorial Day has become an annual occasion to honor American soldiers of all wars who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. This Memorial Day, we remember the heroic service of generations past and present who died while serving our nation. They did not fight for riches or glory; they fought to defend our nation and its values, liberate the oppressed, and not least, they fought for one another as brothers and sisters in arms. – Congressman Fred Upton
IRS Bounty – $1,000,000.00
Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote and one of the primary targets of the IRS suppression campaign, announced The Voters Trust is offering a reward up to $1 million to any American who comes forward with a new, relevant evidence implicating IRS leadership or the Obama Administration in the IRS witch hunt targeting conservatives. The Voters Trust is a political non-profit (501 (c)(4)) established to identify and mobilize Americans. The Voters Trust provides a community to those who have been silenced and encourages citizens to speak out and take back their government. The organization’s managing director is Gregg Phillips, founder of super PAC Winning our Future, one of the biggest PACs in the 2012 election cycle.
The top 11 Senate races of 2014
The tea party’s 2014 window is closing — quickly. After a series of recruiting failures and defeats in Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia this primary season, tea party candidates for U.S. Senate are looking at a very limited slate of remaining primaries in which they can realistically hope for big victories this year. Their last best chance may be in Mississippi on June 3. State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), the darling of national tea party groups, has a chance of knocking off longtime Sen. Thad Cochran (R), an avid appropriator who is just the kind of Republican the tea party likes to try to dislodge.
The Fix’s 40 Under 40
It’s our list of the top 40 political rising stars who are under 40 years old. This list focuses on people who have made names for themselves outside of Washington, D.C. — state-level politicians, mayors, local officials and operatives — but could soon be known to all of us. We sought advice from more than 100 different sources from all across the United States and gradually pared it down to 40 names.
Nationalization of Senate Elections Poses Challenge to Democrats in 2014
Democrats face several challenges in trying to maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate in the 2014 midterm election. In addition to the normal tendency of the president’s party to lose seats in midterm elections, Democrats are defending 21 of the 36 seats that are up this year including seven seats in states that were carried by Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Moreover, six of those seats are in states that Romney carried by a double-digit margin. Given this math, Republicans are almost certain to make at least some gains in this year’s Senate elections, and the six seats they need to regain control of the upper chamber appear to be within reach. The Crystal Ball‘s most recent Senate ratings predict a GOP pickup of between four and eight seats in November, and several statistical forecasting models, including my own, have given Republicans at least a 50-50 chance of gaining six or more seats this year.
The Scandal at the VA Is Real, and Obama Is Ducking It
Democrats can dismiss Benghazi and the IRS as pseudo-scandals, maybe, but 40 veterans have died, and where has Obama been? Totally absent. Up to now, President Obama and congressional Democrats had thought “so-called” scandals involving Benghazi, the IRS, and Operation Fast and Furious were largely behind them. Nothing to see, just Republican witch hunts designed to embarrass the president and perhaps land blows against Hillary Clinton. But recent revelations about shoddy care at Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities across the country has brought bipartisan condemnation from Capitol Hill that should worry a commander in chief whose reaction to the brewing tempest has been muted at best. What is most surprising about the present controversy surrounding the substandard treatment at the VA, in which at least 40 veterans lost their lives while awaiting treatment, is that House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) had alerted the president to trouble nearly a year ago.
An interesting analysis – How “tightness” vs “looseness” explains the U.S. political map
We are forever in search of ways to better understand the cultural differences in our country that lead us to such divergent politics. A new paper by two psychology professors at the University of Maryland proposes a new way to understand the differences between the states: tightness versus looseness. Professors Jesse R. Harrington and Michele J. Gelfand studied “the degree to which social entities are ‘tight’ (have many strongly enforced rules and little tolerance for deviance) versus ‘loose’ (have few strongly enforced rules and greater tolerance for deviance)” and then produced a ranking of each state from tightest to loosest. (Among the various characteristics they used to define “tight” or “loose” included the use of corporal punishment in schools, the rate of executions, access to alcohol and the legality of same sex unions. You can read the full paper here.)
Putin Is Outwitting the West With a Soviet-Era Bag of Dirty Tricks
The message was clear: Moscow had many ways of establishing its domination and authority. The White House would do well to recall Kennan’s warning today, as the Kremlin dips once again into its Soviet-era bag of dirty tricks. At present, Vladimir Putin seems to be outwitting the West. Already he has moved the goal posts, reshaping the borderlands between Russia and the transatlantic community. The changes began in 2008, when Russian forces wrested control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia and recognized them as “independent states.” The process is being repeated this year in Ukraine, where America and Europe have now written off Crimea. In the confrontation with Moscow, the West has defined down “success” to to mean “Russia pulls up short of grabbing Ukraine outright.” If Putin doesn’t march in Kiev, the West will declare a diplomatic victory and call it a day.
Pretty cool… In Case You Slept Through High School, Here’s 170 Years Of American History In One Amazing GIF
This fantastic gif tells the story of how America came to be. Since the Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789 until the U.S. added the 50th state of Hawaii in 1959, a quick look at this gif shows us how a nation was formed.
What Would a Real War on Poverty Look Like?
This is a broad overview of the steps that individuals take to rise up through their own effort—and they indicate some of the ways we can change our culture and the policies of our government to make it easier to climb the rungs of the ladder. We need economic freedom: fewer regulations to tangle entrepreneurs and small businesses and lower taxes to allow people to devote more of their money to savings. We need a policy of economic growth. Half the battle of achieving growth is actually wanting it, as opposed to subordinating growth to the agenda of anti-industrial pressure groups like the environmentalists. One of the fastest-growing industries right now is fracking for natural gas, but it is treated by the administration as a scourge to be suppressed because it doesn’t fit with their “green” agenda. Above all else, helping the poor to advance requires that we promote what you might call the “middle class values” of self-reliance, personal responsibility, individual initiative, and the ambition to make something of yourself. These middle class values include a lot of things that successful, educated upper-middle-class people already do, but which they refuse to advocate to others for fear of being seen as cold-hearted conservative scolds or blue-nosed religious zealots. They would like to help the poor, really they would, just so long as they don’t have to risk getting made fun of by Jon Stewart. It’s time for them to get over it and own up to the hypocrisy of living by a code they know is good for them, but pretending that it isn’t good for anyone else.
Google S.E.C. Filing Says It Wants Ads In Your Thermostat and Car
Science fiction got a few things right. Our home appliances are becoming intelligent, drones are flying through the skies and cars are starting to drive themselves. But they can’t fly — yet. But it seems science fiction thinkers may have missed one big and possibly frightening (or annoying) prediction: that these devices would be another place for advertising. According to a December letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which became public on Tuesday, Google hopes to put ads “on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”
NEW Facebook Page…
I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page. Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis
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