Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Election 2016


It seems that every four years Americans are faced with a choice that often leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths. We elect and vote for choices based on the best available candidates, we hope. When it comes time to vote, we somehow also fall for the rhetoric that our very way of life is threatened if the other guy wins and the only way to ensure our preservation is to cast our ballot in favor of “our” guy.

This election is no different, but now we have a woman.After reviewing all of them I’m not so sure the American people benefit with anyone.


Bernie Sanders- Bernie Sanders is a crowd favorite. He brings an authenticity with him that connects with his constituents and his supporters. His track record on civil rights and the rights of minorities is impenetrable. He has energized a whole young population that feels disenfranchised and disengaged from the whole political landscape that their parents live in.

He wants to regulate the banks and get big money out of politics. He also has accomplished a feat never done before. He has wedge into the democratic system that the term socialist is not an evil word and changed the course of campaigning forever. He has answered the call for millions of people who hate the “business as usual” mechanics of politics that often leave minorities in the cold.

The issues aren’t with Bernie’s message it’s that if he were to become president, how effective can he be to make that changes his campaign ran on. Americans are fearful of the term socialist and congress is not just gonna grovel at his feet just cause the people want change. Back in 2008, when Obama became president there was a feeling of real, radical change was going to happen and shifts in policy and laws were going to be enacted that would help African-Americans and other poor groups. After months of fine dining us, Americans were finding out Obama had trouble paying the bill for the meal he ordered and well, we got stuck doing some dishes. I feel this will play out the same way with Bernie.

His supporters aren’t looking for another compromise or a back alley deal that meets in the middle. They want real change for that to happen, Sanders pinned himself in an unwavering position. Sanders records on gun control is murky at best because he against a five-day waiting period for background checks in 1993, but also voted against selling of automatic weapons. He also is another war mongering leader in the making who voted for wars in Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Even Clinton has taken a lot of heat for the 1994 Crime Bill, but Sanders has somehow been able his vote through undetected.

When asked about it, he gives an explanation that is acceptable to his supporters, but others like myself puzzled. In their eyes he can do no wrong. So my question is this. If Sanders is so civil rights, then why did he vote for the Crime Bill knowing the repercussions it would have on generations of African-Americans. Also, don’t the victims of bombings and attacks in Middle Eastern countries by our military deserve rights, our are black and brown rights only relevant on our soil?


Hillary Clinton-Clinton has the chance to make history in this race and that has come at a cost. Her character, voting records, previous comments and experience has all come into question. While Clinton has the drive and fortitude of her male counterparts, has an edge in foreign policy, that her opponents on the right and left do not have. Through her Apprentice Tax Credit that can help millions of Americans. Gun Control advocates back her and she has one of the best presidents of our generation to call on in a moments notice living in the same home, her husband and former president Bill Clinton.

Clinton has faced numerous amounts of attacks that only seemed to be fueled by sexism, ageist and relentlessness by the GOP. With every report about her, whether it’s Benghazi or the current email scandal her opponents find simple-minded attacks to weaken her resolve. She’s been the most scrutinized and politicized figure in this race. Sanders hammers her on her cozy relationship with banks and big budget corporations. While Trump seems to have label her as crooked and makes over inflated statements about her emails, that most Americans just want to move on from.

Hillary’s biggest problem throughout all this has been herself. Three years ago she was the most likable candidate assuming she was going to run at the time. Now her poll numbers show a problem that has become an anchor in her sailboat. Frankly, a lot of voters don’t like or trust her. GOP has a small victory in their corner,but Sanders and his supporters don’t buy into her talk of tough politics against bankers and lobbyists. She also played her hand too late on issues such as immigration, abortion, Keystone Pipeline and others.

This makes her look too indecisive and that someone else is feeding her what to say and how to say it. This is troubling to Americans who want a president who will walk into the situation room or summit with world leaders and give a clear-cut answer at a moments notice when the time comes. Other missteps have been her pandering to the African-American community which she has been called out on numerous times.

Hillary’s biggest challenge won’t be winning the nomination,but concentrating her energy towards Bernie’s supporters without pivoting too far away from her central message that got her base initially. Some Bernie supporters have already vowed to either vote for Trump or not at all if Hillary wins.


Donald Trump- Donald Trump has been the most controversial outspoken candidate of this generation. He has insulted Latinos, Muslims, Women, the disabled, captured war heroes and other groups as well. His racially divisive and hurtful attacks pierce right into the heart of the issue that seems to be the unspoken case of racial disparity and underlining bigotry in our so-called progressive country.

Trump has effectively collected the population of those who feel marginalized, by the growing threat of losing the country their ancestors gained. Trump supporters are overwhelmingly white and mostly males. When his supporters speak of him, their most likely to say how much of a great speaker he is and how he tells it like it is.

They also like the fact that Trump doesn’t have to gravel at the feet of those lobbyists and campaign donors that the other candidate did. He funded most of the campaign himself and his supporters as well. He has a tax plan proposal that would exempt single filers making $25,000 and under from paying taxes.

His biggest win in his campaign has been drawing in the GOP with a gravitational like pull towards himself. Most candidates usually make statements to parallel the GOP brand and narrative already in play. Trump has disregarded the verbal talking points of conservatism and has made inflammatory remarks, one after the other. Even with Governors, Speaker of the House and rivals calling him out on his statements, they all are united in voting for him. That’s much like your uncle saying how much he hates gay people and proposing legislation against them, but the family has to keep putting up with him, because he’s grannies favorite.

What works against Trump has been Trump himself. Unlike Clinton, who’s pandering hurt her to be a favorite among undecided voters, Trump has alienated a base of supporters that the GOP has desperately been trying to obtain that the democrats has had a strong hold on…minorities. His constant remarks about building a wall to keep Mexicans out and increasing security against immigrant Muslims has turned him into apotheosis of angry racist white hatred. He’s a fan favorite among white supremacists and shows no signs of slowing down his tone. He recently made statements about a federal judge who is of Mexican background that again pinned him down to be racist and bigoted.

In addition to Trump inciting racism, he also is a compulsive liar with a bad temperament. He has countless sound bits that has been fact checked and found out to be downright lies.

When you go and vote on these candidate be informed about them, but just don’t vote on your emotions learn about the candidate.






In the age of social media and where youtube views going viral is the only important thing going in the teenage mind nowadays. What happens when something is written that could have remained just  thought in your head. Or maybe a violent visual could have not been seen. Nowadays a posting on facebook/instagram can lead to jail time and videos with guns as props will bring charges as well.

Most recently a group in Virginia calling themselves the “Stain Gang” were recently arrested for weapons possession and trespassing. The Stain Gang were recording a rap video which featured them waving guns and even driving a stolen vehicle at the time. The vehicle in the video matches the description of one stolen in the area at the time of the video, but has yet to been positively I’d . Hampton police spotted the gang which consists of three individuals whom only one is of legal age, driving on the property of a local Boys and Girls club.

I agree these young men should feel some weight under the law,maybe some community service a few mandatory programs they have to be in accordance with. Here is where I really am struggling with the law once again. Some states and politicians want to put rap lyrics into the court room as admissable pieces of evidence. At the beginning of the year there was a trial in the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The case that made this new breakthrough involved a man named Vonte Skinner who was involved in a shooting back in 2005. When the trial occured in 2008 the prosecution used 13 pages of rap lyrics written by Mr. Skinner in their case, even though these lyrics were written years before the crime happened.

In the hood, I am a threat / It’s written on my arm and signed in blood on my Tech” — a reference to a Tec-9 handgun. “I’m in love with you, death.” These were some of the lines mentioned in the trial, and eye witnesses who changed their stories more then Aesop’s fables reimagined the jury found Skinner guilty of attempted murder and sentenced him to 30 years. Luckily for Skinner in 2012 the court’s decision was overturned in light of the rap lyrics should have not been admitted into court. “We have a significant doubt about whether the jurors would have found defendant guilty if they had not been required to listen to the extended reading of these disturbing and highly prejudicial lyrics.” The state appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

In that year alone there were 18 cases with similar circumstances where 80% of them were allowed to use rap lyrics as evidence. The common tactic is using the rap lyrics as a autobiography even when most of the time Rappers use rap names and use their fictional stories as first person narrations embellishments of a harsh, loveless lifestyle where money, sex, violence are the tools and power and fame are the goals. At the same time does anyone think of Michael Jackson as an actual “Smooth Criminal” or the Rihanna shot a man down in her song “Man Down” or even Eminem’s many songs about killing his ex-wife.

In the 1990’s the issue was brought up by Stuart Fischoff a psychologist at the California State University of Los Angeles. A study found that when individuals were read violent rap lyrics by the suspect versus when they were not read, the jury were more likely swayed into thinking the suspect was guilty even when they were all presented with the same biographical information. Unfortunately in Nevada in a case under the same circumstances the use of the rap lyrics as evidence was upheld in court. In his memoir Decoded, hip-hop star Jay-Z wrote, “The art of rap is deceptive. It seems so straightforward and personal and real that people read it completely literally, as raw testimony or autobiography.” As Nielson and his research partner Charis Kubrin note in their paper, “Rap on Trial,” “If rap lyrics are treated as mere diaries or journals, no special skill or training is necessary to analyze them, and consequently juries may hear false or misleading testimony about rap from witnesseswho lack the basic qualifications to offer it.”

If your a believer in the first amendment than you are more likely to be on the side of the using all lyrics in music for prosecution purposes. One test done back in 1996 used violent song lyrics and told one group they were country song lyrics, while telling another group they were folk song lyrics and then the last group was told they lyrics came from a rap song. Not surprising to me at all, the group who thought they were reading rap lyrics found them more offensive and a bigger threat to society than the folk and country song lyrics. It seems stereotypes control perception and this is dangerous when thinking of using rap lyrics in court that will be used to convict someone. “I’m just not convinced that using traditionally white forms, for example country music, or using novels against white authors would work,” Nielson says. “There is something about rap music that gives it this special treatment. It’s been negated as an art form.”

It’s not just rap lyrics creating controversy, but postings on your favorite social media site ,maybe used in court against you as well. Could an instagram pic you post  end up with 142 counts of felony charges ? If you’re a man named Dupree Johnson in Florida then that’s a yes. The Sheriff in Palm Beach County, Fla. viewed Johnson page and had known he had a rap sheet consisting of grand theft, burglary and felony possession of a firearm.  After seeing the pics the sheriff put together  search warrant for Johnson’s home in Lake Worth, Fla. The police confiscated a glock, a stolen tec-9 9mm pistol, electronics, firearms and $250,000 dollars in stolen jewelry. The police believe Johnson may been involved as many as 40 burglaries and 55 others in Boynton Beach, Fla. Johnson is behind bars in lieu of $60,000 bail and his Instagram page “Duce22ceritfied” is no longer working.

Here’s another story to let you know how easy for someone to get caught is through social media. A man in Pa. posted a picture of himself mocking police, but the joke was on him when he was caught. Anthony J. Lescowitch Jr. 35 was wanted for aggravated assault and other charges from back in July in Freeland. The borough police weren’t having any luck finding him so they posted a picture of him on the department’s facebook page and within three minutes he was found. Here’s where things get stupid, Lescowitch himself posted the pic mocking his own picture.  The police then knew they had his attention so they posed as a female on facebook and gained Lescowitch trust to began a conversation that lasted 30 minutes and enough information was gathered to lead to an arrest. Lescowitch was charged with assault for an incident back in July 14 2013  when four individuals used physical force on the victim and then he was robbed for $53 dollars and then the victims ATM card was used later for a withdrawal of $100 dollars.




FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2013, file photo Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Rep. Blumenauer, D-Ore., take part in a news conference on the Farm Bill on Capitol Hill in Washington. Members of the House and Senate are scheduled to begin long-awaited negotiations Wednesday, Oct. 30, on the five-year, roughly $500 billion farm bill. If they don't finish it dairy supports could expire at the end of the year, sending the price of a gallon of milk skyward, and a contentious debate over food stamps could spill into election season. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The fight over renewing the nation’s farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. But there could be unintended consequences if no agreement is reached: higher milk prices.

Members of the House and Senate are scheduled to begin long-awaited negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion bill this week. If they don’t finish it, dairy supports could expire at the end of the year and send the price of a gallon of milk skyward.

There could be political ramifications, too. The House and Senate are far apart on the sensitive issue of how much money to cut from food stamps, and lawmakers are hoping to resolve that debate before election-year politics set in.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat who is one of the negotiators on the bill, says the legislation could also be a rare opportunity for the two chambers to show they can get along.

“In the middle of the chaos of the last month comes opportunity,” Klobuchar says of the farm legislation. “This will really be a test of the House of whether they are willing to work with us.”

The farm bill, which sets policy for farm subsidies, the food stamps and other rural development projects, has moved slowly through Congress in the last two years as lawmakers have focused on higher-profile priorities, like budget negotiations, health care and immigration legislation.

But farm-state lawmakers are appealing to their colleagues to harken back to more bipartisan times and do something Congress hasn’t done very much lately — pass a major piece of legislation.

Even President Barack Obama, who has been largely silent on the farm bill as it has wound through Congress, said as the government reopened earlier this month that the farm bill “would make a huge difference in our economy right now.”

“What are we waiting for?” Obama said. “Let’s get this done.”

The main challenge in getting the bill done will be the differences on food stamps, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The House has passed legislation to cut around $4 billion annually, or around 5 percent, including changes in eligibility and work requirements. The Senate has proposed a cut of around a tenth of that amount.

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FILE - This May 15, 2013 file photo shows stacks of …

FILE – This May 15, 2013 file photo shows stacks of paperwork awaiting members of the House Agricult …

“I think there are very different world views clashing on food stamps and those are always more difficult to resolve,” says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.

Johnson says coming together on the farm issues, while there are differences, will be easier because the mostly farm-state lawmakers negotiating the bill have common goals.

Passing a farm bill could help farm-state lawmakers in both parties in next year’s elections, though some Republicans are wary of debating domestic food aid in campaign season. Republican House leaders put the bill on hold during the 2012 election year.

One way to pass the bill quickly could be to wrap it into budget negotiations that will be going on at the same time. The farm bill is expected to save tens of billions of dollars through food stamp cuts and eliminating some subsidy programs, and “that savings has become more key as we go into budget negotiations,” Klobuchar said.

If that doesn’t work, lawmakers could extend current law, as they did at the end of last year when the dairy threat loomed. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he wants to finish the bill and won’t support another extension.

One of the reasons the bill’s progress has moved slowly is that most of farm country is enjoying a good agricultural economy, and farmers have not clamored for changes in policy. But with deadlines looming, many say they need more government certainty to make planting decisions. Most of the current law expired in September, though effects largely won’t be felt until next year when the dairy supports expire.

Some farmers are feeling the effects of the expired bill now, however. An early blizzard in South Dakota earlier this month killed thousands of cattle, and a federal disaster program that could have helped cover losses has expired.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., also a negotiator on the conference committee, says her constituents aren’t concerned with the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, but they just want to see a bill pass.

“Maybe the biggest question is can we put together a bill that can pass on the House and Senate floor,” she said.


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In the last three parts of this blog I wrote about politicians using inflammatory language to ignite their base, spark controversy and to gain power. One important thing that I didn’t touch on yet is who benefits from these statements? More importantly what industries actually utilize racism to make money?

One industry that is making money off of human misery as well as racism is the US prison system. You would never think companies that specializes in furniture, communication, medical services, transportation, food, clothes and construction would benefit from the rising population of inmates in prison. Prisoners are treated more like raw material for manufacturing rather than human beings. The term used most frequently to describe this trend of using highly exploitable cheap labor is called “prison-industrial complex” .  Scholars and professional activists alike view this as the continuation of slavery. Think about it no union, minimum payment, no insurance, no strikes and the workers are all full-time and never late. Accusations of abusing poverty-stricken communities and incarcerating people for minor crimes is a ploy to exploit these individuals as “free labor”. The race that is the most denuded to this system of imprisonment is African-Americans. According to The Huffington Post an article was written stating that there are more blacks in jail now that slaves at the height of slavery. Blacks make up only 13% of the US population, but we also makeup 40% of population in jail. If all this information is true wouldn’t it make sense that businesses big and small alike profit from free labor to build their products. How guilty do you feel knowing a prisoner was forced to manufacture an item for a business. I would assume that most don’t care since prisoners are often viewed as sub-human, second class citizens. Don’t get me wrong If they did a crime they should be punished, but to be turned into slave worker that’s a whole other story. By the way these prisons not only contain black people, but people from all walks of life.

Another industry that benefits off the backs of racism is the gun industry. Another article I read in The Huffington Post goes over three gun magazines that are sold nationwide. The author of the article noticed one ostensible theme was all of the people in the magazines were white. Only a sliver of models in the magazines were of color. one example they read a magazine called Guns and Weapons Magazine for the Oct. 2012 issue. They counted 131 white people to 2 black people in this issue. No Hispanic or Asian what soever in this magazine. They found a similar theme for two other magazines for guns as well. The argument here is it is apparent there is a culture of racial paranoia in this country. Depicting whites as the everyday gun-toting citizen who uses their gun for hunting or for protection. The NRA has used fear and racism to boost gun sales. Under president Obama gun sales have gone up all because the NRA presidents says Obama is coming for the guns. He also takes advantage of anyone who has ill will toward Obama our first African-American president. The use a twisted sense of patriotism to make those feel they have a duty to carry a gun. A law was just passed in SC permitting licensed gun carriers to carry their weapons in schools, restaurants, playgrounds and other public places. Why do you need guns in these places? What are they afraid of? If your carrying a gun who or whom are you targeting for? All it takes is a gun fear, and the misguided on your side to give the authority to pursue YOUR OWN sense of justice against whoever.

Last the media are the most guilty of all. It doesn’t take a genius to know that race plays a part in everyday news. The murder of Trayvon Martin and how the media took sides gave Americans viewpoints that were down the middle. If you watched fox news Trayvon was a thug teenager, who not only smoked weed a lot, but also was a troubling maker, because he got in trouble at school. If you watch MSNBC it painted George Zimmerman as a wild man vigilante who took matters into his own hands  and executed Martin after profiling him. The country become divided after the acquittal was announced. Individuals took sides and look toward their news channel for updates. It wasn’t before long that facts became distorted and stretched to fit their own bias narrative. NBC used audio clips to make it look like Zimmerman was racial profiling Martin. While fox news used pictures of Martin they obtained from his facebook and other sources that show him smoking weed, smiling with a grill in his mouth. The imagery was used to paint Trayvon as a “bad apple” another one of societies youth that it is now too late to save.  When you demonize the other side and separate yourself from them the lines begin to draw. This overall is what the media and those in power want. If you’re in a state fear and afraid that a shadowy black man, or brown man or white man who is made out to become a boogie man is after you. Just in the nick of time a leader comes forward to protect you might be more susceptible to the charm. It’s how George Bush was re-elected. He used the fear of the US becoming under attack by another 911 and the war against Al-Quaida to make the population think any day could be the day we get bombed again. Remember the color coded terror alerts that used the color green, blue, yellow and orange to keep us in a state of hyper vigilance? The media was that tool to keep the terror cycle continuing while Bush maintained power. Would he have gotten his second term without the use of fear and the media?

If you have any interests in politics in this country then this may be of interests to you. Heck if you want Washington to stop the gridlock and get things done then this may also spark some outrage with you. Congress currently has a 77% disapproval rating with only 15 laws passed so far. According to the NY Times and Cook Political Report there are 10 states with unfilled Senate Candidacies. Also 369 House districts with unfilled candidacies as well.

It seems the vibrant, lively air has gone stale in Washington and frankly people are tired of it. So tired that both democrat and republic parties are having trouble filling seats in congress. On Morning Joe on MSNBC he did a segment pertaining to issues with finding willing individuals for the senate seats for the 2014 elections. “This used to be the prestigious position. You asked a governor now. What do you like better being a governor or a senator they all laugh.”

If your a governor or CEO of a business you can take a position on an idea and implement it almost instantly. In the senate nothing gets done and they trash talk you. Joe then shares a story of how he dealt with lies about him once it caught wind he might be running for the senate in 2006. David Axelrod who was the former senior advisor to President Obama advised that some of the issues are if your a conservative the big worry is primaries and going against a candidate who is far to the right than you may be. The other issue is that fact that a bill you have to get up to as many as 60 votes in your favor. It’s hard enough in my house to agree on whats for dinner Chinese or pizza, take out or dine in.

My take on what’s going in Washington is that they are a broken system working with inferior parts. What are your thoughts on this one? Image