Monday, September 28, 2009

Akron Press Club Fall 2009 Senate Candidate Kickoff: Tom Ganley

The Akron Press Club is bringing in all of the major candidates for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat this fall. First up is president and CEO of the Ganley Automotive Group, Tom Ganley, on October 1.

From the press release:

"An Ohio native, Tom Ganley is president and CEO of the Ganley Automotive Group, headquartered in Cleveland. Ganley, who began his career with one Rambler dealership in Euclid, now runs the largest automotive group in Ohio, composed of 32 dealerships employing more than 1,000 people.

Ganley has stated that the issues that are important to him include education, foreign policy, gun rights, health care, immigration, jobs, national debt, national security and taxes. Ganley has been the spokesperson for Buckle-Up Cleveland, an automotive safety initiative sponsored by the Cleveland Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

In May 2001, he was named president and CEO of Crime Stoppers of Northern Ohio. In 2006, Ganley was named Man of the Year by the Cuyahoga County Police Chiefs Association for his leadership and support of law enforcement in the Cleveland area. Other special recognition awards have come from the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate for outstanding accomplishment, the Gold and Silver Award from the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Community, and the Cleveland Police Historical Society’s Man of the Year.

The cost for the event’s buffet luncheon is $10 for Press Club members and $15 for non-members. Reservations are requested; to make reservations, call 330-564-4211 or e-mail to ."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Keeping Things in the Presidential Thought Bubble

I know there have been many times, when in the middle of a lecture or answering a question during class, I say something I probably shouldn't have. My students do it all the time too. When they do, I tell them to keep that comment in the thought bubble (you know, the cartoon bubble which shows what a character is thinking) and not say it out loud. Once it's out there you can't take it back.

I'm sure President Obama wishes he would have kept the comment that Kanye West was a "jackass" in the thought bubble. But he's the president and just about everything he says or does in public will be caught on camera. The good news for the President is that most people agree with him--Kanye West acted like a total jackass at the 2009 VMA awards. The bad news is that he'll probably have to call West and apologize for speaking the truth.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Fallacy of the Post-Racial Society

It is quite ironic that in our supposedly "post-racial" age that the ugly face of racism is rearing it's head openly and often in public. Jimmy Carter is right. Maureen Dowd is right. I've said it here before: many Americans cannot accept the fact that we have a black president. Never have, never will.

How do I know?

We have polls which tell us so.

I have people who have personally told me so.

This all began long before the election (see video above)--the "post racial America" has always been a fantasy.

Is everyone who opposes President Obama a racist? Of course not. The great majority of those who oppose him are not.

However, there is a loud, fringe element, baited by the open hostility and racism of merchants of hate such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who have gained the courage to openly flout their extremist leanings. Just check out You Tube--it's all over the place. And it's both discouraging and frightening.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Our Nation's President Deserves to be Treated with Respect"

The headline is not my quote, that's Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a fellow partisan of Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), the man who heckled President Barack Obama during his health care speech to Congress and the nation. It was a deplorable act.

No American president should be subject to that kind of disrespect. For a sitting member of the House of Representatives to shout "You lie!" in the middle of a presidential address is beyond disrespectful. It further poisons the toxic atmosphere surrounding the nation's politics.

But perhaps it won't. Perhaps fellow Republicans will be so embarrassed by this breach of protocol and civility that they will reign in the most radical elements of their party. Thankfully, many Republicans lawmakers denounced Wilson's outburst.

Wilson, himself, in immediate damage-control mode, issued the following statement:

"This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."

Oh, and by the way, Wilson was the liar, or at least wildly incorrect. The President's bill would not extend benefits to illegal aliens.

Ted Kennedy's Letter to President Obama

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) wrote a letter to President Barack Obama shortly before he died, most of which was on the topic of health care. It is powerful.

Here is a taste:

"There will be struggles - there always have been - and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat - that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country. And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family's health will never again depend on the amount of a family's wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will - yes, we will - fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege."

See the full letter here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Akron Press Club Event: Professor Kevin Jacques to Speak on "The Financial Crisis, Past To Present: A Former Regulator’s View"

WHAT: The Akron Press Club will present a talk by Dr. Kevin T. Jacques, the Boynton D. Murch Chair in Finance at Baldwin-Wallace College, titled "The Financial Crisis, Past To Present: A Former Regulator’s View."

WHEN: 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009

WHERE: Martin University Center, 105 Fir Hill on The University of Akron campus.

THE SPEAKER: Prior to joining the faculty at B-W, Jacques spent 14 years as an economist with the U.S. Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for advising treasury and Bush administration officials on economic and financial policy issues. While at the treasury, Jacques also advised representatives of foreign governments on matters of international banking and financial policy. In 1994, he served on the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, examining systemic risk in financial markets. Jacques’ research has been published in numerous journals and books and has been presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

HOW: The cost for the event’s buffet luncheon is $10 for Press Club members and $15 for non-members. Reservations are requested; to make reservations, contact Michelle Henry at the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research at 330-564-4211 or her an e-mail. Click here for more information on the Akron Press Club.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Al Franken's Unique Talent

When I was a kid, I could put together a jigsaw map of the United States with my eyes closed. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has bested me. Check out his unique talent.

Hat Tip: Political Wire

President Obama Speaks to America's School Children: "In America, You Write Your Own Destiny"

President Barack Obama will speak to America's schoolkids today. The White House has posted his prepared remarks here.


My Take:

All presidents--Republican or Democrat--should open up the school year this way.

From top to bottom, it's a great speech.

It's a great message.

It is not partisan in any way, shape, or form.

It's embarrassing that the President of the United States had to "clear" his speech with the media and public beforehand by releasing it early.

I hope that school districts short-sighted enough to give into the pressure from the extreme-right and not show the speech live will rethink their stance and show it to students later.

It's a message all students should hear.
Good for people like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and former First Lady Laura Bush for supporting the President on this.

For all you knuckle-draggers that screamed at your local school officials about showing the speech or kept your children home so they did not have to watch the speech: you are morons, plain and simple. Absolute morons. Hopefully your children will not be permanently tainted by your ignorance and our country will not suffer from scores of children raised by morons like you.

Obama Schoolkids Speech Hilarity

Andy Ostroy posted his own version of President Obama's September 8 speech to schoolkids at Huffington Post. It is a very witty piece of political humor. I have put it up in its entirety.

The REAL text, posted by the White House, is here. Enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Media Pandering Revealed in the Wake of the Blagojevich Mess

Gawker has a fascinating post up detailing the lengths the mainstream media went to book embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich and his wife on their programs at the height of the scandal that resulted in his impeachment and removal as Governor of Illinois. Gawker used the FOIA process to reveal the great lengths the media would go to book the Gov:

"On the morning he was arrested on corruption charges last December, Rod Blagojevich was the nation's biggest greaseball. So obviously, the national press was willing to say anything to land an interview. And we've got their emails to prove it. We reported a little over a month ago that the Today show had booked Blagojevich to appear on the morning he happened to be arrested by the FBI, but bumped the interview so they could flack for Jay Leno's new show. We found that out through a Freedom of Information Act request to the state of Illinois asking for e-mails from representatives of the media to Lucio Guerrero, Blagojevich's press secretary."

The results are very revealing...and probably embarrassing to the authors of the emails. My personal favorite is the one below--short, sweet, and to the point...

Hat Tip: Political Wire

Traficant Out of the Pokey, Comes Home to a Hero's Welcome

After seven long years in federal prison, James Traficant, the former Congressman with the crazy toupee from Ohio's Mahoning Valley, is home. Not only is he home, he came home to a hero's welcome--1200 fans of the eccentric politico showed up to see their hero.

"'I was a quarterback. I was a congressman. Now I'm a convict,' Traficant said, his signature toupee firmly back atop his head. 'I wouldn't change one single thing. And to the powerful enemies that I have, I'll just say this to you: They had to cheat to convict me.' At times it was hard to tell if Traficant was joking or lashing out. He warned the crowd that agents from the FBI and IRS were probably in the parking lot taking down license plate numbers, to which the crowd laughed. They then grew serious when he said Northeast Ohio had to start changing the country, because so many others are afraid to stand up to the government. 'I think it's time to tell the FBI and the IRS that this is our country and we're tired -- tired of the pressure, tired of the political targeting, tired of a powerful central government that is crippling America,' he said."

It will be fun to watch what he does next. My guess is he will not opt for a quiet retirement...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Obama's Upcoming Address to Schoolkids Creating Faux Controversy

Why would President Barack Obama's address to the nation's schoolkids be controversial? It is so controversial a number of schools are opting out and outraged parents are putting pressure on them to do so. It shouldn't be. He is after all the president. He occupies an office that until recently was held in high regard by all Americans. It doesn't matter who the president is--Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, Obama or Bush--he is the president and an address to the nation's schoolkids should be welcomed not criticized.

I remember going to school and having the pictures of the presidents hanging on the wall. Not pictures with Hitler moustaches drawn on them or devil eyes like we've seen the wingnut crowd do recently. Just their portraits. They were given the respect they were due.

The faux controversy over the presidents address to school kids is just that--a controversy created by wingnut talk radio and bought into by a hyper-conspiratorial and ill-informed American public. This is just the latest example that many in the American public have lost their mind.

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