Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dear Texans, a few things to consider before you decide to secede from the United States…

I’m not talking to all Texans (or even the vast majority of Texans); I’m talking to those folks who have recently started and signed a petition for the Great State of Texas to secede from the United States of America.

To be fair, citizens in all 50 states have started similar petitions in the aftermath of President Obama’s reelection over Mitt Romney, but Texas is the first to reach the required 25,000 signatures on the White House’s direct petition site, which guarantees them a review of said petition and a response from the Obama Administration.

And, I say this as a former (and mostly proud) Texan myself, Texas is far more in need of this blog post than any other state with such a desire to secede. They are solidly conservative, a hotbed of Tea Party shenanigans and have a Republican governor that, most of the time, seems to be asleep at the wheel and whom Texans have elected to that office. Three times.

So, my Texan brothers and sisters, here are some facts to consider before you pull the plug on this “Grand, Noble Experiment” we call America:

– Since 2003, Texas has routinely received more in Federal funds than it has paid in Federal taxes by an annual estimate of around $60 billion. The state is projected to spend about $80 billion over the next two years in General Revenue funds. These are separate figures, but think of it this way: Texans are profiting $60 billion in Federal funds, next year. That’s about 75% of the state’s budget. Who is going to pay the tab for the shortfall? Texans will actually have *higher* taxes if they secede.

– Do you like your Border Patrol keeping all those pesky, hard-working Mexicans out? Yeah, that’s a Federal agency. Goodbye, border protection.

– Do you like a military that protects you from harm and defends your freedom? That’s also Federal, and your Texas National Guard units are significantly funded by the Federal Government. That’s yet another expense to tack on to your incoming bill for secession, not to mention the cost of setting up viable centers to train your Soldiers. Good luck with that.

– What about exports and imports? Do you realize that Texas actually *lacks* robust companies in many industries? What are you going to do when materials necessary for your survival fail to arrive because you cut off ties with the rest of the country?

– What about foreign policy? You do realize Texas is a running gag in much of the world ever since Pres. Bush took office, right? How do you plan to quickly set up relations with other nations?

– Here’s a big one: What if Mexico (rightly) believes it could overpower and annex you? Who’s going to be there to help you out? Last time, it was us. (No, really, take your happy little asses over to Google and look it up.)

And these points are just for starters.

Please think about those and get back to us, and by the way: We’re keeping Austin. You can’t have it.

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The March to “President Hillary Clinton”

 

If you’re reading this post, you decided to make a small sacrifice in the hope for a generous payoff.

The long, exhausting 2012 Presidential Election is over, and, like the vast majority of Americans (myself included), you’re enjoying the wonderful two-year break before the 2016 campaign starts getting warmed up in the press after the 2014 midterms.

In essence, you could probably die happier if you didn’t see another political ad or listened to talking heads shout inane talking points over each other or see yet another passionate political status from friends on Facebook (friends like me).

Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and politics is a never-ending battle in the debate over right and wrong. It’s not really a sport or a game but a long evolution spurred by a war-like exchange of ideas and concrete policy.

The 2016 Presidential season has already started, and Hillary Clinton has quickly emerged as the dominant front runner for the Democratic nomination.

In a poll conducted of likely Iowa voters, last week, Clinton took an incredible 58% of the vote with Joe Biden placing far behind with 17%.

A poll of New Hampshire voters, conducted around the same time, showed an even greater chasm: Clinton took 60% with Joe Biden in second place with a mere 10%.

Let me repeat: When presented with the most buzzed-about candidates (Andrew Cuomo, Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick, Martin O’Mally, Cory Booker, etc.), Hillary Clinton resoundingly defeated all of them and a sitting (and mildly popular) Vice President with overwhelming majorities among Iowa and New Hampshire voters.

You might be thinking, “Fine, Charles, she did well among Democrats in these polls, and she might very well secure the nomination, but isn’t this same Hillary Clinton that Republicans despise? How do you expect her to do well against someone like Chris Christie in the general election?”

This is a reasonable point… until you look at her popularity among Americans, now.

Over the last four years, Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating has never fallen below 60 percent, and it’s currently around 66 percent, 14 points higher than Barack Obama and around the same against Mitt Romney.

The “Hillary Clinton of the 90s” is no more. Sure, she undoubtedly has enemies among conservative voters, but other than Michelle Obama, Clinton (and her husband) are the most popular political figures in America and among the most respected in the world.

As long she maintains this record streak of phenomenal PR brilliance, Hillary Clinton should march into the White House on January 20th, 2017.

Of course, there are some who believe she isn’t qualified, which is about the biggest load of bullshit I’ve heard in a while.

This is a person who spent eight years as her husband’s closest adviser, eight years as one of the most visible U.S. senators in the country, and the last four years as an extremely popular and skilled Secretary of State.

Need I mention her obvious smarts? She’s a graduate of Yale Law School and easily one of the most brilliant legal minds of her generation.

Her resume is matched by none in the current field of potential candidates for the Democratic candidates, except for Vice Pres. Joe Biden, and increasingly popular as he is, he’s nowhere near her in stature.

You might be thinking, “But hasn’t she said she doesn’t want to run?”

Yes, repeatedly, and yet, she seems to be making all the right  moves for a run. She has declined to serve a second term as Secretary of State, and for good reason: She would have to resign to launch her campaign, and that would be political suicide. So, of course, she’s going to do only one term.

“But what if she really does want to retire?”

That’s very hard for me to believe. She is known for her legendary ambition, extraordinary abilities, and most importantly, her resilient compassion for issues important to her.

Hillary Clinton is not going to say “no” to leading the world’s most powerful country.

And even if we put aside all that, we have to look at the symbolic importance of a such a moment. For the first time, a woman would be the President of the United States. She would be sending a message to every woman and girl in this world that they are just as capable as men to be truly great leaders and a message to those sexist souls on this earth that women really are equal to men.

I believe that, regardless of gender, Hillary Clinton really is the best person to occupy the Oval Office in January, 2017, and I believe she will be one of the greatest presidents we’ve ever had.

It’s just icing on the cake that she’s a woman, and I am absolutely fine with the glass ceiling finally being shattered because it needs to be shattered and in a way that leaves no doubt that gender should not define a person’s greatness.

If this sounds like I’m saying a Hillary Clinton presidency is inevitable, it’s because I am.

Hillary Clinton will be the 45h President of the United States, and personally, I can’t wait for her to take office.

What Last Night Means for Us

 

 

I plan to write about my experience in Ohio over the last several days, soon, but today, I want to write a short post on what exactly last night’s election results mean for America.

It means a president who has endured the most inane onslaught of bigotry and ignorance over the last four years has prevailed in a dominating Electoral College victory due to the will of the American people.

It means gay Americans will be permitted to marry in three more states, and of all four state referendums on the matter, those who believe in full equality for gay Americans have prevailed in each one.

It means when politicians make ignorant comments on rape and women’s rights, they will be defeated.

It means that, very likely, we will soon have a liberal Supreme Court for the first time in decades.

It means that we will finally have an openly gay U.S. Senator.

It means the Tea Party will continue their fade into obscurity.

It means that those who tried to characterize my generation (folks between 18 and 30) as apathetic or disenchanted with the President were proven absolutely wrong when we came back even stronger in our support for Obama than in 2008.

It means women won huge victories in the fight for their equality, and this means we all, regardless of gender, are better for it.

It means we are even closer to having full marriage equality for the United States.

It means our national and global economies will continue to improve under the liberal policies that saved them from the brink.

It means an eloquent, progressive leader was chosen over the dishonesty and childishness of a fraud.

It means liberalism was given a stirring endorsement.

I means I’m relieved, it means I’m happy, and it means we shall continue moving forward to a brighter day.