ABC News: Video: 20/20, John Stossel’s Stupid in America

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I take stupidity seriously and when you have a lot of Americans who are stupid, meaning they don’t know important basic things that they should know. Like what state the Kentucky Derby is in, (first word being the giveaway clue there) I get concern simply as an American who wants to see my country do as well as it can. And as much as the Great Recession was caused by Wall Street, the fact that our workers especially the ones that lost their jobs during it do not have the skills they need to get another job, or our college and high school graduates do not have the skills that they need to get a good job, you know we have a serious problem.

And as serious as a problem that stupidity in America is, it is also impossible for me as someone with a quick off the cuff sense of humor to just let slide by without making fun of it. I mean seriously we have Americans who know what the latest smartphone is, or what’s the latest rehab clinic or jail that Lindsay Lohan is at. But couldn’t tell you to save their life who is on Mount Rushmore, what is the Bill of Rights, who was our first President, what was the Civil War fought over. How many states does America have and you can go down the line.

We have become as a society where whatever is considered hot, awesome and popular at the time and that generally comes from either Silicon Valley or Hollywood, or it is not important “and like so not worth my time to like totally notice”. To paraphrase some valley speak. “What is hot is what is now, and history is in the past” and when it comes to learning it is about what is hot and what is now so you can fit in and be as popular as possible. Where you are judged by how many followers you have on Facebook or whatever the hot social network is at the time and what is the latest technology. Instead of being judged based on how much you know and what are your actual skills.

I know this might sound nerdy or whatever, but people who believe that aren’t my target audience and those people are the problem to begin with. If you want to be hot, awesome or cool, (and cool might sound old at this point) you might have to be stupid as well. And sound like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Sarah Palin, or even Johnny Football soon to be Johnny headed for Hollywood after he gives up on football Manziel. But if you want to be intelligent and successful outside of Hollywood or sports in America, then you have to be intelligent. And that only happens from learning about things that are actually important that gives you the skills to be successful in America.
Stupid in America

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Dino Forever: Video: The Dean Martin Roasts: Governor Ronald Reagan, Man of the Week, From 1973

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Lets see the life of Ronald Reagan? Well he grows up in small town Illinois roughly two-hours or so south of Chicago and comes from a family with a loving, but struggling mother and an alcoholic father who was somewhat absent. And from that he manages to become a lifeguard of their local swimming pool, which was as important and a prestigious of a job as being their town Mayor. And from that he manages to get himself a college education and gets a job in Iowa as one of the Chicago Cubs broadcasters. And telling Cub fans and others what wasn’t happening on the field.

Ronny moves out to California to become an actor and makes it small as a b actor. Well as big as b actors can be, but runs into trouble with some of his movies flopping as badly as a Bill Maher comedy festival and a Richard Dawkins lecture at a Southern Baptist Convention. Ronny discovers in the late 1950s or so that perhaps he’s not quite cut out to be a b actor and sees if there are any openings for c actors and discovers there are no such thing as c actors and moves all the way down through the alphabet and finally arriving a w and discovering there are no w actors and decides that perhaps he needs to find a new career.

Ronny finally gets a job as a General Motors spokesman and hosting the General Motors Theater on NBC. And as he’s doing these appearances for Corporate America he finds that he actually believes the, well garbage (even I have my standards as a blogger) that he’s telling other people and finds his political voice and becomes a spokesman for Senator Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign which is where he finds his political voice and from that he gets recruited by California businessman to run for Governor of California in 1966.

Ronny wins the California gubernatorial election in 1966 and not only discovers that he’s not the dictator of California, but Governor of California and that he has a Legislature to deal with and that it is run by the Democratic Party, both the Assembly and Senate. He also discovers that it is also the 1960s and that the hippie movement is in full view especially in California. And then talks to some of his well trusted political advisers who know almost as much about politics as fish know about cars and planes. And tells them “if I knew these things about being Governor of California going in, I wouldn’t of run in 1966″.

Governor Reagan’s political advisers talk the Governor out of resigning and from trying to impeach himself. By telling him that “the voters of California voted for you and trust you to do the job they elected you to”. And also telling him that “governors can’t impeach themselves, only the Assembly can”. Ronny stays on as Governor, gets reelected in 1970 after he was successful in making sure no one else was allowed to run against him by personally erasing all the other names from all the ballots. And Dean Martin and his crew take it from there.

Governor Ronald Reagan

Governor Ronald Reagan

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C-SPAN: Video: Bill Clinton & Bill Maher 1995 Political Correspondents Dinner


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

To write a blog about 1995 or even a satire about it I really have to go deep into my memory bank to remember what I think about that year. I was only nineteen at the time for most of that year. President Bill Clinton and Bill Maher touched on Vice President Al Gore’s reinventing government program that looked to save money in the Federal budget by making programs work better and consolidation. The OJ Simpson murder trial of course was big and if you watched anything on cable news that year, you would think that was the only story that year.

House Republicans wanted to gut PBS which the President touched on by saying that “PBS could only afford to send Jim Leher and not Robert McNeil because of the budget cuts”. They were the co-hosts of the PBS NewsHour in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. The 1996 presidential campaign was already going on with Bob Dole the Leader of the Senate already the GOP frontrunner for president. And the Leader proposing to move Congress’s Senate sessions up to New Hampshire and Iowa so Leader Dole wouldn’t have to fly back to Washington as much.

I could go into the government shutdown that happened in the fall of 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing that happened in April 1995, but those things happened after this dinner and the people who performed that night performed before those events happened, so I’m not going to go into that. But just the first few months of 1995 with a brand new Republican Congress the first one since 1953 and House Republicans donating their lives to passing their Contract For America, you knew this was going to be a fascinating year.

42nd President of the United States

42nd President of the United States

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Channel: Video: Lester Maddox Says it’s Not About Race


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Lester Maddux who unless I’m mistaken was Governor of Georgia at one point, but him saying that denying African-Americans service to his business “is not about race” reminds me of the famous bank robber Willy Sutton saying that robbing banks “is not about the money”. Who are they try to fool? Of course the racial-discrimination that came about in the form of denying African-Americans service was about race. And it was also about skin-color as well.

The Anglo-Saxon South lost the ability to treat Africans as property thanks to them losing the Civil War in the 1860s. Their response was that “if we can’t treat them like property we’ll do the next best things. Separating the Africans from the Caucasians. And denying them the same quality of service that we give ourselves and for the ability for African-Americans to achieve any type of education in life that will allow for them to be successful in America”. They lost all of those battles and losing the ability to deny service to African-Americans I guess was Lester Maddux’s last straw.

Carl E. Sanders & Lester Maddux

Carl E. Sanders & Lester Maddux

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ABC News: Video: Evening News: George McGovern 1972 VP Selection Drama

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Senator Tom Eagleton who by most accounts had a very good and productive year in public office as Governor of Missouri and then later in Congress as a Missouri Senator was a victim of the Richard Nixon dirty tricks operation. Senator Eagleton did see a shrink and I believe at one point on medication for some breakdown that he had. But he was completely sane by the time he was elected to the Senate in 1968 if not before that. But that of course was not good enough for the Nixon campaign that made Tom Eagleton looks like a loony tune or something.
George McGovern

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The Atlantic: Opinion: Peter Beinart: ClintonPhobia: “Why No Democrat Wants to Run Against Hillary Clinton”: Why Hillary Clinton Will Have Multiple Strong Challengers

Hillary Clinton

The Atlantic: Opinion: Peter Beinart: ClintonPhobia: Why No Democrat Wants to Run Against Hillary Clinton

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

‘ClintonPhobia’ ? How about Clinton fatigue? Does anyone who seriously understands the Democratic Party who is honest and knowledgable about the Democratic Party believe that Hillary will get a cakewalk to the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 based on her 2008 presidential campaign, or the way her tenure as Secretary of State ended and just because her name is Hillary Clinton? Oh by the way who is not a rabid right-wing partisan who’s known for writing for some Tea Party affiliated publication or group. Of course not! Because that is not how Democrats operate. We don’t nominate someone simply because the establishment loves that person, or that nomination would set some new milestone.

And people who like to make claims of the fact that Hillary is an overwhelming frontrunner with no possible real challenger like to use history to make their case. Peter Beinart did that in his Atlantic piece, so fine let’s do that. Who in 2006 saw Barack Obama as not only someone who would win the Democratic nomination for president overwhelmingly by the way. It was clear he was going to win the nomination by April if not March as far as where the remaining primaries were. Let alone winning the White House in November and winning states like Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia. And oh by the way being the first African-American ever elected President of the United States.

My point about that is that it is 2014 and the late summer of 2014 in August (even though Maryland didn’t see summer this year) and we are still more than two years away from the 2016 president election about sixteen months away from the first presidential primaries. A year from now we’ll have a much better idea about who will and can try to challenger Hillary for the Democratic nomination for president and we still don’t even know if she wants to run again. 2008 was a huge disappointment for her. She didn’t run a very good campaign and took a lot of shots she wasn’t prepared for from both Republicans and Democrats and wasn’t prepared for the campaign that happened.

Democrats don’t hand out presidential nominations as gifts. You have to earn them and if Hillary’s message in 2016 is “vote for me because I’m me!” Which is essentially what it was in 2008, the same fate will happen to her because one of several Democrats will see that from a hundred yards away and use that as their opening to challenge her. “If Hillary won’t tell you why she wants to be president and what she would do as president, I will”. And be able to lay out the campaign, support and organization to do it. Which is what Barack Obama pulled off in 2007-08.

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Firing Line Videos: PBS Firing Line With William F. Buckley: The Future of the GOP With Richard Nixon

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

1966 is where Richard Nixon rebuilt his political career as someone who can not only raise a lot of money, but build up a lot of support not just for himself, but for candidates he endorsed and use that influence to get other Republicans elected and reelected. To the point that so many Republicans in Congress by 1968 owed the former Vice President lots of favors and he had countless political endorsements he could count on when he ran for president against in 1968.

Dick Nixon spent a lot of 1966 campaigning for Republicans especially in Congress and campaigning for Congressional Republican candidates to the point that House Republicans picked up forty-seven seats in 1966. And Senate Republicans picked up four seats and this was when House Republicans only had one-hundred forty seats out of 435 in the House of Representatives in 1965-66 and only had thirty-two seats out of a hundred in the Senate.

1966 is where we get a real good look at the American political landscape changing and where we were no longer a country dominated by Democrats politically. Because Republicans moved into the South and West by winning races there not just in Congress, but at the state level as well with Ronald Reagan being elected Governor of California. And at the same time Republicans were able to hold on and manage their strength in the Northeast and Midwest.

Richard Nixon Campaigning For U.S. House Candidate Garry Brown

Richard Nixon Campaigning For U.S. House Candidate Garry Brown

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