Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty
Guns are NOT the problem. The people who shoot them are AND the people who enable murderers are the problem in my opinion. This is MY opinion. These are not facts.
First...A few important questions:
If not now, when? If not us, who?
Who are we and when will we be heard by the people we pay to represent all of us?
How do we get through to them?
These are good questions that deserve answers.
Telephones, computers, letters and showing up to town halls are probably the ONLY way congress will pay attention to ordinary people, more so than lobbyists who are well-paid to mold opinions of our lawmakers with cash.
What if Mayor Bloomberg spent some of his millions on putting together a competing organization with the NRA? Don't laugh...He is spending a lot of money to run ads against measures the NRA abhors. Bloomberg could organize his own lobby and fill it with sensible people who will protect the 2nd Amendment AND have enough citizens on board who REALLY will be accutely aware of the REAL climate our country faces.
Protection, hunting animals and target practice are all reasonable uses for guns and legal. People hunting other PEOPLE is NOT a good thing for anyone.
I really like this idea of a competing organization. Maybe it is nutty, but possible to knock the NRA off it's perch as "THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN." Someone can hopefully take most members away from the NRA with a well-organized gun organization that really cares about all Americans. This new organization would have sensible leaders who would do the best thing for the citizens of our country and NOT the gun manufacturers who have the NRA and many of our best and brightest representatives in their back pockets.
All I ask is that you THINK about it yourselves. An idea is worthless if it is not at least explored.
I will send this out to as many people as I can reach. At least I'm willing to play the fool in a public way and take a stand.
U.S. President Barack Obama knows how to give a speech. The Israeli people now know this first hand, as Obama was able to turn a heckler's heckles into a standing ovation during his speech at an Israeli university 3/21/2013.
He then went on to make points about the necessity of a two-state solution that would have surely been derided if the speech had been made on U.S. soil.
The President used political tactics that would normally seem risky, but he knew that these people would listen and respond to having them put themselves in the Palestinians shoes. Brilliant! Obama mentioned that he had spoke to some Palestinian youths just before his speech at the Israeli university. Obama said the youths reminded him of his own two daughters Sasha and Malia.
Obama has a knack for humanizing international politics. He was able to "INCLUDE" the Israelis into his inner circle. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was inclusive and stern in his plea for the Israelis to accept Palestinians as human beings just like them. Bibi Netanyahu could not have been surprised or happy with Obama's popularity with these sentiments.
This is way bigger than the moment. This speech will be looked back on by the international community for decades. U.S. Presidents have not been this active in Israel for many years. This was a big deal and now American Jews will take notice that Obama is THEIR friend too.
This was a speech about humasn politics NOT military strength. It was empowering and inspiring to a willing audience.
Bottom line is Mr. Obama did an end around and now has many more fans. He truly is an international rock star on a stage that really needs one.
Did you know that the mayor of Davie, Florida gave former bartender Scott Prouty and two of his motorcycle dealership fellow employees a proclamation that said they displayed "valiant and swift lifesaving actions in the face of an emergency
without thought to their own safety." This was in 2005 when Prouty helped free a drowning woman when her car submerged into a canal along I-75 and sunk into the water.
This is the type of person we are dealing with. Not a self-serving celebrity wanna be.
Scott Prouty was a bartender at an event in Florida in May, 2012 where Mitt Romney was speaking. Prouty hit record on his camera at the bar when Romney started talking about buying a factory in China with young unmarried girls waiting to find husbands. There was a lot more on the tape, but that one fact was the reason Prouty debated with himself for months whether or not to release the tape, NOT the 47% comments that David Corn (of Mother Jones Magazine) jumped all over.
This tells you even MORE about the guy.
The fact that Prouty was more interested in the lack of "moral fiber" Romney displayed in a private gathering was MORE important than the politically disasterous "47%" comments says a lot about the guy who shot the video.
Prouty waited until September to go for it. He had a lot of sleepless nights, knowing that this act could get him fired from his bartending job. Prouty also was well aware that there would be threats on his person and home. Apparently, there have been threats since the public found out his identity.
Prounty has NOT made one cent from this video. He did land a union gig in Washington and feels safe enough to come out 3.5 months after the election. He made the rounds on MSNBC, publicly identifying himself on the second-to-last "Ed Show."
Prouty could have made hundreds of thousands of dollars if he had come out BEFORE last November 6 or in the weeks following the election.
Prouty (a registered Independent) said he did not want to be the story. He wanted Romney's words to undeniably be the story. Romney has admitted this video hurt him badly in this election. His own words did him in and the country was saved (in my opinion) from another distaerous administration.
I personally never thought President Obama could lose that election, but with unemployment hovering around 8% I was in the minority in that thought pattern. Mitt Romney was always a terrible candidate and the Obama Ground Game was very strong. Prouty helped seal the deal and will always be at least a footnote in Obama's re-election.
So. What did we learn from Scott Prouty?
I learned that in politics strange things can make a big difference. This was a strange thing. Think of the billion dollars Romney spent with fancy lawyers and advisors and advertisers. In the end it was a 38-year-old bartender who did the U.S. a huge favor and didn't get paid for his efforts.
I hope someday President Obama has Prouty over to the White House for a beer and a personal thank you.
Little ditty about Ted and Diane
Two American senators, neither will bend...
Freshman Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) tried to nail California Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca) on U.S. Constitutional issues surrounding the Assualt Weapons Ban legislation Feinstein is moving through the U.S. Senate.
Cruz asked Feinstein if she "would favor exemptions to the First Amendment's freedom of speech" by denying that right to certain books. Feinstein pointed out that she has been on the Senate Judiciary Commitee for 20 years, was a mayor and saw shot-up dead bodies riddled with bullets.
"I'm not a sixth-grader," said California Senior Senator Feinstein. "I'm reasonably well-educated, and thank you for the lecture."
Okay. There is a protocol in Washington that Tea Party members are simply ignoring. Cruz has now been dressed down by John McCain (R-Az) and Feinstein and there will be more rancor as the days, weeks, months and YES years pass and Cruz continues his assault on Senate traditions.
Cruz is NOT American-born and cannot aspire to be U.S. President. The Canadian-born Cruz has landed at the top of his elected possibility in the red state of Texas. He will be there for a full six year term.
There are signs that the Democrats are making inroads at turning the state blue, but it may take 2 election cycles. If Senator Cruz stays far right and his party doesn't shift in a more moderate direction, he will be able to keep trying to shake things up for decades.
The big question is whether the legally-trained Cruz will gain enough allies in the congress for a sustained amount of time to actually make a difference.
He is not afraid to take on respected colleagues and the ire of the "Old Guard." Will Cruz's brash style wear on Mitch McConnell, who is fighting for his political life with electoral challenges coming from within his own state? McConnell may have to reign in the younger senator in hopes he can survive some testy legislative challenges like Immigration and Gun Reform.
Cruz was eager to step up during Rand Paul's (R-Ky) "Talking Filibuster" several days ago. Cruz is no stranger to the camera and it's power. Will it be his downfall? That remains to be seen. I believe if Cruz REALLY is Joe McCarthy for this millenium, than he will do and say something that will put him in hot water with the people. When he pisses the public off enough, they will let him know. It may take 5 more years, but they will let him know.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) stood on the U.S. Senate floor on Wednesday March 6, 2013 and proceeded to protest John Brennan's confirmation hearing with an old school "Talking Filibuster." It was shades of "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington."
Senator Paul was really protesting President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder's flimsy assertion that the government has the right to kill American citizens on American soil with drones if there was an imminent threat. Paul repeatedly used the term "Non Combatants" in his rant. I 100% agree with Rand Paul on this issue.
By asserting the government's view that we could even POSSIBLY have these drones trolling American skies is a horrifying possibility.
To use the Brennan confirmation as a format is another matter. I don't like the ocassion, but I wholly agree with the sentiment. The cable news outlets were immediately spinning Paul's filibuster for whatever their agendas are. MSNBC had a correspondent say the Paul was "shoring up his base for 2016" Presidential bid. Who knows, who caresd. Maxine Waters (D-Ca) called it disgraceful to hold up this nomination. I disagree. The senate's job is to "Advise and Consent." If Paul or ANY senator has questions, they have the right to obstruct until they get those answers.
I have NOT agreed with Rand Paul on anything in his two years in the senate, but on this day he was making sense to me.
He and his father former Texas Rep. Ron Paul have tries to fight their Libertarian good fight for years. A lot of their ideas are dopey to me, but they know their shit about due process. They do have expertise in some areas and should be listened to. They have earned that right. We don't have to agree, but we should probably hear them out.
I am certainly not a fan of the Tea Party, but in it's essence there are principles that they adhere to. I admire that.
What I don't admire is obstruction to blow things up in Washington. This is not the time and this certainly is NOT the place right now to stop progress.
Barack Obama is not perfect and I vehementally disagree with him on the overuse of drones. Maybe Rand Paul can get his ear on issues where there could be some open discussion. Maybe these people in our government can turn a cormer very soon and actually listen to each other's ideas and get the job done.