Kucinich for Congress

Anyone following the 2008 presidential race probably already knows that Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich has finally thrown in the towel and ended his bid for the White House. What few know is that Kucinich's congressional seat is up for grabs and there are a handful of Democrats trying to snag the Democratic nomination from him. The "front runner" in that race is Joe Cimperman, a Cleveland Councilman who, ironically, doesn't even live in Kucinich's 10th Congressional District. Cimperman has already picked up some high profile endorsements, including The Plain Dealer and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, but I just can't bring myself to throw support over to Cimperman.

Granted, Cimperman is an alum of my high school and university, I've seen him give a few speeches, and he even scored me tickets to see John Kerry in 2004, but his case against Kucinich is weak and his endorsements are misguided. Currently, Cimperman is running on a "Dennis misses votes" campaign, similar to the one launched against John Kerry in 2004.

The truth is that Cimperman's advertisements are just plain wrong. According to Callahan's Cleveland Diary, who did some digging around in the Washington Post votes database, Kucinich has missed 139 votes in this congress, hardly the 300+ Cimperman claims.

Additionally, Kucinich is a political gem. He was arguable the only Democrat running for president on a platform which he supports wholeheartedly. Kucinich's voting record backs up his convictions. Unlike the typical politician who flip flops constantly, accepts bribes from corporate titans, and represents the interest of their "investors", Kucinich ran on a platform that he truly believed was best for the American people, and no one else. He had little chance of getting the nomination because he refused to play the game the way big media, big business, and egotistical politicians want it to be played. Did he miss some congressional votes along the way? Sure. But anyone who has taken Political Science 101 should know how the congress works. If Kucinich was the swing vote on key votes, its more than likely you could find him in Washington. Sometimes there are more pressing issues than locking in a landslide victory for some bill, taking the country back from 8 years of Bush/Cheney domination qualifies in my book. The Cimperman advertisements overlooks these seemingly important details into account while blasting Kucinich (of course, thats the name of the game when it comes to political advertising).

Finally, Kucinich has single-handedly come the closest to bringing impeachment charges against both George Bush and Dick Cheney, can anyone imagine Joe Cimperman (or even other veteran congress members) getting up in front of the congress and trying to pull that off? Kucinich isn't just important to the people of Cleveland, he is important to the entire country, which is why any readers of this blog need to help the voters of Ohio's 10th congressional district understand why the PD, Frank Jackson, and the Cimperman campaign are misguided. Cleveland has fallen on hard times, but to think Joe Cimperman alone can save the city from its distress, and that Kucinich can do nothing right, is ill-minded. Kucinich deserves so much more credit and respect than he's given; keeping him in office is a good way to say thank you for standing up for our country.

The Case Against John McCain

I'm baffled that John McCain won the New Hampshire primary, especially after all the bone-headed things he has done and said during this campaign. First was the incident when McCain got angry at some high school kid and responded by saying, "thanks for the question you little jerk. You're drafted." Then we had the senator going on stage and singing "bomb bomb Iran". Recently McCain made the comment that 100 years in Iraq would be "fine by me". But what really really wanted to make my head explode was a comment he made during the South Carolina Republican debate the other night.

Here is the context: the moderator asked a question, directed at Ron Paul, about how best to solve the Israel/Palestine conflict. Paul's response was that we should remove ourselves from the Middle East; that the United States is not an honest peace broker, and as such we shouldn't concern ourselves with fixing this conflict. Rather, Paul said, we should trade with both Israel and the Arab nations, and let free market capitalism provide an incentive for the conflict to be worked out. He concluded by saying that US involvement in the Middle East leads to many unintended consequences and a lot of blow back. I don't completely agree with Paul's assessment, but at least it was honest and thought out.

Now, the extremely disturbing comment that John McCain insisted on chiming in with:

In case you missed it our your volume was turned off, McCain actually said, "I'm not interested in trading with al-Qaeda; all they wanna trade is burqas. I don't wanna travel with them...they like one-way tickets." All I can say is: WOW.

These comments paint a picture of John McCain and demonstrate why anyone considering voting for this man should seriously reconsider that decision. First, labeling all Arab nations as Al Quida is a dangerous line of thinking, and a leader who insists on thinking this way is incapable of understanding the true conflict and how to solve it. Al Quida is not a country, not a sovereign entity, and the idea that it is, and that we can fight a "war on terror" is part of the reason we are mixed up in Afghanistan and Iraq right now. Second, saying that all they want to trade is burkas is mindlessly ignorant of economics, international trade and Arab culture. Third, the comment that they like one way tickets is an obvious jab at the stereotype that people from Arab nations are terrorist bombers, again, extremely ignorant and uncalled for.

Most disturbing is the fact that McCain goes on this racist tirade with a huge smile on his face and the confidence that he is 100% right on this question and anyone who disagrees is a fool. If you are planning to vote in an upcoming Republican primary, I beg you not to vote for John McCain. The President of the United States is the single most important person when it comes to dealing with international affairs and foreign relations. John McCain has more than proven himself incapable of handling that responsibility. It really is terrifying to see how close this man actually is to becoming our nations next president.

Fox Sinks to a New Low

I should preface this post by saying that I would not vote for Ron Paul - I will most likely be voting for the democratic candidate, regardless of who gets the Republican nomination.

OK - now thats out of the way. I think it is easy to see why Ron Paul is so appealing, especially to young people, intellectuals, the "internet generation" and those aggressively interested in politics. Paul is not your typical politician; he takes strong stances on issues and sticks to his guns, regardless of popular opinion. He is willing to take unpopular positions, because he truly believes it is the right thing to do. And I hate to admit is, but on a lot of issues, he is probably correct. Social Security and Medicare are in big trouble - the train might not derail for many years into the future, but Paul isn't afraid to talk about correcting the problem now. The weak dollar and constant fed rate cuts might put a band-aid on our current economic squeeze, but probably just prolong the inevitable disaster. And on Iraq, Paul is probably the only Republican who is 100% against the war and against US operations overseas.

Doesn't sound like your George Bush republican, does he? So would it surprise you to find out that the Republican propaganda machine, Fox News, has been significantly discriminating against Ron Paul? They completely excluded him from the Hew Hampshire debate, despite the fact that the NH Republican Party withdrew support from Fox and from Fox's debate. They agreed to let him come to the South Carolina debate, but pitched him joke questions, many of which had nothing to do with issues or Paul's stance on them; including this one:

Several reports have confirmed that in Fox's replay on the South Carolina debate, they completely edited out this question and answer. Apparently the plan of asking Paul irrelevant questions backfired, and when Paul made the host and the writers look like fools, Fox decided to just censor it out completely. And some people still think that Fox News is "fair and balanced"... Sad.

Votes For Sale

I was listening to Fair Game on PRI tonight and a story came on about a study at New York University, which found that 66% of students there would sell their presidential vote for a year of free tuition and 20% would give up their vote for an iPod. I'm not sure what disappoints me more... the fact that people care so little about our country that they are willing to put a price tag on their vote, or the fact that in this country, with enough work, you really can "buy an election".