Thursday, March 29, 2012
"If we reach an accord with the other developed countries, we’ll draw on our stocks, push down the price for a limited time,” Mr. Fillon said.
Domestic political concerns on both sides of the Atlantic may be a factor in the current discussions. President Barack Obama faces a re-election in November, with gasoline prices at $4 a gallon or more in some states. In the Paris area, gas is at more than €2 a liter, or $10 a gallon.
These gas prices are ridiculous and I believe it is a good idea to do something about it. Obama has a lot of work to cut out for him to get those gas prices down, if he wants a chance in resuming presidency.
They found at least 43 violations of the Chinese laws and regulations. They found many instances when Chinese workers were working for more than 60 hours a week and sometimes more than 11 days in a row. Also the investigations found out that more than 43 percent of workers have experience or witnessed accidents.
Apple, which recently joined the Fair Labor Association, had asked the group to investigate plants manufacturing iPhones, iPads and other devices. Earlier this week a collection of advocacy groups sent Apple an open letter calling on the company to “ensure decent working conditions at all its suppliers.”
Foxconn’s promises include a commitment that by July of next year, no worker will labor for more than 49 hours per week — the limit set by Chinese law. But regardless of motivation, when a company as large as Foxconn changes, we hope it reshapes other companies’ decisions.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Now, it appears, they won't even be able to have their names on the Republican National Convention ballot. RNC rules require nominees for the presidential candidate to have won a plurality of votes in at least five states. So far, Gingrich has won in South Carolina and Georgia, and Paul has not won a plurality in any state.
Do you think this RNC rule is fair? And what's keeping these two in the race? It seems to me it isn't worth the time, money, or effort to continue when their chances of becoming the nominee for the Republican presidential candidate are, at best, slim.
Polls show that two years after the passage of the act, public opinion remains the same, with as many people supporting and opposing it as before. Opponents cite its high costs as a reason for opposition, in addition to the provision that mandates every American to have health insurance. Supporters say that Obamacare fixes problems that the insurance industry has and covers insured people better.
Do you support Obamacare? Do you think that it will ultimately be ruled constitutional or unconstitutional?
Thursday, March 22, 2012
To many, Martin's murder and its subsequent treatment by the Sanford police is anecdotal evidence of the persistence of racial bias everywhere from the front of a 7-Eleven to the highest reaches of the national government. As the story goes, Zimmerman became suspicious of Martin as he (Martin) was "just walking around looking about." Writer E. J. Graff coined the term "Walking While Black" to describe this sort of unfounded suspicion of minorities.
In an interesting op-ed by Sally Kohn, Kohn draws parallels between Trayvon Martin and President Obama. Just as Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin for Walking While Black, Obama's critics don't trust him because he is Governing While Black. The kind of implicit racial bias that Obama faces isn't exactly subtle. As Kohn points out:
"President Barack Obama is the first African-American president...(and) from day one, conservatives have attacked the president's religion, citizenship, and essential patriotism....Their rhetoric often evokes the same racial animus that Zimmerman seems to have expressed....Newt Gingrich has labeled President Obama 'the most dangerous president in history'....Rush Limbaugh said: 'Obama is an angry black guy.'"
This racial bias is even rooted in scientific studies; we're all familiar with the Black Doll/White Doll experiment, but a recent study concluded that subjects showed more support for the exact same healthcare reform proposals if they were credited to Bill Clinton rather than Barack Obama.
Despite the acknowledgement of this problem, though, it doesn't seem like much has really changed, especially in terms of suspicion of black men, whether they be 17-year-old boys or leaders of the free world. Racial bias may not be overt anymore, but it's deeply embedded in the fabric of the politics, justice system, and people of the United States, so much so that it can threaten the dignity of the presidency or kill a harmless boy.
Please share any thoughts you have on these issues in the comments section...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
He belittled Mr. Obama’s experience as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago and as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, saying the president was ill suited to lead the nation to economic prosperity.
“It’s time to say this word: enough. We’ve had enough,” he said. “We know our future’s brighter than these troubled times. We still believe in America, and we deserve a president who believes in us, and I believe in the American people.”
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
**this morning I read that the Republican candidates are running out of funds and relying more heavily on super PACs, giving these individuals and organizations a much larger say in government. Click here for a NY times article on depleting funds.
Smith faces up to ten years in prison should he be convicted.
In spite of his alleged crime, Smith had no trouble beating out Democratic rival Tom Swiss, who was once a chairman of the Cook County Republican Party, with 76 percent of the vote. U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) had rallied Chicagoans to back Smith rather than Swiss in light of the latter's previous involvement with the GOP. In reference to this, Davis said: "There's nothing wrong with being a Republican, except that if people are going to vote for a Republican, they ought to know they’re voting for a Republican."
Although Smith will likely step down from his office before the November general election, the symbolic support of an alleged crook over someone with a clean record who just so happens to have been a Republican is a little troubling. Are we so hostile towards opposing parties that we'd rather a criminal be in office than someone whose politics we disagree with?
Sound off in the comments section to answer these age-old questions: How much importance do you place on a politician's character? Can you still generally trust a politician whose character has come into question to govern properly? Is there a "corruption threshold" at which you would no longer be able to vote for a politician, even if they shared your political beliefs?
Traffic jams and building evacuations abounded, while 800 homes were damaged, according to some reports. Some have been injured, though no deaths have been reported as of yet.
Although the earthquake is not expected to create a widespread tsunami, there is still a chance that tsunami effects will be experienced locally.
Guerrero last experienced a major earthquake (magnitude 6.5) in 2008.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
However, those who voted weren't too thrilled the candidates at hand saying that "they were opting for the least bad choice". Many were also still deciding who to vote for when they got to the polls. One woman even commented that "there's nobody that I like everything about". Many voters reasoned that while they may not like Romney, he would be the best suited to get Obama out of office.
Voters don't seem to happy with any of the choices at hand. So who will come out on top in Alabama and Mississippi?
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
The Department of Labour announced that 227,000 jobs were added in the month of February. It was the third straight month where a significant amount of jobs were created and many experts have said consumer confidence in the economy is rising as a result. However, unemployment has remained relatively constant throughout the past few months at 8.3% because many people who had stopped looking for a job have again resumed. There has also been a rise in people quitting their jobs, and people don’t quit their jobs unless they have another job opportunity. Jobs gains have also happened in a variety of areas including manufacturing. President Obama stated that this is the first time since the 1990’s that companies were bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. The President is also likely hoping that these job gains continue and consumer confidence continues to rise as the economy will likely be an issue of much debate come the election. Republicans instantly responded by saying these jobs gains were too little and too late. Will this job surge continue? Are these jobs too little and too late for Obama?
The citizens of Syria have been protesting against President Bashar al-Assad and his government. The Syrian government has decided to stop these protesters with the use of violence.
President al-Assad has said that he would not talk to The United Nations as long as there were "terrorist groups operating within Syria".
As far as the U.S. goes, Obama is said to be unsure as to whether or not the U.S. should send military efforts into Syria. He wants to stop the bloodshed, but understand that military action may only worsen that. Republican Senator John McCain wants to have a military intervention with Syria.
What do you guys think? Military intervention?
Thursday, March 8, 2012
(Hopefully California's democratic atmosphere will pick the lesser of all evils... :) )
Super tuesday was not the game changing test that it was in the 2008 election. There were no real surprise victories. Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia by a significant margin and Romney won Massachusetts by a large margin. Romney is also have said to have won the much coveted Ohio and will likely take home most of the delegates from Ohio because of his wins in the more populated areas and also because Senator Santorum failed to meet the requirements to be put on the ballot in some congressional districts in Ohio. Senator Santorum also did not file for all of the delegates in six districts, failed to file for all 18 of his at large delegates and also failed to appear on the ballot in the state of Virginia. It is likely that these ballot troubles will continue as he failed to meet the requirements to be placed on the ballot in Washington D.C. and in some districts in Illinois. Governor Romney has criticized Senator Santorum for his lack of organization, but Mr. Santorum has simply brushed it off. Instead, Senator Santorum has called for Newt Gingrich to throw in the towel, so the nomination can become a two man race, between a true conservative (Santorum) and a moderate (Romney). Gingrich having a strong base in the south may pose a threat to Santorum in upcoming primaries in Mississippi and Alabama. However, it is not likely that Gingrich will drop out before those key primaries on March 13th, but if he does not get much support in Mississippi and Alabama then that could likely be the end of his quest for the GOP nomination.
Although Santorum and Gingrich appeal more to the southern core of the Republican party Romney has not given up hope. His campaign is running the most expensive advertising campaign in the south out of all the candidates and hopes to increase his delegates count.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Mitt Romney is doing well since he has now added two old-fashioned supporters to include to his wins in 3 states last week while heading towards Super Tuesday. He now has 207 delegates after his wins in Michigan, Arizona, and Washington. Corburn, a tea party member, wrote in the Oklahoman newspaper that, “Romney has done hard things. He has turned businesses around, told people hard truths about what needed to be done, inspired confidence and overcome excuses. Romney is not a career politician or a career legislator. As a former governor and business leader, he is an executive who knows how to use executive power”. Corburn seems to say that Romney is not only the leader, but is looking like the leader.
Does anyone still stand a chance? Well Rohmey has 207 delegates, Santorum has 86, Ron Paul has 46, and Newt Gingrich trails with 39. It takes 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination and run against President Obama in November. Gingrich seems to be falling behind. I remember when he was one of the top competitors in the race. Does he even stand a chance still? To keep alive in his campaign, Gingrich needs to win in Georgia in addition to some additional states. “Polls show [Gingrich] with a solid lead in the state he represented in Congress, and Gingrich spoke confidently Sunday about the road ahead”.
Personally, I think Romney is going to take the Republican win. He is far enough ahead to secure his win and he seems to be popular enough. But is if he does win can he defeat Obama? I guess we will just have to wait and see!
These percentages are extremely low compared with the most recent Super Tuesdays. In 2008 there were more than twice as many delegates up for grabs in the largest Super Tuesday ever. Interestingly, in 2008 Super Tuesday took place in February instead of in March and featured 24 states instead of this year's nominating situation which will only have nine (plus Alaska which will begin their two week long caucus). In 2008 John McCain pretty much secured the nomination by winning 511 delegates, well ahead of second place Romney at 176 delegates. This year there may be a different outcome for Mr. Romney.
As the favorite going into Tuesday, Romney already leads the second place candidate Santorum 203 to 92. Should Romney pull out as big a victory that McCain had in 2008, he could separate himself enough from Santorum to almost guarantee the nomination. While Super Tuesday can't make the nomination official this year, it could cause Romney to take a commanding lead.
However, Romney's win will not come easily. In the most recent polls regarding this year's Super Tuesday, Romney and Santorum have the edge in 4 states each, with Gingrich winning Georgia in a landslide. Can Santorum make a comeback? Or will Romney further his lead?
Saturday, March 3, 2012
594,000 valuable gold and silver coins were found at the bottom of the ocean recently. These coins where on a Spanish Warship that was sunk over 200 years ago. These coins still need to be restored but are valued at 500 million dollars.
300 years ago, a war ship was going from Peru to Spain to drop off the coins. On its way to Spain, the boat was stopped at attacked by British war ships. The ship sunk with its cargo, killing over 200 sailors.
5 years ago, an American ship found the coins and brought them back to the United States. Although the American’s found it, the Spanish wanted them back and said they were the originally theirs. The case went all the way up to the Supreme Court where there was much debate. In the end, Spain won the coins. When asked to comment on the coin situation Jim Goold, who defended Spain's claim to the treasure, “’ Spain has now been victorious… I am pleased and proud for all of us"’.
Spain's Culture Minister, Jose Ignacio Wert, told CNN that the coins were going to be put in a museum. The coins will not be showed for awhile because they need to all be cataloged and need much restoring. There are 200 gold coins and over 13,000 silver coins that have been restored so far and scientists have been working hard on trying to save more.
Personally, I feel like the United States should have been able to keep the coins, or at least some of them. I know the coins were originally Spain’s, but the US found them and worked hard to find them. If Spain really wanted them the coins back so badly, why didn’t they go looking for them? Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers!