Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year, A New Website

Happy New Year!

It's been a nice run on blogspot, but I've decided to move my blog over to the Wordpress platform which is effective immediately. But if you still want to read my past gems don't be alarmed because those are moving also! Everything has been transferred over.

I think you will find that Wordpress is more user friendly to the eyes and easier to navigate. Another factor in my decision was the ability create separate pages(for politics, sports, and entertainment) I intend to make good use of every section. Another factor in me wanting to move to Wordpress is that anyone can comment on a post without having to register with Wordpress which can provoke nice open discussion.

The new website is http://dresopinion.wordpress.com If you were an e-mail subscriber, or subscribed to the RSS feed then you have to do so again at the top right of the page.

Dre

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sayonara Democrats (2003-2009)

I figured the day would come, but not this soon. I’ve now come to the definitive conclusion that the Democratic Party and President Obama no longer represent me or my values as a progressive. When I first registered as a Democrat at the age of 18 I never would have imagined how awful this party would turn in the years after 2003.


In 2006, when the Democrats won the House and Senate everyone was rejoicing at the fact they would stand their foot down and end the Iraq War. I was never one of those people that placed full faith in them to do that given that the Democratic Party supported the Iraq War in the beginning and has funded the Iraq War ever since. With the George W. Bush Presidency in front of them with plenty of scandals and possibilities for impeachment I placed some faith that they would consider impeachment when necessary. I was misled to believe that the Democratic Party would do the right thing and hold the Bush administration accountable in areas necessary whether it was the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, torture, poor Katrina response, or the trampling of civil liberties. The Democrats failed to hold the Bush administration accountable for any of those reasons. The problem with the Democratic Party is that they are gutless.


Instead of doing the right thing they are always worried about the next election. That was the reason given for not pursuing impeachment. Now how can you hold people accountable if you are always worried about political consequences in the next election? That’s what you call a corrupt and dysfunctional government. The reason why the Republican Party is able to accomplish their party goals is because they do what they think is right without fear. After all why should they be fearful? Democrats won’t do anything to stop them.


In November of 2006 I got a facebook invite to a student group that supported Barack Obama for President before he even formally announced his run. I decided to join to see what it was all about. A lot of people were touched by Barack Obama’s DNC speech in 2004, and supported Barack Obama on the basis that he opposed the Iraq War from the start. Those two things seemed to be the crux of 90% of the peoples support. I stayed around longer and built relationships with Obama supporters. I actually did a little organizing, and ended up watching his announcement for President with some college students. During this period of time I read literature of his positions, and frequented the facebook group discussion board to get more of a handle on Barack Obama’s various positions. I took it upon myself to research his U.S. Senate record and I saw many votes that disturbed me. His support for the renewal of the Patriot Act, his immigration policy, and his funding of the Iraq War under the guise of support for the troops were troubling enough for me that I had to sever my ties and resign from my NY grassroots position with the Barack Obama student support group. This was around March 2007, and for months ahead I was candidate free until I decided to support Dennis Kucinich for President. I agreed with him on nearly every issue so it was a perfect match.


I campaigned for Dennis Kucinich in New Hampshire and Las Vegas for a month total. Kucinich ended up dropping out the race and eventually Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in a head-to-head battle for the Democratic nomination which he ended up winning. As much as I disagreed with Barack Obama on many issues he ran a great ground campaign. The campaign had many catchy slogans like “Change You Can Believe In” and a lot of rhetoric involving the usage of the words, “Change” and “Hope”. Not much substance in his speeches, but enough of a punch to attract support along with the potential to be the First African-American President in American history.


I debated with myself for a month or so before the election on who to vote for. I eventually decided to vote for Ralph Nader because I wasn’t in agreement with a majority of Barack Obama’s policies. Barack Obama was then elected President.


During the transition period from the time President Obama was elected to when he was sworn into office he announced many different Cabinet positions. The first sign of trouble was his decision to retain Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Another unsettling thing was his decision to appoint Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff who bears a lot of responsibility for moving the Democratic Party to the right. The last big unsettling thing was Obama’s decision to surround himself with Wall Street insiders like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers. I didn’t like his appointment of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State either, but it was much more tolerable than the other choices he made.


Months passed by and President Barack Obama was inaugurated to great fanfare to become the first African-American President in the nations history. While I was happy to live to see the first African-American President I had a gut feeling that a majority of the people who voted for Barack Obama didn’t know who they were voting for. But even with my great skepticism that President Barack Obama would be able to deliver any “change” I decided to give him a chance to prove it.


For someone who campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq War I found it deeply troubling that President Obama would not convene his military advisors to set up a plan that would start a withdrawal of troops from Iraq this year (2009). The common misconception of the anti-war movement is that we supposedly believe the troops can pick up and leave overnight, but that’s false. I’m aware this will take 6months + to complete, but President Obama decided to not even start that process for another year or two. I’ll believe it when I see it. But even with Obama’s campaign promise to end the Iraq War he never campaigned on the promise to “Bring the Troops Home”. He campaigned to bring the troops to Afghanistan which was the troubling aspect of that position.


In the first months of his Presidency Obama passed an “economic stimulus” bill that cost a $787 billion that was supposed to boost the economy. Well, 9months later and the economy is still in terrible shape. It also didn’t take long for President Obama to continue the use of military drones along the AfPak border which has killed countless civilians. President Obama has ordered more drone attacks in his first year than President George W. Bush ordered in his full 2 terms. Are you kidding me?



President Obama decided to use his first year to pursue healthcare reform. In the beginning it seemed to be fairly open in terms of the direction they were going, but it didn’t take long for President Obama to commit a broken promise on healthcare by negotiating a deal with big pharma privately when he had campaigned on televising negotiations on C-SPAN. President Obama and the Democratic Congress were also dead set against single-payer healthcare by refusing single-payer advocates a seat at the table when it came to discussing potential plans.


While dealing with healthcare President Obama also dealt with a couple other issues. He gave a nice fluff speech to the LGBT community promising to eventually overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. I’ll believe it when I see it. The Democratic Congress did pass a hate crimes bill named after Matthew Shepard and that was considered a token for the LGBT community. But deep within that legislation was more military defense spending to fund more war. Disgusting.


Throughout the summer and fall President Obama pondered a troop increase in Afghanistan. While most of the progressives and democratic community was opposed to an escalation in Afghanistan most of them knew full well when they voted for Barack Obama that he had campaigned on escalating Afghanistan. Now there is one line of thinking that says he campaigned on escalating Afghanistan so we shouldn’t complain about it. Well, just speaking for myself that was a large reason why I couldn’t support Barack Obama. It doesn’t matter whether he promised it or not because that doesn’t justify a shitty foreign policy. But I am of the line of thinking that if people were so against a troop increase in Afghanistan then why support him for President? It doesn’t make sense.


Eventually, President Obama announced a 30,000 troop increase in Afghanistan before a carefully chosen audience that wasn’t allowed to boo him in West Point. He spewed rhetoric that if George W. Bush gave the same speech the Democratic Party would be up in arms. Instead their guy, the man with the [D] next to his name delivered it so it was considered justifiable in the eyes of some. He also promised a beginning of withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011, but ill believe it when I see it. Even if that deadline stays it’s still a disgrace because he’s supporting more war and it will continue to increase the deficit and pound the economy into a deeper shithole than it already is. Not too long after that announcement President Obama claimed his unjustifiable Nobel Peace Prize, which should be re-named the “Anybody but Bush” prize. He was selected for the Nobel Peace Prize as a way to convince him to take a path towards peace. “Yea that really worked out well” says Afghanistan families being ravaged by his drone attacks… I couldn’t stand to watch President Barack Obama claim his prize and promote war at the same time. He was lecturing Europeans on Hitler and the necessities of war because Europeans must know nothing about Hitler and wars. Of course a “peace prize” celebration wouldn’t be complete without a performance by Toby Keith who famously does a song about Americans putting boots in people’s asses.


Now with the year of 2009 coming to a close President Obama had set a deadline that he wants healthcare reform done before January 2010. Now during this whole healthcare debate President Obama has held town halls across the country promoting this “public option” government healthcare plan that is meant to drive the costs down of health insurance companies and provide access to healthcare for millions of Americans who are uninsured. Not a terrible proposition, but in the grand scheme of things he still supports the health insurance companies and health insurance companies would still be in charge. The same broken system still stays in place. Now this “public option” scenario was tweaked and changed and eventually a weak public option passed the House of Representatives. But this didn’t happen without conceding Abortion rights for women in an amendment by Democrat Rep. Stupak and the removal of an amendment authored by Dennis Kucinich which would have allowed states to setup their own single-payer plans. This bill was largely seen as a success, but it in the end it was a big giveaway to insurance companies.


Now the healthcare debate moved to the U.S. Senate and time was running short with President Obama’s deadline to get it done before January 2010. An already weak healthcare reform plan was made weaker when the public option (that was seen as a compromise with progressives) was removed. President Obama, the man who promoted the “public option” stood by and did nothing as blue dog democrats requested and eventually had it removed from the Senate version. Then some democrats came up with a stepping stone in the right direction to expand Medicare from 55-64. Of course Senator Lieberman would have none of it and demanded it to be removed. What happened? President Obama and the Democratic leadership obliged. What a disgrace…Another big problem with the healthcare reform package is that it contains a mandate to force everyone to buy health insurance with a penalty if they don’t. This is essentially a bailout for the health insurance industry. Of course passage of the Senate version was not complete yet. The Democrats had a few more Senators to appease. They were able to buy out Senator Bernie Sanders, and even worse they continued the assault on Abortion rights by appeasing to Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. They included a provision that would force people to not only pay a premium for health insurance, but pay an additional premium for abortion coverage. The stars were now aligned for passage of “healthcare reform” that is just a bailout for the health insurance industry and assault on abortion rights. President Obama and The Democratic Congress had no problems throwing women’s rights under the bus. So now it’s time to combine both the House bill and Senate bill for a final version and I don’t expect the so called “healthcare reform” to get better.


Now there’s an argument amongst Democrats whether to support a flawed bill to make President Obama and Democrats happy or vote against this health insurance industry bailout to get a better bill in the future. I am of course in the camp of opposing this bill on the basis of opposing mandates and assault on women’s rights.


At this time I would like to address this common attack on progressives to vote for Democratic “compromises” that is “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. Well, in order to believe that statement you have to assume that the Democratic Congress views progressive policy as the “perfect” policy. Why should I believe that? The Democrats have governed to the right at LEAST since they became the majority in 2006. Progressives have been demonized by many whenever they threaten to vote against legislation because it’s not progressive enough. However, when Blue-Dog Democrats decide to hold Congress hostage to get what they want with a threatened “nay” vote it’s accepted? That’s hypocrisy. In addition to that, how many times have I heard that progressives can’t get elected to President? So what happens is that the Democratic Party nominates a centrist. Who’s in the driver’s seat here? Blue-Dog democrats are, and because of that the progressives have to fight harder.


Now as I wrap up I want to say that I didn’t go into detail on every issue President Obama has failed on. I haven’t even touched on his assault on civil liberties, the continuation of extraordinary rendition, his shitty climate change agreement in Copenhagen, or other issues. My decision to leave the Democratic Party is on the basis that President Obama and the Democratic Party have no respect for progressives. They’ve taken me for granted and assume that just because they have a [D] next to their name ill fall in line and vote for them. The ultimate deciding factor for me in leaving the Democratic Party was the continuation of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the assault on civil liberties, and the piss poor healthcare bill that is about to be passed and the process of how they arrived to the both Senate and House bills. What also played a contributing factor in my decision were the New York state level as well as the local level in New York City. A New York State government that is a big giant clusterfuck, and a New York City Council that is corrupt and led by Mayor Bloomberg serving an illegal 3rd term that was endorsed by President Obama in his refusal to endorse the Democratic opponent. I’m aware ill no longer be able to vote in Democratic primaries, but I’m also aware that the Democratic Party has demonstrated that true progressives are not welcomed.


Recently, President Obama gave himself a grade of a B+ for his 1st year in office. I nearly puked when I read that. What the hell has he done? The grade I would give him is a “W”. Only George W. Bush can create George W. Bush policy, but President Obama has rubber stamped Bush’s policies as his own. He’s delivered change alright…$Change$ for Wall St, $Change$ for more war, and $Change$ for health insurance companies. I’d be stunned if President Obama is re-elected for a 2nd term because with the right candidate running in 2012 ill do my best to make sure he’s a one-termer. The day after the Democrats caved to Lieberman I registered my disgust the "official" way by going from Democrat to Independent. No longer will I be that beaten wife that keeps running back to her husband. I'm proud of myself that I had the correct foresight of not voting for this disgraceful, pro-Wall St., pro-war, anti-civil liberties President.


Sayonara Democrats,


Dre

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

President Obama, Democrats Love Playing the LGBT Community like a Fiddle

Last Friday I watched the big speech by President Obama in front of the Human Rights Campaign [HRC], and I have to say that it was a complete failure as far as taking a next step towards gay rights. When President Obama was on the campaign trail he promised to overturn 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' and the Defense of Marriage Act, but during this speech he didn't take any steps forward. President Obama failed to offer any timelines. I would have liked to hear Obama say something like "We're working on healthcare reform now and after that issue has been completed we will work on overturning 'Don't Ask Don'l Tell', and DoMa." Didn't happen. Ok maybe that was asking too much. How about..."By the end of my first term..."? Didn't happen.

So what does the LGBT community exactly have to look forward to? Filibustering, from their 'friends' the Democrats. I get why the LGBT community has to cheer for Obama. Not because he's done squat for them, but he has the CHANCE to do something and McCain would have done nothing for them. That's all well and good, but at some point the LGBT community needs to tighten the reigns on the Democrats.

One of the many, and in my opinion insulting arguments is that the Democrats can't pursue any issues related to the LGBT rights because it will create an issue for the neocons to run wild with and possibly cause election losses for the Democratic Party. To me, that is very spineless of the Democrats. Never taking a big stand for the right issue. For the Democrats its always about the next election rather than the issues that need to be addressed. That's the reason why they didn't impeach President Bush.

So how should members of the LGBT community feel that their issue of civil rights is constantly being called a liability by a political party that's supposed to be their 'friend'? That's the question that needs to be addressed.

We know what President Obama might do, but he's done nothing yet. Right now the potential overturning of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and DoMa should be considered a broken promise until it happens. Obama gave no new hope for the LGBT community because he just told them to keep waiting longer. Haven't they waited enough?

Dre

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Bloomberg 3rd Term Enablers Must Go on September 15th --Here's How

This is a listing of all the New York City Council Members who voted to extend term limits for Mayor Bloomberg and all New York City politicians by overturning the will of the people and their primary opponents for the upcoming election on September 15th.

Several incumbents on this list are running unopposed, but don't feel obligated to vote for them. You can still protest them by leaving that race BLANK when you vote on September 15th.


City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (Manhattan) Council District 3
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Maria Passannante Derr http://www.mariaforcouncil09.com/
Yetta Kurland http://yettakurland.com/

Maria del Carmen Arroyo (Bronx) Council District 17
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Israel Martinez (looking for website)
Robert Rosado (looking for website)

Maria Baez (Bronx) Council District 14
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Yudelka Tapia http://www.yudelkatapia.com/
Fernando Cabrera http://www.fernandocabrera.us/
Kevin Ennis (looking for website)
Miguel Santana http://www.votemiguelsantana.com/miguel-santana.html

Leroy Comrie (Queens) Council District 27
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Clyde Vanel http://www.clydevanel.com
Adrienne Hayes http://adriennehayes.com/

Erik Dilan (Brooklyn) Council District 37
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Darma Diaz http://www.darmadiaz.com/


Inez Dickens (Manhattan) Council District 9
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Landon Dais http://www.landondais.com/
Carlton Berkley (searching for website)

Lewis A. Fidler (Brooklyn) Council District 46
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Alan J. Sasson http://www.sassonalanj.com/
Ayo Johnson (looking for website)
Elias Weir (looking for website)

Simcha Felder (Brooklyn) Council District 44
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
OFFICIALLY UNOPPOSED!

Helen Foster (Bronx) Council District 16
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Daryl Johnson http://www.daryl2009.com/
Carlos Sierra http://votesierra.com/
Mark Escoffery-Bey http://www.escoffery09.com/

Alan Gerson (Manhattan) Council District 1
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Margaret Chin http://www.margaretchin.com/
Pete Gleason http://www.pete2009.com/
P.J. Kim http://www.pjkim.com/
Arthur Gregory http://arthurgregory.org/

Sara Gonzalez (Brooklyn) Council District 38
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Robinson Iglesias http://www.robinson.politicalgateway.com

Robert Jackson (Manhattan) Council District 7
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Victor Bernace http://www.bernace.com/
Juan Erazo (looking for website)
Manuel Lantigua (looking for website)
Fred Masson (looking for website)
Felix Jerez http://www.myspace.com/felixjerez

G. Oliver Koppell (Bronx) Council District 11
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Tony Perez Cassino http://www.cassinoforcouncil.com/


Miguel Martinez (Manhattan) Council District 10
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Resigned due to involvement in the slush fund scandal!

Darlene Mealy (Brooklyn) Council District 41
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Tulani Kinard http://tulanikinard.com/
Tracy Boyland http://boyland09.com/
Anthony Herbert http://www.herbert4change.com/

Michael Nelson (Brooklyn) Council District 48
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Simon Belsky (looking for website)

Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. (Brooklyn) Council District 47
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
OFFICIALLY UNOPPOSED!

Diana Reyna (Brooklyn) Council District 34
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Gerald Esposito http://www.gerryesposito.com/
Gladys Santiago (looking for website)
Maritza Davila http://www.votemaritzadavila.com/


Joel Rivera (Bronx) Council District 15
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Jose Padilla Jr - (looking for website)
Oscar Zorrilla http://www.oscarzorrilla.com/

James Sanders (Queens) Council District 31
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Marquez Claxton http://marquezclaxton.com/
Jacques M Leandre http://www.votejacques.com/
Frederick A. Lewis II http://lewisforcouncil2009.com/
Michael Duncan http://michaelrduncan.com/
Lou Grays http://lougrays2009.org/


Larry Seabrook (Bronx) Council District 12
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Jerome Rice http://votejeromerice.com/
Algernon Quattlebaum http://www.algernonquattlebaum.com
Sebastian Ulanga http://sebastianulanga.com/
Johnnie Goff (looking for website)
Andy King http://andyking2009.com/
Herbert Moreira-Brown (looking for website)
Krystal Zamilla Serrano http://www.krystalserrano.com/


Helen Sears (Queens) Council District 25
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Daniel Dromm http://danieldromm.com/
Stanley Kalathara http://www.stanleykalathara.com/


Kendall Stewart (Brooklyn) Council District 45
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Sam Taitt http://www.samtaitt2009.com/
Rodrick Daley http://rdaley.com/
Earlene King (looking for website)
Dexter Mckenzie http://www.mckenzie09.com/
Jumaane Williams http://www.jumaanewilliams.com/
Godwin Williams (looking for website)

Peter Vallone Jr. (Queens) Council District 22
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
OFFICIALLY UNOPPOSED!, But consider supporting
Lynne Serpe http://www.serpeforcouncil.com/ [Green Party] on Nov. 3


James Vacca (Bronx) Council District 13
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Irene Estrada Rukaj (looking for website)

Albert Vann (Brooklyn) Council District 36
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Mark Winston Griffith http://mwgriffith.com/
David Grinage http://friendsofdavidgrinage.com/
Saquan Jones http://www.saquanjones.com/
Robert Cornegy Jr. http://www.cornegy2009.com/
Adrian Straker (looking for website)
William Carrington http://www.friendsofwilliamcarrington.com/
Tremaine Wright http://www.changewrightnow.com/


Thomas White (Queens) Council District 28
PRIMARY OPPONENT(s):
Lynn Nunes http://www.lynnnunesforcitycouncil.com/
Allan Jennings (looking for website)
Ruben Wills (looking for website)
Robert Hogan (looking for website)
Stephen Jones (looking for website)
Mireille Leroy http://www.yesweare.net/


Don't forget to vote in the primary on September 15th!

I couldn't find websites for some of the primary candidates, but if you know any of them please contact me or leave a comment.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscars 2009 Picks

  • Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
  • Best Actor: Mickey Rourke "The Wrestler"
  • Best Actress: Melissa Leo "Frozen River"
  • Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger "The Dark Knight"
  • Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis "Doubt"
  • Best Director: Danny Boyle "Slumdog Millionaire"
  • Best Original Screenplay: Courtney Hunt "Frozen River"
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy "Slumdog Millionaire"
  • Best Animated Feature: Kung Fu Panda
  • Best Animated Short: Presto
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
  • Best Art Direction: Changeling
  • Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
  • Best Costume Design: The Dutchess
  • Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire
  • Best Documentary Short: The Witness-From the Balcony of Room 306
  • Best Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
  • Best Live Action Short: Spielzeugland(Toyland)
  • Best Make-Up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Best Original Score: A.R. Rahman "Slumdog Millionaire"
  • Best Original Song: "Jai Ho", A.R. Rahman and Gulzar "Slumdog Millionaire
  • Best Sound Editing: Wall-E
  • Best Sound Mixing: Wall-E
  • Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any sheckles lost! :)