Posted: 16 Aug 2008 12:25 PM CDT
According to the press release which was published at Barack Obama's website, placing Clinton's name in nomination is being done to promote unity within the party.
Recently it was announced, that Hillary Clinton's name would be placed in nomination at the Democratic National Committee. To many it is considered a mere formality to appease her supporters, but questions abound regarding how many votes she will get.
"I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton's historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion," said Senator Barack Obama.
Today The Politico reports that Representative Loretta Sanchez predicts that Hillary Clinton may earn as many as half the votes from House Democrats like herself, which if she is correct could mean that neither Obama nor Clinton would earn enough to named the official nominee on the first round of balloting.
Sanchez tells reporters, "I believe there are a lot of supporters for Hillary among the superdelegates, especially now that they've agreed to place her name in nomination. I think half the House Democrats would probably be Hillary supporters, especially women. ... I felt she was the most experienced and the best candidate and I still feel that way."
Other former Clinton supporters do not plan on switching back to Clinton for the symbolic vote as evidenced by Representative Anthony Weiner who states, "I made my decision for Obama, and I'm not switching again."
The popular line of thought from political pundits is that adding Clinton's name would give all delegates a chance to vote as they would have had no one been named the Democratic presumptive nominee, thereby allowing each "voice" to be heard, then Clinton would officially release her delegates and on the second round of balloting, Barack Obama would be named the official nominee for the Democratic party.
Many are criticizing this "symbolic" vote, while Hillary supporters are hailing it as a victory.
The floor vote will be done as a state-by-state roll call which means whether they want to or not, each delegate will have to cast their vote by adding it to the tally sheet with the convention secretary, unless the convention rules are altered or changed before the vote occurs.
One person criticizing this decision is a former delegate counter Matt Seyfang, who states, "By putting her name in nomination, you're putting people on the spot. Having a roll call ... just chews into your broadcast time."
There are many lines of thought at play from a variety of different people.
One is that this will promote party unity as Obama is hoping it will by giving Clinton supporters their moment to show loyalty to Clinton and then everybody can rally around Obama voting for him in the second round of balloting as the official nominee.
Some strategists disagree and think that this may backfire against the party by highlighting the divisions within.
Another strategist believes this could backfire against Hillary Clinton by showing that "her influence is waning".
Still others say they are caught and conflicted as to what they should do as one staffer for a New York House member claims that there is also anger at Clinton for putting them in a position of having to make the choice.
Still another that spoke on the condition of anonymity predicted that Clinton will receive 30 to 40 percent of the New York delegates.
"The convention is about nominating Barack, so his people want to speed through the vote as fast as possible so it won't take too much TV time," said a Democratic delegate who plans to vote for Clinton. "They also want to avoid a scenario where she's leading at any point."
Speculation abounds but one thing is definite at this point and that is that Hillary is still in the game even if it is simply symbolic and that her supporters, which are having public parades and rallies during the convention, will see to it that the focus is not only on Obama but that Hillary receives as much attention as they can give her publicly.
You have to hand it to Hillary Clinton diehard supporters. They fought hard to have her name placed in nomination, they are fiercely loyal and somewhere, even if it is just in the her private moments, Hillary must be smiling.
It stands to reason that this might earn Obama a few additional voters, but for those that are not refusing to vote for Obama because they are "angry" or "bitter" but are instead stating their reason as his inexperience, his betrayals and his associations.... well, if they truly believe that, then they shouldn't be asked to put party over country and should vote their conscience.
It is their vote and they are entitled to vote for whom they choose.
Posted: 16 Aug 2008 11:17 AM CDT
Video below found at OC Register.
It was over a labor dispute that involves maids, bell hops, cooks and dishwashers from the Paradise Pier, the Grand Californian and the Disneyland Hotel, all three hotels owned by Disney.
Protesters dressed as Cinderella, Tinkerbell, Mickey Mouse, Snow White and other fictional Disney characters were handcuffed, frisked and carted away from Disneyland.
The International Herald Tribune reports that approximately 600 people joined the protests and the result was that 32 people were arrested fro obstruction.
In February the workers' contract expired and the corporation and workers' union have been in negotiations since.
The workers' union claims that Disney's most recent proposal would make healthcare unaffordable for hundreds of employees as well as creating a two-tier wage system and that Disney wants to add a new category of part time workers that would receive reduced benefits.
Disney's argument, via spokeswoman Lisa Haines, is that other union workers pay into their own healthcare and that Disney shoulders 75 percent of the costs and that by continuing to offer free healthcare to some, it is not fair to others.
Haines also points out that these union workers have protested 14 times, but have only sat down to negotiate 11 times in the last six months.
Haines goes on to state "Clearly we're disappointed that Unite Here Local 681 has spent more time protesting. Publicity stunts are not productive and are extremely disruptive to the resort district."
At the heart of the issue is a free health care plan that has been provided to Disney hotel workers through a trust fund that Disney and other unionized hotels in the area pay into.
According to Ava Briceno, the president of Unite Here Local 681, which represents the workers, "The other hotels around the area all have health care that is provided by the boss and have been able to get wage increases. At the other hotels in the same classification, for the same work, the workers get paid $2 to $3 an hour more."
Briceno claims that in previous contracts the workers agreed to lower wages for the first three years of employment so that they would be provided with free healthcare and that now, under the new negotiations Disney wants to do away with free healthcare for new hires and that they want to create a new "class" of workers that work less than 30 hours a week, considered part-time workers, and they would not be eligible for sick or vacation pay nor given holidays.
She also asserts that Disney wants to increase the number of hours for full-time workers in order for them to become eligible for the health plan.
The protest shut down the major thoroughfare for over an hour as tourists, many with children, watched their beloved fictional Disney characters handcuffed and hauled away to jail.
The Sun offers a slide show of 9 photos, found here.
Posted: 16 Aug 2008 02:24 AM CDT
On the morning of August 8, 2008 Russian forces invaded the tiny Republic of Georgia in what Russia cynically characterized as an act of "preemptive defense". Thus once again this volatile region explodes in violence and increases the already escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington.
According to the bleak assessment of one of our Fox News commentators, "with our military already stretched thin", we are now confronted with the possibility of "being dragged into yet another war, which we cannot afford".
Indeed, we seem threatened on all sides, the martial rattling of our enemies' sabers grows louder and more ominous every day.
Drawn inexorably into conflicts and wars which we can no longer afford, our meager military forces dangerously depleted and already stretched beyond endurance, besieged by the dark forces of fear and travail
our poor beleaguered nation passes into the Valley of the Shadow of Death...
Of course, there's another way of looking at all this.
We have faced fear and travail before, haven't we? We have passed through the Valley of the Shadow of Death a few times before and we're still here, aren't we? And perhaps before we all start feeling too sorry for ourselves, and too beleaguered, maybe we should take a closer look at just how badly off we really are.
Let's begin by looking at just how costly our national military burden really is. To widen our perspective a bit, here are some interesting statistics:
The percent of our national GDP currently allocated to defense is 3.7
The percent of our national GDP allocated to defense during Vietnam was 9.4
The percent of our national GDP allocated to defense in 1944 was 37.8
And what about our over-stretched and sorely depleted military?
The United States now spends at least 3 times as much on defense as China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Libya, and Sudan combined.
The United States has the largest and most deadly air force in the entire world. The destructive capabilities of our massive and under-utilized Air Force are awesome and unmatched by any other nation. Our blue water Navy is the largest and most powerful naval force on earth, capable of taking on any three nations combined. If these formidable forces were ever to be unleashed against a potential adversary the consequences would be devastating.
Read the rest here
Posted: 16 Aug 2008 09:57 AM CDT
Gallup has John McCain and Barack Obama tied at 44 percent each, when just days ago Obama held a six point lead in the same Gallup polling.
Thus, the closer margin seen in today's results is due more to movement away from Obama than toward McCain. Twelve percent of registered voters now say they are undecided or supporting another candidate, which is on the high end of what Gallup has measured this year.
If it is anything like the non existent bounce Obama saw when Hillary suspended her campaign or the bounce after his overseas trip which last a whole three days, then Obama is indeed in a lot of trouble.
Perhaps people are starting to get a clue that Obama is no more than all talk. Perhaps McCain leading the way so publicly on Russia and Georgia has shown more people that Obama has no leadership abilities nor the experience to understand how a national crisis should be handled.
Perhaps the Obama Nation book that the left is starting to howl so loudly over, and will hold Sunday's New York Times #1 position on the best selling book list, is giving those on the fence something to think about.
Maybe all of the above...either way, Obama is having a hard time getting past where he was when Hillary was still in the game.... perhaps many Democrats are feeling a bit betrayed that they backed him and he ended up being no agent of change but just another politician that speaks a better game than most.
Pounding home the point of how Obama is not ready to lead is McCain's new video, YouTube URL here and video below.
Announcer: Celebrity, yessssssss, ready to lead, NO.
Watch it to see the rest.
Even those clearly in Obama's corner are acknowledging how far he has sunk.
Posted: 15 Aug 2008 01:41 PM CDT
Chron.com reports that Trustees for the Harrold Independent School District approved a policy change last October which would allow the teachers in their tiny school district to carry guns at school, for protection.
Teachers in the Harrold Independent School District, in the state of Texas, may become the first to be allowed to carry guns for protection in school.
The community is a 30 minute drive from the Sheriff's office and the district's single campus is only 500 feet from the U.S. 587, which is a heavily trafficked highway and this leaves the schools' teachers and students unprotected.
The 110-student district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.
According to Superintendent David Thweatt, officials discussed and researched a number of policies before approving the one that will allow teachers to arm themselves in this tiny community's school and this policy is but one of those security measures approved to help prevent a school shooting.
Thweatt tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a dog," he continues on to say, "The naysayers think (a shooting) won't happen here. If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them."
Texas law prevents guns on a school campus unless "pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution."
In order for the teachers to obtain permission to carry a firearm on the campus, they must:
-Have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun;
-Must be authorized to carry by the district;
-Must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations;
-Have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
No details were provided by Thweatt on the number of teachers or staff that would be carrying a gun, to prevent students or potential attackers from being informed of those figures.
This policy approved last October will allow for these staff members and faculty to be carrying as of the opening of school later this month.
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