Author Archives: Renee Rankine

This Week On The Left

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Second Amendment: The Battle Rages On

It’s hard to believe that in 2013 there would still be an attack on Constitutional rights…but there is. The most recent(and surprisingly well sustained) is against our right to bear arms.

This past week President Obama re-upped his gun control push calling on Vice President Biden and NYC Mayor Bloomberg, who held press conferences, to push his initiative.

What’s more, on Wednesday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed bills that require background checks for private and online gun sales and ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds(via Politico).

While some view this as “common sense” legislation there is no argument that can convince most Americans that infringement of any of their rights is common sense. With more and more restrictions on the Second Amendment, we are left wondering what rights we will be forced to give up next.

Senate Democrat Budget

On Saturday Senate Democrats approved their first budget in four years. But not without opposition. It passed Democratic approval with just a 50-49 vote showing a deep divide within the formerly solid Democrat ranks.

The main problem: failure to address the deficit problem. Just last week Obama went on the record saying, “My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.”

Apparently not all Democrats feel the same way. Many of the more moderate politicians on the left are beginning to see the importance of balancing the budget. Which could prove to be a major point of contention going into talks with House GOP.

As Senator Mark Begich (D.-AL) put it, “Passing this off to our children is not an option.”

And many other Democrats are starting to see that the ridiculous deficit and failure to balance the budget is not only failing to solve a current problem but also perpetuating a problem for future generations.

So, where does that leave us? Four *short* years later and a proposal that Senate Democrats can still barely agree on. Clearly, we’re not much further than where we started.

Obamacare Turns 3…!

At least that’s the excitement on the left. In spite of the fact that the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare has begun to wreak havoc on citizens from small business owners to private practice doctors and everyone inside, outside or in between; there are still many who are pleased with what they have been offered.

Of course, the biggest following of Obamacare is the hundreds of thousands of American women who may now receive free birth control. Women everywhere can rest assured that they do not have to be responsible for themselves because the government will take care of it.

I guess a loss of jobs, closing businesses and smaller paychecks are worth it after all.

Thanks Obama xoxoxo.

To Paris With Love

…$585,000 that is.

VP Biden is getting more than we bargained for. On a recent trip to Europe the Vice President is said to have accrued a $585,000 bill for a one night stay in Paris. Not to mention, another nearly $800,000 for additional trip related expenses for limousine service and a night in London.

According to Fox 2 News, rooms are rented out for staff, Secret Service, military and there are security expenses involved. While this is said to be standard operating costs, there is still a lot to be said for trips equaling millions of dollars on the taxpayer’s dime.

Yes, foreign relations are necessary and yes, the safety of the President, the VP and their teams is important but is there no way to trim these costs? With trips like these is it any wonder our country is in the position it is?

Cigarette Ban in NY

Quick folks, hide your Big Gulp…I mean cigarettes! With the overturn of the ban on drinks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is back with a new ban to rile up NY residents. This time, it’s cigarettes.

Mayor Bloomberg has submitted a proposal to the NY city council to hide cigarettes from public view. He cites health concerns, particularly in underage smoking, as the primary reason for the ban.

Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, parents, in case you didn’t know(and the government believes you don’t) it’s your job to keep your kids from doing bad things. Not the government’s. There will always be arguments about children hiding cigarettes or drinking or drugs from their parents but if they can keep these things from ever attentive parents, rest assured, playing peek-a-boo with cigarettes in convenience stores isn’t going to keep them from smoking.

Biden: Giffords Mortally Wounded

If there was ever a #HeadDesk moment this would be it.

On Thursday during a gun control press conference Vice President Biden said, “Think about what happened out in — when Gabby Giffords, my good friend, was shot and mortally wounded.

Now, I’m not one to judge a poor use of vocabulary and/or grammar but it would seem that the man who is next in line as leader of the free world would know the difference between “mortally wounded” and, well, just wounded.

 This is the first weekly installment of TWOTL showcasing the attacks, laughs, and gaffes from the left. Proving why the smart money is on the conservative vote.

 

Follow me on Twitter @ReneeRankine

Is House Passed GOP Budget Hopeless?

via Pennua.org

 

On Thursday, the House passed the GOP Budget Plan, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis). It passed almost entirely down partisan lines with a 221-207 vote.

Ryan’s plan is geared toward balancing the budget within 10 years through a series of huge spending cuts equaling $4.6 trillion that primarily affect funding of social programs while keeping current Social Security benefits intact. The budget repeals Obamacare and proposes a Medicare overhaul that revisits the idea of a voucher-like program for seniors. A seemingly sound plan that leads us to economic freedom by 2023.

But will any of this really make a difference? The Democrat controlled Senate just began debating their first budget since the 2009 budget that ushered in Obamacare. A budget that is on the other end of the spectrum from the House and actually increases spending after the sequester. Their budget does not propose a balance until tentatively 2040.

With a Democratic-run Senate and President Obama in the White House, it begs the question: is the House passed budget a hopeless one? There has been an ongoing struggle between the two parties over the economy and the battle could come to a head due to the drastically different proposals and different ideas about what is important for economic growth. Obama claims, “My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.”

With such divisive plans, Obama will be looking to find a middle ground between the two proposals that could end up producing nearly $1 trillion in new taxes while saving social programs for the poor. While the idea may sound noble, it is simply another instance of working class Americans being punished for being contributing members of society, while those who are not are rewarded.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray(D-Wash.) says, “We need to tackle our deficit and debt fairly and responsibly.”

But fair to whom? Not to the citizens who are working harder for smaller paychecks due to increased taxation. Not to small business owners who have to cut costs somewhere due to Obamacare. And certainly not to our children who are suffering now but will suffer even more in the future due to the massive debt they are forced to repay.

We are increasingly becoming a nation dependent on our government for all of our relief—which only ends up applying more pressure. One that takes away the will to succeed and encourages accepting handouts. With that mentality, the House passed budget may not seem to be more than a pipe dream for many Americans. However, it is always in the roughest of times that Americans show of what we are truly made; which leaves hope that this proposal will be a first step in reaffirming American exceptionalism.

 

Follow Renee on Twitter @ReneeRankine.

 

 

 

 

Post Racial President, Post Racial Americans

via GretaWire

On Tuesday, a tape was released from the 2007 primary season in which then, Sen. Barack Obama gave a very impassioned, somewhat eloquent and, I’ll say it, downright racist speech to a black clergy. The tone of the speech was, by many people’s standards, racially divisive and fraught with half-truths and flat out lies. To the group that was being addressed, and perhaps even to Obama himself, the words rang true and spoke volumes to the injustice that is America today. In the responses to this speech, both then and now, we see a disconnect. Through that disconnect we find the evidence that we truly do not live in a post-racial America.

President Obama is the first to claim that he seeks equality for all Americans. It his been his mantra since he catapulted onto the national stage. Despite often being referred to as the “post-racial” President, his actions have spoken louder than his words. His support of policies that encourage racial preference has been public from the beginning. However, many have still been to deaf to it.

I know people on both sides of the aisle will cry foul over what I have to say next but I believe it needs to be said.

When a man of mixed heritage, who has created a platform of standing for all Americans cannot truly even bridge the gap within himself, let alone society; I think it’s fair to say that, perhaps, he is not alone.

I was raised primarily in a “white” middle class neighborhood and at 18 I moved to an even “whiter” town, boasting a 97% Caucasian population, which my(white) boyfriend at the time was often eager to remind me. At 22, I moved to the Bronx. At 24, to southern Florida. As a black woman, I have been privy—and subject—to the conversations of America’s racial extremes.

From the conversations we have when we think no one else is listening, I can tell you one thing.

When the national narrative comes literally down to a case of black vs white as if there is no one else in between, I can tell you one thing.

And from the fact that we are not comfortable enough to make this an open dialogue as opposed to lobbing attacks from one side to the other, I can tell you one thing.

Whether or not this is a post-racial America, we are not post-racial Americans.

I can say this with optimism because, while I’m not saying it’s a good thing, I am saying it’s ok. Don’t get me wrong, racism is not now nor will it ever be ok but the way that we react to it today as opposed to yesterday and the way we will react to it tomorrow as opposed to today, is. We are still a young nation that has achieved a lot in a short amount of time but we’re obviously not there yet. We still have a lot of growing to do. However, considering the place that we were not 60 years ago, during the lifetime of many who are still among us today, we have come a long way.

There is a disconnect in this nation where we are seeing two different “truths.” There are those among us who claim racism at the release of a video that the American people deserve to see, those who insist Republicans are against black people for wanting to do away with welfare and social programs or those who call Mitt Romney a racist with no proof of his ever committing a racist act. It is those who are moving racism forward in this nation. Race baiting, perpetuating racial stereotypes and pulling the race card around every corner will not get us where we need to be. We need to understand where our country is now and continue to work to move it forward(but not Obama’s kind of forward). We need to not be caught up in claiming every person who does not support Barack Obama is a racist or an Uncle Tom. Most importantly, we need to open up a national dialogue and stop whispering in corners, or preaching to the black clergy, when we think no one else is listening.

 

You can follow me on Twitter @ReneeRankine

Who Needs Enemies?

Troubled only begins to describe the state of the the relationship between President Obama’s Administration and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, the tension has come to a head as Netanyahu increases pressure on the U.S.

On Friday, an interview with Netanyahu was published, during which he implied that Israel may not be able to rely on the U.S. claims of taking action against Iran. This is following, what some perceived, as a harsh statement made earlier in the week in which he said, “those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran do not have the moral right to place a red light before Israel.”

Recently, the Israeli PM has made requests to the U.S. to set a timetable for action against Iranian nuclear facilities, claiming that Iran is close to nuclear capability, a fact that Iran is quick to deny. He has pointed out that action now could lead to less need for force in the future. The rhetoric from the Obama administration has been a promise to keep Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon but refusal to set a timeline. Cautioning the necessity to wait, they say there is still time.

U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated “We’re watching very carefully to see what they do because it has always been more about their actions than their words.”

Comments such as that prompted Netanyahu to ask, “How long must we wait?” How long indeed? And for what action would Clinton and the administration wait? For Iran to realize nuclear capability and take military action against Israel?

Despite the obvious pressure added to U.S./Israel relations, Obama has denied a request made by the Israeli leader for a meeting when he visits the U.S. for a UN General Assembly Meeting later this month. Representatives for Obama site scheduling conflicts as the reason for denying the request. However, Obama has made time to meet with Egypt’s President and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Morsi next week.

Egypt is an Obama proclaimed non-ally while Israel has been a long-standing friend and ally of the U.S.; which begs the question, with friends like the Obama administration…