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politicsculture

Former Space Man Talks Politics, Accomplishments

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Apr 23rd 2009 5:28PM

Filed Under: Politics, Culture, The Economy, Muskingum College

Perhaps one of the most distinguished and certainly one of the most recognizable people in American history spoke humbly of his life accomplishments and reviewed Obama's first 100 days earlier this month.

On April 9, 2009 - 50 years ago this month - John Glenn was named a member of the Mercury 7, the United States' first astronauts. Glenn grew up in the village of New Concord - a small, college town in southeastern Ohio. He was a member of the village band and eventually a student at Muskingum College.



Since those days, his name has been one that is familiar to most anyone. He was a fighter pilot, a test pilot, one of America's first astronauts, the first man to orbit earth in space, an Ohio senator, a presidential candidate and later the oldest man to fly in space.

"It's hard for me to believe it's been that long," he said. "Part of that is because it seems to vivid to me."

One thing made clear by speaking with Glenn is his keen interest in politics and history. In fact, Glenn, a former Ohio Senator from 1974 to 1999, ran for president in 1984 but was unsuccessful. A close friend of the Kennedy family, Glenn was with Robert Kennedy when President John Kennedy was assassinated in Texas.

Glenn campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and President Barack Obama in 2008. Glenn has said Obama is "doing an exceptional job" dealing with America's economic crisis.

"I can't speak with any certainty about the economy, because nobody knows what's going to happen, and I think we had to do something because this was the biggest drift down since the Great Depression."

Full Article »

politicsculture

Actress: Tea Protestors Were Redneck Racists

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Apr 17th 2009 11:17PM

Filed Under: Politics, Culture, Media, Muskingum College

Don't like high taxes or runaway government spending? You're a dumb, redneck racist.

That's essentially what liberal actor Janeane Garofalo said on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night. She was prompted to give a response on the Tea Party protests after Olbermann ranted on about the protesters "seething with hate." This from Olbermann, who essentially built an entire show around an hour-long, hate-filled rant about then president George W. Bush.



Olbermann still rants about Bush in a daily segment each on his show - 100 days after Bush left office, mind you. At what point is he forced to give it up? Still somehow - after Olbermann had finished his numerous immature references to male genitals, which he evidently thought were funny - Garofalo upstaged Olbermann on who could be the nuttiest hypocrite on stage.

"You know there is nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry," she led off with. She went on to describe how none of the protesters could tell what the speakers were saying, or knew history at all.

"Let's be very honest about what this is about: It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about, they don't know their history at all. This was about hating a black man in the White House," she said pointing her finger. "This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks and there is no way around that."

She couldn't just leave it at that, no way! She had much more hate left before she would be ready to give up the floor.

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culture

Brown University Faculty Votes To Hijack History

An obsession with political correctness at American universities has rapidly become a national phenomenon in recent years. A few colleges have really taken it too far.

Brown University's faculty voted last week to rename Columbus Day "Fall Weekend" on the University's calendar, a move that apparently was in step with the wishes of students according to a poll by the college newspaper The Brown Daily Herald. The poll revealed a majority of students disapproved of continuing to call the holiday Columbus Day.



The decision came after weeks of pressure from student groups proposing change.

American University's Undergraduate Senate passed a similar resolution a few years ago declaring the holiday "Indigenous People's Day" instead.

Columbus Day is named of course after Christopher Columbus, the man incorrectly attributed with discovering North America. As we know today, Columbus was tied to the enslavement and abuse of native inhabitants of the West Indies. Columbus Day has been celebrated since 1971.

Full Article »

culture

ShamPOW!: Pitchman Arrested For Punching Prostitute

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 28th 2009 12:57PM

Filed Under: Culture, Odd News, Muskingum College

I wonder if we'll have to suffer through those ShamWow commercials anymore with the we-can't-do-this-all-day guy with the stylish headset on.

I'm going to guess ShamWow will come up with a new pitchman after Vince Shlomi -- the guy made famous with his obnoxious yet amazingly successful commercials pitching the highly absorbent towels -- was arrested for punching a prostitute at a South Beach hotel last month.



According to thesmokinggun.com, Shlomi hired the woman for "straight sex" for a one-time special price of $1,000.

Shlomi met Sasha Harris, according to an arrest affidavit, at a Miami Beach nightclub and subsequently retired with her to his room at the Setai hotel.

Shlomi told cops he paid Harris after she "propositioned him for straight sex." During the the 4 a.m. fight, Harris sustained facial fractures and lacerations all over her face, according to the affidavit.

Full Article »

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culture

'White People With Blue Eyes' Caused Economic Crisis?

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 28th 2009 9:42AM

Filed Under: Culture, News, The Economy, Muskingum College

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently blamed the global economic crisis on "white people with blue eyes," and said it was wrong that black and indigenous people should pay for white people's mistakes, the Financial Times reported.

Standing next to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a joint press conference in Brasilia, Lula da Silva told reporters: "This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing."

"I do not know any black or indigenous bankers so I can only say [it is wrong] that this part of mankind which is victimised more than any other should pay for the crisis," he added.

What a fun position Gordon Brown found himself in!

Full Article »

politics

Obama Dances In Boring Press Conference

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 24th 2009 10:30PM

Filed Under: Politics, News, The Economy, Muskingum College

Who's sick of hearing the President blame all of his problems on the previous administration?

Evidently some in the press.

The answer to a tough question usual begins with an Obama answer along the following lines: "Well, I would say you have to remember, I inherited (insert any current national crisis or issue here)."



The president didn't disappoint in delivering that answer at a press conference in which he spent most of the night defending his $3.6 trillion budget, saying the budget "is inseparable from this recovery."

Overall, the press conference seemed dull, highlighted only by Obama's eloquence in dancing around each question, giving long-winded answers normally that had little - if any - to do with what was asked and usually ended with health care reform or green energy reform and green jobs.

CNN's Ed Henry and CBS' Chip Reid called the president on the hypocrisy. Asked on the question of whether his budget tramples wishes not to "pass on our problems to the next generation," Obama kicked off his answer by blaming President Bush and Congressional Republicans.

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Students Must Now Pay On Loans In College

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 23rd 2009 4:05PM

Filed Under: Breaking News, Muskingum College

Despite the wave of political rhetoric flying around calling for an increase in college affordability and availability, both might have become ever harder for the average student borrower today.

Sallie Mae, the nation's largest private student lender, is replacing its signature loan with a shorter-term version that requires students to make interest payments while still being in school.

Sallie Mae's chief lending officer Jack Hewes claims the upside is that the cost of a private student loan will be cut by about 40 percent. Repayment terms are also cut from 15 to 30 years to now five to 15 years.

Another upside, is that despite being on a shorter term, the monthly bills upon graduation wouldn't rise dramatically because the interest payments students will make while in school would avoid negative amortization - or the loan balance growing because of deferred interest.

In 2006 - 2007, around 60 percent of bachelor's degree recipients borrowed to fund their education. The average debt per borrower rose 18 percent from $19,300 to $22,700 in 2007 and average debt per bachelor's degree recipient increased from $10,600 to $12,400.

Full Article »

politics

Obama Takes Friendly Fire From NY Times

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 22nd 2009 5:09PM

Filed Under: Politics, Media, Muskingum College

You might have to see it to believe it.

A spread of the nation's top liberal columnists at the New York Times all took shots at Obama in the Times' Sunday edition. Even the editorials switched sides for the day, taking swipes at Obama's economic team and policies, Politico first reported on.



It might not be unusual for the Times to add a bit of friendly fire once in a while for good measure - and when they do, Obama and his team listen. Think back to when Tom Daschle withdrew from consideration a job as Health and Human Services Secretary over some issues with his taxes. That same day the Times ran a front page story and editorial on the problems Obama would face with a Daschle nomination.

This Sunday, however, many of the writers had penned their pieces on Obama.

Frank Rich wrote that until Obama "addresses the full depth of Americans' anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts, his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed."

Larry Summers, a key Obama economic adviser, bared the brunt of Rich's attack. "Summers is so tone-deaf that he makes Geithner seem like Bobby Kennedy," Rich wrote.

Full Article »

politics

The Bonuses: Who Is To Blame?

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 22nd 2009 10:50AM

Filed Under: Politics, The Economy, Muskingum College

It has come to light in the past few days that the Obama Administration pushed the Treasury Department to urge a change in the stimulus bill protecting the AIG bonuses that the country has become enraged over.

Yet Obama has walked away virtually unscathed; not many are blaming him. In listening to him speak, I almost expected him any minute to deflect blame in his usual way by blaming the Bush Administration, but that didn't happen. Obama said he "didn't write the contracts," but that the "buck stops here."

The president will announce a plan this week that seeks increased oversight on all executive pay for banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies. The House voted Thursday to place a 90 percent tax on the bonuses.

There is much more rage aimed at Chris Dodd, the Democratic senator from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, who has essentially said Obama's Treasury Department coerced him into making the change for "technical" reasons. If only he had known, he would have not made the change, he said.

If only he had known what he was doing. Great excuse, Senator.

Full Article »

culture

Sex Industry: What Recession?

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 16th 2009 9:48PM

Filed Under: Culture, The Economy, Muskingum College

When times are tough, families are forced to buckle down and focus on the stuff they just can't live without. I'm talking the absolute essentials - food, shelter and, of course, sex.

In fact, some businesses in the skin industry say they do better in a bad economy. The owner of an Ohio-based condom manufacturer said business is better than ever.



"We're doing well," Brian Frank of Undercover Condoms told the Columbus Dispatch. "There's been some effect from the downturn, but overall we're still growing."

According to the Nielsen Co., sales of male contraceptives in food, drug and mass-merchandise stores increased 6.4 percent in the last 13 weeks of 2008 compared to 2007. The number of condoms also rose 2.4 percent during that same period. Sales in January followed the same trend, up 5.3 percent compared to the previous year.

Condom manufacturers attribute the correlation to people staying home and resorting to cheaper forms of "recreation," while also being reluctant to have more kids in uncertain times.

Full Article »

pop culture

Teens Think Rihanna To Blame For Beating?

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 14th 2009 6:29PM

Filed Under: Pop Culture, Odd News, Muskingum College

Here's something that might blow your mind: Nearly half of 200 Boston teenagers interviewed actually said that Rihanna was to blame for the alleged beating she took from boyfriend Chris Brown.

And if you think the amount of failed marriages has risen, wait until these kids get married. Of those participating, 71 percent said that arguing is a normal part of a relationship and 41 percent said fighting is routine.

The results were part of a survey conducted by the Boston Health Commission and were found to be equally among boys and girls. The startling results clearly demonstrate a generation of youths who have grown insensitive, to domestic violence.

"I think you'd have to be pretty jaded if you weren't startled by it," said Casey Corcoran, director of the health commission's new Start Strong program.

Full Article »

politics

Obameter: Finally Holding Obama Accountable

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 9th 2009 2:55PM

Filed Under: Politics, Featured Stories, News, Media, Muskingum College

Barack Obama asked to be held accountable for his decisions -- and one newspaper has taken steps to do just that.

Staffers with the St. Petersburg Times pored through hundreds of pages of Obama's speeches, TV appearances, position papers and his campaign website. From ending the War in Iraq to purchasing a new puppy for his daughters, the team found over 500 promises - large or small - and created the Obameter on their new Web site, PolitiFact.com.

The Obameter grades each promise on one of six levels: no action, in the works, stalled, promise broken, compromise, promise kept. Obviously, most currently fall in the "no action" column.

The staff has individually numbered each promise and runs the list through continuous checks in order to update their status. So far, Obama has kept 16 promises, compromised 7, broken 2 and has had 2 stalled.

The two promises Obama has managed to break already, according to PolitiFact.com, are his promise to allow five days of public comment before signing bills and creation of a $3,000 tax credit for companies that add jobs.

Full Article »

national newspolitics

Limbaugh at CPAC: 'We Can Take This Country Back'

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Mar 1st 2009 12:15PM

Filed Under: Politics, National News, Muskingum College

Democrats want and need Rush Limbaugh to shut up - some argue that the Republicans do too.

And at a time when some Democrats are suggesting bringing back restrictions particularly targeting him, conservatives are embracing him - giving him what Fox News called an "immense" ovation before he began his keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC).

What transpired was nothing short of a chest-beating, conservative pep rally.

The talk radio giant, made famous for various extreme suggestions such as wanting Obama to fail, reportedly roused the conservative audience to their feet several times.

"We can take this country back," Limbaugh told them. "All we need is to nominate the right candidate."

Limbaugh actually came on stage 15 minutes early and spoke an hour over his allotted time of 20 minutes. If you've heard him on the radio before, you can understand why. The guy could talk for days and days on end.

Full Article »

politics

Student, 20, Fighting For Right To Run For Office

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Feb 23rd 2009 7:46PM

Filed Under: US Elections, Politics, News, Muskingum College

Brett McClafferty, a now 20-year-old Cleveland State University student, came up one single solitary vote shy of becoming mayor - at the age of 19 - of Streetsboro, Ohio in May 2007.

Shortly after, city officials put a charter amendment on the November ballot of that year raising the legal age to run for mayor or council from 18 to 23. The amendment was approved by 59 percent of voters.

But now McClafferty is back and intends to run for city council. The law discriminates against young people, he said, and if the Portage County Board of Elections refuses to certify his candidacy he plans to file a federal lawsuit.

"I'd like to see the courts acknowledge this law is unconstitutional and arbitrary, McClafferty told the Akron Beacon Journal. "I think this is a fight for young people across the country. It's a slippery slope. If you acknowledge an age requirement is legitimate, there is no reason all municipalities can't start adopting them."

Proponents of the amendment in age requirement likely want to ensure candidates have more life experience. However, renewed access to and interest in politics, especially online, might mean that a college student has as much knowledge of government as your average 50-year-old.

A former president of the council who chaired the city's charter review commission told the Beacon Journal in 2007 that the commission's members decided on 23 because the age would give candidates five years to go to college, go to the military, or work for five years.

Ohio requires a person to be 18 to run for most state and local offices. The age of 18 affords citizens the right to vote, among many others.

Full Article »

politics

Stimulus Signed, Sealed ... Delivered? Not For Years

Joshua Chaney

Posted:  Feb 17th 2009 8:00PM

Filed Under: Politics, Breaking News, News, The Economy, Muskingum College

MSNBC's David Shuster - a self-described neutral journalist - discussed President Obama's bill-signing ceremony on his extremely partisan show, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, with a segment called "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

He even had the similarly titled Stevie Wonder song playing during the segment. It was rather cute.



The problem of course is that Obama's stimulus for the most part won't be "delivered" anytime soon.

Portions of the $787 billion stimulus bill, which the White House estimates will save or create 3.5 million jobs, will take years to effect the U.S. economy.

Full Article »

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