Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Calm Down About Bachmann

Between writing articles today, about various things, a headline on Facebook caught my attention. "Michele Bachmann must immediately step down", with an added bit about how she took Swiss citizenship. My curiosity thus awakened, I saved it in my bookmarks, finished the article I was on, and then went to read.

What I found was an article by Lori Stacey, on the Examiner. It was a clearly angry, semi well thought, rant against Bachmann. The gist of it was that Bachmann is a traitor, and whilst I didn't see mentions of tar and feathering, I definitely got the feeling Stacey left that out because it didn't cross her mind.

Then I did a really silly thing. I continued on to look up what actually happened. You see Bachmann didn't seek out Swiss citizenship for herself. Shocker!

In reality, Marcus Bachmann (Michele's husband) filed for dual citizenship, for himself. As his parents moved to the US, from Switzerland, after getting married and then raising their family in Wisconsin, he was eligible for it. Michele and their three youngest children (the older two have to apply on their own), received dual citizenship, based on Swiss law that automatically gives it to spouses and minors.

As Bachmann spokesperson Becky Rogness said, "Congresswoman Bachmann's husband is of Swiss descent, so she has been eligible for dual-citizenship since they got married in 1978. However, recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family."

Michele Bachmann has not in any way officially switched her allegiance to Switzerland. She did not seek out Swiss citizenship for herself. That her family visits there should not be a big deal. Thoughts forbid that the Bachmann family be forbidden from visiting family, and seeing when their ancestry came from. The horror of such. Should we start an outcry if she leaves Minnesota to visit family in Wisconsin?

To Lori Stacey, and everyone else I've seen demanding Bachmann step down over this: Please! Stop being so ridiculous. This isn't even an actual issue. There are lots more things that actually matter, that are of great and significant importance.

Colorado Senate Continues Restrictions on Teachers Seeking to Leave Unions

On Tuesday, the Colorado Senate voted against a bill that would've made it easier for teachers to leave unions.

The vote came down completely on party lines, both in the House, where it passed, and in the Senate where it failed. Republicans were completely for giving teachers the ability to choose. Whereas Democrats voted for union control.

House Bill 1333 would have required school districts to stop deducting union or teacher association dues for from a teacher's paycheck, within 30 days of receiving a written request to do so, as well as gotten rid of the requirement that teachers resubmit the request every year.

It would also have granted all professional teaching associations, not just unions, the ability to have dues deducted from member paychecks and required labor organizations to make annual disclosures to members about how their dues are spent.

Currently in Colorado, teachers have an unannounced two week period within which to send their request. They also must do so every year, or they are automatically enrolled back into the unions. Union dues can come near $1000 a year. Teachers do have the right to have their dues refunded, but heavy fees have been place, leaving a net result of a max of only $63 being given back.

Tim Farmer, membership director for the Professional Association of Colorado Educators, says that, "Teachers are paying union dues against their will". PACE, a nonunion teachers association which heavily supported the bill, provides teachers liability insurance and legal representation in employment disputes, but does not collectively bargain or engage in political activism. Dues at PACE come to $180 a year.

Josh Hamilton Has 4 Home Run Night

Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton was on fire Tuesday night, as he led the team to a nine to three victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

He went five for five, with four home runs and a double. This gave him an American League record eighteen bases in one game.

With his home run from Monday night, he currently is six for six, with five home runs.

Hamilton became the sixteenth player in Major League Baseball history to hit four homers in one game.

Currently, he leads baseball with fourteen home runs on the year.

North Carolina Outlaws Gay Marriage

On Tuesday, North Carolina became the thirtieth state to pass an amendment defining marriage as only being between a man and a woman. It also made the state the nineteenth to ban same sex civil unions.

The voting in North Carolina crossed racial and political lines. Voters, came in at sixty-one percent for the amendment, thirty-nine percent against.

The bill takes effect January 1, 2013. Sixteen years ago, the state passed a law banning same sex marriages.

Six states, and the District of Columbia, have laws that allow same sex marriage.

Minnesota has a vote on a marriage amendment, coming in November. Maine's 2009 ban on same sex marriage is up for rescinding, at that time as well.

Russian Airliner Goes Down in Indonesia

A Russian airline jet went missing after flying near a volcano, on it's way to Indonesia.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100, Russia's newest civilian airliner, was carrying forty-five passengers and crew when it disappeared from radar.

Sukhoi had sent the plane on a series of demonstration flights, throughout south east Asia. The first leg went smoothly, but twenty-one minutes after takeoff, the second leg seemingly ended.

Helicopters were dispatched to search, but were forced to turn back due to high winds and unusual weather. They hope to get back in the air, Thursday morning. Ground crews are working their way to the area.

Update: The Indonesian government has confirmed that one of their helicopters has found the wreckage of the plane.

The remains of the plane are near Salak Mountain. Ground teams are on their way to the crash site.

Lugar Set for Retirement With Help From the Indiana Tea Party

Richard "Dick" Lugar, a six term incumbent and the longest serving Republican in the Senate, was defeated yesterday by the Tea Party backed Richard Mourdock in the Indiana Republican primary. This happened despite claims on both sides of the aisle that the Tea Party is no longer influential. Mourdock, who was out-spent roughly 3 to 1 by the establishment's preferred candidate, was led by a grassroots effort to replace the incumbent, with a more conservative alternative.

Mourdock's campaign may have had $4.7M less than that of Lugar's, but his super PAC had a $1.2M advantage. One advertisement by Mourdock's super PAC labeled Lugar: "President Obama's favorite Republican", showing clips of Obama saying, "I've worked with Republican Senator Dick Lugar to pass a law" and "What I did was reach out to Senator Dick Lugar."

Mourdock has spent 30 years in the private sector and his political career has included three victories, with one of them being a statewide race.  He's also been a featured speaker at several large tea party engagements.

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and John McCain (R-AR) have avoided similar situations by moving more ideologically to the right prior to their respective primary elections.

Hopefully this is a sign of what's to come in the November elections across the country. Much like the Tea Party sweep of '10, It appears voters are fed up with Democrat pandering, career politicians. I guess this also means we get a week off from the media's claims that the Tea Party is "dead". That's OK, that will give them more time to find ways to distract the public from the violent behavior of the Occupy movement.

Inmate Almost Beats Obama in West Virginia Primary

Keith Judd is a federal inmate in Beaumont, Texas.

Despite his current condition he is on the Democrat primary ticket, in some states, against President Obama.

To add to it, on Tuesday, West Virginia voters, gave him forty-one percent of the vote.

That's right a federal convict was chosen by two out of five, West Virginian Democrats, over Obama.

Very few if any of the voters actually were voting for Judd. They were however making a very strong statement about their thoughts on Obama.

Obama has repeatedly tried to end the US use of coal, and West Virginia is coal country. Coal miner unions, are about the only organized labor, who refuse to stand by the President.