As the calendar moves us closer to the Presidential election in the fall, many of us will start to make decisions (if we have not done so already) as to which candidate we will vote for.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally joined the Democratic candidates on the debate stage last night.
To say that he took a pounding is an understatement.
Unlike the other candidates, who have spent months, if not years on the campaign trail, Mayor Bloomberg is a recent arrival who has basically bought his way into the Presidential campaign. Spending millions of dollars on ads is one thing, but it is not enough to prove to the voters that you are the candidate to represent the party and lead the ticket in the fall.
To his credit, he did put up a dam good fight. He is obviously smart, tough and not afraid of standing his ground. One does not build a billion dollar company, govern a major city like New York for more than a decade or rebuild after an event like 9/11 without being having a brain and a backbone.
However, it is his record as Mayor that is troublesome. I am also questioning that after nearly four years of you know who, if America really wants another billionaire President who has bought their way into office?
Only time will tell who wins the nomination. But I have a feeling that it won’t be Michael Bloomberg.
When this country was founded in the late 18th century, the men who stepped forward to lead this new country knew exactly what they didn’t want. While they did not have a crystal ball to see into the future, they also knew enough to insert certain boundaries to hopefully ensure that the republic would last.
Regardless of where one lands on the political spectrum, we should all be concerned. This President believes himself to be above the law and therefore, able to do whatever he wants without being called out.
As anyone who does not live under a rock knows, we have a Presidential election coming up in November. If there is one thing that I have learned over the past few years, it is that democracy is not easily maintained. It requires hard choices, tough decisions and the knowledge that if it is to last, we must fight for it.
That means voting in November and getting you know who out of office.
For many viewers, the halftime show during the Super Bowl is the highlight of the evening.
On Sunday, while the majority of viewers were entertained by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, some viewers got their knickers in a twist about the clothing worn by the performers.
I have two very big problems with the people who have problems with the costumes worn by J.Lo and Shakira. Both come down to the double standards that still dog our culture.
When Adam Levine went shirtless during Maroon 5‘s performance last year, there were crickets. Simply because this year’s main performers are female, they are being attacked in the press for presenting a bad image to young girls. This is where the double standard comes in. Women are encouraged (in more ways than one) to show off their bodies. But when they do, they are labelled all sorts of names and accused of corrupting the next generation.
Our world and our country would be much better off if certain people focus on important things. Such as jobs, education, maintaining our planet, etc. Getting your knickers in a twist because of the choice of wardrobe of a performer (especially a female performer) is not important and in the long run, will never be important.
The reason that many of us pay attention to any impeachment trial is that it is not an event (not that it should be) that happens very often.
There were two major bombshells during today’s impeachment trial.
The first bombshell came this morning. Senator Lamar Alexander (D-TN) spoke out as to why he did not believe that witnesses were necessary during the trial. His reason for believing that witnesses are not necessary is the following:
“There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence.”
The second bombshell came a short time ago. After hours or debating, the Senate voted. In what was a close race, the majority of Senators voted against witnesses.
Is it me, or are the Republicans trying to rush this trial through? It’s as if they are more concerned with sucking up to you know who and saving their own skins instead of doing what is right for the country.
There has been, as it is natural, comparisons to past impeachment. As most of us above a certain age can easily recall the Clinton Impeachment, the comparisons are easily made. But as I see it, there is a difference. Clinton’s failings were moral. Not that he didn’t deserve what was coming to him, but he did and what you know who did are on completely different levels. Clinton did not sell out this country or threaten to withhold badly needed funds if his political rival was not investigated for some imagined crime.
We will have to wait until next week to find out the results of this trial. I can only end this post with the concern that if you know who is acquitted, all h*ll will break loose.
Impeaching a political leader is not meant to be done lightly or easily. It is meant for a time when the political leader in question has acted so egregiously, that there is no other choice but to impeach them.
Like many Americans, I have been glued to my TV and my radio, listening to the impeachment trial of you know who.
Ideally, we should be paying attention without being partisan. We should be listening to the facts and making a judgement for ourselves, instead of letting politics get in the way. But this is far from ideal and unfortunately, impeachment by nature is not bi-partisan.
As I see it, nothing that the President’s defense has said has swayed my opinion. Instead of presenting hardcore information, they spew the same half truths and lies. Now granted, the President of the United States is given certain powers because of their position. But they are not a one person band in the corridors of power.
Our founders purposefully created three branches of government. They knew that at some point in the future, there would be a President who believed that they alone knew how to run the country.
Some people have asked why impeachment is being forced on the nation instead of letting the ballot boxes speak in November. In another Presidential election season with another Republican incumbent, no one would ever consider impeachment. But given that we have used car salesman wanna be demagogue for a President, this trial is absolutely necessary.
If you know nothing about New York City, you know that it is an expensive place to live. For the same price of renting or buying a home in New York City, one can buy a home with a large piece of land in another part of the country.
“Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio,” he said during a speech in Harlem.
“New York City belongs to the people that was here and made New York City what it is.”
To be fair, the point he is making is not exactly a lie. Living in New York City is not cheap. In many neighborhoods that were once considered to be untouchable, gentrification is causing rent and home prices to rise. An unfortunate side effect of this is that long time residents of these neighborhoods (many of whom who are people of color), cannot afford to stay in their homes.
However, the blame does not lie on the feet of those who come from states like Iowa and Ohio. I have many friends who are not native New Yorkers. Their contribution to this city is just as important as those of us who were born here. The blame lies on the building owners and the developers who charge prices for homes that is unreasonable for most of America. The blame also lies with the city and the state who do not step in to make sure that the homeless population is not increasing because of rising rent and home buying prices.
New York City has always welcome newcomers. It is what makes this city so vibrant and so beautiful. If this city is to thrive in the future, we must continue to welcome newcomers. We must also ensure that those who live here can continue to live here. But that does not mean we blame those newcomers for being able to afford to live here.
Earlier in the week, PBS aired an episode of Secrets of the Dead that focused on the fact that though the Allies knew about the death camp and were urged to bomb it, they chose not to.
What makes me angry is that the purpose of this war was to fight for democracy and human rights. And yet, when the Allies had an opportunity to make a statement about the very thing that they were fighting for, they chose not to.
I can’t help but think of the time, energy, resources, and the lives that were wasted in the Holocaust. We will never know what the victims and their forebears might have given to the world. We will also never know what those who worked in the camps might have done with their lives if they had not given into the hate and believed the lies of the Nazis.
We talk about “Never Again” and how we will never let a specific people be ostracized, traumatized and murdered. And yet, in our modern world, with all of the hate that has started to once more consume us, the message feels as important as ever.
May the memories of those who were killed within Auschwitz be a blessing and a reminder of how inhuman we can be to our fellow humans.
There can only be one Presidential nominee. That being said, it is a natural occurrence that during the election season, the number of candidates will slowly be whittled down until one becomes the nominee.
To be honest, I was not sure if he was the right person for the job. But I admired his courage, his tenacity and his love of this country.
But, I am also concerned about the lack of diversity among the leading Democratic contenders. As I wrote when Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) dropped out of the race, it is becoming appalling clear that the next Democratic nominee will be caucasian.
America is known as the melting pot of the world. Our diversity is our brand. It’s time that we lived up to that brand, especially in the halls of power.
I have mixed feelings about this decision. In a sense, as a voter, I have to respect the process. Not every candidate who throws their hat in the ring will win the nomination. There can only be one nominee representing the party.
But the problem with Mr. Castro, resigning from the race, is that it decreases the chances of a person of color winning the nomination. America has always been a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country. But we have recently embraced and accepted that fact. That includes politics.
Only time will tell who wins the Democratic nomination. My hope is that he or she will fully represent this country, especially those who have been disenfranchised simply because of skin color or family background.
New Year’s Eve is more than the end of the holidays or a reason to get together with loved ones. It is a time of reflection and contemplation.
As 2019 and the 2010’s come to a close, perspective comes into play.
When the decade started, I was in my late twenties. Ten years later, I am nearly forty. One of the things I now realize that my twenties were about molding my adult self. My thirties are about becoming that adult that was made in my twenties.
2019 has been a year of highs, lows, and growth in ways that are unexpected. Growth comes from change, learning and admitting to your mistakes. This year, a major change came from a change in employment. Looking for a job is never easy and learning a new job has its fair share of pitfalls. But, there is something to be said when you have weathered both experiences and have become a slightly better person/employee because of said experiences.
I also earned my second-degree black belt in Muy Thai Kickboxing. It took an incredible amount of work and effort, especially after a long day of work. Earning the belt and wearing it to class is merely a symbol of the effort it took. I look back at the effort I have put in over the years and I can see the results of the effort it took. If there is one thing in my life that I can say I am proud of accomplishing, it is having that belt to my name.