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BuzzFlash Discussion (57)

Friday, 28 May 2010 03:07

Oil Spill Ire: Is Obama Too Cool for School?

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BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

Though the president went to the Gulf this morning to show his deep concern about the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the communities it's affecting, the media was unimpressed. For example, MSNBC whines that President Obama "stops short of feeling America's pain." Yet as our very own Barbara points out in her Daily BuzzFlash Minute this morning:

Rather than a cool head and an informed plan, they want a president who screams "fire" in a movie theater... Give me a man who can maintain a calm approach that actually solves the problem any day over a jerk-off spouting platitudes with a bull-horn! 

Still, having a president rage against the ineptitude and secrecy of Big Oil could be mighty cathartic right about now. But at a time when political discourse seems to have devolved into who can scream the loudest, is it indeed best that we have a calm voice at the helm? What do you think?

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION 

As of today, the United States does not have an official overseeing the 17 federal security and intelligence offices. Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair tendered his resignation, apparently at President Obama's request on Thursday. This comes after some pretty intense criticism of the office's apparent inability to "connect the dots" and intercept attacks from terrorists such as the so-called Christmas Day bomber.

Speculation abounds not only over who the president will choose to fill Blair's shoes, but over the office itself. Formed in the wake of the failure to stop the 9/11 attacks, the Office of National Intelligence was supposed to end the turf wars and information hoarding between the various intelligence communities, but that doesn't seem to have happened.

What do you think? Does a name come to mind of someone who could eliminate the infighting between the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies? Or should Obama consider asking Congress to eliminate this heretofore unsuccessful agency as a relic of the knee jerk reactions of the Bush Administration following 9/11?

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

Oil is a substance that is owned by the residents of the earth.  It is not a corporate product, something produced in a factory.  Yet, oil companies run a good part of the world and are responsible for many of our wars because they have seized, been given, bought for a pittance or bribe their way into "ownership" of oil. (Not to mention the owner of the rig in question, Transocean, and Halliburton -- both of which appear to have likely acted negligently -- in the case of the monstrous Gulf spill.)

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

Not too long ago, Miss USA garnered a lot of attention because of the controversial (and grammatically confusing) response of Carrie Prejean on the topic of same-sex marriage. Prejean went on to become runner up of the pageant before later being stripped of the title.

Just a year later, the Miss USA pageant went from a source of controversy over a contestant's intolerance to causing a stir with its current winner, Rima Fakih. This year's Miss USA is a representative for a somewhat surprising level of tolerance from the judges of the contest. Fakih, a Lebanese American immigrant living in Michigan, stands in stark contrast to the xenophobic legislation of Arizona raising alarm nationwide.

Does the crowning of Fakih as Miss USA indicate a significant shift from the typical view of American beauty? Or was her victory a quick blip that will be forgotten within a year, not unlike Prejean before her?

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

The recent disclosure in the media that the government has put an American citizen on their "CIA kill list" has drawn criticism as well as support from legal and security experts

While citizenship does not play a role in targeting enemies in a traditional war, we all know that this is not a traditional war. The kill list is considered a necessity in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the American citizen in question is far from the battlefield in Yemen. Still others say that the idea of a battlefield is antiquated and not applicable in this situation. 

The notion that the government can get around the illegality of assassination by creating such lists should send a chill down freedom-loving Americans' spines. Yet, some argue targeted killing could help avoid the collateral damage associated with a traditional invasion. 

What do you think about the administration's decision to put an American on a CIA kill list? What does this mean for President Obama's professed desire to protect civil liberties and fight a war which he no longer calls a War on Terror?

Monday, 10 May 2010 05:23

Is the Tea Party Victory a Loss for the Right?

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BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

The ouster of entrenched Utah GOP Senator Bob Bennett appears to be a concrete victory for the Tea Party. Substituting a further right candidate for Sen. Bennett should embolden the Tea Party in future elections. However, will that victory actually translate to Tea Party victories in a fall election? Or will it just make it that much harder for the GOP, or the Tea Party, to claim seats in the elections that really count?

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

Politico's guy inside the beltway, Mike Allen, is reporting that Obama's pick to replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court will be Solicitor General Elena Kagan. "The pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s otherwise," Allen wrote.

Is this good or bad news? Kagan is considered to be persuasive, and the fact that she's only 50 years old means she can be a counterweight to conservative elements for a longer time period. Furthermore, Kagan's lack of a paper trail and the fact that she's already gone through the approval process makes nominating her less risky. Yet many progressives would prefer Chicago Judge Diane Wood for her liberal political views. 

What do you think? Is Kagan the best choice, or the easy choice? If you're not on Team Kagan, who would you prefer to see on the Supreme Court?

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

The Pheonix Suns will be wearing their "Los Suns" jerseys tonight in protest of Arizona's new immigration law.

But now people are protesting the Suns for politicizing sports.

Do you think this sort of protest is effective? Is politicizing sports a problem? If so, is the benefit of celebrities fighting for progressive causes worth it?

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

On Wednesday President Obama, in addressing the judicial activism from the right-leaning Supreme Court of late, seemed to try to balance his remarks by criticizing leftist judicial activism during the 1960s and '70s.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 04:31

Will You Boycott Arizona?

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BUZZFLASH DISCUSSION

Arizona just passed one of the most shameless, racist laws in recent history. Immigrants can now be detained for looking too "illegal," and police are required to check anyone who could be "suspected of being an illegal immigrant." If citizens don't feel police are doing enough racial profiling, they can sue local governments.

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