Saturday, November 22, 2008

Inauguration Security

It is already being marked on the calendar of practically every American. January 20th, 2008. Inauguration Day. The day where an African American becomes the next President of the United States or the day where George W. Bush is no longer president. I guess you can look at it either way, depending on how much you love Obama or how much you hate Bush.

However, the most important person in America on January 20th, 2008 will not be Obama, instead it will be........Cathy Lanier.

Wait? Huh? You are definitely wondering who the hell Cathy Lanier is.

Cathy Lanier is the Police Chief in the District of Columbia. She will be responsible for making sure President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States without anything happening to him.

Let's face it. We may have elected an African American to become the next president, but there is still racism in our country. There are still people out there who absolutely hate Blacks and are livid over the fact that one will be their next president. This racism, as well as the fact that terrorists are still a powerful force, are the two main reasons why there is going to be the most security ever to patrol an event on Inauguration Day.

It will be the responsibility of Lanier to make sure her city is patrolled by as many officers as possible. Yes, the secret service and other people in Obama's administration will play a large role in making sure Obama is sworn in without any trouble, but Lanier is in charge of the city. Therefore, it is her responsibility to make sure nothing goes wrong.

The precautions that are being taken for Inauguration Day are amazing. According to CNN, "Precautions will range from the routine — magnetometers like those used at airports — to countersnipers trained to hit a target the size of a teacup saucer from 1,000 yards away. Plus undercover officers, bomb sniffing dogs and air patrols."

The fact that a sniper will be able to hit a target the size of a teacup saucer from 1,000 yards away is pretty cool. Actually, it's amazing. This alone will make me think twice if I were one of those idiots planning on doing something to harm the 44th President.

Lanier is in charge of all 5,265 surveillance cameras in Washington D.C., and all of those cameras will be fed into a multi-agency command center.

In conclusion, the man of the day on January 20th will be Barack Obama, but the WO-man of the day will be Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

USC Gets Revenge

One word describes USC’s 45-23 victory over Stanford: Revenge. It was only one year ago when the Stanford Cardinal came to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as a 41 point underdog and destroyed the USC Trojans national championship dreams by beating the Trojans 24-23.

USC fans had to have been at the edge of their seats after the first half. The scoreboard read 17-17, meaning the blowout the Trojans fans were hoping for was looking more like a nail biter.

It was probably one of the worst halves of football the Trojans have played so far this year. The defense gave up over 200 yards and the offense couldn’t seem to be able to get anything going. Luckily, the special teams for the Trojans came to play. Ronald Johnson had a stellar kick return for 75 yards to set up a 37-yard field goal by David Buehler (Buehler is still not given enough credit for how much he has contributed to the Trojans this year). C.J. Gable also had a nice touchdown off a kick return. He displayed some of his great speed on that return, going virtually untouched for the score.

Pete Carroll must have said something during halftime in his speech that sparked a fire under the Trojans, because they came out looking like a completely different team in the second half. They had over 300 yards of offense in the second half, and only gave up 160 yards on defense.

Give credit to Stafon Johnson and the rest of the tailbacks, because they led the way in the second half. Johnson ended the game with 115 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns, while his partners in crime, C.J. Gable and Joe McKnight, combined for 157 yards and 1 touchdown.

Overall, it was two different teams that stepped onto the field in Palo Alto, California on Saturday evening. The first team was one that stooped down to the level of the Stanford Cardinal, while the second was the one that deserves to be ranked #6 in the BCS standings.

The Trojans now get a week off to rest and get healthy. Next on tap for the Trojans is Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish visit the Coliseum on Nov. 29 and then the Trojans will head to Pasadena to face the UCLA Bruins on Dec. 6th, in what could be the first of two games in a row that the Trojans will play in Pasadena. Only time will tell what the future of this Trojans team will be, but after this week, Trojans fans will be rooting for the team that played the 2nd half against the Stanford Cardinal.

Fight on!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pick Me, Pick Me!!

I know you want to be a part of the Obama administration. Well, you might want to think twice about it, because you are going to have to reveal every single thing about yourself.

An application to join Obama’s staff was released on Thursday and it includes questions such as, “Briefly describe the most controversial matters you have been involved with during the course of your career,” and “If you have ever sent an electronic communication, including but not limited to an e-mail, text message or instant message, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.”

Now, I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I would not want to disclose all the instant messages I have sent over the years. I am sure that sometime over the last five years, I have said something stupid that I would definitely regret.

In an age where technology has escalated dramatically and is a huge part of our lives today, Obama is making sure that no one he chooses has abused it.

When you first see the application, one of two things runs through your mind. First of all, you could be thinking Obama is a genius and a hard-ass and will make sure that no one enters his administration that doesn’t deserve to be there….or you could be thinking Obama is crazy for trying to invade people’s lives to an extent that is completely unnecessary.

I am going to go with the first option. Being the first African American president, as well as entering the oval office during one of the worst periods in American history, Obama cannot afford to make any mistakes. Hiring someone that has a sketchy past and did something that would hurt Obama’s credibility would be disastrous.

An example of surrounding yourself with the wrong people and paying the price would be George W. Bush’s presidency. If you saw the movie “W,” you saw the idiots that Bush surrounded himself with.

Bush is actually pretty smart and was capable of holding a position high up, but he killed any chance he had of succeeding by surrounding himself with absolute morons. The only person Bush had on his staff that knew what he was doing was Colin Powell. Powell was adamantly against the war from day one, but he was outnumbered by the morons.

Because of the poor guidance given to him, Bush became one of the worst presidents ever. Now, Obama wants to make sure he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of Bush, so he is making sure that everyone on his staff is right for the job and will help him succeed.

Although this application exposes a lot about you and invades your privacy, it’s necessary in order to make sure the next four years aren’t like the last eight.

In conclusion, I tip my hat off to you, Mr. Obama. Congratulations on being someone that cares about our country succeeding and will go to extreme lengths to ensure America’ success.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Obama

Congratulations to Barack Obama for becoming the 44th President of the United States. He not only defeated John McCain, but he did it in a fashion that showed how liked he was across the country. With some states still needing to be finished counting, Obama has a commaning lead in the electoral vote and an overwhelming lead in the popular vote. Currently, Obama is up by approximately 6 million votes.

It was only a few months ago during the primaries when Barack Obama was running behind John Edwards and Hillary Clinton in the polls. Clinton was expected to not only win the Democratic nomination but do it in a landslide. However, Obama put up a fight against Clinton and then put up a fight in the general election against McCain. It was Obama's unwillingness to get knocked down and not give up that helped Obama become our President-elect.

One could say the tough battle Obama faced in the primary against Clinton really toughened him up. He worked hard in every aspect of the campaign, especially fundraising.

If it wasn't for Obama's incredible fundraising, we wouldn't be celebrating the 1st African American president. But thanks to Obama's campaign fundraisers, he was able to raise a record amount of money. This money was used for two main things that helped the campaign: Advertising and Ground Forces.

One item that had been talked about for a few weeks, especially among Democrats, was the Bradley Effect. Obama had huge leads in the polls, and even led in some traditionally red states such as Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Political experts were saying to be wary of these leads that Obama has, especially in the red states, because once people actually get to the polls, it will be hard for them to vote for an African American.

I guess it was all talk because Obama won all those states I mentioned above, assuming he holds the lead he has now in North Carolina. We can finally put the Bradley Effect to rest and celebrate the fact that our country is not as racist as we thought.

This is an amazing day for the people of the United States, because a democrat will take the oath for the oval office in January and the Democratic Party will have a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

More importantly, our country has elected an African American as President of the U.S. It's amazing to see what our country has gone through the past 100 years and where we stand today.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Post-Partisanship with Proposition 11

With only three days until Election Day, all the attention is on Barack Obama and John McCain to see who will become the next President of the United States. Ads are being run on the airwaves, candidates are giving speeches, volunteers are hitting the streets and news channels are devoting as much coverage as possible to the most historical election ever. While all the attention might be on the presidential election, there is an extremely important proposition on the ballot in California, Proposition 11, that would have a very similar result as Barack Obama becoming president: post-partisanship.

Proposition 11 would change the way district lines are drawn in California. Currently, the re-drawing of the lines is done by the state legislature, but if this proposition is passed, a 14-member committee will draw the lines. The committee will consist of five Democrats, five Republicans and four of neither party. In order for the district line to be re-drawn, at least three democrats, three republicans and three of neither party must be agree to it.

By creating this committee, it will prevent state legislators from putting their self-interest ahead of the interest of the public. Moreover, if the legislators are stripped of the power and the committee takes over, it allows both parties to get involved and create post-partisanship. “Passing Proposition 11 will end partisan gridlock,” according to the California voter guide.

Currently, the Democratic Party is the beneficiary of the way the district lines are drawn. One of the main individuals in charge of drawing the district lines is Michael Berman. Michael is the brother of Rep. Howard Berman. The LA Times reported Democratic Congressional members “agreed” to each pay Berman $20,000 to draw a safe district. Now, if this isn’t the complete opposite of parties working together as one than I don’t know what is.

Furthermore, Berman can’t be blamed for accepting the money from the Democratic Congressional members, because you and I would probably do the same exact thing. However, by allowing this to happen, one party gains complete control over something that should be decided by both parties.

Some evidence to support partisanship can be seen in the 99 percent of incumbents being re-elected right now, as well as not one of the 120 seats changing party hands in the last two elections.

As a Democrat I should be thrilled to have more Democrats being elected and representing me, but I’m not content at all because of the way the Democrats are being elected. We live in a democratic society where every person deserves to have his or her voice heard, but that is taken away if members of the legislature are being paid off or influenced to draw the district lines to benefit one party.

The term gerrymandering means drawing district lines to benefit yourself or someone else instead of doing it for the interest of the public. Gerrymandering cases have been prominent over the last few decades because people believe gerrymandering violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment which states every person was created equal so he or she is entitled to the same equal rights. Gerrymandering proves partisanship because in most cases, the Democrats and Republicans are not equal. One party getting the benefit of the doubt over another case means everyone is not equal.

Barack Obama represents himself as being post-partisan, someone who is going to work across party lines and get our country back on track and working together to become a better nation; Proposition 11 is the ideal example of structural manifestation of post-partisanship. By passing Prop 11, both parties would have an equal say in how the district lines are drawn. Our state would be one that would have parties working together which is exactly what was meant to happen when democracy was created.

So on November 4th, vote Yes on Proposition 11, because a Yes vote means post-partisanship in California.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama Rally in Missouri

A source on the ground in Missouri has told me that Barack Obama will be holding a rally in Columbia, Missouri on Thursday. This information has not been released to the media or the public, so those readers of the "Press Box" are the first to find out.

The rally will take place in the Mizzou Stadium, home of the Missouri Tigers.....I wonder if Heisman hopeful Chase Daniel will throw a pass to Barack Obama at the rally. Now that would be a fun thing to watch.

Missouri is a pivotal state in this election that not many people are talking about. According to my source in Missouri, no candidate has won the presidency without winning Missouri, except for in 1914. Woodrow Wilson was the lucky one to win without Missouri.

Barack Obama could easily win the election without Missouri because of his popularity in the other battleground states, but if John McCain loses Missouri, he can watch his hopes of becoming the next President of the U.S. go straight out the window.

Two polls right now have the candidates in a tight race. In one poll, Barack Obama has a 1 point lead and in the other, John McCain has a 1 point lead.

This rally could be pivotal in swaying the undecided voters in Missouri. A good speech by Obama could mean winning the state of Missouri.

We are only 8 days away until we find out who will be our next president. On that note, GET OUT TO VOTE! Do not assume that Obama will win your state just because he is ahead. Polls don't mean anything. Actual votes do!

Until next time, goodnight from the press box.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Palin for President in 2012?

We are only 10 days away from our country selecting the next President of the United States. It will be either the unknown senator from Illinois turned celebrity named Barack Obama or it will be the veteran of the U.S. Senate, John McCain.

So our attention right now should fully be on these two candidates, right? Eh, not so fast. There is already talk about who is going to run in 2012 and you might be surprised to find out who is the most likely person to represent the Republican Party. It’s not Mitt Romney. It’s not Rudy Guiliani. It’s not Mike Huckabee. It’s the Tina Fey look-a-like….Sarah Palin. (this is the time you get out all of your expletives).

Yes, you heard me right the first time. The governor of Alaska may be positioning herself for a run at the presidency in 2012 if Obama is to win on November 4th. It seems completely ridiculous at first, but it actually does make a little bit of sense…not much, but a little bit.

Just look at the campaign thus far. Palin has been getting in the news for disagreeing with McCain on several issues. The first issue came up about a month ago when McCain said he was giving up on Michigan, a key battleground state. Palin came out the very next day in the media to say that she completely disagreed with the move.

One of the most recent issues that Palin has disagreed with McCain on has been the robo-calls that are hitting battleground states across the country. Palin was asked what she thought about the robo-calls and she said she would reach the voters in a different way; she said the campaign would be better off going door-to-door and talking to the voters face-to-face.

Now on the surface, it seems pretty ludicrous for the running mate of John McCain to publicly dispute moves by the McCain campaign, but if you look deeper, it makes complete sense. By disagreeing with McCain on some issues, Palin will be able to come out after November 4th and say it wasn’t her fault that McCain lost.

As hard as it is for me to say this….I completely agree with Palin’s decision. Sarah Palin is not the reason why McCain is behind in the polls. McCain is behind in the polls because the economy is in complete shambles. Voters may not be going to the polls on election day to choose the person they think will be the best person to lead the country; instead, they will be pushing the pen onto the ballot to select the candidate that they feel is best suited to get the economy in better shape. Sarah Palin has nothing to do with the economy.

If it weren’t for Sarah Palin, the evangelical Christians and the hardcore Republicans would not be too thrilled with Senator McCain. McCain chose Palin so she could excite the base. Palin didn’t do a good job of this…she did a GREAT job.

So, while people may say that Palin was good for the Republican ticket in the short-term and bad in the long-term, to Sarah Palin all that matters is that she continues to keep her celebrity status, because look what’s happening to a senator from Illinois.

Until next time, goodnight from the press box.