Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's A Christmas Tree

Speaker of the House Denny Hastert is standing firm and urging that the Christmas tree in front of the US Capitol be called, well, a Christmas tree.

That's what it is right?

"I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree," said Hastert.

In the last few years, bureaucrats at the Capitol building started calling the tree a "holiday tree." What the hell is a holiday tree? What holiday?

Its like calling a menorah a "seasonal candleabra. " Very silly.

Go Denny Hastert!


Full Disclosure unleashes it's newest video entitled "BOB WOODWARD DEFENDS HIS SOURCES: VIDEO DEBATE." In the new video blog featuring Bob Woodward and Ed Meese, the two debate the use of unnamed sources.

Enjoy the video!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ben Franklin & The True Story of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has not always been a but-gusting, stuffing eating soiree of football and food. In the early days, our forefathers sought to appease God and highlight the suffering of early colonial life by fasting and being miserable.

Ben Franklin comes along years later and tells the story of how one farmer stood out from among the orthdoxy of the day and suggested we celebrate the blessings and bounty we have through a joyous feast.

Mrs. Cubbison, the Butterball folks and the planners of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade remain forever grateful.

The Real Story of the First Thanksgiving
By Benjamin Franklin (1785)

“There is a tradition that in the planting of New England, the first settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, as is generally the case when a civiliz’d people attempt to establish themselves in a wilderness country. Being so piously dispos’d, they sought relief from heaven by laying their wants and distresses before the Lord in frequent set days of fasting and prayer. Constant meditation and discourse on these subjects kept their minds gloomy and discontented, and like the children of Israel there were many dispos’d to return to the Egypt which persecution had induc’d them to abandon.

“At length, when it was proposed in the Assembly to proclaim another fast, a farmer of plain sense rose and remark’d that the inconveniences they suffer’d, and concerning which they had so often weary’d heaven with their complaints, were not so great as they might have expected, and were diminishing every day as the colony strengthen’d; that the earth began to reward their labour and furnish liberally for their subsistence; that their seas and rivers were full of fish, the air sweet, the climate healthy, and above all, they were in the full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious.

“He therefore thought that reflecting and conversing on these subjects would be more comfortable and lead more to make them contented with their situation; and that it would be more becoming the gratitude they ow’d to the divine being, if instead of a fast they should proclaim a thanksgiving. His advice was taken, and from that day to this, they have in every year observ’d circumstances of public felicity sufficient to furnish employment for a Thanksgiving Day, which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously observed.”

Ben Franklin wanted the turkey, not the bald eagle to be our national symbol. Read why in Ben's own words at MS2.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Races Called, Arnold's Measures Mostly Failing

Arnold Schwarzenegger's redistricting measure, Proposition 77 appears to be losing with 43% of the vote in, going down 57% to 43%.

Another measure supported by the Governor, Proposition 76 which sought to reduce the rate of state spending is also likely to be defeated, 60% to 40%.

Two other Schwarzenegger measures, Prop 74 which extends the probationary period for public school teachers and Prop 75 which would restrict the use of union member dues for political activities are currently too close to call.

In other measures on the ballot not directly tied to Schwarzenegger's reform measures - competing prescription drug plans 78 and 79 are also going down to defeat, and we've already called Proposition 80 - a measure dealing with electric service providers - as losing.

A measure to restrict abortion by minors without parental consent, Proposition 73, is also too close to call.

Bloomberg Re-Elected

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was re-elected to a second term by a large margin on Tuesday after what is believed to be the most costly race in the city's history.

With some 95 percent of the votes counted, Bloomberg had 58 percent and Democratic challenger Fernando Ferrer trailed with 39 percent, according to unofficial election results.

Polls have shown New Yorkers giving Bloomberg, a political novice when he first ran four years ago, high marks for leading the city in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, steering the economy and keeping New York alert to security threats.

Proposition 80 Fails

Here at Sam Yorty's America, we're calling Proposition 80 as having failed to pass. With 27% of the vote in statewide, its currently losing 65% to 35%.

The measure would, among other things, restrict consumers' ability to switch power providers. Prop 80 was supported by consumer groups such as the Utility Reform Network and opposed by Governor Schwarzenegger and the energy industry.

Statewide Numbers on the Props

CA Secretary of State - Statewide Special - State Ballot Measures - Statewide

The Propositions

Once the polls close at 8:00 p.m., we'll be live blogging information here regarding the state ballot measures here. Feel free to add your own comments.
Proposition 73. Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy -- State of California (Initiative Constitutional Amendment)
Should the California Constitution be amended to require notification of the parent or legal guardian of an unemancipated, pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on the minor?

Proposition 74. Public School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status. Dismissal -- State of California (Initiative Statute)
Should the probationary period for public school teachers be increased from two to five years, and should the process by which school boards can dismiss a permanent certificated employee be modified?

Proposition 75. Public Employee Union Dues. Restrictions on Political Contributions. Employee Consent Requirement -- State of California (Initiative Statute)
Should public employee unions be required to obtain annual written consent from each member in order to use a portion of that member's dues for political activity?

Proposition 76. State Spending and School Funding Limits -- State of California (Initiative Constitutional Amendment)
Should Californians make major Constitutional changes to create an additional state spending limit, grant the governor substantial new power to unilaterally reduce state spending, and revise key provisions relating to Proposition 98, school and community college funding, and transportation funding authorized by Proposition 42?

Proposition 77. Redistricting. Initiative Constitutional Amendment -- State of California (Initiative Constitutional Amendment)
Should the California Constitution be amended to change the process of redistricting California's State Senate, State Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts, transferring the implementation of redistricting from the Legislature to a panel of three retired judges, selected by legislative leaders?

Proposition 78. Discounts on Prescription Drugs -- State of California (Initiative Statute)
Should the state adopt a new state drug discount program to reduce the costs of prescription drugs for Californians at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level?

Proposition 79. Prescription Drug Discounts. State-Negotiated Rebates -- State of California (Initiative Statute)
Should the state of California create a new prescription drug discount program for residents at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and change state law to make it illegal to engage in profiteering from the sale of prescription drugs?

Proposition 80. Electric Service Providers. Regulation -- State of California (Initiative Statute)
Should the state expand its regulation of the electric industry?

Tune Into Mayor Sam For Election Coverage

Tuesday, November 8th is election day and here at the Mayor Sam Network, we'll be covering all the angles.

Starting tomorrow evening, we'll be live blogging election news and information on all three of our sites.

For information, news and commentary relating to the Council races in CD10 and CD14, LAUSD's Proposition Y bond measure, and other local races throughout LA County, tune into the Sister City at http://mayorsam.blogspot.com.

We'll live blog the results and news surrounding Governor Schwarzenegger's special election and the state ballot measures over at Sam Yorty's America at http://samyortysamerica.blogspot.com.

And for stats, results of select races, hotlinks, graphics, photos and more, browse on over to MS2 at http://mayorsam2.blogspot.com.

Please do feel free to forward any tips, news, gossip, and other items to us. If you have a camera phone and want to send us pictures, we'll take those too. Be a roving correspondent for Mayor Sam! Email all items to mayorsamyorty@aol.com.