President (or Senator) Dobbs?

Speculations as to what Lou Dobbs would do next were abound when the CNN host suddenly announced his resignation from the network. Was he going to Fox News? Was he going to run for office? Well, it looks like Lou is suggesting that he is thinking about running for office. In this Reuters story, Dobbs doesn't say that he is or isn't running for office, but he "ruling nothing out. ... I have come to no conclusions and no decisions,"

From Reuters:

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A week after abruptly quitting his longtime job as a CNN television news host and commentator, Lou Dobbs said on Thursday he is considering career options including possible runs for the White House or U.S. Senate.

"Right now I feel exhilaration at the wide range of choices before me as to what I do next," Dobbs, whose outspoken views on immigration and other topics often angered liberals, told Reuters in a telephone interview from New York on Thursday.

Dobbs, 64, a veteran CNN anchor who had become one of the most divisive figures in U.S. broadcast journalism, announced last Wednesday he was leaving CNN after spending the better part of 30 years at the 24-hour cable news network.

He still hosts a daily radio show.

With all the choices before him, this story does point out some of Dobbs' downside.

A Texas native, Dobbs has drawn fire from Latino leaders and civil rights groups for frequent on-air remarks about U.S. border control and immigration that critics saw as demonizing illegal immigrants.

He was also seen as lending credence to the "birther" conspiracy theory, whose adherents believe President Barack Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate was faked to hide a Kenyan birthplace that would make the first black U.S. president ineligible for his office.

Dobbs acknowledged his commentary also stirred friction with CNN executives.

Discussions with CNN/U.S. President Jonathan Klein made it clear Dobbs' style of combining news and opinion was untenable at the network, Dobbs said.

Then again, he may go back to television or play baseball or become a professional rodeo clown since he has a "wide range of choices before me as to what I do next."

What should Lou do next?

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Fox News

By: Inoljt,

Like many of you, I like to watch movies. Even today, they're still a lot of feel-good, old-fashioned hits that make your heart warm. Things like Slumdog Millionaire and National Treasure.

In National Treasure - the sequel, that is - there exists a scene in which the main character kidnaps the president; its necessary to "find the treasure." It's one of the scenes I remember, not because it's particularly memorable or even good, but because of what the scene expresses. The movie respects the president. He's fundamentally a decent guy or gal who's going to do the right thing in the end. For that, the president deserves our respect. And in National Treasure, he gets it.

Perhaps a lot of more sophisticated persons might view these sentiments as naive. But I'm sure many viewers of Fox News have the same, old-fashioned beliefs. With regard to George Bush in particular, I'm sure many of them believed that he was decent man trying to do the right thing for our country. Whatever his mistakes, he deserved our respect.

Which is why it so disturbs me to watch Fox News today. The channel's attitude is consistently disrespectful to our president. Fox commentators are free - are encouraged, in fact - to ridicule and malign the leader of our nation. They operate from the assumption that Barack Obama is not a decent man and that he does not want to do the right thing for the country. They seem to think that our commander-in-chief is an enemy or something, just because he happens to be a Democrat.

That's bad. It's bad for the president. It's bad for our country, because a polarized nation with a paralyzed leader is always in a state of weakness. Think about Iran today. It's even bad for Fox News and the Republicans, because when they do come up with legitimate criticism - the president's not going to listen anymore. They'll have long lost all their credibility.

Maybe I'm just an old-fashioned type of guy, but I think that our president deserves respect.

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Why We Can't Wait on Solving the Climate Crisis

(Proudly cross-posted at OC Progressive& My Silver State)

New Orleans may sink into the sea by 2100. Much of Florida may also be underwater by then. Drought will likely become the norm out West, meaning California could no longer provide the food we depend upon. Las Vegas may become downright inhabitable.

No, I'm not fabricating any of this. These will be the consequences of inaction if we continue to delay implementing the solutions we need to solve the coming climate crisis. But for some reason, may of our supposedly wise lawmakers in Capitol Hill are either willfully ignorant of the facts or downright lying about our future.

Seriously, we can't allow any more of this.

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Doomsday Is Coming. Are We Ready?

(Also at OC Progressive& My Silver State)

Compared with the period from 1960 through 1979, temperatures in the Southwest are expected to rise 4 to 10 degrees by the end of the century.

The chance for longer-lasting heat waves could force the region's residents to use more air conditioning, which would increase the risk of blackouts as electricity supplies become depleted.

The report also warned that the region, already suffering an extended drought as evidenced by declines in Colorado River flow and spring snowpack, should be prepared to face large reductions in spring precipitation by the end of the century. With that, combined with temperature increases and rapid population growth, the Southwest can expect increased competition for water.

The rising temperatures will also lead to more wildfires, and the loss of wetlands will cause more flooding along rivers. Also, ski resort areas will have less snow, cutting recreational opportunities.

While all of this sounds like a doomsday movie script, it is being presented to the public in all seriousness by many of the country's top scientists.

The Sun mentioned this brutal reality today in a hard-hitting editorial on the need for real action on the climate crisis. The whole world is threatened, but we're especially at risk here in The American Southwest where I and many others live. We already have little water, but climate change may end up taking away the little water we have left.

So what can we do? We need to change. We need to rethink the way we interact with this planet.

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Public Opinion Round Up: Demand for Health Care Reform and of What Kind

As lawmakers consider a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system, we analyzed the most recent public opinion findings, and present them below. The highlights include: 1. Demand for major reform of the system immediately, 2. Guaranteeing that everyone has access to health care is very important, 3. Americans live in fear of loosing their health care coverage, and finally, 4. Public attitudes on reform are reminiscent of those in 1993.

Demand for fundamental change or reform of the system now.

86% say that they view health care reform as an integral part of tackling the nation’s economic crisis - survey by the University of Michigan financed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

71% say that the health care system needs to be completely rebuilt (41%) or needs fundamental changes (30%) - Pew Research Centerpoll, June 10-14.

61% say that it is more important than ever to take on health care reform now especially given the serious economic problems facing the country - Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, June.

43% of voters think that their ability to get affordable health care will become worse than before the current economic situation, 30% that it will become better, and 22% that it will go back to the way it was before - ABC News June poll.

1 out of 2 Americans are worried about paying for future care, and one out of four fear of losing coverage in the next year survey by the University of Michigan financed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

What kind of change.

A majority (53%) think that changing the system so that all Americans are guaranteed access to all medically necessary care is a more important goal than finding a way to limit the overall annual increase in health care costs (36%). In 1993, that the results to the same question were 74% to 20% respectively - Pew Research Center.

Prevention oriented health care: 76% of voters believe the level of funding for prevention should be increased. Support is high across the political spectrum, and demographic groups (for instance 86% of Dem, 71% of Rep, and 70% of Ind) -Democracy Corps Survey, May ’09.

72% of Americans state health care is a human right in a ’07 survey of Americans by Belden Russonello and Stewart for The Opportunity Agenda. Extended focus group research among specific demographic groups that make up 60% of the population, indicated that health care is seen as a “basic necessity” for survival like food and shelter, as well as needed to fulfill the human right to “pursuit of happiness.”

Reduction of health care premiums and costs, and security are the most important elements of a reformed system for Americans, including “that no one would ever again lose coverage and no insurance company could drop a consumer or raise rates for pre-existing conditions, health, gender or age” - Democracy Corps June 2009.

Public attitudes on health care and their expectations for reform have not changed. Similarly to 1993:

A large majority wants change. Almost 60% are dissatisfied with the current health care system, and three-quarters say health care should be either completely rebuilt or reformed in major ways. Dissatisfaction is higher among those who lack coverage, unemployed, and married women.

Public wants reform but is risk averse. A large majority is dissatisfied with the health insurance system in the U.S. but only a small minority (24%) is dissatisfied with their own health insurance plans- and here lays the people. Based on focus groups by Democracy Corps following their survey [and by others including research by Belden, Russonello and Stewart for The Opportunity Agenda] are showing people are not satisfied [but rather risk averse] - they have traded off wage increases, stayed in a job rather than leave, paid into a high-deductible plan, and made other compromises so they can have insurance and their choice of doctor when they need it. But that makes those voters who want reform risk averse — they want to confirm key elements in the plan.

39% think that they and their family would be better off if the President and Congress passed health care reform, while 36% think that it wouldn’t make a difference.

The president's plan is favored by a small majority (45%), and opposed by 36%.
The above findings are based on a new Democracy Corps June survey where Stan Greenberg, pollster for Clinton at the tenure of his effort for health care reform, replicated questions he asked in 1993 for the President. Greenberg is convinced that “the country will support comprehensive health care reform — if progressives respect how voters will assess our plans, provide key information about how reform will work (particularly to reduce costs) and if the President carries forward with his educative role.”

Visit The Opportunity Agenda's website for more.

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