New York Times Columnist Charles Blow / Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Views On Poverty

Secular Talk

Recently, New York Times columnist Charles Blow quoted the president speaking at Georgetown University about the poor:

“And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction,” said the President.

“And, look, it’s still being propagated. I mean, I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu — they will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. [Laughter.] They’re like, I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone [laughter]…”

The columnist also criticized Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for calling poor people “lazy.”

O’Reilly then gave his opinion of Blow’s column on his TV show The O’Reilly Factor.

Below is a quote from Media Matters that was cited by Blow in his column. Media Matters states the quote is from 2004 from O’Reilly’s radio show The Radio Factor.

O’Reilly: “Reagan was not a confrontational guy, didn’t like confrontation, much rather be your pal … doesn’t want to get involved with the really nasty stuff, the tough stuff, and that’s what racial politics is — nasty and tough. … It’s hard to do it because you gotta look people in the eye and tell ’em they’re irresponsible and lazy. And who’s gonna wanna do that? Because that’s what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen.”

Are poor people lazy? What about the “working poor?” Are people who work full-time for low wages lazy? Are there times – during an economic downturn, for example – when people are forced to accept low wages?

Article from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/opinion/charles-blow-the-president-fox-news-the-poor.html?_r=0

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Interviews Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush On Iraq


Secular Talk

In a recent Fox News interview with host of The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly, Jeb Bush didn’t seem to differ much from his brother on the subject of Iraq, nor did he seem worried about the trillions of dollars spent or the thousands of lives lost from the war.

The Huffington Post:

“Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) would have authorized the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, putting the likely 2016 presidential contender on the same page as his brother George W. Bush, the president who actually did so.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/10/exclusive-jeb-bush-says-hillary-clinton-would-have-backed-iraq-invasion/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/10/jeb-bush-iraq-hillary-clinton_n_7251872.html

Has Rand Paul Flip-Flopped On Drone Strikes?

Secular Talk

2016 GOP candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who has made much ado about his opposition to the use of drone strikes against American citizens in the past, defended the President on Fox & Friends Monday morning over the drone strike that recently killed two hostages.

Libertarians Such as Ron and Rand Paul tend to be against drone strikes and military intervention unless the homeland is attacked.  Paul seems to have changed his position.

Rand Paul filed an amendment to the Senate budget last month, calling for a significant boost to defense spending. It was a reversal for the Libertarian senator who has previously called for across-the-board cuts to domestic and military spending, according to TPM.

Recently on Fox News, Rand Paul said, “I’ve been an opponent of using drones about people not involved in combat, however, if you’re holding hostages you kind of are involved in combat.”

HUD Study: 578,424 Americans Are Homeless


Secular Talk

ThinkProgress wrote that homelessness fell at the beginning of 2014 compared to 2013 by 13,344 people, according to the latest data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In the annual point-in-time count of the country’s homeless population in January of 2014, there were still 578,424 homeless people.

According to the HUD website:  “More than 1 million persons are served in HUD-supported emergency, transitional and permanent housing programs each year. The total number of persons who experience homelessness may be twice as high. There are four federally defined categories under which individuals and families may qualify as homeless: 1) literally homeless; 2) imminent risk of homelessness; 3) homeless under other Federal statues; and 4) fleeing/attempting to flee domestic violence.”

The “point-in-time” survey is how many are homeless at one specific point in time.  For example, some people may be homeless for a couple of months.  That is why the yearly figure is higher than the “point-in-time” figure.

Is Homelessness A Crime?


Secular Talk

AtlantaBlackstar.com: “Over a third of U.S. cities have begun to implement citywide bans on public camping, which is a 60 percent increase since 2011, according to a 2014 survey of 187 cities by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.”

Secular Talk discusses it.

(Video from December 2014)

(Updated post)

Bill Would Apply Congressional Oversight To Nuclear Deal With Iran

Secular Talk

According to The Huffington Post, there is a new bill in Congress (sponsored by Senator Bob Corker) that will enhance Congressional oversight of the nuclear deal with Iran.  The bill is a headache and seems confusing and unnecessary.

Will the bill just get in the way of the peace deal?

Below are some aspects of the bill, according to The Huffington Post:

1.  The bill would require the president to submit the final agreement to Congress.

2.  Congress will have up to 52 days to review the final agreement. During that time, the president is prohibited from waiving the congressional sanctions during the review period.

3.  The 52-day review period is broken down as follows: There is an initial review period of 30 days to review and vote on sanctions relief. An additional 12 days are automatically added if Congress passes a bill and sends it to the president, and an additional 10 days on top of that if the president vetoes the legislation.

4.  If the final deal is submitted late, after July 9, the review period reverts to 60 days.

5.  The president is required to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is complying with the terms of the final agreement.

6.  It also requires the president to make a series of detailed reports to Congress on a range of issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, its ballistic missiles work, and its support for terrorism globally, particularly against Americans and our allies. With this information, Congress will be able to determine the appropriate response in the event of Iran sponsoring an act of terrorism against Americans, state The Huffington Post.

Secular talk discusses it.

Neil deGrasse Tyson ‘Pledge Of Allegiance’ Comment

Secular Talk

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who served as the host and narrator for Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, the 21st century version of Carl Sagan’s landmark television series.  He is the director of New Yorks’s Hayden planetarium and has served on various Aerospace commissions for the U.S. government.

The show began in March 2014 and ran thirteen episodes in Primetime on the FOX network, and appeared in 181 countries in 45 languages around the world on the National Geographic Channels. It has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards.

Recently, deGrasse Tyson made some comments on Twitter that raised eyebrows among some and received nasty replies.  But were they true?

Is Rand Paul Moving To The Right?

Secular Talk

Recently, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky announced he would be running for President. Have his views on foreign affairs shifted? Has he flip-flopped or back-tracked on such issues as defense and non-interventionism?

Rand Paul filed an amendment to the Senate budget last month, calling for a significant boost to defense spending. It was a reversal for the libertarian senator who has previously called for across-the-board cuts to domestic and military spending, according to TPM.

“The amendment, filed without public notice and first reported by Time, is the latest of several moves by the Kentucky senator seemingly aimed at placating the GOP’s ascendant hawkish wing ahead of a reported campaign announcement…,” states TPM.

Paul’s amendment would boost military spending by about $190 billion above levels proposed in the Senate Republican budget in fiscal 2016 and 2017. It would be offset with steep cuts to domestic federal programs, states TPM.

So, it seems that Rand Paul wants to increase the military budget while decreasing the budget for domestic federal programs.

The one thing that sets Libertarians apart from their Republican colleagues is their policy of not intervening militarily abroad – a non-interventionist policy.

“One of Paul’s signature issues has been a non-interventionist foreign policy and less U.S. military involvement around the world, a philosophy that was gaining traction among some Republicans before the emergence of the Islamic State threat. His budgets in prior years have called for reducing spending on defense,” states TPM.