New York #Sports

What Drafting Geno Smith Means

Mark Sanchez is owed $8.25 million next season after having a miserable 2012-13 season

Let me just say, I’m not sure if drafting Geno Smith was a wise move or just a move to create publicity. The Jets current roster has Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Geno Smith, David Garrard, Greg McElroy, and Matt Simms all for the position of quarterback; That list is just down right ridiculous. While guys like McElroy and Simms are not big names nor important right now, the questions still circulate around Sanchez and Smith. Will the Jet’s release Sanchez, taking a $12.35 million cap hit this year and $4.8 million hit in 2014, or will they keep him and let him compete for a job that was once easily his? Will Garrad be the back up to Smith or will Garrad have the starting job?

Welcome Geno Smith, to the Jets media circus

Once again I’m going to do a favor to a professional sports teams front office, free of charge; it would be wise to release Mark Sanchez. Granted his 2012-2013 season was horrific,  though it will be an immediate cap hit this season, it will push the Jets under cap for the 2014 season. Garrad is more than skilled enough to help Geno Smith grow, assuming he is the next franchise quarterback for the Jets. If they shall go on this releasing frenzy, also release Tebow and allow him to carve his own path in the NFL. Let Geno get comfortable playing for the Jets and let Rex Ryan reel in his defense again; perhaps one day soon we shall see the Jets again in an AFC championship game. Until that day comes, the Jets have quite a lot of work to do.

Politics #taxes

Facebook Taxes – Made Over $1billion, Paid No Taxes, Received Millions In Refund

Here is another example of what the Republicans would prefer – allow a certain group to make as much money as possible, while making all provisions for those people to game the system and get even more. Such is the story of Facebook and their 2012 taxes.

According to Citizens For Tax Justice, Facebook made $1 billion in profits in 2012, paid zero in taxes and received a $429 million tax refund.

Republicans must be happy!

 Facebook is reporting a $429 million net tax refund from the federal and state treasuries. And it’s not because they weren’t profitable. Indeed, Mark Zuckerburg’s little company earned nearly $1.1 billion in profits.

Want to make Republicans even more happy? Take grandma’s social security and send it to Mark Zuckerburg. They wouldn’t be able to contain themselves!

mark z

Politics

A Totally Hip President Obama Releases The Official Inauguration Playlist

obama points43

When President Obama won his first term in 2008, millions showed up to witness history in the making. Now, with his second term inauguration on January 20th, the expectation is that the crowds will be a lot less than the 2008 figures.

We are here to help.

President Obama just released the Official Inauguration Playlist on Spotify. So to bring you as close to the events as we possibly can, here is the playlist. And if you have a Spotify account, you can even listen to the Official music below.

fail #Politics

Wipeout! The GOP Wave Crashes.

It’s funny how elections make clear what is already in plain sight. The decline of the Republican Party and the discrediting of its radical right-wing has been evident for the past 3 to 4 years. Instead of following an agenda, they’ve focused on obstruction. When they deigned to speak about policy, it was usually in the negative: anti-abortion, anti-marriage equality, anti-tax for millionaires and anti-immigrant. It’s no wonder that women, African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans were anti-GOP.

It’s also appropriate that the final stake in the right’s collective heart came in the form of a nasty, windy, watery, power-sapping weather event called Sandy. I’ve been warning about the conservative wave crashing on the beach for most of the year, including after Hurricane Isaac in August.

It is ever thus. And now comes the figurative cleanup. From Sean Hannity’s epiphany on immigration, to Bill Kristol’s rebirth on taxes (and the answer is no, raising taxes on the wealthy will not kill anyone), to the rejection of the religious right’s message of exclusion and false piety, this election will very quickly result in the Republican’s changing their tune in order to avoid complete irrelevancy.

Oh yes, there will still be Tea Partiers and other conservatives in Congress, but they will be marginalized and will vote against anything that smacks of compromise or common sense. Others, though, will see the light. Lindsay Graham has already shown his grace by working with New York’s Charles Schumer on an immigration bill that could come in the lame duck session. There’s even talk that the environment and climate change could enable this Congress, or the next one, to come to grips with what’s been obvious to the rest of us for over a decade. Along with tax reform, that could make these next seven weeks the most productive of this eminently forgettable Congressional session.

And it’s all because of an election that highlighted a get-out-the-vote machine that will become an instant classic in the next edition of Political Science textbooks across the nation. President Obama’s team was able to turn a bad economy and a seemingly insurmountable deficit of enthusiasm into a convincing win, in large part because the Romney campaign aligned itself with the anti-math crowd and convinced itself that Obama couldn’t win.

But this was an election about ideas, and Obama won that battle as well. Most voters agreed with the president on taxes, marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights, immigration and investing in education and research. Medicare, which was supposed to be the GOP’s winning issue, was a dud. Paul Ryan was forced early on to abandon both this issue and his meat cleaver budget, leaving him with little to say except to parrot Romney’s ultimately failed ideas. That the election was close is a testament to how divided the country is, but the ever-decreasing white vote that went for Romney was no match for the rainbow coalition that came out for the president.

Is it an enduring coalition for Democrats? It will be if the Republicans don’t shed some of their antiquated ideas. I expect we’ll see a lot more of Marco Rubio over the next two years and a little more of Chris Christie, who raised his profile as someone willing to work with the other party to get things done during the devastation caused by Sandy and Obama’s visit to New Jersey. (Memo to the GOP: Sandy meant very little to your electoral loss. Did women and Latinos decide to vote Obama after a hurricane, or after your minions savaged themselves by equating rape with God’s plan?) We might even see some moderates peeking over the curtain from time to time.

The main lesson we all need to take from the election is that the people want the government to help solve our problems. They don’t want government completely out of the way, but would rather that it do what it’s supposed to do: keep us safe, keep us working, and taking care that the safety net catches those who need it. We’ll take care of the rest. The Democrats can’t get too full of themselves and their message because this was not a mandate election. It was a reaffirmation election that told Barack Obama to complete the job he started in 2009 and to work with the other side to fix the system. The GOP will obstruct and filibuster at its peril. They need to work with the president on all issues and not wait until the next election to see if they can outflank him. That didn’t work for the past two years and it won’t work in the future.

I am optimistic for the first time in a while. It might be misplaced, or I might be more naive than the next guy, but I really think we’ll get the government unplugged and start to see some real progress.

The wave has crashed. Now let’s hope the tide has turned.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives and on Twitter @rigrundfest

Politics

Video And Transcript Of The President’s Re-Election Acceptance Speech

In case you missed it, here’s the video and transcript of President Obama’s acceptance speech after being elected to a second term as President of the United States.

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.

I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that.

Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign.

We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.

In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago.

Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady.

Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics…

The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning.

But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the life-long appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley.

You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity.

You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift.

You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse whose working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers.

A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.

We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this – this world has ever known.

But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag.

To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner.

To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president – that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go – forward. That’s where we need to go.

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path.

By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over.

And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual.

You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our Democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth.

The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job.

I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.

I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm.

And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.

I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own.

And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future.

I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.

Barack Obama #Politics #vote

Jay Z For Obama – “The Power Of Your Vote” – Video

It’s getting down to the wire with 11 days to go before the November 6th elections, and President Obama is turning to hip hop mogul Jay Z, to help get out the youth vote.

“For so long, there was this voice that was silenced out there as far as exercising your right to vote. I think it was a voice that was silent because people had lost hope. They didn’t believe that their voice mattered or counted. We thought it was just politics, you know, people going back and forth. And at the end of the day it never trickled down to where we lived.

“Now people are exercising their right, and you are starting to see the power of our vote. He made it mean something for the first time for a lot of people.”

Vote! Our future literally depends on it!

Politics

Former Republican Secretary Of State Colin Powell Endorses President Obama… Again!

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection.

“I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012,” Powell said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “I’ll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.”

One of the most coveted endorsements remaining in the 2012 presidential race, Powell, a Republican, said Obama inherited a horrendous economy and has begun to turn it around.

“I think, generally, we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude,” said Powell, who served as George W. Bush’s secretary of state. “It doesn’t mean all our problems are solved.”

Powell also took issue with some of GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s foreign policy positions, calling Romney’s stances a “moving target.”

h/t Politico