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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Stories

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One of a Kind Treasure Lost
Tim Russert (1950-2008)

Since 1991 Sunday morning has been the domain of one of the most respected and feared interviewers in the political world. On Meet the Press, Tim Russert has been a beacon of integrity and shining example of what a political journalist, any journalist for that matter, should be. When faced with interview subjects who would artfully answer not the question asked but rather the question desired Russert was the master of the respectful yet determined redirection to the original question until it had been answered.

In the political world, one has not been truly tested until one has sat across from Tim Russert on Sunday morning and completed a round of Meet the Press. It has been a rite of passage for nearly two decades. The legally trained and politically savvy Russert was not always a media icon. He grew up in the working class city of Buffalo, New York where his hero in life became his dad “Big Russ” whom he would later write a book about. He later went to law school and became involved in the Democratic Party. It was only after spending some years in the world of politics that Russert came to be the person keeping the politicians as honest as possible.

Despite his roots in the Democratic Party, Russert never gave preferential treatment to any of his guests. He made no effort to avoid pointing out the inconsistencies in words or actions of his guests regardless of their affiliation. To call Russert an honest reporter would be to grossly under-appreciate his uniqueness as a journalist. In an era of boldly biased commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, Tim Russert was a singular phenomenon in the political world. While he had opinions, they never impacted his commitment to presenting the whole story.

Those of us who follow politics and get up early on Sundays to watch these shows have been greatly saddened at the news of Tim Russert’s passing. We will miss his tough interviews and his quirky smile when he would talk about “Big Russ”. We will never forget the great gift this man gave to the world with the time he shared with us. We wish his family all the best and offer our heartfelt condolences.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

California Brings Homosexuals One Step Closer to Equality

This week California became the second state in the U.S. to officially recognize gay marriages as legitimate unions with all of the privileges and responsibilities of heterosexual unions. The happy couples and their supporters greeted the occasion with smiles, hugs, kisses and tears of joy. Some couples had waited as long as fifty years to be able to wed their partners. Many of the first ceremonies were presided over by long time supporters of gay rights from the political community. In the San Francisco Bay Area both Mayors Ron Dellums from Oakland and Gavin Newsom from San Francisco officiated the first civil ceremonies for their respective cities.

The supporters of so-called “traditional family values”, otherwise known as conservative Christian ideologies, showed up in force to the steps of city halls across the state to protest the equal treatment of gays and lesbians under the law. Some holding signs that sported slogans such as “God hates homos” and “Homo sex is a threat to national security”. These “representatives” of the Christian right were determined to disrupt the proceedings that they were powerless to stop.

Even as these couples celebrated their unions the political arm of the Christian right was hard at work trying to assure passage of an amendment to the California constitution that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman. This proposed amendment will appear on the California ballot in November as the California Marriage Protection Act. This is one of two ballot propositions that were promoted to voters in an effort to put some form of gay marriage ban on the ballot. The other proposition failed to acquire enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Current public opinion polls in California show a close vote being possible with many more conservative voters in favor of the amendment to the state’s constitution. Progressive leaning forces are mobilizing to fight this initiative and the advertising fight will likely not be long in coming. With the presidential election players set, political machines are flying into full gear to achieve victory in November for their people and causes. Only time will tell which side of this debate will win the day but it is certainly likely that the debate will be an interesting one to behold. For now it seems appropriate to wish any happy couple who has married recently in the Golden State the best of luck and all the happiness their lives can hold. Welcome to the community property, no-fault divorce world of California legal marriage. Hope you newly married couples can buck the trend and have a long happy life together.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

 

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