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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Stories

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Could a Unity Ticket Lock Up the White House for Barack Obama?

This week a former ally of Senator John McCain, Jim Leach endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama for President and suggested that he should consider running with a moderate Republican in the fall as his Vice Presidential choice. He specifically mentioned Senator Chuck Hagel as a possible running mate. While some in Washington might dismiss such a suggestion there may be some advantages to Obama considering the notion of running with a Republican.

With questions that have been raised about Obama being too liberal on national defense issues a Republican like Hagel who is a Vietnam War era veteran would help to shore up support for Obama among fence sitters concerned about his ability to manage the war in Iraq. Hagel also represents a Republican who has challenged the party line from time to time on many issues including the handling of the war in Iraq which helps promote the idea of bipartisanship in an Obama administration.

The serious downside to Hagel would be his conservative record on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage that have become such wedge issues in recent years. Social liberals within the Democratic ranks would likely balk at Obama having someone on the ticket who is outspokenly pro-life.

The question becomes at this point, how much support will Obama need from outside of his core supporters to win in November? His recent poll numbers suggest that he is gaining support across the nation and that while the race could be tight most experts agree that it is his race to lose at this point.

Another “unity ticket” of sorts that has to be on the minds of Democrats and Republicans alike would be the Obama/Clinton ticket that would place Hillary Clinton both in the Vice Presidency as well as in the driver’s seat for the 2016 Presidential race should Obama serve two terms. This possible “dream ticket” has many potential advantages and disadvantages for the Obama campaign. While it would likely bring the hesitant Clinton supporters into the fold for Obama, it might also alienate independent voters and Obama supporters who dislike Hillary Clinton more than they like Barack Obama.

With the Democratic and Republican National Conventions coming up in the next few weeks all of the questions about running mates should be answered. Both the Obama and McCain camps are being customarily tight-lipped about who their VP nominees will be and it is likely that the final decisions will come down to weighing which of the choices open to the Presidential nominees they feel will give them the greatest advantage over their opponent. In the end the voters will give the final answer about who they feel will best lead our nation into the future. Everything else in the meantime is mere speculation and political maneuvering.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

Working Class to Kiss My Ass: How the NFL is Abandoning Blue Collar America

When the National Football League started it was a league of working class Joes that had day jobs in addition to football. There was no television coverage, no satellite relays and no tape delayed broadcasts. The players went on to the field and played their hearts out for a little money and to entertain their fellow Americans. Nobody got a million dollars to play for a career let alone a season. There weren’t even night games because the fields had no lights to play by after dark.

Move the clock forward a few decades and you see the commercialization of football begin and the realization by the people who ran the league that they were sitting on a gold mine. From the earliest days of using ball players to sell tobacco and chewing gum it became clear to those who would exploit it that they could become rich off of America’s love of sport. Football was not immune from this commercialization and over time it has grown to become a multi-billion dollar annual business. This doesn’t seem too bad. The people get the sports they like and some people make a lot of money supporting that love.

If we continue to move forward in time, we can see the advent of Monday Night Football and the sport was enthroned as the king of television sports. With weekly viewership that rivaled the most popular shows on television ABC had a hit like no other and an audience that was guaranteed to be tuned in every week. Young, old, rich and poor alike tuned in to see the game. For those of us that grew up in the 1970’s there is the memory of being the antenna holder so that dad could see the game when there was bad weather messing with the signal. It was kind of a pain but it was also kind of a bonding time with dad when for a few hours you were both focused on the same thing.

As grew the popularity of the game, so grew the revenues it generated and the salaries demanded by the players to spend their time playing football for the cameras. In time, not only were the players making millions to play, they also began to charge people even to sign a football card or jersey that their fans had spent their hard earned money to buy. In the seeming blink of an eye football went from being about the fans to being about feeding the egos and bank accounts of the players and owners throughout the league.

Fast forward to the beginning of the new millennium and one Monday night people without cable television turned on the TV to see no more Monday Night Football because it had been moved to ESPN. The once cherished pastime of working folks who couldn’t afford cable television gone because the people in the NFL decided that they needed to make sure they could make more money by forcing people to buy cable to see their beloved Monday Night Football. But this was not the end of their plans to exploit the fans, it was just the beginning.

Along comes the NFL Network and the end of free football on television for many fans if they want to see their teams play because they don’t allow a local simulcast of the game for those who don’t have cable or satellite TV service. If you can’t afford to pay anywhere from fifty to a hundred and fifty dollars a month you are just out of luck. Never mind that without the hardcore fans that have supported the teams over the years the players and owners would all be broke, they decided to screw the fans who don’t make enough money so that the players and owners could go from just rich to ungodly rich. This year they add insult to injury and say that unless a team made the playoffs last year, they won’t be nationally televised this year. I for one have had enough.

This year I encourage all football fans sick of being taken for granted to turn off the set, cancel their subscription to the NFL Network and tell the NFL that until they start treating us better, we have better things to do than put money in their pockets. After thirty years of being an avid fan of the game I’m not buying one hat, shirt or jacket with anything resembling an NFL logo on it and I will not be helping their ratings by watching the games on TV or listening on radio. I love football but they have just gone too far in their elitist quest to make football only for those who can afford to go to the game or buy expensive cable or satellite service. If you want to see football returned to its blue collar roots then I encourage you to make the same pledge to not support football until football stops trying to suck its fans’ bank accounts dry.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | 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:

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


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