Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

This is News? Come on, CNN... Really?

I'm not going to say much here, but I think this is absolutely ridiculous. We all seem to understand that Fox News is pretty conservative, MSNBC is to the left, and CNN was supposed to be somewhere in the middle, but lately it seems that CNN is hammering us with more anti-Romney reporting than anti-Obama articles. I haven't quantified this yet (maybe I will start a count), but the following example seems to show exactly what I'm talking about:

This joke of a story made the front page (click image for pop-up view):

May 31, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- A gunman in Seattle kills 5 before turning the gun on himself (CNN):

- Tribes in the Sinai capture two American tourists (ABC News):

- Worries about the debt crisis in Europe continue to affect US stocks (CBS News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME Mitt Romney v Obama poll on the left ***

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Will the GOP Unite? Please?

Now that Mitt Romney has enough delegates to be named the GOP's presidential candidate, can we all let out a collective "whew?" Of course, this isn't a "finally, it's over" whew, but a "whew" that says we can finally wipe our brow and move on to the next challenging phase of this daunting process.

Regardless, a big question still remains: will the GOP unite around Romney? I ask this because I find two damaging things to be apparent right now:

May 30, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- It's official: Mitt Romney has earned enough delegates to be the GOP's presidential nominee to face President Obama in the general election in November (CNN):

- Former Liberian president Charles Taylor has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for supporting rebels in Sierra Leone who murder thousands during their civil war (Fox News):

- Britain's Supreme Court has backed the extradition of Julian Assange. He is to be sent to Sweden to face charges of sex crimes against two former Wikileaks volunteers (MSNBC):

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- A second recession and increased tax bills are on the horizon if the payroll tax cut is not extended (CNN Money):

- Mitt Romney is expected to cross the 1,144 delegate threshold and officially seal the GOP presidential candidate nomination after the Texas primary tonight (Fox News):

- UN Security forces claim that most of the 108 people killed in a massacre in Syria last week were children (ABC News):

- Another 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Italy leaving 10 dead (CBS News):

*** There is only one day left to vote in the weekly LME Mitt Romney/Bain Capital poll on the left ***

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- The Muslim Brotherhood predicts its candidate will go through a run-off vote in Egypt's first democratic elections in 30 years (CNN):

- The self-admitted suspect in the Etan Patz disappearance case claimed he lured the boy with a promise to buy him soda (CBS News):

- Obama held a Q & A session on Twitter yesterday (Yahoo!):

- To all those heading out on this holiday weekend, be safe! And, as it is Memorial Day, we remember, honor, and are thankful to all the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in the land off freedom and have our daily news and political discussions. Thank you!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- South Korea claims North Korea is ready to follow through with a test of a nuclear weapon (CNN):

- A fire on the US nuclear submarine Miami injured five (Fox News):

- UN human rights experts have conclude that both Syrian government and opposition forces have committed torture and murder during the country's ongoing civil war (CBS News):

- The US claims it has hacked Yemeni websites to replace pro-terror ads with ads that depict the negative effects of joining Al Qaeda (ABC News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME Mitt Romney/Bain Capital poll on the left ***

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Anderson Cooper Does it Again and Exposes Obama Campaign Hypocrisy (Video)

I saw this great article on floating around Facebook, so I naturally had to check it out (I don't watch much TV, and I certainly don't watch individual "news" shows like The O'Reilly Factor and AC360). Check it out:

Did Anderson Cooper do it again? A few weeks ago I wrote about Anderson Cooper taking on a editor and their face claim that the GOP is waging a "war on women" (Link). This time Cooper takes on Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt about Team Obama using Mitt Romney's time at Bain capital against Romney while Obama accepts donations from private equity firms. I don't care what side you're on; truth is the most important thing. Regardless of Cooper's normal political platform (many claim he is left, but probably not as strong left as most), it is good to see him fighting the fight for truth. Watch the video, and see for yourself.

May 23, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Regulators are looking at Facebook IPO underwriter Morgan Stanley. Of concern is the alleged sharing of a negative assessment by Stanley with major clients (CNN Money):

- Long lines have been observed at polling stations in Egypt as citizens vote in their first democratic presidential election in 30 years (MSNBC):

- Al Qaeda video calls for a cyber warfare "electronic jihad" against the United States (ABC News):

- The Obama campaign has repudiated Bill Maher's comment that claimed Mitt Romney's religion (Mormonism) is a cult (Yahoo!):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME Mitt Romney/Bain Capital poll on the left ***

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Nearly a month after the Secret Service prostitution fallout came to light, the DEA is now under investigation for hiring prostitutes in Columbia (CNN):

- A study by the Health Care Cost Institute claims that healthcare costs are rising much faster than inflation (MSNBC):

- The IAEA claims it has reached a deal with Iran that will allow the UN agency to conduct a probe into Iran's nuclear program (ABC News):

- President Obama answers campaign questions at NATO summit, attacks Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital (Fox News):

Monday, May 21, 2012

Are Political Parties Thicker than... Everything?


But it seems political loyalty is being taken to a whole new level. For example, in the past 14 days, President Obama expressed his support for same-sex marriage. As he became the first sitting president to do this, many of his closest followers expressed their disappointment with his announcement. Many black leaders communicated publicly that they were outraged with the president's decision. But what happened? Most said they will still support Obama. Sure, political affiliation comprises more than one social or economic issue, but it seems that with most supporters Obama can do no wrong. To further this, over the weekend, the N.A.A.C.P. announced that they now support same-sex marriage. In their statement, they claim they passed the resolution "endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right and opposing any efforts 'to codify discrimination or hatred into the law.'" So, for the last 103 years, they were okay with it... until Obama said he wasn't? Please... this has absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage. It has everything to do with blindly following and political pandering.  See the Fox News article here:

May 21, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- The House passed a $643 billion defense spending bill. It faces uncertainty in the Senate (CNN):

- Ex I.M.F. head Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces a new round of sexual assault charges (Yahoo!):

- Groups of protesters angry at N.A.T.O clash with police in Chicago (ABC News):

- President Obama out-raised GOP candidate Mitt Romney in April by nearly 2-1 (CBS News):

Friday, May 18, 2012

An Interesting Take on Campaign Finance

I read the following article by CNN columnist LZ Granderson:

I found it to be quite interesting, so I wanted to open up a debate about it. Many people talk about "money in politics" and campaign finance as a major problem, but, I'm not sure anyone knows how to "fix" it. I'm also not sure anyone understands what the "problem" really is. With regards to Granderson's write-up, I don't think I've read an article in recent memory that had me go from full agreement to complete disagreement and everywhere in between in one piece.

May 18, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- New forensic documents, including one that showed Trayvon Martin had THC in his system, and others that showed the Sanford police said the shooting was "ultimately avoidable" have been released (CNN):

- An arrest has been made in the recent Mississippi highway killings case (CNN):

- Plans have been canceled by a wealthy conservative to air T.V. ads linking Obama to Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Most republicans, including Mitt Romney, resoundingly rejected these ads (Fox News):

- Members of the "G-8" are meeting in near Washington D.C. today (Yahoo!):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME gay marriage poll on the left ***

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- A U.N. report claims that Iran has been shipping weapons to Syria (CNN):

- The judge in the John Edwards campaign finance trial has set a lower bar for conviction than the defense had sought (ABC News):

- An autopsy report shows that Trayvon Martin had injured his knuckles (Fox News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME gay marriage poll on the left ***

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- A medical exam conducted on George Zimmerman the day after his fateful confrontation with Trayvon Martin shows he had several injuries including a broken nose and two black eyes (CNN):

- With little media attention given because he has been the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney secured victories in the Nebraska and Oregon primaries, bringing his delegate total to 973 out of 1,144 (MSNBC):

- The man known as the "Butcher of Bosnia," former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic went on trial at The Hague for genocide (MSNBC):

- F.B.I. to investigate JPMorgan's $2 billion loss (CBS News):$2b-loss/?tag=stack

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME gay marriage poll on the left ***

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Iran hanged a man it believed was an Israeli-trained spy who killed Iranian nuclear scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi (MSNBC):

- At JPMorgan's annual shareholder meeting in Tampa, Tuesday, shareholder are likely to express anger towards C.E.O. Jamie Dimon, but they are unlikely to call for his removal (CBS News):

- Most Americans, including 73% of independents and 50% of democrats claim in a new CBS poll that President Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage was a politically-motivated move (Yahoo!):

- Ron Paul has suspended actively campaigning and using resources in upcoming primaries (Fox News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME gay marriage poll on the left ***

Monday, May 14, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Ron Paul to End Active Campaigning

Ron Paul has declared that he will end actively campaigning, though he will work to secure more delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.


READER'S POST #15 - Is the Democratic Party Nothing But Hypocrites?

By: Anonymous 

I submitted this to start a discussion about a topic that has been on my mind for probably about 10 years now. I've always wondered about democrats, and instead of spinning my head in circles, I decided to post a discussion topic on one of my favorite blogs to help get some answers. Maybe you guys can clear this up for me. This isn't a major analysis, or a rant, but some simple observation-based questions. Again, I'd like to open up a discussion, and I'm glad I can do it here. If this is too controversial for you, please go on to the next posting.

Are Democrats Hypocrites?

Why do I ask? Because I see that: 

May 14, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Mexican authorities found 49 decapitated bodies along a highway in Nuevo Leon state between Monterrey and Reynosa. Officials believe the violence isn't targeted at civilians rather dueling Mexican drug cartels (CNN):

- Embattled Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson has agreed to resign over allegedly falsifying his résumé (Fox News):

- The defense will begin presenting its case in the John Edwards campaign finance violations trial (ABC News):

- Top Joseph Kony commander Caesar Acellam was captured by Ugandan forces Sunday (CBS News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME gay marriage poll on the left ***

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Adam Mayes, the suspect in the kidnapping and murder of a mother and her three daughters in Tennessee was cornered by F.B.I agents in New Albany, Mississippi. He shot himself before the S.W.A.T. could move in to apprehend him (Fox News):

- The Obama fundraiser held at actor George Clooney's home nets the President's reelection campaign $15 million (CNN):

- JPMorgan announced it lost $2 billion in riskier-than-expected hedge investments (ABC News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***

Thursday, May 10, 2012

President Obama on Gay Marriage: Words Speak Louder Than Actions?

I guess you can say it's controversy time. Yesterday, in an exclusive interview, President Obama became the first U.S. President to explicitly endorse same-sex marriage. Check out the video from ABC news here:

This is a complicated issue, and there are reasons I, ME, am personally writing about it. Let me start by saying that as a social media user, immediately after the announcement, I noticed thousands of Facebook updates about this both for and against the President's new position. It was because of these posts that I decided to write about it. The posts made me realize that this, along with many, many other issues, will be misconstrued, misunderstood, and blasted all over the news and social media world. Ugh.

May 10, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- President Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly endorse gay marriage (ABC News):

- The Russian commercial jetliner that went missing yesterday was found. The wreckage of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 was found on the side of an Indonesian volcano. No survivors have been found (CNN):

- The U.S. Justice Department plans to sue Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged civil rights violations including  the racial profiling of Latinos (MSNBC):

- Forty people were left dead in Damascus, Syria as two large explosions rocked the capital (CBS News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 9, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- North Carolina residents vote to amend the state's Constitution banning gay marriage. Opponents seek to overturn it (CNN):

- The man who was recently reported to be caught trying to bring down a commercial airplane with an underwear bomb was actually a CIA double agent working with U.S. and Saudi authorities (Fox News):

- The longest serving republican member of the Senate, Richard Lugar, lost his primary battle with freshman Tea-Party backed candidate Richard Murdoch (ABC News)

- Poll shows support for the U.S. led war effort in Afghanistan is at an all-time low (Yahoo!):

- Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett won his party's nomination and is now set to run against Scott Walker in Wisconsin's recall election next month (CBS News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Anderson Cooper Takes on The Democrats' "War on Women" Claim Against GOP

First off, a HUGE bravo to Anderson Cooper for standing up for truth. Partisan politics aside, the position of this blog from the beginning has been to stand up for truth and fact above all things. Cooper's recent reports highlighting the democrats' often false and over-exaggerated claims about the GOP waging a war on women is precisely the kind of journalism we stand for. We often rail on the mainstream media for the spinning and misrepresentation of facts, but Anderson Cooper's stance on this specific issue is a breath of fresh air. He takes on the democrats' (and's) claims and argues for truth in journalism, campaigning, and politics. Below are 2 clips that show what we're talking about.

Clip 1:

May 8, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- The C.I.A. thwarted a terrorist plot to blow up an American commercial aircraft using an underwear bomb similar to the one used in an attempt to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight headed for Detroit on Christmas day, 2009 (Fox News):

- In a low-key, late night email, Rick Santorum has endorsed Mitt Romney for president (CBS News):

- Senate democrats and republicans are working on a compromise over the student loan debt situation (CNN):

- Greece's current debt struggles continue to weigh on Europe (CNN Money):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***    

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Video has surfaced of a 70 year old U.S. citizen who was abducted in Pakistan by Al Qaeda. The video shows Warren Weinstein pleading with the President to meet Al Qaeda's demands in order to save his life (CNN):

- Violence erupts in Moscow as Vladimir Putin is elected to serve another term as Russia's president (Fox News):

- Socialist candidate Francois Hollande defeated Nicholas Sarkozy to win France's presidency (ABC News):

- Top Al Qaeda figure, Fahd al-Quso was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. He was believed to have key roll in the U.S. Cole bombing in 2000 (CBS News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***    

Friday, May 4, 2012

The April 2012 Jobs Report

Here is the April 2012 employment situation report from the BLS:

Key Highlights:

- The unemployment rate fell to 8.1% though private, non-farm employers added only 115,000 new jobs. 154,000 jobs were added in March. Employment gains averaged 252,000 from December through February.

- The number of unemployed persons remained steady at 12.5 million.

- The civilian labor force participation rate dropped to 63.6% from 63.8% as 522,000 people left the workforce all together in March.

- The unemployment rate is 14.5% if you include those who were looking for work but dropped out and are no longer counted in the labor force.

Share your thoughts, feelings, and analysis below.

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***    

May 4, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- China says activist Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad. This would allow him and his immediate family to move, but not his extended family for whom Chen worries about (CNN):

- Japan plans to shut down its last remaining nuclear reactor leaving the island nation without nuclear power for the first time since 1970 (MSNBC):

- A Taliban suicide bomber killed 20 in a Pakistani market early Friday (CBS News):

- The government will release the April jobs report at 8:30 today. Please be sure to check back to The Elephant in the Room for this report (CNN Money):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME April Jobs poll on the left ***    

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Don't Blame the 1% For America's Pay Gap - A Great Read

May Day has come and gone, and the OWS movement will continue to march and protest the "atrocities" of the "1% against the 99%"........ for whatever that means. Now that this day has passed, and the protests have subsided, in the spirit of civil debate, I wanted to put this article front and center:

It is by Fortune Magazine senior editor Nina Easton, and to me, it preaches to the choir. This blog is about expressing views and engaging in civil, respectful, and insightful debate. That's why I'm posting this article. I think an open dialogue is a good thing, and the sharing of personal beliefs and opinions should be beneficial to all involved.

May 3, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Chinese political activist Chen Guangcheng now claims that leaving the safety of the U.S. Embassy was a mistake, and he wants to come to the United States (CNN):

- Newt Gingrich officially suspends his campaign. The now former candidate's campaign is now nearly $4 million in debt (Fox News):

- Osama bin Laden's final last words and other key Al Qaeda documents will be published online today (Yahoo!):

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Joe The Plumber Runs For Congress

Remember Joe the Plumber? In case you don't, his name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, and he became a household (and campaign-wide name) in 2008 when he bravely asked then-candidate Barack Obama about his tax plan. See the Youtube clip here: 

Here we are in 2012, and Joe the Plumber is running for Congress representing Ohio's 9th district. I don't know him personally, but I admire his determination. To me, running for Congress says, "I want to change something, and bygone it, I'm going to do it." 

To check out Joe the Plumber's campaign site, visit

Additionally, here is an open letter written to President Obama by Joe the Plumber titled "Forward?" -

Obama's Speech Transcript From Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

Did you watch President Obama's speech last night? If not, here is the transcript from CNN:

Speech Overview: President Obama announced that he signed an agreement with the Afghan government to remove combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014, and to have a continuing military presence there until 2024. The speech lasted approximately ten minutes and highlighted a staggered troop withdrawal to be executed over the next 2½ years. For the most part, I agree with the President on this. There is one main area of concern that I have. In the speech, President Obama said:

May 2, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- China is demanding an apology from the U.S. after Chinese legal and human rights activist Chen Guangcheng escaped house arrest and took refuge in the U.S. embassy (CNN):

- Five self-proclaimed anarchists were arrested in a sting operation outside of Cleveland yesterday for conspiring to blow up a bridge (CNN):

- President Obama makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan; the Taliban attacks shortly after his departure (Fox News):

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day OWS Protests: Freedom of Speech Gone Too Far?

I don't support the Occupy Wall Street movement... not one bit. I honestly don't think they have any clue about what they're protesting. It seems they live their world in a fantasy land, and when challenged for facts, they can rarely give you the "meat and potatoes" behind their positions. I believe they rant and chant because they want attention, and because it feels good to appear to be part of a "cause." I believe they are entitled, "gimme, gimme, gimme" loons who have no clue how finance, economics, labor, Wall Street, and everything of the like work and coexist.

That being said, I completely defend and support their right to peaceably assemble and protest. PEACEABLY is the key. This post is not about the who, what, when, where, or why OWS is protesting; it's about the how. To start off, The First Amendment, our most sacred amendment states:

May 1, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- The Department of Homeland Security is launching its own investigation into the Secret Service prostitution scandal (CNN):

- U.S. Census bureau data shows home ownership in the United States is at its lowest level in 15 years (CNN Money):

- Nadya Suleman, most commonly known as "octomom" has filed for bankruptcy (MSNBC):

- A federal judge imposed an injunction against the state of Texas that says the state cannot prevent planned parenthood from receiving funds through the state's woman's health program (CBS News):