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Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Please Help Haiti!

Posted by AB on January 13, 2010

It is time, again, for the United States to prove why it is the greatest country the world has ever known.  On January 12, a 7.0 earthquake, with several large aftershocks, devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti.  One of the world’s poorest nations, Haiti, and its people will need help from everywhere possible, in all forms possible.  Thousands are presumed dead, and the rebuilding will take many, many years. 

And what nation and its citizens will respond fastest and most significantly?  The United States.  President Obama has pledged “a swift, coordinated and aggressive” response that, so far, has included ships helicopters, transport planes, and upwards of 2, 000 Marines to soon be deployed to Haiti.  There will be even more assistance from the U.S. and many other nations throughout the world, but ordinary citizens in the U.S. fulfill the most significant difference from other countries.  Already, United States citizens are taking the opportunity to do all that they can to help people that they will never meet.  That’s what we do, and that’s what makes great, so help all you can.  It’s the right thing to do.

Here is a link to a list of charitable organizations (via MSNBC.com):  HAITI

Posted in Economics, Misc., Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The White House is Right about Fox News

Posted by AB on October 20, 2009

The White House is right about Fox News.  It is a wing of the Republican Party, masquerading as a news organization.  In the past week or so, the Obama White House has lashed-out at Fox News for being, not a news organization, but a Republican research and propoganda organization.  Members of the President’s staff have taken some heat over commenting, directly, about a news organization.  Pundits from the right and the left have questioned the strategy that may or may not influence Fox News to do actual news, and will most certainly increase their (Fox News) ratings.  The majority of political observers believes that this is a bad move by the Obama Administration, but I strongly disagree.  Not only is it right, but it is already working.

Fox News has been in attack mode since Senator Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination for President.  While other news organizations were focusing, for the most part, on the real issues facing the next President of the United States, Fox News focused on the character of Barack Obama and any person with which he was vaguely associated.  Reverend Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers were daily foils for Fox News and, frankly, they still are, according to Sean Hannity.  During the election, Fox News could muster little criticism toward Obama’s opponent, John McCain, unless of course, you count loving your country just too damn much as criticism.  

Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009.  That day marked, not only the inauguration of America’s first minority president, but it marked the day that Fox News became the opposition to the President of the United States.  You want proof?  Here is a quote from Fox News Vice President for Programming, Bill Shine:

 “There were a couple of people who basically wrote about our demise come last November (and) December and were, I guess, rooting for us to go away…With this particular group of people in power right now, and the honeymoon they’ve had from other members of the media, does it make it a little bit easier for us to be the voice of the opposition on some issues?” (March 23, 2009)

That sounds exactly like a Fox News executive telling whoever will listen that they are not interested in reporting the news, but instead being the “voice of the opposition.”  That is Fox News’ V.P. of Programming pushing a point-of-view.

Bill Shine not a big enough player for you?  Here’s a quote by Fox News President, Roger Ailes, via right-wing lunatic, Glenn Beck:

“I see this as the Alamo…If I just had somebody who was willing to sit on the other side of the camera until the last shot is fired, we’d be fine.” (March 6, 2009)

With all of the recent headlines blaring that the White House has started a war with Fox News, you have to wonder if anyone in the media can do their jobs.  Fox News started this “war” a long time ago.

Roger Ailes not big enough, still?  Well, here is the most telling quote of all, from the biggest of big dogs at News Corp., Rupert Murdock.  This is his reaction to a question about the “war” with the White House:

“There were some strong remarks coming out of the White House about one or two of the commentators on Fox News…And all I can tell you is that it’s tremendously increased their ratings.” (October 16, 2009)

There you have it.  News Corp. Chairman, Rupert Murdoch, just told you and me that he is interested in the bottom line–ratings.  Facts?  Integrity?  Who gives a damn about all of that, right.  This is clear-cut evidence that Fox News’ opposition to the President comes from the top.

What everyone needs to understand is that the Obama Administration is not really complaining about the prime-time commentators like O’Reilly, Beck, and Hannity.  We all know what they are about.  They are about destroying the Obama Administration, and the individuals serving in that administration.  They are for the personal destruction of President Obama and those who work for him.  They are now on daily witch-hunts for Obama Administration officials, using fear, misrepresentation, and lies to take them down.

The problems lies with the research and points-of-view of these hate-mongers are the subject of Fox News’ “news” coverage.  Rather than reporting the news, they are pushing the opinions of their pundits.  It’s almost as though Fox News anchors refuse to leave the building.  The news production gets its news from the shows of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity.  And these clowns get their news from right-wing radio and the Drudge Report.

The decision made by the White House was a good one.  The Obama Administration cannot continue to allow Fox News to attack, without response.   They have just placed Fox News beneath the media’s microscope and, even though the ratings at Fox News might rise in the short term, more people are going to know what they are about.  They are about destruction, not news.  And in its haste, Fox News will prove the White House right, again and again.

Posted in Economics, Entertainment, Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Confirmed!

Posted by AB on August 6, 2009

No surprise, but very gratifying for her supporters. Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been confirmed by a Senate vote of 68-31. She will be only the third woman and first Hispanic to sit upon this nation’s highest court. Judge Sotomayor will be sworn-in as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Saturday.

Nine Republicans voted “Yea,” while the rest of the Republican members of the US Senate voted “Nay.” There will, no doubt, be a political fallout for those who voted “Nay,” and some Pepublicans who voted “Yea.” This is not the time for that, however. We should all appreciate this historic moment in our nation’s history.

This confirmation is great for the United States of America, and not just because of her gender or race, but because she is immensely prepared to become a great Supreme Court Justice. I, for one, am very proud.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Did You Lose Your Healthcare Today?

Posted by AB on August 3, 2009

While Republican lobbyists organize protests to shout down Democratic Congress members and Obama Administration officials during townhall meetings, thousands of Americans will lose healthcare coverage, daily. 

The US House of Representatives have recessed, and after this week, the US Senate will enter into the August recess.  Now, these lawmakers will return to his or her constituents, and one of the most critical issues they will discuss is that concerning healthcare reform.  I’m sure that many Americans are interested in having the opportunity to ask quetions of their democratically-elected representatives, and this ability retained by Americans to have this direct contact with those who actually make laws is just another reason that our country is so great.   Townhall-type forums allow for public discussion of important issues that affect all Americans.  Unfortunately, there are those who are attempting to shout-down and intimidate Representatives and voters, alike.

The healthcare industry is prepared to spend over a million dollars a day, yes, a day to kill healthcare reform.  And where is that money going?  Well, one lobbying group dedicated to “killing” healthcare reform is called FreedomWorks.  The Chairman of FreedomWorks is former Republican Majority leader Dick Armey–that is his real name.  This is the same organization that funded the so-called grassroots movement called “Tea Parties.” 

 A disturbing memo from FreedomWorks has been leaked, and it is one of the most sickening, anti-American, anti-democracy memos imaginable.  The memo calls for anti-healthcare supporters, and in some cases the group will bus-in supporters, to disrupt townhall meetings by intimidating Representatives and constituents.  This tactic is not only dispicable for the lies that are perpetrated by these people but, most of all, for the total disregard for the rights of their fellow Americans.

Meanwhile, there have been estimates as far back as February that suggest that approximately 14,000 Americans a day will lose healthcare coverage.  That is nearly 100,000 people a week that will lose healthcare.  And what is the solution provided by these opponents of healthcare reform?  Well, in their diseased minds, there is nothing wrong with our healthcare system.  Their ideal solutions is one that would cut even more taxes on insurance and pharmaceutical companies while Americans see premiums rise at over triple the rate of inflation and wages. 

So, if you find yourself at a townhall meeting to discuss the future of this country, and there are 10-20 loud assholes disrupting the discussion, don’t get angry.  First ask them to respect the speakers and those in attendence.  Then ask them if they have healthcare–they likely do.  Then find out where they are from; chances are that they are not from your congressional district, as they have been asked to disrupt any and all townhall meetings possible.  The most important thing to do is to, however, is to resist this intimidation, peacefully, and collect the information that that affects your family.  Find the truth.

Warning:  These people are thugs, and I would put nothing past them. 

*If you can stomach it, I have posted some YouTube clips of these protests, via TPM.

Posted in Economics, Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Beer Summit

Posted by AB on July 30, 2009

Finally, the “Beer Summit.” It’s what we’ve all been waiting to see. President Obama has kept his promise to bring Professor Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley together over a beer.  Wait a minute….does anyone else think this is silly?  This whole story has been blown completely out of proportion, and it was being blown out of proportion before the President said that the police officer “acted stupidly.”

Sgt. Crowley arrested Professor Gates a couple of weeks ago, inside his own home, for “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior.”  The story was framed by the media as racial profiling, but the more information that was revealed, the clearer it became that this wasn’t racial-profiling at all.  This was an incident in which a good man investigated a 911 call at the home of another good man, and these two massive egos clashed, resulting in a shit-storm of media overreaction.

If this becomes an opportunity for Americans to discuss race-relations, great; we need to honestly discuss race-relations.  But why aren’t we asking the questions about civil liberties, because I should have the freedom to be as belligerent as I want to be, in my own home, without being arrested.  The biggest question I have is this:  “Can I be arrested for yelling at a police officer while I’m in my home?”  Apparently, you can’t in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

President Obama has been hit hard about his comment, but he was right, and in another context, the same people who have criticized Professor Gates and backed Sgt. Crowley would agree. 

*Why did Sgt. Crowley come to the White House with his union Rep. and lawyer?  And don’t Republicans hate unions?  Just a couple of questions that I was wondering.

*Let’s hope that this is over.  Maybe some good can come from this.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Election: Iran

Posted by AB on June 11, 2009

This past Sunday, Lebanon held parliamentary elections, and a pro-western coalition claimed victory.  It was a clear defeat for Iranian-supported, Hezbollah, a militant group, just days following President Obama’s speech from Cairo.  The citizens of Lebanon have spoken, and moderation won out over extremism.  There is no question that the Lebanese parliamentary elections were good news for not only democracy in general, but it was also good news for America and its allies.  With that said, the world’s most important election since the US elections in November 2008 will take place this Friday, June 12, in Iran.

Despite the perception of Iran as an extreme, anti-America, Muslim country, we should  recognize that the majority of the population is very much pro-western and moderate.  Iran is a country of 71.2 million people that are relatively young, with a median age of 26.4 years.  The majority of citizens in Iran do not mirror the ideology of the hard-line religious leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, and the confrontational, anti-American governmental leadership of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  With that said, there is a very real possibility that Ahmadinejad might lose to reformist candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        A victory by Mousavi would be a victory from the United States, in a way, because it might allow for more fruitful diplomacy at a time that the influence of hard-line Iranian policy seems to be waning in support.  Now, let’s also recognize that the real power in Iran is held by the Ayatollahs, so a defeat for Ahmadinejad doesn’t mean that Iran will ruled by those necessarily friendly to the US, but it would be an unmistakable rebuke to the hateful, confrontational rhetoric used by its President.

I am not going to get my hopes up, but if Mir Hossein Mousavi should happen to defeat Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it would be a promising occurance for US-Iran relations.  I have no idea if, or how much President Obama’s Cairo speech will have influenced the elections in Lebanon and Iran, but it certainly did not hurt, and I find no coincidence in the timing of the speech to the Muslim world.  Hopefully, moderates in all of the middle east have the confidence and courage to make themselves heard, and loudly, but it doesn’t matter where they find that confidence and courage.  I cannot predict what will happen when Iranians vote on Friday, but I can tell you that it’s worth keeping an eye on the results.  This is the most important election since November.

Posted in Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Supreme Court Nomination = Madness

Posted by AB on May 27, 2009

It’s already begun, and yes, it’s madness.  Yesterday, President Obama announced his nomination for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the retirement of  Justice David Souter.  The nominee is United States Second Court of Appeals Judge, Sonia Sotomayor.  If confirmed by Senate, she will become the first Latina, and only the third woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.  The Republican Party and conservative special-interest groups have been waiting to fight this nomination, whoever it was going to be, for years.  They wasted no time, as Judge Sotomayo has been eviscerated in the last 24 hours.

US President Barack Obama applauds his nominee for Supreme Court ...

Sonia Sotomayor’s academic record is stellar.  She graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from Princeton.  After that, she graduated from Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Review.  Her professional record is just as impressive.  Out of Law school, in 1979,  she landed a job as an Assisstant District Attorney in Manhattan.  In 1984, she entered into private law, and in 1988, she became a partner at Pavia and Harcourt.  Miss Sotomayor became a trial judge in October of 1992, when she was appointed to the US District Court by President George H. W. Bush.  In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the US Second Court of Appeals, where she was also the first Latina.

Anytime there is an opening on the highest court in the land, a fight can be expected.  After all, this is an exclusive club of only nine, and to increase the stakes even more, this is a lifetime appointment.  The importance of this process demands that difficult questions be asked about the nominee’s judicial philosophy, so I would never argue that she get a soft ride through the confirmation process.  It should, however, be a respectful process.  So far, it has not been.

Barely a few hours after the announcement of Sonia Sotomayor as the nominee, conservative radio show host, Rush Limbaugh declared that she was racist, or “reverse racist.”  He also demeaned the President as a “reverse racist.”  Also last night, former Republican Representative, Tom Tancredo, along with a never-ending list of right-wing pundits and bloggers, all called her racist.  And today, the former and disgraced Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich “tweeted” that she should remove her name from nomination because she is a “Latina racist.”  This from a group of individuals who constantly complain that they can’t criticize the President without being accused of being racist.  Of course that’s not true, but false political outrage has been used by all sides for many years.  These remarks are simply disgusting, but these are disgusting men.

Strangely, Republican Congress members, who actually have to vet this nomination, have been cautious with comments about Judge Sotomayor.  I don’t know how long they can resist the hatred of fellow conservatives, but let’s hope they can focus upon the job of, respectfully, vetting the nominee.  Unfortunately, they are also being silent about the attacks being brought about by the haters.  If the Republican Party is to survive, its members must be careful to be respectful to this nominee, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but she represents the fastest-growing demographic in the country. 

Get ready.  This thing will be debated throughout the Summer, ending in the likely confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as the next United States Supreme Court justice.  If the early rhetoric is any indication, this will be really nasty.  I hope that all sides will be respectful of one another, but I am not mad.

Posted in Misc. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thank You, Mr. President

Posted by AB on March 9, 2009

Mark the date:  Monday, March 9, 2009.  Today, President Obama has overturned one of his predecessor’s most tragic policies, by signing an executive order allowing expanded federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.  In front of scientists, packed into the East Room of the White House, the President has given many the hope that was denied by George W. Bush, with the stroke of a pen.

President Bush signed the order in 2001.  Eight years have been lost by some of our best and brightest scientists.  Eight years have been wasted, in the name of political ideology.  We are eight years behind in creating cures for chronic illnesses like diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzhimer’s.  Also, there is hope that embryonic stem-cell research will uncover the keys to heal spinal cord injuries.

The treatment of spinal cord injuries is very personal to me, but for all of those who suffer from various maladies, it is, again, time to have hope.  Science will once again be regarded as a solution to medical problems, and a virtuous element of our progressive society.

It would be nice to say that this life-saving science will no longer be treated as a political wedge issue for individuals on the far right in this country, but that will not be the case.  Religious zealots will do all they can to prevent science from proceeding.  They will always care more about a microscopic ball of cells than they care about those human beings who suffer every day.  That’s why it’s important that scientists spare no time delaying this research that their minds have been craving for so many years.  From the anti-cure cabal, here is House minority leader, John Boehner, R–Ohio, regarding the President’s order.  Once again, the Republican description of unity and bipartisanship is “do what we want, or you are dividing us”:

” ….rolled back important protections for innocent life, further dividing our nation at a time when we need greater unity to tackle the challenges before us.” 

The United States is home to the world’s greatest scientists and doctors, and no longer will they be stifled by backwards governmental policies.  And at a time in which our economy is dragging, the discovery of cures to diseases will strengthen our economy.  It’s fun to imagine what a cure to a disease like diabetes will do for our economy.  There are an estimated 23.6 million Americans living with diabetes.  That about 8%, or the unemployment rate in this country.  For more information about diabetes, click here.  That’s only one of the diseases that could be cured by embryonic stem-cell research.     

Thank you, Mr. President.  The rhetoric of hope has become an active policy, just as we were promised.  Now it is time for our best and brightest to turn hope into cures.  The majority of Americans support this new policy, not because they hate, but because they are a hopeful citizenry.  Americans will forever believe in the promise of a new day, and for those who oppose, do so at the very real risk that your political careers will come to an end.  We are becoming a greater nation, right under the noses of obstructive pessimists.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The President’s Address to Congress

Posted by AB on February 26, 2009

OBAMA/FEB24

Tuesday, President Obama addressed a joint session of congress for the first time.  It was not considered a State of the Union Address; his first official SOTU will not happen until next year.  Nevertheless, it was an important speech. 

The introduction of our new President into the hall really amazed me, visually.  I was struck by the vitality of the new face our nation.  He was brimming with the confidence that is critical for America at this uncertain time.  We are fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but those conflicts do not seem to be of most concern to the majority of citizens.  For those who do not have loved ones in the military, and even some that do, the economy is in the forefront.  Some people are worried that they will not have a job next week.  Others are worried that they will have no home in a month, and some are even worried about how they will feed their children tomorrow.  We are looking for someone to lead us out of this desert and, in my opinion, President Obama is that leader.     

I did vote for Barack Obama.  I am a liberal.  I am a Democrat.  But I do not know the answers to the tough questions that we face, and do not think that anyone really has the silver bullet that will return us to a vibrant economy.  Democrats and the President will not always be right about every issue, but the ideas from the left are the most promising.  The ideas from the political right are few, while Republicans attempt to regain relevance against a popular Democratic President.  Thus far, the response of the Republican party is to morph from opposition party to obstructionist party. 

President Obama promptly disarmed his opponents with another electrifying speech that was hailed by Democrats and Republicans alike.  He did an excellent job of inspiring confidence and hope before congress and the American people.  I anticipated the speech with cautious optimism, for the global economy relies, in large part, upon the confidence of consumers.  I was impressed, but Tuesday night was a nice first step, and we have a long way to go.  These problems did not occur overnight, and they will not be resolved overnight, but we will soon be on the correct path to prosperity.

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