Archive for the ‘Obama’ Tag

Good Analysis – will anyone listen to it?

Fareed Zakaria is one of the brightest analyst/journalist we have.   He actually reasons and argues, instead of the partisan crap we get from pundits, and the usual He said/She said laziness we get from most journalists.   Great column today on Libya.

I Like this Title – plus he’s on target

Allan Sloan writes a blistering column today for CNN…   Please read it all, including its own links.

“Birther” shmurther

Does anyone really think that this will shut up the crazies?   Please.   There is a large sub-species/population that simply cannot stand having that n****r in the White House as President.   They will find some other ‘obvious flaws’ that inauthenticate even this document.

Why have these folks not been satisfied by a legal process that worked fine for at least one Senator (Inouye) and one actor (Keanu Reeves)…?   If the answer isn’t obvious by now, then you must have your head up your ass.

Further:   the first person to try to compare this to the criticisms of George W. Bush (e.g., the facts of his privileged “Play Army” avoidance of real service in Vietnam, and the Supreme Court’s decision to tell a State Government (FL – remember) that it had to stop its own election process, including recounts and verifications)   should be slapped in the face with the largest fish locally available.

With so much of  the rest of the world struggling to establish real democracy – based on what we once were – we give the world a circus.

Small Sign of Hope & Change

In a 60 minutes interview about to air, President Obama supposedly admits that he needs to learn that “There is a difference between Leading and Legislating”.

How about that.


Sarah Palin talking about cojones – that’s rich. A half-term quitter Governor criticizing anyone’s strength of character – now that’s cojones.

Media sharks (snarks?) love the scent of failure

Most of the media seems almost desperate to start labelling the Obama administration as a failure, lately and mostly due to the response to BP’s Gulf oil spill.   While I am not pleased at all with the tenor and the pace of Obama’s response to this crisis, let’s take a deep breath and think for a second…   What has happened during the first nearly-one-and-a-half years of this administration?

We have largely passed through the greatest economic crisis of confidence since the depression.   Our economy is far from running well or strong, but few people are credibly talking about another Great Depression or worse.   The CBO also recently reported that the Stimulus package pushed by the President has and continues to have a positive impact on the economy.

After predictions of failure and  the President’s “Waterloo”, Health Care Insurance Reform was successfully passed.   We have a long way to go to see what the impact of this mess of a piece of legislation will be, but there is little doubt that it reforms key parts of our use of Health Care Insurance.

Financial reform also appears to be poised to become law – again, in what final format is in doubt in detail – against most predictions in the press about its chances.

Not a bad record so far, though it bears repeating that we have yet to see or feel the longer term impacts of any of these.   But a failure at this point…?   Hardly, I think.

Strangely, one of the things we are faulting Obama most for right now is one of the traits we elected him for in the first place: the belief, reinforced during the debates and the first violent spasms of the financial meltdown, that he would be calm in the storm.   It appears now that it was not a performance – this is how the President is.   He will always choose to still his emotions, to focus his mind and efforts on solving the problems confronting him.


When the people he serves are hurting, sometimes a Leader needs to show more than calm control.   He needs to show that he empathizes (feels with) – even if he does not sympathize (agree with) – with them.   This may be beyond President Obama – it may simply not be part of his makeup to act out in this way.   If this is true, then our media – and we ourselves – may need to remember that people don’t act as we wish them to.   They act as their experience, their character lead them.   We may actually have to pay attention and think, while not ceasing to work to make sure the President and Congress are listening to the People as well (not the media).

We may actually have to judge his performance by results, and not appearances.

How boring, I know.   How Grown Up that would be of us.

The “Audacity of Nope”

In yet another brazen, clueless display of pure chutzpah (to be generous) – or more properly, arrogant, ignorant cojones-based posturing (with a little tone of racial condescension tossed in), some in the GOP have ‘scolded’ (CNN’s word, not mine) the President in and after a closed-door meeting to discuss how they can work together on upcoming initiatives.

From CNN’s Ticker today –

But Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, painted a less rosy picture of the encounter, telling CNN’s Dana Bash that he accused the president during the meeting of taking an excessively partisan approach to critical issues such as financial reform, and then having the “audacity” to come to the Senate GOP conference and use the Republicans as election year “props.”

“I said I realize we are props in this meeting and asked how do you reconcile that duplicity? It obviously hit a nerve,” he said. “For the president to come in and for us not to have a frank conversation is a wasted opportunity.”

Duplicity?    This claim from members of the party whose stated strategy is simply to oppose whatever the Democrats propose?    The GOP is asking us to accept the proposition that, since the Democrats will not simply implement the GOP’s agenda for them, it is the Democrats who are refusing to work in a bipartisan fashion.  

How’s that again???

Since the days of Newt Gingrich, the GOP has more and more adopted this strategy: that their best option is simply (and almost purely) to block the Democrat’s progress in order to gain/regain control of one or both houses of Congress.   Then, they can implement ‘their’ agenda and not worry as much about bipartisanship.

But here’s the real duplicity: the Democrats have shown themselves (e.g., starting in 1994) – almost every time – more willing to work in a truly bipartisan fashion.   Look up the details for yourself at sites like OpenCongress and the government’s own site.   I’m not going to do your research for you

I am not a Democrat, and I am not a Republican – I am aligned with neither organization.   I am essentially a fiscal conservative whose social sensibilities are informed by my core: my Christian Faith.   [As an aside – people like Glenn Beck who say that  words like “Social Justice”, when used in Churches, are ‘warning signs’ –  try actually reading the Bible (especially the Gospels).   The only ‘danger’ here is the danger of actually practicing Christianity.   As G. K. Chesterton wrote – “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” – Chapter 5, What’s Wrong With The World, 1910]   And I am certainly NOT saying that either party is more virtuous than the other – that idea is laughable.   Miguel Estrada summed up the basic absurdity in the Republican vs Democrat “Cry foul!!” nonsense (in his endorsement of Elena Kagan) – I won’t belabor it here.

I’m more and more frustrated, and I become more convinced every year that the only way to stop this cycle in Washington is to vote every one of these morons (i.e., anyone currently serving in Congress) out, and continue to do that until ‘they’ start to get the message that we send them there to do a job – not to posture and war until the next election.   Jim Gearhart (a NJ radio personality) calls it GRIP – Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians.

Intelligent exercise of the right to vote (to paraphrase Heinlein) is diffficult – it takes work.   But shouldn’t we expect more from our elected representatives – and of ourselves….?

Mr. Frum – again

David Frum, in his weekly CNN column for this week, makes a decent basic point.   President Obama is not yet leading – either consistently or effectively.   My own view is that he still needs to shake off the habits of a life spent as an organizer/legislator/editor.   Frum seems to think he is simply passive, which I think is an easy generalization – I don’t agree it’s his embedded personality, I think it’s just his experience.   I believe he will learn and continue to grow (all presidents go through this to some degree).

But he also indulges in this bit of self-serving historical revisionism (most especially the last line in bold):

George W. Bush led from the front. He enunciated big and often unpopular goals. He forced the pace of action. He put his face on issues from Iraq to Social Security, reform to immigration. If anything went wrong, he found himself alone with all the blame.”

THIS about the man who blamed President Clinton for virtually everything negative during ALL of his 8 years in office, from 9/11 to our economic troubles??   Give me a break.   But then, what do you expect from one of Bush’s speechwriters/advisors…

President Obama is leading AT LEAST as well as President Bush did at this point in his Presidency – probably slightly better.   The irritation is that we expected better from him – and we NEED him to do better.


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