Archives For Obama

Problem: Your right-wing brother-in-law is plugged into the FOX-Limbaugh lie machine, and keeps sending you emails about “Obama spending” and “Obama deficits” and how the “stimulus” just made things worse….

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SOURCE: Three Charts to Email to Your Right-Wing Brother-In-Law Updated | Dave Johnson.

In the old days, that is the time before I gave up on all the cable news channels I used to get a weekly dose of Fox News.  As they say keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It was anything but news……

That’s all I want, or need, to say about this topic. It is too toxic to go any further into the idiocy of it….

2014-08-07_08-41-18Out of the horror of World War II came one of the great achievements in all of human history: the Geneva Convention of 1949. It was a statement from humanity to itself that, in the aftermath of the bloodiest war in history, some decency might still be rescued. Despite the millions of senseless dead, despite all the mass murder and genocide and terror bombing, despite all the filth and hypocrisy and witless incompetence, the Convention states these things shall be held inviolate in war:

Wounded and sick soldiers shall be treated humanely, and medical facilities shall be off-limits to attack.

The same shall be true of wounded, sick, or shipwrecked sailors, and humanitarian ships.

Prisoners of war shall be treated humanely.

Non-combatants shall be treated humanely.

In 1988, President Reagan signed into law a treaty adding another stipulation to the list:

Torture shall be absolutely forbidden.

Reagan was no saint. His foreign policy caused tens of thousands of pointless deaths in Nicaragua alone. But he worked hard to get this treaty passed, and it is to my mind his greatest achievement. It added a bright star to the narrative of human progress….

Let’s compare that to the text of the Convention Against Torture:

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of President Obama (aside from his unflappable, even cadence) is the way he instinctively tries to understand and legitimize both sides of every debate. When well-applied, as it was during his famous speech on race during the 2008 campaign, it adds needed nuance and complexity to difficult subjects.

Torture, on the other hand, is a simple subject that has little nuance or complexity. It is an absolute evil that has no place or function in a civilized, decent society. It is illegal under United States law. Only a complete idiot would try to use it to gather intelligence. Its only effective uses are thoroughly totalitarian: to intimidate, punish, and extract false confessions.

SOURE: President Obama’s despicable whitewashing of torture – The Week.

For the most part I am going to let the words above speak for me. Torture and anyone condoning it is simply idiocy. Yes, I kind of agree that one of President Obama’s most distinctive characteristics is trying to legitimize both sided of a debate.  Many times he is just too intellectual for his own, or the country’s good.

I also agree that Reagan was no saint but he came through with his abject hatred of torture.  I wonder how that affects his image for many of the current crop of conservatives who condone that tactic? Torture simply has no place in humanity.  Enough said…..

Driving Me Nuts…..

July 7, 2014

2014-06-28_08-23-07“Republicans are mad at me for taking these actions. They’re not doing anything and then they’re mad at me for doing something. I’m not sure which of the things I’ve done they find most offensive, but they’ve decided they’re going to sue me for doing my job,” Obama said in his speech at picturesque Lake Harriet….

Obama likes to joke that he is like a bear breaking out of his cage. On Friday, he said Republican inaction “drives you nuts … and it drives me nuts.”

“Sometimes I’m supposed to be, you know, politic about how I say things, but I’m finding lately that I just want to say what’s on my mind,” he said.

Other presidents have actively invoked executive actions. During his first four years in office, Obama signed 147 such orders. In comparison, George W. Bush signed 173, Bill Clinton enacted 200 and Ronald Reagan ordered 213 in their first terms.

SOURCE: Obama blasts House Republicans over lawsuit threat – Yahoo News.

After my recent vacation I am feeling more stress free than I have for a while so I thought I would do a more political post here. Yeah, I am aware that President Obama’s ratings are below 50% and in fact I am one of those who are just not impressed with his actions.  To me he just seems to be too timid, or maybe a better word is intellectual, when it come to his actions. We need a ball-buster like LBJ in the Oval Office instead of an intellectual to do battle with all those Republicans who are totally frozen by their various fears.

Congress won’t do anything to help us attack our 21st century problems and now they want to also prevent the president from doing anything. I certainly can relate to his comment in that it drives me nuts.  As he said, he just needs to say what is on his mind and maybe more importantly act upon it. I think Mr. Obama is a good guy who has a compassionate heart for all of us who are struggling but…

I can’t understand how those GOP in Congress can say things that are so easily disproven by the facts.  I guess they don’t think that anyone bothers to research what they say. I am sure that is true for many of the Fox News viewers but I hope the other 90% of us who don’t watch that vitriol news channel take the time to know what is real and what is pure hype. Of the four previous presidents Mr. Obama has used his executive authority less than all of them. The problem is not too much but too little action.  To me the problem is that the president needs to grow a pair and get on with the business of the country. Unfortunately he just seems unable to do that….

President Barack Obama taught everyone a little lesson about racist Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy during the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Obama was touting the success of Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who was in attendance at the dinner, saying he hadn’t “seen someone pull a 180 that fast until Rand Paul disinvited that Nevada rancher from this dinner.”

“As a general rule, things don’t end well if the sentence starts with, ‘Let me tell you something about the Negro,'” Obama said. “You don’t really need to know the rest of it, just a tip for you.”

SOURCE:  Obama Teaches Us All A Lesson About Cliven Bundy.

LOL……

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is planning to cut the U.S. Army to its smallest force since before World War II and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets, the New York Times reports. The moves are part of a new spending proposal that officials say is the first Pentagon budget to push the military off the war footing adopted after the terrorist attacks of 2001. The officials argue the military will be able to defeat any adversary, but would be too small for long foreign occupations. The plan will be released Monday.

SOURCE:  The Health-Law Rollout.

It is about time I had something to celebrate about the Obama presidency. We don’t need to spend forty times as much as any other country in the world. We don’t need to be the policemen of the world. Let’s share that burden before it bankrupts us.

LBJ and Obama….

December 27, 2013

2013-12-12_13-12-06For those of you young folks out there that had little or no history lessons in school LBJ is Lyndon Bains Johnson who was president of the US after Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.  LBJ started Medicare and the “Great Society”. He was also a primary player in the Civil Rights of that era.  He managed to get several different and ambitious social agendas accomplished during his six years in office.

A thought that recently cropped up in my head was  “Why  LBJ succeeded in so many different social issues where President Obama has only managed to get a watered-down version of universal healthcare implemented during the same period of time?

One reason I believe is that LBJ had many years in the political process before he became president. Obama on the other hand only had a short stay in the Senate before taking office. In some ways that made him a naive idealist where LBJ was a battle-hardened politician.

 ‘Better to have your enemies inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.'” – Lyndon B. Johnson

2013-12-12_13-12-55Simply speaking LBJ was a very dictatorial type person who loved lording it over others. He was a school yard bully so to speak.  That attitude got him deeper and deeper into his take down which was the Vietnam war.  They say that the chants “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today” deeply hurt him personally.  He was a caring guy with a brute force means of getting what he wanted but he still had a huge heart.

They say that when LBJ came into office he had Air Force One remodeled  so that his office chair was on a raised platform. That he could look down on anyone who came to his office. When he left the presidency to go back to Texas on Air Force One he delayed its return until he could remove his office in it and keep it for himself. :)

LBJ did not have the flowery rhetoric that Kennedy, his predecessor, had or that our current president does now. He was a plain-spoken southerner with a big heart.  LBJ,s actions while president was the prime reason all of the southern racist and other bigoted politicians abandoned the Democratic party and joined the GOP where they remain today.

President Obama, I believe has a big heart but unlike LBJ is ill-equipped to do much about it. He just has too little experience to make things happen.  I, like so many others, did not fully recognize that fact when I voted for him.

Experience is something that seems to have little respect in much of today’s world. We quickly dump older employees for younger ones.  We elect people who move our hearts but have too little experience to get it done. Maybe it is time to use our personal wisdom to get the “right” person in the Oval office…

Reagan ObamaOne of my favorite FaceBook pages is a group called “Living Blue in a Red State”.  Having lived in Indiana most of my life I can so relate to that theme. I don’t know if you have noticed this but for as long as I can remember when the network news starts on presidential election night they always start with “We are ready to call a State for (whichever Republican is running) and then they say Indiana. I know what it is like to live Blue in a Red State. I don’t know if I am true blue or just a shade of purple but one thing is for sure, except for my bleeding heart I am NOT red! I simply care too much for my fellowman to throw any of them under the bus as so many of those “red” folks tend to do.

A recent post on the “Living Blue..” site showed the picture to the right.  Up until 1980 I most often voted for Republicans. Maybe it was because I just hadn’t matured enough to know what I was doing! :)  But when Mr. Reagan was running his “trickle down” logic just made no sense to me. His anti-government stands were just too radical for me.  I am a firm believer in the purpose of government is to do the people’s business and to protect us from the inevitable abuses of a capitalist system.  Mr. Reagan espoused almost an opposite view from me.  So as the Bible says I for the most part shook off the dust from my sandals and went elsewhere with my vote. I think that if things continue the way they are now many more people who vote Republican will be doing likewise.

But of course if Reagan were running today he would be quickly dismissed by the folks who control the current GOP as just too liberal. But there is at least a substantial group of Republicans who continue to treat Reagan as some sort of god of the GOP. While Mr. Reagan was in office he basically tripled the deficit but that is seldom mentioned by my conservative friends. Instead they like to rant on and on how Mr. Obama drastically increased it when he came into office. I am certain that if Mr. Bush had not left the country on the verge of financial Armageddon due to his constant cutting of regulations Mr. Obama’s deficits would be minuscule. My Tea Party friends love to say that they would have just let the country go down in flames instead of bailing out those too big to fail. But then again the so-called bailout is turning out to be one of the most profitable investments made by government in many years.  They have now actually turned a pretty substantial profit as a result of the bailout and as soon as Wall Street quits playing with the price of General Motors stock and allows it to reach its real value the government profits will go up even more.

Now I’m not saying as most Republicans were chanting in the 1980s that deficits are actually a good thing.  Mr. Stockman and his crowd had them thoroughly convinced that deficits were actually good for the country. I have always been one to live within my means and I think our governments should also except maybe under extraordinary circumstances and there have been only a few “extraordinary circumstances” in my lifetime….

Obama3President Obama:

“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me,” Obama said. “And there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator.”

 

Fox News:

Fox’s Sean Hannity suggests that the main reason Obama identifies with Trayvon is that the two as teenagers had smoked marijuana.

On Facebook, Fox News radio host Todd Starnes wrote that Obama’s comments about the Trayvon Martin shooting makes the president “Race-Baiter in Chief.”

“His remarks today on the Trayvon Martin tragedy are beyond reprehensible,” Starnes wrote.

SOURCE:  Political world reacts to Obama’s ‘Trayvon’ moment – CSMonitor.com.

I have absolutely no doubt that the off-the-cuff remarks above by President Obama were from his heart and his life time experiences.  While I can never fully understand what prejudice a black man in America faces I can relate on at least on some level.  Being deaf for 25+ years has taught me that many people assume (prejudge) who we are by our physical characteristics. I face that fact on perhaps a weekly basis.

So many times when I interact with someone who I don’t know and suddenly discover that I am deaf I get the stare.  They immediately think I have an IQ of a turnip. They then proceed to either ignore me, just walk away, or start speaking very slowly so I might be able to understand.  I won’t go into any more details about this as this post is not about me but instead about prejudice.

I know I have sworn off politics and the hatred that presently fills it but the reaction by the usual ranters over at Fox News was just too over the top to ignore. I wonder what my conservative friends who have that channel on frequently during any day think about what they heard on this topic? I wonder if they would have the same hateful words? I think there are times even when viewing our despised enemies that we need to recognize the sincerity of their words. How can Mr. Hannity and Mr. Starnes live in such a dark world? Why do they think it is necessary to attack every word that comes out of the President’s mouth?

I guess this post is more about questions than it is about answers but sometimes I just can’t fathom man’s inhumanity toward man, even the verbal kind.  For those of you who are ready to slam on the flame button don’t even bother sending anything. I am just not in the mood to even look at them…


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BreakfastYesterday, while we were at breakfast at the hotel on the last day of our vacation there were several business men at another table complaining this or that about President Obama. They were talking about things that were reported on Fox News about him. It seemed they can’t wait until he is out of office.

My wife being more of a political person than me (go figure) started “talking” to me about all the good things that have happened under the Obama administration. She signed to me without voicing it what was going on so I joined in.

“If you want to live like a Republican you must vote like a Democratic. I said that when Mr. Bush became president he came into office with a stock market at flourishing well above the 10,000 mark and left eight years later with it was barely above 8,000 and now that Obama has been in office a little over four years it has almost doubled from what it was on that fateful day of January 20, 2009.  The stock market is booming because the real business men know that our economy will soon be flourishing again as it was during the Clinton years and almost all Democratic administration before that.  “If you want to live like a Republican you must vote like a Democrat”.  (For all you doubters out there I put a few graphs related to this subject at the end of this post).  I continued with A recent report found that if you get your news totally from Fox News you are actually less informed than those who do not listen or read any news at all.  In other words, Rupert Murdock’s version of the world has little or no reality to what actually is.

It wasn’t long before the table of business men, or at least I suppose they were, became suddenly quiet and started quickly vacating the restaurant. I guess they had heard enough from us “liberal freaks”.  We have been known to do this before while on vacation. Its kind of fun to rattle a few chains once in a while.  :)

Democrat Admins

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Source: Obama’s $2 billion plan to wean US off foreign oil (+video) – CSMonitor.com.

Moon LandingIf the Obama administration has its way, $2 billion in new revenue from offshore oil drilling will fund research into how to wean American drivers off imported oil…

“The reason so many different people – from the private sector, the public sector, our military – support this idea is because it’s not just about saving money, it’s also about saving the environment. But it’s also about our national security,” Obama said. “This is not a Democratic idea or a Republican idea; this is just a smart idea, and we should be taking [SAFE’s] advice.”

So far, the US has cut foreign oil imports by more than 3.6 million barrels per day during Obama’s presidency, the White House reported. Oil imports have also fallen to a 20-year low, and carbon-pollution emissions are at their lowest level in nearly two decades.

Part of the trend is connected to the drop in economic activity resulting from the recession and slow recovery. But renewable electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources has doubled, and Obama wants to double the fuel efficiency of the US auto fleet by 2025. That could reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day – as much as half of the oil imported from OPEC every day, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report released Friday .

When John Kennedy made the vow “to put a man on the moon and bring him back safely” he started a technological advance in this country that we are still benefiting from.  I remember staying up all night watching that historical event. It was very fortunate that Kennedy had a congress that went along with his plan.

I applaud President Obama in bringing forward and equally, maybe even more, noble plan for the 21st century.  If only those in congress would get their heads out of their rear-ends and support it we might see similar advances this time around. As pointed out in the words above three different factions are aligning with this proposal: saving money, saving the environment, and making us safer by getting us out of middle eastern politics.

With this broad coalition it seems like a pretty sure thing, that is except for two obstacles.  Of course, those are the oil company lobbies and the obstructionism in our federal government. The mentality in the current congressional body is “if Obama wants it we have to be against it”.  If only those who are of this mentality and you know who I am talking about would get over the last election and vote for the good of the country instead of their political party, great things could happen here.

It is certainly encouraging to see that during the Obama administration that we have lessened our dependence on oil imports by 3.6 million barrels a day! I can’t help but believe that this could have been accomplished just about anytime in the last twelve years if the last president had just taken the same action. But of course the last president had other things in mind than  that. Something as simple as mandating that the auto companies increase gas mileage in their cars was a no-brainer for a progressive president but a stretch for a conservative one. Wind and solar are the obvious solutions to much of our energy needs for the future.  I would love to be able to peek forward to see how that works out.