Thanks, Obama (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)

The Good

The Bad

The Down Right UGLY

  • We went from bombing two countries under Bush to SEVEN under Obama; he bombed so much he ran out of bombs
  • We’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan; full scale wars that the media isn’t covering anymore
  • Started wars in Somalia, Syria, Libya; destabilized Honduras
  • Expanded the surveillance state
  • Got rid of Habeus Corpus completely
  • Prosecuting whistleblowers and journalists
  • Campaigned more for the TPP than for single payer or the public option
  • Refused to stand with Occupy Wall Street and refused to stand with Standing Rock
  • Started Cold War tensions with Russia
  • Did nothing to help the people of Flint Michigan or other areas dealing with poisoned water
  • Did absolutely nothing to get money out of politics

There’s so much bad that outweighs the good. I would like to think it could have been worse had McCain or Romney won. War is what really gets me with Obama. Having two cousins in the military I cannot look past his record on that.

As an overall grade I would say D. I wouldn’t vote for Obama again if he could have ran. Despite all the bad I will miss him and I thank him for all the good. There is still too much to do in this country and we should have fought harder with Obama. It’s sad progressives need to fight tooth and nail with the Democrats. I just hope the left is awoke now for the shit storm that will be Trump because it’s looking that he will be a lot worse.

Our Biggest Threat

The second Democratic debate happened last Saturday night. The night before, Paris experienced a horrible terrorist attack which had killed 129 people and wounded many more. My thoughts go out to them.

Bernie Sanders was asked specifically if he thought climate change was still our biggest threat and he said YES.

Bernie’s answer is absolutely right. Climate change is still our biggest threat. Obama even got blasted for saying that climate change impacts more people than terrorism. And there’s data to prove it.

Bernie’s plan to combat ISIS is to create a global coalition and let the other countries in the region take care of it; like Iran. Iran is ISIS’ enemy. We have allies in the area that have millions of troops.

The other candidates (including Hillary) have no real plan. In fact Huckabee’s plan is to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Is he stupid? Iran and ISIS are enemies.

It is very sad what has happened in Paris. And my thoughts do go out to them. But when you tally up deaths from guns in this country (which 129+ people die in four days due to guns in this country) and deaths due to climate change; it’s clear what OUR biggest threats are and they’re not terrorism.

Oh and by the way, if you’re not informed on what is happening in Syria, here’s a cartoon that can explain things to you.

Let’s See How Rediculous This Sounds

As we prepare to enter or affect yet another region in the middle east, it’s nice to know that after 150+ people died at the hands of an evil dictator the US will be there… Never mind that when thousands upon thousands were being killed by genocide in Darfur we didn’t go in or try to help them but whatever.

I guess we never crossed some “red line” with the number of deaths via gun violence in this country to warrant something to actually be done.

The right likes to use that argument for gun violence “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. How about for chemical weapons… “chemical weapons don’t kill people, people kill people”?

Maybe is it that chemical weapons don’t give us more freedom but guns do?

Or how about “the only way to stop a bad guy with a chemical weapon is with a good guy with a chemical weapon”?

I’m confounded.

Gun Companies

I find it interesting that very few gun companies are publicly owned. In fact, out of the most popular gun manufacturers only a few are publicly owned and traded.

Most of the companies you’re hard pressed to find information about the actual person(s) who own them. They seem to want to keep their lives very private; especially after tragedies like the one that just happened in Connecticut. Come on, what can they say? Their product was used to kill 20 innocent kids.

I’ve said on my twitter that I’m sick of this gun debate. I’ve said what I had to, quoted statistics about guns, etc. At this point I think no guns for anyone except law enforcement… And even there that may be a stretch considering police used 90 rounds to take down a teenager in Los Angeles.

I hope Obama is true to his word in what he said last night. This debate has been over. The fat lady has sung and is well on her way back home now. The time for action is long overdue.

How I’m Better Off Than I Was Four Years Ago

With this question about “are you better off than you were four years ago”, I thought I’d blog about how I am better off than I was four years ago.

Here’s a few examples of how my family is better off under Obama:

  • Obama helped my Aunt Ruth by bailing out the automotive industry. Without that, my Aunt would have lost her health insurance.
  • Obama extended unemployment benefits, which helped my mom.
  • The Cash For Clunkers program helped Bri’s parents trade in their old van for a Honda Civic.

Note that this is just a list of what Obama has done that effects me personally. He’s also done a lot more that’s good for our country such as federal support for stem cell research, killing Osama bin Laden, overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, bills for veterans, signed START, overturning Bush’s deregulation for endangered species; the list goes on and on. Almost every area that you can think of, Obama has done something about.

I’ll probably blog again a little closer to the election with other stuff that matters.

We Can’t Afford Four More?

Driving down the road last Sunday, I saw this…

Chevy Truck With Anti-Obama Sticker On It

If only the truck owner had someone to thank for having the ability to get parts to fix his truck. Chevy is still around producing trucks like his. You know, Romney was against the auto bailout… just sayin.

How Obama Is Like Reagan

This is a new post from an earlier post which I delete to refresh. I sometimes misplace my notes. This updated blog post has even more information (evidence) of how Obama is like Reagan.

Sometimes it astounds me how much Republicans hate Obama. Have they any clue that the left in this country has actually moved to the right? The right have moved so far to the right that the middle (“common ground”, “bipartisanship”) is no longer the middle anymore.

I never considered Obama a progressive. He was always just a liberal to me. I even got into a debate one time about how “liberal” Obama really is. He’s not really, when you look at it. He’s more moderate. In fact, one could even argue that he’s what used to be called a moderate Republican.

Obama and Reagan actually share a lot of the same things. Reflecting on a few we can see:

  • Both wanted to disarm nuclear weapons
  • Both lowered taxes
  • Both increased military spending
  • Both increased the national debt (by a lot)
  • Both wanted a raise in capital gains tax
  • Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court; Obama appointed two women
  • Both tried to find a bipartisan consensus with Congress on simplifying the tax code
  • Both ran on hope and optimism
  • Both faced economic turmoil and high unemployment
  • Both had midterm setbacks

I’ve blogged before on my Politics Notes how Reagan should be considered liberal by today’s standards. In fact, Reagan is further to the left than Obama on a few issues:

  • Reagan raised taxes
  • Reagan increased the size of government while Obama has decreased it
  • Obama has been harder on immigration where as Reagan gave amnesty to millions of undocumented workers
  • Reagan helped create Osama bin Laden where as under Obama he was destroyed

Contrary to republican belief, Obama has NOT raised taxes, expanded illegal immigration, nor has he increased the size of government. Their idol, Reagan, did all of these.

It’s just kind of shocking how much Obama is hated by the right, yet their hero and him shared a lot of the same ideology and we could argue, Reagan was to the left of Obama.

National Defense Authorization Act

Why the hell is the so called “liberal media” not talking about this? This bill gives the military the ability to detain and arrest US citizens indefinitely who are suspected of terrorism… on US SOIL and WITHOUT TRIAL.

Obama, veto this bill. This bill is sick. How many more liberties do we have to give away in the name of terrorism? Especially when we’ve killed bin Laden and seem to have the whole “terrorism” thing under control.

If we keep taking away the rights of our citizens, there will be no country to protect. And let us not forget the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

Stay Strong, Obama!

I just read an article saying how Republicans refuse to budge on the debt ceiling. Usually this always means a Democratic cave… like we’ve seen with health care, jobs, climate change, wall street reform, unemployment, etc.

However, Obama seems to be staying strong. He’s quoted as saying (not verbatim):

What we’re seeing here confirms what the American people think is the worst about Washington: that everyone is more interested in posturing and political positioning and protecting their base than solving real problems. Eric, I could get well above the numbers the GOP is talking about with revenue increases. I am not afraid to veto this and I will take that message and defend it to the American people. If we default, it will be a tax increase on every American. My responsibility is to the American people. I have reached the point where I say, ‘Enough.’ I have sat here long enough and no other President – Ronald Reagan wouldn’t sit here like this. I’ve reached my limit. We’ve reached the point where something’s got to give. You’ve either got to compromise on your dollar for dollar insistence or you compromise on the big deal, which means raising taxes. Eric, don’t call my bluff. I will go to the American people on this. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this.

I hate to say this but it is about time. We want Obama to be strong on tough issues like this. I’m glad he’s deciding to do it now.

We’re behind you, President Obama!

Re: A Barack Obama Report Card

I actually have a little bit of time today to catch up on some news. I read a Barack Obama Report Card and decided to blog about what I think his report card should be.

Political Identity: C.
I know who Obama is. I know his vision for this country. I just don’t see the path on which we’ll get there. So far in his path he hasn’t taken the courageous steps I had hoped he’d take. He needs to better stand up for the middle class and the poor. Instead he panders to the rich too much. He needs to go further to the left and stop appearing so right. In some regards, he’s further to the right than Reagan.

Campaign Team: D.
Where was his team during the 2010 elections? He should have had them assembled to help out his fellow Democrats. He did a brilliant job in 2008, but come 2010 they were no where to be found. I understand it’s not his election, but he still should have gotten more motivation out there to help out his party. We barely heard from him.

Leadership: D.
Like I said, he needs to stop giving into the Republicans. Where’s the leader I thought he’d be? This trait is where he needs to be more like Clinton and get it his way or no way. He starts with a compromise on everything. That’s no way to get what you want.

Attributes and Values: A.
I know what they are, I know what he wants to fight for, I just don’t see him putting up much of a fight. I would trust Obama if it was only him, but it’s not. He has to deal with people who want everything opposite of what he wants and stands in the way of everything; and that is killing his presidency.

Organization: B.
He needs to get ready to get in there again. Let’s hope he hasn’t lost so much of his base he can get them back. He needs to start to get the youth out there again and motivate them. They took him to his victory in 2008.

Position Relative To His Opposition: A.
If he took the time and explain to people what he’s for and what he wants, no doubt more people would agree with him. Like most things I debate with my colleges and friends about. Once I explain to them what should be, they agree (a lot of the time). I believe most people would see what Obama wants if he better explains it to them. Instead he lets the right twist things then we get “death panels” and “Obama raised taxes” lies.

Domestic Issues: D.
He still hasn’t done anything meaningful to get this economy back on track. He needs to concentrate more on infrastructure and America’s foundation. Health Care Reform was great. He also needs to fight back more on the budget cutting the Republicans want to do that will only hurt the poor and the middle class which will further sink the economy. Starting with cuts on the poor and the middle class are not the way to earn trust. Start at the bloat, at the top.

Foreign Issues: C.
He hasn’t closed Gitmo, he started us in another war, we’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan, our defense budget is still bloated. However he has drew back most the troops from Iraq, Libya was a success, and the world’s opinion of us has risen. If the Republicans want cuts in the budget, Obama should first suggest the Pentagon, of which if they were to audit would find billions worth of waste. Get completely out of Iraq and Afghanistan and we’d be amazed at how much more money we’d have for the real problems of this country.

Relations With Party Base: D.
I feel a little alienated by Obama. I think he has a lot of work to do in order to stimulate his base again. We’re definitely not going to go out and vote Republican, but I can see a lot of us sit it out.

State Of The Union Tweets 2011


  • Obviously Michele Bachmann wasn’t there when the Republicans read the Constitution at the beginning of the year. #TCOT #TeaParty 8:40 PM EST
  • Wow, what a leader. That’ll kick off my #SOTU and absence from tweeting. 8:42 PM EST
  • No one’s talking about Joe Wilson? Will he be gagged? #HeresHoping 8:50 PM EST
  • That’s the entire #SOTU, Obama shaking everyone’s hands. 9:09 PM EST

State Of The Union

  • Bill Maher said it best. The common ground seems to always be where the Republican is standing. #SOTU 9:15 PM EST
  • New jobs will come from China… and be there too. Where are those cars and computers made? China. #SOTU 9:24 PM EST
  • So we’re supposed to stroke research and development by not spending? Got it. #SOTU 9:25 PM EST
  • But when parents have to work 12 hour days just to make ends meet, it’s kinda hard to teach those good principles. #SOTU 9:31 PM EST
  • Wasn’t there a hiring freeze for teachers in most states? #SOTU 9:34 PM EST
  • Yes there are many illegal immigrants in our schools, but the DREAM act killed their chances of being citizens. #ThanksRepublicans #SOTU 9:37 PM EST
  • These other countries actually invest in their infrastructures. We should take a lesson from them. #SOTU 9:39 PM EST
  • Obama hasn’t even mentioned NAFTA or lack of terrifs which hurt jobs in this country. #SOTU 9:45 PM EST
  • Debt began a decade ago? Try three decades ago with the Republican hero, Reagan. #SOTU 9:48 PM EST
  • We knew he’d say it. “The state of our Union is strong.” When is it not strong? Why is it always sugar coated? #SOTU 10:14 PM EST

Republican Response

  • You didn’t cut spending a few years ago. Huge debts are due to Republican spending. 10:28 PM EST
  • And even more people would lose their coverage if #HCR wasn’t passed. And the health insurance mandate? A Republican idea. 10:29 PM EST
  • You thought endless borrowing was alright under Bush. 10:33 PM EST

Tea Party Response

Barely worth mentioning, but I’ll make a few points that I didn’t on twitter since the Tea Party Express website was slow:

  • So the economic collapse had nothing to do with failed Bush policies or lack of government regulation which helped to ship jobs overseas?
  • The stimulus saved jobs that would have been lost. That’s a fact. And the stimulus would have done a lot more if 1/3 of it wasn’t tax breaks.
  • Did I miss something? I don’t hear anyone telling me what light bulbs to buy.
  • Nothing was stopping businesses from dropping health insurance before, so why didn’t they? It would have been a lot cheaper.
  • I remember gas being a lot more expensive under that oil man Bush.
  • I’ll pay $100 million in government regulations if I can drink clean water, eat clean food, and buy safe products. Thanks.
  • We can start making things again when we reinforce tariffs and stop giving tax breaks to companies who ship jobs overseas.

Good The Dems Have Done, Get Out And Vote! Nov 2 2010

As promised, my list of achievements the 111th Congress and Barack Obama have accomplished:

  • American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the stimulus) – tax credits for home buyers, making work pay, etc
  • Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (health care reform) – ends lifetime caps, no denial for pre-existing conditions, etc
  • Student loan overhaul – cuts out the banks or the middle men saving over $63B
  • Increased fuel efficiency standards – 35 MPG by 2016 when it was originally by 2020
  • Overturned the EPA (Bush) ruling that California couldn’t set it’s own MPG regulations
  • Allowed federal funding for stem cell research
  • Expanded the federal hate crimes bill to sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Dismantling of nuclear weapons and limiting when they can be used
  • Withdrew troops from Iraq – did so three months before the planned timeline
  • Equal pay for women
  • Two Supreme Court Justices – two women
  • Car Allowance Rebate System (cash for clunkers) – statistics say increased fuel efficiency an average of 9.6 MPG or 61% for cars turned in
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act
  • Increased federal regulation of tobacco
  • Set fuel efficiency standards on trucks and vans for the first time
  • Tax incentives to hire the unemployed

In these times we’re living with a global recession of this magnitude, of which experts have claimed would take generations to clean up, you have to admit they’ve done a lot of good with the bad hand they were dealt.

I’ve felt that extreme dislike for the Democrats; extreme dislike for Obama. But I realize, this list, this blog post, I could go into so much detail of each item and it would seem endless; and I’m sure I’ve missed some. These are just highlights. If you go into specifics about these, you really do see a great picture of the grand things Obama and the Democrats have accomplished in just two years time.

If I may ask, give them two more years. If after two years, things are still hellish, then vote them out. Putting the Republicans back in office would spell disaster for this country (as we’ve seen), and this time, it’s worse. There are so many extreme candidates in this race like Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and Rand Paul. Lord knows what our country would look like if they get power.

Regardless, I plead with you, like I have before, go out and vote tomorrow, November 2, 2010. Even if you’re 100% discouraged by anything and everything, just go. Every vote matters and every vote counts. This nation is too hurt to sit this one out. Get your say. No one can stop you. There’s nothing to fear.

Quote From Bill Maher III

I probably have better things to blog about like the email I just got and had to reply and debunk, but Bill Maher had a rant which I felt needs to be said more (though not verbatim). He was talking about Virginia Thomas and that whole message thing, but it morphed into talking about Citizens United.

Because of the Supreme Court decision last year, which her husband ruled on, which basically negated McCain Feingold, in all this secret money in checks they say up to twenty million dollars from hedge fund managers, from fat cats; and people don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s coming into this election. This is a giant scandal which of course people don’t care about anymore than they care about Darfur because it’s not on Dancing With The Stars.

The Tea Party likes to coin the phrase “Wake Up America”, I think it’s true. But America needs to actually wake up to the corruption and propaganda and anything else they actually believe from an email, Fox News, or from a 30 second commercial. They need to stop watching their reality TV and get back to their actual reality and fact check and do research into their candidates before blindly voting. There’s so much unchecked money going into this election, and it’s not going to stop. Republican candidates don’t even care who’s putting up propaganda to attack their opponent, just so long as they win.

To try to encourage more turn out at the polls next week, I’ll be blogging my long list of achievements Obama and this Democratic controlled Congress has had over the past two years. They have been the most productive Congress since the 1960’s.

GOP Pledge & Scare Tactics

The Republicans released their “Pledge to America” if they regain control of Congress later this year. It’s full of the same old same old rhetoric you’d expect from the selfish GOP, such as extending the Bush tax cuts. It omits how it’s going to pay for them as well as what they plan to do about entitlement programs (like Medicare and Social Security). They also want to overturn the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (health care reform) the Dems passed earlier this year. Furthermore, they want to put an end to the stimulus.

I just have to wonder, when HCR starts going into effect and the American people FINALLY see the good it will do, will the GOP jump on the bandwagon like most of them did with the stimulus? Or with the auto bailout?

I’d also like to know who’s buying Newt Gingrich’s recent comments? Seriously, is that guy off his rocker or what?

What scares me is that people actually listen to and believe it. I know a few of them myself. They’re anti-Muslim, far right conservatives who actually buy into these scare tactics. They preach that Muslims are going to take over our country, that we’re beginning to implement Sharia Law, they think Obama wants socialism, they think this country to be founded on Christian beliefs, and they actually believe Fox News to be factual.

And they think I’m wrong when I dispute their “facts”!

I try to see the other side of things, but I can’t even wrap my mind around it… To think that our country is in serious jeopardy and ready to be taken over. Who do these people really want their country back from? Last I checked, we as AMERICANS still had it.

I actually had one guy tell me to hell with the Bill Of Rights if it stops Muslims from building a Mosque near Ground Zero. What are some people in this country becoming and when will they stop? What could be next? Showing up to rally’s wearing KKK clothing?

The Recent Passage Of HCR In 2010

Unfortunately I don’t have much time to write about this since work has been real busy. I just wanted to say a few things about the bill.

I don’t like the whole thing. I’m not in love with it. I don’t like a lot of stuff that’s in it. Having said that, I do believe it’s the best we can do right now and if I were a member of congress, I would have voted for it. I wanted more in the bill like a lot more regulation on insurance companies and a robust public option (let alone ANY public option). But like Kucinich and other progressives, I had to put those wants aside and realize this bill is the best we can do now.

People who won’t compromise get in the way of democracy. The entire Republican party basically refused to compromise. They couldn’t see the good things about the bill like no exclusions on preexisting conditions and adults can stay on their parents health care until 26. Even Bart Stupak wanted to vote no on the bill unless Obama issued an executive order for no funding on abortion (which that was assumed in the bill anyway… I guess Stupak just needed it underlined and in BOLD).

Stupak did compromise and he did vote for the bill (to which he does deserve a thank you). Republican’s couldn’t and I believe they’re on the wrong side of history yet again.

Now, what I’m scared of is people not knowing or realizing that this bill helped them, just like how some people don’t realize that Medicare is a government run program. I’m worried that those teabaggers will not realize that when they get sick, their insurance company can’t drop them like they used to before this bill.

I’m also worried that when (big IF) the Republicans regain power in 2012, they’ll get the credit for the bill when it takes effect in 2014 (kinda like Obama took credit for the new GI bill which Bush passed). I’m also worried that they won’t get the bad rep for NOT supporting it.

I do hope that progressives won’t give up on wanting a single payer universal health care system like the other first world countries. Nancy Pelosi declared HC solved. Progressives don’t think so. I just hope they don’t give up the fight. I know I won’t.

Enough ranting… I also wanted to point to a good resource about information about the bill: . It’s a bipartisan site with lots of good stuff.

Obama’s Afghanistan Surge Speech Prediction

If you haven’t heard, Obama is planning to implement a “surge” in Afghanistan. He’s going to announce his plan to send more than 30,000 additional troops (and who knows how many government contractors) to the war next Tuesday.

My prediction for Obama’s speech is another “Bush” like speech:

  • The war is necessary
  • We need to change the strategy in Afghanistan (meaning things remain the same)
  • Our security as a nation relies on it
  • This war is not open ended
  • This war is the “good war”
  • We want to hand responsibility to the Afghans ASAP
  • Benchmarks (that probably won’t matter nor will they be met)
  • How we plan to work with other nations to ensure a stable Afghanistan
  • We need to “finish the job”
  • The next few months (or years) will “demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve”

The speech will also NOT contain the following:

  • An exit strategy
  • A time line
  • How much more this war will cost
  • The goal
  • How much strain this war is putting on our already strained military
  • In what way this war is tied to our national security

This war is a drain. Obama is sending every other brigade left to Afghanistan leaving us with very few units. We need to cut our losses, end both wars, and send our troops home where they belong.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Congress and the president can be so willing to escalate a war with all the problems we’re facing here. We’re told we have to accept cutbacks on health care and our infrastructure in order to help balance the budget, yet every time there’s a war bill, Congress rubber stamps it. I don’t understand how we have to compromise on health care yet the wars have no compromise. They can be funded open endedly.

I wrote to my congressmen, Ben Cardin, asking him to help push HR 676 (Universal Single Payer Health Care for the US). He wrote back to me:

As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I firmly believe that any reform proposals we enact must be fully paid for, and the budget resolution passed by Congress requires that.

What about the wars, Senator?

Losing Hope

Of late I’ve been pretty depressed about the state of the US. I think I figured out why.

During the Bush years, I knew there was no hope in solving our big problems like global warming, health care, the national debt, the wars, etc. Bush did so much to hurt the United States. I genuinely believe him to be a “T” word (not “tyrant”, by the way).

When we overwhelmingly called for change and progress via electing Obama, I cried. I was so happy. I had so much hope for our country. It was finally going to turn around, I thought. The Democrats had won power back and now had an overwhelming majority. Nothing could stop the progressive movement… I thought.

Here we are entering October. Obama’s been in power eight months. Nothing major has changed.

My friend said go easy on Obama, give him some slack, he has a lot up against him. I can’t on major issues that need to be solved ASAP and bad Bush policies that he promised not to resume. He wants to be bipartisan when sometimes it’s not worth it.

Health Care. When a majority of the country wants a public option, Obama wants to try and be bipartisan on an issue all Republicans have stated they would not vote for. The Republicans have basically come out and said they’re not voting for anything health care related. Obama started with a compromise and look what we have now. A bill that probably won’t have apublic option. If he proposed universal single payer health care from the start, the compromise would have to be the public option. Obama needs to stop pandering to the Republicans. Get universal single payer health care enforced… or be a wimp and just have a public option. Honestly, I think they should resort to an old Bush tactic and call the bill something like the “Health Care Patriot Bill”. Just throw in that word “patriot”. Then if the Republicans don’t vote for it, Democrats can bring that up the next election and call them “unpatriotic”. The Republicans did the same things the last eight years.

Global Warming. Obama’s Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009 is weak at best. It doesn’t stop the problem, rather it gives us reason to prolong the problem and tackle it another day. Scientists say we needed to stop pollution and reduce our greenhouse emissions yesterday. Read what Dennis Kucinich had to say about the bill. Obama should put harsh restrictions in place for polluters and give tax cuts to companies who go green. Start enforcement of restrictions sooner, not in 2016, now, cause we need it now. Be honest with the American people and tell them to sacrifice and do common sense things like recycle, buy fuel efficient cars, and eat less meat.

The Economy. Corporations and their strength and greed ruined our country and we let them get away with it. The richest 1% of Americans more than doubled their share from 8.5% to 22% from the early 80’s to 2006. CEO’s earn over 500 times what the average worker earns, versus 40 times more like in the past. Obama, I thought, was going to be a true leader and put corporations in their place and impose restrictions and not let them walk all over the American people and their government. Obama hasn’t done this. I want Obama to be a strong president, like (I hate to say it) Bush. Bush, for all the bad shit that he did, he was actually able to get what he wanted done… almost every time. Obama needs to impose and enforce restrictions on companies with strong penalties. We’re a year after the financial meltdown and not one restriction has been put on Wall Street. There is nothing stopping what happened last year from happening again. Business’s will continue to make risky ventures full well knowing if they fail, the government and us tax payers will back them up. We need Obama to stand up and send a clear message to Wall Street that we will not have their back anymore. Another idea would be to force a split of these big institutions that are too big to fail.

Torture. I voted to condemn the act of torture and to finally get justice and accountability in the United States. We signed the Geneva Conventions for a reason, to condemn torture. It was my hope that Obama would come through on this and investigate past acts of illegal activity by the previous administration. However, Obama has chosen not to look into past (proven) acts of torture and illegal activities. You prevent future torture by prosecuting past acts of torture. Obama needs to do this and hold everyone accountable as well as follow through on his closing of Guantanamo Bay.

Afghan & Iraq Wars. Obama needs to follow through on his promise to get us out of Iraq… that goes without saying. Bush put us in the middle of two big, useless wars. We don’t need to be over there, just like we don’t need to be in Germany and Japan anymore. Iraq and Afghanistan are two examples of the Military Industrial Complex at work in this country. Blackwater, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, etc have made billions off of these wars. And they continue to be awarded no-bid contracts by our government. There once was a time in our history where being called a war profiteer was considered a bad thing. These contractors have literally gotten away with fraud, arms dealing, and murder. It started under Bush and, unfortunately, continues under Obama. Obama needs to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan as peacefully as possible. Since we shifted our focus to Afghanistan now, it has become more and more violent. Both countries don’t want us there and as long as we’re there, we’re wasting billions of dollars and lives. Also, Obama should bring charges against Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, ArmorGroup for fraud, child prostitution, murder, etc.

Gay Marriage. I applaud states for finally standing up and admitting that it is unconstitutional to not allow same sex couples to wed. I really don’t think Obama has done much at all to advance the GLBT community. He hasn’t repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell like he promised. Obama should make a public statement about this and encourage more states to allow same sex marriage and repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act. Also, repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell so gays can openly serve in our military.

Iran. I am glad Obama is exercising diplomacy. However putting sanctions on a country that hasn’t launched an aggressive war in modern history is a little ridiculous. I have always said who are we to not allow another country to develop nuclear weapons? We have them, and we’ve waged a lot of wars, two very recently. Why do we feel the need to defend Israel anyway? They have nukes and can take care of themselves. Obama needs to leave Iran alone. Please, for Gods sake, don’t invade. Don’t start another costly war.

Leading The Country. Obama has not shown us that he is a strong leader. Not one president since JFK has asked us to do anything! I want Obama to step up and tell me to make sacrifices. Obama needs to tell us to eat healthier, cut out fast food, drive more fuel efficient cars, recycle, stop relying on credit cards, etc.

Granted, I’m also mad at Obama for a lot of other issues like the national debt. If I were to give Obama a grade, it would be a D. So far I think he and his Democratic Congress have failed to do what we gave them power to do. They actually listen to Republican nonsense and not rebut it. So lies (like the illegal immigration coverage and abortion field trips in the HCR bill) will fester and become widely known as fact.

Frankly, I don’t see how his administration is in any way a Democratic one. Obama and his Congress need to get their act together and fix the country. We elected them and gave them all the tools they need to do what we want. If they can’t do it by next year, I predict the Republicans will gain back a lot of power fairly easily.

Debunking Public Vs Private

Side Note: Since this post will kind of be a health care debate post… sort of… and since I couldn’t digg the article yesterday since Digg was being stupid and not letting me submit it, I’ll link to an interesting article about how the health insurance companies hurt policyholders.

Now, I’ve heard a lot of arguments from the right (and some blue dogs on the left) these days of why a public option in health care would be a bad thing… like a healthy competition is a bad thing. It started me thinking of how public competes against private. Brian and I spent an hour coming up with a pretty good list of ways public competes with private:

  • Public vs Private mail – For example USPS vs FedEx.
  • Public vs Private schools – For example colleges can be public or private. Most private colleges (and schools) are more expensive. Wouldn’t private schools not be around at all if everyone put their kids in public since it’s cheaper? There are REALLY good public schools (example UMD)… yet there are still private schools out there… wonder why.
  • Public vs Private airports – Here’s a list of public and private airports in Maryland. I don’t hear any private airports (or conservatives) wining how the public ones take all the business away. Private airports are still in business, oddly enough.
  • Public vs Private space agencies – For example NASA vs Scaled Composites (which is a child of Northrup Grumman).
  • Pubic vs Private hospitals – Thinking there probably shouldn’t be any private hospitals still around… oh wait, there are.
  • Public vs Private radio – Ever heard of NPR? Nothing about the right crying “unfair” they’re competing with private radio stations.
  • Pubic vs Private banks – This one really gets me. I don’t hear anything about people being mad at government run banks or credit unions. You’d think they’d offer higher interest rates on savings accounts (you know, since they don’t have to worry about profit). Which in turn, you guessed it, causes the private to go out of business. But none of that happens. Public and private are just as competitive. In fact, I bank with ING Direct and I get a much better interest rate than if I banked with NFCU.
  • Public vs Private television – PBS versus almost anything else. How come PBS isn’t kicking butt on the ratings? Oh yeah, they suck. So people go to private… Hmm… apply that theory to healthcare… Case in point, if this public option sucks, people will flock back to private. Private just needs to be… what’s the word… oh yeah, COMPETITIVE.

Pretty sure this list is incomplete. Can you think of more?

Now, I don’t hear anyone on the right (or anyone for a “free market”) arguing against any of these. If public was so good, we wouldn’t be having this debate, would we? These major things would all be run by the government and there would be no private. And I’m guessing Obama’s socialism would be a much larger number than 0.21%.

And regarding the argument: “oh well when one of the companies doesn’t have to worry about a profit…” Honestly? If your life depended on a decision from someone NOT in it for the profit or someone IN it for the profit, I can’t imagine why anyone would put their life in the hands of someone who’s only looking out for their profit.

Obama’s Iraq Decision

News broke yesterday, right before Obama’s Congressional Speech, that a decision has been made about Iraq. Obama campaigned on a 16 month withdraw date. Since taking office, apparently, he feels that 16 months is too soon and wants to extend it to 19 months.

Some may think, oh it’s just three months, that’s fine. I don’t. Obama is going back on one of his campaign promises to get the troops out of there. Furthermore, Iraqi leaders have already agreed to Obama’s timetable (which no doubt gave him a lot of kudos). Obama is basically giving the same time of withdraw that Bush gave (2011).

I know not many liberals will get on him about this decision, but I feel he went back on his word, and he deserves flack for it. I understand that until he got in there could he fully understand the severity of the situation. However, I feel that since he is going back on his word, it brings us back. It brings us back to the Bush days of “oh a few more months”, “give it another six months”, “we’ll know by X date”.

Also, I would like to point out that even after “withdraw”, we will still have residual (“non combat”) forces there. Estimates are as much as 50,000 troops. In my opinion, this is completely unacceptable.

To me, this decision is major, as I’ve been strongly against the war since its beginning. I don’t want to go back to the days were our leaders keep pushing withdraw back and back. I want to see our troops come home. I voted for Obama to bring them home.

Let’s even forget about how us antiwar folks feel for a second. The Republicans are going to have a field day. Yes, they love the result (more time in Iraq) but the bottom line is it gives them ammunition against Obama saying he went back on his word.

I hope K O does a special comment or something about this news. I’m pretty mad right now. I hope others get mad about this decision as well. We need to hold Obama accountable. I know he can’t fulfill every campaign promise, but this one is major.

McCain Misspeaks

Too close to election time. I forgot to post this. Here’s a list of all the McCain gaffes and misspeaks he’s said this past election.

2007: McCain: “I was in a conference in Germany over the weekend and President Putin of Germany gave one of the old Cold War style speeches as he addressed the conference there.”

2008: McCain: “And I’m going to tell them, I don’t agree with Senator Obama that they cling to their religion and the constitution because they’re bitter.”

2008: McCain: “I believe that, when he said that we had to leave Iraq, and we had to be out by last March, and we had to have a date certain, that was in contravention to, and still is, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General David Petraeus.”

2008: McCain: “And I’m afraid it’s a very hard struggle. Particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.”

2008: McCain: “Because of the surge, we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others and it began the Anbar Awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.” (The Anbar Awakening began in September 2006, months before the surge was even discussed.)

2008: McCain: “The fact is we had four years of failed policy; we were losing. We were losing the war in Iraq. The consequences of failure and the defeat of the United States of America in the first major conflict since 9/11 would have had devastating impacts throughout the region and the world.” (Afghanistan anyone?)

2008: McCain: “We continue to be concerned about Iranian taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back.” and “Well, it’s common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.” (Joe Lieberman had to correct him.)

2008: McCain: “It was al-Sadr that declared the ceasefire, not Maliki.” (It was actually members of Prime Minister Maliki’s government who brokered the ceasefire in Basra, Sadr agreed.)

2008: McCain: “How can we bring pressure on the government of Somalia?” (Mark Salter corrected him by saying “Sudan”.)

2008: McCain: “We have drawn down to presurge levels.” (The US currently had 150,000 troops in Iraq at the time. Pre surge levels were at 130,000.)

2008: McCain: “Basra, Mosul, and now Sadr City are quiet.” (Mosul on the same day suffered three suicide bombings.)

2008: McCain: “I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.” (Czechoslovakia doesn’t exist anymore. It’s the Czech Republic and Slovakia.)

2008: McCain: “I think it’s a pretty good timetable, as we should have our horizons for withdraw.” (Which then he denied a day later) “I didn’t use the word timetable.”

2008: McCain: “I believe that it’s not an accident that our hostages came home from Iran when President Reagan was president of the United States. He didn’t sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists in Iran, he made it very clear that those hostages were coming home.” (McCain seems to forget that the hostages were freed because of the Algiers Accords which Warren Christopher and the Carter Administration had negotiated. Nothing to do with Reagan.)

2008: McCain: “Ahmadinejad is, was the leader.” (Political authority rests with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not the president of Iran. As for foreign policy, Ahmadinejad has very little influence.)

2008: McCain: “There is a very clear standard in the Constitution requiring not only just compensation in the use of eminent domain, but also that private property may not be taken for public use.” (The constitution says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”.)

2008: McCain: “In the twenty first century, nations don’t invade other nations.” (Did he forget Iraq again?)

2008: McCain: “So the compact that is in effect, obviously, needs to be renegotiated over time amongst the interested parties. I think that there’s a movement amongst the governors to try, if not, quote, renegotiate, certainly adjust to the new realities of high growth, of greater demands on a scarcer resource.” (Talking about the Colorado River Compact. Mitt Romney later corrected him.)

2008: McCain: “We should be able to deliver bottled hot water to dehydrated babies…”

2008: McCain: “I’ve bought American literally all my life, and I’m proud.” (Yet he owns a Honda, Volkswagen, and a Lexus.)

2008: McCain: “Across this country, this is the agenda I’ve set before my fellow prisoners…”

2008: McCain: “If we had done what Senator Obama wanted done in Iraq, and that was set a date for withdrawal, which General Petraeus, our chief, chairman of our Joint Chiefs of Staff…” (Again, Petraeus isn’t the chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff.)

2008: McCain: “I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama’s supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about western Pennsylvania lately… And you know, I couldn’t agree with him more…”

In an effort to not be 100% bias, here are a few gaffes of Obama’s.

2008: Obama: “On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, and I see many of them in the audience here today…”

2008: Obama: “If they just gave him some treatment early and they got some treatment and a breathalyzer or inhalator. Not a breathalyzer. I haven’t had much sleep in the past forty eight hours, so.”